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Week 17 NFL Matchups Analysis: Start/Sit for Fantasy Championships (Part 2)

By Mike Morbeck (originally posted to Flickr as Aaron Rodgers) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsWelcome to Week 17 of NFL and fantasy football action, RotoBallers.  This is where we separate the winners from the losers, at least in leagues that insist on playing this deep into the season.

Each week of the NFL season, we've broken down all of the NFL matchups and provided you with fantasy football advice and lineup recommendations based on matchups that we love, matchups that we hate, and some high-risk/high-reward players, as well.

Below, you will find our Week 17 NFL matchups & fantasy football start/sit analysis, which should help you prepare your lineups to win your playoff matchups this week. It’s essential to analyze the weekly NFL matchups to find lineup sleepers and gems, while also avoiding those players who might turn out to be busts.

To read about the rest of this week’s NFL matchups, check out Start/Sit &  Matchups Analysis for Games 1-8, and of course you can always stop by the RotoBaller chat rooms for any live advice you may need.

Jets @ Dolphins: Sunday, 12/28 1:00 PM Eastern

Matchups we Love:

Ryan Tannehill: If you were denied one of the premier quarterbacks this year and you're scrambling for a replacement this week, you could do worse than Tannehill, who's having a respectable season and will be playing the Jets' awful secondary this week.

Mike Wallace: Wallace has been hot in his last couple of games, and that should continue against New York.  Expect WR2 returns and you shouldn't be disappointed.

Dolphins' D/ST: The Jets are like a turnover assembly line.  Expect the Dolphins' D to feast on Jets miscues.


Matchups we Hate:

Jets' Players (Any): The Jets' QB woes don't need any more explanation (that phrase has been used approximately 348,093 times since the 1970s) and the Dolphins' defense, while recently on a downslide, is still talented.  Pass on the Jets.


Other Matchups:

Lamar Miller: It's a down year for running backs, but Miller is starting against a tough Jets running defense, and I'm not confident in his ability to produce quality numbers this week.


Bears @ Vikings: Sunday 12/28, 1:00 PM Eastern

Matchups we Love:

Matt Forte: The lone bright spot in a season Bears fans will want to forget, Forte's blend of rushing and pass-catching skill is too valuable to leave on your bench.  The game is meaningless, but Forte should get his.

Alshon Jeffery: With Brandon Marshall on injured reserve, Jeffery has been inhabiting the number one spot in Chicago, with decent returns.  He's a very startable WR2.

Martellus Bennett: Because who else are you going to start at TE this week?


Matchups we Hate:

Jay Cutler: He got benched for a reason (turnovers) and there's not much reason to think he'll turn it around in this one.  Cutler may be on his way out in Chicago.


High Risk, High Reward

Matt Asiata: He could put up nothing, or he could go for 2 TDs again and screw you in a championship game.  You know, hypothetically.


Raiders @ Broncos: Sunday 12/28, 4:25 PM Eastern

Matchups we Love:

C.J. Anderson: The Broncos have become a running team, weirdly enough, and Anderson leads the charge.  You absolutely want him in your lineup in a game which should be a Broncos blowout.

Demaryius Thomas/Emmanuel Sanders: Of course, "running team" hasn't prevented these guys from getting their yardage and touchdowns, and both should be in your lineup this week.

Julius Thomas: Thomas' once-promising season was derailed by a sprained ankle, and he hasn't caught a TD since week 10.  However, it's still the Raiders he's playing against, which makes his upside very tempting.

Peyton Manning: Peyton's been off for the last few weeks, but you can't sit him as long as he's playing.


Matchups we Hate:

Oakland, as usual.


Cardinals @ 49ers: Sunday 12/28, 4:25 PM Eastern

Don't do it.  The wheels have fallen off both offenses, and there's no one here worth starting in a championship game.  I'd bet 100% of the points come from field goals in this one.  Just steer clear.


Lions @ Packers: Sunday 12/28, 4:25 PM Eastern

Matchups we Love:

Aaron Rodgers: This game decides the NFC North champion, and Rodgers is excellent at Lambeau.  With two elite wide receivers to throw to, it's impossible to keep Rodgers out of your lineup this week.

Jordy Nelson: The Rodgers-Nelson connection is too strong to bench.  Jordy trails only Antonio Brown in standard scoring, and with a division championship on the line, he'll bring his A-game.

Randall Cobb: Cobb is on a touchdown drought (none since week 10), but as long as Aaron Rodgers is throwing, Packers receivers have upside.

Eddie Lacy: Lacy is on a tear to finish the season.  You don't want to sit a player this productive.

Calvin Johnson: Megatron has done typically Megatron things since returning from his high-ankle sprain in week 10.  He's the best receiver in the league.  Do not sit him.

Joique Bell: Another running back on a hot streak, Bell gets to face one of the worst run defenses in the NFL this week.  He should produce for you.


Matchups we Hate:

Matthew Stafford: The game he had against Tampa Bay was awful, and Green Bay is better than the Bucs.


Rams @ Seahawks: Sunday 12/28, 4:25 PM Eastern

Matchups we Love:

Russell Wilson: The rushing value he provides is simply too significant to ignore.  The Rams' defense is legit, but Wilson will figure out a way to produce in a game the Seahawks desperately want to win.  Start him.

Marshawn Lynch: Beast Mode will rumble, as he always does.


Matchups we Hate:

St. Louis: While the Rams have the building blocks of a great defense in place, they simply do not have those on the offensive side of the ball.  Against a Seahawks' defense reminding us why they were favorites to repeat as Super Bowl champs, steer clear of the Rams.


Panthers @ Falcons: Sunday 12/28, 4:25 PM Eastern

Matchups we Love:

Matt Ryan: The Falcons have had a resurgence of sorts (still leaving them at 6-9) and it's paid off for Ryan's fantasy owners.  Against a Panthers' secondary that's been suffering this season, Ryan is a good start.

Julio Jones: Julio is capable of simply monstrous outings, and in a winner-takes-all match against Carolina, expect him to leave it all on the field.  "It" may include a trail of flaming footprints as he torches the Panthers, but we'll just have to see.

Cam Newton: The Falcons have possibly the worst pass defense in the league, making Newton a decent panic start, but that's the most we can say for Newton.

Greg Olsen: The Panthers force-feed Olsen the ball, and Olsen has responded with what might be his best season.  The Falcons' pass defense shouldn't intimidate you- or indeed anybody.


Bengals @ Steelers: Monday 12/29 8:30 PM Eastern

Matchups we Love:

Antonio Brown: He's the number one fantasy wideout on the year, especially in PPR, considering his 122 receptions on the year.  Never, ever sit number one players.

Le'Veon Bell: He's number one among running backs in standard scoring, sneaking past DeMarco Murray last week.

Jeremy Hill: He's taken over the Cincinnati backfield from Gio Bernard, and produced admirably ever since.  He's at least an RB2 this week.

A.J. Green: A healthy Green is probably the second-best wide receiver in the game, even with a hard-charging Antonio Brown right on his heels.  You can't sit Green.


Matchups we Hate:

Andy Dalton: How are you starting Andy Dalton in a championship game?  Don't do that.

Gio Bernard: He's ceded the backfield to Jeremy Hill and is seeing change-of-pace duty right now.  He can't be relied upon this week.


That's it for matchups this season.  Good luck to all of you!

Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.