Wednesday, December 18, 2013

ROSTER MANAGEMENT - Championship Week

By Michael H. Osinski
@mhosinskiLLP



So I read today that over 11,000 Fantasy Playoff Semi-finals were decided Monday night by Justin Tucker. That's crazy. But at this time of the season, crazy things happen. (I survived playing against Tucker The Foot, but it was a lot closer than it needed to be. Thanks Mr. Vereen!) I hate that part of Fantasy Football.

Six months of mock drafts, draft charts, match up analysis, being completely pissed that Mike Vick is hurt...again. This is Championship Week. This is where it is all supposed to come together. The knowledge that comes from all that time spent makes you feel as if you have a few answers. Yeah, right.

I play 3 leagues. I am in the Championship Game in 2. My #4 seed caught fire and beat the #1 seed. I love the irony of Nick Foles spearheading the team whose original QB was Vick. And, my #1 seed juggernaut survived the 6-FG MNF game. (Again, no thanks to Shane Vereen.)

Point is that we do all this research, mock drafting and analysis to try and avoid being beat simply because a kicker has a career night. Figure that. If you knew that in June, would you have done the research. (Yes) But, those who lost Monday night will tell you...all the research in the world may not work. You gotta make your own luck.

If you are this far, you have had a bit of luck. Question is...do you have any more? Can you make any more.

Let's find out.

QB

Most Championship teams are set here. I have Russell Wilson (I know...not a good matchup) and a choice between Foles and Kaepernick. But, some folks have Rodgers, Cutler or had McCown. Others lost Vick early and have been streaming since. The favorite to win the Championship in the league I am stuck in the consolation bracket had Rodgers McCown and Cutler. (He also has Jamaal Charles)

We still have no definitive word on Rodgers. We will probably get it by Thursday. McCown is gone. Cutler is going to play if you got him.

Also, if you are not quite sold on your QB1 or you don't like your matchup, you actually have some options.

(I assume Tannehill, Alex Smith are not available)

Kirk Cousins. He has the best matchup of the week and is available all over. I actually would start him over Roethlisberger, Flacco and maybe even Brady.

If he gets snapped up, it's riskier, but you can roll the dice on Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Try to avoid pretty much anyone else.

RB

Not much here. Generally, even the good teams have 1 great back and then 2-3-4 guys on the bench you shuttle through based on matchups. Stick to that theory as there is not much on the wire any better.

Peterson and/or Gerhart will play this week so Matt Asiata is not a good play. I'd stay away from any back in Cleveland. Last week conventional wisdom said Ogbonnaya would be a good play. Sunday afternnon, some guy from the Texans practice squad named Baker was the Browns leading scorer. What this week...the comeback of McGahee?  Jennings is back so Reece is no one to play.

A guy worth a look is Jordan Todman. 15 points last week. 4.4 wheels. If MJD is still out, he could actually be a better bet than the guys on your bench. He is sitting on my bench, but I can't pull the trigger...yet. Stay tuned. Tate, Spiller, Vereen, Rainey. Ouch.

WR

WR3 is usually a revolving door for most teams. I played Ace Sanders over Harry Douglas last week. (It worked.)

Point here is that there are guys available who might be better than the other guys on your bench, and if they get a good matchup could be better than whomever your current WR3 is.

Cecil Shorts is on IR, so the aforementioned Ace Sanders is a great choice. I may play him again. It makes Mike Brown viable as well.

If Rodgers is back, Jarret Boykin is a great play. After last week, even with Flynn he is viable.

I know Larry Fitzgerald and Victor Cruz had concussions, but try to avoid ARZ WRs as they play SEA. While avoiding NYG WRs is probably wise as well, something about Rueben Randle screams..."pick me..pick me."

Andre Caldwell is only relevant if Wes Welker is out again.

Da'Rick, Lavon and whoever else the Colts added this week need to be left alone.

Don't fall for the Marvin Jones hype. He played all those snaps, but the Bungles were down 3 TDs early so they were passing every down.

TE

Most Championship eligible teams are set at TE as well. One of my teams is not one of them. I have Julius Thomas and Jordan Reed on the Foles team. But, on the good team, I had Jordan Reed. He won't see the field again this year. I picked up Delanie Walker in time for him to suffer a concussion as well. Mixed results so far.

He is better now and has another great matchup. JAX is 2nd worst team vs TEs. Get him if you need someone, have a lousy TE or just wanna play a hunch.

The only other TEs I can suggest are Tim Wright and Zac Ertz. And, if you are adding them (instead of Brandon Myers or one of the Bengals) good luck. Those with a penchant for risk, Marcedes Lewis has TDs in 3 straight games.

DEF

For most of the years I have played Fantasy, I have streamed defenses based on matchups. Sometimes, like this year, I stumbled onto hot teams I kept for a while (this year: CAR-CAR-ARZ). Because CAR plays NO (even at home) I am not risking a Championship on them and am finding a streaming option. Because ARZ lost to SEA about 100-0 last year, I am dumping them as well.

Based on matchups, look to STL, TENN and BUFF. If they are taken, Cleveland is not a bad matchup, even without Haden. C'mon, it's the Jets!

Just don't get too cute. If you have KC, BAL, SF, SEA...play them. I am only dumping CAR & ARZ based on history.

Looks like I'll get STL-STL-BUFF.

K

The Justin Tucker night has to reinforce what I have said all along...play Ks who will be in domes. Roster accordingly.

Good luck. Championships are rare. I am available for questions at @mhosinskiLLP