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Fantasy intel for all 32 NFL teams ahead of Week 17

Below are notes covering each of the NFL's 32 teams from a fantasy perspective. Use these tidbits to make the best waiver-wire, trade and lineup decisions for Week 17.

Throughout this piece, I'll be referencing "OTD," which stands for opportunity-adjusted touchdowns. It is a statistic that weighs every carry/target and converts the data into one number that indicates a player's scoring opportunity. For example, if a player has an OTD of 3.0, it means that a league-average player who saw the same number of carries/targets in the same area of the field would have scored three touchdowns.


Arizona Cardinals -- John Brown returned from a four-game absence and caught 2 of 3 targets for 28 yards and 1 touchdown against the Giants in Week 16. Third in line at wide receiver, Brown was on the field for 23 of the team's 37 pass plays. The speedster has appeared in nine games this season, but has only 21 receptions for 299 yards and three scores to show. He has managed one top-25 fantasy week, and that was way back in Week 6. Arizona is headed to Seattle in Week 17, so Larry Fitzgerald is the only Cardinals' wide receiver worth considering for your lineup.

Atlanta Falcons -- Mohamed Sanu has put together a solid fantasy season, but he has certainly been a disappointment over the past month. Sanu has failed to eclipse 43 yards or score a touchdown during three of his past four outings and has totaled six catches on 11 targets for 54 yards over the past two weeks. Despite the recent slump, Sanu is handling a generous 20 percent target share and has been on the field for 84 percent of the team's pass plays when active this year. He's still in the WR3 mix this week against a Panthers defense allowing an NFL-worst 45.9 fantasy points per game to wide receivers over the past two months.

Baltimore Ravens -- After totaling 10 touchdowns during his first 11 games this season, Joe Flacco has accounted for exactly two scores in four consecutive games. Flacco failed to post a single top-15 fantasy outing during Weeks 1-12, but has finished no worse than 14th during his past four outings (9.3 average). Despite the recent surge, Flacco isn't a recommended QB1 against the Bengals in Week 17. The Ravens are averaging 2.1 offensive touchdowns per game (20th in the league), and 42 percent of those scores have been rushes (10th-highest). The Bengals have allowed the 19th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, and though they haven't been as formidable of late, this is likely to be a low-scoring game with Baltimore ahead throughout.

Buffalo Bills -- Kelvin Benjamin caught 5 of 7 targets for 70 yards and would've had a touchdown if not for a controversial replay ruling in Week 16. It was Benjamin's highest catch and yardage totals since joining the Bills in November. Benjamin is fighting through a knee injury, but still played 52 of a possible 71 snaps in the game. Though there appears to be reasonable reason to be worried about a reaggravation, Benjamin is seeing enough work and has enough scoring upside that he's a flex option against the Dolphins in Week 17.

Carolina Panthers -- Devin Funchess totaled 24 catches on 39 targets for 405 yards and 4 touchdowns during Carolina's first five games following the trade of Kelvin Benjamin to Buffalo. Only six wide receivers scored more fantasy points than Funchess during those five weeks. The wheels have fallen off of late, however, as Funchess has accrued only four catches on eight targets for 30 yards and no touchdowns during his past two outings. The falloff is even more shocking when you consider he faced struggling secondaries in Green Bay and Tampa Bay. Life will be tougher this week against Atlanta's Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford, though Funchess did manage 86 yards on five catches when these teams met on Nov. 5. Funchess is best-viewed as a WR3.

Chicago Bears -- Dontrelle Inman racked up 13 catches for 195 yards on 22 targets during his first three games with the Bears this season. He has totaled five catches for 45 yards on eight targets in four games since. Snaps haven't been an issue, as Inman has been on the field for at least 90 percent of the team's pass plays in five of seven games with the team, including 91 percent in Week 16. Inman will continue to work the perimeter in a near-every-down capacity, but he's not seeing enough targets to warrant flex consideration.

