With all the free agency chaos that has been engulfing the league in the last month, it’s easy to forget about the season that just ended. This will be the culmination of the positional recaps here at Razzball, and honestly it’s about time. When these recaps started, Sky was still running the show, Nick Capozzi was still in Canada, and Jay and I had never met (Note: We still have not met). Things have changed in the IDP world as well. Some of these guys are already on different teams, and others have seen their teams go out and sign players who will potentially replace them in 2014. Such is life for DBs in IDP leagues.

These recaps will focus mostly on how each player landed in the top-20 last year, and whether or not they can do it again in 2014. Spoiler alert: a lot of them can’t.

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Keeping with the theme of moving into the future while looking at the past, we move on to Linebackers. The top crop of LBs in 2013 had a lot of the expected faces, along with a couple of rookies and some throwback performances by Ghosts of IDP Seasons Past.  But before we get to the top 20, there are others that warrant some discussion:

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Sky (#NeverForget) has been dominating these pages with his offensive positional recaps, while I’ve been sitting back and enjoying the playoffs. But then I saw Navorro Bowman’s knee get mangled while he recovered a goalline fumble in the NFC Championship Game, and it made me reflect on things. If Bowman can keep giving it his all and sacrificing his body after carrying countless IDP teams to championships, why can’t I do the same thing? I thought I was the IDP expert you deserved, but not the one you needed right now, but who am I kidding? There is no offseason. So here is my first batch of 2013 positional recaps.

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For most of us, Week 17 represents the first week of the off-season. Dynasty leaguers are looking forward to the rookie draft and free agency, re-drafters are already making plans for 2014 draft locations, and all is quiet on the fantasy front for the first time since July. But there are still those leagues that hold their championships in Week 17. In some years this causes chaos, as top players are resting because their teams cannot improve or hurt their playoff slot. But this year you are in luck, as pretty much every team has at least something to play for, and it appears that only KC will be resting their guys.

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It’s hard to believe that the season kicked off a full 4 months ago, but here we are: Championship Week. I’ll be back with some rankings next week for you crazy kids with 17-week schedules, but for the majority of the free world this is it. I’m sad to say that I did not reach the finals in any of my five leagues. As much as I love IDPs, unfortunately there is an offensive side of the ball as well, and I did a miserable job drafting and setting my offensive lineups this year.

But enough of about me, you’re here for some IDP cheer just in time for the holidays. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: When making turkey chili, always cook for one hour less than directed. Wait, wrong piece of advice. Let’s try again: In the fantasy playoffs, don’t get cute, start your studs. Joe Mays and someone called Dekoda Watson each put up huge days last week, but you’re not starting them over the guys that got you here.

With that in mind, here are my top players at each position for Championship Week:

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One common mistake that all fantasy owners, not just IDP owners, make is to overrate strong performances in the playoffs. On the offensive side of the ball, guys like Josh McCown and Marques Colston had huge weeks, but that doesn’t mean that you’re starting them in the semi-finals over Matt Stafford and DeSean Jackson. The same thing applies on the defensive side of the ball. Matchups determine a lot about IDP stats, and as we saw last week, weather can mean a lot as well.

Here are some guys who put up big numbers in Week 14, and whether I think they can do it again in Week 15:

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If you’re still reading this then congratulations, you made the playoffs. Or you’re in one of those weird leagues that includes Week 17. Or you’re bored at work and can’t get enough IDP talk. But, other than that last group, if you’re here then you can’t afford to waste any time with fluff before getting to the good stuff. So let’s get right into the Week 14 IDP action…

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As we enter the final week of the fantasy regular season, there are three types of teams out there. First, the teams that have been eliminated. You can still play spoiler and ruin your friend’s year, but unless there is a weekly points prize, you don’t have much to play for.

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After Week 10, everyone was all “Vincent Rey this” and “Vincent Rey that,” and “Did you hear that Vincent Rey is the new IDP sheriff Cincinnati with Maualuga hurt?” Well Week 11 showed that you can shoot the sheriff, but you cannot kill the deputy. The deputy in this case is Vontaze Burfict, who had an all-world performance against the Browns with 15 tackles and a forced fumble, which he then recovered and took to the house. Burfict’s big Week 11 pushed him above Kiko Alonso to the top spot among all IDPs this season. There was some thought preseason that Burfict’s 2012 was a fluke, and Cincy’s bizarre fascination with Rey Maualuga would prevent Burfict from putting up true LB1 numbers, but those thoughts have been firmly put to rest.

Alas, Burfict is on a bye this week, but out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind. It might be more difficult now, but if Burfict’s owner needs LB stats this week, and your team has already clinched the playoffs, make an offer on the idle LB and see what happens. If you’re in an especially shallow league and Burfict’s owner dropped him due to the bye, make room on your bench for the man who I recently, like 200 words ago, nicknamed “The Deputy.”

Here are some other IDP happenings as we head into Week 12:

Alas, Burfict is on a bye this week, but out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind. It might be more difficult now, but if Burfict’s owner needs LB stats this week, and your team has already clinched the playoffs, make an offer on the idle LB and see what happens. If you’re in an especially shallow league and Burfict’s owner dropped him due to the bye, make room on your bench for the man who I recently, like 200 words ago, nicknamed “The Deputy.”

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As we enter the home stretch of the regular season, there are no more surprises. Any sleeper who is going to break out (Robert Quinn, Kiko Alonso, Barry Church), has already made the leap. Any veteran who is going to lose a step (Justin Smith, London Fletcher, Yeremiah Bell), has already disappointed. At this point in the season there are no surprises, and, barring injury, most players are who they are.

Here are some notable performances or possible one-week wonders from Week 10 that are worth looking at for the final three weeks of the regular season:

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