It's coming down to the wire. Next week is the last week of the MTV News Fantasy Football season. What we know after week 12 is that Lil Wayne and Uncle Luke are definitely not going to the playoffs — they've been mathematically eliminated. Block Entertainment (Yung Joc and Block's two-headed fantasy beast) have the best record overall, will continue to have the best record regardless of what they do next week and are going to the playoffs. Everybody else's status is still up in the air.
Over in the Gridiron Gangstas Division, Method Man and Liz Hernandez are tied for second place with 6-6 records. With Block Entertainment comfortably in first place with 10 wins, only one of the two second-place squads will be playoff-bound. The Crunchtime Firing Squad Division is a little murkier. Cool & Dre and Paul Wall are tied for first place, both with 6-5-1 records. Tyrese has six wins as well, but his six losses are keeping him in third place. It's going to be really interesting next week, however, when Black Ty plays Wall in an all-or-nothing end game. Uncle Luke remains in the basement with a 3-9 record.
Understandably, Meth was little gun-shy about starting his top draft pick, Shaun Alexander, but boy did it hurt him. Alexander proved he's back in prime form, rushing for 200 yards (40 attempts!) and accumulating 20 fantasy points. With the margin of victory so tight this week between the Ticallion Stallion and BE, his distrust of Alexander's bum foot cost him dearly. Still, Meth should hold his head high, because even with the miscue he went down swinging. Disappointing weeks from Willie Parker (three fantasy points) and Dominic Rhodes (eight) sealed his fate, however.
Seven W's in a row for Block Entertainment. Barring injury, LaDainian Tomlinson will probably be the NFL MVP. The proverbial four cylinders are all running strong, but — dare we say it? — Joc and Block have to seriously consider benching their starting QB, Giants golden boy Eli Manning, and Saints starter Drew Brees. Manning's struggles the past few games in real life have been well-documented, and he and Brees seem to be headed in different directions. Manning's Giant teammate Plaxico Burress is also a major concern. His head seems to float in and out games lately.
Break up team Uncle Luke! He's on a winning streak for the first time this season. Yes, it's too little too late. Yes, he did leave Colts running back Joseph Addai on the bench and squandered his 44 fantasy points. But when you have Black Ty starting the injured Donovan McNabb (his team's biggest scorer) again this week, Luke had to have a feeling he would come up smelling good. With next week the last of the regular fantasy-football season, Ty will need a win if he wants to make it to the playoffs. He's also going to need the Giants' Tiki Barber to get back on track. Barber, who can be a workhorse, scored only 11 points this week and has been averaging just a little over 12 points this year. Far from the A-Class stats that L.T. and Larry Johnson have been putting up.
Don't read Wall's Lone Star Monsters their eulogy just yet. Wall is better than alive — a do-or-die win against division rivals Cool & Dre has him in a first-place tie with the Miami production duo. His team didn't have an outstanding week, (Larry Fitzgerald with 17 fantasy points and Antonio Gates with 14 from the TE position were highlights), but the luck of the draw was on his side. It's simple: Wall wins next week, he makes the playoffs. Peyton Manning scored only nine fantasy points for Cool & Dre (how often is that going to happen?) and Miami running back Ronnie Brown was even worse with only six points. Cool & Dre are in the same predicament as Wall: a playoff spot is theirs to lose now. Even if they do lose next week, they still might make it. But who wants to take a gamble like that?
Liz has Wayne's number, it's safe to say. After losing to him in the second game of the season, she's swiped three straight from the Birdman Jr. Speaking of Birdman, dirty bird Michael Vick was flipping the bird at some fans over the weekend in Atlanta. But for all the boos and criticism he's gotten from sportscasters the past few weeks — he had a hang-your-head-low throwing performance of only 84 points on Sunday — he's still arguably the most exciting player in the game. And Liz couldn't be more pleased with his 19 fantasy points. His 166 rushing yards — that's where that whole excitement part came in — really helped. Rams running back Steven Jackson really helped Liz's cause as well, racking up 25 points. Ms. Hernandez or division rival Method Man will make it into the playoffs next week.
With his eighth loss of the year, Wayne is out of playoff contention. And what a dismal way to go out: He had no points from either of his starting wideouts (Marvin Harrison and Marques Colston), and his QB, Philip Rivers, had only three points.