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2023 Ultimate Best Ball Week 17 Study Guide

Best Ball Guide 2023

Welcome to the first-ever edition of The Ultimate Best Ball Week 17 Study Guide. Below I rank all 16 Week 17 matchups, providing my take on how you can target each matchup in Best Ball tournaments. Treat this as your one-stop shop for 2023 Best Ball leagues.

I will update ADPs and spreads periodically and indicate the most recent update towards the top of the article. I do not plan to change the scoring for each team unless something significant changes. This article is meant to be a conversation, so even the content I wrote in June will be helpful for how you think about drafting your team. 

ADP and Spreads Last Updated: June 20, 2023

Pro Tip: Use CTRL + F (CMD + F) and type in a team to find them quickly. Or click the link below.

1 SEA @ PIT 5 NYG @ LAR 9 TB @ NO 13 WAS @ SF
2 DAL @ DET 6 BAL @ MIA 10 JAX @ CAR 14 CLE @ NYJ
3 MIN @ GB 7 PHI @ ARI 11 KC @ CIN 15 IND @ LV
4 BUF @ NE 8 CHI @ ATL 12 DEN @ LAC 16 HOU @ TEN

Why Build a Week 17 Guide?

If you have never played a Best Ball before, you should know there are two primary types of Best Ball drafts. Sit-n-Go drafts are the most common form, where you draft a team and compete against the same players all season. 

Tournaments are more complicated and high stakes. The team you draft competes with your league for the first 14 weeks. After Week 14, the highest-scoring teams advance and compete against each other. The exact process happens on Weeks 15 and 16. In Week 17, the remaining teams compete for the top prize. The number of players that advance in each round depends on the tournament. 

The article is helpful for both formats but for different reasons.

To win a tournament, we need to get in our DFS mindset. This means we want to target games with several players hitting their ceiling and scoring a berserk amount of fantasy points. Choosing the right matchup and players to stack from that matchup could be the difference between winning $100 and $1,000,000. 

Further, writing about all Week 17 matchups provides a pathway to discuss every team and the best players to target from each team. This helps you plan for both Sit-n-Go and Tournament drafts. 

So dig in and study up before drafting your million-dollar lineup.

How To Use This Guide


This guide uses Underdog ADP and is primarily geared toward Underdog scoring. However, many of the same principles can be used for DraftKings Best Ball. Note that DraftKings is full-PPR and gives bonuses for 100-yard rushing and receiving and 300-yard passing games. Lastly, all the game spreads are provided by Ceasar’s Sportsbook. Please note the date at the beginning of the article to verify the date the data was last updated.


For each matchup, I assign a score on a scale of one to 10 in five categories: upside, risk, stackability, uniqueness, and depth. I then average these scores to produce an overall score, determining the rank of all 16 matchups. I break ties based on my subjective preference. 

Upside: The likelihood the game will be high scoring and produce several top-end fantasy players. I account for average draft position (ADP) so that teams with players with lower ADP and high upside are ranked higher than teams with players with high ADP and high upside. For example, Kansas City has an upside score of eight because you must draft Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes at their ceiling to complete the stack.

Risk: The likelihood a matchup will bust or a team will bust. Considerations such as quarterback uncertainty, injury risk, and negative game scripts are taken into account.

Stackability: How easy it is to successfully stack players from the matchup without reaching more than a round against ADP.

Uniqueness: How likely other drafters are to target the matchup. This is not always a good thing, as matchups with high risk are highly unique for a reason.

Depth: How many players are draftable from the respective matchup. Takes into account the quality of the players. For example, I list the most players for the Kansas City vs. Cincinnati matchup, but the low-end options are dart throws, so they have a depth score of nine.

Targeting Players

Don’t Reach Too Far for the Sake of Stacking

Look, you need to stack. But don’t draft D.K. Metcalf over A.J. Brown just because you want to stack Seattle players. Generally, I wouldn’t reach more than a round and a half on a player to complete a stack. And in the early rounds, I’m usually not reaching more than a round or even a half-round, depending on who is available.

