Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

11 Dec 2008

Fantasy Matchups: Week 15

Blame Atari Bigby for your fantasy problems. Or Jovan Haye. It's all their fault.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 11 Dec 2008

49 comments, Last at 14 Dec 2008, 10:28pm by hector


by jerkface (not verified) :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 5:22pm

so they're close in your ratings, but rather Bowe or Colston (tonight)... must win...

by Red Hedgehog (not verified) :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 5:49pm

I think Bowe is more consistent, but Colston has more upside. I'd probably go with Bowe.

by Joke From Hoboke (not verified) :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 5:28pm

My league starts two RBs. I have Chris Johnson, Barber, Bush, Jamal Lewis and I picked up Rhodes off of the wire yesterday. It's hard not to start guys like Barber and Bush, but I think my best plays are Johnson and Rhodes. My league is no points per reception and 10 yards = 1 point. Thoughts??

by Red Hedgehog (not verified) :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 5:52pm

Barber isn't healthy and Lewis goes against the Eagles. So it's between Johnson, Bush, or Rhodes. I think Johnson is a must start. I think Rhodes will be pretty consistent for you (at least 16 points) but I think Bush has the potential to have a multi-TD game. I'd probably go with Rhodes.

by widderslainte :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 5:40pm

Or Gus Ferrote. The matchups looked good enough to bench Garrard for him. Lost the game for the last Wild Card spot by one point. So this is how Maxwell Smart feels.

by Mike B. In Va :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 5:23pm

Humorously, I did exactly the same thing - Antonio Bryant on Monday night couldn't save me and my ten-point lead from Steve Smith and D'Angleo Williams, and I lost by two points...

...and backed into the playoffs, anyway, when the other three teams up for the wildcard spot all lost. Meanwhile, another team with Manning, Adrian Peterson, and Andre Johnson got knocked out. Sometimes I think it's all luck...

by ErrantNight :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 5:41pm

jerkface: depends, I'd say Bowe is a more solid start... Colston maybe higher upside but with so many weapons there in NO more likely to disappoint, as well. I'd lean Bowe, sadly

Joke: CJ is a must start but Rhodes is a tough call. Bush has a pretty solid match-up tonight (Chicago not great in the pass game v. RBs), and Addai might steal time (how strange to write that). I'd lean Bush, although they're whispers Addai doesn't play at all, in which case it's gotta be Rhodes all the way, right?

by ErrantNight :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 5:45pm

I have two questions... one I think I've settled, the other I have no clue.

First, no clue:

Who to start from my fearsome three-headed-hydra of doom:

Eli Manning! Been great all year, scary last week, Dallas D not awful (but missing Pacman, now)

Shaun Hill! Better than Eli of late, better than a lot of people of late... is he pulling a Derek Anderson? If so, can he keep it going One More Week before the tape starts to roll in?

Seneca Wallace! Assuming he starts... he clearly has a match-up even more favorable than last week when he, Branch, and Carlson toasted the Pats.

Seriously have no idea how to choose here...

Second question is: Do I dare sit Moore for Bess in the same league where a reception is worth one point? I'm starting Colston, and I only start 2 WRs. This is to play in the finals... and I don't need this person to go house, I just need a solid score. Bess seems far more likely to deliver that, even if his upside doesn't match Moore (who's been absent since Bush returned, and is getting fewer looks than Colston). So I've settled on Bess. Am I way off?

by Red Hedgehog (not verified) :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 5:48pm

Okay, I'm probably overthinking this, but here are my decisions:

1st league, no PPR
McNabb or Favre at QB?
Which two of Branch, DeSean Jackson, Gage, Hester, Colston, Anthony Gonzalez, or Welker?

2nd league, PPR
Eli Manning or Hasselbeck/Wallace at QB?
Which three of Reggie Wayne, Marques Colston, Laveranues Coles, Devin Hester?
Which two of Chris Johnson, Ronnie Brown, Steve Slaton, Justin Fargas, Tatum Bell?

by ErrantNight :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 6:00pm

1st league:
McNabb... nice match-up, seems to be picking up.
Can't see sitting Colston, for all his ups and downs, for any of them. Both Gage and Branch have upside, but Tennessee might never have to throw. I'd roll the dice with Branch. If you're strong everywhere else, though, and just want to make sure you're getting points, obviously insert Welker instead.

