Meridian Star

December 26, 2013

Fantasy forecast: Pass the fantasy fun around

Zach Kilpatrick / Special to The Star
The Meridian Star

— Let me start by wishing you a Merry Christmas!    

    You know, one of my earliest memories of fantasy football was near Christmas. I was at my great grandmothers and my uncle Wally asked me, my brother, and my cousin if we wanted to play Fantasy Football. We thought it might be a video game (for the original Nintendo), but he explained the concept to us. I have been hooked ever since.

    Back then we had no internet, or computer, so we each picked one quarterback, two running backs, and two wide receivers (not many tight ends caught passes back then) and then we had to get the paper on Monday to add up and see who won.

    Like this, I hope you use Fantasy Football as something to bring your family together. Next year I am starting a league with my brother, sister, dad, brother and sister in-law, and several cousins. What a great way to stay in touch. I also can’t wait until my son is old enough to draft a team with me, and then we can watch and root for our players together on Sunday afternoon.

    Maybe take this approach, if you play invite your son/daughter or husband/wife to take part. Who knows, maybe they will find joy in your hobby as well.

    You are probably only playing this week for fun, but I know a few leagues play a final that combines your score from weeks 16 and 17. So, in case you have a player whose team is locked into their spot and you are afraid they might sit here are a few options for you.


    Ryan Tannehill (MIA)- A lot of fantasy gurus were really high on Tannehill last week, and rightfully so as he has been hot lately. So what happened? Right on cue he threw in an 82 yard and 0 touchdown day. So, why should you pick him up? Because this week he gets a very weak Jets secondary and any hope of going to the playoffs means the Dolphins must win this game. If you need quarterback help this week because your starter might sit, look at Tannehill. He is available in over 80 percent of leagues.


    Donald Brown (IND)- You saw him here several weeks ago, but now he is an even stronger pick up. He has become the starter in Indy, and even though Trent Richardson still gets some carries, Brown has consistently out produced him all season. In Week 17 the Colts get the Jaguars,  Brown should be the starting back, and they have something to play for. He is still available in just over 50 percent of leagues.

    James Starks (GB)- Starks is a player to add no matter who you have on your roster. There is a small chance that Eddie Lacy won’t be able to play this week. If the Packers get a huge lead, might rest anyway. This is very significant because the Packers are playing the worst run defense in the league. That means if Starks ends up starting, he will be a very valuable play. I’m not saying you have to start him, but just to make sure that your opponent doesn’t, pick him up. Available in about 80 percent of leagues.


    Brian Hartline (MIA)- So, if you have a big lead and need another WR that is just a consistently safe play Hartline is your man. He has averaged over 65 yards a game while bringing in at least three catches in every game this year except this past one. Even in that game, a game where Tannehill threw only 10 completions for 82 yards, Hartline had two catches for 53. In a big game and against a bad secondary, I like him as a solid 4-6  catch and at least 55 yards receiving if you need that kind of thing. Available in about 60 percent of leagues.

    Doug Baldwin (SEA)- Removing Sunday’s dismal offensive performance for the Seahawks, Baldwin has been very good as of late. He has averaged over four catches for 60 yards over the last six games and has added four touchdowns to go with that. Against a mediocre St. Louis secondary, in Seattle, while trying to lock up home-field he could be an intriguing play. Available in over 80 percent of leagues.


    End Note: What a wonderful time of year as we celebrate the meaning of the old Christmas song “Oh come oh come Immanuel”. I know that in Christmas songs there happen to be a lot of words that we sing without knowing the meaning, and in case Immanuel is one of them for you I’d like to take just a second to define it. Immanuel means “God with us”. That’s what Christmas is, the celebration of when God left heaven and came to earth to be with us. To you and all of your family, Merry Christmas.