Don’t Draft Both Running Backs from the Same Matchup

This is taken straight from the DFS handbook. Just imagine what game script leads to both running backs having a ceiling performance. It’s likely a slogfest of a game, where both defenses are shutting down the passing game, and somehow both running backs fall into the endzone a couple of times. Sure, those running backs will have a great day, but we are looking for the outcome where we have five or six players from a game having a big game. The likelihood it’s both running backs is low.

Don’t Just Draft Players from a Single Matchup

Yes, this article focuses on which games to target, but you should build your lineup around two to four Week 17 matchups. The idea here is not to have all your eggs in one basket. Also, there is a tipping point with stacking where you’re thwarting your upside if you have too many players from the same team. Spread the load.

Trust Your Gut

Look, if you trust me enough to just go with my players and ideal matchups, I sincerely appreciate it. But I hate nothing more than second-guessing myself and getting it wrong. Instead, I’d go with my gut and lose every matchup rather than second-guess myself and get it right. And I encourage others to do the same. I’m here to give you ideas and another perspective. You gotta click the actual buttons.

Talk to People

And while you should trust your gut, it’s good to converse with other people to see what they’re thinking and how they would construct certain rosters. And to that end, my DMs are always open to anyone wanting to talk through their Best Ball lineup. Just hit me up on Twitter and Instagram @Austin_FFL.

And without further adieu, let’s get into it. 

1. Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers (SEA -2.5)


Why yes, I am shocked that Seattle at Pittsburgh is my favorite Week 17 matchup. But the more I look at this matchup, the more excited I get. 

The best part about targeting this game is that you don’t have to expend premium draft capital. The highest-ranked player by Underdog ADP is DK Metcalf, who is currently being drafted in the third round. He is closely followed by Najee Harris in the fourth round, and next is Tyler Lockett in Round 6. 

With the players so spread around, it also increases the stackability, particularly given how far down the quarterbacks are in ADP. 

Further, there are countless players you can target. While I stopped at 11,  you could make a case for including Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Will Dissly, Zach Charbonnet, and many others. I didn’t even include Kenneth Walker solely because I prefer Najee Harris, and having both running backs in a Week 17 matchup is not an optimal lineup. 

This is a fairly unique matchup to target, as it doesn’t have the initial flash that some others will. For example, everyone will be clamoring for a piece of the Kansas City vs. Cincinnati game. But Pittsburgh vs. Seattle has a less-clear pathway to produce a fantasy-ceiling outcome.

But that’s precisely why I love this matchup. You can use your first one or two draft picks on premium players while still targeting a unique Week 17 game that could make the difference between winning $100 and $100,000. 

Best Players to Target

Player ADP Round
DK Metcalf 28.6 3
Najee Harris 36.5 4
Diontae Johnson 65.5 6
Tyler Lockett 63.9 6
George Pickens 74.7 7
Pat Freiermuth 105.8 9
Geno Smith 114 10
Noah Fant 211.3 18
Jaylen Warren 139.8 12
Allen Robinson 213.7 18
Kenny Pickett 170.1 15

2. Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions (DAL -3.0)


This game seems like it was made for a messy Week 17. There are so many ways we can get there as well. You could have Dallas get up by four touchdowns, followed by Jared Goff leading a fourth-quarter charge in junk time. This could be a classic back-and-forth battle. You could even see Detroit getting up early, as they did against Buffalo last season, before inevitably blowing their lead and getting knocked out of the playoffs. 

This matchup is perfect to target if you have a late first-round draft pick. CeeDee Lamb and Amon-Ra St. Brown are often available around the turn, so you can easily target this matchup without reaching too far. And my favorite pick in this game is none other than David Montgomery

Why yes, I’m keeping faith with one of my favorite running backs in the league. This isn’t theoretical, particularly when you have a player with a literal Top 12 upside going in the eighth round. He’s done it before. And now he winds up in an offense that should favor his workhorse ability.

