It was one of the all-time great fantasy football performances in history...at least in the history that I played.
The Seattle Seahawk Defense got me a whopping 41 points allowing me to move on in the playoffs by the score of 100 to 98.5. Yes, that final sack that the Seahawk scrubs made on the Cardinal scrubs at the very end of the game was the difference between moving on in the playoffs and my season being over.
Now, I have to play the waiting game for Thursday, when Yahoo! does stat corrections, and last week, a stat correction meant one player in the league who was originally heading to the playoffs is now out, and a player who was originally out is now in (and he won this week, moving on to the next round).
If you're still reading this, chances are you're in the playoffs (or moved on), so congrats! Let's all try to move on together!
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Comfortables: Andy Dalton, BenJarvis Green-Ellis, Bryce Brown, AJ Green, Jeremy Maclin, Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Defense
Cautions: Nick Foles, Andrew Hawkins, Philadelphia Defense
Casualties: All Backups
Sleeper: Clay Harbor
Thursday night games are typically rough for fantasy purposes. Need proof? Last week’s game actually made Peyton Manning look human. Don’t let Foles’s big fantasy day (and his earth-shattering TD rush) last week sway you into thinking he’s starting material this week. The Bengals don’t nearly have as awful of a pass defense that the Buccaneers have. Expectations should be tempered with Bryce Brown but he’s the only game in town (unless LeSean McCoy comes back, which is unlikely). Brent Celek is out, which means Clay Harbor might get a few extra looks.
Prediction: This is the only Thursday Night Football game this year that features an AFC team vs. an NFC team, so there’s rarely any historical precedent to follow in terms of who will win. Thursday night games have favored either the home team or the vastly superior team. Here the superior team (who just lost at home) is now on the road playing the inferior team (who just won on the road) at home. This isn’t as much of a slam dunk as you’d think. I’ll say Cincy, but I don’t feel confident about it.
Denver Broncos vs. Baltimore Ravens
Comfortables: Peyton Manning, Knowshown Moreno, Ray Rice, Eric Decker, Demariyus Thomas, Anquan Boldin, Denver Defense
Cautions: Joe Flacco, Torrey Smith, Jacob Tamme, Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Defense
Casualties: Lance Ball, Ronnie Hillman, Bernard Pierce
Sleeper: Joel Dreessen
A potential playoff preview here has some serious fantasy implications. I actually like Anquan Boldin better than Torrey Smith, as you figure Torrey will get a lot of attention from Champ Bailey, and Denver’s stout defense won’t allow Flacco to throw the deep ball. So Boldin, who is more of a possession receiver but can also be thrown to deep, seems like a safer play. I’m done figuring out which Denver tight end is going to get the stats, so list Tamme as a caution and Dreessen as a sleeper and call it a day. Decker and Thomas are still must-starts.
Prediction: Peyton is too much and the Broncos get a huge road win.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans
Comfortables: Andrew Luck, Matt Schaub, Vick Ballard, Arian Foster, Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels, Houston Defense
Cautions: T.Y. Hilton, Donnie Avery, Kevin Walter, Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Defense
Casualties: Donald Brown (if active), Delone Carter, Ben Tate, Justin Forsett, James Casey, Garrett Graham
Sleeper: Coby Fleener
Wow, Houston got EMBARRASED by the Patriots last Monday. All due respect to Andrew Luck, but he’s no Tom Brady, and I expect the Texans to be PISSED. Standard players apply, but I would be wary of starting any Colt pass-catcher other than Reggie Wayne, or any Texan pass-catcher other than Andre Johnson or Owen Daniels. Backup running backs should be avoided as well. The AFC South is still very much up for grabs, so all those who were banking on Foster being shut down to rest for the playoffs (coughcough) may need to wait another week.
Prediction: Houston takes out their frustrations at home and quells the Colts…for now.
