For those of you still playing in Fantasy Football, this would be your Super Bowl week. My Super Bowl week is two weeks long... I hate this league. Anyway, there are a lot of key acquisitions to be made this week if you need to bolster your roster.
First, Toby Gerhart. With Adrian Peterson out for Week 17 with multiple knee injuries, the best backup RB in the NFL (with the exception of Ben Tate) is primed for a big week. The Bears play great defense, but now that they are officially out of the playoffs, I see them playing softer. They have nothing to play for. Meanwhile, The Vikings are trying to avoid matching the worst single season record in Vikings history and they will *likely* be playing a lot more with Joe Webb, who has inspired The Vikings offense like no other this year in his limited game time action. More on Webb later.
Next, Graham Gano, kicker for the Washington Redskins. This man has been on fire lately, and he is going up against a revitalized Philly defense that crushed The Cowboys into submission. I expect Grossman to connect on some deep passes to get them into field goal territory, but not being able to finish the drive for 6. This is probably going to be a big game for Gano, I estimate at least 3 field goals from The Skins.
Speaking of Philly, their defense is on my league's waiver wire for some reason. If they are there for you, snap them up. I expect plenty of picks of errant Grossman passes coupled with the ever present possibility of D-Jax returning kickoffs for a score should it be a close game.
If Philly isn't there, and you need another defense to play this week, I would suggest Miami or Seattle. They are both risks in that Seattle just got eliminated from playoff contention, but they are playing a division rival and may look to end the season on a high note for Pete Carroll. Their defense has been suffocating 3 out of the last 4 weeks, so it's not too much of a stretch to expect them to shut down Skelton and Wells. Miami is a risk for a different reason. The Jets give up the 3rd most points to defenses, but we are all well aware of Miami's late season collapses. This year seemed to be a different case, but the 2nd half of The Patriots game sounded some alarms in the back of my head of our defense potentially laying down. If you think The Miami Defense will come out and play hard for Bowles, then you pick them up, but without Long there's a good chance they get put in some bad situations by the offense. So, if you need a defense, my claims would go in this order: Philly, Seattle, Miami.
Finally, if you have a two QB league, or you have been leaning on Matt Moore/Carson Palmer in the later half of the season, Joe Webb is somebody you should monitor this week. With Ponder suffering a concussion, The Vikings may decide to finally give Webb the nod (I don't understand why they didn't let him start Week 1), and you can expect pretty outstanding numbers from a FA. He's a mini-Newton and he just might blow up against The Bears.
Sidenote: If you want to play mind games with your opponent, drop Brandon Marshall (so long as you have a decent replacement. Hartline will honestly probably get more points than him this week) since he is up against Revis this week who has held both Nicks and D-Jax to a combined 5 points in the last two weeks. The only way Marshall gets points is by getting a TD pass in the red zone, but it's too much of a risk IMO. If you like to gamble, drop him and see if your opponent picks him up to start. That will hurt his team while benefitting yours. No guts, no glory!
Thanks for reading and if you guys have any questions about other positions of need, don't hesitate to ask!
Edit: Now that Anthony Fasano has returned to practice after suffering a concussion in Week 15, he will be a valuable pick up if you don't have an elite TE. With Marshall expected to pull Revis, Matt Moore is going to need a big end zone target. That will be either Charles Clay or Fasano and, given Fasano's track record this season with Matt Moore, you can reliably assume that Fasano will get a couple Red Zone targets this week.