Fantasy plays: Players to start and sit for NFL Week 17 (2024)




It’s championship week.

If you’re still playing, congrats, but this is no time to take your foot off the gas. Nailing your start/sit calls this week can be the difference between owning your group text for the next eight months or taking home a second-place finish.

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Every week I’ll be listing out every fantasy-relevant player, sorted by position and bucketed into tiers with the higher-tiered players deemed more start-worthy. For specific start/sit advice between two players in the same tier, refer to numberFire ’s projections.

These tiers are meant to reflect your typical 12-team, half-PPR scoring formats with only one starting quarterback — though the general rankings can be loosely applied to most formats.

Any player not listed can be assumed sit-worthy in most leagues.

All betting references refer to the NFL odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. All statistics via NFL Next Gen Stats and Pro Football Focus unless otherwise stated.



Tier 1: Lineup locks

— Jalen Hurts (vs. ARI)

— Dak Prescott (vs. DET)

— Lamar Jackson (vs. MIA)

— Brock Purdy (at WAS)

— Patrick Mahomes (vs. CIN)

— Josh Allen (vs. NE)

Tier 2: Probable starters

— C.J. Stroud (vs. TEN). Could be back this week and an immediate QB1 in a matchup versus a Titans defense that has struggled against the pass (eighth worst, per numberFire’s metrics).

— Justin Fields (vs. ATL). Falcons D is fifth-best overall by numberFire’s metrics. Fields’ rushing prowess makes him a QB1, though.

— Trevor Lawrence (vs. CAR). Struggled in Week 16. Panthers defense presents a favorable bounce-back spot this week.

— Nick Mullens (vs. GB). Love the indoors matchup against the Packers.

— Jared Goff (at DAL). Some good and some bad. Indoors (good) in a game with a 53.5-point over/under (also good) versus an elite Dallas defense (bad).


Tier 3: On the fence

— Tua Tagovailoa (at BAL). Excelled in this matchup last season, but the Ravens defense is one I’d be looking to avoid if I had another good option at QB.

— Matthew Stafford (at NYG). Don’t like the 1 p.m. EST start, but Stafford has been playing very well. Plus, the Giants D is just OK (20th according to numberFire).

— Jordan Love (at MIN). Unquestionably better over the second half of the season. Vikings are solid defensively. At least it’s inside.

— Geno Smith (vs. PIT). Ceiling just hasn’t been there. Matchup is meh. I’d be looking for better options.

— Kyler Murray (at PHI). Rushing keeps him afloat. Should have to drop back plenty with Arizona a 9.5-point underdog, per the NFL odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Tier 4: Sit if possible

— Baker Mayfield (vs. NO). Tough to sit with how he’s been playing. That said, Saints are permitting the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game to QBs (14.4)

— Jake Browning (at KC). Hard pass for me on the road versus an elite D, especially if Ja’Marr Chase is out again.

— Gardner Minshew (vs. LV). Don’t mind the matchup. Not much upside. Hasn’t topped 21 fantasy points since Week 8.

— Derek Carr (at TB). Matchup is there for the taking. Wouldn’t count on Carr to take it.

— Joe Flacco (vs. NYJ). Has been a revelation. Not touching him against Jets defense.


Tier 1: Lineup locks

— Christian McCaffrey (at WAS)

— Kyren Williams (at NYG)

— Jonathan Taylor (vs. LV)

— Travis Etienne (vs. CAR)

— Rachaad White (vs. NO)

— Saquon Barkley (vs. LAR)

— Derrick Henry (at HOU)

— Tony Pollard (vs. DET)

— Devin Singletary (vs. TEN)

— Alvin Kamara (at TB)

— Jahmyr Gibbs (at DAL)

— Kenneth Walker III (vs. PIT)

— James Cook (vs. NE)

— Javonte Williams (vs. LAC)

Tier 2: Probable starters


— D’Andre Swift (vs. ARI). Delightful matchup. Might be a top-five weekly option if the “tush push” didn’t exist.

— Bijan Robinson (at CHI). Bounced back last week with a 75% snap rate, 12 rushes and seven catches. Bears have allowed the second-most catches to RBs.

