NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 17 Preview: Fantasy football advice, betting tips and matchups to watch

2TG3KF3 Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) runs off of the line of scrimmage during an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Kirk Irwin)

Myles Garrett in for a field day? Garrett has not recorded a sack for four games. But you are mistaken if you believe he has struggled during that stretch. During that stretch, he’s recorded 28 pressures and seven defensive stops.

Penei Sewell vs. Micah Parsons is must-see TV: Sewell is the NFL's top-graded right tackle, and Parsons is the league's No. 2 graded edge defender. Parsons is the front-runner for the Defensive Player of the Year award, and a big performance on Saturday night could help him seal it up.

• Get ahead of the game: PFF's Best Bets Tool uses PFF data to uncover the biggest edges in the betting market. Click here to see the best bets for this week.

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

WR:CB Matchup Chart

New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns (-7)

Matchup to watch: Jets LT Mekhi Becton vs. Browns EDGE Myles Garrett

Garrett has not recorded a sack for four games. But you are mistaken if you believe he has struggled during that stretch. During that stretch, he’s recorded 28 pressures, including 23 hurries, and seven defensive stops. He is the No. 1 graded edge rusher in the league for a reason and should have a field day against the Jets' struggling offensive line.

Fantasy breakout: Browns TE David Njoku

Njoku was having a solid season with Deshaun Watson, Dorian Thompson-Robinson and P.J. Walker at quarterback. But he really took off once Joe Flacco took the field. In his last three games, Njoku has totaled 239 yards and four touchdowns on 22 catches. He is a must-start with Flacco under center, as he and Amari Cooper have been the offense's focal point.

Favorite bet: Under 35 (-110)

With Zach Wilson out again for the Jets, Trevor Siemian will get the start in Week 17. With the current state of the offensive line in New York, it's hard to envision the Jets scoring more than 14 points. And while Joe Flacco has been great for the Browns, don't be surprised if he struggles in this matchup. Expect the scoring to be low and the under to hit in Cleveland.

PFF's Best Bets Tool uses PFF data to uncover the biggest edges in the betting market.

Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys (-6)

Matchup to watch: Lions RT Penei Sewell vs. Cowboys EDGE Micah Parsons

Sewell is the NFL's top-graded right tackle, and Parsons is the league's No. 2 graded edge defender. Parsons is the front-runner for the Defensive Player of the Year award, and a big performance on Saturday night could help him seal it up. This should be a fantastic battle of best-on-best in prime time.

Fantasy breakout: Cowboys WR Brandin Cooks

Cooks got into the end zone in Week 15 but was held to just two catches for 14 yards. He's just a much different player on the road and has totaled just 73 yards in his last four road games. The good news is that the Cowboys are home in Week 16 and will face one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. Cooks averages nearly 68 yards per game at home and should have no problem matching those numbers this week.

Favorite bet: Lions +6

The Cowboys have been dominant at home this season, but six points is quite a bit for these two teams with 10-plus wins. Expect this game to be close throughout, but for the Lions to cover the six-point spread in Dallas.

New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills (-12)

Matchup to watch: Bills RG O’Cyrus Torrence vs. Patriots DT Christian Barmore

Barmore has been one of the bright spots for the Patriots this season, posting a pass-rush grade of 86.9. He'll have his hands full in Week 17 with Torrence, one of the strongest guards in the NFL. Barmore's quickness should help him a lot in this matchup, but these are two up-and-coming stars in the trenches in the AFC East.

Fantasy breakout: Bills WR Stefon Diggs

It’s been a rough few months for Stefon Diggs after a hot start to the 2023 season. He has not gone over 90 receiving yards in a game since Week 6 and is averaging just 50 yards per game since. However, expect him to be involved early and often in this meeting, especially with all the injuries to the Pats' secondary.

Favorite bet: Patriots +12

The Patriots have played much better football over the last month, which has a little to do with Bailey Zappe. The passing attack is better and more efficient, which has allowed them to go 2-1 over their last three games. The Patriots have already upset the Bills once this season, so expect them to cover on the road in Buffalo in Week 17.

Atlanta Falcons vs. Chicago Bears (-3)

Matchup to watch: Falcons WR Drake London vs. Bears CB Jaylon Johnson

Johnson is the No. 1 graded cornerback in the NFL this season and is a bad matchup for London in Week 17. Johnson has the size and length to bother London, and his ball skills have improved in Year 4. This should be one of the best one-on-one battles of the week.

