Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Fantasy & Reality: Week 17 Fantasy pitfalls

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

The albatross that is Week 17 is upon us. And though roughly two-thirds of Fantasy leagues have been decided by now, it doesn't mean that the season is over for everybody ... even though the regular season is over for the starters on a few NFL teams.

Playing into Week 17 is a fun challenge, but a game already dominated by improbabilities and uncertainties is compounded by the wishes of a team without the proverbial "something to play for." Everywhere you look there's risk in starting key players because their teams might not need them for the full 60 minutes. Some won't be used at all.

The good news this season is that there aren't many teams with playoff spots locked up. That should mean a lot of players who helped you get to Week 17 playing for you. That's how it should be when a championship is on the line.

Playoff implications for both teams

Cowboys at Redskins: For the second straight year, the Cowboys are on the road in a win-and-in game. Not only is the winner in the playoffs but they'll host the Seahawks in the Wild Card round. Not the best prize in the world but certainly one worth playing for. The loser will likely miss the playoffs but there is a scenario where the Redskins can still make it with a loss, though it will depend on results earlier in the day. Expect the starters for both teams to play the whole game.

Check out our Fantasy Football podcast!
There is no better source for entertaining Fantasy advice than our Fantasy Football Today podcast. Dave Richard, Jamey Eisenberg and Adam Aizer will help you pass the time as you anticipate Draft Day 2014!
Latest episode | Subscribe today!

Packers at Vikings: The Vikings are in with a win on Sunday. The Packers are already locked into a home game, but they could land the No. 2 seed and a bye with a win. You won't see Aaron Rodgers' backup throw six touchdowns in this one.

Playoff implications for one team

Texans at Colts: With a win, the Texans will own the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Their starters will play.

The Colts, meanwhile, are locked into the No. 5 seed and have nothing to play for from a playoff standpoint. However, emotions will run high when their head coach, Chuck Pagano, makes his expected return from chemotherapy treatments for leukemia. Pagano is a first-time head coach who has worked as an assistant for a number of head coaches, much like interim head coach Bruce Arians. Neither have been at the helm of a team in this "meaningless" situation but they have both been around it. In Pittsburgh, Arians was part of a Steelers team that played their starters for most of blowout wins against Cleveland in 2010 and again versus Cleveland in 2008. In 2007, several starters rested for the whole game after the Steelers locked up the AFC North. Pagano was part of a Ravens team in 2007 that pulled their starters after putting the final touches on a convincing win. The hunch is that the Colts' top stars like Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne will play most if not all of the game because of Pagano on the sideline and the electric atmosphere thanks to the home crowd and an opponent desperate for a win.

Ravens at Bengals: The Ravens have a home game locked up in the Wild Card round. It is unknown how hard they'll fight for a chance at the No. 3 seed but chances are they'll come out firing in an attempt to simply fine-tune the offense. As we noted with Pagano above, the Ravens have rarely been in a position to rest their starters under coach John Harbaugh. We'll probably see the first-team offense on the field for a decent portion of the game but not the whole thing. The Ravens might actually prefer to land the No. 4 seed to keep a home game with the Colts and see the Texans in Round 2, not the Broncos or Patriots.

The Bengals have clinched the No. 6 seed and have nothing to gain from playing. The last time Marvin Lewis' crew was in such a situation was when they won the AFC North title in 2009 -- the starters played a little bit and gave way to the backups soon thereafter against the Jets. They wound up playing the Jets at home the very next week and lost, something Lewis made mention of during a press conference this week. Even with Lewis saying he'll "play to win," it doesn't mean he'll try to do it with his starters for 60 minutes.

Dolphins at Patriots: If the Patriots want to have a chance at a bye, they need to win. Losses by Houston or Denver would give them a top-two seed, so expect the Pats' first-team offense to play until the game's in hand. The Dolphins are out of playoff contention but their first-year head coach will likely demand a good effort while potentially looking at some younger players.

Chiefs at Broncos: The Broncos land a bye with a win. If the Texans lose and the Broncos win then the Broncos will clinch the top seed in the AFC. John Fox said previously he wasn't resting his starters and chances are that will be the case until the Broncos build a big lead on the Chiefs. That should be by halftime.

Bears at Lions: The Bears land the NFC's sixth seed with a win and a Vikings loss. Because the Vikings play a late game, the Bears won't know their fate until after their game. Their starters will play. The Lions have nothing to play for, but Calvin Johnson will probably aim for over 2,000 receiving yards.

