Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

18 Dec 2008

Fantasy Matchups: Championship Week

It's Championship Week, baby. The matchups are in full effect.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 18 Dec 2008

49 comments, Last at 23 Dec 2008, 7:25pm by Sid


by BucNasty :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 4:56pm

So...Westbrook at Washington or Slaton at Oakland?

I typically don't sit Westbrook unless he's either out or playing the Ravens, figuring he always has the potential to just completely go nuts. I'm kind of thinking I should play Slaton here, though. My other runner is Pierre Thomas at Detroit, but there's nothing you can say to me that would even make me consider benching him this week.

by DFJinPgh (not verified) :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 5:02pm

I'm of two minds. One, I drafted BW #2 overall, so if I can't win with him, I can't win (I'm starting him as well, along with Pierre).

But, screw that, I'd hate to lose knowing I left points on the bench (this happened to me when I benched Berrian for Colston his first week back when he got the big donut).

Westbrook, man. He's your stud, Washington's in disarray, Philly wants revenge from the weak loss at home, and HE'S BRIAN WESTBROOK!

by Aaron M. (not verified) :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 7:48pm

I have the same dilemma, but I'm playing Slaton and PThomas over Westbrook. Yes, he could go off, but the Redskin defense is pretty stout. The Raiders on the other hand have given up. Play Slaton.

by DFJinPgh (not verified) :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 4:58pm

OK. I have Brees, Pierre, and Colston. Can they really all have huge games? Or will they all be benched early, like $*#)@#!@($! Westbrook last week?

The only one I'd really consider swapping is Colston, for Jennings. My opponent has Forte, making MNF pretty important ...

by cjfarls :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 5:06pm

Depends on the rest of your team and your risk aversion... they all have great possibilities, but you're really putting all your eggs in one basket. To put in baseball terms, if you think you just need a single, I'd play Jennings, but if you think you need a HR, play Colston.

by cjfarls :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 5:02pm

Any thoughts about Phillip Rivers vs. McNabb?

Z.Miller or Witten?

by DFJinPgh (not verified) :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 6:32pm

I don't think I consider benching Witten (I have him; I didn't). Maybe for Carlson (who isn't available in my league).

Rivers vs McNabb, much tougher. I can see McNabb getting pulled like last week, but I can't see Rivers getting pulled against TB - they're too good to let the game get that far out of hand.

That said, when McNabb gets benched, he has more points than Rivers.

by displaced_saints_fan :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 5:06pm

For the Win:

Pick one: S Morris (vs Ari), D Rhodes (vs Jac), B Jacobs (vs Car)

Pick three: R Moss (vs Ari), M Colston (vs Det), G Jennings (vs Chi), R Wayne (vs Jac)

by DFJinPgh (not verified) :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 6:39pm

For the win: Rhodes no doubt.

Of your WR, what a set of choices! I wish I had that problem!

I lean towards Jennings as the weakest; I suspect GB has mailed it in. (But see my dilemma, above.) He's also had decreasing catches each of the last three weeks.

by Aaron M. (not verified) :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 7:50pm

Isn't Addai starting tonight? If he's not, then yes Rhodes is a no doubter, but if he is, you get the backup in a timeshare for the win. THat's a no.

by Boston Dan :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 5:22pm

Ironically, I lost last week by 5 points...everyone on my team went off, accept for Westbrook and the opponent started the Eagles defense.

Alas, the third place isn't for nothing.

Bill, the system has no love for Jerramy Stevens at home against the Chargers? This is Zach Miller during week 14 all over again.

Fasano is the only FA of note in our league.

by Mike W :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 5:32pm

I'm sitting Chris Johnson for Kevin Faulk and thinking of sitting Andre Johnson (vs Nnamdi) for Antonio Bryant. I'm also playing Ronnie Brown at Flex. My opponent has Brees, Thomas, and Moore vs Det, and Gore or Foster, so I'll need the points. Thoughts?

by Bill Barnwell :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 6:21pm

Stevens splits time with Alex Smith, although I agree that he's more likely to get a touchdown. Miller ended up with like six points, I don't think the system was too far off on him.

by Boston Dan :: Fri, 12/19/2008 - 2:39pm


Does Fasano not split time with David Martin and Joey Haynos?

And with all due respect, during Week 14 against the Chargers, Miller outscored three tight ends on the list of best matchups; Kevin Boss, Gates and Vernon Davis.

It is supposed to be windy (20 mph) in KC on Sunday.

If anyone is looking for quality game-time weather prediction reports:


by DoubleB (not verified) :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 6:41pm

Defense choice:

Baltimore or NY Giants. The only thing that matters is points against (offset by any defensive touchdowns or safeties). In other words, defense is generally subtracted from your total. Points are not rewarded for any stats like picks, sacks, etc. I'm leaning Baltimore if Washington is back in the secondary, but if anybody has any suggestions, I'm all ears.

by Sid :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 6:48pm

DEF: Indianapolis, Carolina, Cleveland, Green Bay, New England, or Houston.

