For the majority of the fantasy football world, their season is over, with week 16 as the final moment of 2017. However, for some of you, your leagues go all the way until the end, making it even more difficult in those championship games with players resting and motivation levels at bargain-basement levels for some teams.
Even though my fantasy football leagues are completed (one titles in my two leagues), I figured I'd take a look at week 17 and give my take.
Here's the week 17 quarterbacks start 'em, sit 'em guide for week 17 in fantasy football.
Matthew Stafford vs. Green Bay Packers
Stafford's been rocky in recent weeks, so keep an eye on the injury report. As long as he's not injured, he'll suit up, and he's worth a start in the season finale.
He's crashed back to earth in December, after being one of the best value picks in the fantasy football draft earlier this season. This month, he has five touchdowns and four interceptions. Volume isn't the issue for him. He's having a difficult time staying clean in the pocket.
That won't be a problem against Green Bay. The Packers rank 18th in sacks per game in the NFL, and the defense allows 18 fantasy points per game against quarterbacks, the seventh-worst mark in the NFL.
Stafford still has the volume to be a quality fantasy quarterback, so don't pass him up at home in a meaningless game. He'll be loose and able to put up QB1 totals.
Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Los Angeles Rams
I've been all over the Garoppolo train, until last week when I sat him. I'm not too upset, because it made sense against a Jacksonville defense that is the best pass defense in the NFL, and I acted upon one of the gutsiest moves of my fantasy career and started Mitchell Trubisky in my fantasy football championship game. And Trubisky finished fifth among quarterbacks in scoring in week 16, one spot away from Garoppolo, who torched the Jaguars.
The most interesting thing about Garoppolo is where he'll be ranked in 2018 for fantasy quarterbacks. He's efficient and able to slice through defenses with mediocre (at best) talent at the wide receiver position. However, next year, Pierre Garcon will return and I'd have to think the 49ers will surround him with more weapons.
That will make his fantasy stock rise in the offseason. For now, though, even against a solid Rams defense, I'd start Garoppolo. He may not go as crazy as last week, but he's going to put up major yards. He has at least 290 yards passing in three of four games this season, and he put up 242 yards passing against Jacksonville's stingy defense.
At this juncture of the season, start Garoppolo regardless.
Jared Goff vs. San Francisco 49ers
I'm not basing this completely on the first meeting between these two teams, but if that one was any evidence of how this game will turn out, be ready for some points.
The first game was a shootout, and since that time, Goff has turned into a solid fantasy asset. He finished first among quarterbacks in scoring in week 16, throwing for 301 yards and four touchdowns. He shouldn't have much trouble either with San Francisco's defense, since it has allowed 280 yards passing per game in the last three games, and allows the third-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.
On another note, this is a major reason why you shouldn't waste an early fantasy pick on a quarterback. Goff wasn't drafted in many leagues and Garoppolo didn't start until the last quarter of the season. Both were available for several weeks on the waiver wire, and should be considered top-level fantasy quarterbacks in week 17.
Build your roster with running backs and a solid wide receiver before committing to a quarterback.
Blake Bortles vs. Tennessee Titans
I know we just witnessed Goff torch the Titans. But that was an anomaly for how this season has progressed.
Tennessee is a top-half defense in fantasy points against quarterbacks. And I don't trust Bortles.
He's been really good recently, but three of those four opponents have been Houston, San Francisco and Indianapolis, all bottom-10 pass defenses. Tennessee is more of a grind-it-out rushing team that will look to eat up clock. That will limit Bortles' ability to have volume, which should send him back into the doldrums of run, run, pass.
The nice streak ends in week 17, with Tennessee keeping this game focused more on the run, than the pass.
Mitchell Trubisky vs. Minnesota Vikings
I loved Trubisky so much last week that I started him in my 14-team league. He produced, but I'm not anticipating anything like that this week. The dirty little secret about his week 16 performance is that most of those big gains in the passing game came via short passes to running backs.
He played in the snow, so it's difficult to judge him too much, but he's still not fitting the ball into tight windows. That may come with some maturation, but he's not on the radar as a surprise pick in the 2018 draft. And he's not on the week 17 radar against Minnesota.
The Vikings have been so dominant in recent weeks that they're allowing 123 yards passing per game in the last three games. That's ridiculous.
Minnesota needs this game to stay in the discussion for home-field advantage, so they'll be all over Chicago's below-average receiving corps, making Trubisky irrelevant in week 17.
Jameis Winston vs. New Orleans Saints
Remember when I was all over Winston this season? I figured his stock would be rising, but this season has proven that he has a long way to go. Am I giving up on him entirely for 2018? Maybe not, but for now, I'm dismissing his big yardage total from week 16 and sitting him for week 17.
He is a turnover nightmare. That's not something you can depend on when fighting for your fantasy football life. He has seven fumbles on the season and eight interceptions in 10 full games. The Saints aren't the best team to face with a turnover problem.
New Orleans is a top-half defense in fantasy points against quarterbacks and has the fourth-most interceptions this season. This week, Winston should be kept on the bench. For next year, there is still some value, based on volume and yardage. He'll be a late draft pick, but if he can contain his turnovers, he has the ability to be a major sleeper among quarterbacks.
Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. Check out more at Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH