Fantasy football: a crapshoot? I’ve had this debate with friends for about as long as I’ve taken fantasy football seriously. Last week didn’t help my side of the debate.
Fantasy football: a crapshoot?
I’ve had this debate with friends for about as long as I’ve taken fantasy football seriously.
Last week didn’t help my side of the debate.
Indianapolis coach Jim Caldwell yanked not only his starters with 5:36 left in the third quarter but likely many owners’ chances of winning a fantasy championship.
To make a long story short: That’s rotten luck.
I think I covered the bases in last week’s column of non-trustworthy coaches ruining fantasy football.
Add Caldwell to that list.
Or how about San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers’ owners who missed out on a few touchdown passes because of dumb penalties by both the Chargers and the Tennessee Titans on Christmas Day?
And what about the No. 1 rated player in fantasy, Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers, who threw up a dud of a performance against the lowly Seattle Seahawks?
It’s weeks like Week 16 – championship week for the vast majority of leagues – that make it harder to argue that the game isn’t a crapshoot.
I’ll be the first to admit there’s a tiny bit of luck involved with winning each week or even becoming a fantasy football champion.
But there’s still a logical explanation as to why yesterday’s sure thing becomes today’s regret.
Let’s be fair.
Colts quarterback Peyton Manning is rarely a first-round draft pick because in the back of experienced owners’ minds, they know playoff weeks aren’t safe because of how good his teams are during the stretch run.
Rivers and Rodgers, however, fell victim to what I call the bad-team syndrome: Teams are so awful that relative fantasy bums like Darren Sproles and Brandon Jackson can overtake the successes of otherwise dependable players that put you in position to win a title.
You’d be foolish not to start Rodgers and Rivers week to week, but those seemingly favorable match-ups don’t always pan out.
And sometimes in the most inopportune times.
I could base this week’s entire column on whether fantasy football is a crapshoot or not, but there’s other topics to discuss and there’s still one more week of fantasy football left for some.
As Andy Behrens of Yahoo Sports wrote in the Roto Arcade blog this week, “We do not endorse Week 17 championships. We simply acknowledge their existence.”
But I’ll leave this issue with this argument: fantasy football is just as unpredictable at times as real football itself. Consistency still rules, but in any given week. ...
The Fumble That Should End the Best RB Debate
Barring some kind of preseason injury next season, we learned something from that fumble from Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
Even though Peterson is better than most, he’s not the most dependable back.
Titans RB Chris Johnson, however, has proved he is this year.
Especially in the playoffs.
Johnson has fumbled just twice all season, including his last against Miami. He still finished with 100 yards rushing and added 55 yards receiving.
Johnson has yet to score in single digits since Week 4 and is on a streak of 10 games with 100 or more rushing yards.
Peterson, however, limped into the playoffs after earning just five fantasy points against Arizona.
And even though Chicago did everything it could to help bring Peterson’s average up throughout Weeks 14-16, he still has a lower average (21.3) in the playoffs than Johnson (23.6)
And let’s not forget 2008, when he had four fumbles during the playoffs, including two against the 0-16 Detroit Lions.
Ride or Rot
There’s a huge ripple effect from the Bears win on Monday that shook up the entire NFL playoff picture. And even though the New Orleans Saints clinched home field throughout the playoffs, coach Sean Payton has said the team should treat this week like it’s a playoff clincher.
Ride with those Saints like QB Drew Brees, WR Marques Colston on the road against Carolina.
Just proceed with caution, knowing they have nothing to play for but pride and rhythm — whatever that means.
Others to ride with this week: Rivers and WR Vincent Jackson at Washington, St. Louis RB Steven Jackson vs. San Francisco, Bears RB Matt Forte and QB Jay Cutler at Detroit (trust me?), Cincinnati WR Chad Ochocinco at NY Jets, Cards QB Kurt Warner and WR Larry Fitzgerald vs. Green Bay, Rodgers at Arizona.
Caldwell isn’t going to play Manning and Co. for than a few series of downs. Let all those Colts rot this week.
Chris Johnson will rush for 2,000 yards at the end of the Seahawks game, and perhaps even challenge Eric Dickerson’s season rushing record because, you know, Seattle’s really bad.
Others on the Dream Team: Brett Favre and Peterson vs. NY Giants, Baltimore RB Ray Rice at Oakland, Houston WR Andre Johnson vs. New England, Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew at Cleveland, 49ers RB Frank Gore at Rams.
No Dread Team this week because it’s Week 17.
Don’t Sleep on My Sleeper
Titans QB Vince Young at Seattle (let’s try this again, shall we?).
Joey Baskerville was 1-1 in fantasy finals last week and two others will be decided on Sunday. He is a sports writer for The Journal-Standard in Freeport, Ill., and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.