Fantasy Doctor: Playoffs reveal your personal fantasy enemies

Someone has to be blamed in every failed fantasy football run.

If you were like me last week, you entered the first week of playoffs with your head in the clouds after finishing with the best record in the league. I’m sure you made a few adjustments to your roster, but not too many because everything you’d done thus far had been the right call — or right enough. You had no question your team was capable of keeping you en route to the Promised Land.

But if you were also like me, you spent the better part of Tuesday wondering why. Why hadn’t you given your final roster more thought? Why had it happened so fast? Why, after weeks of successful, no-nonsense performances, had your fantasy players decided to let your season go up in flames?

At the end of all of these questions, I’m sure I’m probably not far off to assume you came to discover that you now had list of players who were your fantasy football enemies.

For me, last year’s downfall came at the hands (or the arm and hand, rather) of Philip Rivers, where his meager performances was responsible for ruining my season. This year, I can barely pick. Was it Adrian Peterson leaving me with just one point, or maybe Andrew Luck for having his best fantasy game all year against me? Hell, I could even blame the snow for throwing a monkey wrench into everything.

Everyone who lost has someone to blame; it’s the natural order of things. If someone didn’t make you mad, and you truly feel like you were just beaten, fair and square, you weren’t caring hard enough. As I’ve said all year, fantasy football is the ludicrous concept of asserting your dominance among your friends and co-workers by playing a game based off of another game. It’s silly, it’s crazy, it’s even a little childish, but that’s OK, because you have to be a little bit of all of these things just to play.

So contrary to what I said last week about letting go of these grudges, stew in them for a little bit. Let your rage follow you for the rest of the season; you’ve earned the right to be mad. Because in a football game centered around fantasy teams in fantasy leagues, you’re allowed to have fantasy enemies — as long as you ditch that anger in time for next year’s draft.

Only four teams are left standing, which means there’s one last chance to swing the tide and put yourself at that championship game. To help, here’s a fresh round of pickups and drops from your faithful fantasy doctor.

PICKUPS

Josh McCown (quarterback, Bears, 19 percent owned in ESPN leagues) — In the last two weeks, it’s important to have a fighter in your lineup, and no quarterback has fought harder to keep his team in the playoffs than McCown. In the face of missing out on both the division and the wild card, McCown charged into Monday night against Dallas and put up 348 yards and five touchdowns, one that he ran in himself. It was his third consecutive game with over 300 passing yard, too. The Bears’ offense looked its most complete of the entire season behind its backup quarterback, but it’ll need to stay that way if it wants to make the playoffs. The Bears are rallying behind McCown, so why shouldn’t you?

Toby Gerhart (running back, Vikings, 1 percent) — Adrian Peterson could be back next week, but “could be’s” aren’t going to win that fantasy season. After taking 15 carries for 89 yards and score, pick up Gerhart, even if it’s just as a precaution. You don’t want to be the guy who missed out, do you?

DROPS

Lamar Miller (running back, Dolphins, 88.6 percent) — Overall, Miller hasn’t been anything special all year. I’m actually surprised so many people have him on their roster, as he’s only had one game with over 100 yards and four with double digits. In his last four weeks, he’s amassed 17 points, and that’s bad news. If you have him or, god forbid, have been starting him, pitch him back to the waivers. Even the second worst rush defense in the league won’t redeem him this week.

DeAngelo Williams (running back, Panthers, 88 percent) — Williams hasn’t been much of a hitter this season, either. I suppose that happens when your quarterback has six rushing touchdowns, the most in the league by two. Despite the negative connotations that follow the New York Jets name, its defense does its job stopping run yardage. And for goal line situations, with Cam Newton in the rotation, Williams is just too risky. Besides, you probably have other options if you’ve made it this deep. Ditching Williams can only help you.

J.J. is a sophomore in Media. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Wilsonable07.