Fantasy Football: The Aaron Rodgers Dilemma, Part 2

Matt LechnerContributor IDecember 26, 2011

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 25:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers throws a touchdown pass to James Jones #89 during the first half against the Chicago Bears on December 25, 2011 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
David Banks/Getty Images

That crazy thought is starting to consume me again. You know, the one about benching Aaron Rodgers the week of your fantasy football championship?

This time though, it doesn't seem so crazy.

In fact, I don't think I have a choice this time.

Last week, I, like millions of other Aaron Rodgers owners, had a tough decision to make. I won't get into the full story again, but I wrote an article that explored the idea of benching Rodgers in Week 16 (read the full article here). 

Well, I decided against benching Rodgers and I won my fantasy football semi-finals game thanks to Rodgers' five-touchdown game against the Chicago Bears. Great news right? Absolutely. But now I face the same dilemma again in Week 17. Let's call it, The Aaron Rodgers Dilemma Part 2.

Before I get started (steps onto his soapbox): I've never liked fantasy leagues that decide their championships in Week 17. In a typical NFL season, most Week 17 games are meaningless and star players rarely play a full game.

This happens for a variety of reasons: injuries, resting for the playoffs, giving younger players an opportunity to play, etc. Whatever the reason, there's a good chance that half of the players on the field are guys you've never heard of.   

As you've probably gathered by now, this greatly impacts fantasy football owners. Those of us lucky enough to still be playing into January must now craft our roster in such a way that would make a cobblestone paver proud.

Getting ready for a Week 17 championship forces us to put fantasy logic aside and think differently. Much differently. Like, maybe we should bench Aaron Rodgers.

The Packers have already locked up the No. 1 seed in the NFC and are playing one of those meaningless Week 17 games.

Also, they're facing the playoff-bound Detroit Lions, who the Packer may play in the postseason. That means even if Rodgers does play, Green Bay's game plan will be more vanilla than the custard served inside Lambeau Field.

They're also not going to give Detroit any opportunities to injure their franchise quarterback before the playoffs. And that leads me back to my dilemma, how much (if any) of Week 17's game will Rodgers play and should I bench him this week?

If Mike McCarthy and the Packers are smart, and I know they are, they'll let Rodgers play the first quarter. Rodgers will lead a couple of drives and then put on a parka and a stocking cap and watch the rest of the game from the sidelines. While that serves the Packers well, that plan will kill my fantasy team.  

As much as it pains me to do it, I think Rodgers is headed to my bench this week.

Yes, I know Rodgers has 23 first-half touchdowns this season. And yes, I know he's closing in on 400 fantasy points. But what if he plays one series and that's it? My championship dreams are dashed by the same guy who got me there.

I know fantasy owners like to "dance with the guys who got them there," but this is a different kind of dance.

I think my mind's made up. I'm moving Rodgers to QB2 and Tim Tebow to QB1.

At least with Tebow I know he'll play a full game, and it's a meaningful one too. A win over Kansas City and Denver is postseason bound.

I don't care if Tebow leads Denver to the playoffs, I just need his full game to be better than Rodgers' partial game. 

In Tebow I (gulp) trust.