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2 WRs to start, fade in Week 17 fantasy football

We go over who you should start and who you should sit at wide receiver for Week 17.

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 24: Tee Higgins #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals warms up prior to the start of the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Nick Grace/Getty Images

Week 17 of the NFL season also marks the championship for fantasy football, and respective managers in the title game have just one last chance to put together the best possible starting lineup. Despite the wide receiver position being relatively healthy to close out the season, rolling with a wideout that has the best possible advantage can prove to be the x-factor in fantasy matchups this week. We’re listing out which receivers should remain in lineups and which are best to avoid.

Wide receiver starts

Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Buffalo Bills

Higgins is riding a hot streak at the perfect time for the Bengals and respective fantasy managers playing for a championship. The wideout is coming off his best game of the season after catching eight of his nine targets for 128 yards and a touchdown, resulting in a season-best 26.8 PPR fantasy performance. On deck is a significant matchup with a Bills' defense that has looked vulnerable as of late, allowing the 11th-most fantasy points to WRs. Look for Higgins to continue to play a big role as a primary target for Joe Burrow.

Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings

Doubs and Christian Watson have both elevated their play in recent weeks as the Packers find themselves still very much in contention for the postseason. The fourth-round pick was quiet with just 6.6 PPR fantasy points last week, but could see a more prominent role in Week 17 if Watson is somewhat limited. Watson didn’t return in last week’s win after suffering a hip injury, but even if he does suit up it could come alongside a hindered performance. Additionally, the Vikings have given up the third-most fantasy points (26.0 PPG) to WRs and rank dead last in passing defense (281.5 YPG allowed).

Wide receiver sits

Donovan Peoples-Jones, Cleveland Browns vs. Washington Commanders

The Browns receiver has a tough matchup on deck with the Commanders' defense, which gives up the 15th-fewest fantasy points to his position and ranks seventh in pass defense (198.6 YPG allowed). Granted, his 1.2-point performance last week may have been a result of putrid weather conditions, but Deshaun Watson has also struggled returning to form. For fantasy managers playing in their championship game this week, they’re better off avoiding the Browns, who face a stingy defense on the road.

Gabe Davis, Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals allow the 15th-most fantasy points per game to opposing receivers and the expectation is that the Bills are in for a potential shoot-out in Week 17. But Davis can only benefit if he remains heavily involved in the passing game, which has not been a statement of truth over the last few weeks. In Week 16 he managed to salvage his fantasy day by finding the end zone but it marked just his first touchdown since Week 13 and he still finished under 50 receiving yards. He’s by no means a “bad play,” but in fantasy football championship week he faces a relatively below-average matchup.