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Every week, our Yahoo fantasy football crew will reveal their boldest predictions for the action ahead. Injuries and COVID have made the fantasy landscape as turbulent as ever. Lean on our analysts to identify some surprise Week 17 performances to help you make the championship round.
Brandin Cooks a must-start in return
Dalton Del Don: Cooks was averaging 10.5 targets, 7.5 catches, 101.5 yards and 1.0 touchdown over his previous two games before going on the reserve/COVID-19 list and should be fully recovered after returning to practice this week. Davis Mills has been playing well, getting 7.5 YPA with a 5:1 TD:INT line over the last three games that have all come against top-15 pass defenses. Facing a San Francisco pass-funnel defense that shuts down the run yet has allowed the second-most fantasy points to his primary side over the last month, expect Cooks to finish as a top-10 WR this week.
Yahoo DFS Salary: $18
Gerald Everett's a tight end we can trust
Scott Pianowski: It’s time to push Gerald Everett into the Top 10 of the tight end position, where he belongs. He has a touchdown or 60 yards in four of his last five starts, and if you grade all the tight ends since Week 10, he stands at TE8. The Lions are one of the weaker seam-coverage teams in the league, so let’s call for 60-plus yards and another spike for Everett this week. That will land him in the Top 5 this week at a top-heavy position. It’s not Mark Andrews, but it’s something.
Yahoo DFS Salary: $15
Sony Michel is a top-five RB
Matt Harmon: I was stunned by how many Sony Michel start/sit questions I got last week. To me, it was clear Michel had established himself as at least the 1A of the Rams backfield. I was actually too conservative. Michel handled all five of the running back touches on the first drive for the Rams against the Vikings and capped it off with a goal-line carry. Michel looked more like a bell cow back than a simple 1A of a committee. Now that Darrell Henderson has been placed on IR, Michel will only further dominate the backfield. Cam Akers is a fascinating story to follow and something worth rooting for but remains a longshot to get significant work right away. Even if the passing game is in the better on-paper spot against Baltimore, Michel can make it happen in the scoring areas as a drive-finisher while Matthew Stafford and Co. moves the ball at will.
Yahoo DFS Salary: $26
John Bates finds end zone in back-to-back weeks
Liz Loza: Philly is a deliciously exploitable matchup for TEs. The Eagles have allowed the most fantasy points and 12 TDs (including one to Evan Engram last week!) to the position. John Bates has been logging more snaps and running more routes than Ricky Seals-Jones over the last three weeks. With the playoffs all but out of reach and Logan Thomas' health in question, Washington's coaching staff needs to find out what they have in the rookie. I think he flashes with another score on Sunday.
Yahoo DFS Salary: $10
Jalen Hurts Runs for 50+ yards and a TD
Jennifer Eakins: The Eagles have won three games in a row, thanks to a powerful run game that produced 553 total rushing yards over that stretch. The last time Philly and Washington met, just 13 days prior to this Week 17 kickoff, the RB room and Hurts gouged the Football Team for 238 yards on the ground. Miles Sanders is out with a broken hand and Jordan Howard is dealing with a stinger, leaving Hurts to pick up the slack in this NFC East showdown. The sophomore QB will do what it takes on the ground and find the end zone once — maybe even twice.
Yahoo DFS Salary: $40
Dalton Schultz scores in third straight week
Troy King: OK, I’m not going to lie, Dalton Schultz has a very difficult matchup against the Cardinals, who give up the second-fewest points to tight ends. However, he has been one of the focal points of this offense the past two weeks, ranking as the TE3 in points per game. In that span, he's also averaging a 22 percent target share and has scored in back-to-back weeks. Not to mention, he has seen 6 red-zone targets in the past 4 games. So yeah, I like the odds of him finding the end zone and hopefully leading your team to a championship victory!
Yahoo DFS Salary: $14