2013 Fantasy Football Week 17 Strategy: Know The Implications

By Dustin Manko
Peyton Manning
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday I touched on the debate between fantasy football leagues that play 16 weeks versus leagues that play 17 weeks, you can read that here. If you are still playing in week 17, either in a consolation game or your league Super Bowl, odds are you have a player or two from a real life team that might have nothing to play for.

Everyone involved with football knows that if it was up to Peyton Manning, he would be on the field for every snap. However with the Denver Broncos playing the Oakland Raiders this weekend the game could get out of hand early, leading to Manning playing less than the full 60 minutes. Of course with playoff seeding on the line it is possible that all the Broncos that have fantasy football relevance play the full game, but I don’t think Oakland will have enough in the tank to keep it close all the way to the wire.

The Kansas City Chiefs (Jamaal Charles) are also in a similar spot. The Chiefs are locked in and have nothing to gain from week 17. If you are still playing and own Charles, are you willing to risk sitting him knowing that he could score an 80 yard touchdown? Are you willing to start him knowing that with nothing to gain from the game the Chiefs could very well shift touches from Charles to Knile Davis?

Starting players from teams that might not have anything to play for other than pride could be a risky strategy this week. The Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets have been eliminated and could very likely look to give some of the younger portion of the roster an increased workload to see if there are some pieces worth keeping over the summer. This could lead to reduced touches for a player like Cecil Shorts III.

The point here is that this week owners need to make sure that they understand what is happening with the real life teams. Players on the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles for example are playing for the division crown and the playoff spot that comes with it. The loser goes home. These players will undoubtedly be out there giving it everything. The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers are in the exact same situation. Those teams are evenly matched and all skill players from those rosters should be good to go all game.

In a way this all falls back to one of the oldest questions in fantasy football, do you start your studs regardless of the situation, or do you play the matchups and trust a sleeper? My number one rule for roster setting is to trust my gut. A close second would be to start your studs regardless of matchups. This week, however, before you lock in your lineup you need to know what exactly your fantasy players are playing for in real life.

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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