Who should you start and who should you sit in Week 17? The Lineup Cheat Sheet combines Fantasy analysis and game-flow predictions with a confidence scale to give you a definitive answer on your toughest lineup decisions.
It’s pretty simple: The scale runs from 1-10. The higher the number next to a player’s name, the more confident you should be to start him. The numbers are not a projection, just a confidence score to help you pick who to start. Every relevant player for Week 17 is here, so if a player isn’t listed, don’t start him.
To find a specific player, use your search function — CTRL-F on PCs and Command-F on Macs. If neither of those are options, or if you’re on a mobile device, you can scroll by game.
If you’re still unsure, just send a note on Twitter (@daverichard) and I’ll give it a look, time permitting. Ready to get off on the right foot? Here’s how to approach every play for Week 17 in PPR leagues — the non-PPR Cheat Sheet is right here.
All lines from William Hill Sportsbook.
Playoff implications: With a win, the Buccaneers will play the NFC East champions, a fortuitous spot to be in given their collective ineptitude. A loss would send the Buccaneers to the sixth seed — and a tougher matchup in the playoffs.
The line wants us to believe: Atlanta will play another close game. Let’s give the Falcons some credit — they’ve lost four straight but all by five or fewer points. The line feels inflated for Tampa Bay, as if people have disregarded the Falcons’ improved defense. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if the Falcons put up enough of a fight to stay within six points.
|Matt Ryan||(7.9)||Tom Brady||(8.5)|
|Calvin Ridley||(9.7)||Ronald Jones||(7.5)|
|Russell Gage||(6.5)||Mike Evans||(9.5)|
|Hayden Hurst||(6.9)||Chris Godwin||(7.6)|
|Falcons DST||(4.7)||Antonio Brown||(5.7)|
Playoff implications: The winner will claim the NFC East crown (and the NFC’s No. 4 seed) if Washington loses to Philadelphia.
The line wants us to believe: The Giants will be competitive. The oddsmakers want you to take Dallas. They’re begging you to. They even started the week with the Giants as the favorite and then shifted to the current line! You’re giving just a couple points against a Giants offense that’s posted 19, 17, 7, 6 and 13 points in their past five! And the Cowboys have posted 30-plus points in three straight! The Giants have either won or lost by three or fewer points in every divisional game so far this year. The oddsmakers must be banking on a close game. I don’t see it that way at all but I don’t like losing, either.
|Andy Dalton||(6.5)||Daniel Jones||(4.5)|
|Ezekiel Elliott||(8.7)||Wayne Gallman||(6.65)|
|Amari Cooper||(8.3)||Sterling Shepard||(6.2)|
|Michael Gallup||(7.5)||Darius Slayton||(5.25)|
|CeeDee Lamb||(7.3)||Evan Engram||(6.7)|
|Dalton Schultz||(6.0)||Giants DST||(4.5)|
Playoff implications: None whatsoever.
The line wants us to believe: The Jets’ past two weeks were make-believe. I can’t decide if this is a sucker line or not. It’s not cool to give Adam Gase credit for anything good, but the Jets’ consecutive wins aren’t flukes at all. Meanwhile, how in blazes could anybody back the Patriots when their entire offense has become a poor one-dimensional jalopy squad?! My guess is that the idea of making the Patriots a home underdog against the Jets is unfathomable. But they should be! Gimme the Jets.
|Sam Darnold||(4.3)||Cam Newton||(3.3)|
|Ty Johnson||(6.9)||Sony Michel||(5.8)|
|Jamison Crowder||(7.2)||Jakobi Meyers||(3.4)|
|Braxton Berrios||(3.9)||Patriots DST||(5.1)|
Playoff implications: Absolutely zilch.
