Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football Week 17 Game by Game Preview

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Most of you are officially done and have won their Fantasy Championships! To those who won congratulations! Most leagues do not play up till Week 17, but for those of you who do here is your Game by Game Preview. Good luck with this week!

Browns @ Steelers
Forecast: Chance of rain

Josh Gordon. JOSH Gordon! JOSH GORDON! Is the #1 WR in Fantasy. It is unbelievable how well he has played, and he also missed the first two games of the season! Gordon is a must start, if that wasn’t obvious already. With Jordan Cameron questionable I would not advise playing any other Browns. Ben Roethlisberger should have a nice game as the Browns are the 9th best matchup for QBs. Antonio Brown has been spectacular this year, and will be heavily targeted regardless of Joe Haden, who will be covering him. LeVeon Bell was very good last week and should rush for around 70 yards and a touchdown. The Steelers are in a must win game and have been known to win these kind of games.
Steelers 24 Browns 17


Redskins @ Giants
Forecast: Rain

Damn you Kirk Cousins! In a game where Pierre Garcon put up 144 yards and a touchdown, you would think Kirk Cousins would have a solid fantasy performance.. Nope. He threw for 197 yards a touchdown and a pick. So frustrating! I cannot recommend him even against the Giants as he has limited receivers to target. Alfred Morris should play well and is almost a lock for 17-20 touches. If you are decimated at RB or have a RB on a already playoff bound team then Andre Brown could be a so-so start against the Redskins. The Redskins win this unimportant game and decrease the Rams pick for the draft.
Redskins 23 Giants 17

Ravens @ Bengals
Forecast: Chance of rain

This game means little to the Bengals and everything to the Ravens. The Ravens have the possibility of being the 10th team in NFL history to win the Superbowl and not make the playoffs in the next year, not exactly company they would like to join. The Ravens have been decidedly average in fantasy overall, I would advise not playing any of them as the Bengals are built nearly perfect defensively to slow them down. Benjarvus Green-Ellis should run for a touchdown this week as he has scored four touchdowns in the last four weeks. A.J. Green is a fantasy monster and is a must start. I would not start Andy Dalton though as I could see the Bengals sitting him for some of the game. The Bengals demonstrate little effort in their win over the Superbowl Champs.
Bengals 31 Ravens 17

Texans @ Titans
Forecast: Mostly Cloudy

In a game that has no meaning for this year the Titans, and the Texans square off trying to learn what they have, and what they need to build on. Andre Johnson is the only Texan recommended. On the other side of the ball Delanie Walker is my sleeper pick of the week. He has played pretty well with Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Texans are the 10th best match up for TEs this year. Chris Johnson has been inconsistnet but should play well against a Texans defense that will be in poor position all day. The Titans win easily against a poor Texans team.
Titans 24 Texans 13

Jaguars @ Colts
Forecast: Dome

The Colts haven’t played all that great all season, but have played good enough and great in the moments that matter and are locked into the playoffs. Look for them to come in and try and finish this one off early. I see Andrew Luck torching them as he threw for 257 yards and 2 touchdowns against them earlier in the year. Donald Brown will lead the backfield against the Jags and is a flex/RB2 against this poor defense. On the other side of the ball, there isn’t much to get excited about, even with Maurice Jones-Drew coming back from his injury. Marcedes Lewis has played well, scoring in four straight games, but he faces a tough defense against TEs so I don’t think that streak continues.
Colts 27 Jaguars 16

Panthers @ Falcons
Forecast: Dome

The Panthers have a lot to play for this week. A win and they win the NFC South and if the Seahawks lose they can take the No. 1 seed in the NFC as well. I’m recommend Cam Newton as a must start, DeAngelo Williams as a low end RB2 and Greg Olsen as a good tight end option. After that for Carolina it gets iffy. Steve Smith it out, so Brandon LaFell could be a good option, but he is hard to recommend at this point. For Atlanta, I’d say it’s a real stretch to play any of their players except Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez, who should at least see a bunch of targets with the Falcons playing from behind most if not all of the game.
Panthers 24 Falcons 17

Jets @ Dolphins
Forecast: Windy and a chance of rain

Another game where a team needs to win and get a little help to make the playoffs. The Dolphins have a lot of scenarios that get them in the playoffs, but first and foremost they need to win. I would absolutely avoid any of the Miami running game especially going against the 5th best defense against running backs. If you are hurting for starters this week I would give Ryan Tannehill, Mike Wallace and in PPR leagues Brian Hartline a look. The Jets weakness on defense is their secondary, so there is potential there. The Jets on the other hand have absolutely nobody I would trust playing, despite the good game by Geno Smith last week.
Dolphins 20 Jets 10

Lions @ Vikings
Forecast: Dome

The last game in the Metrodome isn’t exactly how each team wanted it to be. The Lions have seen their season go from leading to the division to out of the playoffs. The Vikings went from a playoff team last year to bottom feeders of the NFL. It probably won’t get much better this week, with no Adrian Peterson and even back up Toby Gerhart is out. I like Greg Jennings as a sleeper with the Lions poor secondary, but that would be about it. As for the Lions, if Reggie Bush plays he is a must start, if not Joique Bell is just as good. Possibly no Calvin Johnson really limits Matthew Stafford‘s value and in fact I would not start him if Calvin does not play.
Lions 21 Vikings 17