2nd league:
I'm dealing with this exact same issue @ QB (and also considering Shaun Hill). I have no idea.
Colston Wayne Coles. Do you really trust Hester in an important game?
CJ and Ronnie Brown and it ain't close. Slaton has a tough match-up, the one thing NE can do is stop the run, and who knows how many touches Bell gets. I know Brown hasn't been great, but he's been running well. Fortune will smile on him one of these weeks.

by Red Hedgehog (not verified) :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 6:21pm

Thanks. You went pretty much with who I was leaning toward. In the 1st league, I have Isaac Bruce available at WR as well. I was initially leaning him and Colston, but am tempted to put Branch or Welker in there. I do need points - my opponent is the top scorer in the league and is actually benching Adrian Peterson this week because he has Westbrook and DeAngelo Williams.

As for 2nd league thought, I forgot that I have Shaun Hill in that league as well. I'm almost definitely playing Hill next week, but I'm tempted to play Manning this week due to Jacbos being banged up and the Cowboys no longer have Pacman. Still, I think Wallace could have a great game. ugh.

by ErrantNight :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 6:39pm

Yeah I talked myself out of Eli and into Hill for this week since virtually every fantasy list maker places Hill higher... and then was leaning back towards Eli given my independent review of the situation... and then noticed Wallace was available and his sweet match-up. And I have no idea. It would be great if at least Hasselbeck would start to leave me with a coin flip.

by Ivarsson.se :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 5:50pm

Horrible, horrible decision here. I have a rather strong RB corps from which I must choose 2:
Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward (Jacobs if healthy, otherwise Ward), Brian Westbrook, Pierre Thomas and Kevin Smith.

The question is if I should go with P.Thomas tonight and B.Westbrook sunday, or wait for the decision and play Westbrook with one of the NYG backs...

by ErrantNight :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 5:54pm

I'd lean Kevin Smith, strangely... just don't know what will happen w/ NY, and Pierre worries me tonight.... unless he gets a goal line carry or two for a score I don't see him doing a lot. Just me.

by Red Hedgehog (not verified) :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 8:32pm

I like Ward and Westbrook. It's looking like Jacobs won't start so Ward should get the bulk of the Giants' carries. And I feel like the Lions will be passing a lot to catch up and Thomas won't run well against the Bears.

by bman (not verified) :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 6:28pm

Should I start Orton tonight or Romo on Sunday Night? I'm thinking Romo will have something to prove..

by Red Hedgehog (not verified) :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 8:33pm

I've gotten where I am this year by playing the matchups. I think Orton is the choice.

by displaced_saints_fan :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 6:43pm

I need help. I'd wait to see about Jacobs, but there's a @#^@# Thursday night game.

Pick Two:
B Jacobs, P Thomas, S Morris, D Rhodes

Pick One:
M Colston or R Moss

by Red Hedgehog (not verified) :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 8:34pm

It's looking like Jacbos won't play. Morris and Rhodes.

by Red Hedgehog (not verified) :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 8:35pm

Also, Colston over Moss. I think Asomugha keeps Moss off the socreboard and Chicago's pass defense isn't all that.

by displaced_saints_fan :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 4:10pm

I ended up going with Rhodes and Morris and Colston. It is unlikely that Morris will turn out to be a better play than Thomas, but "them's the breaks". I also have Ward, for what its worth.

by compucrazy :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 7:35pm

Ok it's the semi-finals and my team is stuck with the classic debate. Is it better to start hot players with bad matchups or cold players with favorable matchups?

In this case I have Santana Moss and Reggie Wayne against Cincinatti and Detroit respectively, but I also have Andre Johnson vs. Tennessee and Roddy White vs. Tampa Bay. I have to sit two of them. Who do I start?

by Red Hedgehog (not verified) :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 8:38pm

I don't think you can bench Wayne. He hasn't been hot lately, but he's a good player against a bad defense. The rest are tough. I don't really trust Washington's offense, so I'd probably go with White.

by compucrazy :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 7:37pm

Forgot to mention it's a PPR league if that matters. Any help would be be greatly appreciated, I've been agonizing all day long.

by compucrazy :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 7:36pm


by ar (not verified) :: Thu, 12/11/2008 - 7:45pm

Still struggling with Wayne. He's having a serious touchdown drought and has been slowly killing me in the playoffs. He's also facing Detroit and the potential that Indy halts the pass attack after jumping out to a big lead is scary.

I also have Boldin who (from a DVOA standpoint)is facing a tougher than expected week.

