If your league settles its championship in Week 17, then ... well, then you're part of the lunatic fringe of the fantasy community, for sure. Forecasting the NFL is always a bit of a crapshoot, but it's even crapshootier this week. Nonetheless, we'll try to set the table. Here are five need-to-know details about the final day of the regular season...
1. The Packers and Texans are locked into their playoff seeds, so they can't be trusted. These teams offer the most sit-down risk. Green Bay has clinched everything worth clinching in the NFC, and the Houston owns the No. 3 spot in the AFC. Aaron Rodgers, fantasy's highest-scoring asset through 16 weeks, is INACTIVE in the finale. This gameplan should belong to Matt Flynn, Brandon Saine and James Jones.
The Texans may not rest the entire varsity offense, because A) they've been lousy in recent weeks, dropping their last two games, and B) Andre Johnson is returning from injury. But still, the priority for Houston in Week 17 has to be keeping everyone upright and unbroken. Arian Foster is a no-go, inactive. Ben Tate likely draws the start.
2. The Falcons might not have anything to play for today, depending on the Detroit-Green Bay outcome. Scott already discussed this scenario (and all others) on Wednesday. If the Lions beat the Pack early in the day, then Atlanta will be locked into the No. 6 seed in the NFC — and if that's the case, then the Falcons will have no obvious incentive to put his key skill players at risk. We might just see plenty of Chris Redman, Eric Weems and Jacquizz Rodgers. As of this moment, I'd prefer not to be in a position where I needed a big performance from any Falcons, despite the excellent match-up (Tampa Bay). Or, if I was unavoidably tied to the Atlanta offense, I'd want to have the appropriate handcuff on my roster.
3. LeSean McCoy is also inactive. Take evasive action. The early reports suggested he was gunning for the rushing title this week, with the full support of the Philly coaching staff, but he'll be sidelined instead. Shady has been dealing with an ankle issue. Please enjoy Dion Lewis and Ronnie Brown responsibly.
4. Ryan Mathews is a game-time decision. This week, it's a calf injury. When Mathews is healthy, he's a 100-yard machine, averaging 4.9 yards per carry. But when he's not healthy — which is fairly often — then he's not bankable. Mike Tolbert is dinged this week too (hamstring, probable), so it's possible that Curtis Brinkley could be an off-the-radar star in Week 17. Of course it's also possible that Brinkley could be a total non-factor. In any case, Mathews owners will need to have a Plan B on the roster.
Update, 1:45 pm CT: Mathews reportedly will not play. Look elsewhere for stats.
If you need any additional injury notes, hit this link right here.
5. As usual, if you're interested in last-minute news and advice, join us for Fantasy Football Live. The season's final show begins at noon EST, and we'll do our best to help you in the season's most challenging week. You can view this week's episode right here...
Good luck in Week 17, gamers, and thanks for an excellent season. We wish you health and happiness in the new year — even you, Mackdaddy.
If this is title week, then go get yourself a trophy.
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