Fantasy Attack: Week 13
Down to the Wire
Fantasy Attack is presented by DRAFT – Fantasy For The People. Daily Fantasy or season-long Best Ball competitions, DRAFT is the best Daily Fantasy Sports app available. Click PlayDraft.com/3PSFantasy to get a FREE $3 entry with your first deposit.
It’s Week 13! Some fantasy leagues with extended postseasons are in their final week of regular season play. Most are in their next to last week. How are your teams doing? Are you safely in the playoffs? Are you on the borderline? Or are you completely out of it?
This week I want to discuss etiquette for teams that are completely out of it at this time of the season. Once you’ve fallen out of the race, it’s natural to give up and not even bother looking at your team. Especially if you’ve got other teams to worry about. If it’s a random public league, this strategy (or lack thereof) is fine. If you’re in a long-running league with friends & other people you actually know, it’s generally not acceptable to give up unless you’re in a matchup that has no bearing on the playoffs.
I’m going to use the Official offtheteam.com League to illustrate my point. It’s a 14-team league where everybody plays each other once. Six-team playoff with the top two teams getting a bye into the semi-finals. It’s my favorite setup of the leagues I’m in. Here’s what the Week 13 schedule looks like. One team has officially clinched a playoff spot. A lot of us have been eliminated. We have six teams playing for five spots, though I’d say three of those spots have more or less been determined and it’s actually three teams playing for two spots. Both byes are up in the air too, so it’s a fun final week of a season.
11th (5-7) vs 7th (7-5)
9th (5-7) vs 5th (8-4)
1st (9-3) vs 12th (3-9)
4th (8-4) vs 13th (3-9)
6th (7-5) vs 2nd (8-4)
10th (5-7) vs 3rd (8-4)
14th (3-9) vs 8th (5-7)
The 14th & 8th place teams can go ahead and check out this week. Their presence is not needed. I’m fairly sure the 14th place guy did weeks ago. I’m sure the 8th place guy won’t because I know him well and he’s a guy that thinks the consolation bracket matters and will be playing to get the bye in that. Yes, our consolation bracket has byes. It’s silly, but it adds a little drama at the bottom of the standings with two teams getting left out, so whatever. (I’ve been pushing to have the last two teams relegated like it’s soccer, but our commissioner seems lukewarm towards that idea.)
Everybody else needs to at least update their lineups. There’s a team with a chance of getting into the top six in every single matchup, including mine. I’m the 11th place team going against 7th. I’ll be looking to keep them out of the playoffs because it’s the nice thing to do for 6th. It’s also good for 5th, who is low on points and could get bumped out if they lose while 6th & 7th win.
Another point that needs to be discussed: adding players. Should teams that are completely out of it be adding players at this point of the season? It’s a complicated issue. Non-playoff owners shouldn’t be banned from adding players. That’d be silly. However, I like to follow a simple unwritten code…
Only add people if you absolutely have to, and don’t be a dick about it.
I need a tight end this week because one got knocked out for the season & the other has been injured/useless all year. So I added one that was owned in 0% of leagues & won’t get noticed until people read the sleeper section. It’s on the edge of dickery, but not quite there. I also lost Andy Dalton for the season, but since I have Kirk Cousins I don’t really need another QB unless Cousins gets hurt. So I dropped Dalton for Nathan Peterman as a joke.
The key to being a non-playoff team is to try and beat your opponent at the end of Monday night, but not to get in the way of potential playoff teams trying to improve their chances.
Here are the players that will either carry you to the playoffs or sink you into the consolation bracket…
Kirk Cousins (18.80 DRAFT proj.): YA LIKE THAT? Cousins has been on a bit of a roll lately with multiple touchdowns in four of his last five games. He hasn’t lived up to preseason expectations, but not much in Minnesota has. The Vikings go to New England on Sunday, and will need to score a ton of points to keep up with the Patriots. Expect Kissin’ Kirk to have one of his thirty-point specials.
Amari Cooper (12.00 DRAFT proj.): After weeks of inactivity in Oakland, Cooper has stepped into the Cowboys offense and will make sure Dak Prescott gets his lucrative contract extension. He won’t repeat his ridiculous Thanksgiving game, but playing the Saints means that the Cowboys will need to air it out in order to keep up. Should be another good week for his owners.
