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NFL Week 17 Fantasy Football Rankings

Congratulations on making it to fantasy football championship week. The 2021 season has been one of the toughest to navigate in recent years, but those who made it this far did not get by on just luck.


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Grinding the waiver wire, analyzing routes run and being greedy while others are fearful in DFS has proven to be a winning strategy through all aspects of fantasy, so continue to trust the process in Week 17.

It’s important to not overcorrect fantasy football player rankings and adjust who the best waiver wire targets are based on an aberration from Week 16 — the season-long knowledge about each player and how defenses can be attacked should still be the basis of our decision-making.

Therefore, don’t get cute and bench a stud after a bad game if the peripheral usage is still present, like if you had done so with Ja’Marr Chase after a Week 15 dud. For Week 17, Keenan Allen should bounce back in a massive way, as Mike Williams‘ absence means targets should funnel toward Allen. 

With plenty of other PFF premium stats available to adjust rankings based on a player’s high-value opportunities, expected fantasy point output and route participation, it will be easy to highlight the ideal waiver-wire pickups, optimal starts/sits, under-the-radar DFS plays and beatable player prop bets.

Those key data points — along with PFF player grades, implied team totals, PFF fantasy projections and strength of schedule — are all factored into my position-by-position Week 17 fantasy football rankings.

2021 WEEK 17 QB FANTASY FOOTBALL RANKINGS

Name Team Rank Tiers
Josh Allen BUF 1 1
Tom Brady TB 2 1
Aaron Rodgers GB 3 1
Kyler Murray ARI 4 1
Patrick Mahomes II KC 5 2
Jalen Hurts PHI 6 2
Dak Prescott DAL 7 2
Matthew Stafford LAR 8 2
Justin Herbert LAC 9 2
Trey Lance SF 10 3
Joe Burrow CIN 11 3
Kirk Cousins MIN 12 3
Russell Wilson SEA 13 3
Taysom Hill NO 14 3
Justin Fields CHI 15 3
Lamar Jackson BAL 16 3
Derek Carr LV 17 4
Tua Tagovailoa MIA 18 4
Ryan Tannehill TEN 19 4
Mac Jones NE 20 4
Davis Mills HOU 21 4
Jared Goff DET 22 4
Zach Wilson NYJ 23 5
Baker Mayfield CLE 24 5
Sam Ehlinger IND 25 5
Matt Ryan ATL 26 5
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 27 5
Cam Newton CAR 28 6
Drew Lock DEN 29 6
Taylor Heinicke WAS 30 6
Trevor Lawrence JAC 31 6
Mike Glennon NYG 32 6
Jake Fromm NYG 33 6
Sam Darnold CAR 34 7
Jimmy Garoppolo SF 35 7
Teddy Bridgewater DEN 36 7
Nick Foles CHI 37 7
Tyler Huntley BAL 38 7
Josh Johnson BAL 39 7
Tim Boyle DET 40 7
JOSH ALLEN, BUFFALO BILLS 

Allen’s 255.5 passing yards prop is simply too low, as the Bills quarterback has gone over 300 passing yards in two of his last three games, and the Atlanta Falcons' recent “success” in pass defense is due to the lack of talent they have faced at the quarterback position. Tim Boyle, Jimmy Garoppolo and Cam Newton aren’t in the same stratosphere as Allen from a passing perspective, so, of course, none of them crested 250 passing yards against the Falcons.

They did, however, force the Falcons defense to rank 31st in explosive pass rate and 25th in yards per pass attempt, showing their true colors as PFF’s 30th-ranked defense and 32nd-graded pass-rushing unit. 

The Bills also throw at the highest rate when winning by seven or more points, so Allen will continue to sling the ball even amid a blowout Buffalo win. That’s why he is my No. 1-ranked quarterback for championship weekend. 

I also like parlaying Allen’s over prop with a correlated under prop on Cordarelle Patterson’s 42.5 rushing yards. The Falcons playing catchup means they aren’t going to be running the football. 

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TREY LANCE, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

QB Jimmy Garoppolo has a torn ligament in his right thumb, putting his Week 17 status in doubt. That would mean Lance would make his second start of the season against the Houston Texans.

