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2008 Fantasy Football: Start Em, Sit Em




2008 Fantasy Football: Week 17 Start Em, Sit Em

Rather than quickly listing start em and sit em players on my Week 17 NFL Picks page, I thought I'd devote a new page for this.


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Browns at Steelers

Start Em:
  • Braylon Edwards, WR, Browns
    The only player I'd start with confidence in this game.

  • Steelers Defense
    Because Ken Dorsey sucks that much.

    Sit Em:
  • Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
    We have no idea how much Ben Roethlisberger will play. He may not even start.

  • Willie Parker, RB, Steelers
    See the Ben Roethlisberger write-up.

  • Jamal Lewis, RB, Browns
    Even against crap defenses, Jamal Lewis struggled this year. Don't count on much, even against Pittsburgh's second string.

  • Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes and Heath Miller, WR/TE Steelers
    See the Ben Roethlisberger write-up.




    Patriots at Bills

    Start Em:
  • Obvious Starts:
    NE: Patriots Defense.
    BUF: RB Fred Jackson (PPR only).

    Sit Em:
  • Trent Edwards, QB, Bills
    SUNDAY UPDATE: There is a gale (40-60 mph winds) in Buffalo, which will make it impossible to throw.

  • Matt Cassel, QB, Patriots
    SUNDAY UPDATE: There is a gale (40-60 mph winds) in Buffalo, which will make it impossible to throw.

  • Lee Evans, WR, Bills
    SUNDAY UPDATE: There is a gale (40-60 mph winds) in Buffalo, which will make it impossible to throw.




    Chiefs at Bengals

    Start Em:
  • Tyler Thigpen, QB, Chiefs
    Cincinnati's defense isn't terrible, but Tyler Thigpen, Tony Gonzalez and Dwayne Bowe were moving up and down the field on a Miami defense that hadn't surrendered a touchdown in three weeks. Find out where I have Thigpen ranked in my Weekly NFL Fantasy Football Rankings on Thursday morning.

  • T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, Bengals
    He'll bounce back after the wind stymied his numbers last week.

  • Obvious Starts:
    KC: WR Dwayne Bowe, TE Tony Gonzalez.
    CIN: RB Cedric Benson.

    Sit Em:
  • Larry Johnson, RB, Chiefs
    Only if I have to start him because my other running backs won't be playing. Larry Johnson is way too inconsistent for my taste. And Cincinnati is somehow ninth versus the run.






    Titans at Colts

    Start Em:
  • Chad Simpson, RB, Colts
    Case in point as to why having championships in Week 17 is stupid. Colts third-string running back Chad Simpson should be able to put together a great game. Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes will be in street clothes. Find out where I have Simpson ranked in my Weekly NFL Fantasy Football Rankings on Thursday morning.

  • Chris Henry, RB, Titans
    Chris Johnson and the Blob will be on the bench. Chris Henry will get all the work against Indianapolis' backups.

  • Pierre Garcon, WR, Colts
    Case in point No. 2. Pierre Garcon will be Jim Sorgi's top option.

  • Obvious Starts:
    TEN: Titans Defense.
    IND: TE Gijon Robinson.

    Sit Em:
  • Peyton Manning, QB, Colts
    He'll play one drive at the most. Bench all Colts starters.

  • Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes, RBs, Colts
    Bench all Colts starters.

  • Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Anthony Gonzalez and Dallas Clark, WRs/TE, Colts
    Bench all Colts starters.

  • Vince Young, QB, Titans
    Vince Young could have some success moving the chains in this contest, but we don't know how much he's going to play.

  • Chris Johnson, RB, Titans
    It's unclear as to how much playing time Big Mac will receive, but Happy Meal will be in street clothes.




    Giants at Vikings

    Start Em:
  • Tarvaris Jackson, QB, Vikings
    Tarvaris Jackson turns the ball over way too much to be a legitimate starting quarterback in this league, but he's pretty good in fantasy because he picks up tons of rushing yardage.

  • Derrick Ward, RB, Giants
    It's unclear how much Brandon Jacobs will play, but Derrick Ward will definitely get some work. Ward is 52 yards short of 1,000 for the season, so Tom Coughlin will give him the opportunity to garner that yardage.

  • Domenik Hixon, WR, Giants
    Domenik Hixon will play this entire game. He'll fare well versus Minnesota's 21st-ranked pass defense.

  • Obvious Starts:
    NYG: Giants Defense.
    MIN: RB Adrian Peterson, TE Visanthe Shiancoe.

