It's the end of the road for fantasy football in most standard leagues this week, and what a weird season it's been. If there's anyone out there who predicted that Cam Newton would have more fantasy points than Tom Brady at this point in the season then I will pay you a modest sum of money to help me with my fantasy drafts next season. It's been a wild season by many standards, and it's not over just yet.
GOOD MATCH UPS
Brandon Marshall vs. Patriots defense: Marshall nabbed three catches for 84 yards and a touchdown against a mediocre Bills pass defense in a Dolphins victory last week. This week he'll face a Patriots pass defense against which he posted a season-high 139 receiving yards on seven catches in Week 1. Look for The Monster to perhaps have his best game of the season when you need him the most.
Rashard Mendenhall vs. Rams defense: Mendenhall has had a disappointing season to say the least but he has a chance to redeem himself in the eyes of his fantasy owners this week. The Steelers will welcome a visiting Rams squad that is allowing 4.8 yards per carry and over 153 rushing yards per game this season. If the Steelers play like they're capable of playing they should have a healthy lead throughout the game, meaning plenty of carries for Mendenhall.
NOT SO GOOD MATCH UPS
Peyton Hillis vs. Ravens defense: Hillis had his best game of the season last week against Arizona, rushing for 99 yards and a score on 26 carries while adding one catch for nine yards. Unfortunately for Hillis and his fantasy owners, the odds of him making it two good games in a row are slim. The Ravens are allowing just 3.4 yards per carry and 90 yards per game on the ground so Hillis should e back on fantasy benches this week.
Marshawn Lynch vs. 49ers defense: Lynch has been dominant since Week 9 at Dallas but came back to Earth a bit this past week as he managed just 42 rushing yards against the Bears. Two touchdowns on the day saved his fantasy performance a bit but Lynch is in for another tough match up this week against the 49ers, owners of the NFL's best run defense. Leaving Lynch on your bench this week may just help you win a fantasy championship, despite how good he's been in the second half of this season.
WAIVER WIRE WATCH
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Raiders: Heyward-Bey had the game of his career on Sunday, hauling in eight catches for 155 yards and a touchdown against a banged up Lions pass defense. It's still uncertain whether or not Jacoby Ford will play this week against Kansas City but Heyward-Bey should be a solid third receiver option for your fantasy team with or without Ford in the lineup.
Kyle Mulligan is a contributing sports writer for the Observer. He welcomes your feedback and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.