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Week 17 Start 'Em and Sit 'Em

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Disclaimer ... Before you start reading, understand that we are not in the business of stating the obvious and wasting your time (or ours), so you won't be reading here why you need to start Aaron Rodgers, Arian Foster, Calvin Johnson or any other top-tier players. We're here to help you evaluate players you might be on the fence about.

Toby Gerhart could end up as one of the most popular Fantasy running backs in 2012. That's all because of DeJon Gomes.

I'm starting Gerhart over ...
Frank Gore, SF at STL
Beanie Wells, ARI vs. SEA
Arian Foster, HOU vs. TEN
Chris Johnson, TEN at HOU
Cedric Benson, CIN vs. BAL

Gomes is the Redskins defender that ruined Adrian Peterson's knee in Week 16, and Peterson might not be ready to start next season with a torn ACL and MCL. That should allow Gerhart to be a sleeper next year, and his value is on the rise.

Gerhart is definitely a starting Fantasy option Week 17 against Chicago with Peterson out, and we expect him to have a solid performance. He has been great over the last five games, and he should help owners in all leagues who are still playing for something in the final week of the regular season.

He has double digits in Fantasy points in each of the past five games with three total touchdowns over that span. Three of those games came when Peterson was out with an ankle injury, and he finished the game against the Redskins with 11 carries for a career-high 109 yards.

The Bears have only allowed two 100-yard rushers, which were Week 1 against Michael Turner and Week 5 against Jahvid Best, but seven running backs have reached double digits in Fantasy points. And with Chicago out of playoff contention, you have to wonder how motivated this defense will be in a meaningless game.

Gerhart appears to be motivated to prove he can be a starter in the NFL, and he has taken advantage of his opportunity with Peterson out. If he has another quality game in the season finale then Fantasy owners should be excited about his outlook for 2012.

Full Disclosure from Week 16
Start of the Week
Player Fantasy Points (projected) Fantasy Points (actual) Start percentage Rank at position
Michael Vick, QB, PHI 23 24 57 No. 6
Recommended starts that made us look good
Player Fantasy Points (projected) Fantasy Points (actual) Start percentage Rank at position
Cam Newton, QB, CAR 23 36 84 No. 2
Matt Moore, QB, MIA 19 25 19 No. 5
Rashard Mendenhall, RB, PIT 15 20 87 No. 2
Rex Grossman, QB, WAS 18 19 19 No. 8
C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF 14 19 67 No. 3
DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR 10 19 44 No. 4
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG 10 17 51 No. 9
Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR 8 15 40 No. 11
Brandon Pettigrew, TE, DET 9 14 46 No. 2
Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI 8 13 35 No. 12
Jabar Gaffney, WR, WAS 6 13 41 No. 13
Brent Celek, TE, PHI 10 11 50 No. 3
Miles Austin, WR, DAL 11 10 67 No. 18
Recommended starts that made us look bad
Player Fantasy Points (projected) Fantasy Points (actual) Start percentage Rank at position
Tim Tebow, QB, DEN 22 14 45 No. 17
Santana Moss, WR, WAS 11 4 52 No. 38
Aaron Hernandez, TE, NE 12 3 77 No. 22
Cedric Benson, RB, CIN 13 1 72 No. 54
Recommended sits that made us look good
Player Fantasy Points (projected) Fantasy Points (actual) Start percentage Rank at position
Eli Manning, QB, NYG 17 13 65 No. 21
Carson Palmer, QB, OAK 16 11 32 No. 22
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, BUF 14 9 26 No. 26
Kellen Winslow, TE, TB 7 4 44 No. 20
Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG 6 2 90 No. 61
Brandon Lloyd, WR, STL 3 2 59 No. 62
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, NE 8 1 47 No. 55
Greg Olsen, TE, CAR 7 0 25 No. 55
Owen Daniels, TE, HOU 6 0 37 No. 56
Recommended sits that made us look bad
Player Fantasy Points (projected) Fantasy Points (actual) Start percentage Rank at position
Josh Freeman, QB, TB 16 18 13 No. 10
Joe Flacco, QB, BAL 14 18 30 No. 11
Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA 9 18 87 No. 5
Reggie Wayne, WR, IND 3 16 29 No. 8
Steven Jackson, RB, STL 8 12 74 No. 15
Peyton Hillis, RB, CLE 6 11 32 No. 16
Toby Gerhart, RB, MIN 6 10 12 No. 17

