|You...are welcome for wi..nning you a spot in your lea...gue's playoffs. - Adrian (espn.com)|
There are two things we can confirm after week 14 of the 2012 NFL Season.
1. Adrian Peterson is a man.
2. Fantasy football might be the most unfair game ever conceived.
At this point we should all be entering fantasy playoffs if we aren't there already. The week or two prior to playoffs are almost just as important because in the fickle world of Fantasy Football, most of us are hovering a couple of games over .500 and looking to win out to clinch a spot in the tournament. With so many ponies running down a narrow track, there's going to be bumps, stumbles, and falls down the stretch, but where fantasy football really kicks you in the groin is the monster individual game. To continue my half-hearted horse racing analogy, this would be like there are 2 horses in a pack looking to show, and just when both of them are lined up - nose to nose, hoof to hoof - one of the jockeys hits the other horse in the head with an oversized cartoon mallet - complete with tweety birds - and then straps rocket boosters to his horse and is 10 lengths ahead before you can even react.
See, not the greatest analogy.
Basically that's what happened to teams facing Adrian Peterson or Seattle defense.
Let's start with Peterson. His performance. That shouldn't be all that surprising as his past 4 games he's rushed for 171, 108, 210, and 154 with 4 TDs. Even if you want to say, it was against the Bears, I'm still not all that shocked. What is continuing to amaze me is that Peterson is doing this coming off of ACL surgery. And not just coming off ACL surgery, but coming back early. As a running back. And he's crushing fantasy leagues everywhere. The much questioned fantasy pick early in the year has now become a bargain. Some one took him with the 10th pick of the 1st Round in my draft and people were iffy about it. Now, he's laughing his way to dead last in our league (well, that's not Adrian's fault).
There has been a lot of oooh's and ahhh's about AD's performance this year, and although the award doesn't have a lot of clout, there is no doubt in my mind he should win Comeback Player of the Year. Look, we're all happy Peyton Manning is back, and looking reasonably like Peyton Manning. Sure he had some doubts, just like Peterson, but the question surrounding Manning was more of whether his nerves would regenerate properly to give his arm the proper strength and if his neck would hold up. If his nerves regenerated fine, then he'd be fine. Multiple doctors gave him clearance to play. It was just a matter of getting back into action.
Peterson said he'd be ready to go Week 1 and people just said he was being optimistic. To this day, doctors still aren't quite sure how he got healthy so fast, and I'm sure other athletes that have had this operation wonder how he is running as hard and as well as he is without holding back. If anything it appears overcoming this injury has strengthened him mentally. He put up 29 fantasy points when his owners needed him. Not that he hadn't all ready done it, but he more than justified their pre-season faith in AD.
Update: Thought this column posted today on Grantland was relevant.
While it's a major bummer to go up against Peterson, at least you had hopes of him being contained. I'm sure little time was wasted worrying about the Seattle Seahawks defense. Sure they were at home facing the Cardinals (who after their 4-0 start have quickly morphed into one of the worst teams in a long time - they're so bad I'm openly wondering whether or not Larry Fitzgerald is vastly overrated) and Yahoo! had them projected at 11.62 points. A fair amount, sure, but seemed to be more of a product of the match-up than anything. This defense has only put up double digit fantasy points once in the past 6 weeks.
So when they left the Cardinals pie faced into the grass at CenturyLink Field they took 41 fantasy points with them. 41! That made Seattle DEF the highest scoring "player" in all of week 14. This was an absolute death blow. Anyone with this defense should have been well on their way to winning the week. They scored 2 TDs with 8 turn overs and 3 sacks to complete their shut out of the Red Birds. To work all this way and be kept out of the playoffs thanks to a defense with two soon to be suspended players on it is just unfair. Then again, disappointment and injustice is all part of the fantasy football game.
Let's see who will break some opponents' hearts in playoff football...
|Former Heisman winner Mark Ingram isn't worth your money. (sportsnola.com)|
Kenny Britt, WR - TEN (49% owned) NYJ
A lot of people have been waiting on Britt to find his form this season after multiple knee surgeries. His 143 yard performance against a hapless Indy defense helped raise some eyebrows, and Britt seems to be clicking with Jake Locker nabbing 2 TDs in his last 3 games. They'll play the Jets on Monday night, and will be a good homerun threat to close out the week.
Montell Owens, RB - JAX (23%) @MIA
M-O, M-O, M-O, M-OOOOOOOO, M-O, M-OOOO. Sounded better when it was TO for Terrell Owens, but he did have the 2nd best individual performance by a Jags running back this year. Miami defense is no joke, but there is room to get some points if Chad Henne can get the pass game working. It's a big if, but if you need an RB (at least an RB out of one's I haven't already talked about) Owens looks to be a valuable add.
DuJuan Harris, RB - GB (0%) @CHI
It has been a troubling season for Green Bay. Their offense just isn't that strong, and it's mainly a result of injuries to the offensive line and wide receivers. Randall Cobb can only do so much. The lack of run game hasn't helped ease the pain of Aaron Rodgers. Harris was respectable in that he scored a TD, but the RB's in Packerland have been a rotating door and Mike McCarthy appears to have no patience to make things work. Harris is a speculative add with the potential to score in Chi-town.
PENNY SAVED IS A PENNY EARNED
Mark Ingram, RB - NO (28%) TB
Even when Ingram is given the role of primary back, he can't out fantasy Darren Sproles. He did average 5.2 yards per carry against the Giants last week, but he did not find the end zone. It's hard to tell what the Saints have with Ingram or why he was drafted by them. They don't need or use a conventional running back and never have with Drew Brees' offense. I'm not willing to give up on the former Heisman winner, but he's a no go for fantasy owners.
Dwayne Harris, WR - DAL (0%) PIT
You probably heard the loud groan of Dez Bryant owners' after it was revealed Dez broke/injured a finger in the closing minutes of the Cowboys Bengals game (a couple plays before his 27 yard TD catch). It's being reported that Dez is giving it a go on Sunday as the Cowboys look to make it to the playoffs. While Dez has been one of the best fantasy receivers over the past couple of weeks, it's hard to trust a wide receiver with a broken finger. The risk of ineffectiveness or getting pulled from the game are high, especially against a stout pass defense like Pittsburgh. While people may be running to go get Kevin Ogletree again, I think Harris is a better pick. Harris has been more consistent and garnered more targets recently than Ogletree. We've seen what (little) Ogletree is capable of, so it would make sense for hot seated head coach Jason Garrett to let the second year man from East Carolina have a go.