NFL - Fantasy

Week 17 Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Texans vs 49ers in Fantasy Football Playoffs

Max Staley
Week 17 fantasy picks: start 'em, sit 'em for the Houston Texans vs San Francisco 49ers game.
Week 17 fantasy picks: start 'em, sit 'em for the Houston Texans vs San Francisco 49ers game. / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages
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The San Francisco 49ers will look to rebound from their Week 16 loss when they take on the Houston Texans. FanDuel Sportsbook likes their chances this week, listing them as hefty 12.5-point favorites over Houston.

Fantasy Football Playoffs Advice

If you need some help with your fantasy lineups, here's some start 'em, sit 'em advice for this Week 17 showdown.

Trey Lance Fantasy

Start Trey Lance, QB, San Francisco 49ers: This recommendation is obviously entirely dependent on Jimmy Garoppolo's health. But assuming his thumb injury sidelines him this weekend, Trey Lance would be an excellent start. We've only seen Lance play about six quarters of meaningful football, and in that game and a half of action he has racked up 130 yards on 23 carries. The guy is an absolute beast as a rusher, and Houston is not equipped to stop him. The Texans have a bottom-seven run defense by DVOA and surrender the fourth-most points to RBs in standard-scoring leagues. If Lance is active, start him with confidence.

Brandin Cooks Fantasy

Start Brandin Cooks, WR, Houston Texans: Brandin Cooks was activated off the COVID list this week, and he should be placed right back into your starting lineups. Cooks has really benefitted from Davis Mills' recent play, turning 10.5 targets into 7.5 receptions for 101.5 yards per game while scoring 2 TDs in that time. He should have no trouble carving up a 49ers' secondary that ranks No. 20 against the pass by DVOA.

Brandon Aiyuk Fantasy

Sit Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Trey Lance the runner can be trusted, but we don't know much about Trey Lance the passer. In his lone start he completed 15-of-29 passes for 192 yards and an interception back in Week 5. That's not good for Aiyuk, who is just the third option in this passing game behind Deebo Samuel and George Kittle. Samuel and Kittle should do enough be remain fantasy relevant regardless, but Aiyuk probably can't be trusted if Lance draws the start.

Rex Burkhead Fantasy

Sit Rex Burkhead, RB, Houston Texans: Rex Burkhead exploded for 149 yards and 2 touchdowns last week, but don't think of that as a sign of things to come. He did that against the Los Angeles Chargers, who have the league's worst run defense by DVOA. San Francisco is no pushover in that regard, boasting the league's third-best run defense DVOA. Mix in the fact that Houston is likely to be playing from behind, as 12.5-point underdogs, and Burkhead is likely to be inefficient with the little volume he does see. Don't chase last week's breakout game, Burkhead should remain on the bench in Week 17.


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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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