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Rumblings Fantasy Football: Let the Playoffs Begin!

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Prizes complements of WallDaddy.com

Usually, I love this time of year - not because the Bills are in the playoff hunt; other than the past couple of years, that's been rare in these parts. No, I've loved this time of year because usually at this point I'm analyzing brackets and preparing for fantasy football glory.

Not so this year. In the Buffalo Rumblings fantasy football league, yours truly finished a dismal 4-10 and placed ninth out of 10 teams. That's right - I'm the 49ers. While I kick myself for taking Marc Bulger over Tony Romo and ponder a season lost, however, the playoffs will take place - and the winner of the bracket will be taking home some cool prizes.

The winner of the Buffalo Rumblings fantasy football league will get two prizes: first of all, they'll be getting a t-shirt donning this site's logo with the tagline "I'm Smarter than You - and I Won Rumblings FF". (Or a tagline of the winner's choice.) The winner will also be receiving a Bills poster (pictured to the right) from the fine folks over at WallDaddy.com, a great spot to pick up posters ranging from religion to sports. The people are awesome and the prices are stellar, so make sure to give WallDaddy.com a look-see in the near future.

Here's who we've got competing for the prizes (winners to meet in the championship game next weekend):

(1) CircleTheWagons (11-3) vs. (4) The Illegit McGahees (8-6)
- Our resident lawyer and draftnik, jri111, clinched the #1 seed behind consistent play from Derek Anderson, Brian Westbrook and Marion Barber III. He'll be challenged by the team assembled by krukow, who needed the final week of the regular season to sneak into the playoffs despite having fantasy overlord Tom Brady on his team.

Prediction: This should be a high-scoring affair, with both teams showcasing fantasy stars who play weak teams this week (Brady vs. the Jets as an example). CircleTheWagons is favored to win by 10, but I'm picking the upset: The Illegit McGahees move on to the championship behind big efforts from Brady, Rudi Johnson and the wild card of this game, Saints RB Aaron Stecker.

(2) Kurupt for now (9-5) vs. (3) labill (9-5)
- Despite losing his workhorse (RB Ronnie Brown) early in the season, Kurupt has guided his fantasy team into the semi-finals, craftily working fantasy up-and-comers such as Brandon Marshall and Earnest Graham to eke out a 9-5 record. Meanwhile, labill boasts a star-studded lineup: Carson Palmer, Randy Moss, Joseph Addai and Adrian Peterson make for a formidable team. We'll see if this crafty owner's tactic of benching anyone playing Buffalo (this week, it's Browns TE Kellen Winslow) pays off in crunch time.

Prediction: I feel weird doing it, but I'm going with the lower seed once again. Moss is on a tear, Palmer gets the 49ers and there's no way Adrian Peterson is shut down two weeks in a row. The Boys from LA have a lot of firepower, and the likes of Houshmandzadeh, Holt and Steven Jackson won't be able to keep Kurupt in it.

That's my prediction, and I'm sticking to it: The Illegit McGahees will do battle with labill in the championship game of the Buffalo Rumblings fantasy league.

There's a Prize for Mediocrity, Too
This wasn't going to happen if I had finished dead last in the league, because quietly mocking myself without the rest of this community knowing about it is a lot of things - chiefly pointless and creepy. But since the Buffalo Thurmanators, led by Timdogg1934, finished 2-12 (not quite Dolphins level), there shall be a prize for Tim as well.

There will be another t-shirt. It will have the site's logo on it. This time, the tagline will read "I Succumbed to Everyone's Will in Rumblings FF". That t-shirt - which will hopefully be proudly donned at next year's draft, because there's not much more humbling than that - will be joined by another great poster from WallDaddy.com. Yes, that's right - our last-place winner gets a complementary poster of the greatest and best person, humanitarian and hero that ever walked the earth Patriots LB Tedy Bruschi. We take care of everyone who plays Rumblings fantasy football!

Perhaps this poster will fuel two fires - one in Tim's belly, to finish higher in next season's standings; two in an actual fire, as we delightfully cook s'mores during next year's draft.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the league this year. On a personal note, it's been great to get to know some of you in the league this year, though it's not been as much fun to eat the humble pie that your teams routinely served me. Don't worry - I'll be back next year. We will officially announce the winner of the league in two weeks, after the championship game has been decided.