Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago (at Minnesota) - Trubisky was a Week 16 bust, but he is still playing to create momentum in 2020 and keep his job as the Bears starting quarterback. The Vikings, on the other hand, had one of the flattest performances of the season in Week 16 and appear to be looking ahead to a wild card matchup that was clinched when the Rams lost to the 49ers last week. The Vikings pass defense has been suspect all season and Trubisky had been successfully airing it out of the last month before being grounded in Week 16.
Drew Lock, Denver (vs Oakland) - The Raiders defense has looked good against Philip Rivers, Joe Flacco and Ryan Finley this season and that’s about it. Sam Darnold, Chase Daniel, Jacoby Brissett, and Gardner Minshew have all thrown for multiple scores against them this year, and they’ve allowed four games of at least 391 passing yards. Lock has been playing well since taking over except when he was in a winter wonderland against Kansas City.
Robert Griffin III III, Baltimore (vs Pittsburgh) - Lamar Jackson will sit in Week 17, opening the door for Griffin to build his resume as a potential bridge quarterback or second chance starter in 2021 after his contract is up, or possibly creating a trade market for his service this offseason. The Steelers are still playing for a playoff spot and will present a stiff test for Griffin, but the built-in rushing upside of the Ravens offense gives him a high ceiling.
Brett Hundley, Arizona (at Los Angeles Rams) - Kyler Murray could still play on his injured hamstring and foul up Hundley’s outlook, but as long as the Cardinals are conservative with their franchise quarterback and let Hundley start, the Arizona backup could put himself back on the NFL’s radar. Hundley will be a free agent next year and he appeared to be eager to pull down the ball and run last week in relief of Murray, which gives him some upside this week.
Travis Homer, Seattle (vs San Francisco) - Pete Carroll indicated that the rookie will be the starter and lead back even after the Seahawks signed Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin. The 49ers defense is stout, but Homer has PPR upside after catching six passes in relief duty of Chris Carson last week. The 49ers defense coudl also be tiring after giving up at least 29 points in each of the last three games.
Ameer Abdullah, Minnesota (vs Chicago) - The Vikings might not play their starters for the entire game against the Bears, but that doesn’t necessarily hurt Abdullah because he has been the team’s fourth string running back for most of the year. Mike Boone blew his big chance in a game that will live in fantasy football infamy, opening the door for Abdullah’s redemption. He is an accomplished pass catcher that backup quarterback Sean Mannion could rely on in Week 17.
Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, Baltimore (vs Pittsburgh) - Mark Ingram II should be ready for the divisional round, but he’ll sit in Week 17 along with Lamar Jackson and a handful of other Ravens starters. Edwards and Hill should be more than capable in his stead. Robert Griffin III III will lead the run-heavy offense against a Steelers team that is playing for a chance at the six seed. Edwards is likely first in line for any goal line chances and Hill has big play upside, including in the passing game, as the Ravens should rely on high percentage passes with their backup quarterback in.
Latavius Murray, New Orleans (at Carolina) - Murray hasn’t been getting a lot of run in the Saints backfield lately, but that could change in Week 17. Even if the team doesn’t decide to take some of the load off of Alvin Kamara’s shoulders, Murray will face a run defense that has allowed multiple rushing scores to running backs in each of the last four weeks. If the Packers pull away from the Lions, the Saints could pull key starters and Kamara makes sense to rest after finally regaining form last week following a mid-season injury that robbed him of his explosiveness.
Malcolm Brown, Los Angeles Rams (vs Arizona) - Sean McVay hinted at resting starters in Week 17, and the Rams player that makes the most sense to rest is Todd Gurley after he appears to have come through 2019 unscathed after knee problems derailed his 2018. The team could also play Blake Bortles for a large part of the game, which would put the offense directly on Brown’s shoulders now that Darrell Henderson is out with an ankle injury.
Allen Lazard, Green Bay (at Detroit) - Last week Lazard emerged again as the number two target in the Packers offense. That could lead to a big game in Week 17 as the Packers face the Lions. Lazard should dodge Darius Slay who will likely be locked up with Davante Adams. Detroit has given up a touchdown to a wideout in each of the last four games and five wide receiver games of at least 86 receiving yards.
Greg Ward, Philadelphia (at New York Giants) - Ward has become a weekly sleeper since getting called up from the practice squad and then emerging as the most consistent and healthy Eagles wide receiver during their run to the playoffs. The Giants released their top cover corner two weeks ago and last week they gave up two touchdowns to Steven Sims. Ward only had 4-34 in the first matchup with the Giants, but Zach Ertz played in that game and put up 9-91 with two touchdowns. Ertz has been ruled out for Week 17.
Steven Sims, Washington (at Dallas) - Like Ward, Sims is a repeat sleeper from last week, and he could be Washington’s #1 receiver if Terry McLaurin doesn’t clear concussion protocol. There’s no reason for Washington to risk any further harm to McLaurin. Sims has had more catches, yards and touchdowns in each successive game over the last four and Washington starting quarterback Case Keenum has been better than expected at creating fantasy value in the passing game as his team attempts to keep the rival Cowboys out of the playoffs.
N’keal Harry, New England (vs Miami) - The Patriots appear to be warming to Harry’s value as a runner and a red zone target. He is averaging almost 10 yards a touch on four touches a game over the last two and he should be primed for big play opportunities against a Miami defense that has given up multiple scores to wide receivers in each of its last six games. The Patriots need this win to secure the two seed so they should be relentless on the scoreboard.
Hunter Renfrow, Oakland (at Denver) - Renfrow came back with a bang last week and should be the #1 target again this week for Derek Carr. Denver has struggled with slot receivers at times, giving up good games recently to Cole Beasley and Keke Coutee. Oakland also has a longshot at making the playoffs with a win and should hopefully bring their A game in Denver.
Kaden Smith, New York Giants (vs Philadelphia) - The rookie sixth-round pick grew up last week with two scores, including an overtime game winner. The Giants should be loose and freewheeling as they try to keep the rival Eagles from the playoffs. Eli Manning played in the first matchup with Philadelphia and Smith’s two worst fantasy results of the last five have been the two games that Manning played. In the last three games with Daniel Jones, who will start this week, Smith has at least 12 PPR points.
Hayden Hurst, Baltimore (vs Pittsburgh) - Mark Andrews hasn’t been announced as a starter that will sit for the Ravens, but he could use the rest more than Lamar Jackson. Andrews has been on the injury report most of the season. Hurst has proven to be a capable replacement and should be the #1 receiving tight end in an offense that relies on the position in the passing game more than wide receivers. Hurst had a 61-yard touchdown immediately after Andrews went down in Week 14.
OJ Howard, Tampa Bay (vs Atlanta) - Howard was a mild disappointment in Week 16, but he’ll have a chance to be a key target for Jameis Winston again this week as the Bucs attempt to finish on a high note against the Falcons. Atlanta has struggled to stop tight ends this year, including giving up two touchdowns to Darren Fells, a 5-57-1 line to Ian Thomas, and nine catches for over 100 yards to Colts tight ends.
CJ Uzomah, Cincinnati (vs Cleveland) - Uzomah posted his best fantasy line since Week 1 against Miami last week and this week he’ll face a Browns defense that allowed 10-126 and two scores to Ravens tight ends last week. The Browns also allowed Noah Fant’s biggest play of the year and a two touchdown game to Delanie Walker earlier this season.