Love ‘Em & Leave ‘Em: Week 17

Most fantasy football leagues held their championship games last week, but there are still a few holdout leagues that schedule their title games for Week 17. To that end, here are a few players that I like, and a few that I don’t.

The “love ‘em” players are listed in the order that I’d start them this week.


The Steelers need a win, and Ben Roethlisberger has a great matchup against the Dolphins’ 23rd-ranked pass defense (allowing 236 yards, 1.3 TD per game)…The Giants have struggled to stop the pass of late and phoned it in against the Panthers last week, so Brett Favre should have a good game, especially since the Vikings need to win…The Browns have a sketchy pass defense, so David Garrard should have a nice line in a game that the Jags have to win to have a shot at the postseason…Desperate? Josh Freeman has a nice matchup against the Falcons, who are ranked 28th against the pass. Matt Ryan and Co. looked pretty good in Week 16, so the Bucs will likely have to throw to stay in the game.

Ray Rice should destroy a Raider defense that has struggled all year to stop the run…Frank Gore should go nuts against the Rams…Look for Jonathan Stewart to have another big week with DeAngelo Williams likely sidelined…With the Jaguars still (sort of) alive for a playoff spot, Maurice Jones-Drew has the potential to have a big game against the Browns’ 28th-ranked rush defense…Need a few sleepers? Justin Forsett, Jerome Harrison, Fred Jackson and Maurice Morris should produce in Week 17.

The Eagles haven’t been that great against the pass in the last few weeks, so Miles Austin should be able to get off in a game that the Cowboys would very much like to win…DeSean Jackson should be in starting lineups this week. The Eagles face their arch-rival and the Cowboys have the league’s 21st-ranked pass defense…Greg Jennings and Donald Driver should be able to post nice fantasy lines against the Cardinals’ 22nd-ranked pass defense.


It’s tough to recommend Carson Palmer this week against the Jets, who have the stingiest pass defense in the league. He has played well the last couple of weeks, but in the previous six games, he only had four touchdowns. The Jets have given up eight TD all season…The Broncos have been pretty good against the pass this season, so Matt Cassel (who has been spotty) isn’t likely to post big fantasy numbers.

The Packers are pretty good against the run, so don’t expect Tim Hightower or Beanie Wells to go off this week…He’s still startable, but Cedric Benson faces a pretty stout Jets rush defense…The Vikings are 4th in the league against the rush, so Ahmad Bradshaw isn’t likely to go off this week. Remember, Jacobs is out, so Bradshaw wouldn’t be bad if you’re desperate.

Chad Ochocinco has been talking smack to Darrelle Revis, but the simple fact of the matter is that this is a terrible matchup for the Cincy wideout…The Saints are going to rest Drew Brees, so don’t expect Marques Colston or Robert Meachem to do much this week.

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