— Breece Hall (at CLE). Concerned the Jets will barely move the ball. Pass-game work should help Hall get there, though. numberFire projects him for 4.2 catches and 35.3 receiving yards.

— Ty Chandler (vs. GB). Played 65% of the snaps in Alexander Mattison‘s return. Looks like the Vikings’ clear RB1. Packers allowing the ninth-most half-PPR points per game to RBs.

— Chuba Hubbard (at JAX). At least 17 total touches in five straight. Add in a good matchup, and he’s a quality RB2.

— James Conner (at PHI). Logged a 59% snap rate and had five grabs in a negative game script last week. Good signs for his outlook at Philly in Week 17.


— Austin Ekeler (at DEN). Denver has given up the fourth-most receptions to RBs.

— Josh Jacobs (at IND). Assuming he’d return to a clear lead role if he’s back, although Zamir White was good last week. RBs are scoring 24.2 FanDuel points per game against Indy, the third most.

— Joe Mixon (at KC). Had his lowest snap rate of the season last week (59%) and had only 13 touches as Chase Brown keeps gaining ground. Pedestrian RB2 with a bad matchup.

— Jerome Ford (vs. NYJ). Jets aren’t as good against the run, but still rank as the 12th-best run D, per numberFire.

Tier 3: On the fence

— Raheem Mostert (at BAL). Maybe this is too low, but he had only 12 touches last week (one target) while playing 29% of the snaps. Ravens are a brutal matchup. Can you bench a guy who has 21 TDs? I’d strongly consider it if you have good alternatives.

— De’Von Achane (at BAL). Snap rate jumped to 55% last week. Three targets and seven carries in that one. Miami is a 3.5-point road underdog, and a negative game script likely suits him better than Mostert.

— David Montgomery (at DAL). Snap rates over the past three: 39%, 52% and 35%. Clearly behind Gibbs. Still got 17 carries and two targets last week. Shootout potential in Dallas.

— Aaron Jones (at MIN). I’m a little more bullish than numberFire is. Vikings run defense has been good, though, and Jones played just 52% of the snaps last week, so I get it.

— Clyde Edwards-Helaire (vs. CIN). Isiah Pacheco might be out. Jerick McKinnon is on IR. Edwards-Helaire looked good last week, too. RB2 if Pacheco sits.

— Jaylen Warren (at SEA). Out-snapped Najee Harris in two straight. Pittsburgh being a 3.5-point underdog aids Warren’s outlook more than Harris’.


— Najee Harris (at SEA). See above.

— Ezekiel Elliott (at BUF). Volume keeps him on the radar if Rhamondre Stevenson remains out.

Tier 4: Sit if possible

— Kareem Hunt (vs. NYJ). Difficult matchup. Hasn’t topped a 38% snap rate since Week 11.

— Gus Edwards (vs. MIA). TD-or-bust. Snap rate was only 41% despite positive game script and with Keaton Mitchell out.

— Tyjae Spears (at HOU). Played at least half the snaps in four straight, out-snapping Derrick Henry in three of those games. Not a bad PPR dart if you think the Titans, who are a 3.5-point underdog, get into a hole.

— Khalil Herbert (vs. ATL). Delivered without D’Onta Foreman in Week 16, racking up 20 carries and two targets. Snap rate was only 51%, though. Bench material if Foreman returns.

— Antonio Gibson (vs. SF). Negative game script should help him, but Gibson played on just 44% of the snaps in a negative game script a week ago. Brian Robinson is a meh flex if he comes back.


— Justice Hill (vs. MIA). Paced the Ravens’ backfield in snap rate (62%) in a positive game script. Needs to break Edwards’ stranglehold on goal-line work.


Tier 1: Lineup locks

— Tyreek Hill (at BAL)

— CeeDee Lamb (vs. DET)

— Justin Jefferson (vs. GB)

— Deebo Samuel (at ARI)

— Amon-Ra St. Brown (at DAL)

— A.J. Brown (vs. ARI)

— Brandon Aiyuk (at WAS)

— Cooper Kupp (at NYG)

— Puka Nacua (at NYG)

— Mike Evans (vs. TB)

— Nico Collins (vs. TEN)

— Stefon Diggs (vs. NE)

— Davante Adams (at IND)

— DeAndre Hopkins (at HOU)

— D.K. Metcalf (vs. PIT)

— Calvin Ridley (vs. CAR)

— DeVonta Smith (vs. ARI)

— D.J. Moore (vs. ATL)

Tier 2: Probable starters

— Rashee Rice (vs. CIN). Continuing to run as KC’s top wideout.

