By Chad Samuels.
It seemed like a short while ago that the football season just started. There was excitement for your favorite team, and the hopes that playoffs were possible for everyone.
Now here we are; it is Week 17 already. For most of us, fantasy football is over. For those who hold their championship games this week, it all comes down to this.
Week 17 provides some pitfalls for teams that have things locked up or cannot advance any higher in the seeding. Do they start their starters or rest them for the playoffs?
I can not stress enough how important it is to follow your player’s news. Information of how much if any your start player will play is vital to your success this week. Watch that news wire as the week winds down. It is vital.
You probably do not need help if you are in the championship game but if you are looking for some last minute insight, we are here to help.
Start of the Week
Have you drunk the Matt Cassel kool-aid yet? I don’t know if I have yet for the long term because I am not sure where he will end up in free agency.
I do think he will be in a significantly higher tax bracket though. I do like him this week. Let me start by pointing out Matt will be playing Buffalo, so there is some possibility of inclement weather.
If that happens his stats could be dampened, even tough we saw what he did in the snow vs. Arizona on Sunday (345 yards, and three TDs).
That said, Matt is in the position to succeed. Besides the weapons and the assured playing time as New England is in the thick of making the playoffs, he is also playing the Bills. Over the last three weeks, Buffalo has given up four total TD (two passing and two receiving) and 747 yards, which is fifth most in the last three weeks.
Matt may not be Tom Brady, but he has grown this season and is a great player to finish out the season. Put him on your radar. Watch where he goes in free agency. It is too early to tell but Matt has the potential to fly up the draft board next year. For this week, start him.
QBs to start
Luckily Arizona can get some momentum this week versus the Seattle Seahawks at home. Or, will they? It looks like Seneca Wallace will play again this week. If you have watched Seattle this year, you will see Seneca Wallace has improved at the QB position and has done well the last few games he played. Arizona’s defense is slipping giving up eight touchdowns over the last three weeks. If you are looking for a matchup start at QB this week look at Wallace.
For those playing for pride this week in a consolation bracket, another match up start to look at is Ryan Fitzpatrick. Cincinnati will play Kansas City. The Chiefs have given up just over two TD a game and 289 yards passing.
Tyler Thigpen is a QB that has played very well and will move KC to score forcing the Bengals to throw the ball. I like Fitz’s chances to do that. Fitzpatrick is not someone I would suggest if you are playing in the championship game but in any other matchup give him a go.
QBs to Sit
Dallas controls its own destiny this week for a playoff spot. The good news is if you own a Cowboy, you can be assured they will not be sat. The bad news is that Dallas faces Philadelphia. Philadelphia is all but eliminated from playoff contention except in name, but they still have a very formidable pass defense.
Over the last three weeks, the Eagles have given up 423 passing yards and one total TD to quarterbacks. I think you have to start Tony Romo if you own him, but just be ready for another down statistical performance this week.
Staying in game, Dallas has had an elite secondary itself lately allowing 544 yards and two passing touchdowns over the last three weeks. Donovan McNabb is hit or miss from week to week. He could rebound, but I do not think he will. Look for Dallas to capitalize on a little off play from McNabb and shut down the Eagles passing game. I would sit McNabb this week.
One quarterback that came into this season as an up and coming signal caller, but did not impress like some expected, is David Garrard. At the end of this season Garrard is still QBBC material and this week he will face Baltimore.
With the Ravens defense that applies pressure, and a weakened offensive line that never really recovered from a bunch of early season injuries, I expect Garrard to have a hard time putting up fantasy points. I would sit him.