Imagine if the Chiefs reach the Super Bowl this year, only for someone to pat Andy Reid on the shoulder and tell him Patrick Mahomes can’t play (please COVID-19, don’t dare). It would be totally out of Reid’s control and it would hugely lower Kansas City’s hopes of having a ring.
Welcome to the fantasy football leagues of the season competing in week 17. Why are you doing this? Important players sit down every year when the last week of the NFL regular season arrives, and 2020 is no different. You’ve been counting on some players all season to reach your league game just for them. It stops being a game of skill at this point and turns into a game of luck and timing.
In this particular week 17, at least Mahomes is an easy call for his fantastic owners. Reid has announced that he will be resting the reigning Super Bowl MVP. But take Josh Allen, who for 16 weeks leads the NFL in fantasy points. The Bills certainly won’t play it for very long, but how do you know? Buffalo seems determined to keep his plans close to the vest.
Mahomes and Allen aren’t the only two examples this year, with Ben Roethlisberger coming to mind, along with a handful of top players. But these are the two biggest, and that means that at the biggest stadium of your fantasy football season, you will be without your proverbial ace.
Can you replace Patrick Mahomes?
With only two teams still playing in your fantastic 17-week season, finding someone else to replace Mahomes won’t be impossible. Maybe people have stopped paying attention and Jalen Hurts is available on the waiver thread. There are another 14 teams trying to get various rankings or playoff positions in Week 17, and other non-contenders who also have a stable QB situation.
This is not the point. Mahomes had the best fantasy QB season ever in 2018, was awesome again in 2019, and has the third-most fantasy points at the start of Week 17 this year (behind Allen and Kyler Murray). On paper, it’s impossible to replace this with some guy on the waiver wire or any passer that you might have been hiding on your bench and never played because you have Mahomes.
Unless the Championship opponent has Allen or Roethlisberger, chances are they will continue to rely on the quarterback who led them to the title game as Mahomes owner has to change everything at some point. crucial. The same happened with fantasy superstar Lamar Jackson in 2019, and it will continue to happen every year.
People could argue that this is the type of thing that happens in real life – COVID-19 has certainly increased such a scenario. But fantasy football is meant to be fun. It’s a game. It’s a silly idea that you should have to play someone other than Mahomes because his actual team decided to put it down because their record (which is essentially unimportant to your fantasy league. ) is so much better than everyone else’s. It’s not that nothing crazy happens in week 16, but at the very least, the best quarterbacks should still play.
Josh Allen’s dilemma
The owner of Allen in your 17-week fantasy league is envious of the owner of Mahomes. At least Mahomes is safe, 100 percent resting in Week 17. Bills coach Sean McDermott doesn’t want to break such news. It would make sense for Buffalo to put Allen down, but unlike Mahomes, he’s technically still on hold.
A year ago, the Bills let Allen throw five passes in Week 17 before sitting him down. It could be the case again, and most of Allen’s owners in a championship this week should have him sit down. But unlike Mahomes, there will be that doubt in the back of your head. “What if the Bills played Allen for a half to try and block the AFC’s No.2 seed for sure? Could he get 20 fantasy points in a half?”
Who needs this kind of stress in their life on the first Sunday in 2021? Wouldn’t you rather sit down after winning your championship last week when Allen faced the Patriots on Monday night? It sounds so much nicer right now.
The point is, there are players who will also be sitting for much of week 17 that have not occurred to anyone. Allen’s role as a star QB for a playoff team without much push to the standings puts him at least in the spotlight of speculation. But non-contenders might choose to play veterans sparingly without anyone knowing until the rosters are locked and it’s too late.
Fantasy football is quite a difficult game as it is. A soccer ball has an odd shape, and fantasy players recruit other fallible human beings in hopes of performing statistically well in the right combination of weeks to outdo an assortment of randomly scheduled opponents playing the same game. Why make your life complicated by having to read minds?
Here’s a New Years resolution for fantasy football in 2021: Stop playing one-season leagues that last 17 weeks. It is almost never worth it.