Normally on the Monday morning of Week 16, with only one game left on the schedule, most fantasy matchups have been decided already. Hey, this is kind of a big week, you know, with many a fantasy championship to be decided. Well, many will not be decided by the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons. It's a really big game between Super Bowl contenders with myriad key fantasy options -- Michael Turner and Roddy White, a pair of top-10 quarterbacks, etc. -- but this game still will not decide all leagues, or in many cases even come close.
Welcome to the debut of Tuesday night football, featuring fantasy's top player entering the week (Michael Vick), a pair of its top running backs (LeSean McCoy, Adrian Peterson) as well as wide receivers, tight ends, a prime Philadelphia Eagles defense and even the best kicker in David Akers. This Wednesday morning will be unprecedented in the annals of fantasy history, as the NFL decided that the Eagles and Minnesota Vikings could not play Sunday night -- really, that the fans couldn't handle the conditions -- and the game would be pushed back 48 hours so as to not interfere with Monday night's matchup.
Think about the ramifications here. I'm in the title match in a few leagues and certainly can see plenty of others, and let's just say very little has been decided because the biggest fantasy monster, by far the most owned option on fantasy teams in the championship round, hasn't played yet. And he will not play Monday. No other quarterback ranks in the top 10 of popular title-bound options! Say you have a 22-point lead entering Monday, but alas, your opponent still has Vick. It's not over. You have some sweating to do. And you won't know if you will win until pretty much the clock strikes midnight into Wednesday!
Vick should have a field day against the Vikings, a team that checked out of its season at least a month ago. Would he have delivered the same performance in a blizzard Sunday night? On Tuesday night, snow and wind will not be a factor. I'm not sure even the cold will be a factor. We'll never know what Vick would have done under adverse conditions, or for how long coach Andy Reid would have left him on the field to try. Maybe Kevin Kolb would have played half the game so the Eagles could keep the star healthy. Regardless, Vick is one of two key fantasy options affected most by the league's first Tuesday game in more than 60 years, and the new calendar day doesn't hurt him. Of course, he's not the only one helped, and I'm sure not talking about a 67-year-old quarterback (last reference to him, I promise).
We might also never know whether Peterson would have suited up Sunday, but I'm far more confident he will be out there Tuesday. Considering only nine running backs are/were active for this Week 16 in more ESPN.com standard leagues than Peterson, the consensus No. 2 pick in live drafts for this season and still a top-three running back entering the weekend, this is a really big deal likely to affect tons of matchups. Peterson has a thigh injury and missed the Week 15 game, but he told reporters Sunday afternoon that the two extra days of preparation helps him a lot. You know what? I believe him. Sure, Peterson has only one game with more than 12 fantasy points since Week 9, but if you own him, you have to activate him. Even at 80 percent, he can do damage.
Then again, in one of my leagues he cannot be activated, which again is a situation I have never seen in fantasy with such a critical player in a critical week. The owner in question didn't expect Peterson to play, so he went with Cleveland Browns upstart Peyton Hillis, who appears to have tired a month ago, and Darren McFadden of the Oakland Raiders. But now, armed with the knowledge that Mother Nature -- and the league -- have granted Peterson two extra days to get well, wouldn't you have used Peterson over Hillis? I would have. Then again, it's way too late. The roster is locked. Talk about second-guessing. Oh, what a week this will be, with the biggest Wednesday morning in fantasy football history!