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Fantasy stars shine bright in title round

Posted by Ladd Biro  December 24, 2012 05:08 PM

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Did you go over the fantasy cliff yesterday?


I sure did.  Twice.

Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Calvin Johnson got the snowball tumbling down the hill on Saturday night, and by the time Reggie Bush piled on, my boys were buried so deep they couldn’t dig themselves out. 

Tom Brady and Aaron Hernandez failed to negotiate an agreement to meet in the end zone, and Dez Bryant’s shoulders just weren’t broad enough to carry my entire team.

And yet, in a cruel twist of fate, Dez was the main culprit in the demise of my other title-contending team.  His 224-yard, two-touchdown mastery of the Saints’ secondary helped my opponent overcome Adrian Peterson’s modest outing.  Ray Rice came through for the bad guys as well; but Eli Manning, Victor Cruz and Tony Gonzalez left the door wide open for an epic upset by my squad in Sunday night’s showdown.

Sadly, despite another bravura performance by Marshawn Lynch – and Aaron Rodgers’ earlier shellacking of the Titans – Frank Gore and Michael Crabtree left the Fantasy Fools just five points shy of a championship. 

Am I bitter that the Rams wideout whose name shall never be spoken again in my household actually had a minus sign in front of his score?  Let’s just say that if I had named one of my sons Daniel, we’d be headed to the courthouse today to change it.

Congratulations to those celebrating a well-earned victory today.  And to those whose hopes and dreams were dashed at the foot of the fantasy cliff, well, the 2013 draft is just eight short months away.


FREE AGENT PICKS AND PANS

The fact is, you shouldn’t be competing for a title in Week 17.  But if you are, or if you have a consolation matchup to play for, here is one player that might help you, and one that who would look better in someone else's lineup.

Catch ‘em while you can

Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks.  As electrifying as Russell Wilson has been, and as many points as Seattle has been scoring, you’d think their wideouts would be fantasy studs.  But Wilson doesn’t throw for a ton of yards (no 300-yard outings to date).  Baldwin is arguably the most gifted of his receivers, and his 53-yard, two-touchdown performance showed what he can do when fully healthy.  Consider grabbing him, if only as a preemptive move to keep him out of your opponent’s lineup.

Don’t be fooled

Ryan Grant, RB, Packers.  It was fun, for old time’s sake, to see Grant do the Lambeau Leap.  Twice, even.  But those scores came in garbage time of a 55-7 blowout, DuJuan Harris found the end zone earlier (the first rushing TD of the season for a Green Bay RB, believe it or not), and Alex Green (concussion) could return to the backfield in Week 17.

Originally published on the blog Fantasy Fools.

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About the author

Ladd Biro was named 2010 "Football Writer of the Year" by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Ladd's nationally syndicated columns have appeared in more than 20 publications -- including the Dallas Morning News, San Francisco Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Sun-Times and Sporting News magazine -- since 2003. During the NFL season, he can be heard nationwide on Sporting News Radio as host of the weekly "Fantasy Files" program, dispensing his unique blend of wit and wisdom. Since 2009, all his written fantasy content can be found on the Fantasy Fools blog.

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