Final weekly installment. Thanks to all who continue to patronize the weekly story. Fantasy during Week 17 is a crapshoot as many NFL teams tend to go off the rails depending if they have clinched the playoffs and rest players, or if they are out of it and just throw caution to the wind and dip down the depth chart to see what they’ve got. The final week is also difficult in that we like to only talk about players that are available in half the online leagues.
A couple of players who look to get a heavy dose of playing time, but are owned in well over half the leagues, are running backs Derrick Henry (Tennessee) and Bilal Powell (New York Jets). They get a mention here in the slim chance they are available, also in case their owner is a faithful reader so they know the guy is going to be workhorse material
Good luck to those who are still involved this week. We will be back with the yearly recap, “All Waiver” team. On to this week’s wonders, listed in positional order!
QB Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco
All he does is win. He has taken the winning attitude from New England, and has brought San Francisco out of the doldrums to a point where there is hope and excitement. Along the way, he is putting up some pretty good numbers, and did so this week against a stingy Jacksonville defense. He threw for 242 yards, a couple of touchdown throws against a single interception, padded with a rushing score. San Francisco is in it to win, look for Garoppolo to have another nice game in the finale at the Los Angeles Rams.
RB Branden Oliver, Los Angeles Chargers
Melvin Gordon left this past week’s game with an injury, and the Chargers are already short at running back with Austin Ekeler playing with a broken hand. Los Angeles will need someone to carry the ball in the finale against Oakland. All signs are pointing to Oliver bring that man.
RB Mike Gillislee, New England
For the final week of the season, it is not looking like New England will need to press their starters, leaving the door open for players like Gillislee to carry a big load against the Jets. James White sat out last week, and New England is not likely to push things with Dion Lewis as it gears up for the playoffs.
WR Keelan Cole, Jacksonville
We talked about Cole last week, and he did not disappoint this week in San Francisco. With another six catches for 108 yards, Cole now has a shade under 400 yards in his last three games combined. Jacksonville will be passing once again in a final week tilt in Tennessee, so look for Cole to once again be close to the century mark for the fourth week in a row.
WR Jakeem Grant, Miami
Miami got its 4th wideout involved this week against Kansas City, with Grant lighting the lamp to the tune of four catches for 107 yards and a score. Miami has nothing to lose in the final game of the season against Buffalo, leaving the door open that Grant will be involved once again in the final week’s playbook.
TE Antonio Gates, Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers are making it a point to work the old man into the game plan, and this past week against the New York Jets he turned back the clock. He went for six catches and 81 yards, including a touchdown grab. Look for him to continue to be a focal point of the offense in the closing game against Oakland.