Happy Holidays from the Brew Crew Corner. It’s championship week! Well at least for Shark leagues. Some other leagues will likely have their championships in Week 17, but for those playing this week, it is a great feeling to finally be in the big game after weeks and weeks of wins and losses. It all comes down to this for bragging rights, hardware or the big payoff. Whatever the rewards are for winning your league, it is always great to see the team you built over the summer finish No. 1.
This is what you’ve worked hard for, agonized over every dropped pass, injury or turnover. Come Monday morning, you’re either the champion of your league or the guy with the second-worst pick in next year’s draft. Since you have made it this far, make sure to have your lineup ready to go before you head out for last-minute shopping or travel to see family. Make sure to play your best guys. It is the game you’ve waited for all season!
The Golden Mug Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who came through for their team.
Russell Wilson – 14/23, 205 yards, TD; 9 carries, 92 yards, 3 TD. Wilson had not scored on the ground all season but ran for three scores in this game. If you play in leagues where passing touchdowns are discounted to three or four points, the rushing scores were even more valuable.
Andre Johnson – 11 receptions, 151 yards, TD. Johnson scored just his fourth touchdown of the season but has posted 1,360 receiving yards so far this season, which is the most since 2009. He has been a Top 5 wide receiver over the past four games.
Adrian Peterson – 24 carries, 212 yards, TD. Peterson has been a Top 3 fantasy scorer for three games straight while posting two 200-plus yard games over that stretch. He now has had 108 or more yards in his last eight games, including scoring nine of his 11 touchdowns. Peterson leads Cam Newton by 27 fantasy points for Fantasy MVP honors.
The Urinal Cake Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who you would like to, well, you know.
Ray Rice – 12 carries, 38 yards. Gut punch during the fantasy playoffs. You have Rice while your opponent has Adrian Peterson. His player puts up 31 while Rice gets you only eight. The switch to a new offensive coordinator did not help the Baltimore Ravens offense.
Jamaal Charles – 9 carries, 10 yards. What a drop in production from one week to the next. In this Kansas City offense, you don’t know if Charles will run for 170 yards or seven yards from week to week. Last week Charles ran for 165 yards which was his third game in a row of more than 100 yards and then in this game against a good matchup he lays an egg.
Eli Manning – 13/25, 161 yards, 2 INT. After a big game against the New Orleans Saints where he threw for four touchdowns, Manning showed up like he did in Weeks 8-10 where he failed to throw for a touchdown. This is his fourth game with eight fantasy points or less. It was one fantasy point better than Mark Sanchez, who threw four interceptions and fumbled.
Good quarterback matchups this week
Robert Griffin III at Philadelphia. If Griffin III is ready to play, plug him in. Griffin III was averaging 22.3 points per game since Week 12 before missing Week 15. I don’t expect him to run much in this game if at all unless to break the pocket. In Week 11, Griffin III threw four touchdowns against the Eagles. The Eagles are 13th in the NFL in pass defense but have allowed 26 touchdowns on the year with just seven interceptions, tied for fewest in the league. The Eagles have given up multiple touchdowns to quarterbacks in nine straight games if you include Andy Dalton’s rushing score.
Matt Ryan at Detroit. Ryan has been a steady fantasy quarterback this season as he is the seventh-ranked quarterback in Shark leagues. Ryan has posted 20-plus fantasy points in three of the past four games. The Lions have played well on pass defense the past two weeks, especially holding Aaron Rodgers to less than 200 yards and without a passing touchdown in Week 14. This will be a good matchup for Ryan as the Lions have allowed 21 passing touchdowns this season.
Sleeper Pick of the Week:
Ryan Tannehill against Buffalo. If Griffin III doesn’t play for whatever reason, insert Kirk Cousins instead. Tannehill is coming off his best fantasy performance of the year as he posted 25 fantasy points. In his first meeting against the Bills, he did not play well, throwing for just 141 yards and a score with two interceptions. The Bills were just lit up last week by another rookie quarterback, Russell Wilson. While the three rushing touchdowns are not likely, we could see two passing touchdowns and maybe a score on the ground.