Packers @ Bears
Forecast: Chance of snow

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Basically a play in game for the playoffs. The winner of this game is in the playoffs by winning the division, the loser is out. To make this game even more interesting is the return of Aaron Rodgers. I would start him unless you have Brees, Cam, Foles or Peyton Manning. His return also boosts the value of all his receivers, making Jordy Nelson a must start, James Jones and Jarrett Boykin are WR2/Flex plays. Randall Cobb is returning this game, but I would avoid him in his first game back, since he will probably be on a snap count. My favorite play for the Packers is Eddie Lacy. The Bears rushing defense is the worst in the NFL and Lacy should run laps around them. As for the Bears I like all of their main contributors on offense as well. This should be a really good game and I’m guessing a few of these players will help decide your fantasy championship.
Packers 34 Bears 31

Broncos @ Raiders
Forecast: Clear

This game is going to be quite one-sided, unless the Broncos decide to sit their starters at some point in the game. I don’t think that happens though since the Broncos are going to give Peyton Manning every chance to set the passing yards record. All of the usual suspects from Denver are in play here and should do very well. On the other side of the ball, I would only recommend playing Rashad Jennings, but he could wind up being a bust if the Raiders get behind too much.
Broncos 38 Raiders 20

Bills @ Patriots
Forecast: Rain

The Patriots still have a lot to play for here, a win and they are locked into the No. 2 seed. That is not good news for the Bills and their fantasy players. However, Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller could be sneaky plays this week given how bad the Patriots run defense has been this season, but even they are risky plays given their inconsistent play all season. For the Patriots, I don’t really love any of their players, but in PPR leagues Edelman and Amendola are decent plays, and of course Tom Brady has to be considered at least a low end QB1 as the Patriots will take care of business.
Patriots 27 Bills 17

Buccaneers @ Saints
Forecast: Dome

The Saints return home hoping to lock up a playoff spot by winning this game, so I fully expect their offense to be rolling on all cylinders. Drew Brees is a must start and I see him throwing for 350+ yards and 3 touchdowns. Marques Colston and Jimmy Graham should be able to exploit the Bucs secondary, who are decent, but not good against the pass. For the Bucs Vincent Jackson is elite enough that even in a bad match up he should be played here. Bobby Rainey is a decent play as well as a RB2 with the Saints having allowed opposing running backs to score the last two weeks in a row.
Saints 31 Buccaneers 20

49ers @ Cardinals
Forecast: Clear

Both teams have quite a bit to play for here. The 49ers are trying to improve their playoff spot with a win and a Seahawks loss to get the No. 2 seed. If the Panthers lose too then the 49ers would have the No. 1 seed. The Cardinals need to win and have the Saints lose to get into the playoffs. These are two of the hottest teams right now, having a combined three losses in their last eight games each. I don’t particularly like any of the players on either squad as I expect a good defensive game all around.
49ers 16 Cardinals 13 

Chiefs @ Chargers
Forecast: Clear

The Chargers have a chance to make the playoffs with a win here, but need both the Dolphins and Ravens to lose. They will know their fate ahead of time, but I expect them to play all their players regardless. The Chiefs on the other hand are locked into the No. 5 seed and are likely to sit their starters most of this game, making it very interesting for fantasy owners. Which by the way is exactly why you shouldn’t play Week 17. Jamaal Charles owners likely rode his great season to this point, only to possibly only get a couple of series from him, if any. If you want to sit him for another viable option or Knile Davis I wouldn’t blame you. For the Chargers, this initially was a bad match up, but with the Chiefs starters not playing all game I like Philip Rivers, Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead and Keenan Allen a lot more. In fact I would make all but Woodhead just about must starts, with Woodhead being a flex in standard leagues and RB2 in PPR leagues.
Chargers 34 Chiefs 23

Rams @ Seattle
Forecast: Fog

Seattle wins and they get the No. 1 seed in the NFC, so no fear of them sitting their starters here. My favorite player in this game is no surprise, Marshawn Lynch. He should be able to run all over the Rams who have allowed the 27th most points to opposing running backs. I’d temper your expectations with Russell Wilson though. Most people see the Rams and think this is an easy game, but they are actually pretty good against the pass and with Wilson struggling lately I’d look elsewhere. The Rams don’t have anybody I’d consider using except Zac Stacy, who seems to be match up proof. He was just one of four running backs to score against the best rush defense, the Cardinals.
Seahawks 27 Rams 16

Eagles @ Cowboys
Forecast: Overcast

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This is the second of the play-in games for the NFC. The winner here wins the division, the other is left out of the playoffs. The Cowboys have not been good in this spot the last two years, failing to beat both the Giants and Redskins. This year just got more difficult now that Tony Romo is out with a herniated disc in his back. They should still have some success on offense with DeMarco Murray play well in the second half of the season. The Eagles should have more fantasy points across the board here though, with LeSean McCoy tearing up the putrid Cowboys run defense and Nick Foles throwing touchdowns to DeSean Jackson. I’m afraid its going to be three years in a row of disappointment for the Cowboys in Week 17.
Eagles 31 Cowboys 20

You can follow Greg on Twitter @gregnothum or Joe on Twitter @FantasySixPack for fantasy advice. Also be sure to follow the site on Facebook, and Google+ for more daily fantasy news or to ask us any questions you have about your fantasy team.

About Greg Nothum

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