Most championships should be settled by now. Congrats to you if you came away with the gold. Me personally, I just missed out on both of my money leagues. I certainly can hang my head high though. As I’ve previously mentioned, I took an 0-4 team into the championship, and none of my teams were stinkers. Plus, I came away with a little dough and made more than my buy-ins back. Can’t complain. Let’s do it again next year.

But, as I promised, there are still some ridiculous leagues that are playing in Week 17 for the championships, and I’m going to try and navigate you all through the possible shutdowns and sit-downs. I’m going to change up the format, and rather than talk about the comfortables, cautions, and casualties, I’m going to list what’s at stake for the game, who’s in danger of being sat, and who are some interesting/viable replacements. Remember, unless I warn you otherwise, you’re dancing with who brought you!

Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals

What’s at stake?: A playoff spot for the Ravens with a win and a loss by either the Chargers or the Dolphins, OR losses by the Chargers, Dolphins and Steelers. A possible first-round bye for Cincinnati with a win and a Patriots loss.

Who’s in danger of being sat?: All systems are go for this game.

Who are some viable alternatives?: None

Andy Dalton should be a sneaky QB pick for this week if you’re souring on Jay Cutler. The only player who seemed to miss out on the Bengal fantasy smorgasbord last week was Gio Bernard, but I think you can roll with him in the championships.

Prediction: Cincy wins early to put pressure on the Patriots.

New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins

What’s at stake?: Rex Ryan’s Job. A playoff spot for the Dolphins with a win and a Patriots loss/Chargers win.

Who’s in danger of being sat?: Ryan Tannehill

Who are some viable alternatives?: Matt Moore

You’re still not starting any Jets, or any Dolphins running back. The only fantasy relevant player in this game is Mike Wallace. Tannehill got hurt last week, so Matt Moore will take over for him if he can’t make it. Moore’s not awful, but I wouldn’t start him outside of two-QB leagues.

Prediction: Dolphins put the final nail in Rex’s coffin.

Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

What’s at stake?: The slimmest of playoff hopes for the Steelers.

Who’s in danger of being sat?: Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron

Who are some viable alternatives?: Edwin Baker, Emmanuel Sanders

There’s no reason for the Browns to play Josh Gordon or Jordan Cameron this week, other than wanting to personally be the ones responsible for ending the Steelers’s playoff hopes. Despite a disappointing year, Rod Chudzinski’s not going to get fired after his first year, so he has nothing to prove. At the very most, you might get a half out of Gordon, who has traditionally been a second-half kind of guy. Cameron has passed the concussion protocols, so check to make sure he’s not shut down regardless. If you’re looking for a Gordon replacement, Emmanuel Sanders can find the end zone.

Prediction: Steelers win, and start scoreboard-watching.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts

What’s at stake?: A possible first-round bye for the Colts with a win and losses by the Patriots and Bengals.

Who’s in danger of being sat?: Maurice Jones-Drew

Who are some viable alternatives?: Marcedes Lewis

The Colts are going to be scoreboard watching throughout this game, and if it’s looking like Cincy is blowing out Baltimore (doubtful), they may take their foot off the gas pedal and rest their starters. But if you own ANY Colt (Luck, T-Rich, Donald Brown, TY Hilton, Coby Fleener) and have made it to the finals, that’s impressive.  

Prediction: Colts close out the regular season with a home win.

Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants

What’s at stake?: Pride for Eli and Big Blue. Hakeem Nicks’s and Kirk Cousins’s chances of making some money this offseason.

Who’s in danger of being sat?: Alfred Morris, Andre Brown, Hakeem Nicks

Who are some viable alternatives?: Roy Helu, Michael Cox

I might be going to this game. Tickets are cheap. With two Superbowl rings, Tom Coughlin’s in no danger of losing his job this offseason (I think he’s got one more year left in him). And I don’t think Eli’s getting benched. He needs to get into this offseason with confidence. Andre Brown might be sat with a possible concussion, which means Michael Cox could be the bell-cow. It depends on the availability of Peyton Hillis. Hakeem Nicks had probably the worst contract year ever.

Prediction: G-Men end a terrible year on a positive note.

Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons

What’s at stake?: The NFC South championship and a first round bye with a Panthers win.

Who’s in danger of being sat?: Steven Jackson, Roddy White, Steve Smith

Who are some viable alternatives?: Jacquizz Rodgers, Ted Ginn, Brandon LaFell

I don’t think Mike Smith is in danger of losing his job. It’s tough to win without your best receiver, and with your second-best receiver hobbled for most of the year. Still though, Jackson and White are on the wrong side of 30 and have had their share of injuries throughout the year. Jacquizz Rodgers performed admirably in S-Jax’s absence earlier this year, so if he’s out there on the waiver wires, grab him! It’s not the best of matchups but he does a lot of work in space. This is (presumably) Tony Gonzalez’s last NFL game, so I expect him to play and play well like there’s no tomorrow. Steve Smith will most likely be saved for the playoffs after straining his knee, but if you owned him, chances are you haven’t been playing him anyway.

Prediction: Panthers put the Falcons out of their misery and clinch the first-round bye.

Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings

What’s at stake?: Jim Schwartz’s Job.

