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Week 17 is always tough to decipher who will play and who will rest. You can be assured that the Texans and the Packers will rest players with no chance to move up or down in the seedings but putting in their backups can be precarious as well at times. For teams completely out of it you can feel good about the starters playing if they are healthy. If they aren’t 100% healthy there is a good chance they’ll sit. I’ll go through the scenarios below and guess on if teams will want to play their starters or not.

AFC

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS vs BUF – 1 PM

New England clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs and 1-seed:

1) NE win vs. BUF

2) BAL loss at CIN + PIT loss at CLE

They will play all out since Baltimore and Pittsburgh both play in the afternoon.

NEW YORK JETS @ MIA – 1 PM

NY Jets clinch a wild card spot and 6-seed and visits HOU in the wildcard round:

1) NYJ win at MIA + CIN loss vs. BAL + TEN loss at HOU + OAK loss vs. SD

2) NYJ win at MIA + CIN loss vs. BAL + TEN loss at HOU + DEN loss vs. KC

They will play all out in the early game since they won’t know their fate.

TENNESSEE TITANS @ HOU – 1 PM

Tennessee clinches a wild card spot and 6-seed and returns to HOU in the wildcard round:

1) TEN win at HOU + CIN loss vs. BAL + NYJ win at MIA + OAK loss vs. SD

2) TEN win at HOU + CIN loss vs. BAL + NYJ win at MIA + DEN loss vs. KC

3) TEN win at HOU + CIN loss vs. BAL + NYJ loss at MIA + OAK win vs. SD + DEN win vs. KC

They will play all out no matter and Houston should be resting many starters.

HOUSTON TEXANS vs TEN – 1 PM

They are the 3-seed regardless of outcome.

They will most likely rest starters. Ben Tate could see a good amount of work but I could see him losing time to Derrick Ward.

BALTIMORE RAVENS @ CIN – 4:15 PM

Baltimore clinches AFC North Division, a first-round bye and the 2-seed:

1) BAL win at CIN

2) PIT loss at CLE

Baltimore clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs at 1-seed:

1) BAL win at CIN + NE loss vs. BUF

They will play all out since the Steelers play at the same time and should be able to beat Cleveland anyway.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS – 4:15

Pittsburgh clinches AFC North Division, a first-round bye and 2-seed:

1) PIT win at CLE + BAL loss at CIN

Pittsburgh clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs and 1-seed:

1) PIT win at CLE + BAL loss at CIN + NE loss vs. BUF

Pittsburgh is the wildcard and 5-seed and visits DEN or OAK in wildcard round

1) PIT loss at CLE

2) PIT win at CLE + BAL win at CIN

Like the Ravens they will play their starters since they play at the same time as the Ravens. News on Ben Roethlisberger’s status is slim right now. Keep an eye on it because Batch means a lot of Mendenhall in a nice matchup.

DENVER BRONCOS – 4:15 PM

Denver clinches AFC West Division and 4-seed:

1) DEN win vs. KC

2) OAK loss vs. SD

The AFC West thankfully is in the west so these games are at the same time and Denver won’t know if Oakland is going to win or lose. The starters will play.

OAKLAND RAIDERS – 4:15 PM

Oakland clinches AFC West Division and 4-seed:

1) OAK win vs. SD + DEN loss vs. KC

Oakland clinches a wild card spot and 6-seed and visits HOU in the wildcard round:

1) OAK win vs. SD + CIN loss vs. BAL + TEN loss at HOU

2) OAK win vs. SD + CIN loss vs. BAL + NYJ win at MIA

The Raiders will play all out. Darren McFadden may be back for this one. Ass.

 CINCINNATI BENGALS vs. BAL – 4:15 PM

Cincinnati clinches a wild card spot and 6-seed and visits HOU in the wildcard round:

1) CIN win vs. BAL

2) NYJ loss at MIA + OAK loss vs. SD

3) NYJ loss at MIA + DEN loss vs. KC

If they win they are in and none of the crazy back door scenarios could happen before they play, so they will all play.

NFC

GREEN BAY PACKERS vs DET - 1 PM

They’ve clinched home field throughout NFC Playoffs and 1-seed.