    Sit Em:
  • Bernard Berrian, WR, Vikings
    Bernard Berrian was a decent fantasy receiver when Gus Frerotte was at the helm, but he has barely done anything since Tarvaris Jackson took over again.






    Raiders at Buccaneers

    Start Em:
  • Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders
    The Buccaneers have been terrible against the run recently, so Darren McFadden, a factor in the passing game, will be able to put together a solid performance. Find out where I have McFadden ranked in my Weekly NFL Fantasy Football Rankings on Thursday morning.

  • Obvious Starts:
    OAK: TE Zach Miller.
    TB: WR Antonio Bryant.

    Sit Em:
  • Jeff Garcia, QB, Buccaneers
    Not really an option with Nnamdi Asomugha covering Antonio Bryant. I wouldn't bench Bryant because he's on fire, but Garcia shouldn't be an option.




    Lions at Packers

    Start Em:
  • Dan Orlovsky, QB, Lions
    Not a bad Week 17 sleeper if you have, let's say, Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. Dan Orlovsky was 23-of-34, 233 yards and a touchdown against the Colts two weeks ago.

  • Kevin Smith, RB, Lions
    The Packers can't stop the run. Kevin Smith needs to be in your lineup.

  • Obvious Starts:
    DET: WR Calvin Johnson.
    GB: Aaron Rodgers, RB Ryan Grant, WR Greg Jennings, Packers Defense.






    Panthers at Saints

    Start Em:
  • Lance Moore, WR, Saints
    With Drew Brees chasing Dan Marino, he'll be throwing early and often. Reggie Bush being out helps Lance Moore's prospects. Find out where I have Moore ranked in my Weekly NFL Fantasy Football Rankings on Thursday morning.

  • Obvious Starts:
    CAR: RB DeAngelo Williams, WR Steve Smith.
    NO: QB Drew Brees, WR Marques Colston.

    Sit Em:
  • Jake Delhomme, QB, Panthers
    Jake Delhomme is 0-4 against winning teams on the road this year. In two of those contests, he failed to top 200 yards, and in total, he has just one touchdown and three picks in the four games.

  • Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints
    Unlikely to play; Deuce McAllister will start.

  • Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers
    Jonathan Stewart has taken a back seat to DeAngelo Williams. The Saints are OK against the rush (13th).




    Rams at Falcons

    Start Em:
  • Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons
    Unless Michael Turner breaks long gains all afternoons, Matt Ryan will have a great game against St. Louis' 31st-ranked pass defense.

  • Obvious Starts:
    STL: RB Steven Jackson.
    ATL: RB Michael Turner, WR Roddy White, Falcons Defense.

    Sit Em:
  • Marc Bulger, QB, Rams
    Terrible. The only time Marc Bulger tossed more than one touchdown all year was Week 9. He sucks.

  • Donnie Avery and Torry Holt, WRs, Rams
    As mentioned every week, these guys are just way too inconsistent to be in your lineup.




    Bears at Texans

    Start Em:
  • Kevin Walter, WR, Texans
    Kevin Walter should be able to bounce back this week. I know, I keep saying that... But Chicago can't get to the quarterback, which leads me to believe that Walter will get in on the action. Find out where I have Walter ranked in my Weekly NFL Fantasy Football Rankings on Thursday morning.

  • Obvious Starts:
    CHI: RB Matt Forte.
    HOU: QB Matt Schaub, RB Steve Slaton, WR Andre Johnson, TE Owen Daniels.

    Sit Em:
  • Kyle Orton, QB, Bears
    Even in a week comprised of quarterbacks who could be sitting on the bench, you can't consider Kyle Orton, who was 14-of-27 for 142 yards, one touchdown and two picks against Green Bay's putrid secondary.




    Jaguars at Ravens

    Start Em:
  • Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars
    I'm listing Maurice Jones-Drew up here because the Ravens are first versus the run, meaning he's not an obvious start. But he should be in your lineup because he's a touchdown machine and a factor out of the backfield.

  • LeRon McClain, RB, Ravens
    It's become clear that LeRon McClain is getting most of the carries now. He'll have a solid game versus Jacksonville's soft stop unit.

  • Derrick Mason, WR, Ravens
    You definitely want Derrick Mason in your lineup against Jacksonville's 30th-ranked pass defense.

  • Dennis Nortchutt, WR, Jaguars
    Dennis Northcutt has erupted in the wake of Matt Jones' suspension. David Garrard will have to throw a lot in this contest, so Northcutt figures to be a solid WR3.

  • Obvious Starts:
    BAL: Ravens Defense.

