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In Week 17, you can really throw the rankings out the window. In fact, you may have to throw half your starting roster onto the bench or waivers, as many fantasy studs will find themselves resting for the playoffs. Many a fantasy owner believes that leagues with championships in Week 17 should be disbanded. I can't disagree. That said, some of you are still fighting for a title and need to have the best information at hand. These rankings will surely change again from here til Sunday when we learn of more players being pulled from starting lineups, but for now you have to assume that potential league-winners like Todd Gurley, DeAndre Hopkins, and Kareem Hunt will be no-shows.

As an expert ranker for RotoBaller and FantasyPros, I'll put my own personal rankings out on the table for you here and show you how they stack up against the consensus of the other 100+ experts at FantasyPros. Each week, I'll list my Top 10 per position, plus a few notable players that have risen or fallen in my rankings more than the expert consensus this week. In other words, it's where I zig when the others zag.

Note: all rankings are for standard leagues and all opinions are my own. If you have questions, comments, or incoherent ramblings related to fantasy sports, hit me up on Twitter @pfunk00 to continue the conversation.

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Week 17 Quarterbacks - Rankings Analysis

My Top 10 

For the most part, the QB rankings are least affected in Week 17. Ben Roethlisberger won't play, but Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Cam Newton still have their teams fighting for home-field advantage and rank as high-end plays. Russell Wilson earns the top spot, however, against a mediocre Cardinals defense in a game where he'll have to pull out all the stops to lead his team to a Wild Card berth.

The true wild card among fantasy players is Jimmy Garoppolo. He's been terrific in real life, but just average in terms of fantasy points. He's averaging 312 yards, but has thrown just four touchdown passes in four games. He could be in store for more if the Rams go into full rest mode on defense, but it would be hard to play him over any of the established stars like Philip Rivers or Drew Brees.

Deviation from expert consensus

We haven't heard much yet about the Eagles' plans this weekend, but it should be assumed that Nick Foles will at the very least play the first half since he needs more reps with the starters. Plus, coach Doug Pederson has intimated that he doesn't want his players getting rusty with two whole weeks off before their first playoff game. He may do enough damage in the first half alone to be worth playing in deeper leagues with no better options.

Is there some age bias in my rankings at QB? Maybe. Top picks like Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota have disappointed all season long and I don't believe they will pull out any miracles in the season finale. The Titans may have to pass the ball more if DeMarco Murray doesn't play, but that doesn't mean he'll have better results when facing the top-ranked Jaguars defense.

Patrick Mahomes is the talk of the town now that he's getting his first NFL start. It couldn't have come at a worse place than Mile High Stadium. Sure, this defense yielded 299 yards through the air last week in Washington, but at home this year they only allow 242 passing yards per game. Mahomes is greener than green, so his perceived upside is far outweighed by the risk, especially if Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill aren't in the lineup for much of the game.

 

Week 17 Running Backs - Rankings Analysis

My Top 10 

Without Todd Gurley in our lives this weekend, the top 10 has been infiltrated by the likes of Alex Collins and Dion Lewis. Collins is a high-end play considering the Ravens need a win to solidify their playoff spot. Lewis again benefits from injuries to James White and Rex Burkhead, but beware the potential TD vulturing by Mike Gillislee.

It's still bizarre to see two Saints running backs in the top five each week, but it's now a fact of life. The riskier play may prove to be Ezekiel Elliott, who for the first time will participate in a game for a non-contender. He will start, but it will be interesting to see how many carries he gets at the end of the day.

Deviation from expert consensus

We talked at length about Marshawn Lynch in this week's podcast and all three of us agreed that he is a tremendous DFS value at $4400. Lynch has gotten stronger as the year goes on and should get plenty of carries in his possible last game in the NFL.

Melvin Gordon has not been ruled out of Sunday's matchup with the Raiders... yet. If he is, then you should be prepared with a quick hook and you should probably stay away from him in daily leagues altogether. Austin Ekeler, whose season figured to be over with a hand injury, is now rumored to be ready for a return. He makes a possible great value play, but there's still a lot of uncertainty in this situation.

I love Indianapolis as a team to stack this week, especially in the passing game. While I personally love Frank Gore, he just doesn't have the ceiling to be more than a middling RB2 anywhere, regardless of matchup or usage.

 

Week 17 Wide Receivers - Rankings Analysis

My Top 10 

This is where we get to the "oh, what the hell" segment of the rankings. DeAndre Hopkins has missed practice and is now rumored to be sitting out Week 17 for what would be the first missed game of his career. Taking his place atop the WR rankings is his counterpart on the other side, T.Y. Hilton. He's been the epitome of boom-bust this year, with four games scoring 15 or more fantasy points (PPR) and eight games of seven points or less. This has got to be a boom week, facing the league's worst pass defense in an utterly meaningless season-ending game. The Texans are bitterly disappointed that they are missing the playoffs due to devastating injuries to their star players. The Colts were doomed from the start, but now may be playing to send their coach Chuck Pagano out with a victory. Sure, it's all pure speculation, but isn't that what we're doing here anyway?

Deviation from expert consensus

Is this Dez Bryant's last game with the Cowboys? The rumors will run rampant all offseason, but in the meanwhile he has one more game against division rival Philadelphia. Bryant will have some personal motivation, whereas the Eagles have very little. He's no longer an WR1 under any circumstance, but in leagues that still count this week, he should be starting.

The Dolphins are suddenly trying to prove that DeVante Parker is not a bust after all. He's seen 22 targets the last two games, but still hasn't broken 90 yards in a game and is stuck at one touchdown this season. He gets a tough draw with Buffalo, but his value should be a tick higher this week than it has been most of the year due to the spectre of higher usage.

Stefon Diggs get an even tougher draw against CB Kyle Fuller, who some believe should be considered as a Pro Bowl alternate. The Vikings will likely not be playing from behind or airing it out much in this division matchup, so you might consider fading Diggs. He caught just one ball for four yards the first time these teams met back in Week 5.

 

Week 17 Tight Ends - Rankings Analysis

My Top 10 

For one more glorious time, Antonio Gates rejoins the ranks of the TE1 tier. I actually underestimated him last week when I said he had a good chance to score a touchdown. He not only did score his second TD of the season, he smashed his previous season highs with six catches for 81 yards. Roll him out again, but beware that he's quickly becoming a chalk play in GPPs.

One player to be wary of is Evan Engram. Despite the great matchup and potential for high target volume, Engram was banged up last week with a rib injury and could be sheltered by the team to protect their young star tight end.

Deviation from expert consensus

If Engram doesn't play or is limited in Week 17, look to Rhett Ellison as a sleeper. Ellison went for 60 yards last week and caught a touchdown pass two weeks before that. This is the type of differentiation play that could fit perfectly into a Stars and Scrubs lineup. As an H-back, he even slots in as a running back!

On the other side, Vernon Davis would seem to have a dream matchup with the Giants, who have given up 12 TD to tight ends in 15 games so far. I can't help but be down on a veteran who hasn't caught more than two passes in a game since Week 11 and is completely touchdown-dependent. If players like Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz are sure to sit half their games or more, then Davis still registers as a top-12 TE for me, but I don't like his upside quite as much as Jack Doyle, Charles Clay, or Antonio Gates.

 

More Week 17 Lineup Prep


Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.