Cincinnati Bengals -- Joe Mixon returned from a concussion Sunday, but injured his ankle early and was limited to five touches for 32 yards on seven snaps. Giovani Bernard filled in and racked up 30 touches for 168 yards on 72 snaps. Criminally underutilized most of the season, Bernard is now averaging 4.3 yards per carry on 95 attempts this season and 7.6 yards per target on 49 targets. Mixon has been limited to an ugly 3.3 YPC, but has caught all but four of his 33 targets and is averaging 8.7 YPT. Mixon was the feature back out of the gate Sunday, so if he is healthy enough to play this week, he's still the better fantasy option against the Ravens. Bernard will be a solid RB2 if Mixon is out.

Cleveland Browns -- Duke Johnson Jr. led the Browns with seven receptions and 81 receiving yards against Chicago on Sunday. He added four carries for 20 yards. Johnson has now managed at least four catches in 10 games this season and is averaging 9.1 yards per reception. Johnson is also averaging 4.3 yards per carry, but has inexplicably been handed the ball only 76 times. Johnson played two fewer snaps than "starter" Isaiah Crowell on Sunday, but leads his counterpart by 17 in the category on the season. Fantasy's No. 12 scoring running back should be playing more, but he's seeing just enough work and playing well enough that he remains an RB2 option in PPR leagues.

Dallas Cowboys -- Ezekiel Elliott returned from his six-game suspension and was on the field for 61 of Dallas' 68 offensive plays on Sunday. Elliott predicted he'd rush for 200 yards in the game, but instead posted 24 carries for 97 yards and caught 4 of 7 targets for 21 yards. The solid performance marks Elliott's eighth top-20 fantasy week in nine games this season. He's an elite RB1 play against an Eagles defense that is terrific against the run but that could rest some players in Week 17.

Denver Broncos -- Emmanuel Sanders and Cody Latimer were both out on Sunday, which allowed Bennie Fowler (54 snaps), Jordan Taylor (50) and Isaiah McKenzie (14) to play significantly larger roles. None of the reserve receivers were able to convert the usage into much production in the box score. Taylor caught 1 of 2 targets for 22 yards. Fowler failed to catch any of his three targets. McKenzie caught one pass for 8 yards. The Denver offense has been atrocious this season (1.7 touchdowns per game ranks 28th) and won't be any better with Paxton Lynch under center this week. Even in deeper leagues, Thomas and Sanders (if he returns) are the only wide receivers to consider against the Chiefs this week.

Detroit Lions -- Golden Tate laid another egg Sunday and has now failed to eclipse 33 receiving yards during four of his past six games, including each of the past two. Tate has scored four touchdowns this season, but has only one during his past six games. Tate's production has been boom/bust all season long, as he's finished outside the top 50 receivers six times, but inside the top 20 in eight games. Tate has been on the field for 85 percent of the team's pass plays and is handling a 22 percent target share this season, so the recent slump shouldn't stop you from firing up fantasy's No. 15 scoring receiver against Green Bay this week.

Green Bay Packers -- With Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson sidelined with injuries, Michael Clark paced the Packers in targets (nine) and receiving yards (36) against Minnesota on Saturday. He was on the field for 27 plays, which trailed only Randall Cobb (59) and Geronimo Allison (52) at wideout. Clark went undrafted earlier this year, but is an intriguing player at 6-foot-6, 217 pounds. The Marshall product wasn't invited to April's combine, but his 11.0 RAC last season would've been higher than any receiver drafted this year. The 22-year-old is a solid dynasty stash, but, even if Adams and Nelson are out, he shouldn't be in lineups this week at Detroit.

Houston Texans -- The Texans utilized a committee at running back against the Steelers on Monday. Alfred Blue carried the ball on 16 of his 29 snaps and Lamar Miller managed 10 carries and one target on 18 snaps. Both backs were effective (combined 6.3 YPC), though Miller still sits at 3.7 for the season, which is actually down from his disappointing 3.8 mark last year. Miller struggled after initial contact last season, and his 1.27 YAC in 2017 ranks dead last among all backs with at least 75 carries. Miller sits 13th at the position in fantasy points this season, but his inefficiencies have led to a reduced role. He's no more than a flex against the Colts in Week 17 and certainly could be on the chopping block during the offseason.

