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Fantasy Island: Entering The Home Stretch, Are You Still In Contention?

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I'd like to start out this column by sending a shoutout to the millions of fantasy football GM's who's teams have fallen out of contention, but still continue to update their lineups and compete every week. Sometimes, that's a tough row to hoe as a frustrating fantasy season can often be dismissed into oblivion; especially when there's no money involved.

But you made a commitment at the beginning of the season to the other 11 owners in your league; to be competitive and provide a tough matchup for 14 weeks. When you walk away from your early-eliminated team, you take away the competitive nature of things for the rest of the league. If I faced you in Week 3, and you defeated me, but the team I'm tied for fourth place with faces you in Week 13 and you're starting Michael Vick, Miles Austin and other injured players... you have done me a disservice.

Don't be that guy, please.

If you're still in contention, congratulations. There are only two weeks to go in the regular season and you should now be thinking about matchups as opposed to sheer talent. Of course, talent wins out, but championships are won by straying from conventional planning and going with who has the softies lined up across from them.

Check out Football Outsiders rankings here. Pay attention to the bottom 5-7 teams in the ranks for opposing wideouts (and tight ends). Find a player that has 2 or more of those teams remaining between Weeks 13 and 16 and ride them.

More...

BTB FANTASY LEAGUE STANDINGS

FEAR THE STAR FEAR THE STAR RELOADED FEAR THE STAR REVOLUTIONS FEAR THE STAR ANIMATRIX DYNASTY
Team Name Record Team Name Record Team Name Record Team Name Record Team Name Record
magic 10-2 Fergie3108 11-1 Ron Mexico's Pharmacy 11-1 Olivia's Daddy 11-1 Rackham 10-2
Kegbearer Clan 9-3 FantasyFootball101 7-5 Motherwell Manstars 9-3 The Dynamic Uni 9-3 BEAST3N 10-2
Road Warriors 8-4 Static 7-5 Team Jamery 9-3 El Diablo Vaquero 2 9-3 mindmuggaz fc 9-3
KD Wins. Always. 8-4 Cowboy_In_Me 7-5 Ballz Deep 8-4 The Right Kind 7-5 Stellar Immortals 8-4
The Hams 7-5 WINNING! 6-6 Staubachfan 6-6 Chuck Norris 7-5 The Waterloo Joes 6-6
Ironmen 6-6 Therapists 6-6 RisingSunCowboys 6-6
Doomsday Defense 6-6 AN1MALMOTHER 6-6
DCyanks21 6-6

RESOURCES

Week 13 Injury Questions | Rotoworld

A look at all the games, organized by kickoff times, and the major injury questions that linger

Eye On Quarterbacks | ESPN

Bunch of soiid info here, including this note on the Cowboys wide receiving corps:

2. How not to overreact to Dallas Cowboys receivers. Miles Austin doesn't sound likely to play this week against the Arizona Cardinals. That once again opens a debate about Dez Bryant and Laurent Robinson. The three other ESPN.com rankers placed Robinson ahead of Bryant in their ranks, and two of the rankers had at least five spots in between the two WRs. To that I say: Wow. I know the production has been there for Robinson. He's been fantastic. And I know that it's not news to anyone that part of the reason Robinson gets open is because opposing defenses focus on stopping the scarier, beastlier Bryant. If defenses keep doing that and Tony Romo keeps throwing it accordingly, why won't Robinson keep routinely outperforming Dez?

This logic gets you into trouble. I saw it applied last week to Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings. I was the only ranker to keep Jennings ahead of Nelson last week, and lo and behold, on Thanksgiving, Jennings had five grabs for 74 yards and a TD, and Nelson had four grabs for 26 yards (to be fair, Jennings had five targets and Nelson had six). I know it's tempting to bend yourself into a pretzel to find logic that puts the guy who's produced better lately higher in your ranks than the marquee guy who hasn't put it all together yet, but in my opinion, talent often wins out. The moment you decide Nelson is the better threat, there's a pretty good chance opposing defenses come to the same conclusion, and stop rigging coverage to stop the No. 1.

Here are the numbers for the Cowboys wide receivers in the three games since Austin has been hurt:

Does Robinson come out ahead here? Absolutely. Is the margin massive? I would argue no, especially not if, for example, the Cardinals' defense decides, "Hey, maybe we should give Robinson some extra attention in the red zone, and put Patrick Peterson on Dez" (three of Robinson's five scores the past three weeks have come from inside an opponent's 7-yard line). I've always respected Robinson's talent (he was on my list of 10 Super-Deep Sleepers for '10 when he was with the St. Louis Rams ... oops). But I maintain that Bryant is just a different kind of cat, and if I'm choosing between the two, I'm still taking him.

Love/Hate For Week 13 | ESPN

Fantasy Footbal RB Rankings | KFFL.com

Along with all the scoring positions...

Jamey Eisenberg Start'Em / Sit'Em Week 13 | CBSSports.com

Fantasy Points Allowed | CBSSports.com

Here's what you should be using when determining between like-scoring players. How's the matchup?

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So now you have some resources... let's open the forum. What kind of lineup questions are you pondering?