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Slant Pattern: WR Start/Sit – Week 17

It’s Championship Week… is your lineup set?! @THEtristancook is here with Slant Pattern – Week 17 to help with your WR start/sit decisions!

Hello and welcome back, Nerds! The Dynasty Nerds writers are here to provide you with weekly starts and sits. I will be doing the WR starts and sits for the 2022 season! We, as a group, will be making our recommendations based on weekly consensus PPR rankings from FantasyPros. Here is our squad, and the position groups they will be covering to help you each week. Follow, DM, and Tweet us, we look forward to hearing from you! 

QB: Jason Snyder (@Spydes78) – Changing the Call

RB: Jake Oliver (@DarthDbacks) – The Cutback

WR: Tristan Cook (@THEtristancook) – Slant Pattern

TE: Ethan Wyatt (@ethanAwyatt) – 12 Formation

FLEX: Evan Brown (@FFEVanlution) – Flex on ‘Em

IDP: Jon Glosser (@Glosser13) – IDP Start/Sit

One thing to keep in mind when making your start/sit decisions, it will ALWAYS depend on who your other options are. The players listed below are WRs that I expect to finish above/below their respective rankings. But, it doesn’t mean you need to take them out of (or put them into) your lineup unless your alternatives are worth it. 

NOTE: Rankings are based on a 12-team PPR league. So, saying WR2 means top 24, or TE1 means top 12, etc., and are pulled from Fantasy Pros consensus expert rankings.

RECAP

Week 16 was a wash for my start/sit calls. I had half of my calls ‘hit’ but that means that the other half didn’t. It certainly wasn’t the performance that I was hoping to have, but it could have been worse. My worst call was having DeVonta Smith as a ‘sit’. He went off with Gardner Minshew, finishing as the WR2 on the week. My two other bad calls were having Terry McLaurin and Gabe Davis both as ‘sits’. McLaurin was ranked as WR16 and finished slightly above that at WR14. Davis was ranked as the WR36 and finished one spot above that. My best calls were my ‘starts’. Both Jerry Jeudy and Drake London finished well above their weekly rankings. Time to do better in Championship Week!

START

Darius Slayton vs IND – WR35

Week 16 Stats | WR 33 | FPts: 11.9 | Tgts: 6 | Rec: 4 | Yds: 79 | TDs: 0

Darius Slayton is my first ‘start’ for the week. He has become a major part of the New York passing attack since his emergence in Week 5. Slayton is coming off a good performance against Minnesota last week where he caught 4 of his 6 targets for 79 yards. He has averaged about 7 targets per game over his last 6 games. 

This week the Giants host the Colts whose defense is allowing a 68.1% completion rate, which is the second-worst in the NFL. I expect to see Daniel Jones get the ball out quickly and have success against this Indianapolis defense. I’m looking to get Darius Slayton into my lineups. Another player I’m interested in starting is Isaiah Hodgins. However, being ranked at WR40, he is not eligible for this article. 

Diontae Johnson @ BAL – WR29

Week 16 Stats | WR 37 | FPts: 11.4 | Tgts: 7 | Rec: 5 | Yds: 64 | TDs: 0

My next ‘start’ for Week 17 is Diontae Johnson. This has undoubtedly been the most frustrating year of his career for those who have him rostered. He is the WR30 in points but has the 7th-most targets in the NFL. It could have been expected that there would be some growing pains with a rookie quarterback but I think this was close to the worst-case outcome for his year. 

This week the Steelers are facing off against a porous Ravens’ secondary. Baltimore is giving up the 8th-most yards passing per game and the 4th-highest completion percentage. I expect more of the same from the Steelers. We will likely see a lot of targets heading Diontae Johnson’s way and I think he’ll perform well. If you’ve got Diontae, get him in your lineup this week.

Zay Jones @ HOU – WR 25

Week 16 Stats | WR 87 | FPts: 2.1 | Tgts: 4 | Rec: 1 | Yds: 14 | TDs: 0

My final ‘start’ for Championship Week is Zay Jones. Jones had his worst performance of the year last week, scoring only 2.1 points. However, I expect to see him have a game that is closer to his Week 15 performance where he scored 34.9 points. His 4 targets last week were his second-lowest of the entire season. Zay Jones has quietly had a very good year in 2022. He is WR22 in points due in large part to volume. Jones is WR18 in targets. Prior to last week, he was on a 5-game stretch where he averaged 10.2 targets per game. He faces a Houston secondary this week that is league-average so I’m not worried about his matchup. Start Zay with confidence. 

SIT

JuJu Smith-Schuster vs DEN – WR 22

Week 16 Stats | WR 57 | FPts: 5.7 | Tgts: 4 | Rec: 3 | Yds: 27 | TDs: 0

My first ‘sit’ is JuJu Smith-Schuster. This is due in large part to the matchup with the Denver Broncos. JuJu did have a strong game in his previous matchup against Denver in Week 15. In that game, he caught 9 of 11 targets for 74 yards and a score. It may seem like an odd call to bench someone against the Broncos who just got torched by the Baker-Mayfield-led Rams last week. But, after the firing of Nathaniel Hackett, I expect Denver to come out stronger. Despite playing poorly over the last few games, Denver’s defense is still allowing the 4th-fewest yards passing per game. You may be struggling to find a better option in your championship matchup, but I’m looking at all options. 

Gabe Davis @ CIN – WR 33

Week 15 Stats | WR 35 | FPts: 11.5 | Tgts: 6 | Rec: 3 | Yds: 45 | TDs: 1

My final ‘sit’ of the week and of the year is Gabe Davis. He’s been a mainstay on my ‘sit’ list in 2022 (and in 2021 as well). My reasoning has been consistent and has proven to be accurate more often than not. I had Gabe Davis as a ‘sit’ last week and even with his touchdown he only finished one spot (WR35) above his ranking. My biggest concern has been his target volume and reliance on touchdowns. Nothing Gabe Davis has done this year has dissuaded those concerns. 

Gabe Davis only has a 15.5% target share this season. He also only has 45 catches on the season but has caught touchdowns on 15.5% of those receptions. That is an absurdly high touchdown rate. The Bills are also facing Cincinnati this week who is allowing a league-low completion percentage. If you’re in your championship and have been riding with Gabe Davis all season it would be hard to go away from him. However, if you’re in your championship, I’d argue that it is not likely due to the contributions of Davis. I’m looking elsewhere. 

That’s it for Week 17, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@THEtristancook) if you have any specific questions about who I would start. 

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