Good morning, Fools, and welcome to the first week of the fantasy postseason. I hope all of you are still in contention. I'm moving forward in 3 of 4 leagues (just missed out in the other thanks to trouble at the RB position that I couldn't fix over the past 4-5 weeks; kept getting out-prioritied on the guys I wanted off the waiver wire). It happens.
Let's get into it.
We figured the weather would come into play in a big way today, but I didn't imagine that it would effect a dome game. Alas, the Metrodome roof has collapsed (take a look at the pics on NFL.com...wow), so the Giants and Vikings' game has been postponed till Monday night at Ford Field in Detroit. That will give Favre, Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks an additional day to heal up, but it also makes them all riskier fantasy starts since you won't know until tomorrow whether or not they'll play. Frankly, I'm not high on any of them -- forget about Favre, but also the WRs, who'll be coming back for their first action after an extended absence. Nicks, in particular, is the less likely of the two to play. I just don't see either of them getting a lot of snaps and both are at risk of leaving the game early. Anyway...it certainly makes things even more interesting.
Frigid conditions (temps in teens), gusty winds (30-50 mph) and snow (70% chance) will be a factor in Chicago, where the Bears host the Pats. Tom Brady obviously knows how to handle it, but I'm not as confident in Cutler. Matt Forte will probably be given an extra workload, but I wouldn't want to bank on any Bear receiver, or either kicker (Gould, Graham).
It's raining and windy in New York, which could put a damper on the passing and kicking games of the Jets and Dolphins. I'm still starting Santonio, but I don't like any other WR in this game, especially due to the weather.
It's much colder, but less windy, in Buffalo. Peyton Hillis should be the man in that game. I'm worried about Fitzpatrick and Stevie Johnson, and am benching Johnson in the league where I have safer options (Boldin, Santonio, Jennings).
It's going to be sloppy in Pittsburgh, too. Look for a big game from Mendenhall, but I still don't like Benson's chances against the Steelers' D. Big Ben and Palmer are used to these conditions, so I wouldn't downgrade their receivers too much.
The Chiefs finally ended their charade and ruled out Matt Cassel (appendectomy). Brodie Croyle will get the start against the Chargers' defense, which could mean trouble for Dwayne Bowe. Truthfully, I'd probably still start Bowe (unless I had some slam-dunk alternatives); but I'd be extremely nervous about it.
Brandon Marshall is expected to suit up today and take his chances on Revis Island, but Brian Hartline won't be around to pick up the slack. He's been placed on IR by the Dolphins due to a hand injury.
Ravens TE Todd Heap has been ruled out, as expected, for Monday night. Rookie Ed Dickson will start in his place, and I like his chances against the Texans' pathetic secondary.
Latest upheaval from the world of kicking: Denver's Matt Prater is out with a groin injury. Steven Haushcka was signed to replace him this week, and possibly longer. Prater is widely owned across Fantasyland, and the matchup with Arizona is one of the best. If you're hurting at the position (possibly due to the weather issues discussed above), Hauschka is a sneaky good option.
OK, that's it for this morning. I'll be tweeting the inactives in a sec. Good luck to all Fools!