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The Fantasy Matrix – Week 17

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears


Week 17 impact: The winner takes the NFC North. Full participation from all starters will happen.


Breakdown: This chart is obviously in hopes that

Aaron Rodgers

plays. Downgrade all receivers and put
Matt Flynn

somewhere in the bottom left if Rodgers can’t go.
Eddie Lacy

is a high-end RB1 no matter who’s under center. The disaster last week showed why
Jay Cutler

can’t be trusted. The upside is undeniable, but last week he was in the most fantasy-friendly scenario a quarterback can find himself in and he fell on his face. This doesn’t change the fact that
Matt Forte

,
Brandon Marshall

and
Alshon Jeffery

are all must-starts.

Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders


Week 17 impact: A Denver win clinches the top seed, guaranteeing that an AFC Championship Game in Foxboro is impossible. Also, Peyton Manning is 265 yards shy of the single season passing record. The Broncos have present and historical incentive. Oakland has too many coaches and key players who want to keep their jobs to roll over. Both teams will go hard.


Breakdown:

Peyton Manning

and all of his skill players are pretty good.
Terrelle Pryor

has upside as a running quarterback who might also have to throw a ton, but starting him would be crazy.
Rashad Jennings

has run well all season and has a good matchup, but any running back going against Denver also has the risk of his team abandoning the run early.

Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots


Week 17 impact: There is no scenario in which the Patriots are not actively interested in winning this game. The Bills will most likely have the opportunity to play spoiler and rob a hated division rival of a first-round bye. Treat this like a normal regular season game.


Breakdown:

Stevie Johnson

and
E.J. Manuel

may not play this week. The former being out would be good for
Robert Woods

, and the latter being out will give way to a backup quarterback that you also wouldn’t want to start.
Fred Jackson

is the only safe play here.
Tom Brady

continues to make the most of his ravaged receiving corps.
Julian Edelman

has 44 receptions for 491 yards and four touchdowns over his last five games. That’s pretty good. If
Stevan Ridley

can hold onto the ball, he could get some nice garbage time stats running out the clock in a blowout.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints


Week 17 impact: The Saints are in if they win, and there’s an off-chance of a first-round bye. Meanwhile, coach Greg Schiano,

Mike Glennon

, Tim Wright,
Bobby Rainey

and
Tiquan Underwood

could all lose their current jobs. They would like to make a case for keeping them. This one should be business as usual.


Breakdown:

Bobby Rainey
‘s
fantasy stats continue to adhere very closely to his matchup. The Saints are good against the run, making him a low-end start. The Buccaneers have one of the league’s worst passing offenses, and
Vincent Jackson

is the only consistent viable starter it can support. The Buccaneers have a good rushing defense, and the brief period of
Pierre Thomas

getting a big workload has come to an end. No Saints running backs are good starts. Furthermore,
Drew Brees

spreading the ball around makes no receivers beyond
Jimmy Graham

or
Marques Colston

worth using.

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