They will rest their starters much of the game. Matt Flynn could be useful but will be without some weapons. Randall Cobb would be my choice in this one.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS @ STL – 1 PM

San Francisco clinches a first-round bye and 2-seed:

1) SF win at STL

2) NO loss vs. CAR

They will play all out for that #2 seed. The Saints should be able to beat the Panthers so the Niners will need to win.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS vs CAR – 1 PM

New Orleans clinches a first-round bye and 2-seed:

1) NO win vs. CAR + SF loss or tie at STL

New Orleans is the 3-seed:

1) NO loss vs. CAR

2) NO win or tie vs. CAR + SF win at STL

The Saints should play most of this one out. The 49ers should easily be able to beat the Rams and I could see the Saints doing some scoreboard watching but since they play at the same time I don’t see them letting up unless the Niners get out to a huge lead which they don’t do that often.

DETROIT LIONS @ GB – 1 PM

  Detroit is the 5-seed and visits DAL or NYG in wildcard round:

1) DET win at GB

2) ATL loss vs. TB

Detroit is the 6-seed and visits NO/SF in wildcard round

1) DET loss at GB + ATL win vs. TB

Green Bay will rest their starters. Rodgers and company may come in for a bit but they will rest for most of the game. Detroit most likely needs to win not to face the Saints in the dome so they should go all out. Play them with confidence.

ATLANTA FALCONS vs TB – 4:15 PM

Atlanta is the 5-seed and visits DAL or NYG in wildcard round:

1) ATL win vs. TB + DET loss at GB

Atlanta is the 6-seed and visits NO/SF in wildcard round

1) ATL loss vs. TB

2) ATL win vs. TB + DET win at GB

This one is precarious. If Green Bay loses in the early game, which they very well might since Detroit has something to play for and they don’t, Atlanta could easily be locked in to the 6th seed and rest their starters.

NEW YORK GIANTS vs DAL – 8:20 PM

NY Giants clinch NFC East Division and 4-seed:

1) NYG win or tie vs. DAL

DALLAS COWBOYS @ NYG – 8:20 PM

Dallas clinches NFC East Division at 4-seed:

1) DAL win at NYG

Both the Giants and Cowboys of course will play all out here in this early playoff game. Tony Romo looks like he will be able to go in this one. Ass.

From Around The Web

  1. Howard says:
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    @Doc Who do you think would be the best two starts at RB: Felix Jones, Khalil Bell, Cedric Benson, Kevin Smith or Toby Gerhart? Thanks, one more to go!

  2. anthony says:
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    Hey doc.
    I’m in the championship and stuck with arian and lesean the whole season.
    Now arian looks like he will not play much and lesean is hurt.

    I have a claim on bell and ronnie brown, but I have beanie in my bench.
    I know that I will start 3 recievers for sure. (Calvin Welker Percy)
    But I’m having trouble with the running backs. What do u think?
    Btw I have a 20 pt. Lead since it is a 2 week per round set up.

  3. Mike says:
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    Thoughts on Julio Jones playing time? To me a tough call since I would think they would want to give the rookie playing time regardless.

  4. Ricardo B says:
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    Hey, just wanted to thank you and Razzball in general for helping my two teams “WhiteKnuckle Fever” and “Shanahananigans” to sweet sweet Championship victory! Seriously, you guys were pretty much my only stop during the week to get up to date. Keep up the great work!

  5. nerdrock911 says:
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    Yo Doc!

    Championship’s isn’t the line here. I need to get the most outta my QB so who should I start? Webb/Brees/Romo? Also got two open Flex positions, Blount/Hunter/Royster/Helu/D. Thomas/ Grant/J. Ford/Simpson?

    Thanks!

  6. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @nerdrock911: Brees, Royster or Helu depending on health and Thomas

    @Ricardo B: Glad to help. Congrats!

    @Mike: I doubt he plays much if Detroit wins. Rest and staying away from injury is more important.

    @anthony: I’d lean Bell and Beanie right now.

    @Howard: Bell and Gerhart

  7. heluhelu says:
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    Thanks for all your help. You guys have been great and can’t wait to read all your baseball stuff.
    I need your help one last question for this football season: which 3 rbs should I start for the closing week: McCoy(injury?), Hillis(Balt D), Royster, Tate, or Felix Jones? It’s a 1 pt PPR, .5 per carry, distance scoring league . Bonus pts after 100yds.
    Thanks again and Happy New Year!

  8. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @heluhelu: I’d go Jones, Hillis and McCoy if he practices tomorrow. Good luck!

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