We’re getting down to it folks! Play-offs are only 1 about a month away, and depending on your type of league, you could have only a few more match-ups left in order to get yourself into the post-season picture. What does this mean? It means you really need to work free agency if any holes in your line-ups still exist, and you need to look at who your backups are in case you have any number of certain players.
- Aaron Rodgers is a double edged sword. For 14 weeks he’s going to be your absolute best friend. But if the Packers remain undefeated, or even something like 13-1… they’re going to have the division locked up, and are going to catch the Peyton Manning syndrome. There is no way in hell (especially if they manage to lose one game and are no longer worrying about going undefeated) that Green Bay management is going to let Rodgers play in those last few regular season games. So then what is a fantasy owner to do? Your best player is going to be inactive when you need him most. I say, trade him! Yes, I know… it’s almost blasphemous to suggest, but the trade deadline is still about a week off in some leagues, and if you put Rodgers on the block, you can get pretty much anything you want. In particular, players who will still be battling come week 15, 16, 17. Players like Brees, Newton, Manning, Rivers, Romo, Ryan… those first three names have yet to drop below double digit fantasy points ALL SEASON. And the last three you could probably get as part of a two player deal. Rodgers for Rivers AND___. Rodgers for Romo AND ___. For Ryan AND___. All of these names are just about as safe as Rodgers, and they’re not going to mail it in come December.
- Brady is the one other big name QB who I didn’t include on that list, because I think there’s the chance that he might also earn a rest week late in the season. Granted, the Jets are only 1 game back, but they lost both of the regular season match ups, so it’s unlikely that they’ll overtake the Pats for the division. The only other team that could have a shot is the Bills, who have already beaten the Patriots once this year, and who they’re going to be playing week 17. Now, some leagues have a play off game week 17, some do not. So just be aware of your rules, and what’s going on in the league. If the Pats and Bills are still very close come the end of the season, look for Brady to be an option in your championship hopes. If for some reason the Bills begin to drop off (which is possible after their poor showing against the Jets two weeks ago) then you might need to look elsewhere.
- The 49ers are also a team who are running away with their division. I mean, at this point, it’s really all but clinched. Now San Francisco is winning games primarily with their stingy defense, and because of this they don’t really have a huge helping of fantasy players… but RB Frank Gore might be someone you’ll want to watch out for with possible rest weeks. Alex Smith is a guy who’s at the low end of good QB’s, about in the Fitzpatrick/Freeman/Dalton range… so if he’s your guy I would continue to expect about what you’ve been getting so far: average performances, but still getting into double digits pretty often.
And that brings us to Thursday Night… This week will feature a match up between the Jets and the Broncos… and two QB’s who their coaches hate. I kid. But a lot has been made this week in the media about a few quotes by Rex Ryan and John Fox about their respective quarterbacks; Rex essentially calling his stupid, and Fox saying his isn’t fit to run an NFL offense. Yet somehow, both teams are finding ways to win. The Jets only stand 1 game behind the Pats, and Timmy Terrific has won all but 1 start this season. However, I think this might very well be the week where things begin to go south for which ever team loses. If the Jets lose, I think the whole team has a shot at imploding. Rex has been all over Mark Sanchez (and really the rest of his team) for not being the team he predicted they would be in the preseason. And should they lose this game against the Broncos… look for some drama. As for Timmy Terrific, if he loses this week, it will surely be because teams are finally getting enough tape on what he’s doing in the Option Offense, and now able to stop it. If there’s one thing to be said about Rex Ryan, it’s that he knows how to set up a defense. And with the all-star corners they have going for them, look for the passing game to be all but non-existent for the Broncos (again), allowing the Jets to really hone in on the run. I’m picking the Jets to win, but look for the Broncos to put up a nice fight.
This has been Sports Stock Radio and me, Jake. Thanks for reading.