If you’re reading this article, you’re probably in one of those fantasy leagues that play all 17 weeks. On the plus side, you get one more week of fantasy football fun. However, that could also be a problem if your star players play for teams that have already solidified their playoff seed and are therefore resting a lot of their usual starters. Thankfully, that shouldn’t affect many people this year. There are still matchups to consider, however, so first let’s take a look at the bad ones.

Adrian Peterson had a quiet game in Cincinnati this past Sunday and when you factor in his lingering injury concerns and a relatively tough game against Detroit in a game that doesn’t count for anything, it is highly unlikely he’ll play this week. Even if he’s active, proceed with extreme caution.

Steven Jackson is another one to sit this week. Facing a Carolina defense that only allowed him 57 yards in week 9, Jackson should have very little room to run this Sunday. He’s also working with short rest this week because of the Monday game so don’t expect huge results.

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Sure, you got a few points out of him last week, but if you want to win your league championship game, you need to bench Jamaal Charles.

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Benching a player just because someone told you it’s the right thing to do is the fantasy football equivalent of jumping off a bridge because your friend told you to. If you even considered benching Charles after reading that first sentence, you need to get outside more. This is your team. As I’ve said all season, if you have a good feeling about someone, start them! Sure, Adrian Peterson is coming off an injury and has a tough matchup in Cincinnati, but are you going to bench the guy you likely drafted in the first round or traded some serious talent to acquire? Of course not! Sure, Zac Stacy has a tough game against Tampa Bay this week, but he’s done great things against tough defenses before and the Rams are handing him the rock often so there’s no way you can bench him now.

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All season long, I’ve been talking about matchups with an opposing team, but what about an opposing weather condition? Fantasy owners who started Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, or Reggie Bush were likely all salivating at the Lions’ matchup with the Eagles, but Bush was a very late scratch after slipping on the field while both Stafford and Johnson failed to get anything going all afternoon. Even kickers, who are usually fairly immune to any real matchup concerns, should almost always be benched when there’s snow coming down.

Sometimes you even need to get more specific. A downhill runner who plows straight through defenses is going to have a lot more success in rough weather than an elusive runner who relies on fancy footwork to shake tackles. LeSean McCoy may very well be the exception to that rule, but he also adjusted his running style for the weather; something Reggie Bush is less capable of and part of the reason the Lions didn’t bother risking him playing in an important game.

I can’t predict the weather and if you ask anyone in Philadelphia, neither can the people whose job it is to do so, but this late into the fantasy season, it is absolutely critical that you check the field conditions prior to kickoff. That being said, there are still football matchups to talk about.

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It’s playoff time for many fantasy leagues and that means every game counts just a little bit more than it did before. For players like Adrian Peterson, a tough matchup against Baltimore doesn’t mean you should sit him, but it does mean you may want to look at your other positions and consider that boom or bust option over the guaranteed 6-8 point play.

Riley Cooper, for instance, is in a great matchup against Detroit and has all kinds of potential for a huge game (see: weeks 9 and 10). However, the past two weeks, Foles has been looking elsewhere. Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker are likely safer options thanks to Manning throwing them the ball, but against Tennessee’s unbelievably consistent pass defense, their chances for a score are minimal. Therefore, when faced with that kind of decision in a playoff scenario, Cooper might just be your ticket to the final 4.

Roddy White and Harry Douglas are similar plays this week. After White’s fantastic 10 catches for 143 yards, I think it’s safe to say he’s feeling better, but Douglas is equally capable of a big week and Matt Ryan can’t throw to both of them on every down. Still, if faced with the choice between either Atlanta receiver against Green Bay or someone like Julian Edelman who has been great the past two weeks, but could start to see some extra coverage when Cleveland comes to town, White and Douglas offer higher ceilings.

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For many fantasy football leagues, this is the week that decides whether or not you’re in the playoffs. The good news is that a lot of the top tier talent has fantastic matchups. Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, Matt Forte, and Frank Gore were likely all taken in the first or early second round at the beginning of the season and if you were smart/lucky enough to draft them then, they are sure to guide you to victory this week. There are exceptions to that, of course, but you didn’t draft them quite as early.

