5 breakout fantasy football stars to pick up for Week 17

Championships are on the line in Week 17 for most fantasy football leagues. These five pickups could help you win bragging rights in your league for the next year.

Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings
Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings / David Berding/GettyImages
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3. Joe Flacco, QB, Cleveland Browns

2023 has become the year of the backup quarterback as star passers have gone down at alarmingly high rates due to injury. Cleveland has become a veritable turnstile under center after Deshaun Watson went down with a shoulder injury but the merry-go-round appears to have stopped on veteran Joe Flacco, who has found the fountain of youth over the past two weeks.

The Browns signed Flacco off the couch a month ago and he has thrown for over 300 yards in three consecutive games, including a 368-yard explosion in Sunday's 36-22 win over the Houston Texans. Flacco completed 27-of-42 passes for three touchdowns on the day and has formed a strong connection with Amari Cooper, who has 22 catches for 451 yards and three touchdowns over his past three games.

There is certainly turnover risk with Flacco, who has thrown seven interceptions in four games, but his big-play potential is certainly valuable if you've been streaming quarterbacks. Cleveland's Week 17 matchup against the New York Jets' strong passing defense isn't ideal but the Jets have shown vulnerability down the seams, giving Flacco plenty of passing opportunities that don't involve throwing at Sauce Gardner or D.J. Reed.

Flacco is rostered in 33 percent of leagues and is a solid streaming play for Week 17 as the Jets' defense has looked more mortal over the past few weeks. There aren't many better options for a plug-and-play passer so riding Flacco to a title is certainly a plausible scenario in fantasy leagues.