Lots of buzz going on this week with respect to weather this week. Yes, the weather outside is frightful but the ground game is so delightful. As the winter chill takes over this week, teams will get more and more conservative in play calling. Some teams I’d say benefit from playing in the cold weather. One of these teams is the Denver Broncos who center around running the ball. This week you find the Broncos @ Bills. Buffalo’s defense has given up 32.0 points per game during the losing stretch. The Bills allowed a season-high 254 rushing yards against the Dolphins last weekend. I would not hesitate to start any of the horses in Denver which includes Tim Tebow, Willis McGahee, and Lance Ball.
Ball really showed a burst last week that I had not noticed and while McGahee
remains the back who gets the bulk of the workload, Ball certainly has made the most of his recent opportunities.
Temperature in this game will be below freezing and with a system on its way, This could be a turnover rich and low scoring affair. C.J. Spiller owners have been pleasantly surprised as to the production. I think he makes an okay play again this week. Do yourself a favor and avoid any kickers in this one. The cold does strange things to non football players. This is hardly a week to fool with mother nature.
I’m sure you have all played in the snow at one point in your life. Running the football successfully is all about balance and the short choppy steps ala Keith Byars. Those of you that watched the former Miami Dolphin great understand the reference and running style.
Playing in the rain is however a much different animal altogether. Look at the rain this weekend in Seattle as the 49ers try to outlast the Seahawks. When I say outlast, I mean this could be ugly as the weather forecast is chance of rain. I’m not suggesting that teams aren’t used to rain, but it sure has an effect on turnovers and footing. My advice is read the box score the day after unless your television only gets one ball game. There is a lot to be said for the afternoon nap. You probably are going to be up late wrapping gifts.
The most exciting news this week is that Josh McCown will be at the helm of the Chicago Bears. Khalil Bell will be the starting ball carrier. Neither one of these guys would have ever been drafted in any league. I say bring on the scrubs. As long as we are at it, let’s get a look at rookie running back Armando Allen. Allen is fifth all time in Notre Dame history with 4,337 all purpose yards and is one of only eight players to eclipse 4,000 all purpose yards in a career.
So, what you say? Devin Hester is nursing an ankle injury which means that Allen may actually touch the ball on kickoffs and punt returns. Since the depth chart in Chicago looks like there will only be two backs healthy, one could infer that Allen is going to get some carries. Don’t expect too much against a Packers defense that was humiliated last week at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs. This could be a real grind it out kind of a game except that the Bears are mediocre against the pass.
Pretty good chance that Aaron Rodgers does a few discount double checks. It should be in the low to mid thirties. Should be a black and blue old fashioned war in the trenches. Love me some Christmas football.
Remember to select a dome kicker this time of year (Chargers, Lions, Falcons, and Saints). Wind, rain, sleet, and snow are not a kickers best friend. Also look for the game with the worst possible weather for defensive selections if you don’t have a clear cut starter or a great matchup. I have won many games by picking up a team’s defense that was playing in less than desirable conditions. I don’t have to tell you that the Bills and Broncos fit that to a tee this week. Another possibility may be Seattle defense against the 49ers. They may actually be available.
I’m going to enjoy the games this week with zero fantasy implications for me. The loss of Matt Schaub really sealed my fate this season. I made quite a few good moves but in the end I found myself up against the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees which didn’t bode well for me. Some things are just out of our control.
I did find a few players that I am excited about for next season. The list includes Antonio Brown, Demarco Murray, Chris “Beanie” Wells, Michael Bush, and Mikel Leshoure. I honestly believe that Leshoure was the most complete back in this years class. While we have experts that have Jahvid Best and thoughts of Kevin Smith returning to form, my money is on Leshoure. He is ahead of schedule and has been rehabbing after achilles tendon surgery. He can be had late in most drafts and is someone that has unbelieveable skills.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night! Questions/Comments/Concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org