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Fantasy Buzz: Week 17

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Recent posts by Michael Blunda

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By Michael Blunda

It's looking more and more likely that neither starting QB will be on the field Sunday when the Cowboys meet the Eagles. Dallas' Jon Kitna injured his oblique last week and has not practiced at all leading up to this contest. Though he's listed as questionable, odds are he sits out and Stephen McGee gets his first career start. For Philly, Michael Vick took a pounding in Tuesday night's loss and didn't participate in any practice this week with an injured quad. Officially questionable, Vick is almost certain to miss Sunday, with the Eagles having nothing to play for. That means Kevin Kolb will get the start and could put up decent numbers against a poor secondary. He probably won't have WR DeSean Jackson (foot, questionable) at his disposal, though, as Jackson is expected to rest.

The victor Tuesday, Minnesota will be ecstatic to get this tumultuous season over with come Sunday, but it will once again be short-handed. Concussions have both QB Brett Favre and WR Sidney Rice listed as doubtful for the season finale, as neither has passed his concussion test. After playing well against the Eagles, QB Joe Webb will draw his second career start and is a decent fantasy option in leagues in which he's eligible at receiver. The Vikings' opponent, Detroit, could be without star WR Calvin Johnson, who didn't practice at all this week because of an ankle injury and is questionable. Johnson is still hopeful to suit up Sunday, but he'll be a game-time decision.

The Saints still have hopes of winning the NFC South and clinching a bye, but they may have to do it without a couple of their big guns Sunday. WR Marques Colston had his knee scoped this week and proceeded to miss every practice. While he is listed as questionable to face the Bucs, chances are he sits out in hopes of getting healthy for the playoffs. Meanwhile, RB Pierre Thomas looked good on Monday night but tweaked his ankle injury in Friday's practice, making him questionable to play in Week 17. He'll be a game-time decision, so owners should have a backup plan ready. If he can't go, New Orleans will go with a backfield by committee.

Another game with potential playoff implications Sunday will be missing key superstars on both sides. The Jaguars are still alive in the AFC South race, but they will be without QB David Garrard and RB Maurice Jones-Drew. Garrard had to undergo surgery on his right middle finger this week and is out for the season, while Jones-Drew will have to have an operation on his knee after the season and has been ruled out. That means Trent Edwards will be under center at Houston, while Rashad Jennings will once again carry the load in the backfield. For the Texans, WR Andre Johnson's bum ankle will keep him out for the season finale. He reportedly will have surgery on the ankle next week. Jacoby Jones is a solid fantasy start in his place.

A trio of stud backs whose teams are not in the playoff hunt are listed as questionable and likely will be game-time decisions for the last week of the regular season. The Raiders' Darren McFadden has turf toe and was unable to practice Friday. Although he wants to play, Oakland will be careful with their terrific back Sunday at Kansas City, so expect an increased role for Michael Bush. Cleveland's Peyton Hillis also did not practice Friday due to sore ribs, but he seems optimistic to face the Steelers. Whether he goes or not, he doesn't belong in fantasy lineups against the league's No. 1 run defense. Finally, the Broncos' Knowshon Moreno is dealing with sore ribs as well, but he was able to practice some this week and likely will play against the Chargers. Given the fact that he has left the last two games early, though, owners should look elsewhere in this tough matchup.

Other notable skill players listed on this week's injury report as questionable include Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck (hip), Rams TE Michael Hoomanawanui (ankle), Seahawks WR Brandon Stokley (head), Ravens TE Todd Heap (hamstring), Bears QB Earl Bennett (ankle), Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (knee), Panthers WR Steve Smith (calf), Colts RB Mike Hart (ankle), Redskins RB Ryan Torain (ribs), Saints TE Jeremy Shockey (groin), Broncos WR Eddie Royal (groin), Broncos QB Kyle Orton (ribs), Cardinals RB LaRod Stephens-Howling (hamstring) and Patriots WR Deion Branch (knee). Those listed as doubtful include Bengals TE Jermaine Gresham (knee) and Chargers WR Patrick Crayton (wrist). Declared out are Steelers RB Mewelde Moore (knee), Giants WR Hakeem Nicks (toe), Dolphins TE Anthony Fasano (knee), Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco (ankle) and Cowboys WR Sam Hurd (head).

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