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Week Seventeen Football, Point Spreads, Expected Scores, Injuries & WR Starts/Sleepers

It is the final week of the 2007 NFL season. The biggest fantasy football question is why do you have games in Week 17 when twelve of the best teams are ready to rest their key players in the hope that no one is hurt before the play-offs. The Steelers are sitting QB Ben Roethlisberger and his 32 TDs. I hope you're not counting on him.

The Bucanneers have clinched a play-off spot and will sit 1,014-yard receiver Joey Galloway and rest mid-season PPR stud Earnest Graham ahead of the team's 1st round play-off game against the New york Giants. I hope neither is vital to your league championship. And so forth.

Regardless, this week's games provide a minefield of unpredictability. Can the Tennessee Titans really be touchdown road favorites at Indianapolis? Are the Carolina Panthers really favored on the road against the play-offs bound Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

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For more injury/resting for the play-offs information, visit Stephania Bell's ESPN blog. Some highlights from the past two days:

1. Jesse Chatman is likely to play in the team's one-game audtion to impress Bill Parcells. Whether Cam Cameron plays to double his 2007 wins total is as important. Chatman is a 28-uear-old journeyman. Lorezo Booker is a 3rd round draft pick. Who would you want to see play if you were Bill Parcells?

2. Reggie Bush isn't likely to play. Nor is Aaron Stecker, the RB who scored TDs the way Reggie Bush owners had hoped he would. This makes Pierre Thomas the likely starter. Needing a win and a lot of help (losses by the Redskins and the Vikings) would appear to lean towards the teams relying on Drew Brees to carry the team rather than a little used RB.

3. The Colts have clinched the #2 seed. This likely results in a reduced workload for top fantasy RB Joseph Addai. Vegas had the Titans as 2.5 point underdogs. The bettors have flipped that line to five-point favorites. That a 7.5 point swing is mind-numbing. I have a harder time believing that than I do believing in leprechauns.

For more updates, check out ESPN's Sunday morning fantasy football chat beginning at 10AM.

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Here are some of Football Scientist KC Joyner's wide receiver thoughts. Click through to read his rationale.

Starts:

1. Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers

2. Bernard Berrian/Muhsin Muhammad, Chicago Bears

3. Reggie Brown, Philadelphia Eagles

4. Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers

Sleepers:

1. Bryant Johnson, Arizona Cardinals

2. Nate Burleson, Seattle Seahawks

3. Reggie Williams, jacksonville Jaguars

4. Nate Washington, Pittsburgh Steelers

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Finally, here are the expected scores for the final week of the season. There are crazy ones that are completely severed from the reality of Weeks One through Sixteen. Earlier I noted a 7.5 point swing from the opening line to this morning. There are two this week!

The Carlonia Panthers opened as 4.5 point road underdogs, and now find themsleves favored by a field goal in Tampa Bay. Strangely, I don't see the Panthers as capable of finishing the job. Can QB Matt Moore and WR Steve Smith carry the offense against a good Bucanneers defense?

Not as dramatic a swing as either the Titans/Colts line or the Panthers/Bucs one, but just as noteworthy. The Texans are now favored by 6.5 points aginst the play-off bound Jacksonville Jaguars. The line opened at Texans -2. Are the Jaguars not going to play RBs Fred TAylor and Maurice Jones-Drew or will the team continue its season-long strategy of splitting carries between the two? isn't that what teams do when resting players i.e Jospeh Addai and Kenton Keith?

Good luck!

Favorite Underdog O/U Point Spread Expected Score
Jets Chiefs 34 6 Jets 20-14
Eagles Bills 37.5 8 Eagles 23-15
Panthers* Bucanneers 36 3 Panthers* 20-17
Bengals* Dolphins 45 2.5 Bengals* 24-21
Redskins Cowboys 39 9 Redskins 24-15
Packers Lions 39 5 Packers 22-17
Texans Jaguars 41 6.5 Texans 24-17
Saints* Bears 40 1.5 Saints* 21-19
Steelers* Ravens 34.5 3 Steelers* 19-16
Falcons Seahawks 38 0 Falcons 19-19
Browns 49ers 40.5 12 Browns 26-14
Titans* Colts 39 5 Titans* 22-17
Vikings* Broncos 41.5 3 Vikings* 22-19
Chargers* Raiders 42 8.5 Chargers* 25-17
Cardinals Rams 48 6 Cardinals 27-21

*Road favorites