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NFL Week 17 Preview and Picks

So most of us are finished with fantasy football. So what? I can still talk about it! About football that is.

Look, I'm going to say some things and you're going to listen. Or you won't, I don't know. I'm not standing behind you and watching you right now. Or am I? No, I'm not. Or am I? No, not really.

Or am I?

We didn't put out any rankings this week, (CORRECTION: THE TIRELESS MIKE GALLAGHER IS COMING SOON WITH RANKINGS) which means I can cover whatever I want to, but instead I'm just going to go game-by-game and say some things. Why not? This post isn't sponsored by Vicks but it is sponsored by my new blog

Feel free to check it out...

Or am I?

Here's what's happening this week:

49ers at Rams

San Francisco has every reason to try to win and the Rams have every reason to lose. However, like I keep saying, teams don't quit, fans do. St. Louis is going to try and win this game and save some pride for 2011. The 49ers are dealing with injuries to Carlos Rogers, Ted Ginn, Jr., Kyle Williams, and Patrick Willis.

Sam Bradford will probably miss another game and we could be seeing Kellen Clemens get another start.

Somehow the Rams beat the Saints, but I can't see any scenario in which they win on Sunday and you can give me like 20 scenarios. But don't give me 21. I can't handle 21 scenarios.

The 49ers finally allowed a 100-yard rusher and TD score to Beast Mode last week. Steven Jackson won't be as lucky. The Rams get a loss and they could wind up with the top pick. Trade Bradford, trade Luck, or keep both?

Well, they can't keep both because they are terrible and need as much as help as they can get. I say stick with Bradford and surround him with real NFL players.

SF 19, STL 0

All the other games after the jump.

Bears at Vikings

Chicago isn't the worst team in the NFL without Jay Cutler, but they are pretty awful. When you have to start Josh McCown, who hasn't started since 2007 and did not play last year, then you know things are bad. When he actually outplays the guy that you did have starting the previous four games, then things are terrible.

Minnesota isn't the worst team in the NFL either. They have lost a lot of close games and then they played their way out of possibly grabbing the #1 pick by beating the Redskins last week. It's a serviceable team when Christian Ponder is playing decently. Playing in the NFC North, the Vikings might be a few years away from competing again, but adding a top draft pick with an improving young roster will make them interesting.

At home, they get their second straight win.

MIN 31, CHI 20

Bills at Patriots

In week nine, the Bills and Pats were both 5-3. True story. Buffalo lost seven in a row and New England has won seven in a row, and that's where babies come from.

The Pats are guaranteed a first round bye, but to secure the #1 seed they'll need to win. And Bill Belicheck hates to lose anyway, so Tom Brady isn't going to get any rest until this is a blowout. Which might take until all the way into the second quarter.

Don't worry Buffalo, the future is bright. You gave the soon-to-be-30 Ryan Fitzpatrick a big contract extension while your best young player, Stevie Johnson, is going to be a free agent. Your future is bright because it's on fire and nobody is coming to put the flames out. Don't worry, you'll have the #1 pick in 2013.

NE 45, Buf 14

Buccaneers at Falcons

It doesn't get much worse than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Put them head to head with any team in the NFL, I don't care if it's the Rams or Colts, and I'd bet on them to lose.

Over the last four weeks, with two games against the Panthers and against the Jaguars and Cowboys, they have been beaten by an average score of 39.5 to 16.

They can't run the ball. They turn it over constantly. They can't play defense anymore. Tampa Bay would have done better to not win a game this year, draft Andrew Luck, and trade Josh Freeman, but this is where they stand. They can pretty much draft any position and it will be an improvement over what they have.

Atlanta also needs to win this game, I think they still have a shot at the 5 seed. The 6 seed will play at New Orleans if they don't get a first round bye. The Falcons just got stomped in New Orleans.

ATL 35, TB 10

Colts at Jaguars

If Indy loses this game, they'll have the awesome dilemma of deciding between Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck. But after two straight wins, both of which were impressive in different ways, they want to end the season on a high note.

Dan Orlovsky didn't win a game for the Lions when they went 0-16, but he's led the Colts to two straight wins and is now 2-2 as a starter this season.

The Jaguars are a pretty awful team in their own right but Blaine Gabbert has shown a tiny bit of improvement. Maurice Jones-Drew is on his way to his first rushing title. I want the Colts to win because I really love the irony of them not getting the top pick after it was basically a sure thing, but I have a feeling they won't.

JAX 17, IND 14

Jets at Dolphins

I feel comfortable saying that Miami is better than New York right now. Since the Dolphins 0-7 start they are 5-3 and since the Jets 5-3 start they are 3-4. Mark Sanchez is an NFL quarterback in title only.

