Home > Uncategorized > Week 15 In Fantasy Football: In The End, It’s Mostly About Luck

Week 15 In Fantasy Football: In The End, It’s Mostly About Luck

Joe Flacco scored about four-times more fantasy points than Drew Brees in week 15

I’m extremely competitive. I want to win everything for which I vie. As sad as it may sound, fantasy football is something that I pour my heart and strength into every weekend because I want to win so much. And when I don’t, it’s not a good idea to be around me for the next 24 hours.

But over the years, I’ve learned that you can only do so much with fantasy football. You can read the mid-week injury reports and break down the matchups. You can make all the moves you want on the free agent market and decide which players are best for your team each week. But at the base of all fantasy sports, you have no control! Once the game begins, all you can do is sit back and watch the carnage.

I say this because I know someone will find this and need a reason for why their 13-1 fantasy team was just eliminated from the playoffs due to the likes of Marion Barber, Joe Flacco, Jonathan Stewart, Matt Cassel and Braylon Edwards. Those five scored  120 points in my tw0-quarterback league. Of course, there were others who exploded (Matt Moore, Maurice Morris, Mike Wallace, Michael Bush) who weren’t started on any rosters across the world. And I haven’t even mentioned Jerome Harrison’s insane day, because he was started in less than three percent of Yahoo! leagues and about 1.5 percent of ESPN leagues. I think if I was facing him, I would have truly cut my eyes out with scissors.

But while I’m going crazy over this subject of unexpected breakouts late in the season, it happens every year! it just goes to show that in fantasy football, getting your team to the playoffs does take a lot of skill. The playoffs, however, are mostly dumb luck.

Here is a bullet rundown of things that caught my eye in week 16 of fantasy football:

  • So now when we think about the Cleveland Browns and running, we’re supposed to think of Jerome Harrison? This would be similar to Michael Jordan’s Bulls franchise record of 69 points in a single game being broken by John Salmons. And watch this Sunday. I know Harrison is facing the Raiders, but I bet he will disappoint his new owners. You won’t be disappointed if you look at last week’s game for what it is: a fluke. He’s probably a flex play at best in 12-team leagues.

    Shutdown, thy name is Revis

  • I was a few hours too early on my prediction that Nick Folk would be cut by noon on Monday. But when I said that I thought of Shaun Suisham after Folk missed a game-clinching field goal on Saturday, I certainly didn’t mean that I thought Suisham would REPLACE Folk! I think that is a horrible move.
  • Darrelle Revis locked down another top wide receiver as Roddy White caught just four balls for 33 yards. This week, Revis will take on Reggie Wayne — and we’re not even sure if he will play the entire game. Thus, you have to think that Wayne is nothing more than a No. 3 WR this week.
  • Hey, Michael Turner! Yeah, thanks a bunch. I’m so happy you can back for one freaking carry! That was awesome. And yeah, of course the Jets were aiming for your ankle. What did you expect, yo?? It’s football! They are going to try to hit your weak points! You know what? Don’t even try to come back. No one wants you any more.
  • Turner’s absence means that you should love Jason Snelling this Sunday against the horrid Bills’ run defense. I’m even thinking about starting him on my team over Jamaal Charles @ Cincy.
  • Josh Cribbs is an absolutely must-see, and I thought he could have had a fantasy impact going forward as the Browns continued to use the wildcat formation and Eric Mangini hinted that Cribbs would be used more in the offense. But he gained just 11 total yards on Sunday and with Harrison’s breakout, I think it’s time to not worry about Cribbs’ fantasy potential until next season. Unless you are in a league that counts return yardage, Cribbs will be just too risky for the rest of this season.
  • Welcome back, Dwayne Bowe. Ten targets, 56 yards, four catches aaaaaaaaand … a pass that hit him right in the chest and he drops in the end zone. But he is certainly starter-worthy this week against the Bengals. He is clearly the No. 1 option in KC.
  • That’s three single-digit fantasy performances for Tom Brady in his past four games. Even with this week’s matchup against Jacksonville, I don’t think he is a top-10 fantasy QB.