Knowshon Moreno only gained 79 yards against Kansas City two weeks ago and this week he faces them again, this time nursing a bone bruise somewhere around his ankle. The injury doesn’t sound serious, but the matchup is. If you’re comfortable with 8 points from your RB2/3 then go ahead and start him, but don’t count on a huge week from the Denver feature back.

Le’Veon Bell is in a very similar position to Moreno. In week 7, he had less than 10 fantasy points against Baltimore’s tough run defense. This week he travels to Baltimore to face them again. He’s clearly the workhorse for the Steelers so he’s difficult to sit, but he’s unlikely for a score in a crucial week for fantasy teams.

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Although there are plenty of players capable of rising above a bad matchup, terms like “Revis Island” would not exist if it wasn’t at least somewhat true. Take T.Y. Hilton, for instance. After the loss of Reggie Wayne, Hilton has been an incredible asset for fantasy owners, but put him up against the Titans’ defense and suddenly he’s scoring less than 5 fantasy points. He should have a slightly easier time against Arizona this weekend, but I mean it when I say slightly. Cecil Shorts is a talented guy and he only managed 22 yards against Arizona last Sunday so start Hilton if you need him, but don’t expect WR1 production.

Speaking of Tennessee’s defense, they travel to Oakland this week and that makes the Raiders’ WRs unplayable. Rod Streater had a great outing this past weekend and Denarius Moore has been pretty consistent this weekend, but there are much better options this week.

Another consistent WR this year has been Antonio Brown, but this is definitely the week to sell high on him. Brown is still worth starting in many leagues. He hasn’t scored below six fantasy points in standard scoring leagues yet this season. However, Joe Haden is a special talent. If you were to rattle off a few receivers more talented than Antonio Brown, A.J. Green might be one of the people you list and Green was held to two catches for seven yards with Haden as his shadow. You never want to bench your best guys, but depending on your available options, you will want to consider it with Brown this week.

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Both Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green are in tough matchups this week, but you’re going to play them anyway. Why? They’re just too talented to bench. Baltimore is incredibly good at protecting against the run, but that won’t stop you from starting Matt Forte will it? Probably not. There are just some players you have to start regardless of their matchup, but that list is pretty short, so here are some players that aren’t on that list.

Steven Jackson has so much potential! After a decent performance in New Orleans week 1, Jackson has been a huge disappointment ever since, thanks to his injury. There are better scenarios ahead, but against a surprisingly decent Tampa Bay run defense, you shouldn’t expect much from him this week. Consider him a low end flex play until next week…when the Saints come marching in.

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So you need to find a temporary replacement for Aaron Rodgers huh? Is no one safe anymore? Luckily, there are some QBs with pretty solid matchups this week that might be available to you. Jake Locker plays Jacksonville and we all know how great Jacksonville has been this year. There’s also Eli Manning who plays against Oakland. I’m not saying he’s gonna light up Oakland like Nick Foles did this past weekend, but I’ve done some research on this Eli guy and it turns out he has two Super Bowl rings so he should be competent enough. Also, speaking of Foles, he’s still available in well over half of leagues out there and against a Green Bay team that has given up a lot of points this year and won’t have Aaron Rodgers to eat up the clock, Foles should have plenty of time to throw another 7 TDs, or at least maybe 3.

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Jason Avant was the second best receiver for Philadelphia with 54 receiving yards, but as soon as Vick came out of the game, I knew it was curtains for my run of great sleeper picks. That just means it’s time to start a new one! Keep reading to find out who it will be.

After missing the last two weeks, it seems as though DeMarco Murray is ready for action once again and he’s in a fantastic matchup to kick things off. Since it sounds like the Cowboys were playing it safe with Murray this past weekend by keeping him off the field for an extra week, expect big things from him once again.

Chris Johnson is also in a great matchup this week. In fact, with a bunch of easy matchups for the rest of the season, Johnson might actually be someone you want to target in a trade. Don’t sell the farm to get him, but if he’s already on your team, he’s a must start this week.

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With Nick Foles showing the world why Michael Vick was the starting quarterback for Philadelphia, Reggie Wayne tearing his ACL, Doug Martin injuring his shoulder (DO NOT DROP HIM YET), and the future of both Arian Foster and Ben Tate now up in the air following their bye week, this week has been a mess, but we still have to press on. Here are your bad and good matchups for week 8.

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