San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals
Week 17 impact: Both teams need a win and help from a late game to improve their standing. The 49ers have to win to have a chance at clinching a first-round bye, and the Cardinals need to win to have a chance at making the playoffs. There’s enough on the line to prompt normal personnel usage.
struggles pretty much anytime he faces a good defense, so avoid him if you can.
always has the potential to go off, but the 49ers have already clinched a playoff spot. They’d like to win, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they went easy on their 30-year old feature back.
is the second-best tight end in the NFL and he faces the defense that allows the most points to the position. As for the Cardinals, this could shape up to be the second straight brutally awful game for the offense.
is the only player I’d care to use in fantasy.
Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers
Week 17 impact: This game is meaningless for the Chiefs and will likely become meaningless for the Chargers by kickoff. Predicting the fantasy value of any player involved in this game is a total crapshoot.
Breakdown: Reports are indicating that the Chiefs may only use their starters for one or two drives. It might be tempting to start
because he regularly does more with five touches than a player like BenJarvus Green-Ellis does with 20, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
is the safest play because there’s a good chance he works a feature role for 3.5 quarters against a suspect Chargers defense. I think the Chargers will play as they normally would, making all four of their core offensive players usable fantasy plays.
St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks
Week 17 impact: A Seattle win clinches the top seed, and the Rams will play for pride. The Rams may be quick to bench a player who suffers a minor injury but for the most part you can play this one as you normally would.
Breakdown: A poor pass offense is against an awesome secondary.
is worth a start against pretty much anyone, but he’s the only Ram I’m messing with. St. Louis actually has a solid pass defense, but Russell Wilson should have enough running yardage and just enough passing stats for a solid fantasy day.
has added appeal against a Bottom-5 rushing defense, but you weren’t benching him anyway. Doug Baldwin probably has the most upside among Seattle receivers, but none are recommended plays.
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
Week 17 impact: Winner gets the division. Enough said.
Breakdown: What more is there to say about the Eagles? The Cowboys have a horrible defense, and the Eagles have an outstanding offense.
are all excellent plays.
is a good play, although somewhat risky.
should gash the Eagles defense and should get more work than normal with
calling plays. Nobody with half a brain believes that all this talk about
potentially playing is anything more than posturing from Jerry Jones.
has more upside than you’d expect thanks to his receiving talent and matchup, but this is still
we’re talking about. He can effectively manage games, but a fantasy star he is not.
doesn’t always dazzle with yardage, but he has a touchdown in four straight games. Orton throwing him the ball isn’t enough to make him anything less than a must-start.