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Sunday Morning Update:
Sam Howell will start for the Commanders as Jacoby Brissett is dealing with a hamstring injury that did not seem serious at the time of writing. The Brissett/McLaurin/McCaffrey stack can be replaced with Howell, although it is less attractive than it previously was.
An alternative stack to that is Brock Purdy/Brandon Aiyuk/Terry McLaurin in a complete fade of McCaffrey and to target the Commanders secondary as Benjamin St-Juste is allowing the most yards in coverage amongst all cornerbacks this season.
Know Your Opposition
If you want to finish at the top of the standings in a mid-to-large field GPP, your roster has to stand out from the crowd. Studying a list of projected roster percentages is a helpful first step, but it lacks the context of how the most popular players fit together under the salary cap.
To gain some insight into how the majority of entrants will allocate their cap space, so you can spend yours differently, let’s think about how the public is most likely to attack roster construction at each position.
Key Injuries for Week 17
There are a number of game-time decisions this week that will have a significant impact on GPP Roster Percentages. Check our roster percentage page on Sunday Morning to see the latest based on injury news.
- Josh Jacobs is doubtful for this game with a thigh injury. Zamir White will step in and be one of the top fantasy plays this week after a 22-carry performance that ultimately helped the Raiders beat Kansas City and keep their playoff hopes alive.
- The Chiefs running back room could be in trouble this week as both Isiah Pacheco (concussion) and Clyde Edwards-Helaire (illness) have been absent from practice this week. If either one of these players plays, they would be strong plays against Cincinnati which has been one of the worst defensive units this season. If both miss, La’Mical Perine is the last man standing in that backfield and at $4,800 would become a tremendous play.
- Trevor Lawrence will miss this week with a shoulder injury. C.J. Beathard will get the start. With Beathard, Evan Engram should see a significant workload this week as the tight end had seven targets in Beathard’s three drives filling in for Lawrence.
- Russell Wilson has been benched, and Jarrett Stidham will get the start. Stidham has shown that he is more than capable of leading an offense in his two starts last season.
- Courtland Sutton is out for Denver. This could open up some opportunities for Jerry Jeudy, although he’s likely not cheap enough at $6,200.
- Jaylen Waddle is out with an ankle injury. Cedrick Wilson is getting a lot of interest around the fantasy industry, but he played 63% of snaps last week and still only caught three passes for 42 yards. He is cheap, and could be a PPR option this week.
- For the Bears, Darnell Mooney is out with a concussion, while Cole Kmet is questionable with a knee injury. This should help D.J. Moore, although Moore struggled last week in a game that the Bears just took a run-heavy approach to defeat the Cardinals. The matchup is a difficult one against Atlanta who have been good against the pass this season.
- Zack Moss is out for the Colts once again. The volume has been there for Jonathan Taylor, especially in the red zone as he has four touchdowns over his last three games, but the yardage and receptions have not been there as he has just 68 yards per game. With the Colts having a lot to play for this week as they’re clinging on to the final playoff position, they need to get Taylor going this week.
- The Buccaneers’ defense will be without Shaq Barrett and Carlton Davis this week on the defensive side of the ball. This is a unit that already struggles defending the pass, and while the high-priced Davis has been one of the worst cornerbacks in the NFL this season, there is a reason he is still playing whenever he is able to, as the backups for Tampa Bay have struggled even more so.
Slate Overview- Week 17 Thoughts- Lineup Construction Differentiation
This is a fun week this week as there are so many ways to build your lineup. The biggest question you need to ask yourself heading into this week is what to do with Christian McCaffrey. If you take McCaffrey, which it is fairly easy to do this week given the price of Zamir White and some of the cheap quarterbacks, it will ultimately guide you towards a somewhat similar roster construction as a lot of other people who are playing McCaffrey as there are only so many cheap wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs.
If you choose to fade McCaffrey, this is a really exciting week. There are so many “good” plays, and not many “great” plays which ultimately allows you to find good players in difficult matchups at incredibly low roster percentages. With this being a 13 game slate, it is much different than the past several weeks where we’ve had 9 games, but 2 or 3 of them were immediately off the board with bad offenses. This week, we legitimately have viable options in every single game this week.
So should you fade McCaffrey? That’s a difficult decision, simply because of just how bad Washington has been against the run over the last several weeks as we saw Breece Hall have a slate changing game against this defense. If you’re building multiple lineups this week, a split is likely the best approach, and enjoy building both types of rosters this week.
This is the ultimate get-right game for the Chiefs. Taking on the Bengals defense who is sputtering at this point having allowed 290 yards and 2 touchdowns to Mason Rudolph, and 303 yards and 2 touchdowns to Nick Mullens over the last two weeks. The Bengals are allowing the fifth-most passing yards on the season, but where they have particularly struggled is against the tight end. Travis Kelce is going to need to start performing if the Chiefs have any hope at making a deep playoff run as Kelce has scored just one touchdown over the last seven weeks, has not had a 100-yard game since Week 6, and in general is just out of synch with Mahomes. This is a get-right spot facing the defense that allows the second-most yards to opposing tight ends. This is a defense that has allowed 120 yards or more to Pat Freiermuth and George Kittle, so if there ever was an opportunity for Kelce to get back on track heading into the final week of the season, this would be it.
This is a unique one and the path to victory has to do with the Commanders falling behind as they’ve done for most of the season. The 49ers defense is far from perfect, as they’ve allowed 17 or more DraftKings points in three of their last four games, while Jacoby Brissett has played well in relief of Sam Howell even in a difficult matchup last week against the Jets almost leading them back to victory. For McLaurin, this is a spot where he should have upside as we’ve seen him, and Brissett have more of a connection than that of Howell as he had his first 100-yard performance last week which is something that the 49ers have allowed six times this season.
For McCaffrey, there’s not much to say other than he’s in a clear tier of his own at this point. The running back has been dominant scoring a touchdown in all but two games this season and has topped 100 total yards in eight straight games. Meanwhile, Washington’s run defense is falling apart. They’ve now allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs and have allowed 25 or more DraftKings points in three straight games to De’Von Achane, Kyren Williams, and Breece Hall. McCaffrey fits the profile similarly of Williams and Hall albeit significantly better, so expect a massive potential game for him this week.
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