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Week 17 Quarterbacks
QB Notes: Josh Allen arrived in 2020. He reminded he’s here to stay in Week 16, willing the Bills to victory in their colossal road win over arch-nemesis New England. He finished as the QB3 overall against a defense that remains bottom two in QB fantasy points surrendered. His reward is a Week 17 date with a Falcons D that has zero answers for any of Allen’s various threats. … It was the shakiest of Week 16s for Matthew Stafford, who tossed three picks and averaged 5.3 yards per attempt. He will have an excellent opportunity to get on track vs. a Ravens “defense” Joe Burrow just detonated for the fourth highest yardage total in NFL history. Baltimore has allowed 143 more passing yards than any other team. … Aaron Rodgers’ Christmas goosing of the Browns was his fourth three-score performance in five starts. He’s all the way up to QB8 status on the season after a slow start. A frequent torturer of the Vikings for sport, he is going to tear apart Mike Zimmer’s struggling defense.
Patrick Mahomes managed three Week 16 scores even without Travis Kelce. The Bengals made the Ravens’ No. 3 quarterback look bad, but Lou Anarumo’s pass D is bottom five by most raw measures. A 51 over/under will help. … Justin Herbert should hopefully get Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams and Jalen Guyton back from the COVID-19 list against the Broncos. Denver is not particularly giving to enemy QBs, but Herbert’s raw volume and frequently-achieved upside makes him impossible to fade. … For the second year in a row, Kyler Murray is playing his worst football down the stretch. @DAL is the wrong place at the wrong time for this offense, but Murray’s dual threat and big-play hunting keeps him locked in as an “any given Sunday” QB1 vs. Micah Parsons’ defense. … Week 16 was not the smoothest post Chris Godwin/Mike Evans/Leonard Fournette transition for Tom Brady, though he did immediately re-heat his connection with Antonio Brown. The Jets are everything the Panthers are not as a matchup. Look for TB12 to get right.
With Miles Sanders (hand) on the shelf, Jalen Hurts’ touchdown odds shoot up a bit. He found the end zone on the ground two times vs. this embarrassing Football Team defense two weeks ago. Shell-shocked Washington is coming off the worst game by any team all season. … Lamar Jackson (ankle) will feel risky if he returns vs. Aaron Donald’s Rams, but Jackson’s upside is the kind of thing that wins championships. Just remember how prevalent the downside has been the past few months. If L-Jax sits, a returning Tyler Huntley will find himself on the QB1/2 borderline. … Dak Prescott finally woke up in the Cowboys’ Sunday night massacre of the Football Team. The Cardinals have been a poor matchup for rival QBs but finally seem to be feeling the weight of injury. Matthew Stafford and … Jared Goff have had good days of late. A 51.5 over/under can only help. … Following up a literally-historic performance vs. the Ravens, Joe Burrow will be put to the test against a Chiefs D that has surrendered more than one passing score one time over its past five games. This could be a rude awakening for point-chasing fantasy managers.
With Jimmy Garoppolo dealing with a mangled thumb, Trey Lance appears poised to make his first start since Week 5. Lance was not good that day. He was also the QB20 despite tossing an interception and accounting for zero touchdowns. That was because of his 16/89 on the ground, a statline that will very much be in play vs. a Texans defense that is hanging tough but not scaring anybody. Especially if Elijah Mitchell (knee) remains sidelined, Lance will have excellent touchdown odds. To top it all off, coach Kyle Shanahan has claimed December has been Lance’s best month of practice. He’s worth a QB1 dice roll for the fantasy finals. For what it’s worth, Jimmy G has yet to give up hope he can start. … There’s “down bad,” and then there is the New Orleans Saints. Taysom Hill has finished as the QB3, QB4 and QB26 since taking over as starter. His odds of finding the end zone on the ground keep him in the QB1 mix, though the sheer lack of talent around him makes it a difficult upside bet vs. a Panthers D not only handing out the fifth fewest QB fantasy points, but the 11th fewest QB rushing yards. The COVID outbreak on Carolina’s defense could change the calculus, however.
The Packers are a bad matchup for Kirk Cousins, albeit one where he will have to throw all afternoon. He did just fine vs. the Pack in Week 11, finishing as the QB6. That game was in domed Minnesota. … The risk has never quite gone away for Justin Fields, though his Week 17 upside odds are enhanced by the likelihood that the Giants’ atrocious offense will struggle to sustain drives. … Russell Wilson is playing poorly. There is no way around it. He hasn’t been the same since the first half of 2020. Headed into the trade market, Wilson would do well to shake up the Lions at home. … Playing his best football as a Lion, Jared Goff has a plus matchup in the Seahawks. Josh Reynolds’ (COVID-19) status does loom large on the outside, however. … Baker Mayfield actually put up some fantasy points in Week 16. The price was four picks. Cleveland will run it down Pittsburgh’s throat. … Dual-threat Sam Ehlinger would arguably be a better fantasy bet than Carson Wentz if Wentz remains COVID’d, but there is Ian Book potential here. That probably won’t happen because of Indy’s shrewd coaching and elite running.