Let's make one thing clear from the start: This post is not for anyone who wants to take a victory lap.
If you feel the need to share the details of your Week 16 fantasy triumph in blog comments, then this is the place for you. Follow the link. Shoo. Go there, right now. Tell the community all about your fantasy aptitude. You've earned it, champ.
But if you're facing a hard-luck loss in Championship Week and there's no hope of a Monday night bailout, then this is where you belong, among sympathetic gamers.
Here, we offer safe haven to anyone who's about to add one of these awful things to their fantasy profile —>
Oof. Sickening. Hurts just to look at it. Second is the cruelest place. Retch.
If you're about to add such an object to your virtual awards case, then there's a decent chance blame can be assigned to one of these persons/events...
Tony Romo's injury-related goose egg
Romo attempted exactly two passes in Week 16, completed neither, and injured his throwing hand on the second. He was quickly taken for X-rays, which revealed no fracture. Romo never reentered the game, however, because the outcome had no impact on his real-life team's postseason fate. (The Cowboys and Giants will play for the division crown next Sunday). He posted a fat zero in title week, which ain't easy for a fantasy manager to overcome. Stephen McGee replaced Romo, helping no one.
You can't really blame the player in this case, nor can you blame Dallas for keeping him on the sideline. Jason Babin's helmet did the damage, so perhaps that's where you should direct your anger.
Mike Wallace's near-TD
In the Saturday live chat, we heard from a fantasy owner who was starting Wallace in Championship Week, facing Rashard Mendenhall. The dude was elated when Wallace hauled in this apparent 47-yard touchdown, then distraught when replay changed it to a 46-yard non-score. On the game's next play, Mendenhall broke the plane from the 1-yard line.
That is a painful way to lose. If you had a TD erased by either replay or penalty in Week 16 — and I'm looking at you, Plaxico owner — then it's OK to vent just a little. Sometimes, you're better off not watching the games.
Hakeem Nicks' malfunctioning hands
I'm not ready to declare a winner in the fantasy playoff MVP race just yet, not until the Saints and Falcons are finished on Monday night. There's little doubt about this year's LVP, though: Hakeem Nicks has been an absolute flaming disaster.
Last week, Nicks dropped passes as if doing so were part of the game script. This week, he was thoroughly Revis'd, catching just one ball for 20 yards. Nicks again kneecapped Eli Manning, allowing this pass to somehow skip out of his arms, directly to Jets linebacker David Harris. On behalf of the global community of fantasy gurus, I'm officially revoking Nicks' top-tier receiver status, and all the privileges accorded such players.
Roy Helu's DNP
The Washington rookie entered Week 16 with a questionable tag, dealing with a medley of injuries, but he was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. It was a small surprise to see his name on the inactive list on Saturday morning. If you were an attentive Helu owner, then you were no doubt able to add Evan Royster as a last-minute sub, and were thus rewarded with 132 rushing yards on 19 carries. But Helu was started in 45 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and I'm guessing a few of those owners were chasing a title. Maybe your commissioner locks lineups on Thursday night; maybe you simply missed the news on Saturday. Either way, you took a zero from a running back. Not good. But I don't think it was quite as painful as this...
LeGarrette Blount's visit to his coach's doghouse
Blount owners, all I can tell you is that I would have started the guy, too. He was facing Carolina's defense, a match-up that's been profitable all year. But on Tampa's first offensive play in Week 16, Blount put the ball on the ground, unable to control the hand-off from his quarterback. You can see the disastrous play right here, at the 0:30 mark. I have no idea why you'd actually want to see the play, but there it is if you need it.
LeGarrette immediately received a lecture on the sideline from Bucs head coach Raheem Morris, and he didn't get another touch until the third quarter. Blount finished his day with two carries for 11 yards — not exactly title-clinching numbers.
Blame the player, or blame the coach, or blame the fantasy stooge who ranked him as the week's No. 14 RB. (Ahem. Apologies). There's plenty of blame to go around. If you need to vent, this is the place to do it...