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20/20 Hindsight - Week 14

As we all know Hindsight is 20/20. This weekly column is devoted to learning from common mistakes and serves as FFToday's "Fantasy Football Confessional."

Needing help to get into the playoffs rarely makes a fun night, because anything can happen—and last night's game proved it does. I was 8-5 heading into the weekend after a lackluster second half of the season that cost me a couple games down the stretch. But all I needed was a win and one of three other teams to lose. Even if I lost, I could get in if I outscored one team by 21 points. So what happened? I win, but…

I Win, But...
 Pos  Player  Pts  Comments
QB D. McNabb 12 Plummer was my second option…McNabb did all right.
RB A. Green 6 That 79-yard screen pass TD getting called back hurts.
RB O. Smith 11 I had Droughns-glad I didn't start him.
WR K. Johnson 3 Decided to start him over Rod Smith based on matchup-mistake.
WR L. Fitzgerald 3 Liked the match up-should have started my other option-Galloway.
WR J. Smith 11 That diving catch shows he's still got some years left in him.
TE T. Gonzalez 5 That facemask near the goal line that stopped the TD hurt, too.
K J. Carney 9 As much as I don't like kickers, I sure know how to pick them.
DEF Bears 2 Nothing special this week.
  Total 62  

Although Galloway (17 pts) and Stallworth (7 points) were better options than Johnson and Fitzgerald, it wouldn't have made a difference. I still go 9-5 and miss the playoffs on tiebreakers. If I started Galloway and both Gonzalez and Green scored, I might have gotten in, but a game like last night just further illustrated that anything can happen. Going into the MNF game, two of the three teams that needed to lose were losing fairly convincingly. But to borrow from Mike MacGregor, my team received quite a few groin shots. I wouldn't be surprised if a ton of events from this game didn't completely turn some contests upside down for plenty of owners.

  • Drew Bennett gaining over 233 yards and 2 TDs and bringing back one of the teams I needed to lose…my competitor will be sending a thank you note to Eric Warfield and a huge gift to William Bartee.

  • Tony Gonzalez missing a TD by inches due to a Lamont Thompson face mask—that wasn't even called!

  • Chris Brown—this has become a huge tendency this season for the second year Titan—gains close to one hundred yards and a TD, only to sit out the second half.

  • Eddie Kennison, possibly the most maddening receiver to have in a lineup due to his inconsistency, catches two TDs. By the way, I originally won a cheap bid on Kennison and promptly dropped him at mid-season. I think I might have benefited from him last night.

  • Larry Johnson's two Tds? I'm sure quite a few owners took a chance on Johnson and won big. I feel sorry for their opponents that had more solid starting options this week that lost out.

  • Derrick Mason going down in the first quarter on a punt return. This also ruined my chances. One of my opponents to get into the playoffs was winning by 8 points and his opponent for the week had Mason tonight. Although that td made it close, it wasn't enough.

  • The ultimate kick in the family jewels? Anyone about to squeak by with a win only to watch Titans TE Shad Meier throw the ball away on an ill-advised hook and ladder play that wound up in Kavika Mitchell's hands for a score! If this happened to you, my condolences…

On to the weekly files of 20/20 Hindsight …

Would've (From The Who Would Have Known File)

Joey Galloway would have over 100 yards and two scores. San Diego's pass defense is statistically speaking, a weak unit that gives up a fair amount of yards and touchdowns per contest. This was a good match up on paper. The scary part was starting a historically gimpy Galloway over more consistent plays throughout the season.

Lessons Learned: Consistency will make you competitive, but Galloway is an example of a player getting hot down the stretch. His match ups down the stretch (New Orleans and Carolina) could keep that trend going, unlike…

Tatum Bell would get the call, respond with a 100+, 2-TD day, and then possibly go down for the year? Talk about roller coasters! This might be the ultimate screw-job for several teams. First, there are the Rueben Droughns owners that either: a) Were smart enough to bench Droughns in week 14, knowing that Mike Shanahan is the most fickle ground game coach in the NFL and Shanny-boy was drooling over Bell's performance in week 13 to give Droughns the quick hook. b) Didn't bench Droughns and watched Bell light it up.

Either way, Droughns owners might have seen this line up change cost them their season unless they excellent depth and benefited from a good day from that substitute RB on their bench.

Then there's those poor Bell owners that saw a player leave just as fast as he arrived on the scene…another crazy way to end a fantasy season.

Lessons Learned: Denver's RBs are the ultimate crapshoot for fantasy owners. I'm leaving them a lone next year unless the starter is clearly established in the preseason. Even then, I'm not so sure …

Could've (From The Who Could Have Known File)

Reggie Williams could finally have a decent day. Williams has struggled all year, but against a decent Bears defense he actually got open in the red zone and accumulated a respectable amount of yards to be a decent fantasy option.

Lesson Learned: Williams show improvement down the stretch—he had some nice plays against the Steelers in week 13—but you're still taking a big chance to put him in your lineup this season.

Should've (From The I Knew I Should Have File)

I would be wrong about Randy Moss—and never listen to Mike Tice. I must say, I didn't listen to Tice and I started Moss this weekend to my benefit. But it's understandable to have decided to sit the Vikings' star after it was announced he'd have his plays limited in week 14. Of course, just watching the game proved that Moss' explosiveness improved tremendously from the last two weeks. Moss' 104 yards—two of his receptions were nice intermediate-to-deep routes that showcased his regained ability to separate—were key things to see. But the clincher was that ill-advised play that resulted in an interception. Although it was a poor play, it was all you needed to see as a Moss owner that is still alive in the playoffs (as I am): you don't run a reverse pass with a receiver that's too hurt to be explosive.

Lesson Learned: Start Moss the rest of the way. As long as he doesn't have a set back, Moss is ready to perform like a number one receiver.

Congratulations to those of you that survived this crazy weekend, for those of you that didn't, Hindsight's a...