FFL Statbook: Week 17 Game by Game

Originally Published: December 30, 2004
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN Games Fantasy Edge
N.Y. Jets at St. Louis: This is a must-win game for the Rams, although the Jets want to win so they don't have to rely on other teams losing to earn a playoff berth. ... RB Curtis Martin has rushed for 100-plus yards in four of his last five games against NFC opponents, and he has 562 yards and four TDs during that five-game span. He'll get a heavy workload against a Rams team that has allowed an average 125.0 rushing yards with four TDs in its last five games, two of which came against rushing offenses ranked in the bottom 10 in the league. Expect big things from Martin, who has an outside chance at becoming the oldest player in NFL history to lead the league in rushing yards. ... The Rams have lost all three games against AFC foes this season and have played from behind in most of those contests, neutralizing the fantasy appeal of RB Marshall Faulk. Faulk has managed just 242 all-purpose yards and no scores in those three games, and he'll be facing a Jets team ranked seventh against the run (101.3). RB Steven Jackson should again be lurking to steal carries from Faulk, and it's best to avoid the veteran based upon the matchup.

San Francisco at New England: RB Kevan Barlow is about the only 49ers player a fantasy owner would consider using, and even he's too risky. Even with his respectable Week 16 outing, he still ranked just 17th in FFL points (13). Barlow now faces a Patriots defense that has allowed an average 73.7 rushing yards with four TDs in its last seven games, and it's hard to believe they'd be much worse even if they rest some regulars. ... RB Corey Dillon is unlikely to play the entire game, but remember that he's just 31 rushing yards behind Edgerrin James for the AFC lead and needs 81 more to reach 1,600 to exercise an incentive clause in his contract. He might get as much as the entire first half to attack a 49ers secondary that has allowed an NFL-high 21 rushing TDs and an average 143.0 yards with six TDs in its last three games. Dillon's still worth using as a No. 2 or 3 unless you hear word he'll play less than the half.