Fantasy Football Week 17: Start 'Em Sit 'Em with Top Quarterbacks

Andrew GouldFeatured ColumnistDecember 28, 2012

Tony Romo should post great numbers against the Redskins this Sunday.
Tony Romo should post great numbers against the Redskins this Sunday.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

During the final week of the NFL season, fantasy football owners will need plenty of points from their quarterbacks to finish in first place.

The Tom Bradys of the world need to stay active, even if starting him over Russell Wilson cost you a championship last week, but there are plenty of other decisions to ponder.

For those with more luck than me who play through Week 17, it's crucial to optimize your lineup's productivity and not leave 120 points sitting on the bench.

Sorry, I'll get over this eventually.

Some star quarterbacks should remain in your starting lineup this weekend, but there are at least two worth sidelining.

Start: Tony Romo

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Tony Romo, the hottest quarterback in the NFL.

During the last four games, Romo has thrown 10 touchdowns to just one interception. If he holds true to his 312.3 passing yards per game average, he'll veer right around the 5,000-yard mark for the year.

This week, Romo gets the Washington Redskins, who rank 30th in the NFL with 287.7 passing yards allowed per game.

Even if he doesn't win the NFC East for the Dallas Cowboys, he can help win your fantasy title.

Sit: Matt Ryan

This is why many leagues hold their fantasy championship during Week 16.

Under most circumstances, playing Matt Ryan against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' porous secondary would be a no-brainer. Of course you'd start a stud against the NFL's worst passing defense.

But this week, who knows how long Ryan will stay on the field with home-field advantage already locked up.

He could very well produce a solid stat line in a half, but what if Atlanta exhibits caution and rests its franchise quarterback after a series or two?

During the final week, the stakes are too high to start Ryan and hope that he plays.

Start: Eli Manning

This one's not for the faint of heart.

Anyone counting on Eli Manning as their No. 1 quarterback probably is not vying for a fantasy championship anyway. In the last two games, he tallied 311 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Manning is a notorious on-and-off quarterback, so it shouldn't surprise anyone if he produces a 350-yard, four-touchdown outing this Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Eagles have not held an opponent to under 20 points since Week 5. Even when they topped the Giants earlier this season, Manning threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns.

Most owners probably want to give up on Manning and never draft him again, but won't his infuriating season sting that much more if it concludes with him dominating on your bench?

Sit: Andrew Luck

Let's not go overboard with all the undying love for rookie phenom Andrew Luck.

Yes, he set the rookie single-season passing record last week, topping Cam Newton's mark with 4,183 passing yards. Not that this awards fantasy gamers a bonus, but he's led the Indianapolis Colts to a handful of late victories to earn them a wild-card berth.

He's also displayed some rookie tendencies, completing 54.3 percent of his passes with 23 turnovers.

While the Colts are buckled in to the No. 5 seed, the Houston Texans still must win in order to preserve home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Luck fared well enough in his last matchup against Houston, but he's not dependable enough to trust against a top defense while playing for all the fantasy marbles.