Quarterback

Start 'Em

Week 17 sleeper QBs
Joe Flacco, BAL at CIN
Josh McCown, CHI at MIN
Dan Orlovsky, IND at JAC

Eli Manning (vs. DAL): Manning has struggled of late with 17 Fantasy points combined in his past two games against Washington and the Jets, but we're counting on him to finish the season strong with the Giants needing to win to clinch the NFC East. He was great at Dallas in Week 14 with 26 Fantasy points, and he has at least two touchdowns and 300 passing yards in four of his past five outings against the Cowboys. Dallas also has allowed at least 20 Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in two of its past three games against Manning and Michael Vick. (Started in 65 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Michael Vick (vs. WAS): Vick was great as the Start of the Week in Week 16 with 24 Fantasy points, and he has 47 Fantasy points in his past two games. He is closing the season on a high note, and we expect another quality outing against the Redskins. He had 18 Fantasy points against Washington in Week 6, and the Redskins have allowed multiple touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in four of their past six games. Vick has done a nice job running against Washington with 15 carries for 134 yards and two touchdowns in his past two meetings. (Started in 57 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Tim Tebow (vs. KC): Tebow had his worst game in the NFL in Week 16 at Buffalo with four interceptions, but he will rebound in Week 17 against the Chiefs. And he will throw more against Kansas City this time after attempting just eight passes in Week 10 when he finished with 18 Fantasy points. The Chiefs have given up some big games to opposing quarterbacks of late with Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Mark Sanchez each getting more than 22 Fantasy points over the past five games. The best thing for Tebow is Sanchez and Rodgers combined for three rushing touchdowns, and Tebow has three rushing touchdowns in the past two weeks. (Started in 45 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Ryan Fitzpatrick (at NE): Fitzpatrick should close the season on a high note with his matchup at New England. The Patriots have allowed multiple touchdowns to their past four opposing quarterbacks in Dan Orlovsky, Rex Grossman, Tebow and Matt Moore, and Fitzpatrick also had a standout game against them in Week 3 with 22 Fantasy points. He only has one game with more than 20 Fantasy points since that performance, but he should do well against the Patriots again in the rematch. (Started in 26 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Carson Palmer (vs. SD): One of Palmer's best performances this season was against the Chargers in Week 10 when he had 19 Fantasy points on 299 passing yards, two touchdowns, one interception and a fumble. He should have a similar performance in the rematch. San Diego has struggled in pass defense of late with Blaine Gabbert, Joe Flacco and Matthew Stafford all throwing multiple touchdowns over the past four games. The Raiders need to win this game to have a shot at the playoffs, and Palmer was brought in to be a difference maker. We expect him to play at a high level to give Oakland a chance at a playoff berth. (Started in 32 percent of leagues in Week 16)

Sit 'Em

Rex Grossman (at PHI): Grossman has been great for Fantasy owners down the stretch with four games with at least 18 Fantasy points in his past six outings. He might not close the season on a high note, however, with his matchup against the Eagles. Grossman was held to minus-3 Fantasy points against the Eagles in Week 6 with no touchdowns and four interceptions, and he has been turnover prone all year with at least one interception in his past seven games and 10 interceptions over that span. Sanchez is the only quarterback to throw multiple touchdowns against the Eagles since Week 12, and we're not expecting much from Grossman this week. (Started in 19 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Matt Moore (vs. NYJ): Like Grossman, Moore has been a star for Fantasy owners with his performance over the past two games. He has 43 Fantasy points against Buffalo and New England, and he has four games with at least 18 points in his past six outings. But this could be a tough week for him against the Jets. He was held to four Fantasy points against the Jets in Week 6, which was his first start this season, and the Jets have shut down some impressive quarterbacks this year. Last week, the Jets limited Manning to 13 Fantasy points, and they should be able to contain Moore in this matchup. (Started in 19 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Mark Sanchez (at MIA): The Jets need a big game from Sanchez and some help to reach the playoffs, but it's hard to trust Sanchez this week based on his recent level of play. He has four interceptions and three fumbles in his past three games, and he has just one game with more than 200 passing yards in his past five outings. He has struggled on the road this year with an average of 12 Fantasy points in seven games, and the Dolphins should be able to pressure him into some mistakes. Sanchez was worth starting when he played at home in 2011, but he's not worth using in the majority of Fantasy leagues when he's playing on the road. (Started in 28 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Alex Smith (at STL): Smith deserves plenty of credit for helping the 49ers win the NFC West, and they will lock up the No. 2 seed in the NFC with a victory against the Rams. But he still remains just a mediocre Fantasy quarterback. He only has one game with more than 14 Fantasy points in his past five outings, which was Week 13 against the Rams when he had 23. But you have to worry about Smith playing a full game against St. Louis or being asked to throw a lot in this matchup. Smith is the only quarterback to pass for multiple touchdowns against the Rams in their past nine games because teams typically run on St. Louis. That's what should happen this week for the 49ers in what should be an easy victory. (Started in 17 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Josh Freeman (at ATL): Freeman was great at limiting turnovers in 2010, but he comes into Week 17 with at least one turnover in six games in a row with 12 over that span. He struggled against the Falcons in Week 3 with 12 Fantasy points, and he has a difficult history against Atlanta. In his past five meetings with the Falcons, Freeman is averaging 194 passing yards with six touchdowns and seven interceptions. We can expect another disappointing performance from Freeman in this matchup against the Bucs, who have nothing to play for while Atlanta is headed to the playoffs. (Started in 13 percent of leagues in Week 16)

