For well over half of all fantasy footballers out there, the season is over.
No more turning in lineups. No more caring that Aaron Rodgers might implode this week or that guys like Knowshon Moreno, DeAngelo Williams and Reggie Bush are suddenly relevant after being nearly invisible all season.
Of course, the fun doesn't have to end so soon as there are many ways to extend a season.
I'll give you three examples (one of which I know I've written about before) and would love to hear from you about any creative ways your league keeps its players entertained.
1. Have a BratWORST Bowl. This brilliant idea is the creation of one of my commissioners. We seed the lowest four teams and whomever gets 2 victories gets a package of brats at next year's draft, as well as the No. 1 pick. This keeps the entire 10-team league playing until at least Week 15.
2. Run a no-draft league that lasts all the way to the NFL conference title games. This is a blast and I'm in a league with a whopping 24 teams that has four six-team divisions. Here's how it works:
In Week 1, you pick a starting lineup just like any other league -- but you have the ENTIRE NFL in which to choose from. Then in Week 2, you do the same thing … except you can't pick the guys you've already used. And so on and so on.
Yes, there will be times where your opponent picks the same players, but the overlap is normally very minimal.
After Week 16, we take the top 16 teams and have four rounds of playoffs. Once our playoffs begin in Week 17, you have all the NFL players at your disposal again -- but can again use them just once.
This is the only league where I've done well this season as I'm 8-6-1 with a shot at second place. And then the playoffs start!
If you are interested, myfantasyleague.com does a good job of running a league like this.
3. Run a playoff league. This is pretty simple -- once the NFL playoffs begin, just have everybody pick 4 QBs, 8 RBs, 8 WRs, 4 TEs, 4 defenses and 4 kickers. Most points wins 70 percent of the pot; second most wins 30 percent … or something along those lines.
Again, shoot me an email about other methods you've heard of or use.
For those of you in title games, my sincere congratulations -- and good luck this week. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. As I've said many times before, don't overthink it. Use your studs and keep your fingers crossed.
•Bears defense and RB Matt Forte at Arizona. A pathetic waste of skin of late, Forte (avg. 83 yards from scrimmage with 1 TD last six) will explode in a game the Bears must have. I can see 125-plus rushing yards and (gasp!) a TD.
•Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray and QB Tony Romo vs. New Orleans. Since returning from injury, Murray's scored in three straight weeks and is the sixth-highest scoring fantasy back over that time. Now he gets the Saints in your fantasy title game. Ride 'em, Cowboy!
•Patriots RB Stevan Ridley at Jacksonville. If you somehow survived Ridley's goose egg last week, he should bounce back in a big way against the woeful Jags.
•Dolphins RB Reggie Bush vs. Buffalo. Miami just put goal-line back Daniel Thomas on injured reserve, meaning Bush (21-104 last week) is a good bet for double-digit fantasy points.
•Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams and WR Steve Smith vs. Oakland. Don't get too cute, but understand this: Williams has 43 touches for 256 yards the last two weeks. He's certainly worth considering, especially at home against the Raiders.
•Lions QB Matthew Stafford vs. Atlanta. It's easy to look at the fact the Falcons have allowed a league-low 13 passing TDs and simply put Stafford in the bad bets. But I have faith that he'll rebound from an abysmal performance in Arizona while trying to get Calvin Johnson the NFL single-season receiving record.
•Rams WRs Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson at Tampa Bay. Here are two great flex plays against the worst pass D in the league.
•Colts defense at Kansas City. Any time a team that's even decent goes up against the Chiefs, it's a good play.
•Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and WR Sidney Rice vs. San Francisco. When Wilson faced the Niners in Week 7, he was 9-for-23 for 122 yards.
•Bucs QB Josh Freeman vs. St. Louis. No way you trust this guy in your title game. No way.
•Giants QB Eli Manning at Baltimore. In four of his last seven games, Eli's looked like Swiss Cheese. Don't let him put all those holes in your team.
•Eagles RB LeSean McCoy vs. Washington. He's cleared to play but figures to be in a time share with Bryce Brown.
•Bengals RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis at Pittsburgh. Remember my advice about Anquan Boldin last week? Same thing here -- you missed your window if you left the Law Firm out against the Eagles. Don't be GUILTY of assaulting your lineup with a total dud against the dreaded Steelers.
•Browns WR Josh Gordon at Denver. Next year, I love Gordon as a WR3. On Championship Sunday against the Broncos? No way.
•Vikings defense at Houston. This unit's been solid the last two weeks, but the Texans give few opportunities for fantasy points.
•Seahawks defense vs. San Francisco. The Niners allow the seventh-fewest points to opposing defenses.