Midweek NFL Week 17 Picks, Predictions Against the Spread: Projected game scripts for all 16 games

The following is a detailed rundown of NFL Week 17 picks and predictions, featuring likely game scripts and player performances.

If you want to know what might happen Sunday, which Week 17 picks and predictions to make, and which players will be impacted, this article is for you. I’ve run through the most likely game scripts and NFL odds for each Week 17 contest, plucking out the highest-probability outcomes for more than 100 players.

NFL picks and predictions Week 17 | NFL lines and odds

Once again, last week provided shocks and surprises we might not have expected from glancing at the current NFL standings. With both the playoff picture and the 2022 NFL Draft order crystallizing, how do the sportsbooks see Week 17 playing out, and could we see another week with surprising results?

Let’s take a look at the Week 17 picks, predictions, and NFL odds from DraftKings sportsbook as of 2 PM ET on December 28, spanning all 16 Sunday/Monday games.

Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) at Washington Football Team

The Eagles are down Miles Sanders, and frankly, Jalen Hurts has not looked the same since returning in Week 15 from a high ankle sprain. He’s rushed only 10 times for 45 yards in these past two games. With 740 rushing yards and 10 rushing TDs on the season, we know this offense will rise and fall with him. Jordan Howard and perhaps Boston Scott will eat up ground yards against Washington. But if Hurts is throwing and running well, this game could be over by halftime.

For Washington, what a disastrous (and entirely expected) performance against the Cowboys. When your best receiver has exceeded 62 yards only three times all year, that’s a problem. Terry McLaurin remains a boom-bust wideout, while Antonio Gibson would be a startable RB in a must-win game. For the second straight week, I like John Bates as an under-the-radar streaming TE.

Eagles vs. Washington Prediction: Eagles 30, Washington 19

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-6.5)

Expect a nice bounce-back game for the Saints, despite Carolina’s tough defense. Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram were painfully underutilized Monday night against Miami. They won’t make the same mistake again. Start Kamara in all leagues and Ingram in deep leagues if you need a TD-dependent RB flyer.

The Saints’ defense is no joke but were undermanned Monday due to injuries. This is the same team that shut out the Buccaneers two weeks ago, and I expect them to shut down the Panthers. Perhaps DJ Moore nets WR3/4 production. Perhaps Cam Newton or Sam Darnold earns mid-QB2 numbers. But let’s face it: New Orleans probably will win this game by 17+ points.

Panthers vs. Saints Prediction: Saints 26, Panthers 9

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-13.5) at New York Jets

I traded for the Bucs D/ST earlier this season with an eye on Weeks 16 and 17. They came through big-time this past weekend against the Panthers, and they should lock down the Jets. On offense, Antonio Brown remains a must-start, and I expect Rob Gronkowski to bounce back in a big way (he often does). On the ground, I pushed Ke’Shawn Vaughn last week as an unconventional streamer, and it paid off. I’m doing it again now.

For New York, Elijah Moore might return from injured reserve. If he does, he’ll be a must-start against a middling and injury-plagued Bucs defense. I have Michael Carter and am benching him in my title game for AJ Dillon in my RB2 slot. That tells you what I think about Carter against this Tampa Bay run defense.

Buccaneers vs. Jets Prediction: Buccaneers 36, Jets 16

Miami Dolphins (+3) at Tennessee Titans

I like Miami capitalizing on Tennessee’s porous pass defense. The Titans’ strength (run defense) is Miami’s weakness. The Dolphins are the worst in the league in yards per carry (3.4). So expect a pass-heavy game scheme featuring (of course) Jaylen Waddle and (thankfully) more of DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki. Tua Tagovailoa will be on the fantasy streaming radar.

For the Titans, I’m starting A.J. Brown in my championship game, which probably surprises none of you. D’Onta Foreman will be a risky play against a solid Miami defense. The same goes for Dontrell Hilliard and Jeremy McNichols. But the key here is that I don’t see anyone but Brown making headway in fantasy.

Dolphins vs. Titans Prediction: Dolphins 24, Titans 17

Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots (-15.5)

I love the Patriots playing at home and coming off a loss. I particularly love them against the free-falling Jaguars.

