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Week 17 Fantasy Busts? Players To Consider Avoiding


As Week 17 approaches -- the last week of the 2019 regular season -- most of your leagues have already crowned a champion. But for some, this is the biggest weekend of the fantasy season. Some leagues run their fantasy championships in both Weeks 16 and 17. So there is still a lot on the line for both fantasy managers and NFL teams trying to punch their ticket to the postseason. The problem is that a bunch of NFL teams don't have anything left to play for and will be resting their starters. When deciding on who to play this weekend, it'll be more of an exercise on which teams are motivated to play for something more than anything. If a player is questionable and his team has nothing to play for, he becomes an even bigger risk.

Among those already guaranteed a spot in the postseason tournament, the Ravens (home-field advantage in AFC) and Vikings (locked into No. 6 seed) will be resting most of their stars. The Texans and Bills are already in and have little left to play for, so they could also rest most of their starters. The Titans, Steelers, Raiders, Eagles and Cowboys have yet to clinch a spot, so they'll be doing everything in their power to win. And the Panthers (eliminated from playoffs) will feed Christian McCaffrey as much as possible to give him a chance at a 1,000-yard rushing, 1,000-yard receiving season.

Below are 10 potential busts for Week 17 of the 2019 fantasy football season.

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Potential Quarterback Busts for Week 17

Patrick Mahomes - Kansas City Chiefs Vs. Chargers

KC's defense has taken the spotlight in the second half of the season. In the last five games, Mahomes has just one 300-yard game and hasn't thrown more than two touchdowns. One of those contests was against these same Chargers, when he was just 19-for-32 for 182 yards, a TD and a pick. The Bolts have allowed the fourth fewest fantasy points per game (17.7) to opposing signal-callers this year. If New England is blowing out the Dolphins on Sunday, don't be surprised if the Chiefs sit their regulars with a wild-card game next week.

Carson Wentz - Philadelphia Eagles @ Giants

Wentz went for a season-high 325 yards and two touchdowns in an overtime win over the Giants on Dec. 9, but he'll be without Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor for this must-win game. Even against a porous New York secondary, Wentz could struggle to move the ball consistently through the air with Dallas Goedert, Greg Ward and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside as his top three options. The G-Men will be hoping to play the spoiler; an Eagles loss and Cowboys win would earn Dallas the NFC East crown.

Others: Deshaun Watson (Vs. Titans), Jared Goff (Vs. Cardinals)

 

Potential Running Back Busts for Week 17

Melvin Gordon - Los Angeles Chargers @ Chiefs

The Chargers are well out of playoff contention and have been fading quickly at season's end. Gordon has seen single-digit carries each of the last two games, and he was lucky to score twice on just 15 rushing yards in Week 16 against Oakland. Against a Kansas City run defense that is holding opposing running backs to 12.2 fantasy points per game the last five weeks (four games), Gordon is in danger of ending the season on a poor note. With both Gordon and Austin Ekeler eligible to be free agents at season's end, they'll both be auditioning for the rest of the league one final time.

Devonta Freeman - Atlanta Falcons @ Buccaneers

After busting out for 13 carries, 53 yards and a score and a season-high nine receptions for an additional 74 yards and another touchdown last Sunday, Freeman is an obvious letdown candidate in Week 17. The 27-year-old back hasn't gone over 100 yards in a single game this season and has just two scores on the year, although they've both come within the last three weeks. Tampa's defensive front is their strength, limiting running backs to 12.4 fantasy points per game the last five weeks.

NEW - Saquon Barkley - New York Giants Vs. Eagles

The second-year back needs 89 rushing yards in Week 17 to open his career with two 1,000-yard rushing seasons. That would be even more impressive this year since he missed some time with a high ankle sprain. Barkley might find the sledding tough, though, despite coming off back-to-back 100-yard games with four total touchdowns. Disclaimer: that came against Washington and Miami.

The 22-year-old certainly looks like he's back to full health, but Philly is playing for the NFC East crown and their defensive front has been much better at stopping the run than their secondary has been at limiting opposing receivers. The Eagles have held running backs to 14.9 fantasy points a game this year, good for sixth best in the league. In the overtime loss to the Eagles on Dec. 9, Barkley was held to 66 yards on 17 carries, and he caught only three passes for one yard.

Others: Christian McCaffrey (Vs. Saints), Gus Edwards (Vs. Steelers)

 

Potential Wide Receiver Busts for Week 17

Breshad Perriman - Tampa Bay Buccaneers Vs. Falcons

Mike Evans (hamstring) and Chris Godwin (hamstring) have missed the last two weeks, opening things up for Perriman, who has capitalized with 12 catches (18 targets) for 215 yards and three touchdowns. Those that were savvy enough to pick him up probably have a fantasy title because of it. He remains Jameis Winston's top target, but he could underperform against a Falcons secondary that has improved drastically of late. They're allowing only 17.0 fantasy points per game to receivers in the last five games.

Tyreek Hill - Kansas City Chiefs Vs. Chargers

Since an injury on Nov. 18 against the Chargers, Hill hasn't topped 72 yards receiving. His athleticism is off the charts and he can blow up at any time, but Hill has double-digit targets just twice in 11 games in 2019. KC's offense hasn't had to do much with their defense playing lights-out in the second half. LA's secondary is fully healthy and is one of the better units in the NFL as well. As previously noted, the Chiefs could decide to rest their starters in the middle of this game if the Patriots have locked up the No. 2 seed in the AFC.

DeAndre Hopkins - Houston Texans Vs. Titans

Hopkins is listed as questionable with an illness in a Week 17 game in which the Texans have very little to play for ahead of a wild-card matchup next week. Hopkins should suit up, but it'd almost be a surprise if he played this whole contest. He'll be even more of a bust candidate in Week 17 if Houston decides to hold Deshaun Watson out altogether. Head coach Bill O'Brien said earlier this week that the team plans to play their starters, but it wouldn't make much sense for them to play the entire game. All of Houston's skill players should be faded in DFS and season-long formats.

Others: Robert Woods (Vs. Cardinals), Devante Parker (@ Patriots), Tyler Lockett (Vs. 49ers)

 

Potential Tight End Busts for Week 17

Mark Andrews - Baltimore Ravens Vs. Steelers

Questionable with an ankle injury, Andrews is a good bet to be inactive on Sunday with the Ravens clinching the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage in the AFC last week. Even if he plays, he might only see a few snaps and/or a few offensive series. Plus, Pittsburgh has been one of the better defenses against tight ends in the last five weeks (4.8 fantasy points per game allowed). The leader at his position with 10 touchdowns in 2019, Andrews is going to disappoint fantasy owners if they leave him in their lineups this weekend.

Jared Cook - New Orleans Saints @ Panthers

The 32-year-old tight end caught three passes for 84 yards in Week 16 against Tennessee, with two of those catches going for scores. Cook has four touchdowns in the last three games and eight overall, but he's only been targeted 10 times the last three games and is extremely touchdown-dependent as a TE1. He did go for 6-99-1 in the first meeting with Carolina, but how much will New Orleans really have to throw against one of the worst rushing defenses in the league?

Others: Austin Hooper (@ Buccaneers), Jacob Hollister (Vs. 49ers)

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