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Week 17 fantasy football winners and losers: JuJu Smith-Schuster leads the way in season finale

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As we do each week, let's recap the week's winners and losers from a fantasy perspective, complete with applicable game and historical data. Check back after the conclusion of the 4:25 p.m. ET games for more picks of the week's best and worst.

Winners

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: The youngest player in the NFL saved a career-best performance for when it counts the most, the fantasy playoffs, as Smith-Schuster scored 35.3 PPR and 26.3 non-PPR fantasy points on Sunday. That gave him 72.2 and 51.2 of each in the past three weeks (Weeks 15-17), tops among wide receivers during that time span (though Keelan Cole and Larry Fitzgerald still have outside chances of catching him). Smith-Schuster was started in 56.3 percent of ESPN leagues in Week 17.

Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots: For the second consecutive week, Lewis scored at least 30 PPR and 25 non-PPR fantasy points, his 31.3 and 25.3 in either format representing his second-best single-game totals behind his Week 16 numbers (32.3 and 27.3). With those numbers, Lewis totaled 145.1 and 126.1 in the season's final eight weeks (Weeks 10-17, traditionally regarded the season's "second half"), which placed him fifth and third among running backs during that time span (though LeSean McCoy and Melvin Gordon have outside chances at catching Lewis in PPR scoring, and Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara are both likely to catch him in non-PPR, with McCoy also standing a chance). With Rex Burkhead (knee), Mike Gillislee (knee) and James White (ankle) all inactive for Sunday's game, Lewis was started in a season-high 84.5 percent of ESPN leagues.

Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions: In an eerie development, Stafford's two highest single-game scores of 2017 occurred in Weeks 1 and 17, the first and last weeks of the season, as his 27.12 on Sunday narrowly edged his 27.08 of Week 1. With it, Stafford has now scored at least 19.88 fantasy points in each of his past four Week 17 games, and he has totaled 162.76 in seven career Week 17 contests (2011-17). That's the most fantasy points by any player in Week 17 during that seven-year period, though Drew Brees (148.50) still has a chance to catch him.

DeShone Kizer, QB, Cleveland Browns: For the fourth time this season, Kizer scored at least 20 fantasy points, with his 24.66 on Sunday helping him set a new career high. The four games of 20-plus were the second most among rookie quarterbacks this season, behind Deshaun Watson's five. However, few fantasy teams capitalized upon Kizer's performance, as he was started in just 1.13 percent of ESPN leagues.

Latavius Murray, RB, Minnesota Vikings: His 24.4 PPR and 23.4 non-PPR fantasy points Sunday represented season highs for him in both formats. They were also his third- and second-best single-game efforts in his career. Murray finished the season with three straight games of 20-plus carries, and grand totals of 116.8 and 107.8 fantasy points in his final eight games, both of which will likely rank among the top 10 running backs.

Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions: His 25.4 PPR fantasy points on Sunday were second most among wide receivers from the 1 p.m. ET games, and represented a season high, as well as his fifth game of at least 20 in 2017. Tate was started in 70.6 percent of ESPN leagues, 13th-highest among wide receivers in Week 17.

Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers: The highest-scoring player from the 4 p.m. ET games, Allen's 34.3 PPR fantasy points were his second most in 2017, behind only his 40.2 in Week 11. With it, he scored 183.4 points in his final eight games, most among wide receivers in the season's second half (Weeks 10-17). Allen finished the season with 284.2 PPR and 182.2 non-PPR fantasy points, both easily new career bests, exceeding his 219.6 and 148.6 of his 2013 rookie season.

Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints: What a way to cap an outstanding rookie campaign. Kamara scored 30.8 PPR fantasy points and 24.8 in non-PPR scoring on Sunday, marking the third time he reached the 30-point PPR plateau. It gave him 320.4 PPR fantasy points for the season, the fifth-highest total by any rookie running back in history. Here are the top 10:

Philip Rivers, QB, Los Angeles Chargers: The highest-scoring quarterback of Week 17, Rivers' 27.98 fantasy points on Sunday were his fifth most in a single game in his career. Remarkably, he has now played 196 career games without ever scoring as many as 30 points in a game. Rivers was started in 58.7 percent of ESPN leagues in Week 17, seventh-highest among quarterbacks.

Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: His 25.8 PPR fantasy points on Sunday were third most among running backs, as well as his second-highest single-game total in 2017 (30.4, Week 15). Freeman was started in 89.2 percent of ESPN leagues, sixth-highest among running backs.

Tyler Kroft, TE, Cincinnati Bengals: After going quiet for much of the fantasy postseason, Kroft rebounded with 23.3 PPR fantasy points, his second-best total of 2017, behind only his 24.8 of Week 4. Unfortunately, his cold spell caused his start percentage to drop, as he was active in only 7.5 percent of ESPN leagues on Sunday.

Losers

Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears: For the seventh time this season, Howard fell short of 10 PPR fantasy points, his 2.4 on Sunday registering as his second-lowest total in 2017 (behind only his 0.7 in Week 2). It was the sixth time that he finished a game with a yards-per-carry average beneath 3.0 -- he averaged 1.0, with just nine yards on his nine carries -- after he finished the 2016 season with only one such performance in 15 games. Howard averaged just 3.3 yards per carry and 11.0 PPR fantasy points in his final six games. He was started in 71.4 percent of ESPN leagues in Week 17, 13th-highest among running backs.

Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings: His 1.3 PPR fantasy points on three targets on Sunday were not only a season low, but also his fewest in any game since 2015 Week 17 (0.0). It was the second consecutive week that he was held beneath two points. Rudolph was started in 58.8 percent of ESPN leagues in Week 17, sixth-highest among tight ends.

Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins: He picked a bad time to score his fewest fantasy points of the season, as Cousins managed just 7.52 against the New York Giants on Sunday. It was the fifth-worst single-game total in any of his 57 career starts, and interestingly enough, three of his five worst have now come against the Giants (1.06 in 2013 Week 17 and 5.48 in 2014 Week 4 being the others). Cousins was started in 69.9 percent of ESPN leagues in Week 17, fifth-highest among quarterbacks.

Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans: While Alfred Blue had a strong finish to his season -- 33.8 PPR fantasy points on 50 touches in his final three games -- Miller's was comparably quiet, as he scored a season-low 3.7 PPR fantasy points on Sunday and totaled 16.5 on 30 touches in his final three games. Miller was started in 59.5 percent of ESPN leagues in Week 17.

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Considering how favorable his matchup was (the Texans entered the week having allowed the fifth-most PPR fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers with 35.6), Hilton's 4.4 PPR fantasy points on six targets were rather disappointing. After all, he scored a season-high 34.5 points against these Texans in Week 9. Hilton concluded his 2017 season with seven games out of 16 beneath five fantasy points. He badly needs a healthy Andrew Luck back throwing him the football in 2018.

Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders: For the second consecutive week, Crabtree fell shy of five PPR fantasy points, with his 3.7 on Sunday representing his 13th-worst single-game total in 125 career contests. He was started in 51.8 percent of ESPN leagues, making him the 20th most-started wide receiver of Week 17.

Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars: After a five-week run during which Bortles scored at least 18.52 fantasy points in each game, the Jaguars quarterback finally struggled on Sunday, scoring only 3.22 fantasy points. His was the lowest score by any quarterback who attempted 15 or more passes in Week 17. Fortunately, Bortles was started in a strangely low 21.4 percent of ESPN leagues. He wasn't started in greater than 25.6 percent in any week all season.

LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills: For the second time this season, McCoy managed more rushing attempts than rushing yards, his 10 yards on 11 carries resulting in 5.2 PPR and 3.2 non-PPR fantasy points. Only 10 times in his 132 previous games played did he score fewer PPR fantasy points. McCoy was the most-started running back in ESPN leagues, active in 99.1 percent.

A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: His disappointing season concluded with a 3.7 PPR fantasy point performance on 10 targets, his second-lowest score all year. Green finished 2017 with 226.8 PPR and 151.8 non-PPR fantasy points in 16 games; those were his fewest in any of his four career seasons in which he played in every game (2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017). He was active in 95.6 percent of ESPN leagues, fourth-highest among wide receivers in Week 17.