My least favorite aspect of this matchup is the lack of depth. At maximum, four players are safe bets this year, Lamb, St. Brown, Montgomery, and Dak Prescott. While Tony Pollard has a chance to finish as an RB1 again, he is coming off an injury, and Dallas is likely to sign another veteran running back. I believe Jahmyr Gibbs will be a big part of the Detroit offense, but this is still placing a bet that the Lions will do the logical thing and use the running back they drafted in the first round.

But very quickly, you get to throw darts at veteran players who have been inconsistent or unproven rookies. That’s the type of volatility that we love to target in Best Ball for the upside, but you need to go into it with clear eyes about the associated risk.

Best Players to Target

Player ADP Round
CeeDee Lamb 10.7 1
Amon-Ra St. Brown 13.9 2
Dak Prescott 100.8 9
Jahmyr Gibbs 40.7 4
David Montgomery 85.3 8
Brandin Cooks 83.4 8
Michael Gallup 129 11
Marvin Jones 209.7 18

3. Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (MIN -3.0)


Look, I get it, the Minnesota Vikings are not a sexy pick. Everyone is down on them this year because they believe their 13-win season was luck. And there’s something to that with how many one-score games they won. But for Best Ball, we don’t care how many wins the team has, and one-score matchups are the epitome of ceiling outcomes.

The biggest risk with targeting this matchup is placing a bet on Matt LaFleur and Jordan Love. I’m willing to take that bet. Jordan Love is basically free in Best Ball leagues, being drafted in the 13th round. With his ADP so low, you likely have a different QB1, so you won’t be relying on Love to have a breakout year.

But if he does, oh baby, will this lineup pay off. Because on one side, you’re going to have Justin Jefferson, T.J. Hockenson, and Kirk Cousins airing it out to stay in the lead, and on the other, you have Christian Watson cooking the Vikings secondary and Aaron Jones punching in red zone touchdowns. How could it get any better?

I also think many people will avoid having too much exposure to these teams. Sure, everyone will have Justin Jefferson, and there are enough people in on Watson for him to have a fourth-round ADP. But don’t you feel uncomfortable drafting multiple players from either team? You’re not alone in that discomfort. I feel it too. But let’s lean into it and target the ceiling outcome in what sets up to be a unique Week 17 build.

Best Players to Target

Player ADP Round
Justin Jefferson 1.1 1
Aaron Jones 53.4 5
Christian Watson 39.4 4
Kirk Cousins 110.6 10
Jordan Love 153.6 13
Romeo Doubs 130.5 11
T.J. Hockenson 50.8 5
Ty Chandler 190.8 16

4. Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (BUF -6.0)


I really want to love this matchup more. I don’t need to sell you on the Buffalo Bills’ side of this, although Stefon Diggs is doing his best to give us all a heart attack. Essentially, the risk score for this matchup is fully associated with the New England Patriots offense. 

The Patriots’ offense became one of the least favorites of fantasy managers last season, as everyone outside of Rhamondre Stevenson essentially fell off a cliff. But what should we have expected with two defensive coordinators running the offense?

This year we have Bill O’Brien back calling plays, which should return this team closer to its 2021 performance. With that, I expect the Patriots’ receivers to become relevant again. The problem is, which one?

Frankly, there are many options I’m willing to take the dart throw on. Tyquan Thorton was pegged as a deep threat, providing solid upside. JuJu Smith-Schuster demonstrated his ability to be a possession receiver. Kayshon Boutte could have been the steal of the draft. And, oh, by the way, they have some decent tight ends

That said, I have two players I’m avoiding from this matchup. First, there’s Rhamondre Stevenson. My big concern is that New England returns to their usual ways of utilizing multiple running backs. And given that Stevenson’s 2022 run can be somewhat attributed to numerous injuries in the New England running back room, I think there’s a clear argument for fading him.

