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Red-Zone Risers and Fallers: Setting Your Lineup For Week 17 Finals


Your fantasy football championship match is finally here and finding players with scoring potential is more crucial than ever. Let's evaluate the all-important red zone stats to find great values at the skill positions. Just like targets are the lifeblood of a receiver's value in PPR leagues, red zone touches are the most relevant factor to consider for standard leagues.

In this article each week, we'll identify red zone risers and fallers who could see their fantasy value impacted by usage in the most critical area of the field. RotoBaller's Red Zone Sleepers tool is a great way to get an edge on the competition by identifying players with greater scoring opportunities.

Let's take a look at which players could be touchdown risers or fallers in fantasy football for Week 17 of the 2017 NFL season, based on red zone opportunities.

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Red Zone Risers

 

RUNNING BACK

Bilal Powell (RB, NYJ) 28.9% Red-zone touch%

What has been a pretty disappointing season for Jets running back Bilal Powell, the past couple weeks we have seen a resurgence. He went in the fifth or sixth round in most fantasy football drafts, but has been splitting time most of the year with fellow teammates Matt Forte and Elijah McGuire. The past four games he is getting more volume, received double digits in carries, and scored three touchdowns. He is also receiving most of the red-zone touches as well which is huge. Playing against the Patriots in Week 17 Powell would be a good flex option.

WIDE RECEIVER

Cooper Kupp (WR, LAR) 13.9% Red-zone touch%

Cooper Kupp is putting together a very nice rookie season for the Los Angeles Rams. He has been a strong a steady target all year and putting up very modest numbers. Next season, Kupp could end up being a WR2 if he continues to blossom the way he has. Kupp ranks 11th in red-zone touch percentage among all WR and has five touchdowns for the season. For Week 17, the Rams play the 49ers. He would fit nicely into a flex spot on your championship roster.

TIGHT END

George Kittle (TE, SF) - 13.7% Red-zone touch%

George Kittle is actually ranked third among all tight ends in red-zone touch percentage for the entire season. Hard to believe right? When the 49ers get in the red-zone, they look for the tight ends since they lack a reliable wide receiver. Since new starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppollo burst onto the scene, Kittle's numbers have improved some. Enough to start him? That would be a really tough call especially for the fantasy football title game. However, if you are in a bind and need a spot start, Kittle would probably be your best option for a one week fill-in.

 

Red Zone Fallers

RUNNING BACK

Doug Martin (RB, TB) - 17.7% Red-zone touch%

It has been a long and horrible season for Doug Martin owners. He was suspended for the first three weeks for PED use and owners of Martin never got any consistent production from the running back. He was also suspended in Week 15 by the team and in Week 16 only posted six carries for seven yards. He has clearly taken a backseat to teammate Peyton Barber who is earning the majority of the caseload especially in the red-zone. Starting Doug Martin at this point would be a fantasy football disaster wish.

WIDE RECEIVER

Devin Funchess (WR, CAR) - 9.8% Red-zone touch%

After Kelvin Benjamin was traded to the Bills, most people assumed Devin Funchess would step up and earn himself a good role in the Carolina Panthers offense. Funchess has actually had a decent season with seven total touchdowns. However, the last two weeks have been very disappointing, only totaling four catches for 30 yards in both games. His red-zone touch percentage is on the decline as well. For Week 17, Funchess would be considered a flex option at best at Atlanta.

TIGHT END

Antonio Gates (TE, SD) - 7.8% Red-zone touch%

It has been a great career for the future Hall of Fame tight end Antonio Gates. This season, his numbers have declined dramatically, however. His only double-digit fantasy football game was last week against the Jets and the first game in which he tallied more than three catches in any game all season. On the flipside, he has scored two touchdowns in the past two games. That being said, starting him in the most important week of the season is a big risk. If you stream the position or have a stud who is at risk of being benched, he might be a viable sleeper, but you can still look elsewhere for a starting tight end.

 

Red Zone Sleepers Tool

RotoBaller's Premium tools offer more detailed insight to player values and help you identify which players to target on the waiver wire and/or trade market. Start with a free one-week trial, including NFL Optimizer and DFS Premium and get an advantage on the competition!

 

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