Minnesota Vikings vs. St. Louis Rams
Comfortables: Adrian Peterson, Steven Jackson, Minnesota Defense, St. Louis Defense
Cautions: Christian Ponder, Sam Bradford, Chris Givens, Danny Amendola (if active), Kyle Rudolph
Casualties: Everybody Else
Sleeper: Daryl Richardson
Pardon me for not thinking that this game will be a clinic on how to play quarterback effectively. The Rams were in a similar game a week ago against the Bills and I think they won that game 2-1, if that’s even possible. The running backs rule here. Adrian Peterson is a monster. The Vikings have no receivers, and teams can dedicate their entire gameplan to stopping All Day, and they CAN’T DO IT! Chris Givens and Kyle Rudolph have been great recently, but I don’t think they’re trustworthy enough for the playoffs (although Jared Cook owners might want to look at Rudolph).
Prediction: Peterson gets five more rushing touchdowns and single-handedly beats the Rams.
New York Giants vs. Atlanta Falcons
Comfortables: Eli Manning, Matt Ryan, Ahmad Bradshaw, David Wilson, Michael Turner, Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Roddy White, Julio Jones, Martellus Bennett, Tony Gonzalez
Cautions: Jacquizz Rodgers, New York Giants Defense, Atlanta Defense
Casualties: Jason Snelling, Reuben Randle, Ramses Barden, Harry Douglas
Sleeper: Domenik Hixon
Another potential playoff preview, assuming the Falcons can actually win a playoff game. They were certainly exposed last week against a Panther team with hardly anything to play for. The advantage is that they’re home, but the Giants have proven that a home field advantage means nothing to them. David Wilson is intriguing here, especially considering Bradshaw might not be 100%. Martellus Bennett has finally caught fire, and is worth a start, especially with the TE ranks so thin. Michael Turner is a lock to vulture another 1-yard touchdown.
Prediction: Giants do what they do, and get the big road win.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints
Comfortables: Josh Freeman, Drew Brees, Doug Martin, Darren Sproles, Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams, Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Jimmy Graham
Cautions: New Orleans Defense
Casualties: All Backups, Tampa Bay Defense
Sleeper: Dallas Clark
What has been going on with Drew Brees? He hasn’t been the same since the Thursday night game against the Falcons (another knock on Thursday night games). But the Tampa Bay secondary is the cure for what ails ya. I actually have to count on a Brees clunker to save my fantasy season, but of course this would be the week he bounces back. All offensive starters are in play; steer clear of the defenses if you can.
Prediction: Saints win the shootout.
Washington Redskins vs. Cleveland Browns
Comfortables: Robert Griffin III (if active), Alfred Morris, Trent Richardson, Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss, Josh Gordon, Washington Defense
Cautions: Brandon Weeden, Benjamin Watson, Cleveland Defense
Casualties: Evan Royster, Keiland Williams, Aldrick Robinson, Josh Morgan, Greg Little, Travis Benjamin, Josh Cribbs, Logan Paulsen
Sleeper: Kirk Cousins (if RG3 is inactive)
It’s a whole new ballgame without RG3. If the kid can’t go, suddenly Cleveland looks pretty good. I’m on board with Josh Gordon. Brandon Weeden has proven he can get the ball to him. I feel really good about Alfred Morris if RG3 is inactive, because he had a big workload even with Griffin in there. Kirk Cousins will really have to rely on him if he draws the start, and Cleveland’s proven they can be gashed by the run before.
Prediction: It’s simple…RG3 plays, Redskins win. RG3 doesn’t…Redskins might still probably win.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Miami Dolphins
Comfortables: Reggie Bush, Justin Blackmon, Brian Hartline, Miami Defense
Cautions: Chad Henne, Ryan Tannehill, Montell Owens, Daniel Thomas, Cecil Shorts (if active), Davone Bess, Marcedes Lewis, Anthony Fasano, Jacksonville Defense
Casualties: Jordan Todman, Laurent Robinson, Marlon Moore
Sleeper: Lamar Miller
It’s better late than never for the Dolphins to effectively use Reggie Bush, who put together a decent day against one of the toughest run defenses in the league last week. Here they face the Jaguars, who looked hot for a couple weeks and then promptly cooled off against a weak Jets team. I can’t trust anybody on Jacksonville at this point. Probably Justin Blackmon and maybe Marcedes Lewis, but Miami’s got a tougher-than-it-looks defense.
