By now all fantasy football leagues are into the second season (i.e. - the playoffs). Unlike the NFL, there is no real advantage to having the best regular season record. There is a fair amount of randomness in the fantasy football regular season, especially at the individual player level, but even at the team level (e.g. - how many times have you had the second highest-scoring team in your league for a week, only to lose because you had the misfortune of playing the highest-scoring team that week?)
When you’re looking at a one-game sample, such as the fantasy football playoffs, that randomness is much greater still. The “best team” does not always win If a couple of your star players just happen to have poor games in the same week (e.g. - Tom Brady in Week 14 last season against the Jets), your season is likely over. Conversely, an unanticipated contribution from an unexpected source can propel your team to victory (Ron Dayne, anyone?)
Although all fantasy football team owners hope the “Dayne Effect” will pick their team up and take it on a magic carpet ride to the league championship, keep in mind that hope is not a plan. Now more than ever, you need to manage your team on a week-to-week basis. Have any Steelers or Ravens offensive players in your starting lineup? Not a good idea this week, since the two defensive heavyweights square off in Baltimore. You may be better off going with offensive players from Seattle and St. Louis, who have the advantage of facing each other’s Defenses. Now is not the time to let pride or fear cloud your judgment. If you have a great player with a lousy matchup this week, look for alternatives. Don’t worry, the player will get over not being in your starting lineup this week.
This Thursday’s game offers a number of options on both teams that may be able to jump-start your team for your playoff game this week.
New Orleans at Chicago - You’ve read/heard it a thousand times. Dome teams don’t play well outdoors in cold-weather cities late in the season. Does this mean you should keep Drew Brees and company on the bench this week? Of course not! It’s highly unlikely the Saints, even Pierre Thomas (this year’s Ron Dayne?), will be able to move the ball on the ground against Chicago’s tough run Defense. If Brees is forced to throw 45-50 times, which may very well happen tonight, he’s going to put up the kind of fantasy stats that will help your team, even if the game is played on the shores of Lake Michigan. Brees, RB Reggie Bush, TE Jeremy Shockey, and WRs Marques Colston, Lance Moore, & Devery Henderson should all be in starting lineups this week. While the Bears certainly aren’t as strong offensively as the Saints, their offense should have success moving the ball against the Saints both on the ground and through the air. Start QB Kyle Orton, RB Matt Forte, TEs Greg Olsen & TE Desmond Clark (Questionable - hamstring), WRs Devin Hester & Rashied Davis, and K Robbie Gould.
More to come on Friday!
Tags: The Sherpa