Here we are. The final weekend of the fantasy football season. I don’t know about you, but it felt weird not watching any NFL on Thursday night. Though, it does make Sunday more important.
Heading into Week 17 there are three top-20 wide receivers, two in the top 10, listed as questionable. Many fantasy championships rest in the palms of their hands. For one of your star receivers to be out in the most important game of the season could have disastrous effects. Here are the three wide receivers to keep tabs on throughout the weekend.
Calvin Johnson: Johnson has been dealing with knee and ankle problems for most of the season. However, they’ve been very prominent over the last couple of weeks. Last week, Johnson had just three catches for 43 yards. He has 12 receptions for 193 yards and no scores in his last three games.
With the Detroit Lions out of the playoff chase, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Johnson benched for the final game of the season. They need their No. 1 receiver healthy for the beginning of next year so if you own Johnson, watch out for any benching or shut-down announcements. If one isn’t made, start him as usual. The matchup against the Minnesota Vikings is too good.
Dez Bryant: Despite putting up 73 yards and a touchdown, Bryant has some back problems. He’s been playing through injuries all season, but this may be the worst. He was limited in Wednesday’s practice and did not practice at all on Thursday. Good news for Bryant owners, though, is there is no indication that he won’t suit up and play on Sunday night. The bad news is that the Dallas Cowboys do play on Sunday night, so if there is an announcement replacements will be limited.
With the NFC East title on the line, I do expect Bryant to be ready to play. With Tony Romo officially not playing, the Cowboys can use all the help they can get.
Torrey Smith: Yes, Smith is a top-20 fantasy wide receiver this year. He has been dealing with a hamstring injury all week as he did not practice Tuesday and was limited on Thursday. Barring any setbacks over the weekend, Smith should be ready to play. Joe Flacco is banged up as well heading into a game the Baltimore Ravens need to win to advance to the playoffs.
Smith has been a hit-or-miss wide receiver all season. It will be tough to start him, regardless of the injury. However, the Cincinnati Bengals‘ secondary isn’t the best, either. They have allowed six touchdowns over the last three weeks. Unless you don’t have any better receivers, bench Smith. His stats over the last three weeks haven’t been fantasy-championship caliber.