Indianapolis Colts -- T.Y. Hilton was targeted 12 times against Baltimore on Saturday, which, believe it or not, was three more than his previous season-high of nine. Hilton hauled in half of the targets for 100 yards, but failed to find the end zone. Hilton's boom/bust season has included four games with at least 100 receiving yards and a total of three touchdowns during the span, but 11 outings with fewer than 58 yards and a total of one touchdown. Despite seeing the field on a career-high 95 percent of the team's pass plays, Hilton is averaging 6.5 targets per game this season, which is down significantly from 9.6 per game last year. Hilton is a WR3 option against Houston's struggling defense this week.

Jacksonville Jaguars -- The top-scoring wide receiver in fantasy over the past two weeks? Keelan Cole, of course. Undrafted out of Kentucky Wesleyan, Cole has played a situational role most of the season, but has exploded with Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns sidelined over the past two weeks. Cole caught 13 of 22 targets for 294 yards and 1 touchdown during the span. Cole has handled at least six targets during the past five games in which he has been on the field for at least 80 percent of the Jaguars' pass plays. Especially with Jacksonville locked into the 3 seed in the AFC, Lee and Hurns figure to sit out (or be limited) this week, which should open the door for Cole to play a significant role. He belongs in the flex conversation, but especially considering the team may rest Blake Bortles and other key contributors, Cole will be a risky play.

Kansas City Chiefs -- Remember when Kareem Hunt was in a slump? Me neither. The rookie back has now managed 100-plus yards from scrimmage in three consecutive games and has scored at least one touchdown during each of those outings. Hunt's usage has been astronomical, as he has racked up at least 28 touches in each of the three games. The rookie hit a career-high with 33 touches against Miami on Sunday. Hunt has put together three consecutive top-10 fantasy weeks and has finished top-25 at the position in 12 of 15 games this season. Hunt has a plus matchup against Denver this week, but he's a very strong bet to be limited or completely rested with the Chiefs locked into the No. 4 seed in the AFC. Those with Hunt, Alex Smith, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce rostered should make other plans for those spots.

Los Angeles Chargers -- Hunter Henry was placed on injured reserve last week, which allowed Antonio Gates an expanded role against the Jets in Week 16. Gates delivered with 6 catches for 81 yards and 1 touchdown on a season-high eight targets. He was on the field for 54 of the team's 70 offensive snaps and ran 35 of 40 possible pass routes. Both were easily season-highs. The Chargers are in a must-win scenario in Week 17, so expect Gates to again be heavily involved against a Raiders defense struggling against the tight end this year. He's a back-end TE1.

Los Angeles Rams -- What's left to say about Todd Gurley? The man is a machine. Fantasy's top running back carried the ball 22 times for 118 yards and caught 10 of 13 targets for 158 yards and a pair of touchdowns against Tennessee on Sunday. Gurley has run for over 100 yards in six games and has 80-plus receiving yards in three games this season. He has failed to finish a week as a top-eight fantasy back only three times and has been top-20 all but one week. The 49ers have cracked down against running backs over the past two months (third-fewest fantasy points allowed), but the Rams are still playing for the No. 3 seed in the NFC, so expect Gurley to play a massive role. Gurley and Le'Veon Bell are easily the top two running backs in fantasy in Week 17.

Miami Dolphins -- Jakeem Grant exploded for 4 receptions on 6 targets for 107 yards against the Chiefs on Sunday. All three were easily career-high marks. Grant has also caught two touchdowns during his past three games. Despite the surge, Grant is not a fantasy option. He only played 11 snaps on Sunday and was targeted on 6 of 7 pass routes. He has played a grand total of 25 snaps over the past three weeks and remains fourth on the Miami depth chart behind Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker. Grant -- a sixth-round pick last year -- may have a future as a No. 3 receiver, but for now, he's no more than a situational deep threat and return man.

