Week 17 Championship Games
I know, bush league right? Perhaps but the fact of the matter is they do exist, even if it is not the ideal format. So why scoff at those who participate in these leagues? They still need lineup advice and the money is still green that they’re playing for. It is much more difficult to play in a week 17 championship game for the simple fact that fantasy owners do not know how much playing time many of their stud players will receive. Most NFL teams tend to rest their star players so that they don’t risk injury heading into the playoffs. From a fantasy perspective, what adds another layer of challenge to this format is predicting who will be rested and who to start in place of a stud who sits. That is no easy task and therefore, these leagues are even harder to win than leagues whose championships are held in week 16. So before the idea of playing in a Week 17 championship game league is rejected, those of us who enjoy trying new things may want to consider playing in such a league. As a league mate of mine once said when I originally protested the Week 17 championship game, “that’s why you draft for depth”. Obviously it requires some luck to pick the right backup players to compensate for the teams who rest their starters but isn’t that part of the fun of this madness we call fantasy football?
Super Bowl Pick
I wrote last week that the Week 16 games that decided home field throughout the playoffs (Pitt at Tenn and Car at NYG) could very well be a preview of what is to come in the league’s championship games. I predicted the Giants and Steelers to win those games and as usual, I was half right. The Steelers were due for a let down after a six week stretch of games that had them playing the Chargers, Patriots, Cowboys, Ravens and Titans, all of whom are playoff caliber teams. I give them a pass for last week and should they be fortunate enough to play the Titans again, I don’t think they will have the same let down. The stomping of the terrible towel by the Titans will provide all the extra focus they will need for the re-match. The Giants proved they still have the best running game in the league and should their opponent’s run defense not show up, it will be a long day for them. I really think the Panthers needed to win last week to have a different outcome should they meet again. Either way, I don’t see too many teams in the NFC who have the run defense to slow the Giants. Maybe the Vikings but I am not sure. One thing I do know is the only team to really hang with the Giants running game this year was the Steelers (36 carries for 83 yards). That was an extremely close game that was partially decided by an injury to the Steelers long snapper. Given that, I think the Super Bowl will come down to these two teams and it will be unfortunate that Plaxico won’t be able to play against his former team. The difference in the game will be that the Steelers will get to Eli just a few more times than the Giants will take down Big Ben and the Steelers will prevail for their sixth Lombardi trophy 24-20.
I’ll be here all week
This is a throw away line used by comedians along the lines of “try the veal”. We have taught our three year old daughter this phrase and she even has picked up on the context of when to use it. When she does, it is down right hilarious. Although this is just a fantasy column, I wasn’t sure I would even be writing it because just before the football season began, my father died. As you might imagine this was a pretty major blow and I am still sorting through the thoughts and feelings I have over his death. One thing that did come out of this reflection is that I wanted to live my life better than I had up to this point. I know that sounds a little cliche but it reminded me more than ever how precious our time here on Earth is and how utterly meaningless fantasy football is. However, it is one of the things I enjoy and I hope the thoughts I have shared this year have been useful but if nothing else, entertaining. Thanks for reading and enjoy the holiday season (and your lives) as fully as possible.