Prediction: Miami rebounds with a big home win.
Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
Comfortables: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Forte, Greg Jennings, Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson (if active), Brandon Marshall, Green Bay Defense, Chicago Defense
Cautions: Jay Cutler (if active), Alex Green, Michael Bush, James Jones, Alshon Jeffrey, Jermichael Finley, Kellen Davis
Casualties: Jason Campbell (if Cutler is inactive), Ryan Grant, Donald Driver, Earl Bennett, Tom Crabtree
Sleeper: DuJuan Harris
It’s maddening what’s going on with Aaron Rodgers right now, especially from a guy who has him going into the playoffs. There was a series against the Lions where he did nothing but hand the ball off, and they got a touchdown. Now he has to play the Bears in Chicago? F me. I have him listed as a comfortable because if you have him, you have no choice but to start him. But to say I’m “comfortable” with him producing this week is not being quite honest. You can only trust Forte and Marshall for the Bears on offense.
Prediction: I have to predict a Green Bay win so Rodgers can do well. Good karma.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Dallas Cowboys
Comfortables: Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo, Jonathan Dwyer, DeMarco Murray, Mike Wallace, Dez Bryant (if active), Miles Austin, Heath Miller, Jason Witten
Cautions: Isaac Redman, Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Defense, Dallas Defense
Casualties: Felix Jones, Emmanuel Sanders, Plaxico Burress, Kevin Ogletree
Sleeper: Dwayne Harris
Rashard Mendenhall is suspended for the game for being upset at getting benched after fumbling twice in four carries a few weeks ago. So the Pittsburgh backfield begins to clear up a bit. Jonathan Dwyer becomes a safe start. Dez Bryant might play through a fractured finger which would otherwise require season-ending surgery, so his owners are breathing a huge sigh of relief. Miles Austin and Jason Witten might receive more targets as a result, and hopefully Witten can break the plane.
Prediction: As much as it pains me to say it, Dallas wins at home.
Detroit Lions vs. Arizona Cardinals
Comfortables: Matthew Stafford, Mikel Leshoure, Calvin Johnson, Brandon Pettigrew (if active), Detroit Defense
Cautions: Joique Bell, Kris Durham
Casualties: ALL CARDINALS (Including Defense)!, Mike Thomas
Sleeper: Tony Scheffler
I'd like to thank the Arizona Cardinals for helping the Seahawks put up that monumental performance. That being said, the Detroit Lions defense should be owned in every league. Contrary to what Larry Fitzgerald says, his dad is more accurate...the Cardinals have given up on this season. By no means do you start any Cardinal, including Fitz. All starting Lions are in play, and Tony Scheffler might be a nice fill in for bewildered Vernon Davis, Jermichael Finley, and Antonio Gates owners.
Prediction: C'mon man.
Carolina Panthers vs. San Diego Chargers
Comfortables: Cam Newton, Ryan Matthews, Steve Smith, Malcom Floyd, Danario Alexander, Greg Olsen
Cautions: Philip Rivers, Jonathan Stewart (if active), DeAngelo Williams, Ronnie Brown, Antonio Gates, Carolina Defense, San Diego Defense
Casualties: Mike Tolbert, Chris Rainey, Jackie Battle, Brandon LaFell, Robert Meachem, Eddie Royal
Sleeper: Louis Murphy
I refuse to go back on my original proclamation that Cam Newton would be a fantasy bust based on his recent production, as anybody who drafted Cam likely didn't make the playoffs. The only real beneficiaries are those who bought low and traded for Newton a couple weeks ago. If that's the case, good for you! I wish I had more shares of DX.
