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2 key QB starts, 2 QB sits to consider for Week 17 fantasy football

Is a matchup with the lowly Dolphins enough to get Tom Brady out of his recent funk? Can Aaron Rodgers still be trusted after back-to-back-to-back underwhelming performances?

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady leaves the field after their win over the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium. Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Not everyone decides to keep playing Fantasy Football in Week 17, but I have a certain level of respect for the people who do. It’s almost like cranking up the difficulty on your life to “All-Madden” with all the various playoff scenarios and late-season injuries wreaking havoc on team’s rosters. Still, the last week of the season is something to cherish, and we’ll all miss tinkering with our lineups until next September. So, with that in mind, why not wring all the fantasy goodness we can out of 2019?

Here are a couple QBs I like and dislike heading into Sunday’s action.

Quarterback Starts

Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Keying in on Brady for Week 17 is an odd proposition. Aside from the fact that the 42-year-old’s been able to end most regular seasons in recent memory by relaxing on the sideline, Brady’s just not been all that great a fantasy asset in 2019. In fact, dating back to the beginning of Week 6, New England’s pivot has mustered just a single performance of over 20.0 FPTS, while he’s thrown for fewer than 200 yards in three of his last five starts. However, I’d expect that trend to change against the Dolphins. Miami’s surrendered a league-high 2.5 opponent passing touchdowns per game and the Patriots are averaging 4.1 red zone possessions per home contest - also the highest mark in the NFL. Brady should be able to find the end zone a few times with that level of opportunity.

Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams

After a nightmarish month of November, things have really turned around for Goff so far in December. The former first-overall pick is second among all QBs in pass attempts (171) since the start of Week 13; a span that’s also seen Goff rank top-five positionally in adjusted completion rate (81.1%) and passing yards (1,324). Really, the biggest turning point of his season - at least from a statistical perspective - came when Goff and the Rams last faced the Cardinals. The quarterback actually threw for 424 yards that afternoon against a defense that’s conceded the most fantasy points to opposing pivots so far in 2019. You do have to keep an eye on Goff’s status, as Sean McVay did hint about resting some starters earlier in the week, but, if he’s good to go, he’s a top-flight option with a great matchup.

Quarterback Sits

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Look, the prospect of sitting Rodgers may seem absurd, but aside from a four-touchdown showing against the Giants to start December, the future Hall of Fame QB has done little for owners the last two months. Dating back to Week 9, among the 22 quarterbacks with 200-plus pass attempts, Rodgers joins Josh Allen and Derek Carr as the only three men to have not registered a single 300-yard game. Rodgers also has the fewest touchdown passes of any person in that grouping (8) along with the second-fewest fantasy points earned per drop back (0.36). Even in a prime matchup against the Lions, I’m just not in a place where I can trust the 36-year-old.

Robert Griffin III, Baltimore Ravens

Let’s not get too cute. I can easily understand how one might find themselves pondering Griffin’s viability this weekend. Not only is there still the luster in fantasy circles from Griffin’s rookie campaign, but the former first-round pick playing within the system that’s made Lamar Jackson such a huge star is definitely tantalizing to think about. However, Griffin’s going to be at the helm of an offense that’s been stripped of some of its top parts and he’ll be going up against a Steelers defense that’s incentivized with playoff aspirations. That’s also a Pittsburgh defense that’s second in the NFL in adjusted sack rate (9.5%) and has allowed the third-fewest opponent points per drive (1.53). Griffin won’t be doing a Jackson impression on Sunday.