Minnesota Vikings -- After tearing up the league for a majority of the season, Adam Thielen has been held in check by Cincinnati and Green Bay during his past two games. Thielen totaled five catches for 54 yards and no touchdowns on 11 targets during the two outings. Despite the poorly timed slump, Thielen still sits ninth at wide receiver in fantasy points and is handling a hefty 27 percent target share this season. He has probably been more boom/bust than you realize, as he has finished five weeks inside the top 10 and six outside the top 40 this season. Minnesota will be playing for a first-round bye in Week 17, so Thielen should still be considered a fringe WR1 against Chicago.

New England Patriots -- Rex Burkhead and James White were out Sunday, which allowed additional usage for both Dion Lewis and Mike Gillislee. Lewis racked up 153 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 29 touches. Gillislee registered 43 yards and 1 touchdown on 7 touches. Lewis was on the field for 51 of 68 snaps, leaving Gillislee to handle 12 snaps and Brandon Bolden with five. Lewis, who is averaging 5.2 yards per carry, is locked in as an RB2 against the Jets this week and should be bumped into the RB1 mix if White remains out. He has finished top-25 at the position during six of his past seven outings. Gillislee is no more than a touchdown-dependent dart throw in non-PPR leagues.

New Orleans Saints -- Drew Brees was limited to 239 yards and one touchdown against the Falcons in Week 15. Brees has now eclipsed 300 passing yards in only two of 15 games and hasn't managed more than two touchdowns in a game since Week 3. Brees hasn't posted a weekly finish better than 13th since Week 11 and has only two weekly finishes better than 10th this season. That's a shocking number considering Brees finished top-10 during 63 percent of his outings last season. Brees is no more than a low-ceiling/fringe QB1 against the Buccaneers in Week 17.

New York Giants -- After catching 15 passes during his first nine NFL games, Wayne Gallman has a position-high 19 receptions for 124 yards over his past three outings. That includes at least six catches and 40 yards in each of those games. Gallman also has eight-plus carries during each of the three outings and appears to have overtaken Orleans Darkwa as the team's lead back. Gallman played 47 of a possible 67 snaps on Sunday, whereas Darkwa played 11 and Shane Vereen six. Gallman's heavy usage is enough to make him a fringe top-25 play against the Redskins in Week 17.

New York Jets -- Austin Seferian-Jenkins hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 7 and has eclipsed 28 receiving yards in a game only once during his past nine outings. Seferian-Jenkins has totaled 9 catches on 17 targets for 42 yards during his past four games. Oddly enough, Seferian-Jenkins played a season-low 66 percent of the Jets' snaps and ran a route on a season-low 68 percent of the team's pass plays, but hit a season-high 29 percent target share. Seferian-Jenkins will face a Patriots defense allowing the fewest fantasy points to tight ends over the past two months and is not a top-15 option at the position.

Oakland Raiders -- Amari Cooper returned to action Monday night after missing all but 40 snaps due to injury during the previous four weeks. The third-year wideout was limited to 39 snaps, but was on the field for 27 of the team's 32 pass plays. He caught a 63-yard touchdown in the game, but was otherwise limited to 2 catches for 3 yards on 3 targets. It's possible Cooper takes on a larger role this week, but he's likely to see shadow coverage from Casey Hayward, and the Raiders' offense is struggling (10 passing touchdowns during its past eight games). Cooper caught 5 of 6 targets for 28 yards in the earlier meeting with the Chargers. He's no more than a flex option and is a name to avoid in DFS.

