So here we are. 13 weeks of grueling combat between teams. Injuries, bye weeks, players that underperformed. Betting on a player that may break out. Its all lead us to this. The Battle for the Tower has begun. Who will end up on the top floor? Who will end up in the cold? There is no second place. Only two teams in the lower brackets have winning records. They didn't make the cut. Four teams have fought there way to earn the right to see who will be The Last Man Standing.
Paint Huffing Warriors.
TCM Revolver shot out of the barrel dominating the league. Not until week 9 did he suffer his 1st defeat by a team that is now in the consolation bracket. Plagued by injuries as most of us were this season, he was able to win most of his games, some barely squeaking by with a win. But in the end he lost his last game of the regular fantasy season. A key game for his opponent. Will injuries at the end of the season be the undoing of this juggernaut.
Team Devil Dogs.
The only representative of the Mallers division to make the winners bracket, USMCludwig had a rocky start to the season. Taking a 3 loss hit mid season. In the end, Had 5 wins to end the season. 1 of only 2 teams in the Mallers division to have winning records, Team Devil Dogs separated from the pack that would end up being a 4 way tie at the end of the season. The final weeks could be said that the Devil Dogs faced some weak teams in the league, but each win was by dominate score showing that this team held there own.
Nikvoodoo had a strong season. Some key losses put his playoff chances in doubt. Early on showed promise to be in line with Paint Huffing Warriors being his #1 rival. Starting week 9 began a 4 game slide of losses making the for sure 2nd place team at the beginning of the season look like he would slide to 6th place with no playoff hope. His last chance went through Paint Huffing Warriors. The chances of a win seemed dismal. But a QB having the game of his career and an injury to a dominate RB played into Voodoo Children slipping into 3nd place, a spot just a week before that seemed out of reach.
Truthfully the beginning of Mem's season didn't launch near as well as the previous 2 teams. 3 losses at the very start of the season never bodes well for any team. With some key adjustments and bad luck for other teams starting week 6 began what looked to a winning steamroll that looked to go through the end of the season. Only a win pulled out by Paint Huffing Warriors week 12 by a margin of 2.2 points ground to a halt what seemed unstoppable. The tour de force through the second half of Cats HateHitler's season earned the #2 spot in a four way 8-5 tie, 4th place spot in the playoffs.
Matt Forte RB (Chi)
Knee. There is no clear time table for his return.
Denarius Moore WR (Oak)
Foot. Out at least this week.
Andre Johnson WR (Hou)
Hamstring. This is left not his right.
Micheal Jenkins WR (Min)
Knee. Going to surgery and is now IR.
James Starks RB (Packers)
Ankle. Out for week 14.
Darren McFadden RB (Oak)
Foot. Should have been back but will probably rest him another week as Bush is an effective weapon.
Miles Austin WR (Dal)
Hamstring. Looks to be out or very limited.
Jeremy Maclin WR (Phi)
Hamstring/Shoulder. Has been downgraded and as they have babied his wounds expect him not to play.
Adrian Peterson RB (Min)
Ankle. Articles late Saturday state he is out but no official word.
Mark Ingram RB (Orleans)
Toe. Turf toe can end careers early.
Kyle Orton QB (Kan)
Finger. Will be the back up.
Dropped Torrey Smith and picked up Brad Smith.
Torrey Smith is a good WR but is not a guaranteed score maker. He has explosive potential but can leave you dry more often than not. Brad Smith is set to get a lot of looks and passes this weekend so may be a better play than Torrey Smith. Good move.
Paint Huffing Warriors.
Dropped Toby Gerhart and picked up Roy Helu.
Not a bad move. There is the question of Gerhart playing if Peterson returns. This week looks to have Peterson out but the move for next week could be solid. Helu has 2 100 yard games in a row now. It looks like Shanahan has finally (don't hold your breath) settled on a go to RB. Helu faces the Patriots who are tenth against the rush and a tad overrated at that place. Add in that next week he faces the Giants and they let a lot of yards go to the run unchecked. Good overall move.
Dropped Fred Davis and picked up Benjarvus Green-Ellis.
Fred Davis won't play due to a suspension for 4 weeks I think. Green-Ellis is a good play as he is the go to goal line back for the Patriots and the Redskins are weak in the red zone. Good move.
Cats HateHitler (Mem) vs Paint Huffing Warriors (TCM Revolver) .
Aaron Rodgers vs Ben Roethlisberger.
It has become tough to bet against Big Ben this season as hes has done the best at his position than we have ever seen him play before. But he faces the #1 pass defense with the Browns. It could really bring down his value. Add in he is across from Rodgers. I have learned not to bet against him. He faces Oakland who has surprised us a couple times in the last couple weeks but I do not think they will be able to hold up to the onslaught that is the Green Bay Packers who are on a roll to an undefeated season. This is Rodgers slot.
Alex Smith vs Matthew Stafford.
Smith is beat up. Add in that he is there to more control the flow of the 49er offense than be a big game thrower. He is a field general that is banged up. He will start this week but am not sure just how effective he will be. Stafford on the other hand faces the Vikings. Tim Tebow ransacked this defense and he is by far not even close to being on the same par as Stafford. This slot goes to Stafford without much thought.
Benjarvus Green-Ellis vs Roy Helu.
This is a tough call. Both have big potential this weekend. Both face defenses that have struggled against the run. Here is the one difference. Green-Ellis is on a team loaded with weapons other than him and he has made only half of his goal line attempts this season. Helu is on a team with a coach that changes his mind with the direction of the wind but Helu looks to be the go to back this week and has much more chance to be one of the only viable weapons on this beleaguered offense. This is Helu's slot.
