For some people, the fantasy football season will end this week. Lucky for you, pitchers and catchers report in less than three months. The rest of us will be moving on to the playoffs, and across the board we might all be better-equipped than usual to do damage in the postseason.
By now, you all know to have your waiver claims or bids in for Brian Westbrook and Toby Gerhart. But that's not what I mean when I say "better-equipped." Usually as we head into Week 13, at least a few teams have separated themselves from the pack in the NFL. Maybe there's an 11-0 team or two, and there certainly are multiple teams at 10-1 or better. But 2010 isn't like most seasons. At press time, the Patriots are the favorites to win the Super Bowl, coming in at 4.5-to-1. The Falcons and Chargers are 6-to-1, and the Jets are 7-to-1. Simply put, there's still not a strong favorite to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
What's more, the Patriots and Jets figure to slug it out for the AFC East championship down to the final week. Same goes for the Chargers and Chiefs in the West, Ravens and Steelers in the North and Colts and Jaguars in the South. Over in the NFC, it looks the same. The Falcons and Saints (and maybe Buccaneers) are likely to go down to the wire in the NFC South, along with the Eagles and Giants in the East, Bears and Packers in the North and Oregon Ducks and Stanford Cardinal in the West. Oh wait, my mistake. Those are college teams. It's just that they resemble a professional football team more than any team in the NFC West. That's what threw me. My bad.
Throw in all the jockeying for position among potential wild-cards and for playoff seeding, and it appears that most teams, if not all of them, will be trotting out their starters until the bitter end, which is great news for fantasy owners. No one will have to worry about Peyton Manning getting benched in Week 16 after a half or Michael Turner resting up for the playoffs. Everyone should have a full complement of starters every week of the playoffs. Roger Goodell may not have intended to benefit fantasy owners nationwide with his dream of extreme parity, but it has done just that this season.
Speaking of the playoffs, there's no better time than now to roll out the fantasy MVPs at each position for the season. These are just my opinions, and yours may differ. If you want to slug it out in 140 characters or fewer, hit me up on Twitter
And now, the flip side. Here are my least valuable fantasy players by position.
On the bright side, his consecutive starts streak is up to 296 and his Wranglers are really comfortable.
Strong cases can be made for both Beanie Wells and Shonn Greene, but Mathews' status as a first-round pick on nearly every expert draft board this summer gives him the nod.
Last week, Matt Cassel stuck it to Pete Carroll, who never thought him worthy of the starting role at USC. This week, he's our Boom for Week 13, courtesy of
"Despite playing for an offense that prides itself on a dynamic ground game, Matt Cassel has been an extremely productive fantasy producer as of late. Over the past month, he ranked in the top-five for both QB rating and fantasy points, which is amazing given how low the Chiefs' run/pass ratio in comparison to other high-achieving QBs. Look for this trend to continue as the controversial Josh McDaniels and his Broncos visit, bringing their unique brand of competent offense punctuated by bouts of tremendously awful defense. With bad feelings still in the air from the running-it-up accusations of Week 10, look for the Chiefs to exact revenge by channeling the lessons of John Kreese and the Cobra Kai: strike first, strike hard, no mercy."
Check my Twitter account,
1. Michael Vick vs. Texans
1. Arian Foster @ Eagles
1. DeSean Jackson vs. Texans
1. Antonio Gates vs. Raiders
First of all, if you're still alive in your survivor league, my hat is off to you. We're going to change up the format here this week. If you've survived this long, you've probably used up most of the best teams in the league. I'll offer three teams that I think are locks, assuming a clean slate. I'll also give you two more that are more likely to be on the board of someone still playing survivor.
1. Green Bay Packers (vs. 49ers): I could give you some grand insight or analysis, but this game is what it is: One of the best teams in the NFL against one of the worst. No way the Packers drop this game.
2. San Diego Chargers (vs. Raiders): Once again, the Chargers destroyed the Colts and look like the class of the AFC West. They host the Chiefs next week, but need to take care of business against the Raiders. I'm not worried about them looking ahead, and you shouldn't be either. These intra-division games out west have been tricky this year, but the Chargers have righted the ship.
3. Indianapolis Colts (vs. Cowboys): After digesting a week's worth of "What's wrong with the Colts/Peyton Manning" mumbo-jumbo, get ready for the Colts to come out at home and take care of the Cowboys. Does anyone really think the Jaguars will win the AFC South? Come on. Roy Williams may have fumbled away a Thanksgiving win against the Saints, but if they get down like that early in Indy, there won't be any coming back.
And now one off the beaten path. As a note, I like all three above better than the two below.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Broncos): I'm a bit worried about the trap-game potential of this, as the Chiefs travel to San Diego next week where first place in the AFC West will likely be on the line, but, shocking as it is, the Cassel-Bowe connection has become bankable. You can bet that Todd Haley and the Chiefs want payback after what happened in Denver three weeks ago, as well.
2. Seattle Seahawks (vs. Panthers): This is a bet against the Panthers, not on the Seahawks. Seattle is a decent home team, and somehow holds wins over San Diego and Chicago. It's a game a first-place team, even from the NFC West, should win.