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Steelers' Wallace a lock; Hillis a big risk in Week 17

Scott Engel of breaks down all the Week 17 games from a fantasy perspective.

Miami at New England

Even in a week when you may have to replace another QB, Chad Henne is not recommended for fantasy usage. Brandon Marshall, however, has been playing well recently and should finish the season strong. Davone Bess is also a decent option considering the Patriots are not playing for anything in this one and will not turn up the defensive intensity. Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown have been mediocre all season and should only be used as stopgap players. Tom Brady should get enough playing time to post at least adequate numbers, and Rob Gronkowski should get some red zone targets in the first half. BenJarvus Green Ellis, Wes Welker and Deion Branch could all be conceivably scaled back, though, in terms of playing time, so reserve them if you have other players with similar value. Danny Woodhead could see a boost in reps and is a very good flex option.

Minnesota at Detroit

Joe Webb has already shown he can take what defenses give him, and he has some scrambling ability near the goal line, so he is a stopgap option or quality flex player if your league allows for it. The Detroit defense won't be the unit to corral him, and Webb will ensure that Percy Harvin posts at least decent numbers. Adrian Peterson quelled most concerns about his health on Tuesday and should be locked in. The Detroit RBs, Jahvid Best and Maurice Morris, are risky starts in any week, and should only be used if you are desperate. Shaun Hill is a nice filler if you need to replace another QB, and he will look for Brandon Pettigrew often. Nate Burleson becomes a nice sleeper if Calvin Johnson is limited or cannot play.

Carolina at Atlanta

Jonathan Stewart has been producing well against all levels of opposition, and you can lock him in for the season finale. Mike Goodson, however, is not getting enough quality touches to use him as a flex player. Michael Turner should explode statistically this week after a disappointing outing against the Saints. With Turner dominating, Matt Ryan will not have to put the ball up often enough to build an impressive statistical line. Ryan may not throw more than one TD pass as the Falcons pull away on the strength of their ground game and defense. Roddy White may only come through with adequate totals, and Tony Gonzalez is looking like a shell of his past self. Still, considering the opponent, there is absolutely no way you can reserve either one of them.

Oakland at Kansas City

With Darren McFadden hurting, you may see a lot of Michael Bush this week, and he can deliver good numbers against a Chiefs team that does not have much to play for. Bush has sometimes made the most of extensive playing time in the past and certainly will get some opportunities to score. Jason Campbell is yet another stopgap QB option for Week 17 and can throw more than one TD pass against a defense that may not turn up the heat to its usual levels. Jamaal Charles may play enough to help him lock up the rushing title, so keep him active. Thomas Jones, however, has been somewhat unreliable and is a risk to be rested. Don't take the risk of believing what coaches say publicly, and reserve Matt Cassel and Dwayne Bowe, who could play less than full games.

Pittsburgh at Cleveland

Don't assume the Steelers will blow the Browns out and all of their top offensive players will roll to big days. This is a divisional game and an intense rivalry, and the Browns will be ready to play spoilers and make Rashard Mendenhall work hard for his yardage while possibly keeping him out of the end zone. Ben Roethlisberger will be a solid, but unspectacular fantasy contributor, and Hines Ward has become very unreliable. Mike Wallace, however, should enjoy a big day as he shows why he deserved to be among those anointed with Pro Bowl status earlier this week. Peyton Hillis is obviously a risky start. He is banged up and faces a notoriously staunch run defense. The Browns have no players worthy of fantasy usage, even in a week when owners must scramble more than usual for viable replacements.

Buffalo at New York Jets

This game may have the look of a glorified exhibition tilt, yet you can extract a useful performer or two. Fred Jackson needs 108 rushing yards to reach 1,000, and will have a good chance to reach that goal against a Jets team that may save some energy and starter time for the playoffs. If Ryan Fitzpatrick cannot play or is less than his usual self, Steve Johnson could disappoint in Week 17. The Jets may rest LaDainian Tomlinson, and it is uncertain just how much work Shonn Greene will get, as New York may also want to conserve last season's playoff hero. Joe McKnight could see an increased workload, but is too unproven to use over a more established player. Mark Sanchez may not play a full game, and Santonio Holmes could be limited in reps. Braylon Edwards is also a risky start, as the Jets may feature a lot of reserves on offense for extensive periods.

Tampa Bay at New Orleans

Josh Freeman will come down hard after last week's superb performance, as he faces a much better secondary this time. Freeman does a nice job of limiting mistakes, but his final totals will only be adequate. Mike Williams and Kellen Winslow are playing too well to be reserved, though, especially in a week when quality starters are harder to come by. The Saints run defense looked sturdy in Week 16 and will prevent LeGarrette Blount from delivering another stellar performance. Still, Blount should come through with a decent statistical line. Pierre Thomas is running with renewed vigor and should be used with confidence. Drew Brees will spread the ball around very effectively, and with Marques Colston hurting, he will work to Robert Meachem and Lance Moore frequently. Jimmy Graham has become a consistent TD threat, and Brees will throw at least one scoring pass to him as the QB rolls up impressive numbers.

Cincinnati at Baltimore

Cedric Benson will be stuffed early and often, and Carson Palmer is due for a big crash after last week' surprising performance. Palmer will be forced into adverse passing situations, and will take some big hits while being pressured regularly. Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell are too unproven to use over more established WRs just yet. Jermaine Gresham may be the only productive Bengal this week. The Ravens will come out strong, and expect fine all-around totals from Ray Rice. Joe Flacco will take what the defense gives him, and will be efficient, but not spectacular. Anquan Boldin's run of disappointing outings may continue, yet Derrick Mason will be a solid start again. Todd Heap is also worth using in his hoped return to action.