Bust alert: Aaron Rodgers (vs. DET): Rodgers was the reason for many Fantasy titles this year. He had multiple touchdowns in every game this season and eight games with at least 300 passing yards. He was a star in Week 16 with 42 Fantasy points, and he helped Green Bay lock up the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Since the Packers have nothing to play for in Week 17 against the Lions, look for Rodgers to sit most of the game if he even plays at all. Matt Flynn, the No. 2 quarterback in Green Bay, actually has more upside this week than Rodgers and should be considered a sleeper. Unless the Packers guarantee that Rodgers will play a full game, which isn't likely to happen, you should keep him reserved in all formats in Week 17. (Started in 98 percent of leagues in Week 16)

Running back

Start 'Em

Week 17 sleeper RBs
Ben Tate, HOU vs. TEN
Brandon Saine, GB vs. DET
Chris Ivory, NO vs. CAR
Stevan Ridley, NE vs. BUF
Kendall Hunter, SF at STL

Kahlil Bell (at MIN): Bell has been a star the past two games with 31 Fantasy points over that span against Seattle and Green Bay. He helped me win a championship against my colleague Dave Richard when I started Bell over Chris Johnson. The Vikings have allowed double digits in Fantasy points to four running backs over the past four games against Willis McGahee, Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas and Evan Royster, and Bell should finish the season strong with Matt Forte (knee) and Marion Barber (calf) out. (Started in 26 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Felix Jones (at NYG): Jones should be able to play a full game against the Giants despite recently being limited with a hamstring injury. It's a good matchup for him since he did well against the Giants in Week 14 with 11 Fantasy points. The Giants have allowed 13 touchdowns to opposing running backs and 11 to reach double digits in Fantasy points, and this game should be high-scoring with the NFC East title on the line. Jones should be considered a solid No. 2 Fantasy running back as long as he's healthy, and it appears like he will be close to 100 percent for this rematch. (Started in 29 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Ahmad Bradshaw (vs. DAL): Bradshaw is heating up at the right time with his performance the past two games against Washington and the Jets. He has 30 Fantasy points over that span with three touchdowns, and he should close the season with another solid outing. He had at least 130 total yards in each meeting with the Cowboys in 2010, and Dallas has allowed 10 touchdowns to opposing running backs and nine to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Bradshaw was limited against Dallas during the first meeting in Week 14 with just one Fantasy point as Brandon Jacobs (22 Fantasy points) stole the show, but we expect Bradshaw to be the star of the backfield in the rematch. (Started in 51 percent of leagues in Week 16)
C.J. Spiller (at NE): Spiller has been one of the best waiver wire additions for Fantasy owners with his performance to close the season. He has three games with at least 15 Fantasy points in his past four outings, and he has combined for 47 points in his past two games against Miami and Denver. We have yet to see Spiller have a big game on the road, but he should perform well at New England this week. The Patriots have allowed double digits in Fantasy points to an opposing running back in each of their past five games, and in Week 3 the Bills got 21 Fantasy points from Fred Jackson against New England. Spiller has picked up where Jackson (leg) left off in Week 11, and we're counting on one more solid game from him this week. (Started in 67 percent of leagues in Week 16)
DeAngelo Williams (at NO): Williams has been an excellent Fantasy running back of late with double digits in Fantasy points in four of his past five outings with six touchdowns over that span. He also had a solid game against the Saints in Week 5 when he had nine carries for 115 yards and a touchdown, which was good for 17 Fantasy points. And he has a good history against New Orleans with double digits in Fantasy points in his past five meetings with the Saints, including three in a row at New Orleans. The Saints have allowed 12 touchdowns to opposing running backs this year and 11 to reach double digits in Fantasy points, and Williams should add to that total. (Started in 44 percent of leagues in Week 16)