Next is Dalton Kincaid. People are too high on this guy. Yes, he was one of my favorite tight ends in this draft. But Dawson Knox is still there and is going to receive plenty of receiving work. I would be interested if Kincaid’s ADP were lower, but I’m not looking to draft him as a TE1.

Best Players to Target

Player ADP Round
Stefon Diggs 7.6 1
Josh Allen 27.2 3
Rhamondre Stevenson 26.7 3
Dawson Knox 177.9 15
Damien Harris 115.8 10
Tyquan Thorton 161.2 14
JuJu Smith-Schuster 105.4 9
Khalil Shakir 187.4 16
Hunter Henry 213.3 18
DeVante Parker 215.2 18
Kayshon Boutte 216 19

5. New York Giants at Los Angeles Rams (NYG -4.0)


When looking at the Week 17 matchups, I enjoy finding semi-obscure ones that, on their face, seem gross but have some sneaky upside. Bring in the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams.

Who in their right mind would target the Rams this year? Do they even have a starting quarterback?

Frankly, I don’t know. But if Matthew Stafford returns to 80% of his 2021 performance, that will be enough to sustain another amazing Cooper Kupp season and bring along Van Jefferson and Tyler Higbee as well. 

But what I really love about this matchup is the New York Giants. People seem to be underestimating Brian Daboll as if the man didn’t just take a team with no receivers to a playoff victory over a team with Justin freaking Jefferson. Additionally, Daniel Jones ran for 700 yards last season and is somehow still being drafted as a QB2.

I just don’t get it. What does this guy have to do to prove it to you all?

He’s done enough in my book to warrant being valued as a low-end QB1, especially given that the Giants were willing to pay him $40 million a year. The added bonus? His receivers are all basically free, with the first Giants receiver available in the 15th round. Sure, we don’t *really* know who the starting receivers are, but we can take some dart throws, given that all these receivers are free, and we can make some educated guesses. 

So yes, I’ll happily target this matchup and the potential ceiling it brings with a lackluster Rams defense and plenty of playmakers to score fantasy points. 

Best Players to Target

Player ADP Round
Cooper Kupp 4.7 1
Daniel Jones 112.9 10
Saquon Barkley 18.1 2
Darren Waller 81.8 7
Jalin Hyatt 167.2 14
Van Jefferson 146.2 13
Wan’Dale Robinson 179.9 16
Isaiah Hodgins 179.1 15
Tyler Higbee 148.7 13

6. Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins (BAL -1.5)


Again, I really wanted to rank this one higher, but alas, I think the secret is out on the Baltimore Ravens offense. I particularly noticed this when I saw someone else copy a build I made in The Chow Chow tournament, where I started with Tyreek Hill, Mark Andrews, and Lamar Jackson.

But how can you not be in love with these teams? There are so many elite playmakers on both sides, with players who can take over games. And it’s relatively easy to build a roster with these teams, given their ADP. Sure, you won’t be able to get both Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle and still get both Andrews and Jackson, but even getting three of those four is incredible. 

And there are still intriguing players to target in the later rounds, such as Raheem Mostert, Isaiah Likely, and Jeff Wilson. 

There’s not much more to say. I love this matchup. Just try not to target it in every draft.

Best Players to Target

Player ADP Round
Tyreek Hill 3.9 1
Mark Andrews 30 3
Lamar Jackson 34.5 3
Raheem Mostert 166.6 14
Rashod Bateman 88.1 8
Odell Beckham 111.6 10
Jaylen Waddle 16 2
Isaiah Likely 207.7 18

7. Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals (PHI -11.0)


This is the last matchup I feel really good about. The rest have enough issues that I likely will only target as secondary stacks. And even this matchup could be tough, with a double-digit spread before we’ve even seen preseason games.

But while the Arizona Cardinals seem to be tanking from an NFL perspective, they could still be interesting from a fantasy perspective. Sure, we don’t know who the quarterback will be, but Colt McCoy was competent enough to pepper his number one receiver with targets when he led the offense. And if I told you James Conner was a top-10 running back in fantasy points per game (PPG) last season, you’d probably laugh in my face.

