These players don’t have to be benched. Each team is different, and league context matters. The matchups are more difficult than usual and if possible, seeking a better start is recommended.
Week 17 Sit ‘Em Players
QB Baker Mayfield @BAL
It has been a good rookie season for Mayfield, but he ends it with one of the worst matchups in the NFL, and the Ravens need a win to make the playoffs. The Ravens haven’t allowed a passing touchdown the last two games and allowed only four over the previous five games. They have limited quarterbacks to 211 passing yards or fewer in four of the previous five games, including games against Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston, and Philip Rivers. Mayfield passed for 342 yards with a touchdown and an interception in Week 5 against the Ravens, but both teams are different now. The Ravens offense has changed under Lamar Jackson, and they run the ball a lot and control the clock, limiting the number of plays the opponents run.
RB Jordan Howard @MIN
Howard has been better recently with double-digit points in PPR formats in three straight games and scored in the last two. The Bears have a shot at the No. 2 seed in the NFC, but they need the Rams to lose, and they are 10-point favorites at home against the 49ers. The teams play at the same time, and if the Rams have a big lead, the Bears have indicated they will pull the starters. The matchup isn’t ideal as the Vikings have allowed eight rushing touchdowns to running backs. The Bears running backs had 26 carries for 89 yards against the Vikings in Week 11.
RB Mark Ingram vs. CAR
The Saints have nothing to play for. They have locked up the No. 1 seed in the NFC, and the starters will likely sit or see few snaps. Ingram is unlikely to play much, if at all. Look for Dwayne Washington to be the starter for the Saints in Week 17.
WR Jarvis Landry @BAL
While the Browns offense has improved as the season went on, Landry wasn’t a big part of it. Landry had three catches for 37 yards against the Broncos in Week 15 and four catches for 47 yards on eight targets against the Bengals, who are one of the worst defenses in the NFL. The Ravens defense has been suffocating in recent weeks. They have allowed the third-fewest Fantasy points to wide receivers and haven’t allowed a touchdown to a receiver since Week 11. They have held Antonio Brown to 42 yards and Julio Jones to 18 yards.
WR Corey Davis vs. IND
The Titans need a win to make the playoffs. Marcus Mariota’s right side of his body is numb and tingly, and he might not play this week meaning Blaine Gabbert would start. Davis hasn’t done much recently with Mariota as the team has been run-heavy with Derrick Henry dominating on the ground. Davis has four receptions or fewer in six straight games and been held to 45 yards or fewer in five of the last six games.
TE Ian Thomas @NO
Thomas has been a TE1 since Week 13. In that span, he has 25 targets, 20 receptions for 185 yards with a touchdown. Kyle Allen will start at quarterback for the Panthers, and the Saints are a difficult matchup. Thomas had his worst game since Week 13 against the Saints when he had two catches for 14 yards on four targets two weeks ago. The Saints have allowed the fourth-fewest Fantasy points to tight ends and only four touchdowns.