If you're now a fantasy football champion, congratulations — what a tough road to get through this season.
Even the last several minutes of the final of most fantasy leagues, Monday night's San Francisco-Atlanta game, had title-swinging implications for plenty of fantasy owners.
Vernon Davis' goose egg. Navarro Bowman's interception returned 89 yards for a touchdown. And Matt Ryan's seemingly meaningless interception thrown on a desperation pass on the final play of the game. The plays mattered in many leagues — in some, they meant the difference between winning and losing.
"That's been the best thing I've ever seen happen in a football game," coach Jim Harbaugh said of the interception. "Might've been close to 'The Catch.'"
Harbaugh was referring to Dwight Clark catching a pass from Joe Montana in the 1982 NFC championship game. But in fantasy, the entire sequence was comparable to Peyton Manning sliding after a 28-yard run against Oakland in 2010 in the championship in many leagues.
Small swings — decimal-point swings, these days — all count.
Hope you made the right calls, even if the score didn't go your way. Mulling how to handle a Reggie Bush injury, a tough matchup for Nick Foles or a waiver wire defense is hard work.
So if you were on the other end and are now questioning your decision-making during certain moments this season, remember that hindsight is not always helpful.
And if you're still playing in Week 17, try to get that changed in your league next year.
If you're still playing in Week 17, hopefully you have a two-week final. Week 17 is notorious for being tough to manage in fantasy leagues, with NFL teams resting starters for the playoffs or other reasons based on results around the league and complex tiebreaker scenarios that at times make losing acceptable.
That's why most leagues prefer a Week 16 finale, or a Week 17 finish only if the championship is two weeks long with the ability to adjust starters in between weeks.
QB: Kyle Orton, Dallas. Chances are you don't need too much quarterback help if you're in the championship game, either because you picked up Peyton Manning or you've been fortunate with Nick Foles, Andy Dalton or one of several quarterbacks. But if you're looking for a competent replacement for Tony Romo or don't like your guy's matchup and your waiver wire is thin, Orton might be good enough this week.
RB: James Starks, Green Bay. Look to see if Eddie Lacy practices this week. If not, Starks could be in for a big week against Chicago. Chicago has been the worst team in the NFL at defending running backs, allowing an average of 24.4 points to running backs in standard leagues this year.
WR: Mike Wallace, Miami. Again, if you're in the title game, hopefully you're not desperate for a wide receiver. But experts compiled by FantasyPros.com consider Wallace a top-20 option this week.