But seriously, think about it for a moment. We expect Philadelphia to pick up where they left off with a high-power offense. Arizona has basically nobody on defense, so they’ll be passing a lot while playing from behind. And particularly in this matchup, we could see the Eagles put up 35 points and then give up two or three late touchdowns to the Cardinals in junk time. 

And the deep flyers in this matchup are very intriguing. Trey McBride, Kenneth Gainwell, and Greg Dortch are basically free. The biggest hurdle with this build is you need to target A.J. Brown, and Jalen Hurts with your first two picks, and depending on your draft slot, this may not be appealing. 

But if this game wins someone a million dollars, I won’t be surprised in the slightest. 

Best Players to Target

Player ADP Round
A.J. Brown 8.5 1
Jalen Hurts 24.6 3
D’Andre Swift 77.3 7
Dallas Goedert 72.7 7
Marquise Brown 60.9 6
Rondale Moore 131.5 12
James Conner 87.4 8
Rashaad Penny 115.1 10
Trey McBride 204 18
Kenneth Gainwell 182.5 16

8. Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons (CHI -2.5)


If I told you I think the Chicago side of this matchup was the riskier part would you think I’m just a homer? If so, you might be right, but I think there is some actual risk in over-targeting the Bears.

I recently wrote an article on Chase Claypool wherein I discussed how the Chicago Bears offense barely passed the ball, with Justin Fields ending the season with 318 attempts in 2022. Big yikes. Essentially, my biggest concern with the Bears is that they won’t pass the ball enough to sustain enough elite receivers.

“So you should be concerned about the Falcons, too, right?” Well, this is where I differ from the consensus. The Falcons averaged nearly 30 pass attempts per game under Desmond Ridder. They were much more balanced with Ridder, and I expect more of the same, even with the addition of Bijan Robinson. 

At the same time, I’m not convinced either of these defenses will be up to the task of starting much of anything this season. So I could easily imagine a Week 17 game where Ridder throws a touchdown to Kyle Pitts and Drake London, Robinson gets a couple of rushing touchdowns, Justin Fields runs for 70 yards and a touchdown, and D.J. Moore gets seven catches and scores a touchdown.

Add that all together, and suddenly, you’re looking pretty dandy. 

The biggest challenge with pulling this off is that four of those players are being drafted within five picks of each other by ADP. But these are fun offenses to pull for, and it might just be worth the journey. 

Best Players to Target

Player ADP Round
Bijan Robinson 9.7 1
D.J. Moore 47.7 5
Kyle Pitts 68.6 6
Drake London 43.9 4
Justin Fields 47.6 5
D’Onta Foreman 168 15
Darnell Mooney 125.1 11
Desmond Ridder 206.8 18
Cole Kmet 145 13
Khalil Herbert 122.4 11
Chase Claypool 196.8 17

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (NO -2.5)


This may be one of the easiest matchups to stack, with plenty of options scattered throughout drafts. However, there is a major outlying question with this game: we still don’t know the Tampa Bay starting quarterback and how good they will be.

Don’t get me wrong, Baker Mayfield impressed me in his stretch of games in Los Angeles, but I’m not sure I’m ready to get fully behind him and assume he’ll carry multiple receivers to elite finishes. 

And the New Orleans side isn’t much better. This team will likely be more defense-oriented, with minimal offensive stars. Outside of Chris Olave, there are more questions than answers.

So how did this matchup get ranked so high, given all the issues?

Well, it’s an easy lineup to build, and it’s one few will likely target. And it has enough intrigue, given the weight of a divisional matchup toward the end of the season. New Orleans and Tampa Bay could compete for the top spot in the NFC South, leading to a competitive offensive battle. And no one would see it coming. 

