by Ray Kuhn
Week 17 might be the most difficult week in which to set your lineup…
OK, that might be over dramatizing it just a bit, but it certainly is a difficult exercise. Unless teams are taking the field with playoff berths on the line, extreme caution is used with regards to injuries. It is unknown what kind of defense a team will put on the field, and that can very well have an impact on fantasy results as well. Let’s take a look at some injury situations that could potentially have an impact as you close out your season.
- After a few weeks of impatiently waiting, Aaron Rodgers is primed to return this week. It makes sense since the Packers are playing for the division this week, and up to this point they have been conservative with their star quarterback. Continue to monitor his status leading up the kickoff (just in case), but I would not have a problem inserting him back into your lineup. This also helps boost the status of Rodgers’ receivers as well as Eddie Lacy (if he plays, which as of now looks likely).
- Not only is Green Bay getting Rodgers back, but it also looks like Randall Cobb will be returning as well. I’m not sure how much the Packers will rely on Cobb, but he is sure to have at least a minimal impact on the game. If you have other options, which it is likely that you do, then I would try to stay away from Cobb with his role being unclear and Green Bay having a plethora of other options.
- I don’t think there is any doubt that Dez Bryant will be suiting up this week, and there should not be any questions about his fantasy status either. Of course we still have time before kickoff, so the situation does bear watching. The issue though, is that the Cowboys have the Sunday night game this week so I would try to handcuff Bryant with another available Dallas receiver if possible.
- Regardless of what the Cowboys had been circulating regarding Tony Romo, his season is over. That means Kyle Orton will be under center and also a decent option for someone looking to fill a hole at the quarterback position. The fact that Dallas is playing for something here and they are facing a forgiving defense also helps.
- Adrian Peterson says that he wants to, and will push to, play on Sunday. We know how that worked out two weeks ago, and in Week 17 I would expect the same result. Even if Peterson does play, I doubt he will touch the ball much more than 10-15 times. Toby Gerhart also looks like a no-go for Sunday, so Matt Asiata turns into a decent option. The yardage was not there two weeks ago, but he did score three times.
- Andre Brown seems to have recovered from his concussion last week, and is already back at practice. Brown appears ready to go for Sunday against the Redskins and their soft defense in a game that means nothing for either team. It will be interesting to see if the Giants come out with something to prove, but Brown stands to be a workhorse as New York evaluates him for next year.