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Matchups to target for Week 17 in fantasy football

NFL Fantasy



We’ve arrived. After months of research, adds, drops, trades and stress, fantasy football championship week is here. And because you spent so much time preparing, starting your Week 17 research before Week 16 even ends isn’t crazy at all.

Here are some favorable matchups to keep an eye on ahead of championship weekend.



Isaiah McKenzie vs. Atlanta Falcons

We’re entering championship weekend in season-long leagues, and Isaiah McKenzie very well could be a top-35 wide receiver. With Buffalo missing both Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis Sunday, McKenzie stepped into a huge role, as he led the Bills in pass routes, running a route on 43 of Josh Allen’s 49 dropbacks. He was targeted a whopping 12 times, hauling in 11 balls for 125 yards and a touchdown. With Beasley sidelined, McKenzie operated as Buffalo’s slot receiver, as he lined up in the slot 80% of the time against the Patriots. He torched New England, as eight of his 11 receptions came from the slot to go along with 92 yards and a touchdown. As an unvaccinated player, Davis is definitely out for Week 17, and Beasley will have a really close call to have a shot. If both are out, McKenzie would retain an every-down role at home against a Falcons defense that just allowed Amon-Ra St. Brown to catch six balls for 62 yards and a touchdown out of the slot Sunday afternoon. Atlanta is also allowing the fifth-highest passing touchdown rate in the NFL (5.3%), while their 2.45 points per drive allowed ranks fourth worst in the league. If Beasley and Davis remain sidelined, McKenzie is a borderline top-30 fantasy wideout.

David Montgomery vs. New York Giants

David Montgomery didn’t find much running room against Seattle Sunday, rushing 21 times for 45 yards. However, he found the end zone and once again saw plenty of volume, especially in the passing game. Montgomery hauled in seven balls for 61 yards, giving him at least five receptions in each of his last four contests. During that four-week span, Montgomery is averaging a healthy 24 touches per game, while ranking first among all running backs in receptions (26) and third in pass routes (103). Look for Montgomery to continue producing this week against a Giants defense that is allowing the seventh-most rushing yards per game (125.3), while also ranking bottom-10 in fantasy points per game allowed to opposing backfields.

Van Jefferson vs. Baltimore Ravens

Van Jefferson didn’t do much Sunday, but there is plenty of upside in Week 17 against the Ravens. I was very high on the Cincinnati passing game Sunday, but I didn’t expect Joe Burrow to throw for over 500 yards and four touchdowns. Baltimore’s secondary is completely depleted and has no chance against any competent passing game. They allow a ton of long passing plays, which was very evident against the Bengals on Sunday when they coughed up seven different plays of 20 yards or more. On the season, Baltimore is coughing up the fourth-highest average depth of target in football (8.7 yards), while no team in football is allowing a higher yards per completion mark than the Ravens (12.3). This all bodes well for Jefferson, who is averaging 11.6 yards before the catch per reception on the year, the sixth-highest mark in the league.



Ronald Jones vs. New York Jets

With Leonard Fournette sidelined, Ronald Jones got the start at running back for the Bucs Sunday, carrying the football 20 times for 65 yards and a touchdown. He only logged 52% of the offensive snaps, as Ke’Shawn Vaughn operated as the third-down back. Still, there aren’t many gamescripts where Tampa Bay is going to be trailing, and that holds especially true this Sunday with a meeting against a Jets team that is allowing a league-worst 1.8 rushing touchdowns per game this season. Opposing offenses are also running the ball a league-leading 47.3% of the time this season, so expect Tampa Bay to get out to a lead and for Jones to see 20-plus carries once again.

Russell Wilson vs. Detroit Lions

Russell Wilson has been very underwhelming lately but has at least scored multiple touchdowns in four of his last five games. Seattle continues to run the ball and running it well with Rashaad Penny lately. However, I do like this spot for him against a Lions defense that allows plenty of deep passing plays, which bodes well for Wilson and the play-action shots down the field. Detroit is allowing the highest aDOT in the NFL this season (9.0 yards), as well as the third-most air yards (2101). They also rank fourth worst in pressure rate (19.5%), which is good for Wilson, who has been under duress on 38% of his dropbacks since Week 10, the 10th-highest rate in the league.

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