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Friday, 26 December 2014

2014 Fantasy Football: Start 'Em/Sit 'Em WEEK 17


A helpful look into who should be in your line up or riding your bench this week.

Always remember one of our biggest rules here at

Commandment #10: Thou shall ALWAYS start thy Studs

Writing this final addition of Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em is bittersweet. It means that another season of fantasy football has come to an end. After drafting on what seems like yesterday, we are now to the last week of the NFL season, and officially (all though week 16 should be your final fantasy week) the final week of fantasy football in 2014. Having a championship in week 17 is much different than play week 16. It’s extremely rare we see studs and significantly big fantasy contributors sitting in week 16, but it’s a common occurrence once week 17 kicks off. So while we at preach Commandment #10: Thou shall ALWAYS start thy Studs; there are exceptions to every rule, and week 17 fantasy championship games come into play here.


Week 17 doesn’t follow that same criteria because some of your studs won’t see the field, while others may play some but be given a lot more rest throughout the game, or pulled at half time, or worse after a series or two. So let’s start the final week of the 2014 season with players from teams I DO NOT WANT IN MY WEEK 17 LINE UP:

  • New England Patriots: The Pats already have home field throughout the AFC playoffs wrapped up; no need for them to trot out their stars to get hurt in a meaningless game. I’m sure their starters see some actions but it will be extremely limited so I’d avoid guys such as QB Tom Brady, RB Shane Vereen (also because he’s been a waste for the most part in 2014), TE Rob Gronkowski, and WR Julian Edleman.
  • Indianapolis Colts: Indy has the AFC’s #4 seed locked up with no possibility of moving up or down; similarly to New England I can’t expect to see stud from the Colts on the field much of this game. Avoid QB Andrew Luck, WR T.Y. Hilton.
  • Arizona Cardinals: While ‘Zona can still get the top overall seed in the NFC and are still playing for something I still want nothing to do with Cards players. The quarterback situation is just horrible and a day after saying rookie Tom Savage would start in San Francisco, coach Bruce Arians changed his mind and said that Ryan Lindley would remain the starter. Cardinals had a great year but no good QB, hell not even a competent QB to start for them in the postseason is going to be disastrous! Avoid WR Larry Fitzgerald, WR Michael Floyd.


 Kelvin Benjamin of the Carolina Panthers



Peyton Manning Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders

Drew Brees New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers vs Detroit Lions

Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings

Tom Brady New England Patriots vs Buffalo Bills



Kyle Orton Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots:

While Tom Brady may be resting on the sidelines in Foxboro this weekend, Orton and his Bills will be playing. I know Buffalo has nothing to play for and Orton wasn’t even sure he wanted to play football this off season, but he’s been serviceable at the worst for the Bills so I can only imagine that Buffalo would like to have him back in 2015. Bills need a franchise QB but probably won’t be attaining one in the draft where they will be selecting. Orton threw for 299 yards with 2TDs and 1INT against the Pats in the first meeting this season, and on the road against the AFC east this year Orton is averaging 210 yards with 2TDs and 0INTs per contest. And if the Pats rest starters, that means both sides of the ball, which means no Revis or Browner to throw against.


Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons vs Carolina Panthers:

Division title on the line. Game at home in the Georgia Dome where Ryan averages over 24 points per contest (more than 3 more points per game on the road). Matt Ryan is 5-1 in his career at home against the Carolina Panthers, leading the Falcons to an average of 31 points per game, and their only loss at home to Carolina in that period was a 21-20 defeat. And through 15 games this season, Ryan is averaging 24 fantasy points per game, a career high. Expect the Falcons to post a lot of points on the Panthers Sunday afternoon.


Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks vs St. Louis Rams:

This will be the 3rd straight year that we see the Rams head into Seattle in week 17. Wilson lead his Seahawks to victory the first 2 times, and with the division title and the NFC’s top overall seed with home field throughout the playoffs hanging in the wings if Seattle can win, Wilson won’t let his team down. This dude always steps up and this week won’t be different. In the last two week 17 meetings, Wilson is averaging 20 points per game. He also torched the Rams earlier this season, posting 40 fantasy points, his best of 2014 and 1 point off of his career high.




LeSean McCoy Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants

Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs vs San Diego Chargers

Matt Forte Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings

Eddie Lacy Green Bay Packers vs Detroit Lions

Marshawn Lynch Seattle Seahawks vs St. Louis Rams

DeMarco Murray Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins

Arian Foster Houston Texans vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Justin Forsett Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland Browns

Le’Veon Bell Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday Night)



Jonathan Stewart Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Flacons:

Stewart has come on the past 3 weeks since he’s been the main guy in the Carolina backfield. He has 20+ carries in each of the last 3 weeks with at least 70 rush yards per contest and 2 of the 3 going for over 120 yards. Now with the NFC south crown on the line, Stewart gets to face the worst D at stopping running backs this year in the Flacons. Atlanta is giving up just under 24 points per game to RBs this year. Atlanta has allowed the most TDs to running backs (19 on the ground tops the league, as does the 22 total TDs).  For the Panthers to have shot at winning this game they must run the ball effectively and keep the Flacons high-flying offense off the field. How do they do that? By riding Jonathan Stewart.


C.J. Anderson Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders:

The Raiders allow the 3rd most fantasy points per week to opposing running backs at 23.

Anderson has been averaging 20 points per game over his last 5.

The Raiders have given up 7 touchdowns to RBs over the past 5 weeks.

Anderson has scored 6 in that same time frame.

The Raiders aren’t playing for the #2 seed in the AFC.

