Cwebb, I think you're arguing against yourself here:
"Throwing a game doesn't sound right... if a real team doesn't play its stars in the final weeks it's because of injury risks but that's not the case in fantasy football."
Think about it. Why is it that the team is worried about injuring its stars and therefore benches them? Because ... they care more about the playoff games ahead than they do the games that don't "count". Instead of giving a game their best, they are willing to just "show up" so that they have a better chance later of beating a playoff team.
That is what I've been discussing all along. The root of the comparison is that winning playoff games is more important to NFL coaches than winning games that won't make or break them. Can't it be the same for fantasy football owners?
Imagine that you are currently the #1 Seed and you face the #2 seed in the last "regular season" week. Win or lose, you're going to make the playoffs. If you purposely lose to #2, he will become #1 and face a very difficult wild card team in the first week of the playoffs. Furthermore, the matchups favor the wild card team that week but not the next. Meanwhile, you face #3, whose record, points, and general team are simply much worse than yours. Furthermore, you match up well with him in Playoff Week 1, but you match up poorly with the wildcard team (who you'll play if you win the last "regular season" game.
All game angles say to throw the game against the #2 seed in the last "regular game" and you should then cruise to victory against two opponents who won't match up well against you in the playoffs.
Would you throw the game?
Would you throw the game if the winner of the league won $1,000,000?
That last question reminds me of the joke:
A guy walks up to a beautiful woman in a bar and says, "Will you have sex with me for a million dollars?"
She looks this guy over; he's ugly and fat, but obviously rich. "For a million dollars? Sure!"
The guy says, "Okay, how about for ten bucks?"
She says, "Ten dollars! What kind of girl do you think I am?"
The guys says, "We've all ready established that; now we're talkin' price."