Fantasy Football Week 17: Start, sit, cut decisions on Joe Flacco, George Pickens
What is the best holiday gift your fantasy football league commissioner can give? Other than prize winnings?
How about the opportunity to carry over some of your success into next season? That would be wonderful, right? That is exactly what keeper leagues deliver: the opportunity to gift yourself.
There are a wide variety of keeper formats, but for this piece were going to use the historically popular, though overly simplistic, keeping three players at no cost.
The Madmans threshold for keeper decisions in this format is simple: We want keepers to be worth a pick in the first three rounds. But what about those players who dance between keeper-worthy and imminently cuttable? Those are the kinds of decisions that can make or break an offseason.
We value the talent of Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson more than we fear the inferiority of the Gang Green roster. And if Aaron Rodgers can stay healthy next season, we really like the upside for both.
Of note, in dynasty formats in which you keep essentially your entire roster we would eagerly trade them. But for keeper, we like next seasons outlook, and the only reason we would look any further is to make a tough decision for our final keeper.
Instability or poor performance at QB can sink WR keeper value. Unless youre someone like Michael Pittman Jr. He isnt thought of as a top-tier name, but he just keeps producing no matter what QB is throwing him the ball Gardner Minshew, Matt Ryans ghost, the what ever happened to version of Carson Wentz or the skeleton of Philip Rivers.
Jordan Addison is talented but is out with a high-ankle sprain. Getty Images## CUTTABLE
Jordan Addison is immensely talented and proved he can produce at exceptional levels when Justin Jefferson missed time this season. Knowing he will never be the Vikings No. 1 target as long as Jefferson is around, and not knowing the teams future at QB with Kirk Cousins a soon-to-be free agent, Addison doesnt provide the stability we want in a keeper, so we would only carry him into next season if your roster is weak.
The Texans have a collection of young players who have been outstanding when they played. But WRs Tank Dell and Nico Collins were in and out of the lineup before Dell was knocked out for the season. And now QB C.J. Stroud has missed multiple games.
We dont consider Stroud a keeper, because we dont really consider any QBs keepers in this format. The WRs have different concerns: Which will emerge as the go-to if both are healthy? Will either stay healthy? And is Stroud the next great QB, or will he become the next what ever happen to version of Wentz an excellent rookie year interrupted by injury and followed by a face-plant in production and drag his WRs down with him?
Remember when choosing keepers: You arent just choosing the players you think have the best future, but the ones you are least likely to be able to reacquire in your leagues format.
Joe Flacco is a comeback player of the year contender. Getty Images## Names on title
Joe Flacco QB, Browns
Sure, the Jets pass D is stout, but Flacco also has shown he can rise to the occasion. We think he can do it again, with playoff implications against one of his former teams.
Khalil Herbert RB, Bears
Finally got back to where he was before a Week 5 ankle injury. Assuming he gets 20 touches again, we like him, even in a tough matchups vs. the Falcons.
Curtis Samuel WR, Commanders
Was held in check by the Jets last week, but he still got six targets. He averaged 16.9 in PPR the three games prior, and we foresee a return to that versus a more generous 49ers pass D.
Demarcus Robinson WR, Rams
Has four straight games in double digits heading into a nice matchup with the Giants.
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George Pickens WR, Steelers
How odd was his 35.5-point explosion Sunday? He had scored single digits in seven of the past nine games and hadnt topped 20 in PPR since Week 5. Expect a return to disappointment this week, because that is what he has done far more often.
Rashid Shaheed WR, Saints
If he doesnt have a big play, like Sundays 45-yard TD, his numbers usually stink. Big plays dont happen often and are unpredictable hence his first double-digit game since Week 8.
K.J. Obsorn WR, Vikings
Coming off his best game of the season (5-for-95 with a TD) against the Lions. Even if Jordan Addison (ankle) is out, we dont trust QB Nick Mullens to deliver two top WR performances in back-to-back weeks.
D.J. Chark Jr. WR, Panthers
Had a rookie-year throwback game we hadnt seen in a while, with two TDs, as Carolina scored 30 for the first time this season. We dont like chasing first times this late in the year.
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