Commentary

Final playoff push in AIC fantasy league

Updated: December 2, 2011, 5:35 PM ET
By Jim Wilkie | ESPN.com

We're down to the final week of the regular season in the Alice in Chains & Friends Fantasy Football Charity League and seven teams still have a chance at three of the four remaining playoff spots.

Only Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell's Aroma Of Tacoma (8-4) has clinched a playoff spot, though AIC drummer Sean Kinney's Team Nosering (7-5) is in good shape just one game behind.

After that it's wide open because of the Week 13 matchups as former Queensryche guitarist Chris DeGarmo's Mach Six's (6-5-1), Heart singer Ann Wilson's Annie's Dogs (6-6), AIC singer William DuVall's Team DuVall (6-6), Hellyeah drummer Vinnie Paul's The Brickwall Paul (6-6), actor Jay Ferguson's Dallas' Best (6-6) and Loaded frontman Duff McKagan's Team McKagan (5-6-1) all have mathematical chances to reach the final four.

It should be a wild weekend and -- much like many other fantasy leagues -- tensions began to mount when a late-season trade came under review. Here is a sample of some talk this week on the league message board in response to Cantrell trading Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith to Ferguson in exchange for Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (click on link to view the image):

Steve Smith for Cam Newton?!?
Posted: Nov 29, 9:46 p.m.
Ann Wilson
Annie's Dogs

At least kiss me first for God's sake!

Re: Steve Smith for Cam Newton?!?
Posted: Nov 30, 5:39 a.m.
Jerry Cantrell
Aroma Of Tacoma

Big sloppy one for ya, sis.

Re: Steve Smith for Cam Newton?!?
Posted: Nov 30, 6:58 a.m.
Ann Wilson
Annie's Dogs

Best record in the league and you stoop to collusion. Excellent.

Re: Steve Smith for Cam Newton?!?
Posted: Nov 30, 3:44 p.m.
Jerry Cantrell
AROMA OF TACOMA

That's a serious accusation. And to be clear … I would never do that. Jay is carrying three quarterbacks -- Drew Brees and Matt Ryan; he doesn't need Cam. What he does need is a wide receiver and Steve Smith is the third best receiver in the league, the best on my team and if the trade goes through Smith has more points than any receiver on Jay's roster. By making this trade I get a decent QB but I also make myself thin at wide receiver. Jay's team gets better; he also is fighting for a playoff spot and Smith seemed more valuable to him than Cam for this final game of the regular season. You should look at the trade based on need. I don't think it's unfair and you have the right to vote against it, of course. I know we play this week and I wish you and the other owners who have a shot to make the playoffs luck. I'm already in, but this trade doesn't guarantee I'll win it all. I'm just doing the best I can to manage my team. I'm competitive as hell, everybody knows this … but I'm no cheater.

Re: Steve Smith for Cam Newton?!?
Posted: Nov 30, 3:29 p.m.
Ann Wilson
Annie's Dogs

Whoa, there big fella! Who said anything about cheating? Just taking a few pot shots at this week's foe. I may not like it but trades are trades.

Sorry to get your hackles up. You don't need any bulletin board material …

See you in the playoffs next week.

Each participant will put one valuable item up for auction by the end of the season. The league champion will get to designate which charity receives the net proceeds of the auction. More details on the auction will be announced in the coming weeks.

Weekly updates on the Alice in Chains & Friends Fantasy Football Charity League, trash talk and interviews with the owners will be published in ESPN.com's The Life and Music sections throughout the season. Members of the league also will drop by for occasional chats on SportsNation as Cantrell and Paul did Tuesday.

Here is a look at Week 13's matchups and last week's results: