2013 Fantasy Football Week 17 Dark Horse Sleeper: Kyle Orton

By Dustin Manko
Kyle Orton
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Now that Tony Romo has been ruled out for the remainder of the season, fantasy football owners who are still in the mix are undoubtedly looking at Kyle Orton as a possible replacement. Some fantasy leagues go all the way until week 17 leaving a few owners in need of a replacement fast.

Is Orton worthy of starting in the final game of the season? Let’s examine.

Orton was signed by the Cowboys for this exact scenario. One of the highest paid backups in the NFL, Orton has thrown for over 14,000 yards, 81 touchdowns against 57 interceptions and a career completion percentage of 58.4. This season in two spot appearances, Orton is 3-5 for 40 yards and no scores or picks.

In week 17 the Dallas Cowboys host the Philadelphia Eagles in a game that will determine the winner of the NFC East. Philadelphia went into week 16 allowing the eighth most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks in standard scoring formats. On top of that, the Dallas defense is one of the worst in football and Philadelphia has the number two offense in the league. In a game that both teams need to win in order to make the playoffs, points will be scored by the Eagles and the Cowboys will have to score to keep up.

Orton will still have one of the premier pass catchers in Dez Bryant at his disposal, along with DeMarco Murray out of the backfield and Jason Witten in the middle, so there is talent around Orton to make plays. The Cowboys throw the ball on 63 percent of their offensive plays and head coach Jason Garrett has shown a propensity to abandon the running game on any given Sunday. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Orton attempt around 40 passes this weekend.

It will take a bold owner to start a backup in their fantasy Super Bowl, but we all saw Shaun Hill come in in relief of Matthew Stafford and light it up. Orton is a eight year veteran with 74 career games under his belt. Orton has the experience, the weapons and the right matchup on paper to have a successful fantasy day in week 17. It would take a bold owner to start him, but with the fantasy Super Bowl on the line, it is time to go big and bold or go home.

As always, I welcome your comments. If you think I’m wrong, I’m willing to listen. Just back it up with some facts and solid evidence. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.

Dustin Manko is an author at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DustinManko, ”Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

Read more from Dustin here.

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