Fantasy breakout: Bears TE Cole Kmet

Since Week 8, Kmet has been one of the better tight ends in fantasy football. He’s averaging just under 55 yards per game over the last two months and has scored three touchdowns. Kmet is a strong play against the Falcons, who can be exposed through the air in the middle of the field.

Favorite bet: Falcons +3

After a convincing win over the Colts in Week 16, the Falcons are still alive in the NFC wild-card race. They aren’t even out of the NFC South race yet, either. Expect them to keep this game close and cover the three-point spread.

PFF’s WR/CB Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool that you can use to help you set the best lineups. You can toggle between showing the Matchup Advantage column against all projected coverage or the individual defenders.

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Indianapolis Colts (-3)

Matchup to watch: Colts RT Blake Freeland vs. Raiders EDGE Maxx Crosby

Crosby continues to be one of the most disruptive defensive players in the NFL, and he gets a dream matchup on Sunday against rookie offensive tackle Blake Freeland. The Colts haven’t given Freeland a ton of help this year, but this might be one of the matchups where they double Crosby on every play. Otherwise, Crosby has a chance to destroy this game.

Fantasy breakout: Colts RB Jonathan Taylor

It’s been a frustrating season for Taylor, who has dealt with multiple injuries and just hasn’t found a rhythm. His last 100-yard rushing day came in Week 10 in 2022 against the Raiders. While he might not reach that total this time around, expect him to have a much better day in his second game back from his broken thumb.

Favorite bet: Raiders +3

The Las Vegas Raiders suddenly have a really good defense that is flying around and creating turnovers. They’ve scored four defensive touchdowns over the last two weeks and are playing with a lot of confidence. Both teams need this win to stay alive in the AFC playoff hunt, but take the Raiders to cover this low spread on Sunday.

Los Angeles Rams (-6) vs. New York Giants

Matchup to watch: Giants RG Ben Bredeson vs. Rams DT Aaron Donald

It's gone a little bit under the radar, but Aaron Donald is having another All-Pro-caliber season. He has the second-highest pass-rush grade (91.3) in the NFL, behind only Dexter Lawrence. Donald should dominate the Giants' interior offensive line, as all three players have grades under 50.0.

Fantasy breakout: Rams WR Cooper Kupp

Kupp had a relatively quiet performance in Week 16, totaling just 52 yards on six catches. But he received a game-high 12 targets and multiple end-zone looks. Matthew Stafford still trusts him, and so should you in your fantasy lineups.

Favorite bet: Rams -6

When Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua and Kyren Williams are healthy, the Rams are No. 1 in expected points added (EPA) per play in the NFL. Heading into Week 17, all four are healthy and should post big numbers against the struggling secondary of the Giants. Take the Rams to win and cover in Week 17 easily, despite being on the road.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Eagles (-10.5)

Matchup to watch: Cardinals TE Trey McBride vs. Eagles LB Nicholas Morrow

McBride has been sensational for the Cardinals this season, posting 743 yards in 10 starts. He looks like a younger Zach Ertz and could be a matchup nightmare for Philadelphia this week. It'll be fascinating to see how the Eagles try to slow him down with all their injuries and inexperience at linebacker.

Fantasy breakout: Eagles RB D’Andre Swift

The Eagles have done a better job of keeping Swift involved in the offense over the last few weeks, as he has racked up 38 carries in his previous two starts. He's not seeing much action in the passing game, but he should get a lot of work and be highly efficient against the Cardinals' defense this week.

Favorite bet: Eagles -10.5

The last time the Eagles won a game by double-digits was in Week 3 when they defeated the Buccaneers 25-11. But that will change in Week 17, as the talent differential here is massive. Look for the Eagles to get plenty of pressure on Kyler Murray and for their defense to step up in a big way.

PFF's Best Bets Tool uses PFF data to uncover the biggest edges in the betting market.

New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3)

Matchup to watch: Saints WR Chris Olave vs. Buccaneers CB Carlton Davis III

Olave has had an excellent sophomore season and should have another big performance in Week 17. Davis has really struggled this season, posting a coverage grade of 53.6, 101st at the position. Both outside cornerbacks of the Buccaneers have taken a step backward in 2023, so look for Olave to have another 100-yard receiving day on Sunday.

Fantasy breakout: Buccaneers WR Mike Evans

Evans was held to just 40 yards in their previous matchup, but the Buccaneers have done a better job of keeping him involved in the offense over the last two months. Since Week 9, Evans has averaged nine targets per game and has scored eight touchdowns (seven games). Look for him to go off against the Saints here in this huge NFC South battle.

Favorite bet: Buccaneers -3

The Buccaneers can win the division if they defeat the Saints in Week 17. That feels pretty likely, as they are playing their best football of the season. Tampa Bay is at home and is just a three-point favorite, so they are the pretty safe bet here.

