December 2016


It worked out for the 2015 Denver Broncos, who rode that fortune to a title. The Lions have had one decisive win all season, Week 13 at New Orleans, and eight close wins. This week the Lions get the Packers at home, with the winner taking the NFC North crown, and it seems like two teams going in opposite directions.
If you are still playing fantasy football in Week 17, there is only one question to ask yourself: Why? In the final week of the NFL regular season, teams that have clinched playoff berths and cannot significantly change their seeding will often rest their starters to preserve them for the postseason. There is no point in playing in Week 17 when important starters are unavailable and the results become skewed.
A healthy Andrew Luck was supposed to lead the Indianapolis Colts back to the playoffs. A maturing Blake Bortles and a young, improving defense were supposed to put the Jacksonville Jaguars back in the AFC South title chase. ''If you can't figure out why you're playing, then you probably shouldn't be playing,'' Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri said.
It's not the biggest game in the history of Ford Field, though it's probably the biggest that's actually involved the Detroit Lions. The Lions, however, have never had an opportunity in the building quite like this weekend, when they host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night with a chance to win Detroit's first division title since 1993. Whoever wins this game takes the NFC North, and whoever loses could be out of the playoffs.
It'll be a long night for the Washington Redskins on Sunday, even if they beat the New York Giants at home in the afternoon. The Redskins face a virtual win and get into the playoffs scenario in their regular-season finale, with one hitch. If the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions play to a tie Sunday night, those teams make it and the Redskins don't.
Evan Silva analyzes the Matchups for every fantasy-relevant player in every Week 17 game.
DeMarcus Ware was likened to a vintage Ferrari that simply needed new brakes. There's certainly nothing wrong with the motor of the 34-year-old Denver Broncos pass rush specialist, though. Ware is scheduled to have surgery Friday to repair a ruptured disk, ending what's been an injury-filled season.
The New York Giants had just finished calisthenics and were about to break into group workouts when something out of the ordinary happened at practice Thursday. For a few seconds it seemed like rookie coach Ben McAdoo would be delivering a message, just three days before the playoff-bound Giants (10-5) are to face the Washington Redskins on the road in the regular-season finale. Seconds later when a few players shifted their locations, it was obvious that the guy who had their attention was linebacker and defensive captain Jonathan Casillas.
Bad form for the AFC, which has all six of its playoff qualifiers determined heading into the final Sunday of the schedule. The sharpest spotlights will be in the nation's capital in the afternoon, then in the Motor City at night. If the Redskins beat the Giants, then the loser between the Packers and Lions won't get into the postseason.
Mixing and matching safeties since late last season, the Washington Redskins have no choice but to use a safety-by-committee approach in their must-win regular season finale. With their playoff hopes riding on beating the New York Giants on Sunday - as long as the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions don't tie - the Redskins are likely to start one converted cornerback and a Week 1 healthy scratch at the safety positions. Season-ending injuries to David Bruton, DeAngelo Hall and veteran addition Donte Whitner mean Washington will lean heavily on Will Blackmon, Duke Ihenacho and even special teams ace Deshazor Everett against the Giants.

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