The 2023 NFL Season is here, and with it comes some lineup questions. Which moves should you make to maximize your points? Let this weekly post be your guide as I offer one start and one sit suggestion at QB, RB, WR, and TE. These suggestions are based on my rankings against consensus each week. And because we want to measure our success, check back each week for a recap on how I did.
For the purposes of this project, a start is a player I think will finish Top 12 at QB or TE and Top 24 at RB or WR. A sit is a player I suspect will finish outside those metrics. Before we move forward, let’s look at last week’s picks. All finishes courtesy of Fantasy Pros.
Week 16 Starts
QB: Jalen Hurts, QB5 Hit. Hurts was strong against the Giants.
RB: James Cook, RB48 Miss. Cook ran out of magic.
WR: Tee Higgins, WR10 Hit. Higgins had a big day.
TE: David Njoku, TE4 Hit. Njoku continued his hot streak.
Start Record: 3-1
Week 16 Sits
QB: Joe Flacco, QB1 Miss. No one can stop Flacco.
RB: Alexander Mattison, RB119 Hit. Mattison had a rough day.
WR: Adam Thielen, WR26 Hit. Thielen was better but not good enough.
TE: Gerald Everett, TE12 Miss. Everett did just enough.
Sit Record: 2-2
And now, on to the Week 17 picks!
Start: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
About: It’s been trendy to be down on Mahomes and the Chiefs. Certainly, they haven’t achieved the heights of previous seasons. But let’s be clear, he’s still a great quarterback and one of the best starting options in fantasy. If you’ve made it to the championship week, keep riding him. It’s a down year, but Mahomes is still the QB7 on the season, and he’s always capable of a huge game. With their backs against the wall, that huge game could come at home against the Bengals.
Sit: Gardner Minshew, Indianapolis Colts
About: Minshew has had an impressive season and may well lead the Colts to the post-season. He’s also likely done enough to earn a look this off-season from a quarterback-needy team. But is that right for your fantasy team? In Superflex, you’re probably rolling him out. But he’s just QB21 on the season and hasn’t been a big performer. He’s averaging a modest 13.1 points per game. He’s a steady, low-end QB2 and nothing more.
Start: James Conner, Arizona Cardinals
About: Conner missed a chunk of games this season and struggled to reach double-digits in a few others. I understand if you’ve soured on him a bit. But as the Cardinals have played better down the stretch, Conner has picked up his game. He has 17 or more points in his last three games, including two games with 20-plus points. He’s involved as a runner and a receiver. With the Cardinals facing a good Eagles team this week, they’ll need points. I like Conner to produce Top 24 numbers.
Sit: De’Von Achane, Miami Dolphins
About: Achane has had some explosive games as a rookie this season. He’s always a threat for a home run play, so I can understand the impulse to start him. But over the last three weeks, he’s had 12 or fewer points in each game. That includes two straight games with less than ten points. This week, the Dolphins face a stifling Ravens defense. I like Achane’s talent, but I’m not trusting him as a Top 24 play this week.
Start: Puka Nacua, Los Angeles Rams
About: If you started Nacua in Week 16, you probably made your Championship game. If you faced him, you might be out. That’s how explosive he was last week and how explosive he’s been this season. He’s on the short list for Rookie of the Year candidates, and with the Rams close to securing a playoff spot with a winnable game against the New York Giants, Nacua is in my lineup.
Sit: Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills
About: This isn’t about shock value; it’s about reality. Diggs hasn’t had 100 yards receiving in his last nine games. The Bills’ offense has found a groove by running the ball. It’s led to wins, but it hasn’t helped Diggs in fantasy. Since Week 10, Diggs is WR51, one spot ahead of Gabe Davis, averaging 9.3 points per game. A flex option, sure? A Top 24 play, I’m not confident.
Start: Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars
About: Though the Jaguars have struggled of late and struggled with injuries to receivers, Engram has remained a steady presence. He’s TE5 on the season and keeps producing big games. He’s become a go-to option for Trevor Lawrence, and I think that continues in a must-win game in Week 17.
Sit: Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo Bills
About: No Bills pass catcher is thriving right now. That’s especially true for Kincaid, who has cooled since the return of Dawson Knox. There’s a lot of options in Buffalo and not nearly enough volume. Kincaid has upside, but he’s hardly a lock for Top 12 production in a crucial Week 17.
Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network.