    Sit Em:
  • David Garrard, QB, Jaguars
    No one has much success against the Ravens. Remember, Tony Romo didn't even have 100 passing yards until the middle of the fourth quarter, at which point he piled on yardage against a prevent defense.




    Cowboys at Eagles

    Start Em:
  • Donovan McNabb, QB, Eagles
    Assuming the Buccaneers beat the Raiders, Donovan McNabb will have a great game. McNabb always plays his best when there's nothing on the line.

  • Tashard Choice, RB, Cowboys
    The Eagles are fifth versus the rush, but Tashard Choice totaled at least 88 rushing yards against the Steelers (3rd), Giants (8th) and Ravens (1st).

  • Obvious Starts:
    DAL: WR Terrell Owens, TE Jason Witten.
    PHI: RB Brian Westbrook, Eagles Defense.

    Sit Em:
  • Tony "Aurora Snowmo" Romo, QB, Cowboys
    Starting Romo late in the year is always a risky proposition. Throughout his career in the month of December, Romo has never thrown three touchdown passes in any contest. If you combine all of Romo's December games, he has 21 interceptions to just 12 touchdowns. And excluding two tilts against the Lions, Romo has never eclipsed the 280-yard passing barrier in the final month of the calendar year.

  • Marion Barber, RB, Cowboys
    Still not healthy. Tashard Choice will get most of the work.






    Redskins at 49ers

    Start Em:
  • Shaun Hill, QB, 49ers
    Since the 49ers' Week 10 bye, Shaun Hill has tossed two touchdowns in five of his seven games. He has also thrown for at least 210 yards in all but one contest. Hill is a great option if your starter will be relegated to the bench this week.

  • Isaac Bruce, WR, 49ers

    In the past five games, Isaac Bruce has 33 catches, 394 yards and three touchdowns.

  • Obvious Starts:
    WAS: WR Santana Moss, TE Chris Cooley.
    SF: RB Frank Gore.

    Sit Em:
  • Jason Campbell, QB, Redskins
    Not a good play if your quarterback will be in street clothes this week. Jason Campbell has two touchdowns, three interceptions and three fumbles in the past four weeks.

  • Clinton Portis, RB, Redskins
    Since registering 143 yards against the Seahawks in Week 12, Clinton Portis hasn't gained more than 77 rushing yards in any contest. He hasn't even managed more than 3.2 yards per carry in any of his previous four games.




    Seahawks at Cardinals

    Start Em:
  • Maurice Morris, RB, Seahawks
    Maurice Morris tallied 116 rushing yards last week. Arizona's defense has stunk recently, so Morris makes for a solid RB2 this week.

  • Obvious Starts:
    SEA: TE John Carlson.
    ARZ: QB Kurt Warner, WR Larry Fitzgerald, WR Anquan Boldin.

    Sit Em:
  • Arizona Running Backs
    Even if you're desperate, look elsewhere. The Cardinals can't run the ball at all, and the Seahawks are 14th against the rush.




    Dolphins at Jets

    Start Em:
  • Chad Pennington, QB, Dolphins
    In the same four-game stretch in which Favre has struggled mightily (see below), Chad Pennington has debacled opposing secondaries. His stats? The complete opposite of Favre's - six touchdowns and one pick.

  • Davone Bess, WR, Dolphins
    Continues to be a strong play in PPR Leagues.

  • Obvious Starts:
    MIA: Dolphins Defense.
    NYJ: RB Thomas Jones, TE Dustin Keller.

    Sit Em:
  • Brett Favre, QB, Jets
    Brett Favre is finished. He's been terrible recently. In his past four games, three of which were against losing teams, Favre has just one passing touchdown and six interceptions. Since Week 5, Favre has 15 picks and nine scores, and the last time Favre fired more than two touchdown passes in any game was on Sept. 28.




    Broncos at Chargers

    Start Em:
  • Tatum Bell, RB, Broncos
    Mike Shanahan plays games with his running backs, but he can't do that anymore. That's because Tatum Bell is the only one who isn't on IR! And besides, if Bell has a bad game, maybe he'll steal Philip Rivers' luggage.

  • Obvious Starts:
    DEN: QB Jay Cutler, WR Brandon Marshall, WR Eddie Royal.
    SD: QB Philip Rivers, RB LaDainian Tomlinson, WR Vincent Jackson, TE Antonio Gates.

    Sit Em:
  • Both Defenses
    I didn't really have anyone else to put down here. You don't want to be starting either of these defenses, especially if your league penalizes for massive points allowed.


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