Archive for January, 2011

Sunday Driving: Week 17

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

4th & Goal

If you’re reading this it means you’re an unfortunate soul whose commissioner forgot to eliminate Week 17 from the fantasy schedule.  (Or you’re a fortunate soul who can’t get enough football and who uses this blog to prep for the NFL each week – thanks and nice work!)  This blogger has yet to hear a valid argument for having Week 17 matter to fantasy owners, not to mention having it count as your championship week.  Here’s why all leagues should wrap up in Week 16:

1) Coaches rest players for the final week.  Sure, some teams clinch their playoff spot before Week 16 too, but it’s much less likely.  The point is, you shouldn’t be basing your August/September draft choices on the fact that a player’s team might do so well that you won’t have him for your fantasy football finals.  Especially since the NFL is near impossible (though sometimes even fantasy bloggers get things right) to predict.  Finally, you shouldn’t be missing key players (for any reason except injury) with your championship on the line.

1a) A 16 game schedule is perfect for a standard 14-team head-to-head league.  13 regular season games.  3 playoff weeks.  That setup means each team only plays once, eliminating strength of schedule entirely – fair, right?!?

1b) The real-life dudes only play 16 games.  (Why should fantasy owners have to endure 17 weeks?)

Now, next year (if the season stays 17 weeks long) I’m certain your fantasy league will finish a week earlier, but since this year you may be stuck prepping for some fantasy action, I feel obligated to at least offer a Sunday morning fantasy outlook.  A morning look is all you get though – with many leagues having wrapped up at the appropriate time, there’s no need for me to stick around all afternoon.  Here’s what you should keep in mind going into Week 17.

AFC Could-be resters: Jets, Chiefs (may try to stay undefeated at home), Pats (they won’t)

NFC Could-be resters: Eagles (Kolb to start), Bears (only need W if Falcons & Saints lose at 1)

I only have one piece of advice regarding players who could be sat to keep them healthy for the playoffs:  If you have any (within reason) other option that will see the ball more than your regular starter will see the ball before he hits the pine, then play that other option regardless (within reason) of their matchup.  Having said that, check to see if the coaches from the teams on the lists above have said they are going to bench their starters (and for how much of the game).  After checking that, see if any of your players are on the Milestone lists below.   Coaches have a tendency to feed the ball to players who are chasing significant marks (1,000 yards, 10 TDs, yardage titles), whether they have their spot in the playoffs locked up or not.

Milestone Watch

QB

Matt Cassel (3 away), Aaron Rodgers (3 away), and Matt Ryan (4 away) are all within reach of 30 pass TDs.  Tom Brady leads them all and needs 1 for 35.

Rodgers, Eli, Brady and Carson Palmer all have a shot at 4,000 passing yards, and all need more than 300 to get there.  Philip Rivers leads the passing yards ranks and should wrap up that title with a decent day.

RB

Matt Forte, LeGarrette Blount, Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis, LaDainian Tomlinson (Rex said he may sit the whole game) and Fred Jackson (needs over 100 so looking like a great play) can all get to 1,000 yards rushing on the season.  Jamaal Charles trails Arian Foster by 56 yards for the rushing title.

Receivers

Miles Austin, Jeremy Maclin, Johnny Knox, Jason Witten, Mike Williams and Brandon Marshall all have a reasonable chance to pass 1,000 receiving yards on the season.  Roddy White is Brandon Lloyd’s only threat to take away top spot, but Lloyd should hold it down with a decent day.

Rob Gronkowski, Marcedes Lewis, Mike Wallace and Roddy White only need one touchdown to reach 10 for the year.  Kenny Britt, Andre Johnson, Mario Manningham, Lance Moore and Jason Witten are all sitting on 8 touchdown grabs heading into this week’s action.

Speaking of milestones, with a win against the Dolphins, Bill Belichick can become the first head coach ever to win at least 14 regular season games in four separate seasons.  The Pats made the Super Bowl each of the 3 years Belichick won at least 14 games – they won it twice.

Speaking of The Lombardi Trophy, it should always remain the same, but perhaps you should suggest that this be awarded to the champion of your fantasy league next year.  As for this year, I’ve said all I can say.  Thanks to Roommate 1 (for occupying the couch), Alex Seixeiro (for plugging the heck outta this blog), my bro (for eventually reading), my Special Lady (for just being there), GWAIFF, anyone else who appeared in this space, THE FAN590 and of course you, my fellow fantasy football freaks, for a great season.

MANDATORY PROMOTIONAL NOTE:  “Sunday Driving” was found here every week of the NFL season as Zach Cosby followed all of the action beginning with ‘The Coin Toss’ before Sunday’s games, continuing all afternoon and finishing deep into the night.  For a full fantasy preview each week, you tuned to The Fantasy Show on THE FAN590 Saturday morning at 11 or downloaded the podcast (available on iTunes).  Football will be over, but The Fantasy Show will roll on, so tell your friends.

Follow Zach on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/thecozbyshow

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