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Newsletter 304 📊 Free Week 17 Fantasy Rankings

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In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter, we check out the biggest signals and noise takeaways from Week 16 and drop early Week 17 ranks. It's 12/29. Take it away, Peter Overzet…

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NFL legend John Madden passed away unexpectedly at the age of 85 yesterday morning. 

Madden left a massive imprint on the game of football as a Super Bowl-winning coach with the highest career winning percentage of all time, as an iconic TV analyst, and of course, as the video game icon.

 And he managed to do it all while being universally loved by everyone. R.I.P. John Madden.

On a more positive note, happy birthday to Matthew Berry. Thank you for everything you do for the fantasy community. 



💥 SIGNALS & NOISE

 

Ben Gretch (@YardsPerGretch) writes the terrific Stealing Signals newsletter where he does a weekly deep dive into the previous week and shares his biggest signals (players who could sustain their production) and biggest noise (performances that were likely fluky). Here are some of his observations from Week 16…

SIGNALS:

A.J. Brown — absolutely massive 1.29 WOPR (16 targets while no other Titan had more than three)

Antonio Brown — also massive 1.11 WOPR, 15 targets, 145 air yards

Devin Singletary — 68% snaps with Zack Moss back, three green zone touches to just one for Moss

Dalton Schultz — continues to prove my earlier thoughts about his lack of target volume with the WRs healthy premature (at this point, it’s fair to say the 25-yard-old Schultz is just good, and will likely be a fantasy figure for some time)

NOISE:


Jonathan Taylor — 0 catches in past three games (ran routes on solid 58% of dropbacks this week, team has been pretty run-heavy overall but also Taylor had two targets here and probably should have had at least a grab or two)

Rex Burkhead — 22 carries (Royce Freeman still got 12, but Texans had positive script against a defense that asks every team to run on them, so the Texans posted a 27/36 pass/run ratio)

Keenan Allen — only 6 targets (hard to fathom his 17% target share of 35 passes with the other two starting WRs out and the Chargers losing)

Donovan Peoples-Jones — one catch, five receiving yards (88% routes, 136 air yards; definitely a boom-or-bust profile but there’s potential for more here)

To see all of Gretch’s biggest signals and biggest noise analysis from Week 16, subscribe to his substack

 

🥇WAZ'S .5 PPR RANKS

 

Here are the early Week 17 rankings from Rob Waziak aka "Waz" along with notes on the current COVID landscape:

The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to be more lenient on the requirements to be removed from the COVID-19/Reserve list:

With no Thursday Night Football the rest of the season, that means players currently on the COVID-19/Reserve list have a potentially easier path to playing this week. 

Some notable players on the list, including the date they were added to it, include:

Adam Trautman (12/22), Brandin Cooks (12/22), Bryan Edwards (12/26), Carson Wentz (12/28), Cole Beasley (12/21), Dalvin Cook (12/23), David Johnson (12/27), Gabriel Davis (12/24), Jalen Guyton (12/22), Julio Jones (12/27), Laviska Shenault (12/24), Mike Evans (12/27), Mike Williams (12/25), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (12/21), Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (12/27), Rhamondre Stevenson (12/24), Taysom Hill (12/23), Travis Kelce (12/20), Trevor Siemian (12/23), and Tyler Huntley (12.25).

While it will be a little more challenging mid-week to project who will see the field in Week 17, there’s at least now a tiny glimmer of hope for some players to play, which is all we could ask for after a wild series of weeks.

With still four days until football, some players with injuries worth monitoring before my Saturday updates include:

 Adam Thielen (ankle), Antonio Gibson (toe), Cam Akers (Achilles), D’Andre Swift (shoulder), Darren Waller (knee/back), Elijah Mitchell (knee), Elijah Moore (IR-quad), Jack Doyle (ankle/knee), James Conner (heel), Jamison Crowder (calf), Jimmy Garoppolo (thumb), Jordan Howard (stinger), Justin Fields (ankle), Kareem Hunt (ankle), Lamar Jackson (ankle), Mike Evans (hamstring), Pat Freiermuth (concussion), Rondale Moore (ankle), and Teddy Bridgewater (concussion).

Waz is a fantasy football analyst who competes in draft and season-long expert rankings competitions. He's consistently been at or near the top of all industry-wide leaderboards since 2017. He’ll be back on Saturday with an update.

-PETE OVERZET

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