Sit 'Em

Peyton Hillis (vs. PIT): Hillis has been great the past two weeks at Arizona and Baltimore with 26 Fantasy points, and he ran well against the Ravens with 24 carries for 112 yards. But I still can't trust Hillis in his matchup against the Steelers, especially since he was held to just two Fantasy points at Pittsburgh in Week 14. He will get more work this week since he had just 10 carries against the Steelers in the first meeting, but Pittsburgh has allowed just one touchdown to an opposing running back in the past six games, which was Frank Gore in Week 15. And Hillis has just 41 total yards in his past two meetings with the Steelers. (Started in 32 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Cedric Benson (vs. BAL): Benson was a tremendous letdown for Fantasy owners in Week 16 with one Fantasy point against Arizona, and he was plagued with fumble problems after losing two. He should have better success against the Ravens, but this is a tough matchup for him. Now, he did score twice at Baltimore in Week 11, but the Ravens should be able to limit his production in the rematch. This is big game for both teams based on playoff seeding for the Ravens and earning a playoff spot for the Bengals, but if Benson can't run well against Arizona then he can't be trusted against Baltimore. (Started in 72 percent of leagues in Week 16)
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (vs. BUF): The Patriots aren't expected to rest many players in Week 17, but Green-Ellis is someone who might not get much work. For starters, the Patriots will likely come out throwing all day with Tom Brady trying to move past Drew Brees and Dan Marino for the single-season passing record. Then you have to look at Green-Ellis' workload of late with a combined 24 carries over the past four games. He has one game with double digits in Fantasy points over that span, and Brady is starting to vulture some of his rushing touchdowns. Green-Ellis was also held to one Fantasy point at Buffalo in Week 3, and he is just not trustworthy enough to start in Week 17. We like Stevan Ridley with more upside this week if you're looking for a New England running back. (Started in 47 percent of leagues in Week 16)
LeGarrette Blount (at ATL): Blount should punch Raheem Morris in the face for how he's handled this offense and the rushing attack in Tampa Bay. It's understandable for Morris to be upset about Blount fumbling in the first quarter in Week 16 at Carolina, but to bench him as a result is silly, especially considering his lack of work over the course of the season. We hope the next coach in Tampa Bay will lean on Blount as a featured back because every time he's had at least 13 carries this season he's been successful. This week, based on Blount's role and his opponent, he should be benched in the majority of leagues. The Falcons should be able to limit Blount's production, and he should be considered a No. 3 Fantasy option at best. (Started in 71 percent of leagues in Week 15)
Chris Johnson (at HOU): Johnson is expected to play despite dealing with an injured ankle, but I just don't trust him. He hasn't scored a touchdown in his past three games and is averaging just seven Fantasy points over that span. He had 10 carries for 18 yards against Houston in Week 7, and the ankle problem is causing him further problems than he already had based on his down year. The Texans could easily be resting their starters by halftime, and Johnson needs 14 yards to reach 1,000 rushing yards for the season, which would trigger a $300,000 bonus. Tennessee also needs a win here to keep playoff hopes alive, but Johnson has been too much of a bust to consider a must-start Fantasy option in all leagues. (Started in 91 percent of leagues in Week 16)

Bust alert: Arian Foster (vs. TEN): The Texans have no reason to play Foster, and Fantasy owners should keep him reserved also in Week 17. Houston is locked into the No. 3 seed in the AFC, and the Texans can't afford Foster to get hurt. If the Texans guaranteed that Foster would play a full game then you should start him in all leagues, but he has fulfilled his role as a standout Fantasy option. After being limited the first three weeks with the hamstring injury, Foster rebounded and finished strong. He had double digits in Fantasy points in 10 games, including at least 20 points in six outings. He definitely lived up to my expectations as the No. 1 overall pick since he averaged 18.3 Fantasy points a week, which was better than any non-quarterback in 2011. (Started in 99 percent of leagues in Week 16)