Joe Mixon (14.00 DRAFT proj.): With Andy Dalton done for the season & A.J. Green’s return a great unknown (and when he comes back he’ll be catching balls from Jeff Driskel), Mixon is pretty much the only viable part of the Cincinnati Bengals offense at this point. Which is why he’s standing on the sidelines whenever the Bengals are going for it on fourth down late in a game. Bengals coaching’s incompetence has grown predictable after sixteen years. Mixon should get the ball early & often against Denver as there are no other options.
Phillip Lindsay (15.50 DRAFT proj.): Speaking of the Bengals, a really good way to collect fantasy points every week is by starting running backs that are going against them. They’ve given up double-digits to at least one running back every week except for Week 1, when the Colts were serving up the Jordan Wilkins & Nyheim Hines poo poo platter. Lindsay still hasn’t completely seized control of the Bronckos backfield even though he’s averaging 7.6 yards per carry. He should run all over the Bengals at least for a half.
Greg Olsen (8.10 DRAFT proj.): The longtime Panthers tight end has been slow to come back from injury, but this week puts him against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team without a passing defense. Look for him to get back on track this week against a team he’s lit up over the years.
Saquon Barkley (22.77 DRAFT ave.): It’s a little off the wall to be going against Saquon with the season he’s had, but hear me out. The Giants go up against Da Bears this week, who I’m told have the greatest defense in the history of defenses, and probably will for the next ten years. Barkley hasn’t gone up against anything like Khalil Mack. You have to downgrade your expectations for this youngster this week.
Matt Ryan (19.10 DRAFT proj.): Matty Ice has been regularly throwing for over three hundred yards lately, but good luck getting that done against the Baltimore Ravens. Baker Mayfield is the only QB to throw for over 300 yards against the Ravens’ defense this season, and Andy Dalton is the only one to throw more than two touchdowns. The Ravens have been weak on interceptions, but have had no issue sacking QBs. You might want to put Matty on ice.
T.Y. Hilton (12.30 DRAFT proj.): Hilton and the rest of the Colts offense have been hot lately, but he gets a nice serving of Jalen Ramsey & a pissed off Jaguars defense this week. These fools are so mad about how their season’s going that they’re taking it out by fighting people in Buffalo. The Jags D really can’t be blamed for Blake Bortles’ uselessness & Leonard Forunette’s inability to stay on the field. They’ll take out some more frustrations this week on the Colts offense.
Minnesota DEF: The New England Patriots are figuring it out just like they always do this time of year. Rob Gronkowski is back to spiking the ball in the end zone. Rex Burkhead is heading back into the lineup, giving the Pats a three-headed monster. Tom Brady looks like Tom Brady again. Everything’s going their way…as if we ever doubted it would. I wouldn’t touch the Vikings defense if I was in a league where I was still in the playoff hunt. Heck, I might even drop them since they’re in Seattle in Week 14. Let somebody else take that chance.
Matt LaCosse (0% Yahoo-owned): LaCosse has been Denver’s backup tight end for the lion’s share of the season. He’ll get a target & catch here & there. Then in Week 12, Jeff Heuerman suffered broken ribs & a bruised lung, ending his season. LaCosse got his first touchdown of the season soon after, and now gets a Bengals team that has been horrendous against tight ends for at least three decades. Don’t look now, but some MLC might be just what the doctor ordered.
Christian Kirk (38% Yahoo-owned): Kirk would be owned in more leagues if the Arizona Cardinals had more of a passing game. He’s had several good showings and is in line for another one this week against a Green Bay Packer secondary that’s been decimated by injuries & trades & things like that. Even Josh Rosen should be able to get something done.
Jeff Wilson Jr. (0% Yahoo-owned): Alfred Morris was benched last week, so Wilson got the garbage time carries for the 49ers. With Matt Bredia held together by spit & duct tape at this point, the San Francisco RB2 spot is something to keep an eye on. The undrafted rookie formerly of the North Texas Mean Green got 33 yards on 7 carries against Tampa Bay in his NFL debut.