The defense isn't as good as the one that got the Jets to two straight AFC championship games and if they make the playoffs they have one-and-done written all over them.

Reggie Bush has figured something out with Miami and should be a good play again this week. Brandon Marshall is also wrapping up a successful season, while Matt Moore may have won the 2012 starting job. I don't know if that's a good thing or not, but the Dolphins will probably draft a wide receiver or defensive help to possibly contend next year.

MIA 24, NYJ 20

Lions at Packers

If Detroit wins this game they will secure their best record since 1991. They've already won 10 games for the first time since '95. The roster is young and talented and could compete for a Super Bowl as soon as this season because while they are still flawed, they can beat anyone.

The Packers have nothing to play for and you'll probably see some Matt Flynn in this one. That doesn't mean this game is wrapped up for Detroit, as winning in Lambeau is never easy.

Still, I got to say that they have enough things going in their favor and Matthew Stafford will throw for 3 TD passes.

DET 30, GB 26

Panthers at Saints

Their first meeting was a close one and New Orleans won 30-27.

Cam Newton has played exceptionally this season and especially lately in leading Carolina to wins in 4 of their last 5 games.

Drew Brees is playing out of his mind though and the Saints want to win this game. At home, I see this being a great game to watch, but the Saints win it.

NO 27, CAR 20

Ravens at Bengals

I see Baltimore as a team with enough flaws that they might not make the AFC Championship game. They are good but not quite as good as previous years and Joe Flacco is running out time to prove he really is a franchise QB, putting up his worst season to date.

The Bengals are the surprise team of the year, ridding themselves of all of their stars and then putting themselves in position to make the playoffs with a rookie 2nd-round QB and a rookie wide receiver. They need to exorcise the demons though and beat Baltimore to prove they belong.

Can they secure a wild card, beat the Ravens, and completely move on from Carson Palmer and company?


CIN 20, BAL 17

Redskins at Eagles

Pride game. Neither team has anything to play for, and this was such a bad season in the NFC East that they each had the opportunity to take the division if they just played better. Way to suck you guys.

PHI 28, WAS 17

Steelers at Browns

The Browns have sucked pretty hard this year, but it masks the fact that they actually have put together a successful young defensive with these past two drafts. Mike Holmgren may know what he's doing. Cleveland just needs a QB and a 4-12 finish will give them an opportunity to draft Robert Griffin III (if he enters) or trade up to take Andrew Luck since they have Atlanta's first round pick.

If they do that, if they get a franchise QB, the division could have four good to great teams.

The Steelers have lost four games this year, all of which are playoff teams. If my prophecy holds true then Pittsburgh will win the division and grab a first round bye over a Ravens team that beat them twice.

PIT 21, CLE 10

Titans at Texans

Tennessee needs to win this game and Houston goes into it with nothing to play for. That doesn't mean they will just roll over, they just have far less motivation. They are a careless teenager and the Titans are a young Asian spelling bee champion. Metaphorically speaking.

I have a feeling that Houston wins a game at the buzzer and the Titans are left out of the playoffs.

HOU 13, TEN 10

Chargers at Raiders

The Raiders are at home and must win to stay alive.

The Chargers blew another season where they looked like the best team in the division and just flopped. The finale for Norv Turner will be a victory though and the Broncos will make the playoffs with Tim Tebow.

SD 31, OAK 20

Chiefs at Broncos

Denver in a must-win situation at home, while KC is just there for the hell of it. I think Kansas City is underrated but they also have some serious holes to fill in the off-season, including at quarterback. But Tebow won't be able to pass the ball at all against the Chiefs.

As per usual, Denver will fall into an early hole, and Tebow will escape it in the final minutes.

DEN 16, KC 13

Seahawks at Cardinals

Neither team has anything to play for except a chance at an 8-8 record. Whoopie.

Both teams were hot in the second half and could be contenders next season if they get a QB. The Cards have Kevin Kolb and John Skelton for next season, so they might not be as motivated as Seattle, but you never know. I think Skelton is an intriguing young prospect.

Seattle has actually had more problems at home this year than on the road. I don't have a good feeling about this one though.

AZ 24, SEA 21

Cowboys at Giants

New York won this game a few weeks ago when they needed to. Dallas looks great one week and then terrible the next. Emmitt Smith even called them out.

I'm not sure what's wrong in Dallas, but they have the talent to beat anybody. They just don't seem to have that IT factor that prior Cowboys teams had.

Giants are also very flawed and that's why two 8-7 teams are playing for the division. The G-Men haven't been great at home this year, but they'll take this one in a squeaker.

NYG 34, DAL 30

If you have any fantasy questions, throw them below or hit me on twitter @casetines