2017 STATS Fantasy Football: Championship Week Tiers

By: Sean Koerner | December 21, 2017

Don’t forget, these tiers reflect non-PPR scoring. The number in parentheses next to the player’s matchup indicates how many tiers they’d move up or down in PPR scoring. One thing to note – just because a running back may see a couple receptions doesn’t mean they would simply get a +1 rating. Keep in mind that these PPR ratings factor in the players surrounding him, so if he’s expected to get 2.0 rec, but surrounded by players getting 3+ receptions, he could actually sink a bit, relatively speaking. Just remember that these are dynamic and do factor that aspect in.

The FLEX Rating is a number that allows you to compare each tier across the RB/WR/TE positions for FLEX decisions.

Also, remember that this article is written based on where my projections currently are on Thursday morning. For info on where players updated ranks are after Thursday, be sure to follow me on Twitter @the_oddsmaker.

Here are your championship week tiers:


From a projection-making point of view, Ben Roethlisberger is the most interesting QB this week. I have had to project Antonio Brown without Big Ben under center numerous times. This is the first time, however, I’ve had to project the other way around. I feel it’s enough of a downgrade to Big Ben that he is going to be part of critical sit/start decisions for championship week when he would’ve been an easy start before. I couldn’t be more transparent in regards to which QBs I would prefer to start over him in the tiers below. This isn’t reflected in the QB tiers, but keep in mind that while AB’s loss is a pretty big blow to Big Ben, it’s a huge boost to Le’Veon Bell, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Martavis Bryant.

Jimmy Garoppolo has been on a tear over his first three starts on his new team. He gets the ultimate test this week against the Jaguars shutdown pass defense. Jimmy G has racked up fantasy points via yardage, but he’s yet to throw for multiple TDs in a game for the 49ers. I think he’s a guy you need to sit this week with other, better, options out there.

Tier 1

Cam Newton (vs TB)

Tier 2

Russell Wilson (@ DAL)
Tom Brady (vs BUF)

Tier 3

Alex Smith (vs MIA)
Drew Brees (vs ATL)
Dak Prescott (vs SEA)

Tier 4

Matthew Stafford (@ CIN)
Case Keenum (@ GB)
Nick Foles (vs OAK)
Ben Roethlisberger (@ HOU)
Philip Rivers (@ NYJ)

Tier 5

Jared Goff (@ TEN)
Blake Bortles (@ SF)
Matt Ryan (@ NO)

Tier 6

Kirk Cousins (vs DEN)
Joe Flacco (vs IND)
Tyrod Taylor (@ NE)
Jameis Winston (@ CAR)

Tier 7

Marcus Mariota (vs LAR)
Mitchell Trubisky (vs CLE)
Derek Carr (@ PHI)
Drew Stanton (vs NYG)

Tier 8

Jimmy Garoppolo (vs JAX)
DeShone Kizer (@ CHI)
Andy Dalton (vs DET)

Tier 9

Brock Osweiler (@ WAS)
Eli Manning (@ ARI)
Jay Cutler (@ KC)

Tier 10

T.J. Yates (vs PIT)
Brett Hundley (vs MIN)
Jacoby Brissett (@ BAL)

‘Petty Cash’ Tier
Bryce Petty

Running Backs

This is your weekly reminder that the RB position is the most volatile when it comes to where my projections/rankings are on Thursday vs. where they end up Sunday morning. Their value is extremely correlated with the health/availability of other RBs on their team. Take rankings of backfields such as the Falcons or Bengals with a grain of salt right now, as we await the statuses of Tevin Coleman and Joe Mixon. As always, follow my updates on Twitter for advice on how these sit/start decisions should be handled once we’re closer to finalizing our rosters.

Tier 1 (FLEX Rating: 19.5)

Le’Veon Bell (@ HOU)

Tier 2 (16.5)

Todd Gurley (@ TEN)
Ezekiel Elliott (-1, vs SEA)

Tier 3 (15.5)

Melvin Gordon (@ NYJ)
Kareem Hunt (-1, vs MIA)

Tier 4 (14.5)

Alvin Kamara (+1. vs ATL)
Mark Ingram (vs ATL)
Leonard Fournette (-1, @ SF)

Tier 5 (13.0)

Jordan Howard (-1, vs CLE)
LeSean McCoy (@ NE)
Alex Collins (vs IND)
Dion Lewis (vs BUF)

Tier 6 (11.5)

Kenyan Drake (@ KC)
Devonta Freeman (@ NO)
Christian McCaffrey (+1, vs TB)
Carlos Hyde (vs JAX)
Samaje Perine (vs DEN)

Tier 7 (10.5)

Latavius Murray (-1, @ GB)
Jay Ajayi (vs OAK)

Tier 8 (10.0)

C.J. Anderson (-1, @ WAS)
Marshawn Lynch (@ PHI)
Kerwynn Williams (-1, vs NYG)
Lamar Miller (vs PIT)

