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You can be sure Denver and San Diego starters aren't resting

There is a reason most fantasy leagues end on Week 16 -- because Week 17 is often a mess, and not something on which a fantasy championship should be based. This year is no exception.

The playoff seedings for several teams are already established, so expect the starters on several teams to play very little, if at all. That means you may need a plug-in to fill out your roster. With that in mind, here are my suggestions for Week 17 (other than convincing your league's commissioner to make your fantasy season end in Week 16 next year).

All Packers. And I mean all. After all, they play the Lions at home, and although the Packers are out of the playoff chase, they do not want to be the team that loses to the Lions. I've watched more Detroit games than I care to admit, and trust me -- they are as bad as their defensive stats reflect. Last week, four different Saints had rushing touchdowns. Four. Hence, play all your usual Packers (Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Ryan Grant) and don't be afraid to roll with Brandon Jackson (or Deshawn Wynn if Jackson doesn't play), Mason Crosby, the defense, Donald Lee... basically everyone but the water boy. If it's windy, I'd reconsider on Lee and Driver, but wind would make me like their defense even more.

Jeff Garcia, QB, Buccaneers. The Bucs are still fighting for a playoff spot and are playing at home against the Raiders. That's a nice combination. Plus, weather is not an issue in Tampa. The Raiders actually showed a little life last week, and I like that -- it may force Garcia to keep throwing and the Bucs to keep scoring.

Cedric Benson, RB, Bengals. I hate Benson as much as the next guy, but he is the undisputed feature back on a Bengals team that gets the anemic Chiefs run defense this week. If weather is a factor in Cincinnati, which is quite possible, expect Benson to get a ton of carries again.

Jerious Norwood, RB, Falcons. The Falcons love to run, especially at home. This week, against a porous Rams defense, with a playoff spot on the line, expect the Falcons to build a big lead and for Norwood to capitalize on the extra carries.

Darren Sproles, RB, Chargers. Sproles may seem like a reach, and depending on the depth of your league, he may be. But there should be a lot of scoring in that Broncos-Chargers game. Plus, the Broncos' defense has been awful all year, and weather won't slow the Chargers in San Diego.

Fred Jackson, RB, Bills. As a Bills fan, trust me -- Jackson is good. If Marshawn Lynch sits this week, which seems likely, Jackson is a better option than you think. That said, the Bills never play well against New England, and the Patriots have far more at stake than the Bills this week.

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Eddie Royal, WR, Broncos. The Broncos will throw a lot against the Chargers, who have been at the bottom of the league against the pass all year long. There should be a ton of points in this game, with both teams going all out to win, and weather won't be a factor.

Mark Clayton, WR, Ravens. As a deep threat, Clayton is hit or miss. In a must-win game against a bad Jaguars defense, Clayton's chances of a "hit" are better than they've been in recent weeks when the Ravens have played some tough defenses. If you need upside in your lineup this week, i.e. because your opponent's team is stacked, give Clayton a whirl.

Tony Scheffler, TE, Broncos. San Diego has been terrible against tight ends all season long. With a division title on the line and the injuries among the Broncos' running backs, expect Jay Cutler to be throwing early and often. I like Scheffler's chances of scoring this week.

Bucs D/ST. Do the Bucs have any pride at all? With a playoff berth on the line this week, at home against the Raiders, expect a rebound. If I had to pick one guy to have a pick-six this week, it's Ronde Barber.

Mark Stopa is a fantasy writer for For more information, please visit

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