Week 17 fantasy projections
Eli Manning, Chris Johnson and Antonio Gates look like good starts
Hope everyone is having a happy and safe holiday season. If you're reading this column, that means you have fantasy football decisions to make in Week 17. Before discussing featured matchups, two general points:
1. It might be time to either replace your commissioner or find another league. No one should ever have their fantasy fortunes depend on players resting for next week's playoff game or tee time.
2. When in doubt, leave them out. If a team has nothing (or very little) to play for this week, don't take the risk of having its players in your lineup -- provided you have a viable alternative. And don't even bother trying to read the tea leaves because coaches lie about it all the time. On Sunday, those teams are the Ravens, Bengals, Colts, Broncos and Falcons. Also keep in mind that, if the Packers win their 1 p.m. game, then the 49ers and Seahawks won't be vying for a first-round bye in their 4:15 p.m. games. They will still be battling for the NFC West division title, but home games against relative cupcakes make early big leads -- and the starter exits that come with them -- more likely.
You won't see any players from those teams in the tables, and there's no "elite players" table because that designation becomes a bit laughable when so many are either not playing at all or not playing for very long. With that bit of clarification out of the way, here are the featured fantasy matchups for Week 17:
Eli Manning (plus-2 points)
Last season, the Giants needed a win at home over a division rival in Week 17 to make the playoffs. Manning went in with an average of 20.0 fantasy points per game, and scored 30.7 against the No. 20 pass defense according to DVOA. This season, the Giants need a win at home over a divisional rival in Week 17 to make the playoffs, Manning has a 16.1-point average and faces Football Outsiders' No. 26 pass defense.
To read more fantasy advice, including which players you should start and which you should avoid in Week 17, you must be an ESPN Insider.
FANTASY TOP HEADLINES
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Fantasy Football Week 17
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Fantasy Football Tools• Week 17 Projections
• Roster Advisor
• 2012 Scoring Leaders | Points Against
• Most Added/Dropped (Past 7 days)
• NFL Nation blog
• Week 17 fantasy inactives | Full inactives list
Week 17 Rankings
Bell Injury Blog
• Karabell: Four Downs from Sunday's games
• Karabell: Sneaky pickups
• Karabell: Week 17 flex rankings
• Karabell: Week 17 rankings reaction
• Football Outsiders: Good/bad matchups
• Goal-Line Grid: Through Week 16
• Karabell: Four Downs -- Week 16 recap
• Friday: Fantasy Football Now
• Thursday: Berry's 2012 Fantasy LVPs
• Thursday: Berry's 2012 Fantasy MVPs
• Thursday: Berry's Love/Hate
• Wednesday: Harris' Top 10 for 2013
• Wednesday: Fantasy Focus on rankings
• Tuesday: Lance Kendricks' value
• Monday: Michael Vick's value
• Monday: Late pickups