By Micah Roberts & Jason McCormick
What a Week 15 it was in the Fantasy Football world.
It was the first week of the playoffs for many leagues. The loud screams heard throughout the day in your neighborhood were that of the Fantasy Football owners that dominated their league all season only to fall and wilt in the competitive pressures of the playoffs.
All season long Tom Brady and Randy Moss made a mockery of most Leagues as they scored an obscene amount of points. Week after week they pounded their fantasy opponents by themselves alone. The worst thing about it is that as we all ridicule how they rolled so mighty over everyone, most of us passed them both up several times as the fantasy draft snaked back and forth. Just as we conceded the league title to anyone with those guys, Week 15 rolls around. Both Brady and Moss get shut out.
What’s even more hilarious is that the team that was likely in second place was laughing uncontrollably as Brady and Moss fizzled. Later in the day that fantasy team was going to show off Tony Romo and Terrell Owens, the second best tandem in the league.
The laughter turned to sheer amazement as Romo threw no TDs and three picks giving him a worse day than Brady. Owens chipped in with only two catches. The owner of this team knew it wasn’t meant to be when his top running back, Brian Westbrook on his way to the end zone for a 25-yard TD and no defender in sight, drops at the goal line on purpose to eat up time off the clock.
Yes, for the top two teams in the league, it was see you later.
The Fantasy Super Bowl will be played this weekend in most leagues with Brandon Marshall, Kurt Warner, and Tony Scheffler being the catalysts for little teams that could. In all this, the lesson learned is to never say never. Also, maybe reconsider using the playoff format for your Fantasy Football League. The playoffs are fun for the lesser team because on one given day anything can happen. This week it really happened!
This week weather again will be a factor. Cities like Cincinnati, Chicago, New England, and Buffalo should at least make you have a backup plan as more news unfolds regarding certain players. The most concern should be if you have a kicker on any of those teams. Go buy Ryan Longwell or Shaun Suisham, both playing in the toasty Metrodome this weekend.
Best of Week 16
Ben Roethlisberger QB (Pit): Big Ben has gone five straight games tossing for under 200 yards with 7 TDs and 4 INTs. Steelers are 2-3 in that stretch. After playing in heavy winds, heavy rains, terrible turf, cold, and a snowstorm over those same five weeks, the Steelers welcome a trip to the dome in St. Louis. Look for Roethlisberger to reconnect with a healthy Santonio Holmes on a deep pass as well as Hines Ward and his big TE Heath Miller.
Sage Rosenfels QB (Hou): Sage has quietly put together two big wins over Tampa and Denver and could make a statement to hold down the starting job with a win in Indy. The Texans lost to the Colts 30-24 in Week 3 at home without star WR Andre Johnson, who is averaging 100 yards and a TD in the seven games he has suited up. The Colts DBs are each 6 feet tall with safeties Sanders at 5’8" and Bethea at 5’11". Look for Rosenfels and the Texans WR’s Johnson at 6’3" and Kevin Walter also at 6’3" to try and take things vertical this week.
Fred Taylor RB (Jax): Taylor and the Jaguars came away with a huge win in snowy Pittsburgh and will look to roll the Raiders to solidify their No. 3 seed in the AFC playoffs. Taylor has four straight 100-yard games and should add a fifth this week. The Raiders allow on average over 140 yards on the ground so look for Taylor to post about 20 carries for 125 yards and a TD before giving way to Jones-Drew in garbage time.
Jamal Lewis RB (Cle): Cleveland QB Anderson and WR Edwards led the Browns to much of its early season success. Of late it has been bruising tailback Jamal Lewis, who rushed for 163 yards in the snow against Buffalo. The Bengals defense allowed the 49ers Frank Gore to run for 138 yards. With the Browns smelling the playoffs, a passing game to compliment Lewis’ hard-nose running and a Bengals team that appears to have quit. Expect Jamal to post another 130+ yard game and hit paydirt.