- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The fantasy football playoffs are getting close _ time to keep an extra eye out for maneuvers that seem wacky and unexpected opportunities.

With Seattle and Cincinnati on byes, don’t be all that surprised if their defenses get dropped along with Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka, the top fantasy kicker in the game and also the second-most dropped player in Yahoo as of Tuesday night.

Or maybe owners will keep them and drop a running back likely to get plenty of touches the rest of this season. Among the top 25 most dropped running backs on Yahoo are Fred Jackson with Buffalo on a bye, Miami’s Lamar Miller and Atlanta’s Steven Jackson.

A tiny sliver of owners on ESPN and Yahoo are even dropping Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, apparently unable to wait out his injury.


Besides Rodgers and the Seattle defense, perhaps, the moves aren’t as desperate as they might seem.

Simply put, the weeks before the playoffs regularly force fantasy players into tough decisions that result in names on the waiver wire that are higher than replacement level.

That’s when _ if the circumstances are right _ you pounce.

Just make sure if you pick up someone’s leftover Ray Rice or Roddy White, you’re doing it with a purpose beyond feeling as though the player should be owned in your league. Unless you’re in a deep keeper league, every player you carry on your roster should have some reasonable chance to start for you between now and the championship, either because of a favorable matchup or injury.

Some fantasy players will take things even further, either tanking a game to try to manipulate playoff seeding or sacrificing one week for better positioning for a playoff run. If this sounds like you, just remember a few things:

_ Make sure everything you do falls in line with your league rules.

_ It doesn’t matter if you’re in first place and have a two-game lead on the next guy or girl. You haven’t clinched anything until your platform says so.

_ Even if you handpick your opponents and path to the title, your top mission is still scoring the most points you can each week. That’s on you, not someone else.

Gamesmanship is great, but don’t outsmart yourself.

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THE REAL BUSTS

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