Week 17 Sunday Early Slate Fantasy Preview 2

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    Colts @ Giants

    Colts (+5.5) @ Giants (-250): O/U 39

    Key storylines/What to Watch

    The Colts have quit on the season ever since they went up 33-0 against the Vikings. They have been outscored 59-6 in 6 quarters since then. They turned to Nick Foles last week, and he managed to finish with -0.28 fantasy points. Foles completed just over 50% of passes for 143 yards and three interceptions. This is a Giants team that needs to win in order to put themselves in a good playoff position, so this game shouldn’t be very close. 

     

    Top Starts

    Zach Moss: Moss hasn’t had a great start to his Colts career, but there is reason for optimism in this game. The Giants are last in the NFL in yards per carry allowed to running backs on the year. Zach Moss is averaging just under 4.5 yards per carry, and the Colts likely won’t let Nick Foles/Sam Elingher throw a lot. Moss could see 20-plus touches against one of the worst run defenses in football, making him a good start this week.

     

    Saquon Barkley: Similarly to the Giants, the Colts have struggled against opposing running backs as they allow the third most points to the position. Enter Barkley, who is having a career-year as he already has 1,254 rushing yards and ten rushing touchdowns. He also has 55 catches for 343 yards. Barkley is a must-start in this game with RB1 upside.

     

    Boom/Bust Dart-Throw

    Darius Slayton: Slayton has become more of a deep threat this year and this week is no different as he’s seen a career-high 10.4 yards per target. Daniel Jones has been willing to throw downfield more frequently, and Slayton has been the beneficiary of this. He has the highest upside among the Giants’ receiving core, but this seems like a game where both teams try to run the ball and control the clock, so Slayton may not see many targets. 

     

    Saints @ Eagles

    Saints (+6.5) @ Eagles (-290) O/U 42

    Key storylines/What to Watch

    The obvious main storyline in this game is whether or not Jalen Hurts will play in this game. At the time of writing this, he’s been practicing, but it’s trending toward Gardner Minshew playing. Regardless of who plays quarterback, the Eagles should be able to win this game by getting the ball to all their weapons and overwhelming Andy Dalton with defensive pressure. 

     

    Top Starts

    A.J. Brown: Brown has broken out this year as he’s seen as a top-5 receiver by a lot of NFL fans. Brown has caught 80 passes for 1,304 yards and ten touchdowns with the 11th most targets in football. With Gardner Minshew starting last week, Brown caught six of eight targets for 103 yards. Brown is a must-start WR1 this week, regardless of who is throwing to him. 

     

    Miles Sanders: This Eagles offense is one of, if not the best, offense in football. Sanders has also had the best year of his career, as he’s turned 236 carries into 1,175 yards and 11 touchdowns while catching 20 passes for 78 yards. In a game where the Saints may not be able to keep up with the Eagles offense, Sanders could be in line for around 25 carries.

     

     

    Boom/Bust Dart-Throw

    Juwan Johnson: The Saints’ tight end group has been very hard to predict, but Johnson has produced the bulk of their fantasy production. Johnson has caught 36 passes for 425 yards and seven touchdowns. He has seen three or more catches in eight of his 15 games, and in those seven games, he has 304 yards and six touchdowns. In seven games with less than three receptions, he has 121 yards and one touchdown. His production depends entirely on his targets, which have been nearly impossible to predict this year. 

     

    Panthers @ Buccaneers

    Panthers (+3) @ Buccaneers (-170): O/U 40.5

    Key storylines/What to Watch

    This is arguably one of the most important games of the week since the winner of this game will have sole possession of first place in the NFC South going into Week 18. The Buccaneers opened up as three-point favorites, but the Panthers have been the hotter team recently. The biggest matchup in this game is the Buccaneers’ stout run defense against the Panthers’ run game, which is the strength of their offense. 

     

    Top Starts

    Chris Godwin: Godwin has been the more reliable receiver for the Buccaneers in games that he’s played this year. He has been a PPR monster, as he’s caught 89 passes in 12 complete games this year. Brady relies on Godwin when he gets uncomfortable with pressure, and he may need to do this against the Panthers pass rush.

     

    DJ Moore: Moore has quietly had another solid season despite inconsistent quarterback play. His catches and yards are down, but he’s seen a career-high six touchdowns. The Panthers may not be able to run the ball efficiently against the Buccaneers run defense, meaning more Moore targets. When these teams met in Week 7, Moore caught seven of ten targets for 69 yards and a touchdown. He is a good start this week in a must-win game for the Panthers.

     

    Boom/Bust Dart-Throw

    D’Onta Foreman: Foreman has come out of nowhere and broken out after the trade of Christian McCaffery. A 1,000-yard season is very obtainable for him if he has two more good games. When Foreman played a good run defense two weeks ago, he had ten carries for nine yards. However, the last time he played the Bucs, he turned 15 carries into 118 yards. He’s had four games over 115 yards, so there is huge boom potential for him. 

    Browns @ Commanders

    Browns (+2) @ Commanders (-125): O/U 41

    Key storylines/What to Watch

    The Browns have been eliminated from playoff contention, and the Commanders need a win to stay ahead of the Packers in the NFC Wild Card race. Both of these teams have seen good defensive play, while their offense has struggled at times. This game will ultimately come down to whose quarterback can play better.

     

    Top Starts

    Nick Chubb: Chubb has had another fantastic season, as he has a great chance to lead the NFL in rushing. Chubb is averaging just under five yards per carry, and he’s tied a career-high with 12 touchdowns. Washington’s run defense is great, but Chubb is arguably the best running back in football. He’ll likely see 20-plus touches with a great shot at finding the end zone. He’s a must-start low-end RB1 this week. 

     

    Terry McLaurin: McLaurin is having another good season, as he’s caught 72 passes for 1,092 yards and four touchdowns. The Commanders have featured him more, as they know he’s their best offensive weapon. Carson Wentz will be starting on Sunday, and last week McLaurin caught four passes for 77 yards and a touchdown with him. In a must-win game, the Commanders will make sure to get the ball in the hands of their best playmaker.

     

    Boom/Bust Dart-Throw

    DeShaun Watson: Watson has struggled since returning from his suspension. In four games since his return, he’s completed 57.7% of passes for just 703 yards and a 2:3 TD:INT ratio. He’s added some rushing production, with 100 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The Browns may not be able to run as much as they’d like, meaning Watson will have to throw more than he has. The Browns have nothing to play for at this point, so they may look to turn Watson loose and give him full reign of the offense.

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