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Week 17 Sleepers

Matt Moore

Every Wednesday, I will talk about potential fantasy football sleepers for each matchup taking place. I will go game-by-game and pick out one or two players who can most likely be found in your league’s free agent pool and explain why they can be of use to you that week.

Leagues with a Week 17 championship game can be a pain in the butt. This is the time of the season where most teams have clinched playoff spots and will be methodically resting starters in order to hopefully prevent injury. In fantasy land, this makes deciding who to start or who to pick up extremely difficult. But hey, I guess that is the challenge of a Week 17 championship.

Week 17 Sleepers

Indianapolis @ Buffalo

Buffalo Bills Defense/Special Teams

The Colts showed last week that they aren’t afraid to rest key players. They even ruined a perfect season to do it. There is no reason to think Indy won’t rest Peyton Manning and Co. again this week, maybe even more.

When backup QB Curtis Painter entered the game for the Colts last Sunday, he was sacked twice, threw a pick, and lost a fumble that was returned for a TD.

New Orleans @ Carolina

Matt Moore (QB), Carolina Panthers

Moore has thrown 3 TD and 0 INT in each of his last two games and the Saints defense has allowed 260+ pass yds in each of their last four games. With New Orleans already securing a first round bye, look for the Saints to send their backups out there on defense.

Chicago @ Detroit

Maurice Morris (RB), Detroit Lions

Chicago has allowed 120+ rush yds in three straight games and Morris is the only running back left in Detroit. With Matthew Stafford out for the season, the run should be featured a lot more this week.

Pittsburgh @ Miami

Davone Bess (WR), Miami Dolphins

Both teams are fighting for a playoff spot, so they should be going all out. This one will come down to passing and we all know that Pittsburgh is very vulnerable. I’d go with Bess to get the most looks from Chad Henne.

New York (Giants) @ Minnesota

Kevin Boss (TE), New York Giants

Minnesota has allowed the 3rd most points to opposing tight ends this season and Boss has 21 targets over the past three games.

Atlanta @ Tampa Bay

Atlanta Falcons Defense/Special Teams

Atlanta has 5 INT and 4 sacks over the past two games and Bucs QB Josh Freeman has thrown 6 INT in his last two home games.

San Francisco @ St. Louis

Joe Nedney (K), San Francisco 49ers

St. Louis allows over 27 points per game, so to think that Nedney won’t give you 10+ points on field goals and extra points is foolish.

New England @ Houston

Sammy Morris (RB), New England Patriots

With New England already wrapping up the AFC East, they won’t play their starters the entire game. Morris should lead the crowded Patriots backfield in carries this week.

Jacksonville @ Cleveland

Cleveland Browns Defense/Special Teams

The Browns have allowed 15 total points over their last two home games and Jaguars QB David Garrard has thrown just one TD on the road all season. This should mean that Cleveland will load up to stop Maurice Jones-Drew.

Philadelphia @ Dallas

Jeremy Maclin (WR), Philadelphia Eagles

The rookie returned from a foot injury last Sunday and had 92 yds on the day. The Eagles can clinch a first round bye with a win, so they will be going full steam ahead in this one.

Kansas City @ Denver

Jabar Gaffney (WR), Denver Broncos

Gaffney led the Broncos last Sunday with 69 yds and 2 TD. News today is that fellow WR Brandon Marshall tweaked his hamstring in practice and his status is uncertain for Sunday. If he can’t go, the Gaffney will get more looks in a game the Broncs need to win.

Washington @ San Diego

Fred Davis (TE), Washington Redskins

Davis has scored five touchdowns in his last five games and the Chargers won’t be putting up a fight at all since they have clinched a first round bye already.

Tennessee @ Seattle

Justin Forsett (RB), Seattle Seahawks

Finally getting carries and is averaging over 5.0 ypc this year. The Titans will be running it all day with Chris Johnson, so the Seahawks should follow suit. Tennessee has also allowed 120+ rush yds in each of the last two games.

Baltimore @ Oakland

Todd Heap (TE), Baltimore Ravens

Heap has scored 4 TD in his last two games and Baltimore is playing for a playoff spot. They will use Ray Rice for most of the game against Oakland’s terrible run defense (149 yds per game), but if they can’t pound the ball into the endzone, Heap will get the looks.

Green Bay @ Arizona

Jermichael Finley (TE), Green Bay Packers

Finley has 70+ receiving yds in each of the last four games and Arizona has a weak pass defense that gives up 230+ pass yds each week. Both teams can get better seeding in the playoffs with a win, so both should be playing their starters all game.

Cincinnati @ New York (Jets)

Mark Sanchez (QB), New York Jets

The Jets are in if they win, so they won’t be resting anybody. The Bengals have already locked up the AFC North, so they should be taking it easy in this one and resting key players.

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