The line wants us to believe: The Lions will score more than three touchdowns. The Vikings’ defense isn’t bad, but the implied point total of 23.75 for the Lions without Matthew Stafford (or with a banged-up Stafford) is pretty aggressive. Detroit’s defense doesn’t have a pass rush or even good cover corners. Each of the Lions’ last seven losses were by seven-plus points. This should be a blowout for the Vikings.
|Kirk Cousins||(8.0)||David Blough||(3.7)|
|Alexander Mattison||(7.8)||D’Andre Swift||(7.7)|
|Ameer Abdullah||(4.1)||Adrian Peterson||(5.1)|
|Justin Jefferson||(9.4)||Marvin Jones||(6.4)|
|Adam Thielen||(8.9)||Danny Amendola||(3.0)|
|Irv Smith||(7.1)||T.J. Hockenson||(7.3)|
|Vikings DST||(7.9)||Lions DST||(1.5)|
Playoff implications: A Steelers win and a Bills loss would give Pittsburgh the No. 2 seed in the AFC. They can’t be any lower than the No. 3 seed. The Browns clinch a wild-card spot with a win.
The line wants us to believe: The Browns’ loss last week was completely circumstantial. The oddsmakers expect us to overlook the Browns’ disappointing loss to the Jets and focus solely on the Steelers playing a bunch of backups. I agree that the Browns won’t see the Steelers’ best players much if at all, but I’m not sure we can trust the Browns to beat anyone by 11-plus points. They’ve only done such a thing in three of their 10 wins. I don’t buy the Browns defense as a strong unit — I’m thinking the Steelers find a way to keep it reasonably close.
|Mason Rudolph||(2.0)||Baker Mayfield||(6.4)|
|James Conner||(5.9)||Nick Chubb||(8.4)|
|JuJu Smith-Schuster||(6.1)||Kareem Hunt||(7.0)|
|Diontae Johnson||(5.9)||Jarvis Landry||(8.5)|
|Chase Claypool||(5.6)||Rashard Higgins||(6.8)|
|James Washington||(4.9)||Austin Hooper||(6.4)|
|Eric Ebron||(4.8)||Browns DST||(7.7)|
Playoff implications: Baltimore will clinch a wild-card spot with a win.
The line wants us to believe: The Bengals’ two-game win streak doesn’t matter. I got suckered pretty good last week betting against the Bengals, but I’m going to do it again. The Ravens have won four straight, with three by 14-plus points. It’s probably a fair line and not something meant to trap people into overrating the Ravens, which is good since that’s the side I want to be on.
|Lamar Jackson||(9.0)||Brandon Allen||(4.7)|
|J.K. Dobbins||(8.5)||Giovani Bernard||(7.4)|
|Gus Edwards||(6.7)||Tee Higgins||(7.7)|
|Marquise Brown||(7.4)||Tyler Boyd||(5.3)|
|Mark Andrews||(9.0)||A.J. Green||(4.9)|
|Ravens DST||(9.1)||Bengals DST||(2.4)|
Playoff implications: The Bills earn the AFC’s No. 2 seed with a win (they can still get it if they lose and if the Steelers lose). At worst, they’ll be the No. 3 seed. The Dolphins make the playoffs if they win, though they can also back in if they lose IF one of the Ravens or Browns also lose.
The line wants us to believe: The Bills won’t rest everybody. If the Bills were going to sit Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs and others, this line would be way in Miami’s favor. But if the Bills were going to for sure play their starters for four quarters, there’s no way this line would be minus-2. Not that I think the Dolphins are the better team — they were insanely lucky to win last week. I just don’t feel comfortable taking the Bills without knowing how much Allen will definitely play.
|Tua Tagovailoa||(5.5)||Josh Allen||(8.7)|
|Myles Gaskin||(8.8)||Devin Singletary||(5.7)|
|Lynn Bowden||(5.0)||Zack Moss||(5.6)|
|Mike Gesicki||(8.6)||Stefon Diggs||(9.8)|
|Dolphins DST||(6.2)||John Brown||(5.4)|
Playoff implications: Seattle has a top-3 seed locked up. A win and a Saints loss OR a Packers loss will get them into the No. 2 spot. A win and losses by the Packers AND Saints will give Seattle home-field advantage!
