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Fantasy Football Week 17: Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em


Jordy Nelson has seven TDs in seven games with Aaron Rodgers.

QUARTERBACKS

START ‘EM

Jay Cutler (Bears): The most recent game is often etched in the mind of many and if it’s a bad one, much like a bad first date, people are hesitant to return. This is a case with Cutler where convenient amnesia is needed. Forget about the bad performance last week against the Eagles. Everything went wrong and this week the division title is on the line against the Packers, who have allowed the ninth most Fantasy points to QBs and at least two passing TDs in four straight.

Nick Foles (Eagles): Foles has his worst game of the season against the Cowboys with 80 passing yards and left the game with a concussion. That was in Week 7 and lots of things have changed since then, as Foles has run the offense efficiently since and has 25 TDs and two INTs in addition to three rushing TDs. The Cowboys are littered with injuries on defense and allow the second most Fantasy points to QBs.

Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers): He is playing well and has a good matchup against the Browns, who have allowed at least two passing TDs in 10 consecutive games, including two to Geno Smith last week. Roethlisberger had two passing TDs and a rushing TD last week and the Steelers need a win to keep their postseason hopes alive.

SIT ‘EM

Joe Flacco (Ravens): Flacco did not look healthy last week, as a bad knee hindered him. Flacco has one TD pass or less in five of the last six games, including no TD passes the last two games. The Bengals allow the seventh fewest Fantasy points to QBs and held QBs to one TD pass or less in four of the last five games.

Alex Smith (Chiefs): The Chiefs are likely to rest many of their starters with nothing to play for. The Chiefs are locked into the fifth seed in the AFC, and coach Any Reid has stated he won’t play the starters long.

Matt Ryan (Falcons): The Panthers are playing for a division title and a first-round bye. The defense has been excellent all season. The Panthers have allowed just one QB to throw for multiple TDs in a game this year and it was Drew Brees, who passed for four in Week 14. Ryan is coming off a good game, but the Panthers held him to one TD and picked him off three times in Week 9.

RUNNING BACKS

START ‘EM

Le’Veon Bell (Steelers): Bell has looked better than the statistics indicate. He’s getting big workloads and is involved in the passing game with 44 receptions on 65 targets in 12 games. He has 56 touches the last two games and scored in each. The Browns have allowed a 100-yard rusher in each of the last two games.

DeAngelo Williams (Panthers): Williams has ran well the last three weeks, and the absence of Jonathan Stewart allows Williams more touches. Williams had 15 carries for 81 yards against a staunch Jets run defense in Week 15 and caught three passes for 87 yards, including a 72-yard TD. He had 12 carries for 67 yards with a 43-yard TD run last week against the Saints. The Falcons allow the seventh most Fantasy points to RBs.

DeMarco Murray (Cowboys): Murray has been one of the better Fantasy RBs, and he could see a bigger workload this week with Kyle Orton likely to start at QB in place of an injured Tony Romo. Murray is averaging 5.4 yards per carry, has nine rushing TDs and caught 48 of 59 targets. Murray has topped 100 total yards in five consecutive games and six TDs in that span.

SIT ‘EM

Steven Jackson (Falcons): Jackson has run well late in the season, but this is a difficult matchup. The Panthers have allowed three rushing TDs and one since Week 5. The Panthers allow the second fewest Fantasy points to RBs.

Ray Rice (Ravens): The Bengals have allowed the third fewest Fantasy points to RBs, and Rice is not the same players as recent seasons. He had 56 total yards in the first matchup against the Ravens. Rice hasn’t scored in five consecutive games and is averaging 3.1 yards per carry.

Rashard Mendenhall (Cardinals): The 49ers have been very stingy against the run, allowing the ninth fewest points to RBs. Mendenhall rushed for 40 yards in the first matchup.

WIDE RECEIVERS

START ‘EM

Julian Edelman (Patriots): Edelman has become the go-to receiver for the Patriots with 62 targets to the last five games. He has 44 receptions for 491 yards and four TDs over the last five games. The Bills allow the fourth most Fantasy points to WRs.

Greg Jennings (Vikings): Jennings’ nice run came to an end in a tough matchup against the Bengals on the road last week with four catches for 27 yards on six targets. The previous three games Jennings had 32 targets, catching 23 for 294 yards and two TDs. Jennings will bounce back at home in a great matchup against the Lions, who allow the third most Fantasy points to WRs.

Jordy Nelson (Packers): The loss of Aaron Rodgers hurt Nelson more than anyone else on Green Bay. He is an elite WR1 with Rodgers at QB, and he will start this week. Nelson has one game of more than five targets in the last four and has one TD in seven games without Rodgers and seven with Rodgers. Nelson will see more targets this week.

SIT ‘EM

Hakeem Nicks (Giants): Nicks hasn’t found the end zone all season and has topped four receptions once in the last five games. Even in a good matchup against the Redskins, it’s best to use someone else.

Harry Douglas (Falcons): Roddy White is healthy and has emerged as the top threat in the Falcons passing game, hurting Douglas, who hasn’t topped 46 yards or scored in the last three games. The matchup against the Panthers doesn’t make it easier.

Dwayne Bowe (Chiefs): It’s too risky to use any players from the Chiefs since the starters are likely to play few snaps, if any, and Bowe missed practice with concussion symptoms. Play it safe and don’t risk it.

TIGHT ENDS

START ‘EM

Ryan Griffin (Texans): Griffin is a good play in PPR leagues. He had six catches for 62 yards in Week 15 against the Colts and had five catches for 66 yards last week against the Broncos. The Texans like to throw to the tight end, and the Titans have allowed three TDs in three consecutive games and the eighth most Fantasy points to TEs.

Marcedes Lewis (Jaguars): Lewis has eight catches for 104 yards with two TDs the last two weeks. Lewis has scored in four consecutive games and is the main red zone threat for the Jaguars.

SIT ‘EM

Andrew Quarless (Packers): With Aaron Rodgers back, Quarless could be the one player who gets hurt. Rodgers is more of a downfield passer than Matt Flynn, who doesn’t have a great arm.

Heath Miller (Steelers): Miller has scored once this season and has seven catches for 52 yards the last two weeks.

KICKERS

START ‘EM

Blair Walsh (Vikings): The Vikings offense will get back on track in a good matchup against the Lions this week, enabling Walsh to put up points.

SIT ‘EM

Matt Bryant (Falcons): The Falcons offense will have a tough time against a strong Panthers defense this week, limiting the scoring chances for Bryant.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

START ‘EM

Miami Dolphins: Playing the matchup against the Jets usually results in a positive. It didn’t happen last week against the Browns, but the Jets were home. This week they play in Miami, who held the Jets to three points, had four sacks, two interceptions and recovered a fumble against the Jets in Week 13.

SIT ‘EM

Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs defense has fallen off in a big way in the second half of the season, and with injuries and starters that could be rested with the No. 5 seed clinched and nothing else to play for this is week to avoid them.

Photo Credit: mike–123



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