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Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, and Breshad Perriman Start/Sit Week 17: Who can you trust?

A few weeks ago, fantasy football managers rostering Tampa Bay’s top receivers probably felt pretty good eyeing a dream Week 17 matchup against the Jets. Instead, Chris Godwin is on injured reserve, Mike Evans is hobbled with a hamstring injury, and Antonio Brown is dealing with an ankle issue. Although Evans and Brown are active, how much can you trust them today, and could Breshad Perriman shock the fantasy world as the only “healthy” Bucs starting wideout?

Mike Evans’ Week 17 fantasy outlook

Evans is a weekly must-start WR when healthy. We all know this. I’ve been publicly calling him a likely future Hall of Famer since the summer of 2016. But he is one of the riskiest “great” fantasy WRs in Week 17. This morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Evans is “expected to play in a limited capacity” today. Yikes. Yes, yikes.

Given his big-play ability, and given the Jets’ ability to give up big plays, Evans needs only a couple of catches to give managers WR3 upside. After all, New York has given up 62 pass plays of 20+ yards — second-most in the league. But do you want to roll the dice on a guy Tampa Bay needs more for the actual playoffs, not your fantasy playoffs? If you have a top-32 WR on your bench, I’d rather plug that player in for Evans, who realistically could wind up with 1 catch for 9 yards.

Antonio Brown’s Week 17 fantasy outlook

Unless you have a locked-in WR2+ on your bench, I’d start AB today. An ankle injury put his Week 17 status in doubt as recently as Friday. But that was the year 2021. This is 2022. Brown enjoyed a massive target share last week and has been Tom Brady’s favorite target most weeks when healthy.

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Although I’m not expecting double-digit targets today, a 5-70 receiving line is realistic. And since Tampa Bay has a good shot at posting 30+ points on the Jets, a touchdown is also realistic. Schefter reported this morning that Brown is expected to play, and there are no apparent limitations. That’s good enough for me.

Breshad Perriman’s Week 17 fantasy outlook

Not many fantasy managers are asking themselves this morning, “Should I start Breshad Perriman?” There are certainly risks, including a limited track record this season in Tampa Bay (4-82-1 receiving line). Also, it’s hard to find any semi-regular wideout in the NFL with a lower career catch rate (49%). But back in 2019, he almost singlehandedly helped fantasy managers cruise through the playoffs. Some still remember those days fondly, and conditions are ripe for another breakout.

If you’re deciding between Evans and Perriman, Evans is clearly the higher-upside play. If his hamstring doesn’t limit him as much as people fear, he’ll get you what you need this week. But his floor is painfully low. How often have we witnessed WRs with hamstring injuries exit early?

So if you want the best floor, I think Perriman is the answer. I’m predicting 7+ points — not bad given how available he is on waivers. He’s done it before. With Brady slinging it, Perriman can do it again.

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