Some wide receivers stand out as must-start fantasy football options most weeks while others come and go depending on matchups and other factors. Hitting on under-the-radar plays is big in season-long fantasy and DFS. We’ve identified two wide receivers worth starting and two to consider sitting ahead of Week 17 to help you achieve fantasy success this weekend.
Wide Receiver Starts
Jamison Crowder, New York Jets vs. New England Patriots
Crowder posted his best fantasy stat line of the year in Week 16 with seven receptions for 92 yards and a score to go along with a 14-yard rush. The Patriots aren’t the Buffalo Bills on defense but are dealing with tons of injuries on defense. Six defensive starters are listed as questionable for New England and few receivers find holes in the defense like Crowder. He’s tallied 13 catches for 158 yards in the Jets’ two wins this season.
Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Atlanta was bottled up by Kansas City in Week 16 but Gage played more snaps than Calvin Ridley for a second straight week. He’ll get a chance to dominate the secondary he tallied five receptions for 68 yards and a score just two games ago against. Tampa Bay shuts down the ground game better than any team in the NFL so Gage could come close to the 10 targets he amassed the last time he faced Tampa Bay. Julio Jones’ absence raises his upside significantly
Wide Receiver Sits
Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers
Lockett has become an afterthought for the back half of the season and has only scored once in the last eight weeks. He and DK Metcalf have been drastically affected by Russell Wilson’s struggles and neither has performed like a WR1 as of late. While San Francisco got torched by Russ earlier this year it has given up the fourth-fewest passing yards in the NFL. We haven’t seen Lockett and Metcalf get going in the same game for some time. If any Seahawks wideout is going to go off it’ll be the WR1.
Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns
This is more of a knock against Mason Rudolph than a knock against Johnson. Ben Roethlisberger's chemistry with Johnson has helped the wideout have a breakout year but Rudolph lacks the same accuracy and precision. Rudolph averaged less than 175 passing yards per game in 2019 and threw for 13 touchdowns in 10 games. His fantasy upside isn’t high enough to maximize the potential of a WR1.