San Francisco 49ers (-13.5) vs. Washington Commanders

Matchup to watch: Commanders LT Cornelius Lucas vs. 49ers EDGE Chase Young

Young has recorded 2.5 sacks since joining the 49ers and has been a nice addition to their defensive line. But you can bet that he will be motivated against his former team. Lucas is a good left tackle, but look for Young to have one of the better games of his career in Week 17.

Fantasy breakout: 49ers QB Brock Purdy

Purdy had the worst game of his career against the Ravens, and his performance on Monday Night Football likely lost him the MVP award. But that game was such an outlier for how Purdy has performed in his career that you would expect him to bounce back in a big way on Sunday. Purdy is a must-start against the Commanders, who have the No. 32 scoring defense in the NFL (30.2 PPG allowed).

Favorite bet: 49ers -13.5

After an embarrassing loss to the Ravens at home, you can bet that the 49ers will bounce back in a big way in Week 17. Look for the 49ers to have a huge game in Washington and to cover the 13.5-point spread easily.

Carolina Panthers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (-7)

Matchup to watch: Jaguars RT Anton Harrison vs. Panthers EDGE Brian Burns

Harrison was the first-round selection by the Jaguars in the 2023 NFL Draft, and his performance in his rookie season has been less than stellar. Things won’t get any easier for him in Week 17, as Brian Burns is one of the best pass-rushers in the league. Look for the Jags to give Harrison a lot of help on Sunday.

Fantasy breakout: Panthers RB Chuba Hubbard

Hubbard has been one of the unsung heroes of the fantasy season, racking up 91 touches over the last four games. He is averaging over 88 yards during that stretch and has managed to get into the end zone three times. Against one of the worst defenses in the NFL, Hubbard is a must-start RB in Week 17 and projects as a low-end RB1.

Favorite bet: Panthers +7

The Panthers have been much more competitive over the last month, and there is no reason to expect anything to change on Sunday. The Jaguars have been a disaster as of late and the status and health of Trevor Lawrence remains up in the air. Take the Panthers to cover, and don’t be surprised if they win outright on the road in Jacksonville.

Miami Dolphins vs. Baltimore Ravens (-3)

Matchup to watch: Ravens WR Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Dolphins CB Jalen Ramsey

The Dolphins have been a much different defense since Jalen Ramsey returned to the field. And we will have an excellent matchup on Sunday, with Ramsey likely seeing a ton of Beckham. This matchup favors Ramsey, but don’t be surprised if Beckham makes a handful of clutch plays to keep the offense on schedule for Baltimore.

Fantasy breakout: Ravens TE Isaiah Likely

Since Mark Andrews went down with his ankle injury, Likely has stepped up in his starting role. He should have another strong performance in Week 17 against the Dolphins, who could be without starting safety Jevon Holland again. Likely is locked and loaded as a TE1 again this week.

Favorite bet: Ravens -3.5

The Ravens can earn the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a win on Sunday. Expect them to do that at home against the Dolphins, who run the same offensive scheme as the 49ers. Baltimore should have no problem slowing down Miami, especially if Jaylen Waddle (high-ankle sprain) can’t play.

PFF’s WR/CB Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool that you can use to help you set the best lineups. You can toggle between showing the Matchup Advantage column against all projected coverage or the individual defenders.

Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans (-3.5)

Matchup to watch: Titans WR Treylon Burks vs. Texans CB Derek Stingley Jr.

Burks has had a very quiet sophomore season, recording just 210 yards on 14 catches. He'll be matched up against another first-round pick from the 2022 class — Derek Stingley Jr. Stingley has been hampered by injuries, but when he's on the field, he's been among the best cornerbacks in the league. Expect him to have another big performance against Burks in Week 17.

Fantasy breakout: Titans RB Derrick Henry

These two teams met just two weeks ago, and Henry had the worst performance of his career. He was held to 13 yards on 20 touches as the Texans completely neutralized him. Don't expect that to be the case again, as Henry has always performed well in the season's final weeks. Look for the Titans to lean on him heavily in Week 17 and for him to get into the end zone at least once.

Favorite bet: Titans +3.5

The expectation is that C.J. Stroud (concussion) will return for this game, but how he plays after missing the last two weeks remains to be seen. This offense just hasn’t been quite the same since Tank Dell (ankle) was injured, and that could make this game a lot closer than anyone anticipates. Take the Titans to cover this 3.5-point spread, but don't be surprised if they win outright. This will be an extremely difficult matchup for the Texans in a game they have to win to stay alive in the AFC playoff hunt.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Seattle Seahawks (-3.5)

Matchup to watch: Seahawks WR DK Metcalf vs. Steelers CB Joey Porter Jr.