Prediction: Newton stays hot and Carolina gets a big win.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Buffalo Bills
Comfortables: Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, CJ Spiller, Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Stevie Johnson, Scott Chandler, Seattle Defense
Cautions: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Donald Jones, Anthony McCoy, Buffalo Defense
Casualties: Robert Turbin, Tashard Choice, Braylon Edwards, Doug Baldwin, Ben Obamanu, Zack Miller, Lee Smith
Sleeper: T.J. Graham
I play fellow writer Mike Maloney in the playoffs this week, and he has CJ Spiller. The only other time I played Maloney this year, Fred Jackson was out for the game. Spiller proceeded to beast out and I lost handily. So of course, when I play him, Jackson's on IR and it's Spiller's show now. I can only hope that the stout Seattle Defense continues its momentum on the road. I have no faith in Buffalo's defense, as the lowly Rams managed to light them up (hi John!). So Sidney Rice is good to go, as is Golden Tate.
Prediction: Seattle shuts down the Spiller Show and the Seahawks get a big road win.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders
Comfortables: Carson Palmer, Jamaal Charles, Darren McFadden (if active), Marcel Reese (if McFadden is inactive), Darius Heyward-Bey, Brandon Myers, Oakland Defense
Cautions: Brady Quinn, Dwayne Bowe, Denarius Moore, Kansas City Defense
Casualties: Peyton Hillis, Mike Goodson, Taiwan Jones, All Backup KC WRs, Tony Moeaki
Sleeper: Rod Streater
Yuck. Two utterly unwatchable teams. I guess it could be worse...this could be the Monday Night Game. You know the drill...only J-Mail is the starting Chief. Palmer is a safe start. Denarius Moore might not get many looks since he ran the wrong way last week, so Darius Heyward-Bey will be a nice Flex.
Prediction: Oakland eeks out a home win.
San Francisco 49ers vs. New England Patriots
Comfortables: Colin Kaepernick, Tom Brady, Frank Gore, Stevan Ridley, Michael Crabtree, Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez
Cautions: Brandon Lloyd, San Francisco Defense, New England Defense
Casualties: Anthony Dixon, Danny Woodhead, Mario Manningham, Randy Moss, Deion Branch, Vernon Davis, Visanthe Schiancoe
Sleeper: LaMichael James
Vernon Davis, we're done. I can't believe I traded Randall Cobb for you! The Pats have proven how deadly they are at home after destroying the Texans last Monday. It doesn't look like Gronk will be back, so Aaron Hernandez becomes a must start. Brandon Lloyd had a big game, but let's be honest, one of his scores was pure luck, as he picked up a fumble in the end zone. I hope LaMichael James gets some looks, as we might be seeing the future of the Niners backfield. Poor Brandon Jacobs needs to know his role and stop running his mouth.
Prediction: New England dominates another good team and stakes their claim as the best in the league.
New York Jets vs. Tennessee Titans
Comfortables: Jake Locker, Shonn Greene, Chris Johnson, Kenny Britt, New York Jets Defense, Tennessee Defense
Cautions: Mark Sanchez, Jeremy Kerley, Nate Washington, Kendall Wright, Jeff Cumberland
Casualties: All Backup Titans RBs, All Backup Jets WRs
Sleeper: Bilal Powell
Oh, Monday Night Football, you were doing so well there for a couple weeks! If you had to look at all 16 games this week and ranked them from 1 to 16 in terms of national interest, I think you could find something redeemable about every single game except this one. It would fight Chiefs vs. Raiders (which is at least a division rivalry) and Jaguars vs. Dolphins for the bottom spot, but I think this game would win for the matchup that nobody in America (not even in their home markets!) wants to see. So yeah, watch wrestling. Believe it or not, the Jets are still mathematically alive for the playoffs, and their remaining schedule is so soft that delusional people in NYC actually think the Jets have a shot to make the postseason. I think you’ll see a lot of running the ball with the occasional deep shot to Kenny Britt, especially since Jared Cook is done for the year.
Prediction: The Jets have another meltdown on national television and the Titans end their bleak playoff hopes.
Follow me on Twitter @PocketSeagull, and let's hope for another monumental fantasy performance!