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Week 17 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top QBs for Championship Games

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 23:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers reacts after throwing a touchdown pass to teammate Steve Smith #89 during their game against the Oakland Raiders at Bank of America Stadium on December 23, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistDecember 25, 2012

While many fantasy football champions were crowned over the weekend, there are still some leagues with one more week of action. As always, quarterbacks will be at the forefront when it comes to taking home a fantasy title.

Week 17 is notoriously tough to predict because some teams have more to play for than others, which can lead to players taking an early seat to avoid injury. It's the main reason a lot of leagues have shifted the finals to Week 16.

For those owners still battling it out on the fantasy gridiron, let's examine the top quarterback options for the final week of the NFL regular season.

 

1. Tom Brady

If there's one thing the New England Patriots have illustrated under the guidance of Bill Belichick it's that they rarely take their foot off the gas. They play with the same desire to blow opponents out in Week 1 as they do in the playoffs.

It's one of the main reasons Brady has become such a reliable fantasy player over the years. He's going to get his chances to throw regardless of the situation, and that includes Sunday's matchup with the division rival Miami Dolphins.

The Patriots still have an outside chance to claim a first-round bye, which means Brady should be taking to the air early and often to ensure they hold up their end of the bargain. That should lead to big numbers against Miami's 25th-ranked pass defense.

Projection: 24 fantasy points

 

2. Cam Newton

It's actually a surprise that Newton enters the final week as the fourth-ranked fantasy QB. He's ahead of big names like Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan, both of whom received far more hype than the Carolina Panthers star this season.

Newton has enjoyed a surge in recent weeks, helping him move up the scoring charts. He's averaged 26 points per game over the past six weeks, which includes two games over 35 points, and hasn't had a single-digit score since Week 5.

His hot streak should continue against a porous New Orleans Saints defense in the finale. The Saints are giving up 295 passing yards per contest. Newton torched them for 25 points in Week 2 and should be in line for a similar performance this time around.

Projection: 21 fantasy points

 

3. Aaron Rodgers

Owners had to use their first-round pick to land Rodgers this season, as the shift from running backs to quarterbacks became more apparent. After a slow start, he was his usual dominant self for most of the season, which made him well worth the investment.

The Green Bay Packers can lock up the No. 2 seed in the NFC win a victory over the Minnesota Vikings, meaning Rodgers should be on the field for the entire game. That will ensure another week of peak fantasy value.

Rodgers tallied 14 fantasy points when the teams faced off in Week 13. Getting to play in a dome should help him take his performance up another notch against a Vikings secondary that has given up 24 touchdown passes and picked off just 10 passes.

Projection: 20 fantasy points

 

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