Pass Plays: Add Toby Gerhart

Toby Gerhart is a must-have for owners looking to claim a fantasy title. Greg Smith/US Presswire

For most of the season, the highest percentage fantasy barometers tend to be found in areas such as matchups, location of game, weather and injuries.

As reliable as those factors are, by Week 17 fantasy owners have to be on the lookout for the signs of that dreaded malady, short-timer's syndrome.

Short-timer's syndrome occurs when someone is getting ready to leave a place of employment and starts to lose the motivation to work quite as hard. As professional as the players in the NFL are, they are oftentimes subject to this condition, especially in the final week of the year.

So how does a fantasy owner avoid players' suffering from short-timer's syndrome? Two quick rules of thumb are:

Start players whose teams have been out of the playoff equation for a few weeks and have still been performing well.

Avoid players whose teams fell out of playoff contention in Week 16; they may be more susceptible to short-timer's syndrome than anyone else.

This week's Pass Plays article will also aim to help in this area by identifying players who are most likely to be immune to this fantasy football plague.

Pass Plays

Toby Gerhart (available in 63.7 percent of ESPN leagues)