Week 17 quickies from The Football Duke

As is the case whenever anyone decides to take a bit of a risk, I’ve experienced a little bit of doubt of late over starting TheFootballDuke.com. Go there now and you just get the incredibly lame Tommy Bahama shirt “coming soon” thing.

I wrote up a little something and sent it to my web guy, so I’m hoping there’s SOMETHING relevant up there soon.

Point is: It’s happening. 

I’m going to write about fantasy football. For you. For alllll of 2013. We won’t be sitting around twiddling our thumbs until the summertime, either. Hell no. Fantasy football is a year round gig as far as I’m concerned.

So keeps your eyes peeled for the first signs of life at the website, and then feel free to start bombarding me with emails that I am PROMISING to reply to within 24 hours. For the whole year. 

Alright, for this final slate of games that should NOT matter to your leagues, I’ve got some thoughts. And in fact, I’m in one league — and ah, yes, in the championship — that does the 2-week long matchups thing for the playoffs. Gotta wrap that last batch of prize money up.

For today, if you have any legitimate doubts about guys being rested, don’t ignore those doubts. Never mind that I just wrote about how I’m getting over my own doubts. Example: Rice, Ray. He’s a stud. You’ve ridden him all year and typically when someone asks me a lineup question with a stud involved I almost always say something like, “Ride that stud. He can take it. That’s what she said.”

Not in week 17. Not if that stud isn’t being put out to pasture. Or is. You get what I mean.

Really, other than making sure your LAST LINEUP OF 2012 doesn’t have someone that might spend his afternoon healthily resting on the bench, give the waiver wire one more scan. 

Go ahead.

I’ll wait.

What’d you find?

Ryan Grant maybe? 

Not saying, just saying.

Good luck today.

We’ll talk next year.

-The Football Duke (follow me on Twitter

Merry Christmas and happy holidays folks. I hope you get everything you greedily asked your friends and family to give you for Christmas. Feel free to openly pout if not. It’s what the holidays are all about! (at Carson Christmas Compound)

5 things (championship week in fantasy land)

If you paid money to play in a fantasy football league, this is the week you find out if you get to make that money back. Well, that’s assuming you’re in the championship, which odds are you aren’t. That’s the rub with this game more and more of us know and love every year.

The season ends for MOST of us with bitterness and resentment.

Oh, and no money coming back from that entry fee that now angers you even to think about. In my main league, of which I’m the Commish, I get texts/emails every year about this time that can be summed up like this: “Anthony Fasano just cost me a spot in the championship? REALLY?!? I hate this. I quit. Never again.

Guess what? He’ll be back next season, just like he was back this season after sending me a similar note last year.

In a 12 team league, 11 GMs end the year angry. For a few months after the season’s over, our league goes into relative radio silence. The 11 losers stew and pretend they’re thinking about quitting. Then… right around the end of April when the NFL Draft happens and we all start wondering how much Geno Smith is worth in this year’s auction, everyone forgets the plan was to quit. “Never again” just means “give me a few months to mourn, and then we’ll start anew.”

BUT if you’re one of the last two standing, your job isn’t done just yet. Yes, the trade deadline is long gone. True, your lineup is probably pretty much set. Still, here are three things you can do to help yourself during championship week:

1. WAIT ONE MORE WEEK TO BE LAZY. There’s something on the waiver wire that can help you. Maybe you have been squeaking by with Ryan Mathews, who clearly needs to have a protective pad custom designed for his clavicles in the off-season. Or perhaps you lost Willis McGahee a few weeks ago and didn’t luck into the Moreno miracle. Maybe the flex spot in your lineup has been a revolving door since Percy Harvin hung up his cleats for 2012. If there’s a spot in your lineup that isn’t rock solid, there are options headed into week 16.

Seriously.

Vick Ballard (49% owned in Yahoo!, 65.5% in ESPN) quietly topped 100 yards rushing for the Colts on Sunday. He gets the Chefs in championship week.

Anyone still fearing the New York Jets defense? That was rhetorical. With the Human Clavicle out this week, it falls to Curtis Brinkley (1% Yahoo!, 0.3% ESPN) and Ronnie Brown (who was out last week with an injury) to tote the rock imageagainst the mess that is the Jets. Jackie Battle is another option in San Diego’s backfield, but Brinkley (pictured) got the work on Sunday when the Human Clavicle went down. 6 carries for 42 yards and 3 catches for 14. Again, the Chargers have the Jets this week.

