As we enter the final week of the regular season, the majority of season-long fantasy leagues are decided and done. However, a small number of leagues still use Week 17 (ouch!) and there’s always DFS play to consider, so we’ll break from our usual Start-Sit advice and address players that could see big opportunities this week. As usual, many of the players below will get their opportunity at the expense of other injured players whom we will mention as well.
Nick Foles (QB, Eagles)
Carson Wentz has not yet been shut down, but he won’t play in Week 17, so Foles gets another chance to be the hero and help the Eagles advance to the post-season. The Eagles need to beat the Redskins to advance to the playoffs, something they should be able to do considering Washington’s offensive woes. Foles was a Week 16 stud, finishing as a Top 3 QB in fantasy. He should go off again this week against a Washington defense that has allowed several middling quarterbacks to shred them.
C. J. Anderson (RB, Rams)
Anderson replaced Todd Gurley in Week 16, ringing up the Cardinals for 167 rushing yards and a touchdown. Gurley still isn’t practicing, but it’s still possible he will play at least some of the Week 17 matchup against the 49ers. However, if Gurley is rested again, you can plug Anderson and his still fresh legs in again this week and likely get RB1 value behind the Rams’ run-blocking offensive line.
Brian Hill (RB, Falcons)
Tevin Coleman is nursing a groin injury, and he could either miss or be limited for Week 17. In Week 16, Hill had a breakout performance with eight carries for 115 yards with Coleman hurt, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get 12-15 touches this week whether Coleman plays or not. The Buccaneers have allowed 21 touchdowns to running backs this season, so Hill has a good chance to produce excellent results for you.
Royce Freeman (RB, Broncos)
Phillip Lindsay’s wrist injury ended his season, so Freeman should be the lead back for the Broncos against the Chargers in Week 17. The only concern with Freeman is that Devontae Booker could also take up to half of the RB touches in this game, which limits both players’ fantasy value. Still, Freeman could be an excellent cheap RB option if the Broncos decide he has the hotter hand of the two.
D’Onta Foreman (RB, Texans)
Foreman was a complete bust in the running game in his Week 16 debut, picking up negative yardage with seven carries. However, he did catch a couple of passes and score a TD. The Jaguars can be vulnerable to the run, and they did give up 128 rushing yards and a TD when they last faced the Texans. If Lamar Miller (ankle) is out again this week, Foreman will get another chance to prove himself because Alfred Blue was even more of a bust last week.
Rod Smith (RB, Cowboys)
The Cowboys’ spot in the postseason is secure, so it would be a big surprise to see them risk their starting offensive stars beyond a series or two this week. Ezekiel Elliot is nursing a number of injuries and could really benefit from a week of rest if Dallas hopes to advance beyond the first round of the playoffs. Smith could be the bell cow in Week 17 against a Giants defense that’s allowed seven 100-yard plus rushing games this season and 14 touchdowns to running backs, including four over the past two games.
Mohamed Sanu (WR, Falcons)
The Falcons have nothing but pride to play for, and Julio Jones didn’t look very healthy last weekend as he was held to just 28 receiving yards in Week 16. Meanwhile, Sanu went off with five catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. The Buccaneers have allowed a touchdown to a wide receiver in all but one game this season and a total of 20 TDs to the position overall. If Jones sits week, Sanu could have another big game against a Bucs defense that is missing some key players.
T.Y. Hilton (WR, Colts)
A playoff berth is on the line for the Colts who face the Titans in Week 17. Hilton hasn’t practiced yet this week, but it wouldn’t be the first time that he missed a whole week of practice and still played a full game to produce excellent results. When Hilton faced the Titans in Week 11, he ended up with nine catches from nine targets for 155 yards and two touchdowns. Unless the Colts explicitly say he is out for Week 17, Hilton is a must-start WR in this matchup.
John Ross (WR, Bengals)
With A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd done for the season, Ross has taken up the mantle as the Bengals’ top receiver. Granted, he hasn’t produced much yardage this season but that’s par for the course with Jeff Driskel at the helm. However, Ross has seven touchdowns among his 20 receptions this season, an amazing TD to reception ratio. So he’s TD dependent; you can still plug him into a flex spot!
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR, Packers)
The Packers are quickly running out of wide receivers. Randall Cobb, Equanimeous St. Brown and Davante Adams are all injured. Cobb and St. Brown are very likely out this week and Adams is questionable. All of a sudden, MVS is looking like the best wideout option for Aaron Rodgers, which is a great position to be in. When the Packers faced the Lions earlier this season, Green Bays’ wide receivers rang up 297 receiving yards and a pair of TDs on Detroit. That makes MVS an excellent target in DFS play this week.