Also need a third WR and I have slim pickings to choose from.

I just picked up Bryan Johnson.

Mark Clayton, Mark Bradley, Hixon, Toomer, Hester, Nate Washington, Ocho Cinco, and Randle El are available.

by Spoon :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 7:04pm

Speaking of Romo...

Championship time, and I love my matchups a lot more than I did last week in the semis. Lousy pass defenses for my receivers, Slaton and Westbrook both at RB, the only question I really have is what to do at QB. Ironically, my starter all year is the guy Bill Barnwell started out discussing. The choice is Romo (-13%) against the Ravens or Garcia (6%) against the Chargers. Normally you take Romo in a no-brainer, but the matchups have me cautious. I'm starting Garcia right now, what say you?

by BucNasty :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 9:13pm

I think you need to find another option. Remember that Romo's back will probably still be sore enough to limit his mobility, and possibly affect his throwing motion. Not a good thing against the Ravens, who I figure will pick him off at least twice even if he's healthy.

Garcia's pretty much insisting that he's going to start, but it can't be better than 50/50. If he does play, he'll be hobbled, though there's a chance that that could actually be a good thing.

Are there really no Schaubs or even Thigpens on the wire?

by Spoon :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 10:50pm

Ironically, the best guy available on the wire is Silky Garrard, who's playing great right now but is also quite locked. Thigpen's available, but I confess I don't see much upside there.

by BigDerf :: Fri, 12/19/2008 - 2:46am

Thigpen is god.

by Spoon :: Sun, 12/21/2008 - 4:41pm

Wow, swing and a miss. I guess I should have picked up Thigpen after all.

by Sid :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 7:53pm

Garcia is questionable. I wouldn't start either of them.

by Mad Dog (not verified) :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 8:58pm

This week I am starting Slaton and Turner at RB and Jennings and Andre Johnson at WR. I have a big decision to make at the flex position coming down between Westbrook, Steven Jackson, Lance Moore, Bernard Berrian, and Antonio Bryant. Westbrook likes to have big weeks and then fall off the map for a while even though he should be a no-brainer. Who is the best decision?

Also, John Carlson over Jason Witten?

by Mike W :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 9:43pm

Thigpen or Hill? I keep going back and forth. The pressure . . . the pressure . . .

by SamoanRob_ (not verified) :: Thu, 12/18/2008 - 11:21pm

Shockey 12%, Cooley 6%

I'm having a hard time starting the tatted one over the crazy-haired one. Would Cooley even start himself if he has Shockey on his roster for the Championship? I think I will.

For the record my opponent has Brees, but I'm already starting Pierre Thomas, Colson and Garrick Utley (or whatever his name is)

by Sid :: Fri, 12/19/2008 - 1:10am

Considering I started Peyton Manning, Rhodes, Wayne, Clark, and the Indianapolis defense, I should have the championship won.

83-0 thus far. They all outperformed expectations. The Colts defense was disappointing until the late pick 6 and sacks.

by DGL :: Fri, 12/19/2008 - 10:49am

Yeah, my opponent had the IND defense. I'm sitting happy with his defense at 0 points, then I go to the live scoring at 11:15 (no NFL Network in the DGL household) and How in the hell did the IND DEF just score 10??

by bman (not verified) :: Fri, 12/19/2008 - 9:28am

Romo or Orton? Orton has looked lousy past few weeks and I don't think Romo is as hurt as he pretends..

by Will :: Fri, 12/19/2008 - 3:59pm

How about someone off of waivers? Someone like Tavaris Jackson or Dan Orlovsky? Between the two, I'd probably go Orton - I don't play guys against Baltimore or Pittsburgh.


by bman (not verified) :: Fri, 12/19/2008 - 5:01pm

Thanks for the input! No more transactions allowed. I have Collins as well but against Pitt he would be no better than starting Romo against Balt. I think I will stick with Romo. He is playing at home in a dome. Orton has missed practice this week and will likely be playing in snow.

by bman (not verified) :: Fri, 12/19/2008 - 5:05pm

Hmm, I guess Texas Stadium is not a dome.

by jody (not verified) :: Fri, 12/19/2008 - 11:28am

I have the RBBC. 6th time to the championship, 0-5 so far. pick two: S Jackson, F Gore, R Brown, C Benson. points are for yards rushing and receiving (counted separately) and for TDs. No points for receptions. Thanks.

by Boston Dan :: Fri, 12/19/2008 - 1:27pm

Boldin has missed two straight days of practice.

by Anonymous1 (not verified) :: Fri, 12/19/2008 - 2:15pm

My opponent has Reggie Wayne...so I need big things from my running backs, picking one from Lynch, Jacobs, and S. Morris (Pierre Thomas is my other starter...)

