Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 17: Eagles vs. Cowboys

Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

Hard to think of a more hyped end-of-season game than this one, which will decide the NFC East title, the fate of the Cowboys coach, and, somehow, whether Tony Romo is clutch, even though he won't play.

The entire NFL regular season ends with Sunday night's Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys matchup (at 8:30 p.m. ET in Dallas). The game will determine the winner of the NFC East, with the winner making the playoffs and the loser going elsewhere. To top it all off, the game will likely serve as a referendum on Jason Garrett and Chip Kelly as coaches, on Nick Foles, Tony Romo, and Kyle Orton as NFL quarterbacks, on Jerry Jones as the runner of a team. Let's just say there's a lot going on in the game ... not to mention the fantasy-relevant parts:


Start in every league: Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson

Start if you're desperate: Riley Cooper, Alex Henery

Bench: Brent Celek, Defense/special teams

At this point, Foles is a must-start until he gives fantasy owners a reason not to, and he hasn't come close to that yet. ... McCoy has put up 27-plus fantasy points twice in three games, and has scored at least nine in seven straight. He's rightfully No. 2 in fantasy scoring among running backs. ... Even after basically a no-show Sunday night against the Bears, Jackson still rates seventh among wide receivers in fantasy scoring; against a defense like Dallas', he needs to be out there.

Cooper on Sunday had his biggest game since Week 10; if he scores, he's of use, but the touchdowns haven't been as frequent as fantasy owners need. ... Henery has put up double-digit fantasy points in two straight, but hadn't done so since Week 5 otherwise.

Even with two scores in his last four games, Celek hasn't reached double-digit scoring since Week 5. He's a low-end TE2 at best. ... Even with Orton at quarterback, the Eagles' defense isn't strong enough to bother with in fantasy in Week 17.


Start in every league: DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten

Start if you're desperate: Kyle Orton, Dan Bailey

Bench: Terrance Williams, Defense/special teams

With six straight double-digit fantasy days, including three of 20 or more points, Murray has been as good as any running back in the league of late. He's a no-doubt starter. ... The Eagles have the worst team against opposing receivers in football; Bryant stands to reap the benefits. ... Witten is no longer the top tight end he used to be, but you'd still have to have someone else in the top six or eight at the position to justify benching him Sunday.

There haven't been many higher-risk, higher-reward fantasy options than Orton this week in some time. He hasn't started an NFL game since 2011, so who knows if he even has the ability he had then. On the other hand, against a subpar defense, if Orton is the Orton he was with the Bears, he could put up 20-something fantasy points. The truth is you probably aren't starting him, but you had to admit he's an interesting proposition. ... Bailey kicked five field goals in Week 15; he had one or zero in the other five of his last six.

Williams has been a fantasy non-factor for two months now; his 84 yards in Sunday's game marked his biggest yardage since Week 5. ... You were wondering if you should start the Cowboys' defense? Haha, good joke.

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