Welcome to week 13 - the week fantasy football players learn if they make the playoffs.
I am contending for three points championships (leading in two currently). Last week's call on picking up Knowshon Moreno turned out to be golden as Denver threw everyone a curveball and anointed him - pre-game - the starter. My best guess is it was due to pass protection; do you really want a rookie back like Ronnie Hillman protecting Peyton Manning during blitz pickup?
Moreno had a great game and is now the undisputed starter and everyone's hot waiver wire pickup. I grabbed him in three of my four leagues last week and was pleasantly surprised.
Rob Stewart is... The Fantasy Oracle
A player I never thought I would recommend is San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree. Here is a stat that all my readers will be shocked to learn: Do you realize, against the St. Louis Rams, Crabtree has scored in five straight games (six touchdowns). He makes a great start.
The Oracle's top 5 has a different look this week; I have Atlanta, Houston, San Francisco, New England and Baltimore. The Green Bay Packers drop out after an abysmal performance on Sunday night. The Chiefs, at 1-10, remain the NFL's laughing stock.
In the last week of the WTO Laid Back League regular season, several teams are vying for four remaining playoff spots. My Oracles have an uphill climb to win a points title after Drew Brees' meltdown Thursday night. They need to outscore Cody "Nightmare on Elms Street's" team by 12.71 points to win the points championship. In third place, Jacob "Where's Perryman" is lurking less than 10 points behind.
Enough about points and more focus on the mess that is the playoffs; only two teams have clinched a berth with two others a virtual lock, leaving two spots open for five teams in the six-team playoffs.
These berths will be decided by who wins this week and how many total points they end up with.
Mitchell "Living Wilston" (6-6) plays the Oracles and, with a win, should make the playoffs.
The two top teams by record - Elms (10-2) and Bob "Big Bossman" Patchen (9-3) - both have clinched a first-round bye and this matchup is more than likely an early look at this season's league title game.
Brian "Fish" Ferry (6-6) battles Brian "defending champion" Hagberg (7-5) in a game that has lots of playoff implications; as does Allen "Wingnut" Seybert's (6-6) match up against Jonathan "Foosball" McAfoos (5-7, but mathematically still alive).
Perryman (7-5) faces Derek "Mountain Man" Farr (6-6) in a game Farr needs and Perryman doesn't as his high total points will win him any tiebreaker. It will make for an exciting weekend in this league.
Sitler and Cotton face each other in the league's other game. Ugggh.
Last week's results: Sitler 116.40, Oracles 115.58; Elms 139.02, Cotton 80.50; Patchen 95.12, Hagberg 86.00; Perryman 123.26, Ferry 88.06; Farr 111.50, McAfoos 88.56, and; Seybert 129.00, Wilston 94.74.
ASK ALAINA (20-15): Alaina finished 2-3 last week. This week's calls are: 1. Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady - Rodgers; 2. Robert Griffin III or Eli Manning - RGIII; 3. Marshawn Lynch or C.J. Spiller - Spiller; 4. Arian Foster or Chris Johnson - Foster 5. Adrian Peterson or Doug Martin - Martin.
FANTASY STAR OF THE WEEK: Cam Newton with 41.44 points. He was magnificent Monday against the putrid Eagles. Think Tony Romo's licking his chops this week?
STEELERS (6-5): The quarterback deprived Steelers are struggling big-time. Eight turnovers against the Cleveland defense? All I can figure is they thought they were playing the '85 Bears, how else can one explain it? This week they may get Big Ben back, but I strongly doubt it. I like the Ravens in a tight 20-6 win over the Steelers. There is not one Steeler on my team I would start if Charlie Batch is under center, well maybe I might start the waterboy.
BROWNS (3-8): The Browns off a huge ball hawking win over the Steelers get Mr. Pick Six Carson Palmer this week. The smart money is on the Cleveland defense taking one to the house and as hard as it is for all Browns fans to believe I am picking them to win a game. Cleveland 19, Oakland 16. Start Mr. Perfect Kicker, Phil Dawson.
BILLS (4-7): Chan Gailey said the Bills will give Oracle favorite C.J. Spiller even more touches starting this week. It will be interesting to see if he can break 150 total yards, my guess is yes he does. I like the Bills in a 27-17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Bills defense may get a few turnovers in this one.
FANTASY BUST: Last week's call on Darren Sproles was another win and the bust pick has only had one miss in 10 weeks. This week, Vincent Jackson has the bull's eye aimed right at him. His history against cornerback Champ Bailey is almost laughable as it is littered with less than three reception efforts.
FANTASY START: Tony Romo. The Eagles defense has already packed their bags and are vacationing somewhere near Guam or at least it appears that way.
RACHEL'S LOCKS OF THE WEEK (3-0): My oldest daughter thinks she's another Jimmy the Greek as she had a perfect week. This week she likes three teams that start with the letter C: Carolina, Cincinnati and Cleveland.
ELIMINATOR PICK (9-0): The Bengals blew out the hapless Raiders as I predicted but now with nine teams gone I am starting to really dig deep. I have already used Houston, NY Giants, Atlanta, Green Bay, Chicago, Denver, Pittsburgh, Dallas and Cincinnati. Sorry Steeler Nation but the Ravens are my pick as I saw enough of Charlie Batch to remind me why Detroit let him go, years ago and I do mean years ago!