A standing ovation, and a round of applause my fickle football fans! If you are still interested in what we have to say, you must be either preparing for your playoff match up, finishing up the last week before the playoffs, or are just an awesome person in general. Regardless, glad to have you none the less. With the playoffs beginning for most leagues, mind sets shift and margin for error dissipates. In addition to reviewing a few things that caught my eye this past week, I would like to include a few general tips I have for playoff survival. This is it! The draft prep, the draft, the trades, the pick ups, the great calls and bad calls all culminate with these next few weeks. Win or go home time. This is why we play the game. Let's go.
Note 1: Play the guys who brung ya!
Look we all focus on match ups and try and play the percentages and I believe in that philosophy 100%. However, don't OVER think your line up at this stage just because it's the playoffs. If Mario Manningham comes back and you have some other receiver with a seemingly great match up you aren't sitting Victor Cruz. The man has been stud and you need to start your studs when it counts. Don't get cute, it's not a good look.
Note 2: My coin flip philosophy
Everyone goes through the back and forth dilemma with 2 players and the stress is only magnified in the playoffs. All of us have experienced the feeling of losing because you started the wrong guy. Nothing I can say will take that feeling away if it happens, but this is the way I make decisions when it's really come down to a near coin flip to help keep my mind more at ease. I figure if I am wrong, which player would I be more upset about not starting after the fact. In my case, I usually am more upset if I am burned by the guy my gut told me vs. my head. Each person is different and it is important to assess your own feelings in this regard. Obviously the disappointment will still be there no matter what, but I have found this strategy to help me be more decisive. Don't forget, you have gotten yourself this far for a reason. Like poker, fantasy football is a combination of percentages and luck. You are at the final table now, remember how you got yourself there. Be confident, and let the chips fall where they may.
Note 3: Well Helu there Mr. Fantasy star
Is it shameless at this point? Don't care, but I also said I was done with the Shanahan angle and that isn't where I am focused this time. Instead, let's just look at what we have before us. 3 games started against the number 1, 10, and 14th best defenses at stopping running backs. 56 carries for 249 yards on the ground to the tune of 4.4 YPC and 2 touchdowns. Throw in 25 catches for 201 yards receiving and you have a back that has touched the ball 81 times for 450 total yards and 2 touchdowns in 3 games against some pretty impressive competition. Also important to note that he was the only running back to receive a carry this week despite fumbling once. In a year where there are few running back "studs" and injuries are decimating the landscape, Helu is a must start going into the fantasy playoffs.
Note 4: Marion the Barbarian
Is he going to be the guy to do it this year? The obscure running back who pops up out of the shadows right before the playoffs to lead teams to fantasy championships? Donâ€™t get your hopes up. He had 14 carries for 44 yards (3.1 YPC) against the Chiefs this last week in a barn burner of a game (10-3). With Caleb Hanie at quarterback the Bears are AWFUL on offense and Barber seems to be past his prime. Matchups against Denver, Seattle, and Green Bay don't help his cause.
Note 5: AP
I'm worried. Minnesota has two wins and aren't going anywhere. AP still isn't practicing and now Profootball.com has reported that he might be shut down for the remainder of the year. Keep a close eye on this situation, and please have a back up plan should anything happen with AP, but I don't see many reasons for Minnesota to push AP back with only a few weeks left in the season. He will have to be completely 100% healthy before coming back. Hopefully he can do so.
Note 6: Dre Dre
Ouch, Andre goes down again with a hammy? This is two years in a row now with lingering injury issues. I have said for two years in a row that Andre wasn't worthy of a 1st round pick because he didnâ€™t score enough touchdowns. Now will we be adding injury prone to his negatives, or are these isolated instances? Supposedly this one is less serious and he might be able to play this week but hoe confident can you be in playing him? With the playoffs on the line he is one full sprint from spending the playoffs on the bench. Not cool.
Note 7: Wait!.
Dwight Howard and Chris Paul to the Lakers what? Hey Vince Young, talk about a dream team. Wow, NBA. STOP IT. Oh and Save the Sonics!!! Sorry got sidetracked
Note 8: Weather
Another key thing to pay attention to in the playoffs is weather. Keep in mind that wind is the absolute worse. Most stats can still be accumulated in other weather conditions unless they are extreme (torrential rains, blizzard, etc). Teams playing in domes have the advantage at this time of year. For example, Drew Brees plays indoors weeks 15 and 16, congrats Brees owners.
Seattle***** ( I mentioned them before but if they are still available please add! St. Louis at home this week with a possible 3rd string qb and the Bears next week with Caleb Hanie and Marion Barber leading the way)