Around this time of the season, a minority of NFL fans are worried about one thing: fantasy football playoffs.
And for a majority of fantasy football leagues, Week 17 of the 2022 season represents championship week. As is the case every year, fantasy football owners have concerns that key players residing on playoff teams could be rested late in the season. Such a scenario seems possible for both the Jacksonville Jaguars (7-8) and Tennessee Titans (7-8).
Jacksonville, sitting in first place in the AFC South, travel to play the Houston Texans (2-12-1) this Sunday. Tennessee, meanwhile, hosts the Dallas Cowboys (11-4) on “Thursday Night Football.” Regardless of the outcomes, one thing is for certain: when the Jaguars host the Titans in Week 18, the winner will decide the division champion.
So, do the Jaguars and/or Titans rest their players in Week 17? It’s a possibility that Peter Schrager of Fox Sports and “Good Morning Football” floated out on Twitter Tuesday.
“I suggested this on @GMFB … The winner of Titans-Jaguars in Week 18 wins the AFC South,” he tweeted. “Do you bench all your players and rest them in Week 17 if that’s case? Or do you try to break the slump (Tennessee) or keep the momentum going (Jacksonville)? WEIGH IN! AFC SOUTH TALK!”
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network subsequently pointed out the Titans rested star running back Derrick Henry during a game in 2019 which had zero impact on the standings. Should the Titans opt to go the same route Thursday, that would force the RB4 in PPR leagues to be on the bench in championship week. In addition, Henry is nursing a hip injury and was a limited participant in Tuesday’s practice. Head coach Mike Vrabel has already indicated Henry will likely see limited snaps if he plays against the Cowboys.
Titans/Jaguars Could Throw Major Curveball Into Fantasy Football Championship Week
Elsewhere, the Jaguars have one of the rising stars in the league in second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The 2021 first-overall selection has been one of fantasy football’s highest scorers since Week 12, currently QB5 in PPR leagues.
If you’re a Lawrence fantasy owner, chances are you made a run and find yourself in your league’s championship. Could Jacksonville rest him for C.J. Beathard against the NFL’s worst team? Thus far, there’s been no indication that head coach Doug Pederson will make such a move — welcome news to fantasy football owners.