Eagles at Giants: The only team here with playoff hopes is the Giants, and they're faint. A Giants win gives them a chance at a wild card spot depending on other games later in the day. Perhaps the Giants will finish strong.

Cardinals at 49ers: The 49ers must win and also need a Packers loss to slide back into the No. 2 seed. The Packers and Niners play at the same time so expect Harbaugh's starters to stay in the game a while.

Rams at Seahawks: The Seahawks have clinched a playoff spot and can actually host a home game if they win and the Niners lose. They play at the same time so expect the Seahawks to put their best foot forward.

No playoff implications

Buccaneers at Falcons: The Falcons have the top seed wrapped up, something they've never had going into Week 17 under head coach Mike Smith. However, Smith has benched his starters for backups during a game as recently as last season. This might not be the week to roll with your Falcons starters.

Jets at Bills, Panthers at Saints, Browns at Steelers, Jaguars at Titans, Raiders at Chargers: A lot of teams with a lot of coaches who may or may not be associated with their teams at this time next week. There might be a surprise inactive or two among this crew, so stay close to CBSSports.com on Sunday when we get the official inactives.

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

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Jim Leonhard joins Browns
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) Former Bills safety Jim Leonhard tweeted that he signed with the Browns. Leonhard played for coach Mike Pettine last year in Buffalo, making 41 tackles and four interceptions.

Packers claim Gerrard Sheppard
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) The Packers claimed receiver Gerrard Sheppard off waivers from the Ravens and are now at the 90-man roster limit, reports ESPN.com.

Jace Amaro trying to figure things out
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) Jets rookie tight end Jace Amaro had another rough practice Wednesday, reports ESPN.com. He ran some plays wrong, dropped a pass and got razzed by a defensive player. He also "got an earful from offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg," the report said.

Amaro played in a relatively simple offense in college and is struggling to learn the Jets' system.

"We know he's got the physical skills to do it," coach Rex Ryan told the website. "He's got to focus, and sometimes if your head is in other places and you're thinking (too much), it's hard to be at your best."


Chip Kelly says Mark Sanchez 'has been outstanding'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez "has been outstanding since he's been here," coach Chip Kelly told reporters. "I think he's starting to feel more comfortable in terms of what we’re trying to do."

Sanchez has played so well that there's no question he's the No. 2 QB, according to The Star-Ledger. "Every day he's here," Kelly said, "there is an energy you can feed off of from him."


Donald Thomas likely reinjured quad
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) Colts guard Donald Thomas, who missed 14 games last season with a torn quad, is believed to have reinjured it during Wednesday's practice, reports the Indianapolis Star. The latest injury "could be bad," the report added.

Alex Smith will table negotiations at some point
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) The Chiefs and Alex Smith continue to discuss a contract extension, but the quarterback said Wednesday that at some point he will table those talks, reports the Kansas City Star.

"You’re getting to the point where either way, you want it to stop being a distraction," Smith said. "You guys know how I feel about this, and it’s the truth."

Smith, 30, has one year left on his contract at $7.5 million.

"You’re finally gonna cross a line where it’s like, it’s just football from here on out and I’m done not only talking about it with you guys, but even behind the scenes as well," Smith said. "We talk about eliminating distractions and that’s a part of it. The focus needs to be on ball."


Vikings' QB race taking shape
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) Vikings quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Teddy Bridgewater are likely to get the bulk of the snaps moving forward, reports ESPN.com. That means Christian Ponder will get fewer reps.

"You can't work three [quarterbacks] for a long time, so the reps will get divided up differently," Turner said.

Turner added preseason games will factor "heavily" into the team's decision on a starter.


Alterraun Verner still out with hammy
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) Buccaneers top corner Alterraun Verner remained sidelined Wednesday with a sore hamstring, reports the Tampa Tribune.

Cordarrelle Patterson practicing Wednesday
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) Vikings receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who dealt with a foot injury early in camp, is practicing Wednesday, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Patterson is working in team drills so he's apparently not limited in any way.

Jordan Matthews looks ready to move up to first team
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) Eagles rookie receiver Jordan Matthews has been dominating Philly's second-team defense, according to Birds 24/7's Sheil Kapaida. "I think it's time for Matthews to move up to the first team and square off against [corner] Brandon Boykin," Kapaida wrote. "I know [coach Chip] Kelly wants to slow down the hype, but he looks ready."

Quarterback Mark Sanchez repeatedly looks to Matthews. "I would say roughly 94 percent of Sanchez's completions today were to Matthews. Perhaps I'm being conservative," Kapaida wrote.


 
 
 
Rankings