If I’m only drafting one Best Ball team, I’m likely to avoid these teams. But if I’m on my tenth tournament lineup, I’ll definitely look to have exposure to what could be a completely different matchup than we are currently imagining.

Best Players to Target

Player ADP Round
Chris Olave 19.4 2
Chris Godwin 55.9 5
Derek Carr 145.9 13
Mike Evans 67.7 6
Alvin Kamara 100.6 9
Kendre Miller 137.5 12
Cade Otton 215.1 18
Foster Moreau 216 19

10. Jacksonville Jaguars vs Carolina Panthers (JAX -5.0)


The Jacksonville Jaguars have suddenly become one of the fantasy community’s favorite teams. Between the rise of Trevor Lawrence and the comeback story of Calvin Ridley, people have high expectations for this offense. 

The opposite is true of the Carolina Panthers. You could tell me they didn’t have any receivers signed on their depth chart, and I would believe you. And yet somehow, this matchup is not the last one on this list?

Basically, everything about this matchup is mid. Sure, the Jaguars could pop off this year. But there are no guarantees in the NFL. In particular, I’m not as ready as everyone else to crown Trevor Lawrence, a top-eight quarterback, and peg Ridley as the clear number one on the team. I could easily see a world where they have built depth at running back to take a more balanced approach, and Lawrence doesn’t do enough with his legs to provide the ceiling outcome needed with his current ADP.

But this matchup has some benefit when constructing a roster, in that the Jacksonville side holds most of the high-end draft capital, so you can target them early and pivot to the Carolina side in the later rounds.

Overall, I’ll likely roster fewer Jacksonville Jaguars than other Best Ball players, but I will still have a healthy exposure because of the potential upside. 

Best Players to Target

Player ADP Round
Christian Kirk 48.7 5
Calvin Ridley 32 3
Travis Etienne 40.2 4
Trevor Lawrence 67.3 6
Miles Sanders 61.7 6
Evan Engram 95.1 8
Zay Jones 118.8 10
D.J. Chark 154.3 13
Jonathan Mingo 135.2 12
Hayden Hurst 198.6 17
Chuba Hubbard 181 16

11. Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals (KC -3.5)


“Wow, this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He’s fading Kansas City versus Cincinnati. What an idiot!”

Yes, yes, I can hear the Twitter comments now. Look, do I *want* to target this matchup? Sure. Do I think there’s a chance Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow combine for 10 touchdowns? Always.

But so does everybody else. The challenge with targeting this matchup is there are few pathways to getting unique. Numerous lineups will be with Mahomes/Kelce and Burrow/Chase stacks. And that may well get you to advance to the playoffs.

But this article is about Week 17. It’s about how to win a tournament once you’ve advanced to the finals. And if 30% of your competitors have a Mahomes/Kelce stack, you’re limiting your upside. 

Further, it’s hard as hell to stack and correlate these players because all the elite players are so juiced in terms of ADP. Travis Kelce, Ja’Marr Chase, Patrick Mahomes, and Tee Higgins are all being drafted in the first two rounds. When targeting this matchup, you have to make an early decision to either stack Mahomes/Kelce and avoid the elite Cincinnati wide receivers or to miss out on the Marhomes/Kelce stack and prioritize Kelce and Higgins.

So I almost always avoid this matchup as my primary Week 17 stack. I will aim to have exposure to this game, particularly with players at lower ADP, but I’m unlikely to build an entire lineup around these two teams.

That said, there’s a seemingly endless list of players to target from this matchup which is incredible. I love the late-round targets to get exposure to Mahomes and Burrow through their pass catchers. 

Best Players to Target

Player ADP Round
Travis Kelce 6.5 1
Ja’Marr Chase 2.1 1
Patrick Mahomes 21.1 2
Joe Burrow 45.3 4
Tee Higgins 22.8 2
Joe Mixon 51.8 5
Kadarius Toney 72.5 7
Skyy Moore 118.6 10
Jerick McKinnon 127.8 11
Irv Smith 151 13
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 155.8 14
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 208.3 18

12. Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (DEN -1.0)


If this were June 2022, I would have been all over this matchup. Can you imagine? We had people ranking Justin Herbert as the number one overall quarterback and projecting all three Denver receivers to finish in the Top 30. 