— Zay Flowers (vs. MIA). Feasted on Monday with 13 targets, nine catches, 73 yards and a TD. Plenty of upside versus Miami.

— Chris Olave (vs. TB). Wideout is loaded this week for Olave to be ranked here in a nice matchup.

— Chris Godwin (vs. NO). At least 11 targets in three straight. Tough to bench that.

Tier 3: On the fence

— Amari Cooper (vs. NYJ). Excellent game last week and has had at least 14 targets in two of the past three games. Tough spot this week, though, and if you have other good options, I’d lean on them.

— Jordan Addison (vs. GB). Like the matchup against Green Bay if he’s able to go.

— Josh Downs (vs. LV). If Michael Pittman Jr. is out, Downs is a WR3 type in a decent matchup. Pittman is an easy start if he’s cleared.

— Tyler Lockett (vs. PIT). Busy lately with 20 targets across the past two weeks. But just two TDs since Week 3.

— George Pickens (at SEA). Dominated Cincinnati last week, but still had only six targets.

— Terry McLaurin (vs. SF). Rough matchup. At least the Commanders should have to throw a lot, per usual.

— Tee Higgins (at CIN). Delivered as the Bengals’ WR1 in a negative game script. Could happen again if Ja’Marr Chase is out. If Chase plays, I’d sit Higgins, and Chase is a for-sure start.

— Jerry Jeudy (vs. LAC). Stars may be aligning for him this week in terms of matchup and role if Courtland Sutton (concussion) is out.

Tier 4: Sit if possible

— Adam Thielen (at JAX). No TDs since Week 6 and one game above 74 yards in that time. Don’t mind him this week. Don’t love him, either.

— Noah Brown (vs. TEN). Desperation dart if Stroud is back.

— Garrett Wilson (at CLE). Love the talent. Everything else about his situation in the offense is tough.

— Odell Beckham (vs. MIA). Six total targets across the past two games after a 10-look outing in Week 14. Miami matchup helps his case.

— Gabriel Davis (vs. NE). Difficult to know what Davis will do this week.

— Drake London (at CHI). Similar to Wilson above. Could truly break out in 2024 if Atlanta upgrades at QB.

— Demario Douglas (at BUF). To have a solid rookie season in the Pats’ offense bodes well for his future, but no thanks this week.

— Josh Palmer (at DEN). Even without Keenan Allen, he’s a no for me. Allen is a scary start if he returns, but is tough to sit in PPR.


Tier 1: Lineup locks

— Travis Kelce (vs. CIN)

— George Kittle (at WAS)

— Jake Ferguson (vs. DET)

— Sam LaPorta (at DET)

— Trey McBride (at PHI)

— Evan Engram (vs. CAR)

Tier 2: Probable starters

— Isaiah Likely (vs. MIA). Miami has been stingy against TEs, but Likely has topped 50 yards in three straight, playing at least 73% of the snaps in five in a row.

— Dallas Goedert (vs. ARI). Yardage output last week (71) was his best since Week 5. TD upside is there against the Cards.

— David Njoku (vs. NYJ). At least 16.4 PPR points in three straight. Jets are a neutral matchup for TEs.

— Darren Waller (vs. LAR). Improved a bit with Tyrod Taylor under center. Rams have allowed the fourth-most half-PPR points per game to TEs.

— Kyle Pitts (at CHI). Had a snap rate of at least 72% in two of the past three. Sneaky-good start this week against Chicago, a team that’s allowed the sixth-most targets per game to TEs (6.1).

— Chigoziem Okonkwo (at HOU). Benefits from a matchup with a Houston team that gives up a league-high 8.9 targets per game to TEs.

Tier 3: On the fence

— Tucker Kraft (at MIN). At least six targets in three of the past four. Fringe TE1 for as long as Luke Musgrave stays out.

— Dalton Kincaid (vs. NE). Out-snapped by Dawson Knox in each of the past two games.

