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5 UP/5 DOWN: Week 17

5 Up

Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants – Barkley gashed the Washington run defense for 8.6 yards per carry, with his best effort resulting in a 67-yard touchdown in the first quarter. He was also a huge factor in the passing game, adding a 33-yard touchdown catch en route to his best receiving output of the season. Barkley now has 422 yards from scrimmage to go along with four touchdowns over the last two weeks, and he’ll look to finish the season strong Sunday at home against Philadelphia.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Miami – Fitzpatrick continued his late-season tear with a spectacular showing against one of the most vulnerable defenses in the league, hitting DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki (twice) and Christian Wilkins on a tackle-eligible play for his touchdowns. Fitzpatrick then led a game-winning march in overtime, one in which he had a pair of key completions to Isaiah Ford to get Miami into field-goal range. Fitzpatrick has now eclipsed the 300-yard mark in three of his last six games, and his 19 touchdown throws are his highest since 2015. He’ll look to put a strong finish on a resurgent season in a Week 17 battle against New England.

Kenyan Drake, RB, Arizona – The mid-season trade that brought Drake over from Miami in exchange for a conditional Day 3 pick in the 2020 draft is looking like a steal for Arizona. The fourth-year running back has erupted for 303 rushing yards and six touchdowns over the last two games, grabbing a firm hold of the starting job over David Johnson in the process. Drake will look to finish the season on a high note, and increase his asking price in free agency, in Week 17’s road clash with the Los Angeles Rams.

Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City – Mahomes turned in a strong fantasy line in large part to his three combined touchdowns as opposed to the usual large volume of passing yards. This was a result of a clear short-pass gameplan to neutralize Chicago’s ferocious pass-rush defense. Mahomes did most of his damage on short and intermediate passes, only attempting one pass of more than 20 air yards over the entire contest (and it was not completed). It was the first time the star quarterback did not complete a pass over 20 yards in his young, spectacular career. Mahomes should be suiting up for Sunday’s matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers with the ability to earn a first-round bye still up for grabs.

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina – With rookie Will Grier making his first career start, McCaffrey was relied on in the dink-and-dunk passing game for a career-high 15 catches. He’s been arguably the most reliable fantasy player in the league with at least 100 total yards in all but two games this season, both against division rival Tampa Bay. The season ends against a New Orleans defense against whom McCaffrey picked up 133 total yards and two total touchdowns in Week 12. Despite a rookie under center, McCaffrey is a safe bet to be similarly productive in the finale given his ability to be multidimensional.

About David Verbanac

Hi guys, I've been a member of Fantasy Sharks since September of '08. If you've been a member here for the past few years, you have no doubt seen a few of my posts. Like most, I can usually be found trolling about in the Main Tank, commenting on all the hot topics involving fantasy football and the NFL. I am honored to be one of the "newbs" among the writing staff, and I hope that you find my columns to be both entertaining and informative. I have been a member of a private, 12 team PPR re-draft league for over 20 years. It is a league made up mostly of guys that I used to work with. I'm proud to say that I made the playoffs last year, finishing in the money in 3rd place. I, of course, am aiming for a shot at the title this season!!