As the old maxim goes, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
Chances are, if you made it to the fantasy postseason, your team is pretty good. But if you were facing off this weekend against Peyton Manning or his prolific receiving corps, you may want to run out and buy some lottery tickets. Fortune is clearly on your side.
Like countless others, I spent a tortuous three hours Sunday afternoon cheering on the Bills and their improbable success against Denver’s aerial superstars. I’m no Bills fan, mind you; and it didn’t even matter to me how well Manning did. I just needed Buffalo to keep Demaryius Thomas under control.
I didn’t dare wish for his worst game of the season; and yet two receptions and 11 yards later, my first-round opponent was stuck with Thomas’ least-productive outing since 2011!
For his part, Manning hasn’t fared that poorly since he took an early shower in Week 17 of the 2009 season.
Julius Thomas returned to the active roster, but ran just one route all day. That’s just mean.
Those facing C.J. Anderson were the unluckiest of all, as the suddenly top-flight fantasy back punched in the only three touchdowns Denver needed to defeat its visitors.
Meanwhile, Andrew Luck overcame his own lackluster start against the Browns to salvage his owners’ prospects and, along the way, made T.Y. Hilton one of the stars of the weekend. Hilton was joined by Le’Veon Bell, Joique Bell, Jamaal Charles and A.J. Green atop the list of Week 14 heroes. Heck, even Cam Newton turned in a stellar stat line for the few owners that still trusted him.
Today, countless fantasy enthusiasts are second-guessing their first-round investment in Manning, and the premium picks they spent on the Thomases. As for the rest of us, Christmas came early.
FREE AGENT PICKS AND PANS
To win a fantasy championship, it helps to start with a great draft. But filling in your roster throughout the season with the right free agents is also important. At this stage of the game, however, few viable candidates are available on the waiver wire. For what it’s worth…
Catch ‘em while you can
Knile Davis, RB, Chiefs. When Jamaal Charles hobbled off the field and into the locker room to inspect his injured ankle on Sunday, hearts stopped across Fantasyland. Don’t allow his quick return and electrifying touchdown reception to lull you into complacency. Somehow, Knile Davis is available in roughly three-quarters of all fantasy leagues. He’s no Charles, but he’s arguably the most capable backup in the NFL.
Juwan Thompson, RB, Broncos. C.J. Anderson had a noticeable limp throughout Sunday’s contest, but it didn’t keep him from scoring his TD hat trick. Nevertheless, with no sign of Montee Ball or Ronnie Hillman returning, Anderson’s owners would be wise to handcuff Thompson to their emerging star. The rookie has shown some nice flashes with his limited opportunities and he, too, has a nose for the end zone.
Don’t be fooled
Kerwynn Williams, RB, Cardinals. Marion Grice saw the most action in Week 13. Stepfan Taylor got the start on Sunday. Veteran rusher Michael Bush was signed a couple weeks ago, then released. But it was Williams, signed off the practice squad on Friday, who rumbled for 100 yards in place of the injured Andre Ellington. Go figure. But don’t go crazy and pick him up. With the Rams and Seahawks on tap, no Arizona runner will be starting material down the stretch.
Marquess Wilson, WR, Bears. With Brandon Marshall out for the season with lung and rib injuries, Wilson will be asked to step into the veteran’s outside role. That will surely mean more targets in his direction, but the second-year receiver has done little to suggest he will instantly become a fantasy force.