Tier 9 (9.0)

Jerick McKinnon (+1, @ GB)
DeMarco Murray (vs LAR)
Peyton Barber (@ CAR)
Jonathan Stewart (-1, vs TB)
Frank Gore (@ BAL)
Mike Davis (@ DAL)
Jamaal Williams (vs MIN)
Joe Mixon (vs DET)

Tier 10 (7.5)

Isaiah Crowell (@ CHI)
Theo Riddick (@ CIN)
Duke Johnson Jr. (+1, @ CHI)
Bilal Powell (vs LAC)
Derrick Henry (-1, vs LAR)
Wayne Gallman (@ ARI)

Tier 11 (6.5)

Tevin Coleman (@ NO)
James White (+1, vs BUF)
Matt Forte (vs LAC)
Giovani Bernard (vs DET)

Tier 12 (5.5)

Javorius Allen (vs IND)
Tarik Cohen (vs CLE)
Orleans Darkwa (-1, @ ARI)
LeGarrette Blount (-1, vs OAK)
Danny Woodhead (+1, vs IND)
Devontae Booker (@ WAS)
Tion Green (-2, @ CIN)

Tier 13 (4.5)

J.D. McKissic (@ DAL)
Marlon Mack (@ BAL)
Aaron Jones (vs MIN)
Kapri Bibbs (+1, vs DEN)
Matt Breida (vs JAX)
Ameer Abdullah (@ CIN)

Tier 14 (4.0)

T.J. Yeldon (+1, @ SF)
Corey Clement (vs OAK)
D.J. Foster (+2, vs NYG)

Wide Receivers

We will be without a fantasy football legend this week. Antonio Brown typically owns Tier 1 all to himself when Big Ben is under center. With AB’s absence, the WR position is wide open this week. I have Juju bumped all the way up to Tier 3 due to expected volume increase with AB out. Martavis Bryant is in play this week, in Tier 5.

The Jaguars look to be without Marqise Lee this week, as he injured his ankle early in their Week 15 blowout against the Texans. It was a bit odd how Dede Westbrook was unable to capitalize as the clear-cut No. 1 WR and only finished with a 2/21/0 line. I get that there’s a certain level of weight that needs to be given to the fact a defense can key in on an offense’s centerpiece in that situation. Nonetheless, I will be betting on Dede’s talent and increased opportunity in Week 16. Keelan Cole and, to a lesser extent, Jaydon Mickens will still carry some fantasy value into this week after their massive Week 15 showings. Cole makes for a decent WR3 this week and had quietly scored in back-to-back games even before his eruption last week.

Tier 1 (11.5)

Julio Jones (@ NO)
Keenan Allen (@ NYJ)
Michael Thomas (vs ATL)

Tier 2 (10.5)

DeAndre Hopkins (vs PIT)
A.J. Green (vs DET)
Tyreek Hill (vs MIA)
Adam Thielen (@ GB)

Tier 3 (9.0)

Brandin Cooks (vs BUF)
Juju Smith-Schuster (@ HOU)
Devin Funchess (vs TB)
Mike Evans (@ CAR)
Dez Bryant (vs SEA)
Michael Crabtree (@ PHI)

Tier 4 (8.5)

Marvin Jones Jr. (@ CIN)
Larry Fitzgerald (+1, vs NYG)
Doug Baldwin (@ DAL)
Jarvis Landry (+1, @ KC)
Golden Tate (@ CIN)
Stefon Diggs (@ GB)
Alshon Jeffery (vs OAK)
Robert Woods (@ TEN)
Mike Wallace (vs IND)
Demaryius Thomas (@ WAS)
Josh Gordon (@ CHI)
Mohamed Sanu (@ NO)
Jamison Crowder (vs DEN)
Marquise Goodwin (vs JAX)

Tier 5 (7.5)

Robby Anderson (vs LAC)
Nelson Agholor (vs OAK)
Sterling Shepard (@ ARI)
Cooper Kupp (@ TEN)
Dede Westbrook (@ SF)
Rishard Matthews (vs LAR)
Martavis Bryant (@ HOU)

Tier 6 (7.0)

Keelan Cole (@ SF)
Randall Cobb (vs MIN)
T.Y. Hilton (@ BAL)
Sammy Watkins (@ TEN)
DeSean Jackson (@ CAR)
Jordy Nelson (vs MIN)
Paul Richardson (@ DAL)
Kendall Wright (vs CLE)
Emmanuel Sanders (@ WAS)

Tier 7 (6.0)

Kenny Golladay (@ CIN)
Kenny Stills (@ KC)
Jermaine Kearse (vs LAC)
Danny Amendola (vs BUF)
DeVante Parker (@ KC)
Tyrell Williams (@ NYJ)
Ted Ginn Jr. (vs ATL)
Josh Doctson (vs DEN)

Tier 8 (5.5)

