FANTASY PLAYS: Week 17 tricky because it's unpredictable

Fantasy football leagues that play right through the end of the NFL schedule can be very tricky. There are NFL teams that have nothing to play for, so it's hard to predict how they will use their players.

For example, the Giants, Steelers, Texans and Cowboys all have their spots in the postseason set in stone. There is a very good chance they will rest at least some of their starters for Week 17 to keep them healthy for the playoffs. The Patriots are playing for home field advantage but could easily lock that up early and sit their starters for the second half of their matchup with Miami. So, keep these situations in mind when you make your Week 17 lineups.

Good luck to you if you're playing for your championship this week.

BLAKE BORTLES (QB, Jaguars)

The Jaguars face the Colts, giving Bortles a whole game of garbage time to fill up the stat sheet. He passed for 207 yards and a pair of touchdowns in their Week 4 matchup in London. He's fighting for his job now, so expect him to air it out early and often.

ALEX COLLINS (RB, Seahawks)

Thomas Rawls is nursing a shoulder injury that could keep him off the field for Week 17. Collins will carry the mail against the 49ers if Pete Carroll decides to rest Rawls for the playoffs. San Francisco has allowed an average of 171 rushing yards per game and 24 rushing touchdowns.

ZACH ZENNER (RB, Lions)

Zenner tagged the Cowboys for 92 yards from scrimmage and a pair of touchdowns Monday night and has done a solid job in limited play for Detroit. Theo Riddick may sit again for Week 17, when the Lions play the Packers for the NFC North crown. Look for Zenner to see plenty of action, especially in the passing game, the Achilles heel of the Green Bay defense.

ALFRED BLUE (RB, Texans)

Lamar Miller sat out the Week 16 game and since the Texans are locked in for the playoffs, he is very likely to sit Week 17 too. Blue is a plodder but he managed 90 yards from scrimmage against the Bengals and should easily do at least as well against the Titans.

JACQUIZZ RODGERS (RB, Buccaneers)

Doug Martin was a healthy scratch for Week 16, so Rodgers led the way with 78 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. Martin may have played his last game for the Bucs, so Rodgers will likely be the primary back again when they meet the Panthers.

MIKE GILLISLEE (RB, Bills)

The Bills are out of the playoff picture and could sit LeSean McCoy to see what the rest of the RB depth can do. Gillislee would be the primary back in such a situation. If you own McCoy, you should have Gillislee handy just in case.

ADAM THIELEN (WR, Vikings)

Thielen has been a revelation recently, especially with his 12-catch, 202-yard effort against the Packers. He could easily light up the Bears too. If he's available, grab him.

CAMERON MEREDITH (WR, Bears)

There is no doubt that Matt Barkley connects well with Meredith, who caught all 12 of his targets for 135 yards and a touchdown against the Redskins. Meredith could have another big game against the Vikings.

BRANDON LAFELL (WR, Bengals)

Tyler Eifert is gone for the season, leaving Andy Dalton without his best weapon not named A.J. Green. Against the Texans, Lafell caught six passes for 130 yards and a score. He should be able to do even better against a Ravens secondary that can be beaten long.

CHARLES CLAY (TE, Bills)

Clay is the most targeted receiver on the Bills' roster. He had eight receptions for 88 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Week 16, and he has touchdowns in each of the last three games. Plug him in for Week 17, as he should have no trouble scoring again against the Jets.

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This column was provided to The Associated Press by the Fantasy Sports Network, http://FNTSY.com

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