Hope everyone is having a happy and safe holiday season. If you're reading this column, that means you have fantasy football decisions to make in Week 17. Before discussing featured matchups, two general points:
1. It might be time to either replace your commissioner or find another league. No one should ever have their fantasy fortunes depend on players resting for next week's playoff game or tee time.
2. When in doubt, leave them out. If a team has nothing (or very little) to play for this week, don't take the risk of having its players in your lineup -- provided you have a viable alternative. And don't even bother trying to read the tea leaves because coaches lie about it all the time. On Sunday, those teams are the Ravens, Bengals, Colts, Broncos and Falcons. Also keep in mind that, if the Packers win their 1 p.m. game, then the 49ers and Seahawks won't be vying for a first-round bye in their 4:15 p.m. games. They will still be battling for the NFC West division title, but home games against relative cupcakes make early big leads -- and the starter exits that come with them -- more likely.
You won't see any players from those teams in the tables, and there's no "elite players" table because that designation becomes a bit laughable when so many are either not playing at all or not playing for very long. With that bit of clarification out of the way, here are the featured fantasy matchups for Week 17:
Eli Manning (plus-2 points)
Last season, the Giants needed a win at home over a division rival in Week 17 to make the playoffs. Manning went in with an average of 20.0 fantasy points per game, and scored 30.7 against the No. 20 pass defense according to DVOA. This season, the Giants need a win at home over a divisional rival in Week 17 to make the playoffs, Manning has a 16.1-point average and faces Football Outsiders' No. 26 pass defense.