Driven Stronger: Rodgers ready for NFC North bout


Most fantasy football championships have passed, but for those of you still playing here is a list of players who should be Driven Stronger to perform in Week 17. Whether they are hoping to bounce-back, face a great matchup or want to silence critics, each should have a little extra something to propel them to the tops of the fantasy ranks one last time.

Quarterback -- Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers was in here last week, and responded with a 300-plus yard, one-touchdown game. Still, it wasn't up to typical Rodgers standards, and with the NFC North crown (and a first-round bye) at stake in this Sunday's matchup with the Detroit Lions, he should have plenty of reason to deliver a prototypical Rodgers performance at Lambeau Field.

Running back -- Justin Forsett

Like Rodgers, Forsett was in this space last week as well, only he didn't perform. Forsett was stymied by the Houston defense, but with a trip to the playoffs on the line in Week 17 against a porous Browns rush defense, Forsett should deliver.

Running back -- Mark Ingram

Ingram (and the whole Saints offense) struggled last week even though they had a great matchup against the Falcons. This week, Ingram will be trying to put a bow on his breakout season in the hopes of helping him secure a long-term contract this offseason. Look for him to deliver on Sunday.

Wide receiver -- DeAndre Hopkins

Hopkins had been ending his breakout season on a high note, but the recent injuries to his quarterbacks slowed down his progress. Now, with the playoffs on the line and Case Keenum having more reps, look for Nuk to bounce back and try to help carry the Texans to the postseason.

Wide receiver -- Kelvin Benjamin

Benjamin has slowed down a tad, racking up fewer than 60 yards receiving in three of the last four games. However, Cam Newton has returned to the lineup after a scary car accident, and with the NFC South title on the line you can bet that Cam will be looking to his talented rookie early and often.

Tight end -- Travis Kelce

Kelce had been on a roll for the Chiefs, racking up 169 receiving yards and a touchdown in the two games prior to his 31-yard stinker last week. The Chiefs (like many of the teams featured in this column) are battling for a playoff spot, so there's a good chance Kelce will have a little extra juice to motivate him on Sunday.

Kicker -- Steven Hauschka

Hauschka only scored five points last weekend, partly because his offense scored five touchdowns. That being said, there's a good chance the Seahawks are forced to kick a few more field goals this weekend when the Rams talented defense comes to town.

Defense/Special teams -- Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals defense sacked Russell Wilson seven times in their first meeting. The second time around? Not so much. The Cardinals are already in the postseason, but look for the Birdgang to get back on track against the 49ers on Sunday and make a statement before heading to the big dance.

-- Alex Gelhar is a fantasy and features writer at Follow him on Twitter @AlexGelhar.