Happy New Year to all of you savages that have a championship matchup in Week 17! As I have mentioned before, thank you again to everyone who has read my work over the course of the year, and have reached out on Twitter for advice. It makes the 3-4 hours of research that I put in each week worth it. I vow that no matter how many people continue to reach out and mention, I will do my absolute best to handle your individual questions. This year was a little tougher than most, as my son’s hockey team that I coach had an ice time that went from 12-1 on Sundays. Not ideal for answering last minute start/sit questions by any stretch! Also, I am a dynasty league enthusiast. Feel free to keep in touch in the off season as you consider dynasty trades, or guys that may be a good add off of the wire. So, whether I hear from you this March, or do not hear from you until next September, I appreciate the support.
Be sure to reach out with your Start/Sit, dynasty, or other fantasy questions to me directly on Twitter at @BGunnWMU or @FGBros
Philip Rivers, QB, Indianapolis: This is going to be similar reasoning to many of the calls this week. Indianapolis needs the game, and Jacksonville not only does not need it, but was probably more interested in Trevor Lawrence’s Clemson vs. Ohio State result than their own this upcoming Sunday. Furthermore, Jacksonville is bottom 5 in pass rush, and bottom 2 in coverage. Do not look for Indianapolis to just pound the ball with Johnathan Taylor this week either, as Indianapolis will want to work on their passing game to iron out any kinks before a potential playoff matchup. Lining up and running works against bottom feeders, but they will have to be able to do more if they want to turn a playoff berth into a playoff run. Rivers will finish in the top 12 this week.
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta: Ryan’s opponent, Tampa Bay, obliterated my Detroit Lions in Week 16, as Tom Brady did not even attempt a pass in the 2nd half (could have used those points Tom…). This week, they will attempt to do the same against Atlanta, and very well could, as Las Vegas has Atlanta as a 6.5-point underdog against Tampa. That could play right into the hands of fantasy managers that have Ryan in their lineups this week. Gamescript will dictate that Ryan throws the ball around due to their inability to run the ball this year. This could also be a situation where Tampa takes a cautious approach with any important defenders due to already clinching a wild card. If all of that is not enough, consider that in the last outing against Tampa (just 2 weeks back), Ryan went off for 356 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Ryan will achieve QB1 status this week, outperforming his ranking outside of the top 15.
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay: Rodgers has been on a tear like no other this season and that has catapulted a guy that many may have written off, into the MVP conversation. He didn’t land in this section of the article due to him having a lackluster game. It is actually the opposite of that. I believe that the connection between Rodgers and Davante Adams will get Green Bay out to an early enough lead that will allow Rodgers to not finish the game. As a result, Rodgers will not reach the output near his ceiling, resulting in Rodgers finishing outside of this top 3 ranking.
Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia: Since replacing Carson Wentz in Week 13, Hurts has not seen a defense like Washington’s. Washington’s defense excels when it comes to the passing game, boasting a top 5 pass rush, and the number 1 defense in pass coverage. They also sit inside of the top 10 in the league when it comes to stopping the run. All of these things are being taken into consideration as Las Vegas has appointed this game as the 2nd lowest over/under at just 41.5 total points scored. Hurts has shown that he has the athleticism to be a good player in this league for years to come, but it will not be enough this week to allow him to finish in the top 5 where he is currently being ranked.