49ers' McCaffrey, Cowboys' Lamb among best bets to score

We’re in the thick of the fantasy playoffs, so getting into the end zone is paramount. These are my best bets to reach the end zone at the running back and wide receiver positions in Week 17.


Running Back


McCaffrey hasn’t appeared here often this season, but a change of scenery has done him well. With the 49ers, he’s scored in four consecutive games, and he could to make it five in Week 17. McCaffrey will face the Raiders, who have allowed a rushing TD in every game and are our fourth-best matchup for opposing RBs. With -125 odds to score, McCaffrey is a heavy favorite this week.


Barkley also has -125 odds to find the end zone in a matchup against the Colts. Indy is a run funnel defense, as indicated by the Colts being our sixth-best matchup for opposing runners, but our 10th-worst matchup for opposing receivers. Barkley has his best two-game fantasy average (21.9) coming into Week 17, and he’s scored in four of his past five games, so he's likely to add another TD this week.


Sanders has scored five TDs over the past five weeks and with QB Jalen Hurts possibly sitting out another game, the Eagles could lean heavily on their RB against the Saints this week. Another defense that is much better against the pass than they are the running game, New Orleans is our ninth-best matchup for opposing runners and our eighth-worst matchup for receivers. Sanders has -125 odds to score.


Wide Receiver


No surprise here as Jefferson has stayed in this column for the last half of the season. Scoring in six of his past eight games, Jefferson brings -135 odds to hit the end zone this week, the most favorable odds of any player in the league including RBs. He’ll be headed to Green Bay, where he’ll face a decent Packers secondary. Jefferson has been matchup-proof though, in what could be a historic season. Jefferson played every snap for the Vikings last week, and I don’t expect him to come off the field in this one either, as he’s supplanted Dalvin Cook as the Vikings primary offensive playmaker.


Scoring three TDs over his past four games, Lamb is doing everything he can to give Dallas a shot at taking the division from the Eagles. Lamb may see an increase in targets against a Titans team that plugs the run, but is the third-best matchup for opposing receivers going into Week 17. His -105 odds to score are second highest for a WR, behind only Justin Jefferson, and Lamb is coming off a two-score Week 16. He’s as good a bet as almost any pass catcher this week.


It’s impossible to deny the appeal of Diggs again this week, as his matchup is just too tempting. In a game that could be a shootout, Diggs and the Bills have the fifth-best matchup for opposing receivers in the Bengals, who also stifle the run well. Tied for second in the league for WR TDs (10), Diggs could very well move into the top spot this week.


This column was provided to The Associated Press by RosterWatch, www.rosterwatch.com.