Wide receiver

Start 'Em

Week 17 sleeper WRs
Robert Meachem, NO vs. CAR
Pierre Garcon, IND at JAC
Vincent Brown, SD at OAK
James Jones, GB vs. DET
David Nelson, BUF at NE

Steve Johnson (at NE): Johnson has done a solid job the past five games with at least eight Fantasy points in each outing, including three games with double digits in points and two touchdowns. He has a great matchup this week against the Patriots, who have allowed the most Fantasy points to opposing receivers this year. Johnson had eight catches for 91 yards and a touchdown against New England in Week 3, and he had three catches for 66 yards and a touchdown at the Patriots in 2010. (Started in 65 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Reggie Wayne (at JAC): We hope Wayne can finish the season strong with his matchup against the Jaguars, who have struggled with opposing No. 1 receivers all year and are depleted in the secondary. Kenny Britt, Santonio Holmes, A.J. Green, Mike Wallace, Anquan Boldin, Vincent Jackson and Roddy White all reached double digits in Fantasy points against the Jaguars this season. Now, Wayne did struggle against Jacksonville in Week 10 with just three catches for 13 yards, but he has played well of late with touchdowns in consecutive games. He also has 20 catches for 328 yards and one touchdown in his past two games at Jacksonville. We know who his quarterback was then, but even Dan Orlovsky should be able to help Wayne have a solid game this week. (Started in 29 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Malcom Floyd (at OAK): Jackson (groin) is likely out this week, which will allow Floyd to assume the No. 1 receiver spot for Philip Rivers. He has been on fire of late with three touchdowns in his past four games, including two in a row. He also has a great matchup against the Raiders, who have allowed the second-most touchdowns to opposing receivers with 19, trailing only New England (21). Floyd missed the game against the Raiders earlier this season because of a hip injury, but last year at Oakland he had eight catches for 213 yards and a touchdown. He should have another dominant performance against the Raiders this week. (Started in 30 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Torrey Smith (at CIN): Anquan Boldin (knee) is out for the Ravens, which means Smith will be the No. 1 target for Flacco. He has played well of late with double digits in Fantasy points in two of his past three games. In his first meeting with the Bengals in Week 11, Smith had six catches for 165 yards and a touchdown. Cincinnati also has struggled in pass defense in the second half of the season. The Bengals have allowed a receiver to score or reach 100 yards in nine consecutive games. Over the past five games, the Bengals have given up 56 catches, 749 yards and seven touchdowns to opposing receivers. (Started in 41 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Denarius Moore (vs. SD): Moore is coming off an impressive game in Week 16 at Kansas City with four catches for 94 yards and a touchdown. That performance should give Fantasy owners confidence to start him against the Chargers, especially since he torched San Diego in Week 10 with five catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns. The Chargers have allowed a receiver to score or reach 100 yards in 10 consecutive games with 14 touchdowns allowed over that span. Palmer should rely on Moore quite a bit in this matchup, and he should present plenty of problems for San Diego in a game where the defense has little to play for. (Started in 5 percent of leagues in Week 16)

