It’s week seventeen! We did it! If you are reading this, then you are in your fantasy football finals! Or you’re playing for third… or… seventh. But hey, at least you’re not in last place. If you have some last-minute holes in your roster left by Jalen Hurts, or Lamar Jackson, or DeAndre Hopkins, or Christian Watson, or… another one of the long list of guys who will be hampered or benched, or experiencing a bad matchup this week. Just like every other week, we have you covered with players rostered in fewer than 50% of leagues. For those of you who like to go, “wow I sure want to play in your leagues if these guys are available,” we have a guy available in at least 90% of leagues. Let’s get started for the last time!
Brock Purdy at Las Vegas (42% rostered)
Brock Purdy has been under center for the 49ers for four-straight games, including when he came in relief of Jimmy Garoppolo. He has multiple touchdowns in four of those games and is QB11 in that span. While Purdy has just one game over 20 fantasy points this season, he hasn’t dipped below 15.96 fantasy points in his starts. This week, he gets the Raiders, who redefine defensive sieve in the passing game. They give up the sixth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, and that comes after Kenny Pickett and Mac Jones vomited all over themselves the last two games. The Raiders have also packed it in for the season, so it’s likely that we get another good Brock Purdy game.
Gardner Minshew versus New Orleans (34% rostered)
Minshew is the easy 1:1 replacement for those of you out there waiting with bated breath that Jalen Hurts might pull a start from the jaws of defeat via injury. It’s me, I’m those of you out there doing that. Minshew hit 22.7 fantasy points last week against the Cowboys in his only start this year, and passed the “backup quarterback in a bad matchup” test with that start, as Dallas allows the ninth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this year, with only Minshew and Trevor Lawrence topping 20 fantasy points against them this season. Minshew has a strong defense on the docket (the Saints allow the fifteenth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks) so he isn’t the best start this week, but he has enough weapons to overcome.
Mike White at Seattle (21% rostered)
The Seahawks allow the eleventh-most fantasy points to quarterbacks on the season and have given up at least 16 fantasy points to three of the last five quarterbacks they faced, and the last five quarterbacks they faced aren’t exactly a who’s who of top-flight quarterback play: Derek Carr (benched), John Wolford (injured/benched), Sam Darnold (triumphant return from being benched), Brock Purdy (Mr. Irrelevant) and… okay, well this one doesn’t land very well: Patrick Mahomes (didn’t even start year one, nailed it, got him). The Seahawks can be beaten, and Mike White can take them down. White is averaging 43 pass attempts per game in his three starts this year, which is a pace to break Matthew Stafford’s single-season pass attempt record (727 attempts). So, at least you’ll get a ton of volume with Mike White.
Teddy Bridgewater at New England (4% rostered)
Bridgewater has himself quite the matchup this week, and this is a pure desperation play. The Patriots are a good defense, and 2Glovez’s only saving grace is that he’s throwing the ball to Jaylen Waddle & Tyreek Hill this week. We last saw Bridgewater get significant snaps back in week six against the Vikings, and he finished 329 passing yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. While the Patriots, who allow the fourteenth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, are not the Vikings, they’ve given up 19 or more fantasy points to quarterbacks in back-to-back games.
Jahan Dotson versus Cleveland (40% rostered)
The Browns are not a great matchup on paper, but do you know who else isn’t a good matchup? The 49eres. And Dotson was unstoppable against them last week, just like he was unstoppable in weeks thirteen and fifteen (the Commanders were on a bye in week fourteen). Because of his 18.83 PPR points in the last four weeks, Dotson ranks as the WR11 while taking on the Giants twice and the 49ers once. He can handle the Cleveland matchup, even if it’s not a particularly great one. Despite the Browns ranking as a bottom-six matchup for receivers, I believe that Dotsonn can toss them aside to have a solid PPR day.
Romeo Doubs versus Minnesota (18% rostered)
With Christian Watson hobbled at best, and more likely to be on the shelf for this one, Doubs steps into the best matchup for fantasy wide receivers this season. The Vikings allow the most fantasy points per game to the position and have done this by allowing the most receiving yards to WRs and the second-most receptions to the position, so this isn’t a touchdown-or-bust proposition. Doubs has 11 targets in his two games since returning from injury, and is a good bet to get 6+ in this one… sixteen straight wide receivers with at least six targets against the Vikings have hit double-digit fantasy points.
