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Players Who Don't Need to be Started in Week 17

With the season coming to a close, this week's edition of The Cut List comes from a different angle: players who don't need to be started during the championship week. Each player receives both statistical and social media analysis, providing both real and ridiculous reasons why we--Tony Peters and Ben Hamren of the All Stats A Salad weekly fantasy football podcast--feel the way we do. The season's chalk full of angst and anxiety, let us take you beyond the stats to tickle your funny bone and your brain.

All ownership rates are taken from Fleaflicker (though at this point, they aren't relevant) and opponent ranks are based on the last four weeks. Be sure to check our Week 17 (NSFW) episodes of the All Stats A Salad podcast--out every Wednesday and Friday--by clicking here.

Editor's Note: Once you're done here, be sure to read about even more Week 17 waiver wire recommendations, for all fantasy-relevant positions. Just click on any link: ALL - RB - WR - TE - QB - DEF


Week 17 Players to Consider Benching or Replacing

Doug Martin (RB, TB) - 90% Owned

WK14-16: 39 rushes for 108 yards, one TD
WK17 Opponent: Panthers (17th in points allowed to RB)

TONY: After seemingly turning the proverbial corner last season, Doug Martin has been on a backslide since 2016 began. Things have gotten so bad that he was a healthy scratch Week 16 as Jacquizz Rodgers drew the start. While Martin has been far from the most effective runner this season, he hasn't been the least effective least, from a fantasy perspective. But that matters not as he has currently lost the faith and support of his head coach, who refused to name a starter for Week 17. The risk of him not playing or being barely involved is too high for comfort.

All stats a salad...I think I found the real reason for Martin's struggles this season: too much Smash Bros. Look, I've been there, many of us have. What starts as a simple night in with friends becomes an all-weekend gaming tournament. So I implore his teammates, friends, and family to talk to Martin and remind him that "friends don't let friends lose their lives to video games". And since that'll make an opening, I call nexties! Princess Peach FTW!


Jamison Crowder (WR, WAS) - 86% Owned

WK16: 1-of-2 targets for three yards, zero TD
WK14-WK16: 7-of-12 targets for 64 yards, zero TD
WK17: Giants (19th in points allowed to WRs)

BEN: There was a time in the middle of the season when Jamison Crowder was a shining beacon in the Redskins' offense. Kirk Cousins likes the spread the ball around like a garden sprinkler shares water. When one is inside of his spray, thou shall produce low-tier WR1 stats. When down and out, thou shall poop on the field and call it macaroni (or WR3 if you are feeling optimistic/delusional). If you are still in it to win it, a gamble on Crowder besting top dogs Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson is not worth the potential sad face emoji he's been putting up instead of points recently. Officially the “Frank” of the receiving corps, start at your own risk.

All stats a salad...Cousins is a maniac and will throw to anyone. Anyone! He cares not for your fantasy problems, the man yells in the face of his own general manager. The GM! Whoops, sorry about all the yelling. He's probably my favorite non-Aaron Rodgers quarterback and he knows how to pump a guy up. Also, this dude is as Christmas as they come. After overcoming his Star Wars deficiency in the off-season, I'm all aboard his decision-making.


Coby Fleener (TE, NO) - 75% Owned

WK16: 2-of-3 targets for 30 yards, zero TD;
WK14-WK16: 5-of-9 targets for 46 yards, zero TD
WK17: Falcons (eighth in points allowed to TE)

TONY: The Saints have learned the hard way that their tight end position isn't a magical, unlimited goodies card like Jimmy Graham led them to believe. Coby Fleener has been almost all bust this season, something the end of Josh Hill's season has done nothing to improve. While his second-best game of the season came against the Falcons back in Week 3, Fleener has wasted away better matchups since then. Ten and 12-team leaguers should consider Fleener armed and dangerous, ready to harm any roster foolish enough to keep holding onto hope.

All stats a salad...Fleener knows just how to make that special Saints fan in your life think you hate them! Of all the team gear a person could want and ask for this holiday season, a stapler is the most likely to elicit fury. Under rare circumstances, I could see this being a good idea, but too few and far between. At least Fleener is consistent at doing things wrong. I'm not sure this is how product support works.


