Winners and losers from an exhilarating week 17 of fantasy football

Illustration by Brooklyn Valera | The Signal

Week 17 of NFL action finished out a year of strong fantasy performances across the board. While some fantasy leagues finished weeks ago, others saw week 17 as a chance to solidify, or blunder, their fantasy championship. Here are the biggest fantasy winners and losers from week 17.

As always, all points mentioned reflect points per reception (PPR) league formats.


Antonio Brown, 37 points: Surprised? I think we all are. 

Brown has had a rough journey from the former All-Pro attention he garnered earlier in his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite a mostly underwhelming 2020 campaign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brown managed to put up a few meaningful performances (with a little help from the Atlanta Falcons secondary, I might add.) 

Catching 11 passes for 138 yards and two scores, Brown put up his best numbers of the year. While the future is undoubtedly uncertain for Brown, a promising performance to cap off the 2020 season at least gives some sliver of hope that the Central Michigan product can return to his once spectacular ways. 

Jonathan Taylor, 38 points: Taylor gave fantasy owners a spectacular four-game stretch to end the season. With seven touchdowns and over 550 yards from scrimmage, Taylor catapulted himself from a decent RB2 option to a clutch fantasy standout, especially with his numbers spiking during the playoffs.

In week 17, Taylor totaled 254 yards from scrimmage and managed to find the endzone twice. Taylor struggled to find his footing in a relatively fickle Indianapolis Colts running back rotation early in the season. However, when given the proper usage, Taylor proved beyond valuable. Expect to see Taylor in a more prominent role in 2021, which should be advantageous for fantasy managers. 

Derrick Henry, 35 points: As I noted last week, Henry was in for a big bounce back against the Houston Texans, and, well — rushing for a staggering 250 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, Henry became only the eighth player in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a single season. 

While it’s no surprise that Henry has been a star this season, the level of his superiority at the running back position is something to take note of. While there are instances of mortality, Henry has shown that his status among running backs is unequivocally elite. 


Calvin Ridley, 11 points: Ridley came into week 17 red-hot after racking in at least 100 receiving yards in his last four performances. However, Ridley was relatively quiet in week 17, catching eight passes for 52 yards and coughing the ball up once. While Ridley wasn’t a complete loss in week 17, his play fell well below his typical and reliable output. 

DeAndre Hopkins, 7 points. Hopkins brought in four passes for 35 yards in one of his most subpar performances of the season for the Arizona Cardinals. With quarterback Kyler Murray injured early on, week 17 didn’t favor Hopkins, who continued a streak of lackluster performances to end the year.

Adam Thielen, 10 points: Thielen brought in four receptions for 57 yards in week 17. While the Minnesota Vikings wide receiver shined at times during the 2020 season, an overall inconsistent target rate and subpar quarterback play have left the veteran in a gloomy drought that is only sloping downward.