December 28th, 2010

NFL Ensures Ri-Vick-ulous Fantasy Finish to 2010

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

When the NFL moved the Eagles and Vikings away from Sunday night, there’s no reason to doubt safety as the motive. The unintended consequence: fantasy aggravation.

You can call it ramping up the excitement if you want, but the point is that fantasy players around the country are waiting at least a day longer to find out who wins — a situation only magnified by the inclusion of the Eagles and their multitude of fantasy resources. In many cases, significant money hangs in the balance.

The World Championship of Fantasy Football, for instance, had six teams among the top 10 entering Week 16 that await Eagles-Vikings results. Leader Jeff Schinker may need some help from Philly receiver Jeremy Maclin to hold off a second-place squad relying on Vick and Adrian Peterson. Holding on will mean a difference of $250,000 in prize money.

At, Week 16 began with Michael Vick quarterbacking eight of the top 10 teams in the race for $100,000 and a few others such as Eagles kicker David Akers and the Philadelphia defense in position to come into play. With only the Tuesday night game to go, however, it appears that leader Jeff James — with Vick at quarterback — is safe.

The inaugural season of the Footballguys Players Championship also sports a $100K grand prize and plenty of Vick, as seven of the top 10 entering the final week employed the Philly passer. As it stands, Ryan Strickler’s second-place team can claim victory with just 13 points from Vick, well below the quarterback’s per-game average this season.

Similarly, the Fantasy Football Players Championship — the main event put on by the company that partners with Footballguys on their contest — has Tuesday night players breathing down the neck of the current leader. Richard Risinger clings to a mere 7-point lead, with the second-place HOGS sporting Maclin and the Philadelphia defense and the third-place Syracuse Slappers running out Vick and Peterson. The winner there takes $100,000 as well.

The National Fantasy Football Championship has to look a little further down the leaderboard but finds Tuesday-night intrigue nonetheless. As pointed out by founder Greg Ambrosius on the site’s message board (with help from some other members), the sixth-place team could overtake the current leader with a big combined performance from Vick and LeSean McCoy. On top of that, the ninth-place team remains alive despite a 75.38-point deficit because it has Vick, DeSean Jackson and Percy Harvin yet to go.

With another $100,000 targeted for the NFFC winner, that’s a total of $700,000 in fantasy winnings with at least some tie to tonight’s game … and that’s only a snapshot of first-place money for five national contests. Imagine the scenarios when you extend to all paying spots in these competitions and the rest of the leagues and contests out there.

Whether the NFL realized it or not, moving the Eagles-Vikings primetime game two days back promised to make the finish to this fantasy football season more interesting and memorable.