Sit 'Em

Dwayne Bowe (at DEN): We liked Bowe last week because of his matchup against the Raiders, but this is a week where he could struggle. He had two catches for 17 yards against Denver in Week 10, and he doesn't have a great history against the Broncos with only two touchdowns and one game with double digits in Fantasy points in his past five meetings. Denver has done a solid job against opposing No. 1 receivers in part because of Champ Bailey. Since Week 7, Bailey has helped limit Brandon Marshall, Bowe, Plaxico Burress, Holmes and Jackson to six Fantasy points or less in each matchup. Consider Bowe just a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week. (Started in 67 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Brandon Lloyd (vs. SF): Lloyd has been terrible the past four games with the Rams dealing with issues at quarterback. Kellen Clemens is the starter with Sam Bradford (ankle) and A.J. Feeley (thumb) out, and Lloyd was held to three catches for 29 yards in Week 16 at Pittsburgh. He has combined for 17 Fantasy points in his past four outings, including Week 13 at San Francisco when he had one catch for 34 yards. He's still capable of scoring a touchdown against the 49ers this week, but San Francisco has allowed just two receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points in the past five games. (Started in 59 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Mike Williams (at ATL): This miserable season for Williams continues, and he probably can't wait for 2012 to get here. He had a productive three-game stretch from Weeks 11-13, but since then he has combined for six Fantasy points in his past three games. He hasn't scored since Week 12, and he struggled against the Falcons in Week 3 with five catches for 43 yards. He was great in two meetings with Atlanta last year with 10 catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns, but 2010 seems like a decade ago for Williams. He should not even be considered a No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver this week based on his recent level of play. (Started in 44 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Santonio Holmes (at MIA): Holmes had scored in four consecutive games prior to last week against the Giants when he was held to four catches for 50 yards, and we're expecting him to be held out of the end zone for two weeks in a row. DeSean Jackson is the only true No. 1 receiver to score against the Dolphins since Week 9, including matchups with Bowe, Steve Johnson twice, Dez Bryant and Wes Welker. Now, Welker did have 12 catches for 138 yards, but Holmes isn't going to have that type of performance. He did score against the Dolphins in Week 6 with three catches for 63 yards and a touchdown, but he was held to six Fantasy points at Miami in 2010. We expect similar production from him this week with the Jets falling apart to close the season and likely missing the playoffs. (Started in 64 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Antonio Brown (at CLE): Brown was a star against the Browns in Week 14 with five catches for 151 yards and a touchdown, but we're not expecting a repeat performance with Ben Roethlisberger (ankle) not at 100 percent. Brown has struggled the past two games with Roethlisberger limited or out against the 49ers and Rams with eight catches for 93 yards and no touchdowns, and he hasn't scored on the road this season. He also hasn't reached double digits in Fantasy points on the road, and he should only be considered a No. 3 Fantasy receiver at best, especially if Roethlisberger is out or limited again. (Started in 60 percent of leagues in Week 16)

Bust alert: Brandon Marshall (vs. NYJ): Marshall has been amazing this season, especially since Moore has taken over. He has three games with double digits in Fantasy points in his past five outings, with four touchdowns over that span. He has 33 Fantasy points in his past two games, and he should be excited for his matchup with Darrelle Revis. Marshall was great against Revis in Week 6 with six catches for 109 yards, and he should have scored a touchdown had he not stepped out of bounds. But we're counting on Revis to limit Marshall this time around, and he should be started either as a low-end No. 2 receiver or a No. 3 option with limited expectations. Revis just added Hakeem Nicks (two Fantasy points) to the list of receivers he has shut down, and Marshall will likely be held in check this week. (Started in 92 percent of leagues in Week 16)

Tight end

Start 'Em

Week 17 sleeper TEs
Ed Dickson, BAL at CIN
Jeremy Shockey, CAR at NO
Heath Miller, PIT at CLE

Brent Celek (vs. WAS): Celek has been amazing of late with 32 Fantasy points in his past two games against the Jets and Dallas. He has four games this season with double digits in Fantasy points, including Week 6 at Washington when he had four catches for 42 yards and a touchdown. The Redskins have allowed four touchdowns to opposing tight ends in their past six games, and Celek also scored against Washington at home last year. (Started in 50 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Brandon Pettigrew (at GB): Pettigrew had his best game of the season in Week 16 against San Diego with nine catches for 80 yards and a touchdown. He has been great of late with double digits in Fantasy points in two of his past three outings, but both of his productive games were at home. He has been brutal on the road this year with only one game with double digits in Fantasy points, which was Week 3 at Minnesota (also indoors). But with that in mind, we would still start him at Green Bay this week. The Packers allow the second-most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends, and they have given up three touchdowns to tight ends in the past four games. Pettigrew also had eight catches for 91 yards at Green Bay last year. (Started in 46 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Jared Cook (at HOU): We had Cook as a sleeper in Week 16, and he came through with 22 Fantasy points on eight catches for 169 yards and a touchdown. He has 30 Fantasy points in his past two games with 17 catches for 272 yards and a touchdown, and the best part is he has 19 targets over that span. He doesn't have the best matchup against the Texans this week since Houston has allowed just three touchdowns to opposing tight ends, but Cook had one of them in Week 7. He is playing too well right now to consider benching in any format. (Started in 7 percent of leagues in Week 16)

