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NFL Fantasy 2023 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Quarterbacks for Week 17

You have lineup questions, we have lineup answers -- at least we hope so. Start 'Em, Sit 'Em is here to help fantasy managers make difficult roster decisions. And you know what is a good move? Starting Christian McCaffrey. But that's too obvious, so you won't see such simple analysis here. Instead, we're exploring more debatable situations. And if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out the latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings.

Start 'Em

Dak Prescott
Dallas Cowboys DAL

Hopefully you had a bye week if you have Prescott. He bounced back from a Week 15 stinker with nearly 19 fantasy points, which was good -- but still a ways off from that video-game-like run he went on a few weeks prior. This week, we could see the return of cheat-code Dak, with the Cowboys in Dallas, where their offense is clearly better, against the Lions. Detroit has allowed the fifth-most passing yards per game in the NFL since Week 13. This could easily be a Saturday night shootout, and you want to give yourself a chance to benefit from it. Play Prescott. 

Matthew Stafford
Los Angeles Rams LAR

For much of the season, Stafford has found himself marked as a sit in this column. One of the lowest touchdown rates in the league was holding him back. But positive regression has arrived with gusto. Stafford has averaged 21.8 fantasy PPG in his last five games, with 14 passing touchdowns in that span. He has logged multiple touchdowns and at least 18.5 fantasy points in each of those games. The Giants have been stingy to opposing QBs, but I do not care. Stafford has faced a bunch of tough matchups and keeps getting the job done. He’s going to win managers championships.

Kyler Murray
Arizona Cardinals ARI

Murray got back on track last week with 20 fantasy points after a couple of down games. He also continues to produce with his legs. Considering the Eagles’ ability to generate pressure up front, we could see Murray looking to tuck and run a bunch this week. Plus, Philly has allowed the sixth-most passing yards per game this season, plus the second-most passing touchdowns and the most fantasy PPG to QBs. In a game where the Cardinals could be chasing points, Murray is definitely in play. 

C.J. Stroud
Houston Texans HOU

I was originally thinking of writing about Stroud here, but since he missed Week 16 and remains in the concussion protocol, I switched to Russell Wilson -- who was then benched. With Stroud set to practice again, I'm swapping back! Do not forget how reliable Stroud was before he was injured. He showed a very high ceiling, actually scoring the most fantasy points of any QB in a game in 2023. Stroud could reach that ceiling against the Titans, who have allowed plenty of production through the air. Seeing Stroud on the field would be a welcome sight for both his fantasy managers and those who have the Texans' receivers.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Stroud cleared the concussion protocol and is on track to start.


Derek Carr
New Orleans Saints NO

Carr has topped 20 fantasy points in two straight, and he's thrown multiple passing touchdowns in each of his last three. His production has often come when the Saints were in catch-up mode -- and that easily could be the case again this week. Carr faces the Bucs, who have allowed the eighth-most fantasy PPG to QBs. He is a strong streaming option if you are in need. Baker Mayfield on the other side is also always a good streaming play if available. 


Nick Mullens has thrown for 714 yards and four touchdowns in his two starts for the Vikings. Turnovers have limited him to 17 and 16.5 fantasy points in those games. Still, if he starts, the production is too good to ignore in two-QB leagues. Especially considering Minnesota is playing the Packers, who were just lit up by the Panthers. (EDITOR'S UPDATE: Jaren Hall will start in place of Mullens.) Mason Rudolph, who scored 20 points last week, is in play against the Seahawks, given that he's on track to start in place of Kenny Pickett. Tyrod Taylor can add valuable points with his legs. He also can and will take some shots downfield and likely will have to put up points if he is to keep up with the red-hot Rams offense. Los Angeles has allowed the fifth-most fantasy PPG to QBs this season. Will Levis, if he suits up, would be a fallback option against the Texans, who get lit up through the air weekly. (EDITOR'S UPDATE: Titans head coach Mike Vrabel said Friday that Levis is set to start.)

Sit 'Em

Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins MIA

The Miami Dolphins may have one of the highest-scoring offenses in the league, but it hasn’t translated to much fantasy success for Tagovailoa, who last topped 20 fantasy points in a game back in Week 8. He has averaged just 12.9 fantasy points per game since Week 12. Now he has to go on the road against the Ravens, who have allowed the third-fewest fantasy PPG to QBs. They just made life extremely tough on the previously unstoppable Brock Purdy and the 49ers. And the Dolphins will likely be without Jaylen Waddle, while Tyreek Hill and Raheem Mostert may not be 100 percent. If you can get away from Tagovailoa, I would. 

Trevor Lawrence
Jacksonville Jaguars JAX

It’s commendable that Lawrence is out there giving it his all for the Jaguars. But he’s been banged-up, and he now has a new shoulder injury to deal with. He has scored fewer than 15 fantasy points in two straight games. Now he gets the Panthers, who have allowed the fourth-fewest passing yards per game this season and the second-fewest fantasy PPG to QBs. Carolina struggles mightily to stop the run, though, meaning the Jags could end up relying on Travis Etienne and Co. early and often. If you have another option, play it safe and get away from Lawrence. 

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Lawrence has been ruled out for Sunday's game with a sprained shoulder.

Jacoby Brissett
Washington Commanders WAS

I know there might be some excitement around Brissett replacing the original subject of this blurb, Sam Howell, under center because of how well Brissett has played while stepping in for Howell in each of the last two weeks. But to me, this is a change that impacts the skill position players more than anything. Suddenly, Terry McLaurin can be trusted in championship week. It helps make the RBs a little more trustworthy, as well. But I would not want to stream a QB making his first start of the season, even if we have seen him in the past, against an angry 49ers squad that was embarrassed in Week 16. The Niners have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy PPG to QBs. Brissett is only in play in two-QB leagues this week. 

Gardner Minshew
Indianapolis Colts IND

Minshew had a little bit of a hot run as a streaming option. But it was too tough to trust him in a matchup on the road last week. He finished with just nine fantasy points, throwing for 201 yards and no touchdowns. Now he gets the Raiders, who just made Patrick Mahomes look about as bad as he ever has on an NFL field. Since Week 13, Vegas has allowed the sixth-fewest passing yards in the league. Stream elsewhere this week. 

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