Good morning, Fools. I imagine there are much fewer of you reading this than normal, and that's a good thing. Unless you play in a weekly league, or have something akin to the "Free for All Bowl" that a couple of my leagues run, there's no reason to be focusing on starting lineups this weekend.
That said, some boneheaded leagues still play their Super Bowls this weekend, so we must remain vigilant for their benefit. Here's what they need to know:
As covered in my Starters & Benchwarmers column, nearly 20 teams have either been eliminated from the playoffs, or have little or no incentive to play hard to improve their playoff seeding. Guys like Tom Brady are expected to play a half or less. Rob Gronkowski has already been made a healthy scratch. No reason to think Tony Romo or Dez Bryant will play long either. Look for DeMarco Murray to get in long enough to break Emmitt Smith's team rushing record (he needs 30 yards), then quickly exit.
Everyone else is a dicey proposition, and there's little doubt that some unheralded backups will be among the day's top performers. Figuring out which ones in advance takes more work than I'm willing to put in for such little benefit. (Sorry...I've got a family!)
Steven Jackson is out for the Falcons, so Devonta Freeman will get a whole game to audition for next year's starting job. Freeman is a prime candidate.
Forget my flier of the week pick, Jonas Gray. He's already been ruled out. It could be a nice day for James White and/or Brandon Bolden, though. Julian Edelman is also inactive.
Julio Jones will suit up in Atlanta's all-or-nothing game with Carolina.
Here's a sneak pick at this year's honoree for the "Plaxico Burress Memorial Bonehead of the Year Award:" Josh Gordon, who got himself suspended for Week 17 for missing Saturday's walkthrough with the team. He apparently was playing hooky with Johnny Manziel, though not necessarily together. Can that duo be anything but trouble? We will likely be hearing a lot about them in the offseason, for all the wrong reasons.
Meanwhile, the Browns will be led by rookie Connor Shaw at QB today. Oh my.
Terrance West gets the start at halfback for the beleaguered Browns.
Percy Harvin and Dwayne Allen have also been declared inactive.
That's it for now. More inactives coming next, but I'm heading to church. Will get out as many as I can. Good luck to all Fools!