Sit 'Em

Owen Daniels (vs. TEN): Daniels has let a lot of Fantasy owners down this season since he has just three touchdowns and none since Week 4. He was a total disappointment in Week 16 at Indianapolis with one catch for 4 yards, and it's hard to count on him this week against the Titans. He did have four catches for 71 yards at Tennessee in Week 7, but he's just too risky to trust based on his overall level of play. The Titans also haven't allowed a touchdown to an opposing tight end in their past five games. (Started in 37percent of leagues in Week 16)
Kellen Winslow (at ATL): Winslow has now gone seven games in a row without a touchdown, and he has combined for 21 Fantasy points in his past five outings. In his last game against the Falcons in Week 3 he had just two catches for 20 yards. He also hasn't scored against Atlanta in his past five meetings, and he has just eight catches for 77 yards in his past three games with the Falcons. He was held to three catches for 31 yards at Atlanta in 2010. (Started in 44 percent of leagues in Week 16)
Greg Olsen (at NO): Olsen has struggled to close the season with just one touchdown in his past seven games. In Week 16 against Tampa Bay he was held to no catches for the first time all year. By comparison, Jeremy Shockey has three touchdowns in his past three games, and Shockey appears to be the safer option of the two against the Saints. Olsen did score against New Orleans in Week 5, but he has just one touchdown on the road this season. He has nine catches for 83 yards in his past four road games. The Saints also have not allowed a touchdown to an opposing tight end in their past five games, including matchups with Pettigrew, Cook and Tony Gonzalez. (Started in 25 percent of leagues in Week 16)

Bust alert: Dustin Keller (at MIA): Keller has played well of late with 14 Fantasy points in his past two games against Philadelphia and the Giants. He has 11 catches for 150 yards over that span, and he has at least seven Fantasy points in three of his past five games. But Keller has been miserable on the road this season with no touchdowns, and the Dolphins haven't allowed a touchdown to an opposing tight end since Week 7, including matchups with Fred Davis, Jason Witten, Celek, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Keller had two catches for 51 yards against Miami in Week 6, but he might not do much better in the rematch based on how the Dolphins have played against opposing tight ends and Keller's performance on the road this year. (Started in 44 percent of leagues in Week 16)

Defense/Special teams

Start 'Em

Week 17 sleeper DSTs
Broncos vs. KC
Giants vs. DAL
Eagles vs. WAS

Falcons (vs. TB): The Falcons DST has done a nice job this season when facing a favorable matchup. The best example was Week 15 against Jacksonville when the Falcons DST had 27 Fantasy points with a touchdown and five sacks. This week they face the Bucs, who have been extremely inept offensively. Blount was benched in Week 16 at Carolina because of fumble issues, and Freeman has 19 interceptions on the season. This is a great week to start the Falcons DST, and they had 10 Fantasy points at Tampa Bay in Week 3. (Started in 17 percent of leagues in Week 16)

Sit 'Em

Titans (at HOU): The Titans DST had dream matchups each of the past two weeks against Indianapolis and Jacksonville and failed. The Titans DST had 13 Fantasy points combined in those two outings with just one sack. They face the Texans in the season finale, and in Week 7 against Houston, the Titans DST had no Fantasy points. Even with T.J. Yates struggling for the Texans and the potential of Foster resting for most of this game, you can't count on the Titans DST to do much based on their recent level of play. They have not reached double digits in Fantasy points since Week 12. (Started in 42 percent of leagues in Week 16)

Kicker

Start 'Em

Week 17 sleeper Ks
Matt Bryant, ATL vs. TB
Ryan Succop, KC at DEN
Josh Scobee, JAC vs. IND

Alex Henery (vs. WAS): The Redskins have been among the best teams for opposing kickers this season. Washington has allowed 12 kickers to attempt multiple field goals, including 11 in a row heading into Week 17. Six kickers have reached double digits in Fantasy points, and Henery had eight points at Washington in Week 6. Henery has 25 Fantasy points in his past three games, and the Eagles offense has given him plenty of chances to succeed recently. We like Henery to finish the season strong with his fifth game of the year with double digits in Fantasy points. (Started in 31 percent of leagues in Week 16)