But my oh my, did things fail to go according to plan. 

And yet, I’m willing to get hurt again regarding the Los Angeles Chargers. The addition of Kellen Moore should fix some of the fundamental problems with the offense, allowing Justin Herbert to return to his 2021 numbers. 

So go ahead and knock yourself stacking Chargers players again.

But Denver is a much bigger question. And I frankly don’t know what to expect. I have been in the camp of believing that Russell Wilson has reached his peak and has to prove it to remain in Denver this season. Because of this, I don’t like his chances of lifting other players to a ceiling outcome. 

This is also why this game could be a good target from a game theory perspective. The Denver side is where all the uniqueness lies, with Best Ball players likely afraid to target too many players from the Broncos. But I’ll be underweight on this matchup, using it as a secondary stacking option at maximum. 

Best Players to Target

Player ADP Round
Austin Ekeler 8.8 1
Keenan Allen 37.4 4
Justin Herbert 54.5 5
Mike Williams 45.0 4
Jerry Jeudy 41.5 4
Samaje Perine 106.5 9
Greg Dulcich 138.5 12
Tim Patrick 205.2 18
Gerald Everett 157.4 14
Courtland Sutton 93.7 8

13. Washington Commanders at San Francisco 49ers (SF -3.5)


Objectively, this is one of the most unsettling Week 17 matchups to target. Subjectively, I freaking love it. I have a potentially unhealthy fascination with this game, primarily because I think there are many unique ways to build a lineup around this team. It’s the perfect matchup to have as a secondary Week 17 correlation. 

Specifically, there are plenty of late-round stacking targets. Jahan Dotson is going surprisingly low, Antonio Gibson is available in the round-nine dead zone, and Curtis Samuel is basically free.

The biggest problem with this matchup is: who the hell is playing quarterback? For either team?!

I’m writing this in June, so depending on when you read this, we may have answers, but at this time, all I know is some combination of Sam Howell, Jacoby Brissett, Brock Purdy, Trey Lance, and Sam Darnold will play quarterback. Probably.

And even if you think you know the Week 1 starts for those teams, how confident do you feel they remain the starters through Week 17?

Which is exactly why I like these teams as secondary stacking options. The talent is there on both sides for significant upside, and you can target your favorite quarterback with a three-QB build. There’s risk, but this is a fun matchup to help you get different.

Best Players to Target

Player ADP Round
Christian McCaffrey 4.2 1
George Kittle 59.9 6
Terry McLaurin 45.2 4
Brandon Aiyuk 54.6 5
Deebo Samuel 34.4 3
Jahan Dotson 75.7 7
Antonio Gibson 106.9 9
Curtis Samuel 171.6 15

14. Cleveland Browns at New York Jets (NYJ -1.0)


Honestly, I hardly know what to do with this matchup. Both sides have quarterbacks coming off of down years, both of whom have demonstrated elite fantasy upside in the past. Both have elite running backs who are being drafted in the first three rounds. And you could reasonably see both offenses being pass-heavy, run-heavy, or equally balanced.

In part, I’m so low on this matchup because I don’t trust either of these teams to produce the kind of fantasy performance needed to advance to the playoffs, let alone make a charge to win a tournament. Sure, certain players on these teams, such as Garrett Wilson, Nick Chubb, and Breece Hall, can get you very fair. But I’m not convinced this matchup will get you ceiling performances from multiple players.

In particular, I’m worried we’re about to step into the Russell Wilson trap – the assumption that a formerly elite quarterback coming off a down season will suddenly return to form by simply changing teams. Sure, Aaron Rodgers is probably about to come out and have a prove-it year to thwart all the “haters” from the past year.

But what if last season was a sign of his decline?

