MetroBet dishes out some fantasy football advice for the final week of the NFL regular season.
Trust in Jameis’ Juicy Matchup
Jameis Winston is likely available right now thanks to a pair of brutal matchups in Weeks 15 and 16. He’s had to face the swarming Ravens and Cowboys defensive lines and, predictably, he’s been nearly useless for fantasy purposes. That should all change this week, as he’ll get to take on the 25th-ranked Falcons secondary in a game that is mostly meaningless for both teams. Winston actually held his own against the Cowboys despite the sub-par fantasy showing, as he went for over 330 yards through the air and a touchdown with no interceptions–his day was ruined by two lost fumbles. There is no guarantee that the Buccaneers bring Winston back as their starter next year, and it would behoove him to have a strong showing be the last thing that potential suitors see of him this year–expect him to put the pedal to the metal and get his fantasy points.
Wilson Will Roll with RB1 Role
Jeff Wilson has merited fantasy consideration for most of the back half of the season–as the clear backup to the oft-injured Matt Brieda, the situation and opportunity has been there for Wilson. That will be the case again in Week 17, as the 49ers will visit the Los Angeles Rams. Having already clinched their postseason position, it’s reasonable to expect the Rams key defensive players to sit some if not all of this game to prepare for the playoffs, and Wilson could be teed up for a big day against a defensive front made entirely of back-ups. This is all contingent on Brieda’s health and the Rams’ studs sitting, but I feel very safe betting that both of those scenarios come to fruition, and operating as the clear feature back Wilson should be able to put up steady RB2 numbers in this meaningless matchup.
Pass on All Cowboys Pass-Catchers
While it hasn’t been 100 percent confirmed, it’s looking more and more likely that the Cowboys will rest their starters in Week 17. Even if they’re active, starting any of their stars is a risky venture, as they would likely come out of the game at the slightest hint of an injury or if the score gets too lopsided in one direction or the other. Amari Cooper especially runs that risk, as he’s going to be an important part of the Cowboys’ offensive game plan in the playoffs. He’s been a disappointment in the fantasy playoffs. notching just four catches in each of the last two weeks after three straight games of eight or more receptions, and unfortunately for owners everywhere it looks like he’s shaping up to disappoint once more. Keep a very close eye on reports out of the Dallas camp this week, and consider benching Cooper unless the Cowboys actually say they intend to play their starters the whole game.
NFL Sleepers of the Week
Royce Freeman, RB, Denver Broncos – With Phillip Lindsay’s remarkable rookie season ended by a wrist injury, Freeman should flourish with the majority of backfield touches in a matchup against the Chargers.
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Atlanta Falcons – Julio Jones was clearly limited last week, and with little to play for the Falcons may decide to rest him in Week 17. Even if he is active, Sanu should benefit greatly as far as meaningful routes run are concerned.
Ian Thomas, TE, Carolina Panthers – Thomas flashed in Week 16 despite Cam Newton’s absence, and regardless of who’s at quarterback the Panthers don’t have anybody to truly hog targets–Thomas will get his opportunities no matter what.