Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 17: Jets vs. Dolphins

Al Bello

The teams are only one game apart in the standings, but the Dolphins are the only one who can end Sunday as a playoff team.

The New York Jets were expected to only win a small handful of games this season, but a win on Sunday would let them end the season at an even 8-8. Meanwhile, the Miami Dolphins could also finish 8-8, but a win would get them to 9-7 and give them a better shot at the sixth seed in the AFC playoff race. The two teams face off Sunday at 1 p.m. ET in Miami, and there are a few fantasy contributors to consider:


Start in every league: Nick Folk

Start if you're desperate: Chris Ivory

Bench: Geno Smith, Bilal Powell, all the pass-catchers, Defense/special teams

Week 16 did include the second missed field goal of the season from Folk, but for the most part he's been a strong contributor on the season. He's a fine start.

Ivory has had a much bigger second half of the season than his first, though he has had the occasional no-shows (11 yards in Week 8, 35 in Week 12). He's probably a low-end RB2 or flex, definitely not a sure thing.

Drew Brees' home/road splits are the most famous, but Smith's might be the most dramatic. The rookie has scored 14.9 fantasy points per game at home, a number that falls all the way to 6.1 on the road. With Sunday being a road game, it's tough to say many good things about Smith's prognosis. ... In the long term, there's every opportunity Ivory gets hurt and Powell takes the reins, but going to the last game of the season he's out of time for 2013. ... No Jets' pass-catcher has had more than one double-digit fantasy day since Week 7; if you want to start Jeremy Kerley or Jeff Cumberland in a truly desperate situation, it's not the end of the world, but in general you should always look for more options. ... The Jets' defense has improved of late, with two 12-point games in its last three, and the Dolphins famously imploded against Buffalo last week, but overall, the Jets' unit has struggled on the season, and you don't want to overrate the "bad defense with a good matchup" factor.


Start in every league: Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline

Start if you're desperate: Ryan Tannehill, Charles Clay, Defense/special teams

Bench: Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas, Caleb Sturgis

With three touchdowns and two 100-yard games in his last five outings, Wallace has improved on an initially disastrous season. Hartline, too, had been generally improving, at least until everything about the Dolphins fell apart in Week 16. As good as the Jets' run defense is, the Dolphins are going to have to attack through the air to do much of anything.

Tannehill had an awful game last week, like the rest of the team. There's almost no way for the offensive line to play as bad as it did Sunday, and even if it does, the Jets' defense isn't as good as the Bills'. Tannehill had been hot before Week 16; he should bounce back in Sunday's game. ... After a good season for the most part, Clay's numbers have nosedived in the last couple weeks, with 38 total yards. He's still in the top-10 in fantasy tight end scoring, but it's been on the downhill. ... The Dolphins' defense has only had one big game since Week 9. Of course, that was against the Jets in Week 13, and the Jets are the second-most-generous team to opposing defenses in the league, so there's still a possibility.

The one thing the Jets as a team do the best is stop the running game, and it's not like Miller and/or Thomas have been the epitome of reliability leading up to this week. You can't use them here. ... Sturgis hasn't been perfect in a game with more than one field-goal attempt since Week 11. He's too unpredictable.

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