Weather can determine whether you win or lose
Weather: Everyone complains about it, but no one ever does anything about it. As a fantasy owner, you might not be able to control the weather, but at least you can do a few little things to guard against its effects. Week 13 showed how even a little change of pace could drastically alter the performance of usually steady NFL players. San Diego’s normally beautiful weather turned rainy Sunday afternoon, and turnovers followed. If your league is the kind that punishes QBs for interceptions or RBs for fumbles, you saw firsthand that rain costs points.Cold can also change the game – especially where nagging injuries are concerned. The Bears and Vikings had great December weather – by Chicago standards – but the outdoor temps at Soldier Field were about 40 degrees lower than in the comfy confines of the Metrodome.And Randy Moss sure felt it. The Vikings wide receiver had a grand total of 31 yards, a fumble and looked gimpy – certainly not the same player we’re used to seeing indoors at the Metrodome. Your job as a fantasy owner is to be cognizant of the playing conditions and set your lineup accordingly. Dome games are the safest bets. So pick indoor players if all other factors are equal. Avoid kickers in cold weather, especially at night, when the temps plummet and the ball hardens. It’s usually the little things that add up to wins or losses, and it’s your responsibility to see what’s coming.Ask the punditDear Pundit: I’m in a 16-team league, and our playoffs started last week. As long as I’m still alive in the playoffs, I am allowed to add and drop players. My problem is that with 16 teams, there are simply no obvious players for me to pick up, and I have two do-nothings I want to dump. Any suggestions for deep sleepers, or should I just sit with these guys and hope they get active again?JoeGlenwood SpringsJoe: At this point in the season, there is no such thing as a “deep sleeper,” so let’s try something different.Most people take the approach of trying to obtain players who will bolster their roster. But keeping players away from the competition can be just as rewarding and a whole lot more fun. The key is to find those owners who have a superstar quarterback on their roster but for whatever reason, have yet to add their backup as a safety net. Since trading in the playoffs is not allowed in most leagues, your best bet would be to scoop up a couple of cheap backups, if for no other reason than to keep them out of circulation. This way, you’ve created a situation that puts the opposition one solid hit away from disaster with no way to fix it. A few prime candidates to consider are Gus Frerotte (Vikings), Jim Sorgi (Colts) and Koy Detmer (Eagles). If the other owners aren’t smart enough to protect their MVP, it’s your job to do it for them. Question for the Pundit? Send it to PigskinPundit@hotmail.com
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For some producers of backcountry equipment, fall sales this year have been better than Christmas sales were last year. Karakoram is one such company; the British Colombia-based binding manufacturer has already ran through its line.