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Fantasy Football: Which Patriots should you start/sit vs. Jets?

Pete Davidson
December 29, 2017 - 1:17 pm

Week 17 is upon us, and, as you would expect, we have some teams folding up their regular seasons tents a bit early. The teams to be careful with are the Rams, Steelers and Chiefs, but I am also leery about the Eagles and to some extent the Jaguars—even though the Jags are saying they will play like it’s just another game. I’m not trusting a guy like Fournette at all. Not when there are other ways to go with just as much upside and far less risk.

This article is less about seasonal leagues as most good leagues wrapped up their business last week. Having said that, I would never abandon my people during their week of need. Towards that end, look for my full lineup rankings on Rotobahn. They will all be up on Saturday. Moreover, if you are in need of a second opinion, feel free to hit me up on Twitter. With so few leagues still playing, I am confident that I will be able to answer every single lineup question without exception.

For the freshest insights on all the Week 17 action, tune in to the Fantasy Football Hour, this Sunday morning right here on 93.7. Jim Hackett and I will take your lineup questions (via text) and get you ready for Sunday. To keep pace with all of our fantasy football content, follow me on Twitter @Rotobahn. You should also follow Jim @RotobahnHacksaw.


Tom Brady, Patriots vs. Jets, $6,800

Bill Belichick’s not one to rest players and the Patriots can lock up home field with a win. I suspect we’ll see Brady taking apart the Jets for most of the game’s 60 minutes, unless they pound the Jets so badly that they can run the clock in the second half, and that’s certainly possible. The Jets have no answer for Gronk, so I like the Brady/Gronk stack if you want to play TB12. I want some Brady shares this week, but I also want some differentiation.

Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers at Rams, $6,700

He’s looked great and the Rams are not playing their stars. When you consider that Garoppolo was highly functional against a tough Jaguars defense in Week 16, it’s hard to not like him here. The price is actually reasonable given the circumstances. I’m going to have some Jimmy shares this week for sure.

Russell Wilson, Seahawks vs. Cardinals, $6,600

Seattle can still get in the playoffs, so they are a solid bet to play hard for at least the early part of the game. They need a Falcons loss so if the Panthers blow Atlanta out early, Seattle could take their foot off the gas. I doubt that happens. Patrick Peterson stays out of the slot for the most part, so if I opt to stack Wilson, I think I’d go with Doug Baldwin this week. That said, playing naked Wilson is a move that has merit. I could see him breaking out the wheels this week and running often.


Dion Lewis, Patriots vs. Jets, $6,800

I see this game being a blowout and that could lead to a lot of Mike Gillislee in the second half. I’m not loading up on Dion as I did last week when he had the Bills’ helpless run defense to abuse. He’s worth a few shares, but game flow could work against him here, because the Jets are just plain bad right now.

Alvin Kamara, Saints at Bucs, $7,900

If you combine him with my Week 17 value play at the position, Kamara is not tough to fit in your DraftKings lineup. The Saints can ensure a home game in round one by winning this week. That’s a big deal for them as they are very tough in the dome. It’s also possible that they could steal a home game later on, because both of the projected top seeds in the NFC can be taken down in the Divisional Round. The Saints have every reason to put up a win. Tampa has given up plenty of fantasy points to running backs. My Kamara recommendation streak remains intact.

Christian McCaffrey, Panthers at Falcons, $6,700

He’ll be low owned off of last week’s letdown game, and I really like the matchup here. Only five teams have given up more receiving yardage to running backs this year than the Falcons and nobody has given up more receptions, and it’s not close. The Falcons have given up 104 and the next team on the list is the Titans at 94. That’s a big gap, and it’s a big deal when you consider that DraftKings uses full PPR scoring. McCaffrey should shine here, in a game the Panthers would definitely like to have.

Malcolm Brown, Rams vs. 49ers, $3,900

Brown is the value play I spoke of earlier. He’s important to know about this week because his affordability can help you avoid some tougher choices by opening up some budget space. While it certainly sucks that folks will be without Todd Gurley this week, and while Brown is no Gurley, he is a quality back who can do some damage if he’s getting starter’s touches. Let other people roster guys like Jordan Howard (who has a brutal matchup at Minnesota) while you save money with Brown and score more points to boot.


Brandin Cooks, Patriots vs. Jets, $6,300

It’s going to be frigid at Foxboro this Sunday, but Cooks played his college games outdoors in Oregon, so he’s no stranger to frigidity. He’ll be able to function. I’m not against using Cooks as an alternative stack option to Gronk. He’s priced well and the Jets can be had downfield. He’s going to see a lot of Morris Claiborne in coverage and I like his chances there. Just don’t go too crazy because the game flow in this one could be bad for Patriots passing. The Jets’ QB situation is that bad without Josh McCown.

Julio Jones, Falcons vs. Panthers, $8,200

The matchup is very good and with so many of the other high-cost options either out or on untrustworthy footing, I am using a lot of Julio this week. In GPPs, you want players who can blow the lid off the joint, and Julio is obviously a guy who can do that. Just go back and look at what he did Week 12. I’ll have about 50 percent exposure to Jones this week. He should be covered by James Bradberry most of the day, and he can really win that matchup.

Josh Doctson, Washington at Giants, $4,400

If you read my waiver wire on Tuesday, you know I am bullish on him. He saw loads of targets last week and he’s scored in 3 out of the last 5 games. This feels like a great spot for Doctson—a player who they really want to develop. Six of Doctson’s 31 receptions have gone for touchdowns and he’s likely to see the ball a ton this week. There’s more good news here. The Giants secondary—once considered a strength, is a bit of a mess. Janoris Jenkins is done for 2017. Eli Apple is a pariah and has been replaced by the very beatable Brandon Dixon, and Doctson should see plenty of Dixon in coverage. This is a very nice cost-saving play and you don’t sacrifice much ceiling. I’m definitely getting some Josh Doctson in my lineups this week.

Roger Lewis, Giants vs. Washington, $3,600

The Giants are running on empty when it comes to places to throw the football. With Evan Engram (ribs), Tavarres King (concussion) and Sterling Shepard (neck) all out, Lewis should end up with a monster target load. This is a team that’s already lost Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall. Rostering Lewis is a nice way to save money without sacrificing opportunity this week. I will definitely have some exposure in my DraftKings lineups.


Rob Gronkowski, Patriots vs. Jets, $7,000

Gronk has dropped double touchdowns on the Jets three times in his career and he’s got a shot to make it four times on Sunday. The Jets really have no answer for him. Another big deal on DraftKings is crossing the 100-yard mark (3-point bonus), and Gronk has done that three times versus New York. I definitely want plenty of Gronk this week and not only when I am stacking him with Brady. You can make a decent argument against him in cash lineups, but in tournaments, he’s the clear best play to me. I can save money at other positions.

Antonio Gates, Chargers vs. Raiders, $4,200

His cost has come up from last week’s bargain basement rate, but the matchup is killer and Gates could be playing in his final NFL game. Gates has been in the end zone the last two games and he looked damn good last week against the Jets. I’m very much on Gronk this week, but if I do decide to try and save at tight end, Gates is a very tempting play—both for the trends and for the “last game” narrative.

George Kittle, 49ers at Rams, $2,800

The Rams are stingy with the tight ends, but there are a few positives here. First, they have given up eight scores to the position, and second, they will be resting some key players and that could change the dynamic enough to make Kittle a real bargain at this price. He’s not a big name outside of dynasty circles, so he could be low owned, if that is something you care about. He’s also got a piping hot quarterback to work with. Kittle was slowed by an ankle injury in November, but last week’s increased snap total tells me that the 49ers think he’s healthy again. 

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