Fantasy Football Intelligence: Wrap It Up

It was as interesting a championship week as we’ve seen in recent years. Kamara started it off with 6 TDs, putting many teams in a 50 point hole before the Sunday kickoff. Surely that ended some seasons, but there were also plenty of combinations of Brady/Evans, Rodgers/Adams, and Allen/Diggs that made Kamara games interesting. All in all, there were piles of offensive fireworks in the championship week of a season that we were unsure would even get this far. Congratulations to the champions, but getting through this season as well as we did made us all winners.

Fantasy Football Intelligence had a good year, beating consensus ranks on many occasions and helping our old friend Ken Cail build a dominant squad. If you followed our draft board, you may have landed Thielen and Ridley at WR or Henry at RB, all of whom we rated above most others. We were higher on Nick Chubb and lower on Joe Mixon. We were right on CeeDee Lamb, though Michael Gallup emerged from a moribund season to be a game winner in the fantasy playoffs. We effectively anticipated Indianapolis, Seattle, Cleveland and Washington as multi-week and streaming defense options, but after missing on Lamar Jackson in 2019 and Josh Allen this year we will be adjusting our QB ranking system to increase the value and rankings for running QBs. We discussed this rationale in late October.

If you are still competing for something this week, keep a few things in mind:

-Be wary of Chiefs, Steelers and any other team that is heading to the playoffs with little or nothing to play for.

-Look for teams/players that need to win playing against teams that have nothing to play for. While the lesser team will show up, talent and desperation should win out.

-As we’ve seen with the Jets, there is rarely organizational alignment behind tanking. Games between two eliminated teams generally are higher scoring as defense requires more effort than offense, but there are still professionals on both sides who will be looking for jobs in the spring and December football will be the last thing on their resume.

-Rivalries still count. Don’t expect the Eagles to roll over for the Washington Football Team.

-Arians removed Brady and Fournette at halftime of a rout last week. Atlanta has been playing better defense for the last month, so it may not come into play anyway, but if the Bucs get up significantly, expect Tampa Bay to call off the dogs again. Between Vaughn and the possible return of Ronald Jones Jr., this probably isn’t a Fournette week anyway.

-If you are streaming a defense, keep an eye on the QB starters and target the least experienced. If you’re deciding between two defenses, use pass rush as a tie-breaker.

Best of luck to all playing this week.

 

Lee Benjamin

Lee Benjamin has been a football fan since Jim Plunkett was under center for the Patriots and his first ever fantasy football pick was a young Jerry Rice. He’s won more championships during Tom Brady’s career than Tom Brady, though unfortunately, they pay a lot less. His blog, Fantasy Football Intelligence, is published regularly on the WTPL, WTSN and Frank-FM sites. Lee spent over 25 years in New England media. He now resides in South Florida and enjoys freelance writing about sports and politics.