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Fantasy Football Playoff Guide: Start 'Em Picks for Week 17

Fantasy Insider Scott Engel offers guidance as you prep for Week 17 of the fantasy season.


In the NFL playoffs, we have seen many players shine brighter than ever before. In Seahawks history, Jermaine Kearse seemed to take his game to the highest levels in the playoffs, with his game-winning 35-yard TD reception in the 2014 NFC Championship Game being among his notable postseason highlights.  

In Super Bowl XLVIII, Malcolm Smith returned an interception 69 yards for a TD and recovered a fumble. He was named the Super Bowl MVP. Earlier in team lore, Dan Doornink etched his name in the Seattle history books with a 123-yard performance in a Wild Card win over the Raiders in 1984. Also, who could forget Seneca Wallace's 28-yard reception in the 2005 NFC Championship Game that sparked the Seahawks to a 34-point win and their first-ever trip to the Super Bowl?  

While Seahawks fans knew these names well, players like Kearse, Smith, Doornink and Wallace gained more national recognition for their postseason feats. Previously unheralded players can also become unlikely heroes in the Fantasy Football postseason. We saw outstanding performances from Houston's Rex Burkhead (rushed for 149 yards and two TDs) and Buffalo's Isaiah McKenzie (11 receptions for 125 yards and a TD) in Week 16. Both players were considered very deep options but could have boosted any Fantasy team to a Super Bowl berth.  

So naturally, Fantasy players are wondering who could be their Super Bowl heroes in Week 17? In this week's special Super Bowl edition of Seahawks Fantasy Insider, we feature players who could soar above some expectations to propel your team to a championship victory. Whether you put these guys in your lineups, though, all depends on who else you have. Our Week 17 starting selections are ideal complements to your regular standout starters.  

We remind you to stick with the top players that carried you this far. Fantasy Super Bowl week can be much like Super Bowl media day in the NFL. Instead of reporters asking players tons of questions, though, you are constantly questioning yourself in your mind. Don't put extra pressure on yourself, and continue to operate as always now that the Super Bowl berth is earned. Be confident in lineup decisions, as it is apparent that coming this far demonstrates the acumen to make good calls.

Week 17 Fantasy Football Super Bowl week recommended starters

Running Backs

Rashaad Penny, Seahawks: In the preseason, we listed Penny as one of our prime Fantasy Football sleepers in the Seahawks Fantasy Insider series. He is delivering outstanding Fantasy production at the most important time of the schedule, making good on such billing. In a career performance in Week 14, Penny totaled 26.8 Fantasy Points, and in Week 16, he had 19.5 Fantasy Points. He rushed for over 130 yards and totaled three TDs in those two outings.

Seahawks fans have always been well aware of Penny's promise, as he has always shown the ability to score from anywhere on the field. Yet in recent weeks, he is also demonstrating even more physicality and he has 16-plus rushing attempts in two of his past three games. This week's opponent, the Detroit Lions, rank 27th in rushing yards allowed to RBs. Penny is a must-start Fantasy RB2 this week, capable of playing a key role on Fantasy championship teams.

Darrel Williams, Chiefs: It appears that Williams will be the likely starter at RB for Kansas City this week, and he has performed well in expanded action already this season. He started five games earlier this year. He rushed for two scores against Washington and had nine receptions for 101 yards and a TD vs. the Raiders. Williams also had 110 yards from scrimmage and six catches against the Giants. The Bengals are 28th in receiving yards allowed to RBs. The versatile Williams is a strong flex play for Fantasy Super Bowl week.

Melvin Gordon, Broncos: Gordon had a down outing last week, but look for him to rebound against the Chargers. Los Angeles ranks 30th in rushing yards allowed to RBs, and Denver must rely on its running game to take pressure off the QB. Los Angeles has allowed 18 rushing TDs, tied for second-most in the NFL. Six of Gordon's seven TD runs have come in the red zone area.

Devin Singletary, Bills: If you are looking for a deeper Week 17 option, Singletary can be an answer. He has rushed for 125 yards on 34 carries and two TDs in the past two games. Singletary has been running hard in recent weeks and should get some flex consideration in Week 17. The matchup is a good one for Singletary, as the Falcons allow the 24th-most Fantasy Points Per Game to running backs. He is capable of scoring on a big run or near the goal line, as Buffalo should be able to execute very well in all phases of their offense this week.

Wide Receivers

DeVonta Smith, Eagles: Smith regained the confidence of Fantasy leaguers with 80 receiving yards and a TD on five receptions and seven targets in Week 16. He has a good draw in Week 17 against the Washington Football Team. Washington is 29th in yardage allowed to WRs. Smith will be looking to bounce back after being held to 40 yards by Washington on Dec. 21.

Odell Beckham Jr. Rams: Beckham has been a consistent TD threat in recent weeks. He has scored in four of his past five games. Baltimore has allowed 17 TD receptions, tied for second-most in the AFC, with an NFL-high eight TDs surrendered in the last four weeks. Cooper Kupp deservedly draws a lot of defensive attention, which only helps Beckham and Van Jefferson. Beckham is starting to make his mark for the Rams as they look to the NFC postseason.

Brandin Cooks, Texans: He will be back in action this week, and rookie QB Davis Mills is showing he can do a respectable job of leading the Houston passing game. The Texans demonstrated they play with much pride last week against the Chargers and Cooks is their top playmaker. The 49ers are 25th in Fantasy Points Per Game allowed to WRs. 

Christian Kirk, Cardinals: Kirk has getting frequent looks for the Cardinals recently, with 16 receptions on 21 targets in his last two games. Arizona needs a big win in a marquee matchup against Dallas, and Kyler Murray must rely on Kirk to help him move the chains. The Dallas defense is playing great, but also ranks 25th in receiving yardage allowed to WRs this season. If the Cardinals are going to slug it out on offense with the Cowboys, Kirk will certainly be involved.

Tight Ends

Gerald Everett, Seahawks: Everett has been a Top 10 Fantasy TE over the last four weeks, emerging as a steady source of quality Fantasy production. He has totaled double figure Fantasy points in four of his last five games, with a season-high 16.8 in Week 16. The Lions have also allowed the third-most Fantasy Points Per Game to TEs over the last four weeks.

Hunter Henry, Patriots: Henry has nine TD catches this season, and the Jacksonville defense will spend a lot of time on the field against New England this week. The Patriots should click offensively in a home matchup with the Jaguars and Henry will find the end zone again.


Joe Burrow, Bengals: Burrow is coming off a career day in which he totaled 38.1 Fantasy points. Now the Bengals head into a marquee matchup with the Chiefs and Burrow will only be too eager to show he can trade offensive punches with Patrick Mahomes. Ride with Burrow in what should be one of the most exciting games of the NFL season.

Taysom Hill, Saints: As savvy Fantasy players well know, rushing QBs can always offer upside. In his two games to open December. Hill rushed for 174 yards and two TDs. He has 11 rushing attempts in his last three games played. If you have been streaming QBs to this point, Hill should be a good Week 17 choice. 

Week 17 Defensive Streamers: In order of preference – Colts, Eagles, Dolphins, Bears, 49ers.

Fantasy Insider Scott Engel identifies players to target on the waiver wire in the lead up to Week 17 of the 2021 season.

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