Exploit Rams, Saints, Jaguars and Niners in Week 17
Playing Fantasy Football in Week 17 is not ideal. You may have had the best team all season long but now you may not have several of your best players available. The Steelers have already let it be known that Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell will not play. Although the Cowboys and Giants have stated they will play their regulars, we don’t know for how long or if those plans will change the closer we get to game day. Why would you want to put your Fantasy league in this situation? There is nothing you can do about it now, but consider changing your league setting next season. Good luck this week.
- Los Angeles Rams: I expect the Cardinals to play all of their regulars. Carson Palmer is back in my Top 10 QBs this week because of possible sits by other players. J. Nelson will also be a start for me. John Brown would come in as a flex option.
- San Francisco 49ers: The Hawks are trying to earn a bye, so their starters will play. Thomas Rawls is expected to start despite a shoulder injury. If this were to change, Alex Collins would be a good pickup, as the 49ers haven’t been able to stop anyone on the ground. Jermaine Kearse could be a deep league pickup with Tyler Lockett (leg) on IR.
- New Orleans Saints: In what could be the highest scoring game of the day, all of my Falcons go here. They are trying to get a bye in the first round. When I say all, I mean Taylor Gabriel and Tevin Coleman both start.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: The Colts have stated that Andrew Luck will start and that’s good enough for me. I’d start all of my Colts as I normally would.
- Detroit Lions: This is the biggest game on the docket as the winner of this game will win the division and get a playoff berth. There is no team hotter on offense right now than the Packers, as Aaron Rodgers has been sizzling for over a month. Who aren’t you starting here? Perhaps Randall Cobb sits here. He’s hobbled with an ankle injury and has been extremely disappointing once again this season. Jared Cook could be a good pickup if you’re worried about playing time for your current TE.
- Indianapolis Colts: Blake Bortles just misses my Top 10 but should still have a good game here. I want to start Allen Robinson as well, and Marquise Lee has been one of the more pleasant surprises this season. Chris Ivory will also be in consideration for an RB2 or flex spot. In short, I like the Jags here.
- Carolina Panthers: The suspension of Doug Martin (four games) and the placement of Charles Sims (pectoral) on IR have eased the logjam at RB. It’s Jacquizz Rodgers as the starter and he’s a Top 15 play this week. Remember, Cameron Brate was placed on IR with a back injury.
- Atlanta Falcons: I’d start my Saints as I normally would.
- New York Jets: Well, both teams are a mess. The Bills have benched Tyrod Taylor, not because of poor play, but because they don’t want to take a chance that he may suffer an injury and thus guarantee his contract. J. Manuel will start. This drops Sammy Watkins into WR3 range. Robert Woods is no better than a flex. I do still like Charles Clay who has now caught four TDs in his last three games.
- Chicago Bears: Is there a team that fell apart quicker than the Vikings? After his monster game last week, Adam Thielen has to start for me again. I’ll still give some love to Stefon Diggs, but he’s a low range WR2. Kyle Rudolph is in my Top 10.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cam Newton, Jonathan Stewart, and Greg Olsen all start. Kelvin Benjamin probably does also, although he is one of the biggest disappointments over the past month. The question going into the off-season will be why. He came into the season as a high end WR2 but is now no better than a flex play.
- Baltimore Ravens: The Bengals look like they are closing shop for the season. J. Green, Tyler Eifert, and Giovani Bernard are already done. Jeremy Hill (knee) may be heading in that direction also, as he crushed the Fantasy title hopes of many an owner last weekend, only making a cameo versus the Texans. I’m not starting him either way. Brandon Lafell and Tyler Boyd are the only two who interest me.
- Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins are a beat up defensive unit, and with little to play for Sunday other than seeding, they may elect to play it safe with several players. This could lead to a big game for Tom Brady and company, who need the win to assure themselves of home field advantage throughout the playoffs. My only worries would be the WR. Malcom Mitchell and Chris Hogan are never a sure bet, and won’t be this week as well.
- Oakland Raiders: Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch will both play Sunday, which makes neither one start-worthy. I can see starting Emmanuel Sanders and/or Demaryius Thomas but both will be in the WR3 range.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Isaiah Crowell is a starter for me with the Steelers looking to rest their starters. I’m probably staying away from Terrelle Pryor with the finger injury.
