Week 17 Fantasy Football Sneaky Starts & Sleepers

Dec 28, 2022
Week 17 Sneaky Starts & Sleepers

Derrick Henry (hip) and Tony Pollard (thigh) look iffy for Thursday night. Jalen Hurts (shoulder) may miss another week. Tua Tagovailoa is in the concussion protocol again. Christian Watson has a hip injury and may miss Week 17. Hunter Henry tweaked his knee. Antonio Gibson “has a sprain,” per HC Ron Rivera, whatever that means.

All but the luckiest fantasy owners at some point need to find the proverbial diamond in the rough—a waiver wire or bench player capable of putting up some points in a pinch. This weekly feature is dedicated to that part of fantasy football. It's not pretty, but it's part of the game.

Below is a list of players who are ranked higher than usual due to injuries, depth chart changes, or favorable matchups. As the bye weeks hit, it’s important to be able to find players who can produce.

I’ll put the matchup and our signature strength-of-schedule metric, adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA), in parenthesis. The higher the number, the better the matchup.


Jared Goff, Lions (vs. CHI, 28)

After a surprising 355/3, 25.7-point performance on the road against the Panthers, Goff and the Lions are back home in the friendly confines of Ford Field, where they’ll face the Bears’ 28th-ranked aFPA pass defense. Goff has one sub-15.0 game at home this year (against Green Bay in Week 9) and has scored 26.1, 21.6, and 17.6 in his last three home games. In the last four games, the Bears have yielded an average of 24.1 points to the position.

Daniel Jones, Giants (vs. IND, 16)

On the season, he’s the fantasy QB9, yet it seems like every week I’m making a pitch for Jones in this space. He’s coming off a 20.8-point performance against the Vikings in Week 16 and has another pretty good matchup this week. The Colts shut down Justin Herbert on Monday Night Football but recently gave up 32.4 points to Kirk Cousins and 16.8 points to Dak Prescott.

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