Lance would be an immediate top-10 fantasy quarterback due to his rushing ability. In his lone start back in Week 5, he rushed for 89 yards. He scored 16 fantasy points despite zero touchdowns, which just goes to show the value mobile quarterbacks offer with their legs.

Case in point, Lance ranks only behind fellow running quarterback Taysom Hill in fantasy points per dropback this season (0.78). 

JOE BURROW, CINCINNATI BENGALS

I called my shot on Burrow in the Week 16 fantasy football start'em, sit'em, and the second-year quarterback delivered a historic 525-yard and four-touchdown performance. Everything was working in the Bengals’ favor to have a ceiling fantasy day against a decimated Ravens secondary. 

So that’s why I want to pump the brakes on Burrow just a bit heading into a much tougher spot versus the Kansas City Chiefs. After a rocky start, their defense has not allowed more than 270 passing yards to a quarterback since Week 5. Justin Herbert is the only quarterback to score over 21 fantasy points against them during that span.

The Bengals quarterback has been boom–or–bust in his last six games, throwing for 300-plus yards in three contests while finishing with fewer than 200 passing yards in his other three games.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Burrow busted after such an outlier performance, which is why I would bet the under on Burrow’s 275.5 passing yards prop. It will probably be bet up as the week goes on with casuals going crazy for Chiefs-Bengals so remain patient before you strike. 

There’s also the case of the post-Denver Broncos production bump, which was pointed out by Sharp Football’s analyst Warren Sharp, who identified that offenses coming off bad games versus Denver saw massive spikes in offensive efficiency the following week. That has reigned true in fantasy football as seen in the table below, as quarterbacks have averaged almost 11 fantasy points more per game after facing the Broncos.

Quarterback fantasy points scored against Denver and the subsequent week
Player vs. DEN Following Week
Jared Goff 12.6 20.6
Joe Burrow 12.7 38.1
Patrick Mahomes 13.5 20.3
Justin Herbert 21.7 26.2
Jalen Hurts 19.4 30.8
Dak Prescott 19.9 26.3
Average 16.6 27.1
RYAN TANNEHILL, TENNESSEE TITANS

Tannehill got his No. 1 wide receiver back last Thursday night, but it still wasn’t enough for him to be a worthwhile fantasy quarterback. He finished outside the top-15 fantasy quarterbacks for the sixth time in his last seven games in Week 16. 

The fantasy ceiling just has not been present for Tannehill all season in a passing game starving for weapons, and things don’t look great for him in Week 17 against a red-hot Miami Dolphins defense. 

Miami ranks first in the fewest fantasy points allowed per game to quarterbacks over the last four weeks, and no QB has scored more than 18 fantasy points against them dating back to Week 8. 

Tannehill needs to be avoided in all one-quarterback formats and viewed as a fringe QB2 in superflex leagues

DEREK CARR, LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

Carr has come crashing back down to Earth after a hot start to the season. Since the Raiders' bye week, he has finished outside the top 19 quarterbacks in six of eight games. He finished this past week as the QB22 versus a tough Broncos defense.

As alluded to in Burrow’s write-up, quarterbacks see a boost in performance after they faced Denver, so Carr slides into the lower teens in the quarterback rankings for Week 17. The Indianapolis Colts have allowed back-to-back top-10 fantasy QB performances over the past two weeks. 

MATT RYAN, ATLANTA FALCONS

If Ryan can’t score more than 13 fantasy points against the Detroit Lions of all teams, then there’s no hope for him against a Bills defense that ranks No. 1 in the fewest fantasy points per game allowed to quarterbacks this season.

Ryan hasn’t scored more than 13 fantasy points in a game dating back all the way to Week 9, and he has thrown for just 215 yards just twice in his last seven games.

Needless to say, smash the under on Ryan’s 215.5 passing yards prop on PrizePicks, as just two quarterbacks have hit over that number against the Bills in their last nine games played. 

2021 WEEK 17 RB FANTASY FOOTBALL RANKINGS

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