Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 17: 49ers vs. Cardinals

Ezra Shaw

The 49ers clinched a playoff spot Monday. The Cardinals are looking for some help to do the same.

One wild-card spot is still available in the NFC, going to either the second-place finisher in the NFC South or to the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals will need to beat the San Francisco 49ers (in Arizona at 4:25 p.m. ET Sunday) and have the New Orleans Saints lose to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in order to make the playoffs. Meanwhile, the 49ers clinched a playoff spot Monday, but could end up as high as the NFC's one-seed with a win and some help Sunday. So there's a lot riding on this game. Also riding on it are a host of fantasy performers:

49ers

Start in every league: Colin Kaepernick, Vernon Davis, Phil Dawson, Defense/special teams

Start if you're desperate: Frank Gore, Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree

Bench: Kendall Hunter

After a rough start to the season, Kaepernick has turned it on of late, with 18.8 fantasy points per game in his last five, including three games with more than 20 in that time. He's turned it on late in the season. ... Davis was a surprise goose-egg in Week 16, but he's still the No. 2 tight end in fantasy; you've got to run him out there and just hope, especially against the worst-in-the-NFL-against-tight-ends Cardinal defense. ... Dawson ranks eighth among kickers in fantasy scoring, and hasn't missed a field goal since Week 4. He's scored 10 or more in seven straight games. ... The 49ers' defense has been hot of late, with eight or more fantasy points in five straight games. Interceptions should be a safe bet against Arizona.

Gore has been a strong running back most of the season, averaging 10.5 in his last four games and 11 per game on the season. If you have him, you're probably using him, but keep in mind the Arizona defense, which is best in the league against opposing running backs. ... Monday night's game against the Falcons was the first time Boldin and Crabtree have both offered good production in the same game. One of the two might do well, but betting on both is unwise, and it's tough to know which it will be.

Even if Hunter gets a handful of touches -- like he did in Week 15, when hes cored 10 fantasy points -- he's unlikely to accumulate much against the stout Arizona defense.

Cardinals

Start in every league: Larry Fitzgerald, Defense/special teams

Start if you're desperate: Andre Ellington, Rashard Mendenhall, Jay Feely

Bench: Carson Palmer, Michael Floyd

Despite being basically a no-show in Week 16 -- one fantasy point -- Fitzgerald appears to be fully healthy entering Week 17, and he's easily the best weapon the Cardinals have. Expect him to be fine for Sunday afternoon. ... The Cardinals' defense has been really strong all season, even shutting down Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in Seattle last week.

Both Ellington and Mendenhall have put up reasonable production of late, though they are fighting for touches and are facing a strong defense Sunday. ... Feely has put up double-digit fantasy point in two straight and three of five, but he put up two and three points in his other two. He's a boom-or-bust kicker, which is never reassuring.

Palmer has seen his fantasy production drop for six straight games, bottoming out with three points in his four-interception Week 16. Against another strong defense, he probably isn't usable. ... Floyd ended Week 16 with productive numbers, though all nine of his fantasy points came on a fluke touchdown catch late in the game, his lone catch of the contest. He's only caught five balls in the last three weeks.

More fantasy football news from SB Nation:

Get live advice daily in the Fantasy War Room

Today's fantasy football player updates

Week 17 fantasy football position rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | D/ST

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.