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2009 Start/Bench List Week 17

In Week
17, it’s all about finding those teams fighting for their playoff lives with
the best matchups and exploiting them. There are seven AFC teams and four NFC
teams trying to play beyond this week. Take advantage of their desperation and
use the information to dominate in the final week of the season.

 

When
using this list, try and remember a couple basic rules:

1) Studs – Always play your studs. Each position will include a list of players
that are considered studs and should not be benched. If you have the luxury of
needing to decide between studs, check out the matchups or feel free to let the
shark tank assist you in your decisions.

2) Depth – Every fantasy team is different and some have more depth than
others. Only follow the recommended moves if your team depth allows you to make
such a move.

Quarterbacks

Studs

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay at Arizona

**Expected to play
but team does not need to win**

Drew Brees, New Orleans at Carolina

**Expected to play
but team does not need to win**

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis at Buffalo

**May not play
in Week 17**

Matt Schaub, Houston vs. New England

Tom Brady, New England vs. Houston

**Expected to play
but team does not need to win**

Philip Rivers, San Diego vs. Washington

**Expected to
play but team does not need to win**

Tony Romo, Dallas vs. Philadelphia

Start

Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia at Dallas: The Eagles can clinch a
first-round bye in the playoffs with a win over Dallas this week. McNabb threw
for only 227 yards with one touchdown and one interception the last time he
faced

Dallas
back (Week 9). Look for those numbers to improve this week as McNabb does his
part to ensure the Eagles are well-rested for the playoffs.

Ben Roethlisberger,

Pittsburgh at

Miami: The Steelers need
to win and get some help this week to make the playoffs.

Miami can also clinch a playoff spot with a
win and lots of help. Roethlisberger has had a very tough stretch of solid pass
defenses. The Dolphins pass defense is not one of the tough ones. Look for

Pittsburgh to abandon the
running game early, and Big Ben will march the Steelers up and down the field
with ease.

Bench

Carson

Palmer,

Cincinnati at N.Y. Jets: The Bengals are
already in the playoffs and a Jets win will clinch their playoff spot. The Jets
pass defense has allowed the fewest passing yards all season, and with a home
game on Sunday Night Football and a chance to go to the playoffs, I’d avoid the
Bengals passing attack in its entirety.

Brett Favre,

Minnesota
vs. N.Y. Giants: Despite his strong performance in Monday night’s game against
the Bears, Favre has been heading in the wrong direction since December
started. Since Week 13, Favre has thrown five touchdowns and four interceptions
and has averaged 253 yards passing. Even though the Vikings are still fighting
for the No. 2 seed in the NFC, they would do themselves justice to give Favre
some time off this week. If Favre does play, don’t expect much against a Giants
team that was eliminated from the playoffs last week and has nothing to lose.

Running Backs

Studs

Chris Johnson, Tennessee at Seattle

Ray Rice, Baltimore at Oakland

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota vs. N.Y. Giants

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville at Cleveland

Frank Gore, San Francisco at St. Louis

Steven Jackson, St. Louis vs. San Francisco

**Questionable
for Week 17**

Start

Knowshon Moreno, Denver vs. Kansas City: Even though Moreno hasn’t rushed
for more than 65 yards since Week 13, he comes recommended against a Chiefs run
defense that is ranked 31st in the NFL in rushing yards allowed. By
the way,

Moreno’s
highest fantasy point total this season? Week 13 against, you guessed it, the
Chiefs.

Jonathan Stewart,

Carolina vs.

New Orleans: Stewart
dominated the Giants last week, rushing for 206 yards on 28 carries with a touchdown.
With DeAngelo Williams still nursing an ankle injury, look for Stewart to once
again make some noise as he runs with a purpose against a Saints defense that
has nothing to play for.

Jason Snelling,

Atlanta at

Tampa

Bay:
With Michael Turner unlikely to play this week, Snelling will be primed to post
big numbers against a porous

Tampa

Bay run defense that has
allowed a league-worst 22 runs for 20 yards or more on the season. Even if
Snelling splits time with Jerious Norwood, look for Snelling to play a role in
the short passing game as well as the goal line making him a solid start this
week.

Bench

LeSean McCoy,

Philadelphia at

Dallas: Brian Westbrook
is back and McCoy failed to capitalize on his chance to claim the starting
running back role while Westbrook was sidelined. With the Eagles likely to
dominate the Cowboys in the air, don’t expect much from McCoy as his
disappointing rookie season continues.

Tim Hightower,

Arizona vs.

Green Bay: While the
Cardinals have an outside shot at a first-round bye, don’t expect the starters
to play the full game. Hightower hasn’t rushed for more than 50 yards in a game
since Week 11 and he’s averaged less than three catches a game in the past four
weeks. What little playing time Hightower will get this week won’t be enough to
warrant a start against a Packers run defense that has allowed the fewest
rushing yards in the NFL.

Rashard Mendenhall,

Pittsburgh at

Miami: Mendenhall has
seen better days. He’s averaged only 42 yards rushing over the past three weeks
and he faces another tough run defense on the road this week. The Steelers will
find success in the passing game, minimizing Mendenhall’s value this week.