Who’s in danger of being sat?: Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush, Adrian Peterson

Who are some viable alternatives?: Joique Bell, Kris Durham, Toby Gerhart

It’s doubtful that Joique Bell is out there on the waiver wire, but if he’s on your bench and you didn’t handcuff him to Bush, it might be wise to play him. Bush has been hobbled, and he was benched last week for a fumble. I think it was playoffs or bust for Jim Schwartz, so a win against the hapless Vikings won’t save him. Don’t count on Megatron, but Stafford might look at Kris Durham. With no records to pursue, it seems ridiculous for Adrian Peterson to play, but I would have said the same thing about him last week, and he played (for a half). I know you drafted him high, but he won’t help you now.

Prediction: Lions win, but it doesn’t save Schwartz’s ass.

Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans

What’s at stake?: Diddly squat

Who’s in danger of being sat?: Andre Johnson, Garrett Graham

Who are some viable alternatives?: Ryan Griffin

Tennessee was in it for a while, but they’re mathematically eliminated with five playoff spots already sewn up. If the Texans knew what was good for them, they’d shut down Andre Johnson. I don’t think they will, but I’d be worried if I was an Andre 3000 owner. Garrett Graham might not make it back, so Ryan Griffin gets another look.

Prediction: Titans close out an up-and-down season on a winning note at home.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints

What’s at stake?: A playoff spot for the Saints with a win. The NFC South championship and a first-round bye with a win and a Panthers loss. Greg Schiano’s Job.

Who’s in danger of being sat?: Vincent Jackson

Who are some viable alternatives?: None

The writing may already be on the wall for Schiano, and a win here against the Saints might do diddly squat for his chances of staying aboard the pirate ship next year. Still, he’s a curmudgeonly sort, and seems to be quite cavalier with his players, considering his treatment of Josh Freeman. So it wouldn’t surprise me if he did roll out a hobbled Vincent Jackson in an attempt to win and try and save his job. All of the Saints are good to play, but honestly I’d only start Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham if I had the choice.

Prediction: Saints cruise at home, and Schiano gets the axe on Monday.

St. Louis Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks

What’s at stake?: Home field advantage throughout the playoffs for the Seahawks.

Who’s in danger of being sat?: Zac Stacy, Percy Harvin

Who are some viable alternatives?: None

The only Ram you would start is Zac Stacy, and with nothing to play for and on the road, there’s really no reason for him to be playing in this game. You don’t want to have happen to Stacy what happened to AP at the end of the 2011 season. Percy Harvin has already been saved for the playoffs, so continue to leave him alone.

Prediction: Embarrassed by their loss last week, Seattle takes care of business and locks up the number one seed.

Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears

What’s at stake?: The NFC North Championship

Who’s in danger of being sat?: Aaron Rodgers

Who are some viable alternatives?: None.

FINALLY James Jones and Jordy Nelson score for the first time since Aaron Rodgers went down, probably weeks after their owners needed them. I’m sure that last-minute Eddie Lacy touchdown did for your fantasy teams what it did for the real-life Packers team. As for the Steelers, suddenly they’re an offense that can put up points. They may have saved offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s job. Rodgers is going to play, but could still be sat if he suffers any setbacks in warmups.

Prediction: Rodgers and Lacy help the Pack keep their playoff hopes alive.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Diego Chargers

What’s at stake?: A playoff spot for the Chargers.

Who’s in danger of being sat?: All the Chiefs Starters (Alex Smith, Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe)

Who are some viable alternatives?: Knile Davis, Dexter McCluster

With nothing at stake for the Chiefs, there are already rumblings that their starters may only play a series or two. Chase Daniel is backing up Alex Smith, but I wouldn’t recommend him playing on the road against a team with something to play for. Knile Davis has shown some explosiveness when spelling Jamaal Charles, so I definitely think he’s worth a pickup.

Prediction: With something to play for, the Chargers’s starters beat up on the Chief’s scrubs.

Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders

What’s at stake?: Home-field advantage for the Broncos with a win.

Who’s in danger of being sat?: Darren McFadden

Who are some viable alternatives?: None

The good news is that, even though this game is being played at 4:25, the Patriots are playing at the same time, so the Broncos won’t know going into the game if they already have home field locked up. Wes Welker is out for this game.

Prediction: Broncos win and clinch home-field advantage. Peyton adds to his touchdown total.

Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots

What’s at stake?: A first-round bye with a win for the Patriots, with possible home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a Denver loss.

Who’s in danger of being sat?: Shane Vereen, Stevie Johnson

Who are some viable alternatives?: LeGarrette Blount, Robert Woods

Keep monitoring Shane Vereen’s status throughout the week. LeGarrette Blount looks like the bell-cow in New England, with Stevan Ridley still stuck in Belichick’s doghouse. I don’t know if you can trust Blount in your championships but there are worse options out there.

Prediction: Pats win and clinch the first-round bye.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

What’s at stake?: The NFC West Title and a First-Round Bye for the 49ers. A playoff spot for the Cardinals with a win and a Saints loss.

Who’s in danger of being sat?: All systems are go.

Who are some viable alternatives?: None.

Everybody should play, including Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald, who are banged up as of late.

Prediction: Arizona wins, but it’s not enough.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys

What’s at stake?: The NFC East Championship

Who’s in danger of being sat?: None.

Who are some viable alternatives?: Kyle Orton

Tony Romo is out for the season after undergoing back surgery, so the Cowboys’ championship hopes rest on Kyle “The Bottle/The Neckbeard” Orton. I’d say it was a good matchup, but we all thought that about Jay Cutler, and the Eagles defense kept him in check. I’d only start Orton if you had Romo.

Prediction: The Cowboys go 0-3 in NFC East Championship Games on Sunday Night Football in Week 17.

Thanks for reading this year! I’ll be back next week for a look back at the fantasy year that was.