Chicago at Green Bay

There is a very strong chance the Bears' postseason fate could be decided by the time this game starts, making Chicago's best offensive players risks for limited reps. Jay Cutler and Johnny Knox owners could be in for Week 17 frustrations, and Matt Forte could also be in danger of having his playing time reduced. The Packers need this one much more than the Bears. Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings will be among the very best players at their respective positions this week. James Jones and Jordy Nelson can be used as in larger leagues. Brandon Jackson has been mediocre for most of the season, but John Kuhn has become a much more effective goal-line option recently and can be used if you are desperately searching for RB help in this final week. The Chicago run defense will look much less formidable if some regulars are rested or limited later in the game.

New York Giants at Washington

The depleted Giants face a must-win situation, and Eli Manning will ride through an up and down performance. Mario Manningham is up to the challenge of being a No. 1 WR and should be started for sure, and Kevin Boss may see an increased role in the passing game. Ahmad Bradshaw will be ready to go and should deliver at least adequate totals. Brandon Jacobs has been unreliable, yet may come through with a TD as the Giants attempt to keep flickering postseason hopes alive. Rex Grossman should not be used as he will face a very aggressive New York front push. Santana Moss will catch some key completions, but do not expect much from Anthony Armstrong and Chris Cooley. Ryan Torain will finish with a respectable fantasy line, as he will not back down against New York's aggressive tacklers.

Jacksonville at Houston

With Trent Edwards at QB, it appears unlikely that the Jaguars can take full advantage of the "friendly" matchup against Houston's pass defense. Mike Thomas should not be used over a more consistent WR, and Rashad Jennings could face stacked fronts that will lead to another disappointing outing. Marcedes Lewis, however, should still be used, as Edwards will look to him as a "safe" receiver. Arian Foster should finish the season strong, and Matt Schaub will continue to gun the ball effectively as he closes the schedule out. Jacoby Jones will be a good start again as a likely fill-in for Andre Johnson, and Owen Daniels will be targeted often with satisfying results.

Dallas at Philadelphia

The Eagles will be full proof of why Week 17 fantasy Super Bowls are a bad idea. There will be no Michael Vick, no DeSean Jackson, and many other starters might be reserved or limited in their reps. If you are desperate for QB help, you can turn to Kevin Kolb, who faces a vulnerable Cowboys defense. Kolb also has a lot to prove in a possible one-game showcase that could land him a starting job elsewhere next season. Jason Avant is a nice sleeper play, as he may see significantly increased playing time this week. With Stephen McGee starting for Dallas, the Week 17 outlooks for Miles Austin and the Cowboys RBs become more bleak. The Eagles can not only load up against the run, they may also move out to a big lead and render the Dallas RBs useless. Austin has much less of a chance of catching a TD pass. Continue to roll with Jason Witten, though, as the young QB will use him often on "safe" throws.

Tennessee at Indianapolis

Look for the Titans to put up a fight in this one as they try to play the spoiler. Chris Johnson will finish the season strong, and Kerry Collins will complete high percentage throws to Kenny Britt and Jared Cook. Johnson and Britt will help keep the Titans in the game for awhile. Eventually, though, the Tennessee defense will wilt. Peyton Manning will drill the Titans for more than two TD passes and over 300 yards. Expect a vintage performance from Reggie Wayne, and Pierre Garcon will also be a very good fantasy producer this week. Blair White and Jacob Tamme will also see opportunities to haul in scoring passes. The Indianapolis passing game will be a terrific source of fantasy numbers this week, but the running backs simply are not dependable. If you must go with a Colts ball carrier, Joseph Addai offers the best chance of a score and could be ready for an increased role from last week.

San Diego at Denver

This game will be viewed as the Ryan Mathews coming-out party. The promising rookie is looking healthy again, and will flash the form that is going to make him such a "sexy" fantasy pick in 2011. Philip Rivers will not finish with outstanding numbers, yet you can look for him to toss a TD pass to Vincent Jackson. If the Chargers actually had something to play for this week, Tim Tebow could be viewed as a risky starter. Tebow and the Broncos have nothing to lose by taking an aggressive approach, and more than one TD pass is very possible. Brandon Lloyd will finish the season with another impressive performance. The day will belong to the rookies, though, and fantasy owners should not hesitate to start Mathews or Tebow.

Arizona at San Francisco

This may be the least appealing game of the week, as even fantasy leaguers cannot find much to extract here. Larry Fitzgerald should still be started, though, as John Skelton has done a pretty good job of getting him the ball overall since he took over at QB. The Cardinals RBs cannot be expected to fare well against the San Francisco RBs. Reserve Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells. Brian Westbrook becomes useful against a very vulnerable Arizona run defense. Alex Smith should not be used, regardless of matchup, but he will get the ball to Vernon Davis, who remains a must-start. Michael Crabtree flashed his better form in Week 16, but is always a significant risk to disappoint statistically when Alex Smith is at QB.

St. Louis at Seattle

The Rams are simply the better team, and will impose their will on offense. Sam Bradford will throw more than one TD pass against a very soft Seattle pass defense. Start Danario Alexander and Danny Amendola with confidence, as both players are capable of finishing with satisfying stat lines. Brandon Gibson is also a real threat to catch a deep ball or two. Steven Jackson will wear down the defense in the second half and expect him to score. Charlie Whitehurst may crumble under the pressure very quickly, and the turnovers will mount. He will not be able to get the ball to Mike Williams enough, and Marshawn Lynch will be throttled early, and taken out of the mix later on if the Seahawks fall behind. Avoid Seattle players, and the Rams defense will be a very good unit to use in Week 17.

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