This is it. The final week of fantasy football is upon us. There has been a lot of news leading up to Week 17. Running backs have been ruled out, quarterbacks and wide receivers are making their returns to the field and the NFC division winners will be decided. There is one more important thing — fantasy football champions will be crowned. While may leagues ended last week, a lot of leagues finish up this Sunday.
With all the news that came out over the last 24 hours, here are three players that could be inserted into starting lineups that should remain on the bench (or even the waiver wire).
Matt Asiata: Asiata will be starting again in Week 17. Both Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart are ruled out for the final game of the season. The last time Asiata took the field, he rushed 30 times for 51 yards, but it was the three touchdowns that surprised a lot of fans.
Unfortunately, he will most likely not be able to score three times again. The Detroit Lions allow 13.8 fantasy points to opposing running backs, eighth-best in the league. Asiata is only owned in 1.2 percent of ESPN.com leagues. So if you own Peterson, there should be better options on the waiver wire.
Randall Cobb: The Green Bay Packers are back to full health. Aaron Rodgers will be under center and Cobb will be activated from the injury reserve. Cobb missed 10 games with a broken fibula, so it remains to be seen how much playing time he will actually get.
Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Jarrett Boykin are all ahead of him on the depth chart. He’s owned in close to 60 percent of leagues and is worth a deep keeper-league stash, but should not be in any starting lineups this week. The Chicago Bears allow 20.4 fantasy points to wide receivers, 14th-best in the league.
Ray Rice: A first-round draft pick, Rice has been held scoreless in his last five games. He’s listed as questionable with a thigh and hip injury. The Baltimore Ravens are playing for a spot in the playoffs, so I expect Rice to play. However, he is the 27th-ranked fantasy running back, so you may have better options.
If that doesn’t help, the Cincinnati Bengals are the third-best defense against running backs. The last time Rice played the Bengals, he was held to 30 rushing yards on 16 carries. If you made it to the championship with Rice on your bench, you’re better off leaving him there on Sunday.
Bill Pivetz is a fantasy football writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @Mr_Piv1127.