Jonathon Stewart vs Wes Welker.
Welker faces a beat up Redskins secondary. Add in that he had had back to back 100 yard games and he is a sure bet to become a big scorer this weekend. His only downside is that Brady has enjoyed throwing TD's to his TE Gronkowski. Stewart plays a stout rush defense but may find openings as the Falcons do there best to keep Cam Newton bottled up so as to keep last weeks career numbers from happening again. Even with that Stewart will battle for TD's as Newton has shown that he can do that much more effective than his own RB's. This slot goes to Welker.
Calvin Johnson vs Greg Jennings.
Battle of the big boys here. Both of these WR's more often than not will produce handsome numbers that keep them as a starting WR on any fantasy team. Johnson has had a bit of a tougher few weeks considering he has not seen the end zone near as much as we had grown used to seeing in the beginning of the season. But he is maintaining how often he does catch the ball and that is where he has a large chance for a breakout against a weak Vikings pass defense. Jennings has not scored more than 1 TD in any game this season. But even with that he is fourth in scoring by WR's in the league. Facing Oakland will not hurt those numbers as he takes this slot.
Vernon Davis vs Rob Gronkowski.
Gronkowski has proven to be a beast as he has scored 8 TD's in the last 5 games. This weekend , in a game where the Redskins have a lot of trouble containing TE's, expect him to have a great game. Davis gets a steady 4 or 5 catches with no real TD's and less then 50 yards a match. The math is simple. Gronkowski takes this slot.
Steelers vs Lions.
I think I can easily lean on the Steelers this weekend. They face the Browns who have not scored more than 14 points in almost 6 weeks and have struggled with turnovers. The Lions have not had a turnover since Suh has been serving his suspension for the angry stomp. Add in that they have allowed 110 points in 4 games. The Steelers are the best bet here.
Paint Huffing Warriors should take this match.
Voodoo Children (Nikvoodoo) vs Team Devil Dogs (USMCludwig) .
Drew Brees vs Micheal Vick.
I want to star by saying Vick is a very risky play. 1, he may not be returning even near 100% health and could end up going down early in the game. 2, He had some very tough games and did not produce well before he went out with his injury. And 3, Miami is not a defense to shrug off. They are 5th against the run and do not let the 23rd against the pass fool you. In the last 5 weeks they have become a steel wall that every QB has had to fight to get through. Brees is on a mission to throw a TD in 46 straight games to break a record. He has thrown 30 touch downs in 12 games. This week he faces the Titans who is 18th against a normal passer and Brees is not normal. He takes this slot.
Cam Newton vs Carson Palmer.
With the way Newton runs the ball if he gets in a jam with the pass makes him tough to go against. Earlier this season he had a tough games against the Falcons but has ended up getting better and better all season. Palmer has steadied out in Oakland but does not have a steady group of WR's to fall in step with. That is his biggest downside. I will not bet against Newton even up against a tough secondary. This is his slot.
Reggie Bush vs Marshawn Lynch.
Bush plays a Philly defense that has begun a downward spiral long ago. They do enough to remain something to watch for but not enough to be a real problem for most RB's. Bush seems to have come into his own very well in Miami at the end of this season. Lynch faces a very weak Rams rush defense. He is poised form a great game. Even 3 weeks ago he tallied up 88 yards and a TD against this defense. Lynch takes this match due to match up more than anything else.
Micheal Turner vs Vincent Jackson.
The Chargers receiving core is now back and healthy. That would usually bring down Jackson's numbers but considering that it will take a lot of heat off of him makes for good news. Add in that Rivers has seemed to finally find his game. The Bills secondary has struggled this season and this match could be too much for them. Turner faces the 23rd defense against the run when he plays the Panthers. It sets him up for a very good day and one that should pass Jackson up easily. This is Turners slot.
Dez Bryant vs Larry Fitzgerald.
There is still a question is Miles Austin will return this week though it looks like it. This should affect Laurent Robinson more than Bryant, The Giants have struggled with the pass and more pointedly Bryant in the past. Fitzgerald should be happy to have Kolb back but that does not help the fact that defenses know who to watch heavily. With no help to take the heat off of him should bring his numbers down but somehow he keeps them up. I like Bryant here as even if Austin returns he will be limited I think.
Jake Ballard vs Jimmy Graham.
Ballard faces the Cowboys who have done a good job keeping opposing TE's reigned in this last month or more. Add in that Ballard typically sees only 3 to 5 passes a game and has not crested the 50 yard mark in 4 games. This games looks tough for him. Graham is ranked top in scoring among TE's this season so far. It helps to have a QB that has thrown crazy amounts of TD's this season. Even though he is not guaranteed a TD he does make up for it in yards. This slot goes to Graham.
Ravens vs Texans.
2 real good defenses here. The Texans surprised a lot of people how stout there defense turned out to be this season. The Bengals and Andy Dalton face a tough weekend with this Texan defense bearing down on them. But the Ravens face the Colts. Who wants to go against this match. The Colts are 26th in passing and rushing this season. Do not buy into there games against a weak Patriots defense last week. The Colts will struggle to put any points on the board this week. This is the Ravens slot.
This match looks to go to Voodoo Children.
I have decided to cover only the winners bracket due to time constraints this week. There were some valiant fights for a couple of the teams in the consolation brackets but in the end did not have the points to slip into the upper bracket. Good luck to them for the consolation bracket.