If you’re playing into Week 17,you don’t just need to keep an eye on injuries or know who has the best matchups. You also need to know the playoff implications of each game on the schedule to know who might be sitting out this week and which backups might be worth starting. Dave Richard has the playoff implications of every Week 17 game covered, along with his picks for starts, sits, sleepers, and busts for each game.
All lines from William Hill Sportsbook.
Playoff implications: With a win, the Buccaneers will play the NFC East champions, a fortuitous spot to be in given their collective ineptitude. A loss would send the Buccaneers to the sixth seed — and a tougher matchup in the playoffs.
Playoff implications: The winner will claim the NFC East crown (and the NFC’s No. 4 seed) if Washington loses to Philadelphia.
Playoff implications: None whatsoever.
Offensively, the Patriots have hit rock bottom. They can still run the ball fairly well but their passing game ranks 30th in pass yards per game and 32nd in passing touchdowns with an embarrassingly poor eight touchdown throws. That’s been a huge factor in four of the past five DSTs to face the Pats scoring at least 11 Fantasy points. Enter the Jets defense, which has been actually solid against the Rams and Browns in consecutive weeks. Even without Quinnen Williams in Week 16, the New York pass rush was responsible for four sacks and two forced fumbles. With at least nine Fantasy points in its past two games, the Jets actually have appeal in their season finale.
<b>Playoff implications:</b> Absolutely zilch.
<b>Playoff implications:</b> A Steelers win and a Bills loss would give Pittsburgh the No. 2 seed in the AFC. They can’t be any lower than the No. 3 seed. The Browns clinch a wild-card spot with a win.
<b>Playoff implications:</b> Baltimore will clinch a wild-card spot with a win.
<b>Playoff implications:</b> The Bills earn the AFC’s No. 2 seed with a win (they can still get it if they lose and if the Steelers lose). At worst, they’ll be the No. 3 seed. The Dolphins make the playoffs if they win, though they can also back in if they lose IF one of the Ravens or Browns also lose.
<b>Playoff implications:</b> Seattle has a top-3 seed locked up. A win and a Saints loss OR a Packers loss will get them into the No. 2 spot. A win and losses by the Packers AND Saints will give Seattle home-field advantage!
<b>Playoff implications:</b> The winner has his ticket punched to the postseason. The loser can still get in but it’ll take some help from the Packers.
<b>Playoff implications:</b> To make the playoffs, the Colts need to win and have one of the Titans, Dolphins, Ravens or Browns lose. If the Colts win and Titans lose, the Colts win the AFC South.
<b>Playoff implications:</b> The Titans are AFC South champs with a win. And if that happens, the Dolphins will pick third in the NFL Draft in April since they have the Texans’ first-round pick.
<b>Playoff implications:</b> LOL
<b>Playoff implications:</b> None. The Chiefs have clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC and intend to “rest up some guys.” Patrick Mahomes has already been ruled out, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce shouldn’t play much, if at all.
<b>Playoff implications:</b> The Packers clinch the NFC’s top seed with a win. The Bears clinch a playoff spot with a win, but can also get in with a loss and a Cardinals loss.
<b>Playoff implications:</b> New Orleans still has a chance at the No. 1 seed, but they’ll need the Packers to lose and the Seahawks to win. Otherwise, a win clinches the second seed.
<b>Playoff implications:</b> Washington wins the NFC East with a victory over the Eagles. If it loses, then the winner of the Cowboys-Giants game earlier on Sunday claims the division.