Fantasy Fix: Time for layoffs
December 18, 2008
Craig — In most fantasy football leagues, this is championship week – the final game of the year to prove who is the best for the next nine months.
As for me and my teams, it was a mixed-bag sort of year. I had some very good weeks, and I had some setbacks with injuries to key players such as Brian Westbrook and Anquin Boldin. In my three Yahoo leagues, I will be in the third-place game this week. On my ESPN team, I will be going into the first round of the championship. I’m pretty confident that my ESPN team will steamroll the competition with my three-headed monster at running back, consisting of Pierre Thomas, Steven Jackson and Ryan Grant, but my chances in the Yahoo leagues are a lot slimmer.
I noticed in one of my Yahoo leagues that Thomas still is available, even though he is going up against Detroit this week. Thomas is owned in 75 percent of leagues right now and should be owned in more going into Week 16. In his past four games, he has four rushing touchdowns and three receiving touchdowns to go along with 310 rushing yards and 120 receiving yards.
For Week 16, I have three players who can be plugged into your starting lineup for what I hope will be some great results.
• Deshaun Foster, running back, San Francisco 49ers – Owners would be wise to pick up Foster because of Frank Gore’s uncertain availability for Week 16. In the 49ers’ last game against Miami, Foster totaled 101 yards on 23 carries. He should do more of the same against the St. Louis Rams this week yard-wise, but expect at least one touchdown. If you’re in need of a running back for whatever reason, then Foster could make the difference between being a championship contender and a championship pretender.
• Seneca Wallace, quarterback, Seattle Seahawks – The beneficiary of Matt Hasselbeck’s back injury has been Seneca Wallace. The backup, Wallace, has averaged 219 passing yards per game to go along with three touchdowns in his past two games. He is going up against the New York Jets, who have surrendered 286 passing yards and close to two touchdowns a game since Week 11. Combine all that with his percolating chemistry with wide reciever Deion Branch, and you’re looking at a 220 to 240 passing yards with two scores and a place on the quarterback leaderboard this week.
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• Donnie Avery, wide reciever, St. Louis Rams – Avery was one of the most added players during the middle part of the season, because of a couple of good games but has underproduced since Week 9, averaging just three receptions and 34 yards per game. Last week against a weak Seattle defense, Avery was targeted 10 times, totaling six receptions for 61 yards. Avery should be able to exploit San Francisco’s secondary with his electric downfield speed for at least 80 yards and a touchdown.
Good luck to all of you who are playing in playoffs this week, and I’ll see you next week with some fantasy hoops advice.