    You have to wonder how Tom Brady's myriad of injuries are affecting his play

  • While I may be disrespecting Jamaal Charles by possibly benching him this week, there is no doubt that he is a top-15 pick next season. And I think he will be a complete bust. He’s not big enough for a full load of carries, he fumbles often, the Chiefs’ offensive line isn’t very good and defenses will be planning to stop him.
  • Steven Jackson‘s back is on fire, but he keeps getting you 100+ total yards and he will not stop. He is just a beast. Again, imagine what he would be doing on a fairly decent team??
  • Matt Schaub had another solid day, but it would have been better if Joel Dressen hadn’t done his best Dwayne Bowe impression. Going into next season, Schaub is an easy top-5 fantasy QB. With Steve Slaton and Owen Daniels in the fold, that offense is so much fun to watch.
  • I’ve said a lot about Gary Kubiak losing his job and he certainly didn’t help himself on Sunday. When your fourth-string running back fumbles, it’s not just a case of the butterfingers. The Texans just aren’t well-coached on the importance of ball security.
  • Of everything that happened this weekend, I have seen the most venom spewed about how Arian Foster killed every team he was started on this past week. Sorry. Again, blame Kubiak.
  • So apparently my boy Gus Johnson compared JaMarcus Russell to Johnny Unitas after he threw the game-winning touchdown pass against the Broncos on Sunday? Where is the audio to this???? I can’t find it anywhere!!
  • Chris Johnson runs for “only” 104 yards against the Dolphins as Vince Young throws for three TDs. No worries. As much as I think Young is a top-12 QB in fantasy, I feel that Johnson is going to have a gigantic Christmas day game against the Chargers. I’ll say 190 total yards and two scores.
  • OK, I had to see it for two consecutive games but now I can finally say it: I trust Beanie Wells! Yeah, Tim Hightower stole a short-yardage touchdown, but for the second consecutive week, Beanie got the majority of the carries (17 to 6) and was much more successful. He is a healthy No. 2 RB in 12-team leagues this week against the Rams at home.
  • Calvin Johnson should just do the reverse Steven Jackson and shut it down. He looks really gimpy out there because of his knee ailment. As such, his fantasy draft stock for next season is falling. Yes, the knee injury he has now will be healed by then, but these injuries and his slow recovery will linger in the minds of many fantasy drafters next August.
  • Maurice Morris ran for 92 of his 126 yards in the second half against the Cardinals. Most of those yards came on one play. Not a believer? Good. Although, it was the second week in a row in which the Cardinals’ solid run defense got gashed by an opposing runner. That is good for Steven Jackson.
  • With Larry Fitzgerald and Kurt Warner obviously dinged up, I am slightly worried that they will miss some game action, starting this week.
  • Another week and another back leads the Raiders in rushing. Apparently, Justin Fargas suffered a slight knee injury early in the Broncos game and Michael Bush went off. Whatever, I’m not buying. You just don’t know who the No. 1 guy is in this situation from week to week.
  • Knowshon Moreno is getting a lot of hate this week after his 19-carry, 42-yard outing against Oakland. For as many of the unexpected things that happened, many things that we expected to happen never materialized. Moreno is the poster child of that in week 15. Still, I think he’ll be fine this week @ Philadelphia.

    All the good will built up in the last few weeks dashed with a dud in the fantasy playoffs