The line wants us to believe: The Niners’ win last week was phony. Their defense hung in there and didn’t break against the Cardinals, but it’ll be their offense that’ll have to make gains against Seattle’s improving squad. It’s a tough spot for the Niners, especially with receiver Brandon Aiyuk and left tackle Trent Williams not there. Five of Seattle’s past six wins have been by more than six points, so they should be capable of covering.
|Russell Wilson||(6.6)||C.J. Beathard||(4.9)|
|Chris Carson||(7.1)||Jeff Wilson||(8.3)|
|DK Metcalf||(8.6)||Kendrick Bourne||(4.5)|
|Tyler Lockett||(6.9)||Richie James||(3.5)|
|Seahawks DST||(8.3)||George Kittle||(9.3)|
Playoff implications: The winner has his ticket punched to the postseason. The loser can still get in but it’ll take some help from the Packers.
The line wants us to believe: Los Angeles’ injuries are too much to overcome. Look, it’s not like Jared Goff was playing special football anyway. The line is meant to take advantage of bettors who see Goff and Cooper Kupp out for the game. Arizona’s been playing terrible and Kyler Murray has a leg issue that could limit his effectiveness. In a game like this, I don’t mind taking the points, especially if those points come with the better defense playing at home.
|Kyler Murray||(7.3)||John Wolford||(5.7)|
|Kenyan Drake||(7.2)||Malcolm Brown||(7.3)|
|DeAndre Hopkins||(9.6)||Robert Woods||(8.2)|
|Christian Kirk||(3.8)||Tyler Higbee||(5.1)|
|Dan Arnold||(4.0)||Rams DST||(8.6)|
Playoff implications: To make the playoffs, the Colts need to win and have one of the Titans, Dolphins, Ravens or Browns lose. If the Colts win and Titans lose, the Colts win the AFC South.
The line wants us to believe: The Jaguars are playing out the string. All the talk around Jacksonville has been about Trevor Lawrence, not anything on the football field in the here and now. There’s no evidence that the Jaguars have been competitive in any of their past three games, all against playoff-caliber teams. Philip Rivers and Jonathan Taylor will make that skid hit four.
|Mike Glennon||(3.9)||Philip Rivers||(7.0)|
|Dare Ogunbowale||(6.5)||Jonathan Taylor||(9.6)|
|D.J. Chark||(0.0)||Nyheim Hines||(6.6)|
|Laviska Shenault Jr.||(5.35)||T.Y. Hilton||(8.7)|
|Tyler Eifert||(4.4)||Zach Pascal||(6.0)|
|Jaguars DST||(2.2)||Trey Burton||(4.6)|
Playoff implications: The Titans are AFC South champs with a win. And if that happens, the Dolphins will pick third in the NFL Draft in April since they have the Texans’ first-round pick.
The line wants us to believe: Tennessee’s defense can handle Houston’s offense. Playing on the road for the second straight week isn’t easy, but the Titans have a favorable matchup with plenty to play for. I wouldn’t expect a let-down game. Four of Houston’s past five losses have been by seven or fewer points; each of Tennessee’s past three wins have been by 19 points. Betting against Deshaun Watson never feels good, but with the way things have gone you have to buy in.
|Ryan Tannehill||(8.1)||Deshaun Watson||(9.1)|
|Derrick Henry||(10.0)||David Johnson||(8.05)|
|A.J. Brown||(9.1)||Brandin Cooks||(8.1)|
|Corey Davis||(6.6)||Keke Coutee||(5.5)|
|Jonnu Smith||(6.6)||Chad Hansen||(2.8)|
|Titans DST||(5.7)||Jordan Akins||(3.6)|
Playoff implications: LOL
The line wants us to believe: The Raiders will rebound from last week’s shocking loss. The whole world will bet the Raiders because they practically did win last week. Yes, they’re a cluster of a squad, but so too are the Broncos. Neither team will mail it in. Neither team is particularly good, either, but the Raiders offense is more reliable.
|Derek Carr||(6.9)||Drew Lock||(5.1)|
|Josh Jacobs||(8.9)||Melvin Gordon||(7.9)|
|Nelson Agholor||(7.9)||Jerry Jeudy||(5.2)|
|Hunter Renfrow||(3.7)||Tim Patrick||(5.1)|
|Henry Ruggs III||(3.1)||Noah Fant||(7.5)|
|Darren Waller||(9.4)||Broncos DST||(4.3)|
Playoff implications: None. The Chiefs have clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC and intend to “rest up some guys.” Patrick Mahomes has already been ruled out, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce shouldn’t play much, if at all.