Finally, if you’re into lottery tickets, Brady Quinn threw Dexter McCluster’s (12% Yahoo!, 6% ESPN) way 10 times on Sunday. The RB/WR/Whatever caught 7 balls for 59 yards. If you’re desperate and it’s PPR…

Listen, we’re not talking slam dunks here. More like a runner from half-court, but hey, when those shots fall?

2. WHAT DOES YOUR FOE NEED? Because you should take it first. If you’ve got roster space you don’t need for a starter on your team, why not make sure Russell Wilson can’t help your opponent at QB this week? You can let loose this week. There is no “next” week to plan for. There’s no point in keeping Steven Jackson’s handcuff around anymore. Use that spot to snap up a guy you think the other guy might be looking at.

3. HEDGE YOUR BET. I got a phone call last night from my opponent in this week’s ‘ship. He proposed hedging our bets. Instead of an $830/$200 split, what about a $400/$400 split with the remaining $230 going to the winner?

I hated it.

Then I thought about it.

Now I love it.

We’re doing it.

Don’t like it? Too bad. We’re in the championship. Not you.

So, to those still vying for the money, congrats. Good luck.

To those sending the “I quit” emails to your Commish, see you next year. When you’ll be back. You always are.

-Follow me on Twitter (@TheFootballDuke)

5 things I know today I didn’t know on Friday:

1. The wife and I were in Miami for Dolphins/Jags. Everyone is aware that the Dolphins fans in South Florida are… not the greatest fan base. It doesn’t help that the seats in the stadium are bright orange and thus stand out when they’re empty.image

That said, I was pleasantly surprised to see the ample tailgate scene (pictured) when we got to the game on Sunday. Maybe the bar was just super low in my mind so it SEEMED good, but whatever.

2. Joe’s Stone Crab has been on my bucket list ever since Matt Dillon’s sleazeball character mentioned it in There’s Something About Mary. We hit Joe’s on Saturday night annnnd… interesting. Stone crab claws are served (at least there) cold with a mustard sauce. The shells are pre-cracked for you and they are almost porcelain or ceramic like in their feel. The meat’s tasty, of course.

Still, give me Alaska king crab 10 times out of 10. Maybe 11 times out of 10.

3. I’ve now been to South Florida three times in my life. Each time, of course, for a Dolphins game. Every time it’s been November/December. Gotta say, that seems like the perfect time to get down there to me.image

Keep in mind that’s coming from an Alaskan. So 70s in the daytime and 50s at night seems utopian to me. The lack of crowds is appealing to me as well. I doubt South Beach (pictured) would ever be so serene in the spring or summer.

4. Clicking around looking for movies to pitch to my family as possibles to see in theaters over the holidays, I stumbled across two 2013 movies that I had not heard of previously.

Now I’m all-in on both. In advance.

Oblivion’s got Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman, plus the future, spaceships and post-apocalyptic stuff going on. Enough said. Here’s the trailer.

I’m more excited for Pacific Rim. The trailer (click here) says to me it’s Transformers, but with Guillermo del Toro behind the camera and Jax (Charlie Hunnam) from Sons of Anarchy in front of it. I couldn’t be any more all-in. July 12th. Mark it down.

5. We were sitting in the 3rd row on Sunday for the game. By far the best seats I’ve ever been in (my wife made that happen). Towards the end of the game, a kid — maybe 12 years old — in the front row decided he wanted Reggie Bush to turn around and acknowledge him. “Reggie! REEEEGGIE!!! ReGGIE!!!" He screamed it as best he could. Reggie never turned around.

The kid gave up.

Then the game ended, and the kid was no longer looking at the field. Chatting with his buddy. Reggie was jogging over toward our section, though. He was taking his gloves off and getting ready to toss them to the screamer. Those of us near the kid got him to shift his gaze back down to the field, by which time Reggie was standing directly below our seats, ready to toss his gloves up.

That kid almost had a heart attack.

He survived, though, and he’s got a pair of game worn Reggie Bush gloves I expect he’ll cherish for a long time.

Well played, @reggie_bush. Well played.

Hey there moderately cold morning in DC. We’re gonna leave you now for Miami. No offense. Chad Henne needs to be heckled. @miamidolphins (at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA))

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