Friday, December 26, 2014

Start em’ if you got ‘em – Week 17




Adam Stoczynski
Bitter Chicago sports fan, wagering enthusiast, self-proclaimed sports expert
@AllAboutSto on twitter

We are now at the final week of the season. For those of you who are still reading, thanks. For those of you who won your league last week already, congrats. For those crazies who still have their championship in week 17, good luck, and you should seriously think about moving your league up a week so it ends in week 16. In week 17 it’s a whole different animal with teams having nothing to play for, teams clinched, and players sitting. Here’s a compact version of the weekly, “Start em if you got em.” Good luck to everyone still playing and thanks for reading all year. Happy New Year to you and your families. Here’s the plays I feel strongly about in week 17.

Start ‘em if you got ‘em

Quarterback

Cam Newton @ ATL – It’s a big time game for Cam Newton. Win and his Panthers are in the playoffs. I like Cam in these spotlight games because he always comes to play in them. He had a great game last week, and I expect him to put the team on his back once again on Sunday. The Atlanta defense is pretty awful and I don’t think they can stop Cam and the Panthers.  

Running Back

Matt Asiata vs CHI – Asiata is the lone back in Minnesota these days and the Bears can’t stop anyone. The Bears have quite on the season, and I like Asiata to reap the benefits. I think he has a chance to score more than once. If you want to know how much I like him, I will have him in my daily lineups this week.

Wide Receiver

                Roddy White vs CAR – The Falcons can score when they are at home. Roddy White is ol trusty for Matt Ryan, I like him to have a good game this week. He’s had 9 and 10 targets the last two weeks. The chances are there, and with Julio back I think Roddy can get even more open. Panthers are not good vs the pass and I think there is going to be some scoring in this one.

Tight End

Greg Olsen @ ATL – Cam’s go to guy should be busy in this one. He was very disappointing last week, but that could be a good thing if you survived without him. He should be targeted early and often on Sunday. I’d use him with confidence.

Defense

Houston vs JAX – Houston is one of those teams we want to target because they have something to play for. Though it’s a long shot, they can still make the playoffs, but they first need to win in order to have a chance. Jacksonville is a team we look at fading because of the holiday week, the lack of preparation time probably put into this week’s game, and they are not playing for anything. It will be tough for the Jags to move the ball in this one since Houston will rely on their defense to win them the game with Case Keenum under center.

Sit ‘em and quit ‘em

Quarterback

Jay Cutler @ MIN – After being benched last week, Cutler’s confidence has to be at an all-time low. I would not rely on him to win me a championship in real football, flag football, electric football, Madden football, or fantasy football. He’s been saving people all year with his garbage time points, but that’s not something I want to lean on when trying to win a championship. Look elsewhere this week.

Running Back

Demarco Murray @ WAS – This is a prime example of why your championship should not be in week 17. With Murray fresh off his hand injury, Dallas already clinched, and their playoff seed pretty much locked, the motivation for the Cowboys to win this game is low. To me I think it is more important to have their stud running back in the first round of the playoffs rather than week 17 of the regular season. I’m not sure on his work load this week, and you can’t afford a 5 pointer in championship week. Make sure to keep an eye on him as kickoff comes to see how much they are going to use him. You may have to sit your stud player in a week you need him most, which just isn’t right.

Wide Receiver

Larry Fitzgerald @ SF – His quarterback is Logan Thomas this week, should I continue writing? It’s not so much that I don’t trust Fitz, but his gunslinger is a real problem. Fitzgerald is also a little banged up, and if they have the chance to rest him a bit in this one, I think they get him out of there early. Look elsewhere this week.

Tight End

Jason Witten @ WAS – Like I said, the Cowboys are essentially playing for nothing this week. Witten is one of their main guys, and I don’t think he plays the full game. If you want to use him, it’s a risk that you can take, but the reward might not be high enough to have a clunker from the tight end spot.

Defense

Philadelphia @ NYG – They’ve been good all year long, but with their playoff door shut, their motivation this week is very low. On the other hand you have the Giants, who may want to play hard for their coach before he is potentially let go. The Giants are a favorite in this one for a reason, sit the Eagles.