The final episode of 2020 is upon us, and while many are sad to see the end of the NFL season, I think we can all agree that putting 2020 behind us and moving on to 2021 is something everyone will be happy to see. We have been keeping this going through the fantasy playoffs, and our final installment this week has a slant towards those teams and players that have everything to play for. The final week of the season is tough to gauge for many players, with several teams already locked into their playoff spots. Some players might get a rest, while others might be put aside so a rookie can get more snaps.
There is a sense of unfairness in that the NFC East has three teams still alive and that a team with six or seven wins will end up winning the division and gaining access to the playoffs. While in the AFC it is possible that a team that ends up with 11 wins will be on the outside looking in. But, that’s what is in front of all these teams, and for the final week of the season that produces what could be a bonanza of points from Dallas, the New York Giants, Philadelphia and Washington.
Speaking of unfairness, woe to be the manager battling for fantasy playoff glory that ended up against Alvin Kamara and his six (SIX!) touchdowns last week. That was an individual fantasy performance that ranks up there with the best of all time. One of the managers in a league of mine has a favorite saying that sums up the fantasy experience: “sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.” In the end, it’s all in fun and hopefully you have had a good ride taking your team as far as possible.
As always, we thank you for your patronage. On to the wonders.
RB Samaje Perine, Cincinnati
Cincinnati has already declared that Joe Mixon will miss the season finale, and based on last week’s touches it looks like Perine is in line for a strong workload. Against Houston last week, Perine carried the ball 13 times for 95 yards, with two of those ending up with him in the endzone. He also tacked on four catches for 41 yards, furthering his strong fantasy day. Baltimore is the opponent, so the numbers may not be as glowing, but we do expect that Perine will get the majority of work, with the bonus of his participation in the passing game in case Cincinnati cannot run the ball.
QB Andy Dalton, Dallas
Dallas is still in the hunt for a playoff spot and will need a win to keep its playoff hopes alive. The NFL has flexed the Washington/Philadelphia game to Sunday night, so as Dallas takes on the New York Giants in the afternoon, both teams will need a win in order to have a chance at the postseason. Dalton has been hit or miss, but needing a win against Philadelphia he lit up for 377 passing yards that included three touchdowns to one interception. With a full complement of receivers and the need to win, look for Dalton to stay hot in the season finale.
WR Michael Gallup, Dallas
Staying with Dallas, Dalton has been spreading the ball around among three wideouts, with Gallup often getting the weaker of the defender guarding him. Much in the way that a rising tide brings up all boats, the strong showing of Dalton last week gets Gallup a mention in this week’s story. A huge spike against Philadelphia, he caught six passes for 121 yards with two of those going for scores. Dallas will need to win in order to survive, so we see an active game as Dallas takes to the air early and often.
TE Jimmy Graham, Chicago
Over the last few weeks, Graham has been outperforming the rookie Cole Kmet, inching up his production over that time. Against Jacksonville this past week, he got into the end zone twice, giving him three touchdowns over the last three games. For the day, he ended up with four catches and 69 yards to go along with those scores, a strong fantasy performance. Chicago closes out things against Green Bay, and look for Graham to be involved once again, especially in the red zone.