Philadelphia Eagles -- Alshon Jeffery drew shadow coverage from Sean Smith and was held without a catch on two targets on Monday night. Despite the horrific performance during championship week, Jeffery still sits 17th at the position in fantasy points. He entered the week having finished top-25 at wide receiver during six of his past seven outings. The Eagles have locked up the top seed in the NFC, so it's likely their star players will get, at least, some rest in Week 17 against Dallas. In that scenario, the likes of Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Nelson Agholor, Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount and Nick Foles will need to be avoided in fantasy. This will obviously be a situation to monitor throughout the week.

Pittsburgh Steelers -- Pittsburgh played its first full game this season without the services of Antonio Brown on Monday night. Though his day started very slowly, JuJu Smith-Schuster was the top performer among Steelers' wideouts. He played 48 snaps and caught 6 of 7 targets for 75 yards and 1 touchdown. Martavis Bryant played 41 snaps and caught 3 of 4 targets for 60 snaps. With those two manning the perimeter, Eli Rogers handled four targets on 26 snaps as the primary slot man, but managed only one 6-yard catch. Justin Hunter caught a touchdown, but was targeted only once and played five snaps. He and Darrius Heyward-Bey (14 snaps) aren't fantasy options. The Steelers are competing for the top seed in the AFC when they face Cleveland this week, so Smith-Schuster and Bryant are both viable fantasy starters.

San Francisco 49ers -- Jimmy Garoppolo completed 21 of 30 passes for 242 yards and scored 3 touchdowns against the vaunted Jaguars defense on Sunday. Garoppolo finished the week fourth at the position in fantasy points, which is the best finish by a quarterback against the Jaguars this season. Garoppolo finished 24th at the position in his first 49ers start in Week 13, progressed to 16th in Week 14, 10th in Week 15 and, as noted, fourth in Week 16. He's fantasy's No. 8 quarterback during the span. Garoppolo will face another tough challenge at the Rams this week, but he has played well enough that he's a viable back-end QB1.

Seattle Seahawks -- Tyler Lockett has spiked a few times this season, but he has mostly been a poor fantasy asset. Lockett has failed to eclipse 17 receiving yards in a game during six of his past eight games. He has finished outside the top-70 wide receivers in fantasy points during five of his past eight outings. Lockett has dealt with some bad touchdown luck (two touchdowns, 4.5 OTD), but simply isn't seeing enough volume to warrant starting-lineup consideration.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- DeSean Jackson was out Sunday, which opened the door for Chris Godwin to see the field on 30 of the team's 35 pass plays. The third-round rookie caught a 70-yard pass in the game and totaled 3 receptions on 6 targets for 98 yards. Godwin has been on the field for at least 70 percent of the Bucs' pass plays in two games this season. He has 8 catches on 16 targets for 166 yards in those two affairs. If Jackson remains out, Godwin will be a flex option against the Saints in Tampa Bay's season finale.

Tennessee Titans -- Corey Davis had a career day and his best performance since Week 1 against the Rams on Sunday. The 2017 fifth-overall pick caught 6 of 9 targets for 91 yards. Davis had failed to eclipse 30 receiving yards during his previous three outings and has yet to score his first NFL touchdown. He has been on the field for at least 84 percent of the team's pass plays in all eight games since returning from injury in Week 9, but sits outside the top 50 at the position in fantasy points during the span. Davis remains a terrific dynasty hold and will be a popular 2018 breakout target, but he's not yet a reliable fantasy option. Unless the Jaguars rest their starters in Week 17, Davis should be nowhere close to fantasy lineups.

Washington Redskins -- Josh Doctson was targeted on 13 of Kirk Cousin's 37 pass attempts during Sunday's win over Denver. The second-year receiver caught a wide-open 48-yard touchdown, but otherwise managed only one catch for 13 yards. Doctson was on the field for all 66 of the team's offensive plays and has run a route on 292 of the Redskins' 302 pass plays since Week 9. Unfortunately, that heavy usage has led to only 23 receptions for 335 yards and 3 touchdowns on 50 targets and the 40th-most fantasy points at wide receiver during the span. Doctson is a flex option against a Giants defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers over the past eight weeks.