Wide Receivers

Studs

Andre Johnson, Houston vs. New England

Wes Welker, New England at Houston

**Expected to play
but team does not need to win**

Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis at Buffalo

**May not play in
Week 17**

Randy Moss, New England at Houston

**Expected to play
but team does not need to win**

Brandon Marshall, Denver vs. Kansas City

Miles Austin, Dallas vs. Philadelphia

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. Green Bay

**May not play
in Week 17**

Steve Smith, N.Y. Giants at Minnesota

DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia at Dallas

Vincent Jackson, San Diego vs. Washington

**Expected to
play but team does not need to win**

Hines Ward, Pittsburgh at Miami

**Questionable for Week
17**

Sidney Rice, Minnesota vs. N.Y. Giants

Marques Colston, New Orleans at Carolina

**Expected to
play but team does not need to win**

Start

Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh at Miami: With Hines Ward questionable after
aggravating his hamstring injury last week against the Ravens, Holmes is in
line for a big game against the Dolphins.

Miami
has allowed a league-worst 8.2 yards per catch this season and they had no
chance at stopping Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson last week. Look for Roethlisberger
and Holmes to provide a repeat performance as the Steelers post big numbers in
the passing game.

Hakeem Nicks, N.Y. Giants at

Minnesota:
While Nicks has shown flashed of brilliance, he’s also made his fair share of
rookie mistakes this season. Look for Eli Manning to air it out against a
Vikings defense that hasn’t been able to stop Matt Moore and Jay Cutler the
last two weeks. Nicks should post big numbers along with Steve Smith against a
suddenly suspect Vikings defense.

Calvin Johnson,

Detroit vs.

Chicago: Remember this
guy? He’s still in

Detroit
and he’s still posting big numbers. The last time Johnson faced the Bears (Week
4) he posted eight catches for 133 yards. While the Bears will suffer from the
Monday night hangover after a huge win over the Vikings, Johnson will run
rampant posting yards at will and finding the end zone at least once this week.

Mike Sims-Walker,

Jacksonville at

Cleveland: He may no
longer be on the Studs list, but don’t overlook Sims-Walker this week against
the Browns. Sims-Walker has posted some lousy numbers lately, but the Browns
are ranked 29th in the NFL in passing yards allowed including a
league-worst 58 passes for 20 yards or more. Look for Sims-Walker to make one
final claim to be a stud at the start of the 2010 season.

Bench

Dwayne Bowe,

Kansas City vs.

Denver: While Bowe has
been Matt Cassel’s favorite target since his return, his numbers are on the low
end thanks to the level of competition he has faced. Things won’t get any
easier this week as Bowe and the Chiefs face the Broncos who have allowed the
second-fewest passing yards this season.

Derrick Mason, Baltimore at

Oakland:
If the Ravens beats the Raiders this week, they are in the playoffs. So why
then should you sit Mason since the Ravens have something to play for this
week? Well, Mason suffered a foot injury towards the end of last week’s game,
and this week he has the privilege of trying to catch passes with the

Oakland secondary
covering him like a blanket. The Raiders will see Ray Rice running all day and
not be able to stop him. Not much for Mason in this game.

Chad Ochocinco,

Cincinnati
at N.Y. Jets: From the Studs list to the Bench list in one week? Normally, this
wouldn’t happen but this is done to emphasize how much I dislike the Bengals
passing attack this week. If you’re relying on Ochocinco to help you win your
Super Bowl, please look elsewhere. You will be terribly disappointed if you put
your eggs in Ochocinco’s basket this week.

Donald Driver

,

Green Bay
at

Arizona:
With the Packers already in the playoffs with little to no chance of moving up
in the seedings, don’t expect Driver or Greg Jennings to play very much this
week. Driver’s old bones could use the rest and he’ll get it this week.

Tight Ends

Studs

Dallas Clark, Indianapolis at Buffalo

**May not play in
Week 17**

Vernon Davis, San Francisco at St. Louis

Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. Washington

**Expected to
play but team does not need to win**

Brent Celek, Philadelphia at Dallas

Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta at Tampa Bay

**Questionable for
Week 17**

Jason Witten, Dallas vs. Philadelphia

Kellen Winslow, Tampa Bay vs. Atlanta

Start

Heath Miller, Pittsburgh at Miami: See Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio
Holmes. Lots of passing yards to go around for the Steelers this week. Lots of
them.

Greg Olsen, Chicago at

Detroit:
Olsen’s only catch against the Lions back in Week 4 was a touchdown. Look for
more receptions this week as the Bears offense came to life against the Vikings
last week and Olsen played a big part in the offense.

Bench

Tony Scheffler,

Denver vs.

Kansas City: The Broncos
will run, run, and run some more this week which means Scheffler will block,
block and then block some more.

Fred Davis, Washington at

San
Diego
: Should you really be considering starting
anyone from the Redskins this week? I didn’t think so.

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