The fantasy football season draws to a close, and with it comes the final installment of Fantasy Musings. It's been an interesting season, to say the least, and if your fantasy team is in the playoffs, it likely has a different cast than you'd have expected at the beginning of the year.
While fantasy is what we've been focused on for the last 16 weeks, the real playoffs hang in the balance as teams shuffle players in and out of their lineups. They operate much like fantasy managers do, looking for the winning combination that will push their team into the postseason.
The next two weeks will bring the playoff picture into focus, and my thoughts will likely meander between fantasy and reality as they often do this time of year. Meanwhile, please take some time to enjoy your family and friends during this holiday season as we feast on a buffet of football.
Philadelphia has traded places with Washington, which makes this week's game an interesting one to watch. The Redskins came of the gates out on fire, with
Meanwhile, the Eagles have played themselves into contention and need a loss by either Atlanta or Tampa Bay to move into a playoff spot. Saying they'll be motivated when they travel to FedEx Field to face the Redskins would be an understatement.
Will the Portis-led Redskins finally turn the tables on the suddenly-resurgent Eagles? The key here is the health of
Speaking of Zorn, will the impetuous and impatient
Who will win the Rookie of the Year award? There are a number of worthy candidates, but I've see it as a dead heat between the Falcons'
In the competitive NFC South, the Carolina Panthers seemingly have the division locked up with a two-game lead over the Buccaneers and Falcons. But a trap awaits. This week they head into the Meadowlands and a fight for the top seed in the NFC, which guarantees home-field advantage for the winner throughout the playoffs. After being last year's version of road warriors, the defending champion New York Giants would like nothing better than to wipe the stigma of their recent struggles off the backs of the Panthers. Carolina finishes against the Saints, who will be looking to salvage some pride while playing spoiler.
The Buccaneers meanwhile control their destiny, but seem to have lost their GPS along the way. Frankly, I am amazed that they've held on this long with the injuries, especially the loss of
In Chicago, the Bears faithful can see that their season lays on the point of a finely-honed blade. Chicago needs the Vikings to lose out against the Falcons and the Giants, which is a distinct possibility, and they then need to win out against Green Bay and Houston. I kind of wish they were playing Houston this week, but Forte can have a big game against the Packers and will need to avoid the rookie wall to keep the Bears slim hopes alive.
I said early in the season that I wouldn't want to put my playoff hopes in the hands of
Finally I want to thank
For me, it's time to focus on fantasy baseball, our new Diamond Draft software, and a few quiet days with my family for the holidays. My son returns home just in time for his beach wedding this weekend (it will be 80 degrees, so beach weddings in Florida in December aren't as crazy as they sound) and will be home for Christmas with his new bride. Count all your blessings as we wind down the year, and then multiply them to the power of 10. In the end, that's what it's all about.