A new year has dawned
As the calendar turns from 2015 to 2016, it’s out with the old and in with the new. And in fantasy football, that means one last final weekend. Granted, the vast majority of IDP leagues have already crowned a champion. But a few leagues stretch things out through Week 17.
It used to be that doing so was tricky. Many teams, with nothing left to play for, rested starters. But in recent years the NFL tweaked the schedule so that many teams play divisional games as the regular season ends. That, in turn, has increased the number of games of at least some significance.
We’re doubly lucky in 2015 (OK, 2016 – whatever). With the exception of the Washington Redskins (who are locked into the NFC’s No. 4 seed) this year’s playoff contenders are either fighting for spots or seeding. And that means they can’t take their foot off the gas, which is good news indeed for IDP owners.
And so, as we shake off a New Year’s hangover (What? Act like you don’t have one too) and prepare for another offseason, it’s time for one final edition of IDP Studs and Duds here at Fantasy Sharks.
LOCK OF THE WEEK
Calais Campbell – DE, Arizona Cardinals (vs. SEA) (1): Campbell told Bob McManaman of AZ Central the Redbirds have no intention of letting up Sunday against the Seahawks. “We’ve got a lot of momentum going our way,” Campbell said, “and every time you go out there and play good football like we are, you want to keep it going. It’s a division game. Seattle is definitely a rivalry game, a game we look forward to playing each and every year. I definitely circled that game on the calendar, so I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
Andre Branch – DE, Jacksonville Jaguars (at HOU) (3): Week 17 isn’t exactly the best time to be relying on spot-starters, but IDP owners in a pinch could do worse than Branch in a favorable matchup.
Everson Griffen – DE, Minnesota Vikings (at GB) (4): With the NFC North title on the line, Griffen appears set for a big game against a Packers team that allowed nine sacks in a loss to the Cardinals a week ago.
Sheldon Richardson – DE, New York Jets (at BUF) (5): It’s been a difficult season for the self-proclaimed best player in the NFL, but Richardson draws a solid matchup to close out the 2015 campaign.
Stephone Anthony – ILB, New Orleans Saints (at ATL) (2): Anthony’s play as a rookie has been a rare bright spot for a horrible Saints defense – he leads the Saints with 107 total tackles through 16 weeks this season.
Will Compton – ILB, Washington Redskins (at DAL) (3): The Redskins don’t have anything to play for, but Compton should still see a full complement of snaps in a favorable fantasy matchup.
Brandon Marshall – ILB, Denver Broncos (vs. SD) (1): Marshall isn’t a sure bet to play against the Bolts thanks to a balky ankle, but the Broncos need this game for a first-round bye. If he plays, you have to start him in this matchup.
Adrian Amos – FS, Chicago Bears (vs. DET) (2): Amos has quietly had a nice rookie year for the Bears, and the youngster has a good shot to finish strong in a juicy fantasy matchup with the Lions.
Reggie Nelson – FS, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. BAL) (1): Nelson’s made himself a whole lot of money with his NFL-leading eight picks in 2015, and the Ravens have been turnover-prone all season long.