Twas the night before Week 13, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a louse
The playoffs were ahead, your team crafted with care,
In hopes that Saint Brees would carry you there
Dad told all the kiddies before they went to bed,
“I’ll win the championship, then Santa will fly in on his sled”
And mama in her nightie, thinking of what she’d do with your dough,
“Just give me three touchdowns, and I won’t ask for no mo”
The game finally arrived against those hated Dirty Birds,
But all Brees could do was lay a few turds
So now you’re stuck, and you have to hope against hope,
That your opponent’s QB will play just like your dope
“He shouldn’t have been so greedy, eating all that cap space,
Now me and the Saints are probably out of the race”
Still, there’s Sunday, and you have a little shot
If it all works out, you can still do that victory trot
Now Marshawn! Now Bradshaw! Now Wallace and Shorts!
I hope next week there is something pleasant to report
For now, however, it’s time to dash out of sight
And pray for a chance, no matter how slight
Good luck, y’all!
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers at Rams (16th vs. pass)
Looks like he’s still available in about one-third of all leagues. If you were lucky enough to already grab him, this is a fantastic matchup. Also, for the rest of the fantasy season, with Jim Harbaugh naming him the starter, the schedule is very favorable for Kaepernick to help throughout your playoffs.
Honorable mention: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills vs. Jaguars (Going to be a tough road for him after this one)
Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers at Ravens (25th vs. run); Joique Bell, Lions vs. Colts (20th vs. run)
All I hear is not to start any of the 18-headed monsters running the ball for the Steelers. To me, Dwyer is the best of the bunch, and I expect him to take on the lion’s share of work Sunday in what should prove to be ground and pound all day long. By the way, Baltimore is one of 11 NFL teams to allow 10 or more rushing touchdowns this season. … As the season has gone on, Detroit has incorporated this bruising ex-Saint into its offense, including two weeks ago when he collected seven receptions. After scoring 10 fantasy points last week, Bell could be a nice injury (or desperation) replacement.
Honorable mention: Alex Green, Packers vs. Vikings (After an embarrassing loss, passing teams usually try and run more); David Wilson, Giants at Redskins (Let’s see if he can finally match the talent to his mouth)
Randy Moss, 49ers at Rams (16th vs. pass); Santana Moss, (Mon.) Redskins vs. Giants (25th vs. pass)
Although he didn’t have a catch last week, I noticed Kaepernick spending a lot of time talking to Randy Moss, who was targeted in the end zone on what should have been called offensive pass interference. But I digress. Point is, I expect this young QB to look for the wily veteran in the red zone, and this dome will be one of the few places this weekend where weather isn’t a factor. … Although Santana Moss has been very hit-or-miss this season, he’s obviously a major scoring threat. And with the fact RG III likely will have to pass 40 or more times Monday night against a suspect pass defense, I give Moss an excellent chance to collect 10 or more points.
Honorable mention: Nate Washington, Titans vs. Texans (Tennessee will need to throw early and often); Ryan Broyles, Lions vs. Colts (Done this season in a keeper league? Get this guy while he’s cheap)
Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars at Bills (17th vs. pass)
Still available in more than 60 percent of CBS leagues, Lewis has become a big target for Chad Henne. I expect most of Jacksonville’s passing game will be of the short-yardage variety, which means good things for this tight end.
Honorable mention: Dwayne Allen, Colts at Lions (17 targets past two weeks)
KICKER: Greg Zuerlein, Rams vs. 49ers (Stalled drives in a dome equal lots of field goals)
Joe Flacco, Ravens vs. Steelers (1st vs. pass)
Only twice in nine career games against Pittsburgh has Flacco thrown for two or more touchdowns. The Steelers know their playoff hopes hinge on their defense, and you can bet they’ll be on their A game in this one.
Not-so-honorable mention: Drew Brees, Saints at Falcons (I predict he’ll throw five picks. Oh wait.)
Knowshon Moreno, Broncos vs. Bucs (1st vs. run); DeMarco Murray, Cowboys vs. Eagles (18th vs. run)
Moreno looked decent last week against Kansas City as the top option to fill in for the injured Willis McGahee. But this one is going to be a Peyton Manning special, as Tampa Bay is stifling against opposing running backs. … You can bet more than a wooden nickel that even if Murray does return this week, he’ll be eased slowly into action. Unless he just quickly comes back to old form, I expect a platoon with Felix Jones et al for the rest of the season.
Not-so-honorable mention: Beanie Wells, Cardinals vs. Jets (Don’t tell me you’re already back on his bandwagon); Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks at Bears (Finally gets some decent matchups after this one)
Denarius Moore, Raiders vs. Browns (20th vs. pass); Cecil Shorts, Jaguars at Bills (17th vs. pass)
Oh Denarius, where have you gone? After scoring in four out of five games and going for 90 yards or more in three of those, Moore has two catches for 29 yards and one score in two games against the Saints and Bengals, respectively. With playoffs on the line for many of us, I’d be hesitant to start him in what looks to be awful weather in the Bay area this weekend. … Buffalo’s pass defense is much improved over the past few weeks, and in their favor this week is forecasted cold rain and winds of more than 20 mph. That is a killer for a deep-threat receiver with a sub-par quarterback.
Not-so-honorable mention: Torrey Smith, Ravens vs. Steelers (Going to be a mosh pit in Baltimore); Brandon Marshall, Bears vs. Seahawks (I predict a 12-10 Bears win)
Heath Miller, Steelers at Ravens (22nd vs. pass)
It’s no coincidence he hasn’t scored since Week 8 vs. Washington. Until Big Ben gets back healthy, Miller just isn’t a favorable option.
Not-so-honorable mention: Aaron Hernandez, Patriots at Dolphins (He’ll probably play, but I’d wait one more week)
KICKER: David Akers, 49ers at Rams (Questionable, and Harbaugh is trying out other kickers)