Sit 'Em

Graham Gano (at PHI): The Eagles have been stingy to opposing kickers this season since they have allowed the fewest made field goals in 2011 at 15. Only four kickers have made multiple field goals against Philadelphia, and Robbie Gould in Week 9 is the only kicker to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Gano has been great of late with 49 Fantasy points in his past four games with 13 made field goals over that span. But he struggled against the Eagles in Week 6 with nine points and should be held in check in the rematch. (Started in 6 percent of leagues in Week 16)

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
Bruce Irvin's hip 'feels 100 times better'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:19 pm ET) Seahawks outside linebacker Bruce Irvin tweeted that his surgically repaired hip "feels 100 times better," but he did not clarify if he'll be ready for training camp, reports the Seattle Times. Irvin has 10 sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception in his first two seasons.

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by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:09 pm ET) Tight end Rob Housler is currently No. 4 on the depth chart with the Cardinals, behind John Carlson, Jake Ballard and rookie Troy Niklas, reports ESPN.com. Housler is "just not the type of tight end head coach Bruce Arians prefers," the website said.

Housler is entering the final year of his contract. He caught 39 passes for 454 yards and a touchdown last season.


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by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:01 pm ET) A source told Pro Football Talk that as of now, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis won't report to training camp. Davis is unhappy with his contract and showed it by skipping the offseason program.

PFT says Davis could be fined $30,000 per day during a holdout and possibly forfeit some of his signing bonus money.


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Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said the presence of Fred Jackson, Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon enables the team to move Spiller around and use him as a receiver.

"You could put him all over the place," Hackett said. "When you’re healthy and you have depth at that position, you have the ability to do a lot of different things with running backs, especially with someone as dynamic as C.J."


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by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(11:37 am ET) Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin said that in some ways, he feels faster now than before he tore his ACL, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

"In some ways I feel more fresh, more physically strong," he said. "I just think you put so much hard work into your rehab process that that's kind of what happens. You get that leg back. You build that leg back stronger. So like I said, I'm really looking forward to this year."


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Harvin has a career 28.2-yard kick-return average and delivered a sweet kick-return for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLVIII last February. 


Coach says Antonio Brown is smarter and smoother
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9:55 am ET) Steelers receivers coach Richard Mann told the official team website that top wideout Antonio Brown has improved this offseason to the point where he's more polished and wise to the playbook than he's ever been. 

"He doesn't really look like the same guy. He's made a transition," Mann said. "He's very confident. He's matured. He understands the concepts. He's smoother. His body language is different. He's just a different guy. He's matured a lot."

Brown caught 110 passes for 1,499 yards and eight touchdowns last season. 


Coach describes Dri Archer as 'ace in the hole'
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9:50 am ET) Steelers receivers coach Richard Mann told the official team website that rookie running back Dri Archer has already made strides as a receiving threat on top of working as a change-of-pace back on handoffs. 

"We feel like he can be our ace in the hole, or the joker, since we can use him in various positions," Mann said. "We can move him around. We can utilize his running ability by lining him up as a running back, and he also has receiving skills. I think it's up to coach (Todd) Haley and the offensive staff to put him in places where he can succeed. I think he's going to be a weapon for us."

Archer tallied 10 total touchdowns and 854 total yards on less than 100 touches at Kent State last season. 


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(9:47 am ET) Steelers receivers coach Richard Mann told the official team website that rookie wideout Martavis Bryant could contribute right away, especially when it comes to touchdowns. 

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Bryant played alongside Sammy Watkins at Clemson. He's 6-foot-4 and 211 pounds with "legit" 4.4 speed according to offensive coordinator Todd Haley. He could end up helping the Steelers out if he can prove worthy of playing time in training camp. 


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(9:43 am ET) Steelers receivers coach Richard Mann told the official team website that he thinks ex-Saints wideout Lance Moore has a shot to fill the slot for the team, replacing Jerricho Cotchery. 

"What he can do, and from what I've seen so far, he can probably fill the void that we had after losing Jerricho Cotchery," Mann said. "We have a couple of other guys we are looking at (in that role). We might have to jerry-rig a few things to get the blocking aspect of it, but as far as the passing game, I think we are going to be fine."

Moore had caught at least six touchdowns in each of his last three seasons prior to 2013 when he scored just two. Cotchery scored 10 touchdowns last year in that role for Pittsburgh. 


 
 
 
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