- Cleveland Browns: As already mentioned, Roethlisberger, Brown, and Bell are out. Theoretically, this could make DeAngelo Williams and Eli Rogers good plays, but the Steelers just don’t seem to be taking this game all that seriously. Cleveland may actually get a two game winning streak here.
- Green Bay Packers: I know Zach Zenner had a nice half versus the Cowboys on Monday, but I’m not starting anyone from the Lions’ run game in this one. I will start Matthew Stafford, however, finger and all. You can give me Eric Ebron
- Philadelphia Eagles: The Cowboys are one of the problem teams, as I don’t expect Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott, and Dez Bryant to play much more than the first half, if that. I’m not starting Dak. Whether you start Elliott or Dez will come down to what your other options are.
- Dallas Cowboys: The Eagles are a mess at RB but in a PPR league, I’ll give Darren Sproles a shot. Zach Ertz is a must, and Jordan Matthews is pretty close also, if he starts.
- Washington Redskins: I wouldn’t start Eli Manning here, even if this game meant something to the Giants. As of now, the Giants say Odell Beckham will play the entire game. We will have to take them at their word, but I have a very hard time seeing that come true.
- Cincinnati Bengals: Steve Smith has announced that he will retire at the end of the season. Is there any doubt that Joe Flacco will be looking his way early and often? I wonder if this is the week that BAL will finally give Kenneth Dixon 20-plus touches.
- New York Giants: I’m starting my Redskins as I normally would, with the notable exception of Jordan Reed. They say he will likely play but you shouldn’t trust him. I know I don’t. I’m not starting Vernon Davis
- San Diego Chargers: The Chiefs are another team where I start my players as I normally would.
- Buffalo Bills: The Jets are a dumpster fire. What does this say about the progress of Christian Hackenberg that the team will start Ryan Fitzpatrick over him in the last game of the season? The Jets aren’t playing for anything and Fitzpatrick won’t be with the team next season. After hearing all of the locker room problems, I’m wondering if Brandon Marshall will also have a new address next year. Bilal Powell is my only starter here with Robbie Anderson an outside possibility if you’re desperate.
- Kansas City Chiefs: Melvin Gordon (hip) has been limited in practice this week. This is a rough matchup even if he’s healthy, but he’s not. There are so many red flags here. I just don’t see him finishing the game. Still, I get it, you may not have better options and have to start him. Phillip Rivers, Tyrell Williams, and Antonio Gates. Dontrelle Inman is in flex consideration but I’m not expecting big things.
- Minnesota Vikings: Matt Barkley has proven that he is what he is, a backup QB. Cam Meredith and Alshon Jeffery are low end WR3 this week.
- Houston Texans: This could be a big time let down game for Tennessee. Not only did they lose Marcus Mariota (leg) for the season last week, but they also were eliminated from playoff contention. Delanie Walker is the only receiver I’m interested in as far as the passing game is concerned. I’m starting DeMarco Murray, but I wonder if they rest him more than usual. Derrick Henry could be a flex play here.
- Tennessee Titans: Lamar Miller (ankle) is unlikely to play Sunday which will make Alfred Blue a Top 20 RB this week. DeAndre Hopkins and J. Fiedorowicz are possible starts here, although I just don’t see big things coming and both could leave the game early.
- Denver Broncos: Losing Derek Carr (leg) is a blow for the entire offense. Matt McGloin is not the second coming of anyone. I’m not starting Amari Cooper or Michael Crabtree. The run game is also a quagmire. Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington both played a bigger role in the offense last week than Latavius Murray. Apparently, the Raiders were getting tired of Murray putting the ball on the ground. Without Carr, though, the Raiders will look to win games on the ground and with their defense. All three RBs could have value with the hottest hand garnering the most touches.
- New England Patriots: Jay Ajayi could be a tough start here. He suffered a slight shoulder injury last week and could use the rest, as he also had 33 touches. Sure, we can argue that a win and a chance at the fifth seed in the AFC would give them a better matchup (Houston rather than Pittsburgh), but it won’t matter if you don’t have your health. They are already down their starting QB (Ryan Tannehill), they can’t afford to lose Ajayi also.
- Arizona Cardinals: Maybe I can start Kenny Britt Nah.
- Seattle Seahawks: Carlos Hyde is out, which only leaves Colin Kaepernick. I’d rather not start him, but I can see a situation or three in which he is the better option.
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you, @georgekurtz.
Be the first to know
Want FREE Fantasy and Gaming Advice and Savings Delivered to your Inbox? Sign up for our Newsletter.