Joey Porter Jr. has been one of the best rookie cornerbacks in the league when he’s not committing penalties. That has been his only knock, as he’s been penalized the second-most times in the NFL among defensive backs. He has the size and length to give Metcalf some problems, but this should be an outstanding battle in Seattle.

Fantasy breakout: Steelers RB Najee Harris

The Seahawks are smaller on the defensive side of the ball and can be exposed on the ground. Najee Harris has had an up-and-down season, but this feels like a game where the Steelers will lean on their two running backs to try to win this game. Harris is a good bet to get into the end zone at least once and should see 16-plus touches on Sunday afternoon.

Favorite bet: Steelers +3.5

The Steelers are sticking with Mason Rudolph in Week 17 as they believe he gives them the best chance to win. His ability to stand tall in the pocket and deliver the ball down the field is precisely what Pittsburgh has been missing on offense all year. Both teams need to win, but the Steelers could be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss. Take the Steelers to cover the spread in Seattle, but aggressive bettors might consider them on the moneyline instead (+152).

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-7)

Matchup to watch: Chiefs LT Wanya Morris vs. Bengals EDGE Trey Hendrickson

Morris has been a disaster at left tackle, but the Chiefs are out of options. That means that Hendrickson could have a huge day if he is able to go. He got banged up in the Week 16 meeting against the Steelers, but expect Hendrickson to play and have an excellent game on Sunday.

Fantasy breakout: Bengals RB Joe Mixon

The Bengals have not been a good rushing team this season, but Mixon should get a lot of work in this matchup. The Chiefs just allowed Zamir White to have a career day in Week 16, and Mixon should have a lot of success on the ground. He is a solid RB2 this week despite playing on the road.

Favorite bet: Bengals +7

The Bengals have historically done a good job of slowing down Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. And with the Chiefs struggling on offense, don't be surprised if they do it again. The Chiefs should be able to win this game outright, but a 7-point line just feels a bit off, given the state of the offense for Kansas City. Take the Chiefs to win, but the Bengals to cover.

PFF's Best Bets Tool uses PFF data to uncover the biggest edges in the betting market.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Denver Broncos (-5.5)

Matchup to watch: Broncos WR Marvin Mims Jr. vs. Chargers SS Derwin James

Derwin James didn’t play as much in Week 16 as the Chargers look to use him in a different role now that Brandon Staley is gone. The expectation is that he could play more in the slot, which means we could see him covering Mims a bunch in Week 17. Keep an eye on the usage of James, as the Chargers are still trying to figure out the best way to use their Pro Bowl safety.

Fantasy breakout: Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy

With Courtland Sutton in concussion protocol and likely to miss Week 17, Jerry Jeudy could see an extended look as the team's No. 1 receiver. Jeudy has not surpassed 85 receiving yards this year, but this might be the week for him to do it if he can see eight-plus targets on Sunday.

Favorite bet: Broncos -5.5

It’s hard to have much confidence in either of these teams right now, but the Broncos are still in the playoff hunt and have an outside chance of winning the AFC West. Denver’s defense should be able to slow down Easton Stick, which is why they are the pick here despite a 5.5-point spread.

Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings (-2)

Matchup to watch: Packers RT Zach Tom vs. Vikings EDGE Danielle Hunter

Tom has been a big reason the Packers have been so good on offense this season. He's held down the right tackle job and has developed into one of the better young tackles in the league. He'll have his hands full against Hunter, who has 15.5 sacks on the season.

Fantasy breakout: Vikings WR Justin Jefferson

Could Jefferson see 16-plus targets in Week 17? Considering all of the injuries the Vikings have on offense, it might be needed. Jefferson has always been a must-start, even with the current quarterback situation in Minnesota. But don’t be surprised if he has his best performance of the season in primetime in a must-win game for the Vikings.

Favorite bet: Packers +2

The Vikings will be without Pro Bowl TE T.J. Hockenson (torn ACL, MCL), and there is a good chance that Jordan Addison won't play either. With all the uncertainty on offense, including quarterback, there is no reason to take the Vikings in this game. Expect the Packers to cover and win outright on Sunday night.


Unlock the 2023 Fantasy Draft Kit, with League Sync, Live Draft Assistant, PFF Grades & Data Platform that powers all 32 Pro Teams

$31 Draft Kit Fee + $8.99/mo
$89.88/yr + FREE Draft Kit