Well, we’ve made it. It’s the fantasy football finals, which means that the NFL, again, successfully defeated COVID-19 and let us get a whole season in without a single cancelation. Sure, it took them making up rules on the fly to get there, but here we are. The fantasy football finals. And, maybe your quarterback got struck down by COVID-19, maybe your signal caller is starting to look a bit wobbly, or maybe, somehow, you made the finals with Jimmy Garoppolo. If that’s the case, then we are here to help with our last edition of the sleeper quarterbacks for week seventeen of the fantasy football season. Thank you for following along with us this season, and we will once again see you next year for weekly sleepers!
To make the list, a player must be rostered in 50% or fewer leagues, with one deep leaguer available in at least 90% of leagues.
Ian B—ahaha I can’t.
Tua Tagovailoa versus Tennessee (41% rostered)
Tua didn’t do much in a defensive slugfest last week. Probably because he didn’t need to do much, at all. He still finished the game with some decent figures; 73% completion rate and over ten yards per completion. Well, forget what he’s done. This should be a big Tua game for one reason: the Tennessee defense dictates it. The Titans have one of the best run defenses in the league (one of two teams to not crack 1,300 rushing yards allowed so far) and one of the worst pass defenses in the league (seventh in passing yardage allowed). That spells Tua Time. The Titans allowed 322 passing yards and 18.4 fantasy points to Jimmy Garoppolo, who would have been better off throwing left-handed due to injury… imagine what a QB who is supposed to throw left-handed can do.
Trey Lance versus Houston (18% rostered)
With the aforementioned Garoppolo likely finishing the year on the IR for the third time in his four years as the 49ers’ starter, it’s time for the future and Trey Lance. [Side Note: My wife got me Madden 22 for Christmas, and you can sign 81 overall Colin Kaepernick to bridge to Trey Lance, and trade Garoppolo to the Saints for their 2022 first, clearing a bunch of cap space. Just an FYI].
Anyway, at this point, we have three halves of football to look at for Lance, and what we get is a lot of running. Lance totaled 130 rush yards in the second half against Seattle, and in the whole game against the Cardinals. He also mustered about 150 pass yards against Seattle. So let’s start there: 150 pass yards, 75 rush yards. That’s a 13.5 point floor. Kick in a couple of touchdowns and a pick, and you’re looking at about 20 fantasy points. Not a bad day at the office for Lance.
Houston allowed the tenth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks, mostly because they don’t have to do much, or they played guys who were mid-meltdown (Jacoby Brissett and Ryan Tannehill, for example). Justin Herbert and the shambling corpse of Russell Wilson both topped 20 points against them in the last three weeks.
Davis Mills at San Francisco (4% rostered)
The 49ers are a paper tiger against opposing quarterbacks. If you watched Thursday Night Football, you’ll quickly find out that the day might be painful for Davis Mills (the Niners are tied for the seventh-most sacks in the league), but he can also make things work, provided he has Brandin Cooks. The Niners took out the Falcons two weeks ago partially because of goal-line stands. Those can break either way, especially with bona fide superstar (as of week sixteen) Rex Burkhead in the backfield with him. I expect a couple-hundred passing yards and a couple of touchdowns out of Mills. Nothing too flashy, but nothing that will hurt you. That’s an easy thing to expect; he’s done it in three out of his last four starts, and his fourth start he still went for 331 passing yards and a touchdown.