Roger Lewis (@ ARI)
Tyler Lockett (@ DAL)
Will Fuller V (vs PIT)
Brandon LaFell (vs DET)
Travis Benjamin (-1, @ NYJ)
Amari Cooper (@ PHI)
Corey Coleman (@ CHI)
Albert Wilson (vs MIA)
Corey Davis (vs LAR)
Chris Hogan (vs BUF)
Torrey Smith (vs OAK)
Terrance Williams (vs SEA)

Tier 9 (4.5)

Kelvin Benjamin (@ NE)
Damiere Byrd (vs TB)
Trent Taylor (vs JAX)
Chris Moore (vs IND)
Brandon Coleman (-1, vs ATL)
Ryan Grant (vs DEN)
J.J. Nelson (vs NYG)
Eric Decker (vs LAR)
Chester Rogers (@ BAL)
Cody Latimer (@ WAS)

Tight Ends

Tier 1 (10.5)

Rob Gronkowski (vs BUF)
Travis Kelce (vs MIA)

Tier 2 (8.5)

Zach Ertz (vs OAK)

Tier 3 (7.5)

Greg Olsen (vs TB)
Evan Engram (@ ARI)
Delanie Walker (vs LAR)

Tier 4 (6.5)

Jimmy Graham (@ DAL)
Kyle Rudolph (@ GB)
Cameron Brate (@ CAR)
Jack Doyle (@ BAL)
Jared Cook (@ PHI)
Charles Clay (@ NE)
Jason Witten (vs SEA)
Eric Ebron (@ CIN)

Tier 5 (5.0)

Vernon Davis (vs DEN)
Benjamin Watson (vs IND)
Jesse James (@ HOU)
Austin Hooper (@ NO)
Antonio Gates (@ NYJ)
Stephen Anderson (vs PIT)
Ricky Seals-Jones (vs NYG)
Tyler Kroft (vs DET)
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (vs LAC)

Tier 6 (4.5)

Ricky Seals-Jones (vs NYG)
Tyler Kroft (vs DET)
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (vs LAC)


Tucker Tier

Justin Tucker (vs IND)

Tier 1

Stephen Gostkowski (vs BUF)

Tier 2

Wil Lutz (vs ATL)
Harrison Butker (vs MIA)
Justin Tucker (vs IND)*

Tier 3

Graham Gano (vs TB)
Dan Bailey (vs SEA)
Chris Boswell (@ HOU)
Jake Elliott (vs OAK)

Tier 4

Matt Bryant (@ NO)
Sam Ficken (@ TEN)
Matt Prater (@ CIN)
Nick Rose (@ NYJ)
Josh Lambo (@ SF)

Tier 5

Dustin Hopkins (vs DEN)
Phil Dawson (vs NYG)
Kai Forbath (@ GB)
Ryan Succop (vs LAR)
Blair Walsh (@ DAL)
Mike Nugent (vs CLE)

Tier 6

Robbie Gould (vs JAX)
Mason Crosby (vs MIN)
Giorgio Tavecchio (@ PHI)
Brandon McManus (@ WAS)
Stephen Hauschka (@ NE)
Randy Bullock (vs DET)
Chandler Catanzaro (vs LAC)
Patrick Murray (@ CAR)
Aldrick Rosas (@ ARI)
Ka’imi Fairbairn (vs PIT)

Tier 7

Cody Parkey (@ KC)
Adam Vinatieri (@ BAL)
Zane Gonzalez (@ CHI)

*See Week 15 Tiers piece for explanation of the Tucker Tier.


Tier 1

Chicago Bears (vs CLE)
Minnesota Vikings (@ GB)
Baltimore Ravens (vs IND)

Tier 2

Los Angeles Chargers (@ NYJ)
Kansas City Chiefs (vs MIA)
Pittsburgh Steelers (@ HOU)
Jacksonville Jaguars (@ SF)

Tier 3

Carolina Panthers (vs TB)
Washington Redskins (vs DEN)
New England Patriots (vs BUF)
Arizona Cardinals (vs NYG)
Los Angeles Rams (@ TEN)

Tier 4

Philadelphia Eagles (vs OAK)
Detroit Lions (@ CIN)
New York Giants (@ ARI)
Dallas Cowboys (vs SEA)

Tier 5

Denver Broncos (@ WAS)
New Orleans Saints (vs ATL)
Cleveland Browns (@ CHI)
Cincinnati Bengals (vs DET)
San Francisco 49ers (vs JAX)
New York Jets (vs LAC)
Green Bay Packers (vs MIN)
Houston Texans (vs PIT)

Tier 6

Seattle Seahawks (@ DAL)
Tennessee Titans (vs LAR)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ CAR)
Indianapolis Colts (@ BAL)
Miami Dolphins (@ KC)

Tier 7

Oakland Raiders (@ PHI)
Atlanta Falcons (@ NO)
Buffalo Bills (@ NE)