Kyle Orton (KC): In week 17 Kyle Orton will get a chance to start against Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos who released him earlier this season. Denver has a good shot at making the playoffs, but those chances will take a big blow if Orton can lead Kansas City to a win over the Broncos. If you wanted some extra incentive, Orton has it. The Broncos have also allowed 24 pass TD’s this year while allowing close to 250 yards per game in the air on average.
Matt Flynn (GB): Packers don’t have much to play for in week 17 so it’s unlikely Aaron Rodgers will see much of the field, leaving the reigns to 4th year backup Matt Flynn. We saw some of Flynn last year when Rodgers missed time with a concussion and I remember thinking he looked pretty good, he also has access to a good roster of young explosive players.
Evan Royster (WAS): Royster is coming off a 19 rush 132 yard effort in week 16 against Minnesota in his first start of the season, he averaged 5.9 yards per carry. Rookie Roy Helu will likely be sitting out again in week 17 with Royster getting the featured role once again. In week 16 Royster touched the ball a total 21 time to Torain’s 6. He will be going against Philly, who have had trouble against the run at times this year.
Toby Gerhart (MIN): Adrian Peterson is out for the season with ACL and MCL tears, in his absence, Minnesota will be pounding the rock with Toby Gerhart, a 6′ 200 pound ball carrier. Gerhart has already had to take over the starting role in Minnesota when Peterson recently missed a few weeks and he was abe to put up some good numbers with the workload, often carrying the ball 15+ times 90 or so yards. Gerhart is also an extremely effective pass catcher, especially in the red zone. Gerhart will receive a heavy workload, and opportunity breeds results.
Ben Tate (HOU): Houston is pretty much locked into their playoff spot and won’t have much to play fo r un Sunday when they take on Tennessee, who still has an outside shot. Houston has already seen Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub go down with injuries, and despite what Kubiak says, they do not want to risk hurting Arian Foster who has had hamstring problems. I expect to see a heavy dosage of rookie RB Ben Tate.
Vincent Brown (SD): As I mentioned in my Sit/Start when talking about Rivers and Floyd, I expect San Diego to be able to move the ball threw the air quite effectively against the Raiders. Vincent Jackson is dealing with injuries and has missed practice the last two days after missing it all last week and only putting up 2 catches for 41 yards. With Vinny ailing, rookie Vincent Brown should have another chance to showcase his talent. Brown has already shown at times this season his ability for tough catches. His best game this season is actually against the Raiders in week 10 when he caught 5 passes for 97 yards and a TD, he also had a VERY NEAR TD called back.
Randall Cobb (GB): As mentioned a few times in this post and the Start/Sit post, Green Bay will likely be resting many of its key players before the playoffs. With Greg Jennings already out with an injury, the young explosive rookie Randall Cobb could see a large chunk of action. Cobb has already seen a healthy amount of time on the field this season, especially in the return game where he has been extremely dangerous. In Green Bay’s week 17 matchup against Detroit, Cobb should get one of his larger workloads of the season.
Jared Cook (TEN): In his last 2 games Cook has caught 9 and 8 passes respectively for 103 yards and 169 yards with a touchdown. He has quickly become a favorite target of quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, seeing a huge number of targets over the last 2 games. Tennessee can still make playoffs and will want to score a big win over Houston, who could be sitting starters, I expect them to roll with Cook and his hot hands a lot.
Hope you enjoyed my Deep Sleeper Picks for Week 17 of the 2011-2012 season!
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