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It's Championship Week. If you've made it this far, you likely know who you're starting, but you may have a few lineup questions. This weekly article is meant to make those lineup decisions a little bit easier. This week, I've changed things up by only listing which players you should be starting rather than suggesting any players to sit. Check out the latest episode of The Footballguys Fantasy Football Show, which releases episodes every weekday - also, check out the Week 17 Player Rankings.
START: Baker Mayfield vs NO
- Opponent vs QBs: 9th
- Week 17 Rank: QB11
- Projected Points: 20.6
Baker Mayfield has been on fire as of late, averaging 23.1 fantasy points over his last three games. The Bucs are on a hot streak, and they're going into a potential shootout matchup with the New Orleans Saints for divisional supremacy. On the surface, the Saints defense might seem like they can shut down a quarterback, but their recent success against QBs has come against Tommy Devito, Bryce Young, Desmond Ridder, Joshua Dobbs, Tyson Bagent, and Mac Jones. Last Week, Matthew Stafford carved up the Saints defense for 328 yards and two touchdowns, and the last time that Mayfield played against the Saints in Week 4, he was able to throw for 246 yards and three touchdowns. Ride the hot hand and trust Mayfield as a starting quarterback option in your championship.
START: Gerald Everett @ DEN
- Opponent vs TEs: 32nd
- Week 17 Rank: TE11
- Projected Points: 10.2
Gerald Everett has seen at least eight targets in every game that Easton Stick has played quarterback. Everett has averaged 10 PPR points over his last five games and has become a really safe "won't lose you your week" type of option at tight end. The last time Everett faced the Broncos, he finished with five receptions for 39 yards. The big difference this time around is that the Chargers will likely be without Keenan Allen and Joshua Palmer, likely leaving Everett as the top target on the offense.
START: Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs CIN
- Opponent vs RBs: 16th
- Week 17 Rank: RB18
- Projected Points: 14.1
It hasn't been pretty, but when he's given the majority of the workload, Edwards-Helaire can produce. In the three games this season where he's had at least 13 touches, Edwards-Helaire has averaged 13.8 PPR points. The Chiefs will likely be without Isiah Pacheco, who suffered a concussion last week, and Jerick McKinnon, who was placed on injured reserve. Over the last seven weeks, the Bengals defense has allowed opposing starting running backs to average 18 PPR points per game. This is just a very simple case of a running back likely to receive a heavy workload against a defense that gives up points to running backs. Don't overthink it.
START: Zay Flowers
- Opponent vs WRs: 17th
- Week 17 Rank: WR24
- Projected Points: 13.7
Zay Flowers is the new hotness in Baltimore. With Mark Andrews sidelined, Lamar Jackson has made Flowers his go-to guy. Flowers has been a Top-13 fantasy receiver in three of his last four outings - scoring at least 20 PPR points in those three games. While the Dolphins defense has improved dramatically and looked like one of the better units in the league, they're still dealing with injuries and have shown that they can give up fantasy points to an opponent's top receiver: CeeDee Lamb (25), DeAndre Hopkins (25), Garrett Wilson (17), Davante Adams (21) - I think you get it. Lamar has been on a hot streak as of late and has found himself in the lead of the MVP race. I'm willing to trust the top receiver for the leading MVP candidate in a game that Vegas has listed as their fourth-highest point total of the week. Pay attention to the injury report as Flowers is dealing with a calf injury.