  • My heart went out to Chad Ochocinco when I saw him get into the end zone against the Chargers. That emotion was so real and quite a memorable moment from one of the more wacky NFL’ers.
  • Tip of the hat to Brandon Marshall as well. Marshall had another nice game and got into the end zone, but his reception total dropped 67 percent from last week. Boo. Hoo.
  • Vincent Jackson is clearly trying to make amends for that month-long slump he fell into a while ago. He is back to stud, must-start status.
  • LaDainian Tomlinson gained more than 100 total yards for the FIRST TIME THIS SEASON. Gah! But, he might have a little bit more success this Friday with the Titans’ slate of linebackers now in shambles. Still, his ceiling is 13 points per week.
  • Man, all these 7-7 teams in the NFL are making me thirsty.
  • Ray Rice had 74 yards on his first five carries, but the Ravens apparently decided that they wanted to just torch the Bears through the air — although they could have done it on the ground, too. Rice was taken out at the start of the fourth quarter and still gained 104 total yards. He’s still the No. 1 option on that team, no matter what Joe Flacco showed Sunday.
  • Jay Cutler, you’ve made a lot of pathetic decisions this year, but what was this?
  • Yes, the Bears and the Seahawks. Two teams that I want absolutely no part of in these final two weeks. That includes Matt Forte, Greg Olsen, any Seahawks running back, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, John Carlson (who apparently had to wait three months before he could record another 60-yard game.).
  • That first half between the Bucs and Seahawks wasn’t the worst I’ve seen all season, but it was probably in the top-3.
  • The worst turnover from a quarterback this week — because it wouldn’t be fair to include Hunter Smith’s pass “attempt” last night — goes to Alex Smith.
  • If you are looking for a deep sleeper WR this week, how about Josh Morgan? He has the talent to be a No. 1 receiver, he has caught at least six passes in three of his past four games and the 49ers are facing the Lions this week. I like him probably more than most, but I think that whole 49ers offense will rebound this week.
  • LeSean McCoy gets a short TD, but you can no longer trust any Eagles running back going forward.
  • Green Bay vs. Pittsburgh. What’s to say? Everyone that you cared about in fantasy here was at least serviceable, and most of them were great. Even Rashard Mendenhall made up for a sub-par day on the ground with 73 receiving yards. Everyone was satisfied after this one.
  • I will say is that Greg Jennings had a much better stat line than he should have had. Specifically, he really shouldn’t have scored on his 83-yard pass reception. It wasn’t exactly like Derrick Mason not going down after being sandwiched by a couple of Detroit Lions last week, but it was close. Tyrone Carter looked like he wanted to tackle Jennings with his hair.
  • Keep an eye on Hines Ward. According to head coach Mike Tomlin, Ward “may have experienced a minor setback with his hamstring injury that’s probably definitely going to limit him in the early part of the week. We’ll evaluate him on a day-to-day basis.”
  • Adrian Peterson‘s fantasy day gets saved by a long reception in garbage time, but it was yet another week in which he couldn’t get it going on the ground. But to be fair, his line hasn’t been giving him much of a chance. He’s still an easy No. 1 RB in fantasy. No real worries here. We’re just wondering why he isn’t running for 100 yards every week. That’s the standard Peterson has set for himself.

    Steve Smith is suddenly a confident start in fantasy, thanks to a new QB

  • Matt Moore, the savior! He is resurrecting Steve Smith‘s season. With Moore at quarterback, I think Smith will have another big game this weekend against the Giants. And no, you still don’t want any more of Moore (hey-hey!)
  • I haven’t heard much about the ankle that knocked DeAngelo Williams out of the Sunday night game early, but we’ll probably know more by Wednesday.
  • Percy Harvin is taking a trip to the Mayo Clinic. Barring a recurrence with his migraines, I think he’ll be fine to play this week. That doesn’t mean you should start him, though. He has had hardly any practice time in the past two weeks.
  • Obviously, if Williams is out, I think Stewart is a fringe No. 1 RB in fantasy. He has played like such in his last two games when he got the majority of the carries.
  • Against Chicago, I am not worried about starting Peterson, Brett Favre or Sidney Rice. Let’s not panic here, kids.
  • Washington Redskins … HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Oh, that was fun. Moving on …
  • One thing about the Redskins: At least Quinton Ganther got the short touchdown. You should be able to count on him for that, even if he doesn’t put up an outstanding yardage number.
  • After these past two games, it’s clear to me that you shouldn’t fear Ahmad Bradshaw as a flex play. Yeah, he is running on two mangled feet, but it sure doesn’t look like it. He looks like the most effective Giants runner.

As for me, I am in the finals of my one and only league. I was up by 48 going into the Monday night game. Despite the success of Eli Manning, Steve Smith and, to a lesser extent, Santana Moss, I hung on to win by four. I basically held my breath for the fourth quarter. So now I will try for my first FF title against a squad with the likes of Chris Johnson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Antonio Gates, the Panthers’ Steve Smith, Carson Palmer, etc. It’s not going to be easy, so hopefully I can get a healthy dose of luck. Best of luck to you all in your week 16/championship matches.

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