Greg Dortch at Atlanta (6% rostered)
Remember Greg Dortch, he’s back, in David Blough form! The Cardinals are circling the drain, and their best player (DeAndre Hopkins) injured his knee on Friday and is trending toward not playing. Dortch returned from the wilderness last week, posting 11 targets, 10 catches, and 98 yards. Kliff Kingsbury, even before the injury to Hopkins, said he wanted to get Dortch more involved this week. Dortch has played over 75% of snaps in four games this year. In those four games, he’s averaging 10 targets, 8.75 receptions, and 86 yards per game. The Falcons have given up sixteen-straight double-digit PPR games to wide receivers who get at least six targets against them. Perhaps, one last time, you can scorch the Dortch.
Zack Moss at N.Y. Giants (46% rostered)
Look. I get it. I don’t like Zack Moss either. He’s not good at football! But, unfortunately, nobody told Jeff Saturday that, and Moss has 36 carries in the last two games, combined. Last week he only needed 12 carries to get to 65 yards because the Chargers are terrible against running backs. This week, Moss gets the Giants, who are the most neutral matchup in the NFL against opposing running backs. He’ll get over 15 touches, and he will more than likely do more with them than Ezekiel Elliott did this week, though that’s not saying a lot. This is a pure volume play, but it’s near-guaranteed volume.
Kyren Williams at L.A. Chargers (22% rostered)
Remember how I said that Zack Moss isn’t very good, but still came out as highly efficient against the Chargers? Well, Kyren Williams also isn’t very good and gets the Chargers this week. I know, I’m a great salesman. The Rams are likely to lean heavily on Cam Akers, but I expect a certain amount of Kyren Williams in this game. Look, it’s a great matchup, but Kyren isn’t very good. That’s the long and the short of it.
Jordan Mason at Las Vegas (9% rostered)
The 49ers bought a one-way ticket to beating the brakes off of the Raiders… ville (nailed it) this weekend, and the Raiders are cashing in that ticket. They send Derek Carr to Jarbridge, and are saying that they’re going to get the kids some additional rushing attempts this week. The Niners are likely to use Mason to run out the clock, just like they did in the 35-7 drubbing of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He had 11 carries for 56 yards against a good rush defense. The Raiders are not that, as they are a top-eight matchup against running backs this season.
Tyler Conklin at Seattle (28% rostered)
The Seahawks are the second-best matchup for tight ends this season, and Mike White knows how to throw a football (which is more than we can say about Zach Wilson). In the six games without Zach Wilson this season, Conklin averages 7 targets, 5 catches, and 38 yards per game (while scoring three touchdowns in six games). With Wilson, he’s down to 4 targets, 2.5 catches, and 26 yards per game. I believe in Conklin this week with the Seahawks matchup, as they allow the fifth-most touchdowns per game to tight ends this season, and the highest yards per reception to tight ends this season. It’s a great streaming option for your fantasy finals.
Cade Otton versus Carolina (9% rostered)
I am going to keep banging the C.Otton Drum, as he has been getting a good number of targets lately and has an okay matchup. He’s averaging 5.75 targets per game over his last four games, which would come out to 98 targets over the course of the season. That would have been seventh among tight ends last season, so that’s incredible volume. The Panthers allow the twelfth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season, including double-digit fantasy days to 75% of the tight ends who had more than five targets against them this season.
Trey McBride at Atlanta (4% rostered)
McBride is averaging 5 targets per game since the Cardinals’ week 13 bye. The rookie and top-tight end in the 2022 class has played three stout defenses (New England, Denver, and Tampa Bay) in those games, which is why he is averaging just 3.3 catches for 33.3 yards per game in those contests. But, this week, he gets the truly dreadful Atlanta Falcons’ defense, and he will play against them without DeAndre Hopkins in tow. This is the week he scores his first career touchdown.