The Broncos are.

Anderson must be in your line-ups with that championship on the line.


Joique Bell Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers:

As far as the game itself, I have no faith that Detroit can win this game. That being said, to have a shot they need to keep Aaron Rodgers off the field. To do that they need Joique to step up in a big way for them. Bell is a threat rushing and receiving, having 15+ rush attempts in 4 of the last 5 games, and multiple targets in all 5 of those games including 5+ in 2 of the 5. He’s scored 5 total TDs in that 5 game span, most TDs in a 5 game period in his career. The Packers are middle-of-the-road at stopping RBs, 19th overall, but have allowed the likes of Steven Jackson and Brandon Bolden to find the end zone the past few weeks.




Demaryius Thomas Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders

Dez Bryant Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins

Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers

A.J. Green Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Julio Jones Atlanta Falcons vs Carolina Panthers

Antonio Brown Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cincinnati Bengals

Jordy Nelson Green Bay Packers vs Detroit Lions

Emmanuel Sanders Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders

T.Y. Hilton Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans

Odell Beckham Jr. New York Giants vs Philadelphia Eagles



Kelvin Benjamin Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons:

So I mentioned before about the atrocious run defense of the Flacons, but that pass D is not much better. Still allowing just under 26 points per game to receivers while being just 1 of 6 teams in the league to have allowed 200+ catches to WRs. The Falcons are also the only team thus far to have given up over 3,000 passing yards in 2104 (3,073). Benji is the 15th highest scoring WR this year. Among rookies he has the most targets (140), the 3rd most catches (72), 2nd most yards (999), 3rd most TD (9), which all equates to the 3rd most fantasy points (153). Benji also had his 3nd best game of the season this year against these Falcons when he went 9-109-1 back in week 11. 

Doug Baldwin Seattle Seahawks vs St. Louis Rams:

Baldwin has begun to emerge as Wilson’s top target. He’s got 24 targets the past 3 weeks, tops on the team. He’s also had at least 50 receiving yards in each of his last 3, including going over 90 twice in that span. Baldwin has two games with 100+ yards this season, both coming against division opponents, and 1 of the 2 coming versus this Rams team earlier in the year when he went for 123 yards and a touchdown on 7 catches. The Rams are the 8th worst team against WRs this year (giving up 25 points per game) and in division St. Louis is allowing teams WR1’s to average 13 per contest.

Cole Beasley Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins:

Beasley is the 17th highest scoring wide out over the past 3 weeks in fantasy football (better than guys like Mike Evans, Jeremy Maclin, and Marques Colston). While his yardage is nothing to write home about (42,42, and 29 yards respectively), he seems to be a guy getting targeted a lot by Tony Romo when the Cowboys get into the red zone. With guys like DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant to worry about, opposing defenses don’t have slowing Cole down as a priority and he’s been making them pay, scoring 3 touchdowns in the last 3 weeks. The Skins pass D is still horrible, 4th worst in the league while allowing a NFL-high 21TDs to WRs. Dallas still has a shot at getting a bye week so they will trot starters out there. Beasley has a very realistic shot at getting into the end zone again this week.



Jimmy Graham New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Julius Thomas Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders

Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots vs Buffalo Bills

Greg Olsen Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons




Charles Clay Miami Dolphins vs New York Jets:

While Clay hasn’t played great this season, he has come on strong of late. He’s caught 12 of 17 targets the last 2 weeks, good for 173 total yards (including a 100 yards effort last week). Clay gets to face the lowly New York Jets pass D this weekend. A Jets defense that is just 1 of 6 teams allowing double-digit points to TEs this year, while giving up a league-high 13 touchdown catches to those tight ends.

Jason Witten Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins:

Another player at the tight end position who played below his expectations this season, but Witten seems to have been playing closer to his old self the past few weeks. He’s caught 3 of his 5 total touchdowns in 2014 over the past 6 weeks. In that same time period he’s had two games with 65+ receiving yards (2 of his 3 game with 65+ yards this season), and has hit 6+ fantasy points in 4 of the 6. Witten also posted 5 catches for 70 yards and a TD for 13 points against the Skins in their first meeting this season (his 2nd best fantasy output this year).

Delanie Walker Tennessee Titans vs Indianapolis Colts:

In a season with a lot of question marks at the position, Walker is the 7th highest scoring TE. He’s had 4+ catches in 4 of his last 5, and 50+ yards in 3 of those 5. The Colts are the really bad at stopping tight ends. They’ve allowed the 4th most yards (911), 3rd most touchdowns (10), and are giving up 10 points per game. Walker posted great numbers against the Colts earlier this season (5-84-1) and in his 3 career games against Indy since coming to Tennessee last season, Walker is averaging 10 points per game with 80+ yards in 2 meetings and 2TDs in that span.



Miami Dolphins vs New York Jets: Miami has forced at least 1 turnover in 5 straight and 9 of the last 10.

Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders: Over their last 5 meeting, the Raiders have failed to score more than 21 points on Denver, averaging just 14 per contest. 

Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland Browns: Baltimore has 5+ sacks in 5 of the last 6 games.

Houston Texans vs Jacksonville Jaguars: Jacksonville has allowed defenses to score 5TDs on the this year (2nd most in NFL), have thrown 18 picks (3rd most in NFL), and have given up a league-high 66 sacks this year.


Matt Bryant Atlanta Falcons vs Carolina Panthers

Randy Bullock Houston Texans vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Caleb Sturgis Miami Dolphins vs New York Jets

Cairo Santos Kansas City Chiefs vs San Diego Chargers


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