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Pure Fantasy Week 12

Week Twelve: FF's Greatest Thrills and A Tale of Two Winters

Pure Ramblings

“It's not how whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game.”

There is no popular saying that relates less to fantasy football. It is whether you win or lose. And almost as important as winning is exactly how you win. The more you humiliate your opponent, the better, and there are many ways to do that. Here are my “Top Five Ways to Win a Fantasy Matchup.”

1. The Monday Night Explosion. There's nothing, and I mean nothing, better than being down by a huge amount of points going into the Monday Night Football game. Things look hopeless—you've only got one player left, and you need an obscene amount of points to win. You've basically written yourself off for the week, and you're just looking towards next week's matchup. You notice your player scored a touchdown. “That's good,” you might say, but you go back to whatever else you were doing. But then your guy scores another touchdown. And another. Before you know it, you're winning, and you're just laughing at your own good fortune.
2. The Sub-Point Victory. The number two entry is that game where you and your opponent have come down to the wire. Kickers, defenses, and every yard gained become important. For those who play in decimal-based scoring leagues, these games are even more intense. You watch every play of every game available, living and dying by each yard gained and each extra point converted. The joy and relief earned by winning by less than a point is only surpassed by the discouragement and ultra-depression that results by losing. Ulcers all around.
3. The Rivalry Game. You've talked trash for weeks leading up to this game. You might have even feigned polite and sportsmanlike well-wishes prior to kickoff. But you want nothing more to absolutely demolish your buddy. Nothing would give you more pleasure. And if you win by Numbers 1 & 2 on this list, that is the greatest joy that this world could ever give you. If there is a Heaven, it's those moments played on repeat.
4. HeroBall. You picked your favorite player on your favorite team out of sheer homerism, much to the mockery from your leaguemates. He's sat on your bench all season, gathering dust, but your starter is on a bye, so you plugged him in, having faith that he'll come through in the clutch. And he does. He almost single-handedly wins you the game with a clutch, once-in-a-lifetime performance, and you can't help but feel that he did it just for you.
5. Utter Annihilation. From the first kickoff on Thursday Night, nothing goes wrong. Every player scores at least 20 points and you cruise to the high score in your league by a good 30-point margin. You walk away from the carnage on a high. Nothing can beat your team, they're unstoppable...until next week.

Pure Recap:

Two quarterbacks, both drafted in 2006. Both top-tier statistical quarterbacks with a reputation for failure in the postseason. Both are polarizing figures within their respective fanbases, and both have coaches who will most likely be fired before the end of the season.

The only difference between Tony Romo and Philip Rivers, it would seem, is their December reputations.

Romo has the reputation of December's chump. Talk to most people, and they'll tell you how he chokes in late-season matchups, while Rivers thrives down the stretch. In the past two weeks, Romo's statline reads 72 completions, 754 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs, and 17 rushing yards. Rivers has a somewhat weaker statline with 47 completions, 486 yards, 3 TDs, and 2 INTs. Combined with the knowledge that the Cowboys own the fourth-easiest schedule for the last four weeks, and you'd think that Romo would continue to blow past Rivers. And history agrees with you. Sort of.

Tony Romo doesn't mind the month of December. Although his record isn't impressive, his fantasy stats are passable. It must be noted, however, that his November numbers are simply fantastic and his December numbers just don't keep up. His quarterback rating takes a 20-point dive in between the months, his yards decrease by an average of a mere 36 per game, and he's averaging 1.38 touchdowns per game in December as opposed to 2.32 in November. Still solid numbers, though.

Rivers is historically consistent throughout the last two months of the season. His record during the month of December is traditionally stellar, which probably leads to his reputation as a season closer. His touchdown and yards per game basically stay the same, but his interceptions drop dramatically from nearly one per game to .5 per game.

As you can see, with Romo, you can expect a slight decrease in production, but he and Rivers aren't that far apart when it comes to December quality.

Pure Advice:

 New England Patriot TE Aaron Hernandez may finally be coming back from an injury, and he's going to be useful in the coming weeks, as Rob Gronkowski will be out for a good portion of the season due to a broken arm. Hernandez becomes indispensable.
 If, for some reason, San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick is still available, do yourself a favor and pick him up. Even if he doesn't start for you, it's always a good idea to withhold a bona fide breakout star like Kaepernick from your leaguemates. He'll lead somebody to a playoff berth in the coming weeks.
 Jaguars QB Chad Henne is probably worth a look following his strong two weeks as a starter.
 As are Jacksonville WRs Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon. The Jags have the league's easiest remaining schedule in the coming weeks, and while that usually doesn't mean anything, repeated showings like the last two weeks' will be gold for fantasy owners.
 If you follow this column at all, you know I have a penchant for rap music. If you're the same, you'll check out Ice-T's 2012 documentary Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap. Featuring interviews with superstars like Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, and Nas, this is a must-watch for any fan of the trade.
 Forget Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman Knowshon Moreno is the man in Denver, as evidenced by his complete domination of the Denver running game against the Chiefs. If you're in need of a running back going into the postseason,
 Christmas is little more than three weeks away. But if you're like me and like some variety to your Christmas music instead of the tried-and-tried-and-tried “classics,” I've got you covered. This week, check out “A Christmas Duel” by The Hives and Cyndi Lauper, and then follow it up with “Christmas in Harlem” by Kanye, Teyana Taylor, and Prince Cy Hi.

Check back next week to see if my advice panned out. Godspeed, and happy fantasizing.

Photo courtesy of http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1172481!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/tony-romo-cowboys.jpg


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