Christmas has come and gone, but fantasy owners in some IDP leagues are hoping for one last gift from Santa – a league championship.
In those leagues, the title game doesn’t happen until Week 17. The downside of those leagues is that teams resting starters in meaningless games can royally mess up a squad. Nothing like having a guy carry your squad all season long only to see him sit when you need him most. The upside, of course, is one more week of fantasy football. It can be hard to say goodbye, just as it is every season as the fun draws to a close.
Odds are, if you’re reading this you may have gotten a bit of both of those worlds. Being in the title game and simultaneously looking for a player to start in that game can be quite the dilemma. It isn’t the end of the world, though. Things could be much, much worse. Just ask the Oakland Raiders.
As we look at an option at each of the “main” IDP positions who is both likely on many waiver wires and capable of helping you in Week 17, I’d like to offer my thanks at the end of another season here at Fantasy Sharks. You make it possible for me to do what I do – and for that I am in your debt.
With any luck a recommendation or two in this article this year helped your teams.
THE WEEK 17 IN CASE OF EMERGENCY BREAK GLASS DEFENSIVE LINEMAN
William Hayes – DE, Los Angeles Rams
There weren’t many people sad to see head coach Jeff Fisher get let go by the Rams. But Hayes was one of them, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I can’t stand here and say I support the decision — that’s above my pay grade,” Hayes said. “I’m gonna give 110%, but at the end of the day, I thought, personally, he did a great job leading this team. It’s unfortunate because the losses always get put on to the head coach, but the reality is, we [screwed] it up. We messed up a real good situation. We didn’t go out there and do what we needed to do. We were inconsistent, we played like [crap], and that’s why he doesn’t have a job.”
I don’t know that most would say there was anything good about the situation that was the 2016 Rams. But Hayes once again performed fairly well when thrust into a bigger role by injury. That’s especially true of late – the 31-year-old has 15 total tackles and two sacks over his last three games. Toss in a matchup with an Arizona Cardinals team that has allowed the most fantasy points to defensive linemen in 2016 and you have the makings of a spot-start that could pay off quite handsomely.
THE WEEK 17 IN CASE OF EMERGENCY BREAK GLASS LINEBACKER
Edwin Jackson – ILB, Indianapolis Colts
As Kirk Larrabee of 247 Sports wrote, Jackson’s the first to admit that Edward does not equal D’Qwell in the middle of the Indy defense. “He is a great leader on and off the field, in the locker room and in the meeting room with the linebackers,” Jackson said of D’Qwell Jackson. “He just leads by example and he shows you exactly what it means to be a pro. With him out, I feel like we have a great group of guys in the linebacker room that are going to step up, whoever they may be. As a defense we know what we have to do this week, we have to have great communication. That is one thing that when he leaves is kind of taken away but we are going to have to step up for him.”
The pair’s talent levels might not be comparable, but this season at least their productivity has been. Since DJ was slapped with a four-game PED suspension by the NFL EJ has racked up 25 tackles in three starts, including six solos in each of the past two games. Those numbers aren’t eye-popping but they’ll do in a pinch, and with a plus matchup on deck in Week 17 against the Jacksonville Jaguars it isn’t unreasonable to expect Jackson to do it one last time.
THE WEEK 17 IN CASE OF EMERGENCY BREAK GLASS DEFENSIVE BACK
Keith Tandy – S,Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Per Ray Cummings of the FanRag Sports Network, Tampa head coach Dirk Koetter has been impressed by how Tandy has played since taking over for the then-injured Chris Conte a few weeks ago. “It’s awesome to see a guy like that get his chance,’’ Koetter said of Tandy. “You know, sometimes players get pigeonholed in this league. They’re (seen) as special teams players or a third safety or a fourth wideout or something like that but all they need is the right opportunity to prove their something other than that.’’
Tandy must have made quite the impression on Koetter and the Tampa coaching staff, as despite Conte being healthy again it’s Tandy who has started the last two games opposite Bradley McDougald. Tandy has averaged nine total stops a game over the last three weeks, and while last week’s four tackles in a devastating loss to the New Orleans Saints was a letdown the fact remains that even at defensive back players with some kind of track record and a top 10 matchup don’t grow on trees. Facing the Carolina Panthers in Week 17, Tandy’s just such a player.