Week 16 fantasy football: Crowning the champion
By BRYAN RUBIN
College Contributor Network
Week 16 is what it's all about. After the 15-week-long grueling journey that caused you adrenaline rushes on Sundays and second-guessing on Mondays, only one more opponent stands in your way from a fantasy football championship. If you are playing for a title this week, hats off to you. Making the finals is an accomplishment to be proud of. While it's not as cool as picking a perfect March Madness bracket, nor something you can add to your resume, don't let the haters stop you from enjoying this last football Sunday.
But (there's always a but), getting to the finals was just 50 percent of your mission when the season started. No one in your league said, "Gee I just want to make it to the finals; I don't care about actually winning it all." Your goal was to win it all, and anything but bringing the title belt back to your virtual trophy case would have been considered a failure.
Championships are why we play the game. It's why we stay up at 3:30 A.M. on Wednesday mornings to add free agents and save our waiver claims and it's why we live for stat corrections. It's why we jump off our couches to do "The Whip" with Odell Beckham Jr. after a touchdown. And as OBJ would say, "We taking off and I know you don't wanna miss this plane"(...to the FINALS!).
So with one last matchup set to begin on Sunday (disclaimer: I don't count Thursday night's game this week as fantasy relevant. It's between the Jaguars and the Titans. Ain't nobody got time for that. Even if I was starting the Tennessee defense/special teams, I'd still rather watch the People Magazine Awards on NBC) your room for error is thin.
In my school league last week, I saw the No. 2 seed lose by 1.68 points. That owner also started Donte Moncrief in the flex over Pierre Garcon and Stepfan Taylor. Like I said in Week 14 about sit/start decisions: can you live with it? Regardless of what "senior fantasy football experts" say, can YOU live with it? Because unfortunately, you are the one that loses, not them. Unless you have thousands of Twitter followers too, I guess. But chances are you don't.
Looking at Week 16, there aren't too many salivating matchups that you are gonna bust your chomps to, but there are definitely a few: Buffalo faces Oakland who has given up double digit points to opposing defenses/special teams in seven of its 14 games. Mark Sanchez, Jeremy Maclin and Jordan Matthews get the Redskins' 32nd-ranked pass defense. Mark Ingram gets the Falcons' league-worst run defense who he scored twice against in Week 1. Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener go against Dallas while Gronk faces the New York Jets, who both have trouble stopping tight ends, and everyone on the Lions offense (including the left tackle if reported eligible on the goal line) has the green light against a miserable and self-imploding Bears defense.
On the flipside, after a huge game in Cleveland, Jeremy Hill goes against the fourth-best rushing defense in Denver and Arian Foster squares off with the Ravens, who have only allowed four rushing touchdowns all year (second-least in the league). The Chiefs who are first in that category (two rushing touchdowns allowed) go on the road to face the red-hot LeVeon Bell, who seemingly hasn't been able to be kept out of the end zone lately. And lastly, Andrew Luck and the Colts go up against a Cowboys secondary who have surprisingly only allowed nine passing touchdowns to opposing wide receivers, four of which were caught by our boy Beckham Jr.
As John Madden once said, "The only yardstick for success our society has is being a champion. No one remembers anything else."
Good luck in the finals.
Bryan Rubin is a senior at Syracuse University. He once ate Chipotle three times in one day and woke up at 3:46 a.m. on a Wednesday morning to make a roster move to his fantasy football team (while his friends were sleeping) to avoid wasting his No. 1 waiver claim. Follow him on Twitter: @bryan_rubin