NFL postseason will affect fantasy’s Week 17

If your fantasy football league extends into Week 17, then you need to know which teams have something to play for and which teams could rest their starters.

In the AFC, the Jets (8-7) will reach the playoffs with a win over the Bengals on Sunday night. Obviously, it’s safe to use anyone wearing a green and white uniform in that contest. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis has said his team will play the game like it’s a must-win, but whether or not that happens remains to be seen.

I’ll tell you one thing: There’s no way I’m playing WR Chad Ochocinco against Jets CB Darrelle Revis if I had a viable alternative.

The Broncos (8-7), Ravens (8-7), Texans (8-7), Steelers (8-7), Dolphins (7-8) and Jaguars (7-8) all have a chance to make the postseason. As a result, fantasy owners should feel safe using players from these teams. The Colts, Chargers, Patriots and Bengals have all clinched and could rest their starters.

Considering the Colts already started to rest their best players, it’s hard to imagine any of them playing much of a role in the regular-season finale in Buffalo.

QB Peyton Manning will start the contest, but his participation will be limited to a series or two. I’d be shocked if he played the entire first half.

In the NFC, the Cowboys and Eagles are both in the playoffs but are playing for the NFC East title in Week 17. As a result, all of their top players are great fantasy options. With seeding implications possibly still on the line, the Saints, Vikings and Cardinals will all likely use their starters.

Of course, much depends on Monday night’s Vikings-Bears contest. If the Bears win, the Saints will clinch home-field advantage throughout the postseason and could decide to rest players in Week 17. If the Vikings win, however, they’ll have a chance to gain home-field advantage in the NFC with a win over the Giants in Week 17 and a Saints loss to the Panthers.

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