Further, many assume his reunion with Nathaniel Hackett is exactly what both parties need to return to form. But what if what we learned from Hackett’s year in Denver is that he wasn’t the genius behind Green Bay’s prior success? What if it was actually Matt LaFleur? 

I could go on and on, but the point is, there’s a fair amount of risk here and not a lot of uniqueness to warrant taking the risk. People are all over Garrett Wilson and are expecting a bounceback from the Cleveland Browns. This is one to avoid. 

Best Players to Target

Player ADP Round
Garrett Wilson 12.7 2
Nick Chubb 17.1 2
Elijah Moore 87.1 8
Deshaun Watson 82.8 7
David Njoku 102.6 9
Amari Cooper 34.5 3
Breece Hall 30.9 3
Aaron Rodgers 120.4 11
Tyler Conklin 186.4 16

15. Indianapolis Colts at Las Vegas Raiders (LV -2.0)


It really pains me to have a matchup with Davante Adams, Jonathan Taylor, and Josh Jacobs so low on this list, but unfortunately, outside of those three players, I have little interest in this matchup. Don’t get me wrong, I am still happy to draft them at ADP, but I will not prioritize this matchup to win a Best Ball tournament.

The primary reason I shy away from this matchup is the lack of upside and the amount of risk. Let’s begin with the fact that Jimmy Garoppolo is currently the starting quarterback of the Las Vegas Raiders. He doesn’t really scream upside.

Further, he has rarely completed a full season without getting injured and has been in the spotlight on some offseason injury conversations. Needless to say, there’s enough risk to paint a narrative of how this matchup goes poorly just in the Raiders quarterback room.

And then you get to the Indianapolis side, which should be better in theory. However, if you’ve followed me, you know I’m still skeptical about whether Anthony Richardson is actually the starter in Week 1. Everyone said he needed to sit a year during the pre-draft process, and no matter how good of a combine he had, I still feel nervous about anyone starting a rookie quarterback too soon. 

Now, Adams, Taylor, and Jacobs can all probably weather a bad quarterback situation. But to win a Best Ball tournament, we need them to all hit their ceiling and bring a couple of other players along for the ride. The likelihood that some combination of Jimmy Garoppolo, Aidan O’Connell, Brian Hoyer, Anthony Richardson, and Garner Minshew will produce four top-end fantasy players is low. Particularly given the dearth of elite talent outside Adams, Taylor, and Jacobs.

Best Players to Target

Player ADP Round
Davante Adams 13.5 2
Jonathan Taylor 16.4 2
Michael Pittman 59.5 6
Anthony Richardson 98.3 9
Alec Pierce 146 13
Jakobi Meyers 120.7 11
Josh Jacobs 28 3
Jelani Woods 211.8 18

16. Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (TEN -1.0)


There is very little to like in the matchup between Houston and Tennessee. The primary benefit of stacking this matchup is that you will likely be the only person doing so. Secondarily, these teams play each other twice in three weeks, allowing you to correlate Weeks 15 and 17 simultaneously. 

Further, who will be the fantasy beneficiaries in these games is very clear, as the star players are well-defined. The problem is that there are few star players you can count on. Namely, there’s one, and his name is Derrick Henry.

Outside of Henry, you could bet on Treylon Burks, who has Top 12 upside, hope Chigiziem Okonkwo is as good as everyone thinks he’ll be, and that Dameon Pierce will maintain his ceiling for an entire 17-game season. But there’s plenty of uncertainty with these teams. We don’t know who will be the Tennessee quarterback in Week 17, and rookie quarterbacks rarely have a ceiling outcome. 

Take the fantasy value where possible, but don’t get too invested in this matchup.

Best Players to Target

Player ADP Round
Derrick Henry 25.1 3
Dameon Pierce 66.5 6
Treylon Burks 69.9 6
Chig Okonkwo 129.5 11
Dalton Schultz 136.3 12
Devin Singletary 154.2 13
Ryan Tannehill 214.7 18

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