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Weekly Matchups: Strong Plays, Weak Plays Week 17

Kyle Fisher

Kyle Fisher writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.


Michael Vick vs. NYG

With Nick Foles (hand) out, Vick could be starting his final game as an Eagle and has a good matchup to potentially end his Philadelphia career against the rival Giants. New York has given up the ninth most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season but has been especially bad lately, allowing five touchdown passes the last two weeks with nine consecutive games of one touchdown pass allowed. Vick had a solid line (241 yards passing, one touchdown, and 49 yards rushing) in his earlier meeting this season, and all signs point to potentially one final hurrah for Vick as an Eagle.

Philip Rivers vs. OAK

While Rivers has thrown for only 486 yards the last three weeks, he has managed to throw six touchdowns while facing three top-10 fantasy pass defenses in that time. This week, Rivers faces the Raiders in the season finale. The Raiders have allowed the sixth most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Look for Rivers to end his disappointing season with a strong outing against the hated Raiders

Shonn Greene vs. BUF

Greene didnít do much yardage-wise last week, but he scored two touchdowns and has been fantasy relevant three of the last four weeks despite the Jetsí dreadful offense. This week, Greene should finish the season on a high note against the Bills. The Bills rank last in fantasy points allowed to running backs and allowed 15 fantasy points in standard scoring leagues in their first matchup against Greene earlier in the season. Furthermore, they have allowed 316 yards to running backs the last two weeks. Look for the feast-or-famine Greene to be feast in Week 17.

C.J. Spiller vs. NYJ

With the increased carries the last two weeks, Spiller has delivered with 241 yards, and we see no reason for that not to continue this week against the Jets. New York has allowed at least 100 yards on the ground in seven of its last nine games, and Spiller torched the Jets for 169 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting this year. Look for Spiller to have one of the better days for all running backs in Week 17.

Steve Smith vs. NO

Smith has scored touchdowns in three of his last four weeks and is having a nice late-season run as he has caught 32 passes in the last five weeks. This week, Smith has an excellent matchup in the season finale against the Saints. The Saints rank last in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers and allowed 104 yards to Smith in Week 2. Furthermore, in the last three games, the Saints have given up at least 214 yards to the wide-receiver position. Look for Smith to be one of the better fantasy options at wide receiver in this final week.


Matthew Stafford vs. CHI

Even though Stafford failed to throw a touchdown last week, his 443 yards were huge for fantasy owners as he moved closer to the single season record for passing attempts. While Stafford should set the record this week, he might not be great fantasy-wise versus the Bears, who face a must-win to make the playoffs. Further, the Bears rank third in fantasy points allowed to the quarterback and held Stafford to a pedestrian 263-yard, one touchdown and one interception effort in their first meeting. Look for average numbers for Stafford this week in this critical matchup for the Bears.

Joe Flacco vs. CIN

The much maligned Flacco has actually been a pretty solid fantasy quarterback four of his last five games, either throwing for multiple touchdowns or breaking the 300-yard barrier. This week, Flacco plays perhaps the hottest pass defense in the NFL in the Bengals. While the Bengals rank fifth in fantasy points allowed to the quarterback, they have given up 10 or more fantasy points to quarterbacks in standard leagues just once in the last seven games. Look for mediocre numbers this week from Flacco in this tough matchup.

Steven Jackson vs. SEA

Jackson has been strong coming down the stretch, scoring a touchdown or notching more than 100 combined yards in each of his last five games. This week, that streak will be tested against a tough Seahawks run defense. The Seahawks rank fourth in fantasy points given up to running backs but have been especially tough at home as only one team has surpassed 87 yards rushing this season. In a decent fantasy season for Jackson, look for Week 17 to be more like the slow start he had during the first half of the year.

Marques Colston vs. CAR

Colston exploded last week for 10 catches for 153 yards in the shootout win against the Cowboys. This week, Colston has one of his toughest matchups against the Panthers, a team that held him to just three catches for 49 yards in their first meeting. The Panthers rank second in fewest fantasy points allowed to wide receivers and in four of their last five games have held the position to 105 yards or fewer and have given up just 10 touchdowns (fourth fewest in the league). In what has been another solid season for Colston, donít be surprised if it ends on a bit of a downer.

Jermaine Gresham vs. BAL

Gresham is having his best NFL season and has been a solid PPR performer, catching at least four passes in five of his last six games. This week, Gresham has one of his tougher matchups of the season against the Ravens. The Ravens are third in the NFL in fantasy points allowed to the tight end and held Gresham to just three catches for 30 yards in their first meeting. They have been even better the last three weeks, holding tight ends to just seven catches for 71 yards total. Look for Gresham to struggle in a game that is essentially meaningless to the Bengals as they have locked up the sixth seed in the playoffs.

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