In fantasy, Mac Jones is one of my favorite under-the-radar QB streamers, and Hunter Henry is a borderline top-10 TE. Jakobi Meyers, meanwhile, could have his best day of the season. I think head coach Bill Belichick will use this as an opportunity to test some things in the passing game in preparation for the postseason. Regardless, Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson (if he returns) would be must-starts in a blowout.

For Jacksonville, Dare Ogunbowale probably will out-touch Ryquell Armstead with James Robinson and Carlos Hyde out. Trevor Lawrence has 1 TD in his past eight games. That’s not a typo — 1 TD. I’m hard-pressed to recommend any Jaguar in fantasy this week.

Jaguars vs. Patriots Prediction: Patriots 37, Jaguars 6

Las Vegas Raiders at Indianapolis Colts (-7.5)

Note: This was the point spread as of Monday afternoon. But with news on Tuesday that Carson Wentz has been added to the reserve/COVID list, oddsmakers are wisely reassessing the situation. For now, based on Monday’s point spread, we should assume that the Colts could still win by more than a touchdown even if rookie QB Sam Ehlinger is at the helm. Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines likely would combine for 35+ touches. It would be nearly impossible to trust any other Colts player.

For the Raiders, Josh Jacobs would be a volume-dependent RB2 against an Indianapolis defense yielding the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing backfields. Hunter Renfrow remains a must-start WR3+, and Zay Jones and Foster Moreau could continue to capitalize in a shorthanded receiving corps. If Darren Waller returns, he’s obviously a TE1. But I expect the Colts to hold the Raiders offense in check.

Raiders vs. Colts Prediction: Colts 21, Raiders 13

Kansas City Chiefs (-5) at Cincinnati Bengals

The Chiefs should get back Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill wasn’t needed in Week 16. Even without Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City is starting to click after early-season struggles. Byron Pringle and Mecole Hardman will revert to desperation streamers (because fringe fantasy starters are “fringe” for a reason). And I like Darrel Williams as an RB3+, and Derrick Gore as an RB4 for all your deep-leaguers needing 6+ points from any RB you can find.

My Sunday DFS article last weekend featured Joe Burrow and Tee Higgins. Needless to say, they exceeded even my loftiest expectations. This week will be different. The Chiefs have gotten tougher against opposing quarterbacks these past four weeks, giving up an average of only 13.8 fantasy points per game.

The way to beat them is on the ground, where they’re yielding 4.7 yards per carry. I expect the Bengals to try to work the clock through Joe Mixon and a bit of Samaje Perine. Before last week, Burrow had only 6 TDs in his previous six games. So let’s temper our excitement.

Chiefs vs. Bengals Prediction: Chiefs 30, Bengals 20

New York Giants at Chicago Bears (-6.5)

Several teams have been ravaged by injuries this year. No team has had it worse on offense than the Giants. It’s been an unmitigated disaster, capped by the fact that prized offseason acquisition Kenny Golladay is the WR80 with the second-lowest catch rate of any top-100 fantasy wideout.

For the Bears, Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet remain solid streamers. If Justin Fields returns, the Bears could win by 14+ points. David Montgomery needs to be in most lineups, especially because of how heavily he’s being targeted in the passing game. I’m begrudgingly taking Chicago to win by a touchdown or more.

Giants vs. Bears Prediction: Bears 19, Giants 10

Atlanta Falcons at Buffalo Bills (-14.5)

I’m tempted to take the Falcons to cover. But this could easily be 14-0 Bills 10 minutes into the game. Devin Singletary is finally getting the attention he’s long deserved as the most talented Buffalo RB and is a solid RB3/flex option at minimum. Isaiah McKenzie is the wild card alongside up-and-down veteran Emmanuel Sanders. Josh Allen realistically could score 30+ fantasy points.

Last week, I urged readers to finally buy into a rebound for Kyle Pitts, and he came through. But against Buffalo’s stout pass defense, it’s hard to see Atlanta making much headway. Pitts and Cordarrelle Patterson are the best bets for 7+ points. That’s the best I can say. Russell Gage probably will be heavily shadowed; I wouldn’t trust him as a top-30 WR.

Falcons vs. Bills Prediction: Bills 36, Falcons 9

BJ Rudell is the Fantasy Football and Betting Product Director for Pro Football Network. You can read all of BJ’s work here and follow him on Twitter: @BJRudell.

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