Fantasy football stock watch: Giants’ Jones, Bucs’ Evans lead teams to titles

With fantasy football championships hanging in the balance, all performances were magnified in Week 17. Some stars who helped their fantasy teams make it to championship week were no-shows (thank you very much Trevor Lawrence, Justin Jefferson and Travis Kelce), while others (Austin Ekeler, Christian McCaffrey, Davante Adams) came through with flying colors. 

But which players ended up being difference-makers — both in a positive and a negative sense? They’re the ones we highlight in our final edition of sizzlers and fizzlers.

WEEK 17 WINNERS, LOSERS: Kenny Pickett grows up, Ron Rivera blanks out

These players saw their fantasy values increase or decrease most based on their performances in Week 17:


QB Daniel Jones, New York Giants: Jones continues to be the most underrated fantasy quarterback in the game. While his 177 yards passing against the Colts wasn’t a big number, his rushing more than made up for it. Not only did Jones throw for two touchdowns, but he also ran for 91 yards and two more scores.

QB Jarrett Stidham, Las Vegas Raiders: The New England connection with head coach Josh McDaniels most certainly helped, but not many anticipated 365 yards and three touchdowns through the air in his first NFL start. That performance might even get him in the conversation to start next season.

RB Jamaal Williams, Detroit Lions: Williams’ outlook started to turn negative as fellow running back D’Andre Swift saw his workload increase. Williams’ 157 combined yards and two touchdowns in a blowout win over Chicago swung the pendulum back in a positive direction.

RB Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars: After some difficult matchups in recent weeks, Etienne showed up in a big way on championship week with 140 total yards and a touchdown against the Texans. 

WR Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: On many fantasy benches due to a seven-game span of unfriendly statistics, Evans exploded for 207 yards and three scores, and may have single-handedly won titles for those who kept the faith.


QB Baker Mayfield, Los Angeles Rams: Mayfield’s floor is low and it is what makes him such a risk in fantasy. In a loss to the Chargers, he had just 11 completions for 132 yards and no touchdowns.

WR DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks: Seattle did face a very good Jets secondary, but Metcalf may have cost fantasy managers a championship with his one catch for 3 yards.

WR Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders: With Carson Wentz back in at quarterback, McLaurin’s numbers took a predictable nosedive with just two receptions for 25 yards. Wentz was supposed to provide a spark, but the offense tanked instead.

WR Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers: Johnson is a long way away from the superstar receiver he was with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. He has been serviceable at times this season, but has yet to have a 100-yard game and, amazingly, has yet to score a touchdown.

WR Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans: Between the injuries and his displeasure with not being traded earlier in the year, Cooks has been a major disappointment. His four catches for 39 yards on Sunday was unfortunately a typical game for him.

Tony Holm, FantasySharks.com

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