Marc Griffis
Week 17: How the NFC was Won

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The stockings have been emptied, every present has been unwrapped, your stomach is overly full, the crowds of family and friends disseminated, and now you are left with one more event this holiday season. I am not referencing New Years, but rather Week 17! Many leagues wrap up their seasons in Week 16, but some play till the bitter end.

Week 17 is already shaping up to be epic. With the NFC North and East being decided by one game, fans could not ask for a more exciting ending. With the news of Aaron Rodgers officially starting, will Tony Romo also play? The AFC will also have several key matchups to determine playoff berths and seeding. Get out those “scenario” cheat sheets, then take a dive with me as we wrap up the fantasy football season.

Quarterback

The lowly Detroit Lions had the NFC North division in their grasps especially with both Green Bay and Chicago’s starting quarterbacks sidelined. With Week 16’s loss, they were eliminated from contention. With Coach Jim Schwartz’s job potentially on the line, Matthew Stafford and Detroit will come out strong against the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota allows the most points to opposing quarterbacks, including at least three touchdowns over their last three tilts. Although his No. 1 target Calvin Johnson is questionable, Stafford should still excel as he did in Week 1 with 357 yards and two scores.

Week 17 forecast: 300 passing yards, 2 TD


Running Back


Andre Brown ’s return from injury has been a roller-coaster ride for his owners. He totaled more than 100 rushing yards in two games, but has been held under 50 in three of his last four. Although Washington shutdown Brown in Week 13, look for him to rebound this weekend. Washington has allowed the third-most points and most touchdowns to opposing backs. With Eli Manning’s inconsistent passing, look for New York to run in the red zone.

Week 17 forecast: 80 total yards, TD


Wide Receiver

Cordarrelle Patterson
is a firecracker. He has the ability to break a defense with his athleticism, but has been relatively “hit or miss” in fantasy football most weeks. Minnesota has been finding ways to use him in the offense as he has at least six targets in the last three games and has received a handful of rushing attempts. Look for Patterson to break a big play against Detroit this weekend.

Week 17 forecast: 80 total yards, TD

Tight End


With Reggie Wayne out of the picture of Indianapolis, many analysts predicted that Coby Fleener would rise to the occasion and partially fill his shoes. Unfortunately, that has not happened for the young tight end. His second-best game of the year came against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who allow the third-most points to opposing tight ends. Although they have improved in the second half of the season, look for Andrew Luck and the Colts to attempt to win this game quickly and secure the best playoff seeding they can.

Week 17 forecast: 75 receiving yards, TD


Defense/Special Teams


The Denver Broncos defense is used to playing ahead and this trend will continue in Week 17. They will be playing for playoff seeding and will be visiting the Oakland Raiders. Terrelle Pryor will be returning to signal calling duties for Oakland and will likely be rusty since his last start was Week 10. The Raiders have struggled offensively and have allowed double-digit points to opposing defenses over the last three weeks. This one could get ugly fast!

Week 17 forecast: 13 points
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Week 16 Results

Quarterback – Andy Dalton
Week 16 forecast: 250 passing yards, 2 TD
Week 16 Results: 366 passing yards, 10 rushing yards, 4 TD (great call)

Running Back – Rashad Jennings
Week 16 forecast: 100 total yards, TD
Week 16 Results: 72 total yards (OK call)

Wide Receiver – Brian Hartline
Week 16 forecast: 80 receiving yards, TD
Week 16 Results: 53 receiving yards (bad call)

TE – Zach Miller
Week 16 forecast: 50 receiving yards, TD
Week 16 Results: 11 receiving yards, TD (good call)

Defense/Special Teams – Detroit Lions

Week 16 forecast: 13 points
Week 16 Results: 9 points (good call – points may vary by league)