The line wants us to believe: Not even the Chargers can blow this game. Everyone knows the Chiefs won’t play many starters, but are the Chargers capable of taking advantage? Let’s give them some credit — the Bolts have won three straight, but all three by exactly three points against equally bad teams. The Chiefs covering 3.5 wouldn’t surprise me at all.
|Justin Herbert||(7.5)||Chad Henne||(4.0)|
|Austin Ekeler||(9.3)||Darrel Williams||(6.4)|
|Mike Williams||(5.8)||Demarcus Robinson||(4.2)|
|Tyron Johnson||(4.6)||Mecole Hardman||(4.0)|
|Jalen Guyton||(3.3)||Chiefs DST||(4.1)|
Playoff implications: The Packers clinch the NFC’s top seed with a win. The Bears clinch a playoff spot with a win, but can also get in with a loss and a Cardinals loss.
The line wants us to believe: Nothing’s changing in this rivalry. Mitchell Trubisky has beaten the Packers once in six starts. Matt Nagy has beaten the Packers once in four games. As a franchise, the Bears have beaten the Packers three times in their past 21 meetings!! Trubisky and the Bears offense has come alive against awful defenses, and the Packers defense seems to be peaking at the perfect time. I expect a Packers blowout.
|Aaron Rodgers||(9.6)||Mitchell Trubisky||(5.9)|
|Aaron Jones||(8.0)||David Montgomery||(8.6)|
|Jamaal Williams||(3.7)||Allen Robinson||(9.0)|
|Davante Adams||(9.9)||Darnell Mooney||(4.4)|
|Allen Lazard||(4.8)||Jimmy Graham||(5.9)|
|Marquez Valdes-Scantling||(3.2)||Cole Kmet||(3.8)|
|Robert Tonyan||(8.4)||Bears DST||(5.5)|
Playoff implications: New Orleans still has a chance at the No. 1 seed, but they’ll need the Packers to lose and the Seahawks to win. Otherwise, a win clinches the second seed.
The line wants us to believe: Last week is indicative of how both teams really play. New Orleans ran wild on the Vikings and Carolina scooted past Washington. But before last week, the Saints had lost two straight and the Panthers had either won or lost by one score over their past four. I think the Panthers defense is overrated but they find ways to score every week. The Saints don’t score 50 points every week. I think the Panthers hang around but don’t win.
|Drew Brees||(6.8)||Teddy Bridgewater||(5.3)|
|Alvin Kamara||(9.9)||Rodney Smith||(5.2)|
|Latavius Murray||(4.7)||D.J. Moore||(8.0)|
|Emmanuel Sanders||(7.1)||Robby Anderson||(7.8)|
|Jared Cook||(7.4)||Curtis Samuel||(6.7)|
|Saints DST||(7.5)||Panthers DST||(3.0)|
Playoff implications: Washington wins the NFC East with a victory over the Eagles. If it loses, then the winner of the Cowboys-Giants game earlier on Sunday claims the division.
The line wants us to believe: The Eagles aren’t nearly as bad as people think. I suppose the public perception is that Washington is the best team in the East and Philly is no good because they got blown out by the Cowboys. Washington has the best defense in the East, and that’s going to have to be what pulls them through since their quarterback options aren’t very good. Check that: their run game could be very good and Philly could be at a real disadvantage without Fletcher Cox on the D-line.
|Alex Smith||(3.5)||Jalen Hurts||(7.4)|
|Antonio Gibson||(8.2)||Boston Scott||(6.8)|
|J.D. McKissic||(7.6)||DeSean Jackson||(0.0)|
|Cam Sims||(4.7)||Jalen Reagor||(4.1)|
|Logan Thomas||(8.8)||Greg Ward||(3.6)|
|Washington DST||(7.4)||Zach Ertz||(7.05)|