Team of the Week
QB: Cam Newton
Newton saved his best for last this season, as he completed 21-of-30 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns, rushed 11 times for 79 yards, and caught a 19-yard score in Sunday’s win over the Jets. Turning 32 in the spring, Newton could still carry fantasy value next year if he gets a starting job.
RB: Jonathan Taylor
Indy’s second-round pick is another player that saved his best for last—exploding for 30 carries, 253 yards, and two touchdowns in a must-win for the Colts. In six outings since being featured in an upset victory over Green Bay, Taylor has averaged 123.5 rushing yards per game and 6.2 yards per carry with eight total touchdowns
RB: Derrick Henry
It was obvious that Tennessee was going to ride Henry with the AFC South title on the line yesterday, but Houston still couldn’t stop him on the way to 2,000 rushing yards for the season. Overall, Henry bruised for 250 yards and two scores on 34 attempts.
WR: Brandin Cooks
Cooks has said he doesn’t want to be traded again, and he did his best to leave a strong final impression on Houston with 11 receptions, 166 yards, and two touchdowns in a shootout loss against the Titans. For those who play their fantasy championship in Week 16 and Week 17, Cooks went for lines of 7/141/1 and 11/166/2.
WR: Marvin Jones
Going for 180 yards in the finale wasn’t quite enough to get Jones over 1,000 yards for the second time in his career (he finished with 978), but he did score nine touchdowns for the third time in four seasons. The 34.0 fantasy points were easily a season-high for the veteran wideout.
TE: Darren Waller
All Waller did in the final act of perhaps the best five-game stretch for a tight end in NFL history was go for a 9/117/1 line with the game-winning two-point conversation in the final minute. In the five games since the start of December, Waller went off with a scorching season-long pace of 138 receptions, 2,093 yards, and 13 touchdowns.
FLEX: Antonio Brown
Tampa Bay is getting really scary on offense with Brown showing flashes of his former self, and he had a complete throwback performance in Week 17 with 11 receptions, 138 yards, and two highlight scores. The 31.3 fantasy points for AB surely made a big difference in some championship matchups.
The Rams were a strong play either way on Sunday, but Kyler Murray (ankle) sitting for most of the game allowed them to tee off—totaling 21.0 fantasy points with an interception, a safety, a block, four sacks, one touchdown, and just 214 yards allowed in an 18-7 win.
K: Ka’imi Fairbairn
There were actually ten kickers that went for double-digit points yesterday with the weather not being as bad as expected, but Fairbairn was the highest scorer in the comforts of a dome with 17.0 fantasy points in Houston’s 41-38 loss.
Surprise of the Week: Cam Newton
After a combined 26.28 fantasy points over the previous three weeks, Newton exploded in what was almost certainly his final game with New England—going for 37.98 fantasy points as a top overall scorer of Week 17. Considering there seemed to be a 50-50 shot of seeing Jarrett Stidham in the finale, Cam was undoubtedly the week’s biggest surprise.
Disappointment of the Week: Kyler Murray
Murray went down early with an ankle injury on Sunday, and it was a definite disappointment to see him going in and out of the locker room, getting taped up, trying to warm up, etc. while not returning until the fourth quarter when the game seemed to be decided. Including the 3.78 fantasy points in the finale, Murray had just one game with more than 18.5 fantasy points over the final six weeks.
Rookie of the Week: Jonathan Taylor
The Colts needed help heading into the weekend after inexplicably going away from Taylor in the second half of their collapse versus Pittsburgh, but they atoned for the mistake against Jacksonville by giving their rookie runner 31 touches in a dominant performance. Overall, Taylor showed why he’s the total package at running back with the power to push defenders forward and the speed to hit the home run.
Week 17 MVP: Jonathan Taylor
Derrick Henry or one of the wideouts deserve consideration, but Taylor—somewhat quietly because of the heroics of Henry in a closer game while chasing 2,000 yards—totaled 37.9 fantasy points in Week 17. Hopefully enough people stuck with the former Wisconsin standout following some midseason struggles.