by gary (not verified) :: Fri, 12/19/2008 - 2:30pm

Runningback question: Should I start Kevin Smith vs. New Orleans or LT vs. Tampa. I am already starting Brees, Pierre Thomas, and Megatron. Help me please!

by DoubleB (not verified) :: Fri, 12/19/2008 - 11:00pm

I have a similar situation and I'm starting Smith. Much better matchup and should you give you more yards rushing and maybe even receiving. LT's been East twice this year and has been terrible both times (although he had a decent game in London).

by gary (not verified) :: Fri, 12/19/2008 - 2:30pm

Runningback question: Should I start Kevin Smith vs. New Orleans or LT vs. Tampa. I am already starting Brees, Pierre Thomas, and Megatron. Help me please!

by Mike Kurtz :: Fri, 12/19/2008 - 3:26pm

So, I have Westbrook @ WAS, Smith vs NO and Lynch @ DEN.

I picked up DeShaun Fosteras a FA in case Gore can't play. I'm pretty sure if Gore is injured I want to start him. I just can't figure out which RB I'd replace with him. I think it's sad that my lack of faith in Andy Reid is making me consider Westbrook as the one to go. Any thoughts?

by morganja :: Fri, 12/19/2008 - 3:29pm

I have terrible choices for QB, Romo, Garcia, Delhomme or Hill off the wire. Which is least bad? I don't need to get a spectacular day out of the QB, even though I'm facing Brees, because I picked up Dallas Clark and have Westbrook, Kevin Smith, and Pierre Thomas at RB and Welker and Steve Smith at WR.

Will all the factors going into the Romo decision make him a disaster start? He has a bad back, against Baltimore in a must win situation, but he is at home, with all the hoopla of the last game in Texas Stadium, and is also in a must win situation.

With all of that taken into consideration, can we expect 2 TD and 200+ yards out of this guy? Or any of the others? The only one I'm confident will have 300+ yards and 3 TD is Brees, unfortunately.

by Will :: Fri, 12/19/2008 - 3:57pm

In a points per reception league with otherwise standard scoring, I need to pick one for my W/T slot:

Jeremy Shockey @DET
Deion Branch NYJ
Santonio Holmes @TEN

Right now I'm going with Shockey and hoping for 5/60 - what do you guys think? Santonio Holmes has been a big disappointment, but he's the most likely for 100 yards I guess as he has potential for 40+ yd plays.


by Sid :: Fri, 12/19/2008 - 3:59pm

I might actually go with Hill in that case.

Apparently Boldin might not play this week. That will mean I'll have to scrounge up two WRs instead of 1.

I'm in a very good position thanks to the Colts, but Boldin is my top player.

by morganja :: Fri, 12/19/2008 - 6:35pm

I wouldn't count on anything from Holmes. Not only has he done nothing, but Tennessee is actually better according to this site against #2 receivers than they are against number 1's.

I feel your pain. I thought I had solved my WR problems from last year by picking 3 WR in the first 5 rounds. Santonio Holmes has been a huge hole not only in his performance, but I've not been able to get a decent replacement for him either.
I'd hate to depend on Shockey in this case either. He has a great match-up, but so does everyone else on the Saint's offense. There are only so many touchdowns to go around. The question is whether it is in the Saint's interest to pad his stats for a possible trade at the end of the year or at least to make themselves look better.

by talys :: Sat, 12/20/2008 - 12:57am

In need of some help here:

QB: Warner or Hill? I'm worried that the wind/weather will affect Warner, and Hill has a decent matchup against STL.

RB: Marshawn Lynch or Sammy Morris?

WR: Choose 3 from Colston, Antonio Bryant, Santana Moss, Steve Breston, and Dominik Hixon. Colston and Bryant are must-starts, but Moss is playing Philadelphia, Breston may be facing weather, and I'm not sold on Hixon as a good choice.


by Spoon :: Sun, 12/21/2008 - 1:09pm

Hill for sure. ESPN just showed some of the weather in Gilette, and it's really coming down.

by N.P. (not verified) :: Sat, 12/20/2008 - 7:43pm

Anyone think Warner will sit if they're down big early or up big? Would you start McNabb instead? Any thoughts?


by Sid :: Sun, 12/21/2008 - 5:28am

ok, need two WRs:

Bryant Johnson, Anquan Boldin (questionable) Mark Bradley, Hixon, Toomer, Hester, Nate Washington, Ocho Cinco, and Randle El are available.

by Sid :: Sun, 12/21/2008 - 5:29am

I'll pick up Ocho Cinco and Hester, I think. Engram is also available.

by Sid :: Mon, 12/22/2008 - 5:17am

Ocho Cinco didn't play.


Oh, and Fitzpatrick had 9 pass attempts.

by Sid :: Tue, 12/23/2008 - 7:25pm

Won my championship 102-49. My WRs were a disaster. Branch got zero points and so did Ocho Cinco.