For almost everyone, the fantasy season is over. At the very least, it's really close. You're either in your finals this week, or you're in the first of a two-week finals this week, or you're hoping to make it to your league's Week 17 finals.
If it's that last one, your league is weird and wrong, and you should stop having a Week 17 single-week final.
Anyway, I have friends who are shifting their full focus to fantasy baseball prep. And sure, I'm doing some of that. But that's not all. Because FanDuel hasn't changed at all, and it goes through the playoffs.
In my primary league, I'm watching Nate and Brad face each other for a reasonable cash prize. I've had to get texts from both of them this week -- "If Murray's out, do I go with Randle or Ingram?" ... "Wilson or Romo at quarterback?" - and I hate it. I want to be the one playing for the crown.
But a nice solace is that I know exactly how much money the winner of the Brad-Nate game will come away with. And if all goes well in my FanDuel matchup, I could come away with a lot more. And you'd better believe, if that happens, there will be texts.
Anyway, if you're in that boat, don't move on to baseball. Keep playing FanDuel, and you can do better than whoever in your league ends up winning.
And if you're the one who won your league, you can just double down.
On to the week's matchups look:
- I used him this week, because Tom Brady ($9,700) gets a weak Jets pass defense in a game the Patriots still need for playoff seeding. Brady's numbers have cooled off a little from his midseason highs, but I expect this is the game where he'll figure it back out.
- Since his injury, Tony Romo ($8,400) has played five games. He has 20-plus fantasy points in four of them, with the fifth coming in that Thursday game against Philadelphia where he apparently couldn't take his painkilling injection because of timing. In other words, when he can get his medicine, he's been great. Maybe that's not a great moral, but it certainly helps for fantasy.
- Last week, in a relief role, Robert Griffin III ($6,900) put up 15 fantasy points. If his end-of-the-first-half near-score had been a score -- and that's just a 50/50 thing, without any real "he didn't score because bad" reasons -- that becomes 21, and we're all talking about him. Against a Philadelphia team that allows 18.9 fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks, I think RG3 is a nice little bargain.
- It certainly sounds like Cam Newton ($8,100) will play this weekend, and that's great, because the first hour or so after his accident was full of some really scary rumors. But he's a week removed from missing a game with all that nonsense, and he's still priced at $8,100. No good lay that way.
- In one of my leagues, I'm in the finals, with Mark Sanchez and Newton against a guy with Derek Anderson and Kyle Orton. In that league, I could envision using Ryan Tannehill ($7,900). He has a high floor, makes for a safe play if the rest of my roster does well. But in FanDuel, you need ceiling, and by and large, Tannehill's ceiling is super low. That isn't helpful.
- Another week to get healthier is nice for Jamaal Charles ($8,900). But a bigger deal, for me, is that after he had a few choice words to say about his usage a week ago, I expect Andy Reid to accommodate his superstar a bit. This'll be a good week for him.
- The Ravens have a great run defense, and their awful pass defense gets to face Case Keenum/Thad Lewis. Basically, I expect them to have a big lead early and look to shut this game down. That means, coming off a bad week, I'm thinking good things for Justin Forsett ($7,400).
- Speaking of runs to kill the clock, Fred Jackson ($6,700) and the Bills take on Oakland. Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown haven't done much at all, and I just don't see C.J. Spiller being very involved in this offense. It's gonna be Jackson-heavy.
- Speaking of that Baltimore-Houston game, Baltimore has a world-class run defense, and with the Texans' bad quarterback situation, Baltimore could just stack the box even more to shut down Arian Foster ($8,800). I still like him fine in an all-things-being-equal league, but with a high price tag, I'd prefer to look somewhere else.
- Washington has a perfectly competent run defense. On top of that, the Eagles have not been shy of late saying that Chris Polk is in line to get more goal-line touches. It's frustrating, but it all comes together to hurt the value of LeSean McCoy ($8,100).
- I don't expect Julio Jones to play this weekend. If I'm wrong -- it happens -- and he does, there's basically no chance he is anywhere close to full strength. Meanwhile, Roddy White ($7,300) hasn't had fewer than nine fantasy points in a game he's played since Week 8. He's been strong.
- This is only a partial commitment. But Donte Moncrief ($5,900) is super-cheap, and T.Y. Hilton is banged up. With the Colts having very little to play for -- they've locked up the AFC South and have almost no shot at a first-round bye -- there's no reason to rush Hilton back, and if he's out, Moncrief will look very nice.
- I don't understand why, but in our weekly receiver rankings, no one else liked Malcom Floyd ($5,900) nearly as much as I did (I had him 18th, the others had him 35th, 40th and 48th). But this is a guy who has been underrated all year, and who is now his team's top wide receiver, and is going against a team that has lost any reason to play. I like him.
- When Peyton Manning looked like PEYTON MANNING, the Broncos could support a whole host of weapons. With his performance flagging, the next-level guys, specifically Emmanuel Sanders ($8,100), are struggling, and now face a very strong Cincinnati pass defense.
- I didn't think I'd need to mention this, but I've been getting a lot of questions this week about Josh Gordon ($7,500), and the answer is no. Until we see that Johnny Manziel can perform, the Browns are daily fantasy stay-aways.
- I was super down on Heath Miller ($5,300) earlier this year, because for each of his double-digit fantasy games, he had three of one or two points. Well lately, with Martavis Bryant cooling off, Miller has been getting a lot more intermediate looks, and has between six and eight points in each of his last four. He's a justifiable bargain play.
- The Bears are terrible against tight ends -- they've allowed 10.8 fantasy points a game to the position, with no other team worse than 9.4. With Joseph Fauria done for the year and Brandon Pettigrew being Brandon Pettigrew, I'm going out on a limb and predicting a Week 16 score for Eric Ebron ($4,600).
- I'm more of a numbers guy than a scout. Granted. But anyone watching Jimmy Graham ($7,100) Monday night had to hate what they saw. He's just not himself right now. Heck, he didn't look like he could reach up. I'm not spending what he'll cost.
- So many. Whether it's New England against the Jets, Baltimore against Houston, Seattle against Arizona, Philadelphia against Washington, Buffalo against Oakland ... this is the best week of the season to find a defense and plug-and-play. Find your defense last this week, and pick the best one for your price point.
- One normally stout defense I'd certainly avoid this week is Arizona ($5,200). With Ryan Lindley quarterbacking the Cardinals, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the Seahawks end up with the ball a lot, and the more they have the ball, the more they might score. Arizona's defense could struggle.