Week 17 ranks reax: Top stars still playing 

December, 24, 2013

Neither of the No. 1 spots for the postseason has been clinched entering Week 17, which is actually a very good thing for fantasy football owners. How many times in the past has the great Peyton Manning been our top option for 16 weeks, only to leave us at the very end? This week, as his Denver Broncos seek home games on the way to meeting the NFC representative in New Jersey in February -- it just sounds odd, no? -- fantasy owners really can rely on Manning and his top weapons. And the same goes for Seattle Seahawks stars Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. No, I don't think Ronnie Hillman and Christine Michael are worthy options this week!

[+] EnlargePeyton Manning
John Leyba/The Denver PostPeyton Manning still has plenty to play for in Week 17, including the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs and the single-season passing yardage record.

Fantasy analysts far and wide will be asked about teams potentially sitting stars this week, but the fact is in most cases, it's just a guess which players will and will not play the entirety of their games. Only the coaches know, and if anyone out there still trusts an NFL coach, just rewind the ridiculous Dallas Cowboys news conference from Monday and try to figure out whether Tony Romo is playing this week. The point is, don't overthink it. I think Manning, who tossed four touchdown passes in Week 16 and could absolutely duplicate the feat Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, is a terrific play. I think Wilson and Lynch, with a tougher but feasible home matchup against the St. Louis Rams, are also safe plays. It has nothing to do with who got your fantasy team to Week 17. We aren't overly loyal NFL coaches, but in this case, it seems the best options are the best options.