Fantasy Football Week 17: Players Set to Explode on Season's Final Sunday

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IDecember 27, 2012

Dec 2, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) on the field during warm ups before the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys beat the Eagles 38-33. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Week 17 of the fantasy football season is every bit as unpredictable as opening week. Sure, the numbers and trends are there to analyze in December unlike in September, but while some players and teams are playing for a shot at the playoffs, others are gearing up for a winter vacation. 

With league championships on the line this weekend, aspiring fantasy owners must look to their stars with the best matchups and the most to play for in Week 17.

Taking those two things into account, let's break down a trio of players set to explode on the season's final Sunday.


C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills, RB

Spiller and the Bills will be pitted against the reeling New York Jets in Week 17, the same team that Spiller rushed for 169 yards against back in Week 1.

The good news for Spiller owners this weekend is that the Jets' rush defense is still putrid, giving up 4.4 yards per carry and over 135 yards per game on the ground. Plus, Spiller has been on a tear as of late, rushing for a combined 241 yards over the last two weeks.

Spiller's recent success on the ground has been sparked by more carries. He's had 39 attempts over his last two games, and is averaging more than six yards every time Buffalo hands it off to him.

Look for another 100-plus-yard effort from Spiller this weekend against New York.


Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears, WR

The Bears need a win and help to get into the playoffs this winter, and there's nothing formidable about the Detroit Lions' secondary. 

Expect Chicago wideout Brandon Marshall to get plenty of looks on Sunday in Detroit, as the Bears look to roll over the fading Lions, giving themselves the best shot they can to make the postseason. Detroit looks to have given up this season, having dropped seven straight overall.

In Marshall's first meeting with the Lions this season, he caught six balls for 81 yards and a score.

But don't be surprised if Marshall doubles his touchdown count in Week 17. He'll be playing inside a dome and has an obvious size advantage that he brings onto the field week in and week out.


Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys, QB

Tony Romo can change the perception on Sunday night against the Washington Redskins, and the best news for his fantasy owners is that he's set to go up against one of the worst secondaries in football.

Washington's pass defense ranks 30th in the NFL this season, and is surrendering nearly 290 yards and two touchdowns through the air per week. Through 16 weeks, only six other NFL teams are giving up more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than the Redskins.

Romo has thrown for 757 yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions over his last two games. Therefore, fantasy owners should be looking to start the surging signal-caller in Week 17. 

Win or lose, Romo is primed for another 300-plus-yard, two-touchdown effort on Sunday.


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