Fantasy Football Week 17: Start’em / Sit’em

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Last week: 14-11-4: Season: 197-147-48

Week 16 Recap: Another good week for my Sit’em picks (9-3-2). I’m going to calculate my success rate for both sides at the end of the year, but I’m guessing I owe the majority of my yearly winning percentage to my sit’em choices. Someone actually started Jason Campbell against me in a playoff game, so I feel justified putting him on the sit list last week. He missed his projected by a whopping 14 points. Thanks, Jason! My prediction that Alex Smith would come back to earth worked out well (-15) as did my calls to sit Bobby Rainey (-7), Ray Rice (-6) and I was finally right on Larry Fitz (-6). I missed badly recommending you sit Roddy White (+14) but that was my only significant miss.

My start’em picks were sub-par (5-8-2) for the third straight week. I don’t know what’s wrong. I’ll try and get it straightened out this week. Match-up plays Kirk Cousins (-8) and Jay Cutler (-4) both disappointed and lost me one championship battle. Gio Bernard (-6) disappointed again and won’t merit a high pick from me next year if BJGE is still around. A couple of rookie running backs, Dennis Johnson and Montee Ball, let me down as well. I expected an increase in touches to lead to big days, but alas, neither guy is good right now. TY Hilton (-3) and Kendall Wright (-5) both failed to show up after huge week 15s.

I’m not sure if anyone is still playing fantasy football? All of my leagues are done, but if you play in one of those weird leagues that go all the way to week 17, I’m here for you with another batch of start’em / sit’em picks. On a selfish note, I want to reach 200 correct picks on the season so here we are.

Note: Only players started in less than 75% of Yahoo leagues will be listed in Start’em section. These recommendations are for players you may be on the fence about that I think will over (Start) or under (Sit) perform their projections (Yahoo).

Start’em

QB

Andrew Luck @JAX (44%,20): With the Colts still in the hunt for a 1st round bye they will be playing their starters in this one and should roll the Jags. I’m expecting a solid day from Luck. Something along the lines of 250 yards and a couple of TDs.

Kirk Cousins @NYG (14%,14): Last week was a let down against a weak Cowboys defense, but the Skins are trying to boost Cousins’ value for trade purposes and this is their last shot at it. I expect Cousins to air it out against a susceptible Giants secondary.

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Jay Cutler GB (28%,21): Speaking of disappointments last week, Cutler had a sweet match-up vs the Eagles, but couldn’t produce more than a 15 point fantasy day before being pulled for McCown. The Bears usually steady O-line couldn’t contain Trent Cole and the rest of the Eagles D-line and they had Cutler under pressure all game. I expect them to bounce back this week against a meek Packers pass rush and give Cutler enough time to find B-Marsh & Jeffery for a few big plays. His track record against the Packers is terrible, but I think that just means he’s due for a big game!

RB

Ryan Mathews KC (54%,13): He’s averaging 27.5 carries over the past three games and has responded with the best stretch of his young career (110 YPG) and a TD in each of his last three games. Somehow fragile Ryan Mathews has become a workhorse back. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Shane Vereen BUF (45%,11): He’s only had one bad game since he came back from injury and had 7 fantasy points in the first quarter last week before he got hurt. Vereen is a big part of the Pats offense, averaging 10+ targets per game, and he should put up double-digit fantasy points easy in this one.

Darren Sproles TB (38%,8): He’s been a disappointment this season, but Saints coaches have talked about getting Sproles more involved in the offense and I think this is the week it happens.

Donald Brown @JAX (14%,7): Has outplayed T-Rich all year and should be the primary ball carrier in a game the Colts need to win to keep their hopes for a bye alive. Brown scored 2 TDs in only 12 touches last week.

Knile Davis @SD (1%,10): Davis should take over Jamaal Charles’ role this week and he has enough talent to put up Charles-lite numbers against a mediocre Chargers D.

WR

Marques Colston TB (68%,14): It’s a must win game for the Saints and I expect Brees to look for his #1 WR often on Sunday.

Riley Cooper @DAL (42%,10): The Cowboys 32nd ranked defense will struggle to stop the Eagles high-powered offense and Cooper should get a decent share of the targets Sunday in a must win game for the Eagles.

James Jones @CHI (39%,10): Aaron Rodgers is back which makes Jones relevant again for fantasy purposes.

Michael Crabtree @AZ (31%,11): His fantasy total has increased every week that he’s been back from injury as he reestablishes himself as Kaepernick’s go-to WR.

Cordarrelle Patterson DET (25%,10): He’s scored a TD in his last four games, he’s averaging 7 targets over his last 3, and is even averaging 2 carries per week in the running game. He’s a threat to break one every time he touches the ball and the Vikes are making sure he gets around 10 touches per game. I think he’s going to have 20+ fantasy points against the hapless Lions this week.

TE

Martellus Bennett GB (47%,10): His targets have increased since Cutler came back and Bennett will get plenty of looks in what should be a shoot-out Sunday.

Dennis Pitta @CIN (26%,7): The production hasn’t been consistent, but the targets have been. He’s averaging over 7 a game since he came back from injury. The Bengals are tough against TEs, but Flacco doesn’t have many other reliable options to throw to.

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