Keep close eye on who's playing Week 17

Updated: December 31, 2010, 12:13 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

Let's get positive, shall we? I feel like we've spent so much time leading up to Week 17 discussing top players unlikely to play much or at all -- Philadelphia Eagles and otherwise -- that we've lost sight of the good stuff. Consider yourself lucky that Week 17 matters for your team or teams. It's an achievement to watch January games with something on the line. Plenty of football players will indeed suit up this weekend and will produce statistics that can help you, the deserving fantasy owner, win your league. The trick is finding them ... and keeping focus.

If anything, fantasy owners relying on Eagles have been given a valuable gift: knowledge. We know Michael Vick is out and Kevin Kolb is in, for example. Same with DeSean Jackson, so learn the name Jason Avant. Perhaps you don't want to rely on Kolb this week in what really could be an exciting, if relatively meaningless, home tilt with the Dallas Cowboys, but at least you have clarity. We can't say this about Tom Brady and his New England Patriots teammates.

My best advice on this Friday morning is, if you're still playing for a fantasy championship, the least you can do is pay attention to the news this weekend and trust your gut Sunday morning. Watch "Fantasy Football Now" on Sunday morning for more opinion and the latest updates. At least all games this week are on Sunday, starting with the 1 p.m. ET matchups and ending with the nighttime meeting between NFC West heavyweight behemoths. No Thursday or Saturday games and, we pray, nothing next Tuesday!

I don't think I made many tangible updates to the Friday rankings this week. Frankly, little has changed since Wednesday. I can tell you I'm not backing off some of my out-of-the-ordinary predictions for the week -- that Denver Broncos rookie Tim Tebow is terrific, that Washington Redskins running back Ryan Torain is that team's offense and that both wide receivers named Mike Williams are in for big performances.