Patience is no longer a virtue for teams in fantasy title games
Congratulations, you've made it to the fantasy championship game! Or maybe you're just reading this column out of spite. There seems to be no middle ground in title games: Either your team is a deserved beast that you're hoping will cruise to the fantasy championship or it's an undeserving team that's been getting lucky in points-against all year and has no business with a shot to win the league.
With just one week left, feel free to throw caution to the wind. A running back you were saving and hoped to get healthy can be dropped in favor of picking up a bunch of kickers or defenses if you can't decide which one you'd like to use yet. Unless you're in a no-postseason or keeper league, there's nothing to plan for after this week. Drop guys you're certain you (or your opponent) won't use. Even if you don't end up taking any chances with your roster, give yourself the opportunity.
Can you really trust Tim Tebow in your fantasy league's championship game? The rookie QB went for 8-for-16 for 138 yards and a score and rushed eight times for 78 yards and another TD in his starting debut. That was against a sub-par Raiders defense; in Week 16 the Broncos play the Texans, who have one of the worst secondaries in the league. (The only secondary at Houston's level is Denver. Sunday's game could be a 45-38 shootout.)
It's a risk. Don't sit a top quarterback if you've been riding him all year. But to those who snuck into the fantasy finals on the strength of running backs and receivers ought to take a look. The Texans' defense has allowed an enormous number of fantasy points to quarterbacks almost every week. Running back Knoshown Moreno is listed as questionable, meaning Tebow could also get more rushing opportunities like he did last week.
Hey, Donald Brown finally had his breakout game! People have been waiting for a big game from the former Connecticut back since he was drafted last year, and Sunday he rushed 14 times for 129 yards and a score in the Colts' win over the Jaguars. Oakland's run defense is better than Jacksonville's, but some teams might be able to upgrade at running back position by picking up Brown. He's available in 70 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Let's go matchup crazy this week and recommend every wide receiver available in your league in the Broncos-Texans game, a team between two of the worst pass defenses in the league. (According to
Jimmy Graham has taken over for Jeremy Shockey as the Saints' top receiving tight end; he has double-digit fantasy points in four of his last six games. He was targeted seven times on Sunday, catching 5 passes for 29 yards and two scores. Receivers, and not tight ends, have been what have burned the Falcons this year. Still, with Graham emerging as a red zone threat, he's worth a look.
Let's go back to Denver and Houston. The Texans have Neil Rackers, and he's probably on someone's roster. If not, he's a good pick-up. In Denver, Matt Prater has been inactive for the past two weeks; Steve Hauschka has handled the kicking duties in his stead. The Broncos play at 4:05 p.m. ET Sunday, making it tough. But since there are no weeks to plan for in the future, you should have roster spots open this week; pick up both and start whichever one plays if you want to go all-in on this Broncos-Texans game like I apparently have.
Finally, a section not dominated by Houston and Denver! Miami is available in 50 percent of leagues and plays the Lions at home this weekend. Detroit will either be starting Drew Stanton (who separated his shoulder Sunday) or Shaun Hill (who has a broken finger). The Dolphins are a good play if they're available on the waiver wire.