Here we are at the NFL finish line and all the chaos for fantasy football players that comes with it.
In the WTO Laid Back League, Bob "Big Bossman" Patchen snuck by Jacob "Where's Perryman," 107.34 to 99.86, to win his LBL title. Derek "Mountain Man" Farr won the consolation game and finished third with a 147.46-to-108.38 pounding of Cody "Nightmare on Elms Street."
Several NFL teams will be resting their players or only playing them a half at most this week. Caution should be exercised with the Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens. Tough decisions will need to be made, such as should I play Julio Jones over Michael Crabtree. In this case, I am choosing Crabtree, but there would be instances where a little Julio is better than a whole game from some other players, such as any player on the N.Y. Jets or the Oakland Raiders.
Rob Stewart is... The Fantasy Oracle
The Oracles lost the highest scoring championship in Manpalace Auction League history, 155-147, last week. This league awards two titles, the league championship and the yearly points title. The Oracles have a slim 19-point lead over Mike Campbell as we enter the final week for the points championship.
In addition, the Oracles play in the championship of the Mario Bates League against Eric Mineweaser as they try to sweep both the league and points titles. With a week to play they have a pretty insurmountable 83.48-point lead to win their first points title in that league. They are a slim underdog in the league championship game, however, and as Drew Brees goes, so do the Oracles.
The finals of the Not So Laid Back League had Frank Galeazzo beating Paul Mangione,134-101. Galeazzo built a huge lead and then coasted to the finish line winning his first-ever league title.
The Oracle's top 5 are Denver, Atlanta, New England, Houston and Seattle. The Seahawks replace the San Francisco 49ers based on their complete annihilation of those same Niners last Sunday night. The Chiefs (2-13) are still in line to select first in next year's NFL draft and own the Oracle outhouse distinction as the league's worst team.
FREE AGENT WEEK 17 FINDS: Michael Vick, Russell Wilson, Montell Owens, Kahlil Bell (if Matt Forte is out), Montario Hardesty, Jackie Battle, Joique Bell, Randy Moss, Jason Avant, Greg Little, Delanie Walker and the Chargers defense. I would also consider picking up San Diego kicker Nick Novak as I think the Raiders, and especially Terrelle Pryor, will be turning the ball over repeatedly and providing several field goal opportunities for Novak.
FANTASY STAR OF THE WEEK: Last week, Tony Romo scored 40.64 points to earn the player of the week. Week 17 is a little tricky, but I really like Tom Brady to light it up this week. I expect four touchdowns and at least 300 yards.
STEELERS (7-8): The Steelers continue to be hurt by terrible decisions by quarterback Big Ben Roethlisberger and now find themselves sitting home in January. They are a huge disappointment. They close out the string at home against the Cleveland Browns (5-10), who will be without the services of stud running back Trent Richardson and are starting Thaddeus Lewis, who sounds more like an author than a quarterback. A little background on Lewis - he is a second year player from Duke who is 6'2. He has never thrown a NFL pass. This could be real ugly. Pittsburgh gets revenge for their earlier loss to Cleveland, 23-3.
BILLS (5-10): The Bills are just not a good football team, quite simply put. However, I think they are still better than the "in total disarray" New York Jets. Look for Buffalo to win this one, 20-16.
FANTASY BUST: Any player from the Oakland Raiders. I really do not expect them to score this weekend unless Darren McFadden breaks a long run.
ASK ALAINA: Three tough calls to end the season: Tony Romo or Robert Griffin III - RG III; Greg Jennings or Justin Blackmon - Jennings, and; Knowshon Moreno or Stevan Ridley - Moreno.
RACHEL'S LOCKS OF THE WEEK (9-6): Rachel had a 2-1 week last week and this week she is choosing games with playoff implications. She likes Dallas over Washington, Green Bay over Minnesota and Chicago over Detroit. Bank on them she says.
Have a Happy New Year everyone and best of luck.