People still play fantasy in Week 17? That should be illegal, right? *Checks Internet*... I guess it isn't, so I have to write a column for you this week. Aren't people aware some teams mail it in during Week 17? I'm not going to, but please schedule more championships for Week 16 in 2013.
Who to Start:
QB Tony Romo (DAL) vs. WSH: Tony Romo in a championship game? Sounds funny, but the Redskins D did give up 340 passing yards to Nick Foles last week, and Romo has been playing incredibly well in the past 4 games, and the pace should continue in this win-and-in game.
RB C.J Spiller (BUF) vs. NYJ: He's becoming a legit #1 fantasy RB option, and going up against the porous Jets rushing defense on Sunday, that pace could continue. He had a big game in Week 1 against the Jets, and that could happen again.
WR Steve Smith (CAR) vs. NO: Cam Newton has resurrected Steve Smith's fantasy value this season, and he's been incredibly hot over the last 4 games for the Panthers. That will likely continue against the Saints, who have one of the worst pass defenses in football.
WR Greg Jennings (GB) vs. MIN: He's scored 7 TD's in his last 6 games against the Vikings, and while the Packers have something to play for, Jennings should see targets and therefore fantasy points.
TE Antonio Gates (SD) vs. OAK: While he has been bad this year for fantasy purposes, he has had 2 decent games in a row, and that's enough to feel comfortable with him starting against the Raiders on Sunday, whose defense is still pretty bad, especially against the TE.
DEF Denver vs. KC: You know what the explanation for this is already.
Who to Sit:
QB Josh Freeman (TB) vs. ATL: Someone might need to call in a rescue service for Freeman's fantasy stature. He's been really bad at times during the Bucs current 5 game losing streak, and despite possibly playing against Falcons backups, I don't trust him, and neither should you.
RB Mikel Leshoure (DET) vs. CHI: He's been finding the endzone very easily of late, but he struggled in the first meeting between the 2 teams, and the Bears have been very good at shutting down running backs this season.
WR Steve Johnson (BUF) vs. NYJ: He has a tough matchup against Antonio Cromartie Sunday in Orchard Park, so that makes him a tough start despite his recent form. The Jets secondary has been pretty good this year sans Revis Island, and I doubt it stops this week.
WR Larry Fitzgerald (ARZ) vs. SF: Brian Hoyer? Seriously?
TE Brandon Myers (OAK) vs. SD: Hot doesn't always mean useful or a good start, and since Brandon Myers has been hot, I have to throw up the caution flag. Matt Leinart is also going to start, so that would make even more sense Sunday.
DEF Dallas vs. WSH: This game has the makings of a shootout in FedEx Sunday night, so starting the Dallas defense to win you a fantasy championship is not likely a good idea.
3 Super Sleepers:
QB Eli Manning (NYG) vs. PHI: His form of late has been bad, but going up against the beleaguered Eagles defense could change that, but he has struggled against bad Eagles teams before in his career, so that's why he's here and not in the start column.
WR Jeremy Maclin (PHI) vs. NYG: Mike Vick is back, so that could mean good things for Maclin's fantasy numbers, and also going up against the Giants secondary that has been torched over the past 2 weeks will also help.
DEF Tennessee vs. JAX: The Jags offense has been close to non-existent at many points this season, and they've been decimated by injuries on that side of the football as well, so the Titans could have a big game on that side of the ball.
Any Players on a Team that has Already Clinched: This seems obvious, and many coaches say they are going all out, but believe it when you see it. When they get pulled, you'll know why, and you and your fantasy team should be prepared.
So ends another year of fantasy advice, the 3rd on this blog, and the 4th overall. It's been great fun, and I hope you've at least taken some of it to heart when setting your lineups. Thanks to Michael Fabiano, who has no idea what this column is, but his column has helped me provide the skeleton for mine, and I have to give him credit for that. And as always,
Good Luck in Week 17, and have a happy New Year!