— Dalton Schultz (vs. TEN). Will be happy to get Stroud back, but no team gives up fewer half-PPR points per game to the position than the Titans do.

Tier 4: Sit if possible

— Taysom Hill (at TB). Just 22 total snaps across the past two games. Pure shot in the dark.

— Pat Freiermuth (at SEA). A combined nine grabs in the three games since his nine-catch game in Week 12.


For more fantasy or sports betting news, go to FanDuel Research

I'm an experienced fantasy football enthusiast with a deep understanding of player performance, matchups, and the dynamics that influence start/sit decisions. My insights are based on a comprehensive analysis of player statistics, team dynamics, and trends, allowing me to provide valuable advice to fantasy football managers seeking a competitive edge.

In the provided article, the focus is on championship week, emphasizing the critical nature of start/sit decisions to secure victory. The article categorizes players into tiers, indicating their perceived start-worthiness in typical 12-team, half-PPR scoring formats. The tiers are organized by position, covering quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends. The rankings are complemented by additional insights, such as specific matchups, player performance trends, and potential game scripts.

Let's delve into the key concepts used in the article:


Tier 1: Lineup locks

  • Jalen Hurts, Dak Prescott, Lamar Jackson, Brock Purdy, Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen

Tier 2: Probable starters

  • C.J. Stroud, Justin Fields, Trevor Lawrence, Nick Mullens, Jared Goff

Tier 3: On the fence

  • Tua Tagovailoa, Matthew Stafford, Jordan Love, Geno Smith, Kyler Murray

Tier 4: Sit if possible

  • Baker Mayfield, Jake Browning, Gardner Minshew, Derek Carr, Joe Flacco

Running Backs

Tier 1: Lineup locks

  • Christian McCaffrey, Kyren Williams, Jonathan Taylor, Travis Etienne, Rachaad White, Saquon Barkley, Derrick Henry, Tony Pollard, Devin Singletary, Alvin Kamara, Jahmyr Gibbs, Kenneth Walker III, James Cook, Javonte Williams

Tier 2: Probable starters

  • D’Andre Swift, Bijan Robinson, Breece Hall, Ty Chandler, Chuba Hubbard, James Conner, Austin Ekeler, Josh Jacobs, Joe Mixon, Jerome Ford

Tier 3: On the fence

  • Raheem Mostert, De’Von Achane, David Montgomery, Aaron Jones, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jaylen Warren, Najee Harris, Ezekiel Elliott

Tier 4: Sit if possible

  • Kareem Hunt, Gus Edwards, Tyjae Spears, Khalil Herbert, Antonio Gibson, Justice Hill

Wide Receivers

Tier 1: Lineup locks

  • Tyreek Hill, CeeDee Lamb, Justin Jefferson, Deebo Samuel, Amon-Ra St. Brown, A.J. Brown, Brandon Aiyuk, Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua, Mike Evans, Nico Collins, Stefon Diggs, Davante Adams, DeAndre Hopkins, D.K. Metcalf, Calvin Ridley, DeVonta Smith, D.J. Moore

Tier 2: Probable starters

  • Rashee Rice, Zay Flowers, Chris Olave, Chris Godwin

Tier 3: On the fence

  • Amari Cooper, Jordan Addison, Josh Downs, Tyler Lockett, George Pickens, Terry McLaurin, Tee Higgins, Jerry Jeudy

Tier 4: Sit if possible

  • Adam Thielen, Noah Brown, Garrett Wilson, Odell Beckham, Gabriel Davis, Drake London, Demario Douglas, Josh Palmer

Tight Ends

Tier 1: Lineup locks

  • Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Jake Ferguson, Sam LaPorta, Trey McBride, Evan Engram

Tier 2: Probable starters

  • Isaiah Likely, Dallas Goedert, David Njoku, Darren Waller, Kyle Pitts, Chigoziem Okonkwo

Tier 3: On the fence

  • Tucker Kraft, Dalton Kincaid, Dalton Schultz

Tier 4: Sit if possible

  • Taysom Hill, Pat Freiermuth

The article incorporates matchup analysis, recent player performance, and potential game scripts to guide fantasy football managers through crucial start/sit decisions in championship week.

Fantasy plays: Players to start and sit for NFL Week 17 (2024)
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