Welcome to the final Brew crew Corner of 2012. I hope everyone’s holidays were great. All that is left now is to wrap up the 2012 fantasy season and to celebrate New Year’s. The final week there are some adjustments you need to make for the final game. We’ll look at each scenario so you can prepare for this weekend.
Weather: Seems simple, but there has been some heavy snow throughout the country and several games will be affected this weekend by snow or rain. This weather will impact the passing game and may lead to a conservative rushing offense. Games that will be affected are Jets at the Bills, Dolphins at the Patriots, Eagles at the Giants, Browns at the Steelers and Raiders at the Charges. For an example of how weather can screw your game up, back in 2007, a heavy snow during the Bills and Browns resulted in a 8-0 Browns win. both quarterbacks in that game were limited to 137 yards or less. The running backs however still had success as Marshawn Lynch ran for 82 yards on 21 carries while Jamal Lewis carried 33 times for 163 yards.
Injuries: You’ve dealt with injuries all season but at this point of the season, it’s taken its toll on a bunch of guys and if a team has clinched a playoff spot or has been eliminated, it makes it easy for a team to sit that player rather than risk losing them for the playoffs or having them rehab all offseason. Double and triple check reports this weekend. It would suck to lose a championship because you didn’t change a player due to being inactive.
Inactive Players: While we are discussing players that are injured, some teams that have locked up a playoff spot may sit players that are healthy just to avoid injury or to give them rest. The Falcons who have clinched the #1 seed may limit Roddy White or Julio Jones if they play.
The Golden Mug Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who came through for their team.
Calvin Johnson– 11 receptions for 225 yards. Johnson was the highlight of week 16 as he broke Jerry Rice’s single season receiving record. If only Johnson could match the 15 touchdowns Rice had in 1995.
Dez Bryant– 12 receptions for 224 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. After fracturing his finger, Bryant decided to play through the pain and produced the best game of his career. Hopefully he can have another game like this in week 17.
Reggie Bush– 19 carries for 65 yards and 1 touchdown, 4 receptions for 42 yards and 2 touchdowns. Bush is 40 rushing yards away from reaching 1,000 yards for just the second time in his career. This week, he led some owners to some upset victories.
The Urinal Cake Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who you would like to, well you know.
Beanie Wells– 4 carries for 3 yards and 1 lost fumble. After scoring 3 touchdowns in week 15, Wells left owners with zero points. The zero is even more painful if you lost a close game.
Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz– 3 receptions for 28 yards. Nicks didn’t contribute to any of those yards. Just a horrible receiving day for these guys. Perhaps next season these two will be a value in drafts based on this season.
Good quarterback matchups this week:
Tony Romo at the Redskins. Romo has been hot the past two games and this game will be played for the NFC East crown. Romo has Dez Bryant playing out of his mind regardless of injury. This is the kind of matchup you hope for when you are in the title game. The Redskins defense has allowed 29 touchdowns this year.
Peyton Manning against the Chiefs. Who would have thought at the beginning of the season that Manning would help you win a championship. Manning is ironically tied with Andrew Luck for 7th among fantasy quarterbacks. The Chiefs have already mailed it in for the year and were beat by Manning with a 285 yard, two touchdown performance back in Week 12.
Sleeper Pick of the Week: Michael Vick at the Giants. Chances are that almost everyone has cut Vick in almost every league and if you are able to make waiver pickups, Vick may come in handy of you have been using Carson Palmer or have a struggling quarterback like Eli Manning. Vick has not played since his concussion in Week 10 but has been rested and could put up good numbers against a very banged up Giants defense that has allowed 27 points or more in the last three games.
Good running back matchups this week:
Adrian Peterson against the Packers. Peterson for Fantasy MVP? you can make a strong argument for that. Third round selection on average has been fantasy gold all season. Peterson faces the Packers who he ran for 210 yards and a score against back in Week 13. Watch as Peterson carries your team to victory this week. The Packers are 14th in the NFL allowing 111.9 rushing yards with 11 touchdowns.
Marshawn Lynch against the Rams. Lynch ran well against the Rams in Week 4 when he totaled 118 rushing yards a score. Lynch doesn’t receive the same praise as Adrian Peterson or Arian Foster does but Lynch is 5th overall among running backs and just 29 fantasy points behind Foster on the season.
Sleeper Pick of the Week: DeAngelo Williams at the Saints. Before last week’s game, Williams had back-to-back games with at least 21 fantasy points and scored on receiving touchdowns in both. The Saints are horrible in pass defense which shows why their rushing defense looks good but teams have scored a ton of points on the Saints and the Panthers have been playing really well winning three straight. When teams are winning, fantasy players play better.
Bad quarterback matchups this week:
Colin Kaepernick against the Cardinals. Kaepernick did not face the Cardinals in Week 8. The Cardinals have not been fantasy-quarterback friendly the past three games, allowing an average of 11 fantasy points per game with only two touchdowns. The Cardinals are 3rd in the NFL allowing 195.7 passing yards with 18 touchdowns versus 22 interceptions.
Andrew Luck against the Texans. Luck faced Houston two weeks ago and posted 186 passing yards and two scores. Houston is still looking to get home-field advantage in the playoffs so they will look to limit Luck as much as possible. The Texans have not allowed over 200 yards passing in back-to-back games.
Matthew Stafford against the Bears. Calvin Johnson has already broken Jerry Rice’s record and the Lions are well out of the playoffs so other than division rivalry, there isn’t much for the Lions to play for in Week 17. The Bears defense have been great at creating turnovers as they lead the league with 23 interceptions on the season. In Week 7 Stafford threw for 261 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Bad running back matchups this week:
Steven Jackson at the Seahawks. Could this be Jackson’s last game in a Rams uniform? Jackson has not been serviceable this season as he’s 17th among running backs. I admit I thought he would have missed time with an injury but he hasn’t missed any games this season. In Week 4, Jackson was held to just 55 rushing yards against the Seahawks. The Seahawks have allowed just 11 touchdowns on the ground all season and just one score since week 12.
Darren McFadden at the Chargers. With Palmer going down in the game last week, the Raiders offense struggled and McFadden was limited to just 33 rushing yards. Palmer is likely to miss this game which will allow the Chargers to focus their defense on stopping McFadden. In Week 1, McFadden rushed for just 32 yards against the Chargers. The Chargers are 4th in the NFL allowing 95.4 rushing yards per game with nine touchdowns.
Jamaal Charles at the Broncos. Charles is coming off his 2nd 200+ yard rushing game of the season and has seven games with 100 yards or more. This includes Week 12 against the Broncos where he rushed for 107 yards. Unfortunately, for every game that Charles rushes for 100+ yards, there is also a game where he gets 10 or less, which he has done three times this season. The Broncos are 3rd in the NFL allowing just 91 yards per game and have not given up a touchdown on the ground since Week 9.
Week 17: Good luck to those finishing the season this week.