Theo Riddick (RB, DET) - 75% Owned

WK14-WK16: DNP
WK17: Packers (25th in points allowed to RB)

BEN: As I was doing my extremely diligent research for this article, I found that the last week Theo Riddick was on an NFL field was Week 13. Yet for some reason, there is hype that he will return for the Lions' Week 17 showdown against the Packers. Riddick is a PPR monster with his sticky hands and occasional running when things are right, but he's set up to be vultured in an offense that doesn't run him much in the first place. Can you/should you trust a running back without touchdown upside who is really just a poor man's James White? Absolutely not.

All stats a salad...there is a new running back in town that's all the buzz, Zach Zenner, the second coming of Peyton Hillis. Since the fall of Ameer Abdullah, the Lions have just given up on the run game. But Zenner has been putting in work the last few weeks to try and correct that, leading to a solid night against the Cowboys on Monday Night Football. Oh, and in the off-season, he is a researcher in a lab. Whatevs, no big.


Jeremy Maclin (WR, KC) - 67% Owned

WK16: 3-of-4 targets for nine yards, zero TD;
WK14-WK16: 10-of-15 targets for 107 yards, zero TD
WK17: Chargers (27th in points allowed to WR)

TONY: After failing to excite the fantasy world before going down with an injury in Week 9, Jeremy Maclin has accomplished so very little since returning. After a great Week 15 that rekindled hope of his return to relevance, he quickly stomped that fire out Week 16 against the Broncos' elite pass defense. With the Chiefs set to wrap up their season on the road in San Diego, things aren't about to get better for Maclin as the Chargers' pass defense is very nasty. Unless one is looking to sabotage their own team, he can be left riding the pine.

All stats a salad...there's simply no words to describe this...this...thing. Be warned: this is NSFWBA or not safe for watching by anyone. Excuse me, I don't think I can swallow this vomit down a second time...


The Injury Grab Bag

TONY: Week 16 was one of the cruelest weeks fantasy football players have had to go through all season long and easily provided enough fodder for this article alone. The amount of talent we lost is mind-boggling as teams fed the injured reserve list like a hungry, out-of-control blob. So if you see one of your players' names in the following sentences, my condolences. Tyler Eifert, T.J. Yeldon, and Kenneth Farrow are all now inside that beast's belly. Carlos Hyde, Marcus Mariota, Derek Carr, and Tyler Lockett all suffered season-ending injuries and are on their way. Melvin Gordon, Thomas Rawls, Cameron Brate, and Kenny Britt look more likely to sit than start. I'm pouring out this glass of water in tribute to them all.

All stats a jokes here. If you need to cry some manly tears, we here at All Stats a Salad understand. "There ain't nothing funny about that".


Davante Adams (WR, GB) - 87% Owned

WK16: 4-of-7 targets for 44 yards, one TD
WK14-WK16: 10-of-19 targets for 173 yards, two TD
WK17: Lions (20th in points against WR)

BEN: Good gravy, I think someone (or something) has cursed Davante Adams. The man has developed a tough pair of stone hands the last few weeks. He has bounced between praise-worthy and non-existent the past six weeks, leaving him with simply average stats that should be much better. Adams has dropped a befuddling three touchdown passes over the last two weeks. If there is no other constant in the world, it is that Aaron Rodgers will throw you ball if you are on his team. Even with Adams' rash of drops lately, he is will continue to get looks. But amidst his current roller coaster of performance, it might not be a risk worth taking.

All stats a salad...The television show 24 is getting a reboot, and so did this passing attack with Jordy Nelson coming back. What needs a reboot as well is Adams' hands. Thankfully, he knows how to fix this and what the perfect solution is: he is going to tap into the Matrix with these amazing cleats. I assume he figures to rewrite the code that dictates how his hands operate. John Madden said if you ain't cheating, you ain't trying. Or will he channel the best Canadian show ever, Reboot? Warning, incoming game!

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