Week 12: Five Days That Will Make or Break a Season

By M3Swagger

If your fantasy football league is like most (13-week regular season and three-weeks of playoffs), this is the final quarter/phase of the season. Wave your four-finger salute in the air to mark that time when games, and in this case seasons, are won or lost.

The origin of the four-finger salute is claimed by “The U,” a.k.a. the University of Miami. According to its website: “True Hurricane fans and players use the sign as a symbol that they own that last quarter.”

I encourage all fantasy players, regardless of alma mater, to do the same this week. And you may add a digit to symbolize the five-day stretch from Thursday through Monday in which games are played.

It used to be reserved for Thanksgiving week, but is now the league’s standard. But then again, holiday shopping used to start “after” Thanksgiving and that too has expanded. Still, with extra games on Thursday, this late-season weekend is special.

What worked during the previous 11 weeks will not down the stretch. These questions keep people awake at night and push them to the edge. The factor in this logarithm is a player on your fantasy team’s real team’s playoff prospect, added to its schedule, and divided by the number of roster spots you want to give up. And with that formula, it is only logical that some bold assessments can be made that toe the fine line between madness and genius.

Madness/genius revelation 1:

Either Fred Jackson or C.J. Spiller will have more value in weeks 12 through 16 than Arian Foster. Yes, the league’s perennial top back will be rested and, in fantasy terms, supplanted in value by backs from teams in a more desperate playoff situation and possibly playing more favorable schedules.

Madness/genius revelation 2:

Go Hillman! This week, the name Hillman has been discussed more often on fantasy waiver boards than it was on the Cosby Show (a fictitious college attended by Huxtable daughter, Denise, and a place where comedian Sinbad played a coach). The Hillman buzz is about Ronnie Hillman, the next Bronco up now that Willis McGahee is injured.

Hillman’s backup, Lance Ball is a logical acquisition as well. Parmele is not a fictitious college, but the real surname for Jalen, who is going to the head of his Jaguars’ class as MJD’s latest replacement. With the Titans in the offing, he is a tempting pickup as well.

Madness/genius revelation 3:

The Jagged edge. Little has been said about the soon-to-be Los Angeles Jaguars this season. The Jags are mired in an awful season witnessed by few home fans. Yet, against the Titans, Chad Henne at QB and his main target Justin Blackmon are logical picks, as is Cecil Shorts, the Jags’ “off receiver,” now that Blackmon will gain the attention of defenses.

Speaking of off-receivers, the Colts’ T.Y. Hilton had a big week and could continue to roll up points as Reggie Wayne gains the Bills’ focus.

Madness/genius revelation 4: Bring back Eli!

If you want to bench the Giants’ QB after some awful games leading up to the bye week, you are justified. But, as mentioned in the first revelation, there is a desperation that makes people up their games. The Giants are in desperation mode and he will have to be the Eli of October against the Packers.

Another quarterback, Tony Romo, is also a must-start against the Redskins and in the weeks ahead as the Cowboys try to catch the Giants.

So wave that four- or five-finger salute and trust that your madness is genius. It is better to make the playoffs as a mad man (or woman) than sit out and regard yourself too smart to take chances.

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