Patience is no longer a virtue for teams in fantasy title games
Tim Tebow could make for smart pickup as he plays porous Texans defense
Andre Caldwell got majority of targets after Terrell Owens' injury in Week 15
Jimmy Graham of Saints has double-digit fantasy points in 4 of last 6 games
Congratulations, you've made it to the fantasy championship game! Or maybe you're just reading this column out of spite. There seems to be no middle ground in title games: Either your team is a deserved beast that you're hoping will cruise to the fantasy championship or it's an undeserving team that's been getting lucky in points-against all year and has no business with a shot to win the league.
With just one week left, feel free to throw caution to the wind. A running back you were saving and hoped to get healthy can be dropped in favor of picking up a bunch of kickers or defenses if you can't decide which one you'd like to use yet. Unless you're in a no-postseason or keeper league, there's nothing to plan for after this week. Drop guys you're certain you (or your opponent) won't use. Even if you don't end up taking any chances with your roster, give yourself the opportunity.
Can you really trust Tim Tebow in your fantasy league's championship game? The rookie QB went for 8-for-16 for 138 yards and a score and rushed eight times for 78 yards and another TD in his starting debut. That was against a sub-par Raiders defense; in Week 16 the Broncos play the Texans, who have one of the worst secondaries in the league. (The only secondary at Houston's level is Denver. Sunday's game could be a 45-38 shootout.)
It's a risk. Don't sit a top quarterback if you've been riding him all year. But to those who snuck into the fantasy finals on the strength of running backs and receivers ought to take a look. The Texans' defense has allowed an enormous number of fantasy points to quarterbacks almost every week. Running back Knoshown Moreno is listed as questionable, meaning Tebow could also get more rushing opportunities like he did last week.
Rex Grossman, Redskins (25-for-43, 322 yards, 4 TD, 2 INT): The Jaguars are another team with a horrible secondary, and Grossman is the beneficiary of a game against a weak pass defense for the second consecutive week. If he gets as many pass attempts as he did last week, he should be in for another big fantasy day.
Jon Kitna, Cowboys (25-for-37, 205 yards, 2 TD): It's all about matchups this week, and the Dallas backup QB -- who has been a good fantasy quarterback since Tony Romo's injury -- plays against Arizona and another of the league's horrible secondaries. He's the safest option of the triumvirate of available quarterbacks playing bad pass defenses, as he's been the starter since Week 8.
Hey, Donald Brown finally had his breakout game! People have been waiting for a big game from the former Connecticut back since he was drafted last year, and Sunday he rushed 14 times for 129 yards and a score in the Colts' win over the Jaguars. Oakland's run defense is better than Jacksonville's, but some teams might be able to upgrade at running back position by picking up Brown. He's available in 70 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Maurice Morris, Lions (15 carries, 109 yards, 2 TD): After a pair of lackluster weeks, Morris had a strong showing against Tampa Bay on Sunday. Facing Miami this week makes him a less attractive option, but if you're desperate he's available in all but 10 percent of leagues.
Tashard Choice, Cowboys (15 carries, 53 yards, 1 TD): If he's still available in your league, take a look. Dallas is playing Arizona. The Cardinals gave up a ton of yardage on the ground to Carolina on Sunday and Dallas' running backs could be in for a big day.
Let's go matchup crazy this week and recommend every wide receiver available in your league in the Broncos-Texans game, a team between two of the worst pass defenses in the league. (According to Football Outsiders, coming into last week the two were the two worst in the league.) Jabar Gaffney of the Broncos should even get some looks in deep leagues. Kevin Walter could re-emerge as a starter for one week for the Texans; he had 7 catches for 79 yards and a score Sunday. If a starting wide receiver from either team is available in your league for that game and you're a little thin at the position, it's worth a shot.
Andre Caldwell, Bengals (4 catches, 89 yards): Caldwell was the beneficiary with Terrell Owens going out with a foot injury as he got the most targets (six) of anyone on Cincinnati. With Chad Ochocinco completely invisible most weeks, Caldwell is a good bet to get the most looks again this week. He won't replace any great wideout on your list, but T.O. owners in a bind for a replacement in big leagues should pick him up.
Davone Bess, Dolphins (9 catches, 74 yards): Bess has been up and down the past few weeks, but he could be a serviceable start for your championship game, mainly in points-per-reception leagues. He was targeted 13 times Sunday; the Dolphins face the Lions Sunday.
Jimmy Graham has taken over for Jeremy Shockey as the Saints' top receiving tight end; he has double-digit fantasy points in four of his last six games. He was targeted seven times on Sunday, catching 5 passes for 29 yards and two scores. Receivers, and not tight ends, have been what have burned the Falcons this year. Still, with Graham emerging as a red zone threat, he's worth a look.
Heath Miller, Steelers: He's been inactive the past two weeks with after-effects of a concussion, but the Steelers play the Panthers, worst in the league at covering the tight end (again, according to Football Outsiders). The Steelers play Thursday night, so you'll know if he's going to play early in the week and can adjust accordingly if he doesn't.
Let's go back to Denver and Houston. The Texans have Neil Rackers, and he's probably on someone's roster. If not, he's a good pick-up. In Denver, Matt Prater has been inactive for the past two weeks; Steve Hauschka has handled the kicking duties in his stead. The Broncos play at 4:05 p.m. ET Sunday, making it tough. But since there are no weeks to plan for in the future, you should have roster spots open this week; pick up both and start whichever one plays if you want to go all-in on this Broncos-Texans game like I apparently have.
Finally, a section not dominated by Houston and Denver! Miami is available in 50 percent of leagues and plays the Lions at home this weekend. Detroit will either be starting Drew Stanton (who separated his shoulder Sunday) or Shaun Hill (who has a broken finger). The Dolphins are a good play if they're available on the waiver wire.
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