Week 17 was huge, hmmm - maybe we should change our stance on not having your championship in week 17.
WEEK 17 EXPLOSION
Week 17, is the week that all of us who are in the world of Fantasy Football know, is a wasted week. There are always a ton of impact players that are sitting on benches, yet some leagues persist to have their final game in week 17. This would have been true for pretty much every year except this one.
I am in a league that has our playoffs during the actual NFL Playoffs, and thus we play a 17 week regular season schedule. In that league we can usually count on the lowest scores of the season during Week 17. During our regular season the average points scored by the entire league on a week is about 1150 total points. Over the past three years the week 17 results have by far been the lowest as they totaled 968, 870 and 864 from 2008-2010. This year the week 17 totals produced the most scoring that this league has seen all year with the total points scored on the week being 1463. Not only that, we had 3 teams that all surpassed the old league record of a single high game score of 177, with one of those teams scoring 203 points to set the new standard. How did this happen in week 17 of all weeks?
This year was definitely a different story in week 17, as the only team that was sitting anyone of value was the Green Bay Packers and their letting Matt Flynn run the offense and resting Aaron Rodgers. May I just say that, if you did play in week 17 and had Rodgers this is why having this be your Championship week sucks. The other notable player that did not play in week 17 was Arian Foster. Other than that, most everyone else played their starters the entire game. If the Lions had beat the Packers the Falcons were going to rest everyone, but the Packers won and the Falcons lit up the Bucs so fast it was not even funny. Then you have the Ravens playing everyone, as well as the Saints making sure Brees held his passing record over Brady. Then Brady, since he is not going to get his record makes sure that Gronkowski out duels Jimmy Graham and takes the TE yardage record.
There was so much gamesmanship around the league this last week that created some of the most ridiculous scoring in Fantasy Football. I am going to use the league I mentioned earlier, as it is the only league I am in or know of that goes through week 17 to examine what these players did in my league last week. The crazy thing when I went back to look at the week was the sheer number of players that produced high number games, this was the most explosive week I have ever seen in Fantasy and most everyone who plays this great game of Fantasy did not get to participate in it.
Here is a little note about my league. It is a league that has increasing values for TD’s as the length of TD increases and has bonuses at 100 yards for RB/WR/TE and 300 yards for QB’s. This is also a yardage league so once they achieve 100 yards or 300 yards they go up by 2 points instead of 1 every 10 yards for RB/WR/TE and 20 yards for QB’s.
The game between the Packers and the Lions produced the most insane totals from any game last week. You have Matt Flynn who steps in for Aaron Rodgers and all he does is score the most points at the QB position for a single week this season scoring 78 points. Matthew Stafford was no slouch last week either scoring the second highest total of the week and 3rd highest total of the year with 66 points. Then there were the 2 main receivers for each team that also were the #1 and #2 scoring WR’s on the week. Calvin Johnson went off for 54 points, while Jordy Nelson clocked in with 46 of his own. Ryan Grant also came through huge in this game with 25 points to be the 3rd highest scoring RB on the week. Then the TE’s, while not leading the way at their position also scored big with #6 and #8 TE performances from Brandon Pettigrew with 19 and Jermichael Finley with 15 points.
That was just one game and those players lit up, not to mention the team in my league that scored 203 points had Jordy Nelson and Calvin Johnson, not to mention the top scoring TE on the week, but I will get to him shortly. So let’s look at the rest of the QB’s that helped to make Week 17 one crazy week of scoring.
After those two amazing QB performances there were still other great games by QB’s on the week as 6 other QB’s all scored over 30 points this week. They were led by Drew Brees and his 49 points which helped him seal the record for total yards in a season. The next QB was one who was in a game to get his team into the NFL Playoffs and Eli Manning did not disappoint as he scored 41 points. A surprise to make the list this week, but another player who was trying to get into the Playoffs was Carson Palmer, who came up short in real life but scored 39 points in Fantasy. Your final 3 QB’s who were able to top the 30 point mark were Phillip Rivers with 32 followed by Tom Brady and Michael Vick who each scored 31 points. Those 8 QB’s posted an insane 367 total points for an average of 46 points a game.
The Running Back position did not have the complete explosion like the other positions, but this should not be a total surprise as this is the year and the beginning of the Passing Era in Pro Football. That being said the best producing RB all year did not let anyone down in the final week of the season as Ray Rice went off and scored 47 points last week. The other top picked back that made his presence know the last week of the season was Michael Turner who toasted the Bucs for 39 points. Then there were 4 other Backs who put up more than 20 points: Ryan Grant who was mentioned earlier scored 25, MJD finished his great year with no help around him to the tune of 23 points, and then 1 unknown in Evan Royster scored 22 while late rising Chris Ivory posted 20 points with Ingram dealing with injuries. There were 2 other Backs in Willis McGahee and Ben Tate who both scored 17 points on the week, but again we were missing Arian Foster.
I have already detailed how Calvin Johnson and Jordy Nelson just dominated the WR position this week, but there were still some other big week 17 performances at the WR position. The next highest scorer should be no surprise by now as all he does is catch long ridiculous TD’s and that is Victor Cruz. Cruz helped as he seems to every week scoring 36 points and you have to imagine he will be a focal point next week in the Playoffs. The other WR to top 30 points was Marques Colston who has come on strong of late and will be a force in the playoffs as he posted 33 points in week 17. There were then 5 other players who soared over the 20 point mark: Percy Harvin finished his campaign strong with 24 points as did the resurgent and no longer a bust DHB as well as Michael Floyd who also went strong down the stretch and scored 24 in week 17. The final 2 receivers were Michael Crabtree with 23 who was a disappointment all season and Larry Fitzgerald who scored 22 and made a real nice run the last 6 weeks of the season.
This week at the TE position you knew it was going to be a battle between Gronkowski and Graham for the total yards and you could expect and did get big games from both of them, but the best TE on the week was sharing the field with Gronkowski and that was Aaron Hernandez who went off for 36 points and also helped the Meatballs score 203 points this week in my league. Hernandez was hot at the beginning and end of the season but obviously saved his best game for last. Gronkowski finished behind him scoring 27 points to have the 2 Patriot TE’s lead the week in scoring at the position with huge games for each of them. It was no surprise to see Antonio Gates with 22 and Jimmy Graham with 20 points being the next guys on the list. Also scoring 20 points last week was a TE who a lot more was expected of this year and that was Vernon Davis, who might be valuable in the playoffs for the 49ers, but probably not in my league if I can get Graham, Gronkowski or Hernandez in the playoffs. The final 3 who scored over 15 points were the earlier mentioned Pettigrew with 19, followed by a strong game from Brent Celek with 16 and finally Jermichael Finley with his 15 point game.
The way that week 17 went down this season it may produce some conversations in leagues to have their playoffs extended to week 17 or at least a 2 week playoff, but remember you still had the best QB in Rodgers and the best RB in Foster who did not play this week so that is really not a smart thing to do. Then you factor in that this was a strange year with a lot of teams having a lot to play for in the last week that created a record breaking week 17, but you need to remember that is just what it is, a record breaking week 17. I enjoy playing Fantasy Football till the end which is why the league I have been speaking of in this article is just getting going and the real fun is about to begin, but besides a league like that one, Week 17 is best left alone.
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