Week 17: Pickups of the Week
Let's start with the following:
*Congrats on making it this far. Whatever you've been doing is working, so no need deviate from your normal thoughtsor instincts. That's key in a week that typically puts decision making to the test.
The good news is that of all the teams already in the playoffs, only the Chiefs have nothing at stake in Week 17. Well, that's potentially brutal news for Jamaal Charles owners, but it means there should be little resting among those on contending teams.
However, there are those teams with an eye toward tee times and 2014. How Detroit handles Calvin Johnson this week could be far different than if the Lions still had a postseason shot. Incredibly, they do not. Even if there is no overt benching, teams could easily let young reserves step on the field more than normal.
The best general advice I can offer, beyond the usual "play your studs" angle is that when it comes to Week 17 Pickups, grab all you can (especially at running back). There is no need for a second QB when you have Drew Brees or Russell Wilson or a backup TE behind Julius Thomas. Pick up players not just for your own needs, but to prevent others from getting needed help as well.
Beyond that, be sure to monitor NFL news throughout the week and of course, on Sunday. You've made it this far in pursuit of a title. What's a little more work for glory?
Ryan Tannehill - Last week's struggles aside, Tannehill is a solid pick.
Terrelle Pryor - He's baaaack. Trust his legs to generate fantasy points.
Matt Cassel - Who knows if the heartbroken Lions will show for their irrelevant finale, but Cassel, Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson will.
Kyle Orton - Don't get caught up in the "he's the backup" talk. Orton is a proven commodity and more importantly, he has high-impact weapons at his disposal. If the Eagles should roll, Orton can still post garbage time points in what should be a high-scoring game.
Matt Flynn - While everyone stays on Aaron Rodgers watch, let's note that Flynn has thrown for at least 230 yards in three straight games with six TDPs in that span.
James Starks - Eddie Lacy (ankle) might not practice until late in the week, if then. As a starter, Starks becomes a top 20 play versus the Bears (31st vs. fantasy RBs)
Edwin Baker - Touchdowns in consecutive games, 19 touches for 76 yards in Week 16, dominant amount of snaps. Yep, Edwin Baker is a RB2/Flex option in Week 17. Random, but true.
Knile Davis - If Charles sits, the rookie stands as the Chiefs' top back. Davis is a duel threat with burst and an viable Rb2 fill in if thrust into the starting role with Kansas City.
LeGarrette Blount - New England faces a Buffalo defense that allowed over 100 rushing yards in five straight games before Miami went for 14 in Week 16. The Dolphins have been the team all season on the ground so we can dismiss that scenario and look at the previous games. Blount led the Pats with 16 carries for 76 yards and two scores against the Ravens. Stevan Ridley also had a meaty role, but Blount remains the safer and more trusted option.
Shonn Greene - The Titans' other back had 91 yards and a score on 19 carries last week. Even if the carries aren't as plentiful against the Texans in Week 17, Houston has allowed 13 scores to RBs this season and 4.3 yards per carry.
Dennis Johnson - The backup to the backup is questionable with a hip injury, meaning little known Jonathan Grimes could carry the load in Week 17 versus at Tennessee. Talk about your sketchy situations. Grab both if needed, but ideally look elsewhere.
Others: Michael Cox, Joe Banyard