Here's my question: Pick 2 in a PPR- Boldin, Wayne, Bowe

by drobviousso :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 12:33am

Not that anyone should be playing Parker, but Willie Parker (Steelers, minus-22 percent) and Mewelde Moore (Steelers, minus-24 percent): Parker gets the slightest of bumps because we think he'll be in if the Steelers run the ball inside the 5.

Gary Russel (sp?) is the short yardage back for the Steelers. If they run it from within the 5, it'll probably be with him.

by Chris UK (not verified) :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 4:10am

Ive got:
Chris Johnson @ Houston
DeAngelo Williams vs Denver
Michael Turner vs Tampa Bay

Any ideas on which two to start?

by BucNasty :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 9:29am

I'd go with Johnson and Williams. Houston has the worst run defense DVOA in the league, and the Broncos aren't much better. There's a chance that Monday night exposed a real weakness in the Bucs' defense that the Falcons will be able to exploit, and both starting defensive tackles have missed practice time this week, but I think Williams and Johnson are sure things. Monday night was only the second time that Tampa Bay surrendered either 100 yards or a touchdown all year, do you really want to bank that hard on it happening again? It's not like Johnson and Williams are scrubs.

In other news, Pierre Thomas is sitting on my bench. MJD and Westbrook better have phenomenal games.

by MCS :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 9:37am

I normally don't do this, but it is playoff time. Please help me pick two of these four. Standard scoring.

LdT @ KC
Westbrook v. Cleveland
DeAngelo Williams v. Denver
Chris Johnson @ Houston

I am leaning towards CJ and Westbrook, but DeAngelo Williams has a much better match-up than Westbrook does. Also, for some reason the league site is not projecting Johnson to do all that well against Houston. Not sure why.

I just don't trust LdT this season. Not when I have other options.


by Hoover (not verified) :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 3:17pm

Wow...how on earth do you have these options?

I think I'd go with Williams and Westbrook.

by MCS :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 3:37pm

I got Westbrook and LdT when they were injured. I drafted Johnson late and Williams early.

by cjfarls :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 5:35pm

I'd go Johnson and Westbrook (in fact, in one league I actually am).

Williams has big potential, but Denver likes to really stack the box... especially with Champ Bailey potentially back, that seems a likely way vs. CAR. Denver still can't tackle, but they've looked at least semi-competant recently. With another great option in Johnson, I wouldn't take the risk.

by JSA (not verified) :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 11:46am

Assuming Addai isn't Out, should I start:
Maurice Morris (vs. STL)

I'm leaning towards Morris if the IND RB situation isn't clear, because though he's not so good and his team's not so good he'll be getting most or all carries against a bad run D. I prefer that to the uncertainty of Addai and Rhodes splitting time. If Addai is out I'd start Rhodes.

by MCS :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 12:04pm

I'd go with Morris for the exact reasons you mentioned.

by Drunkmonkey :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 2:50pm

Reports are starting to surface that Indy is going to sit Addai so they don't have to risk his health. Makes sense, they don't need him for this game, and they will need him come playoff time. Sucks for me though, I need him now. I'd start Rhodes, as it seems like the only other healthy running back on the roster is going to be Davenport.

by Jayman (not verified) :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 2:05pm

Who to start... I can play 2 rb and 2wr and a flex and a defense. Here's the roster... Thoughts..Jets, Carolina, Denver or Minnesota. Gore, Addai, Rhodes, LT... WR's R. White, Coles, Branch, Wayne, Harrison, adn Hixon... This is a must win!

by cjfarls :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 5:30pm

D - Jets



flex - White, Gore or Harrison... Murphys Law says whoever you pick will be wrong.

by Drunkmonkey :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 2:49pm

OK, so I can't believe that Addai is out, cause my other matchups are crap:

Slaton vs. Tenn
Turner vs. TB
Stewart vs. DEN
Kevin Smith vs. IND

Now I know Stewart is facing a terrible run defense, but I watch the Panthers and you never know when they are going to let Stewart loose. There are some games where they barely use him and some games where he's out there almost every snap.
I generally don't trust the Detroit offense whenever possible, but it seems like this is my only option. I'm basically leaning towards Stewart and Smith.

Is that really the best option?

by cjfarls :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 5:20pm

Yeah, I'd go Stewart for sure (Denver's D is bad... but they do stack the box). Turner if Haye is out again? Don't trust Smith, because DET will be behind early and big...

by Hoover (not verified) :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 3:12pm

WR: Berrian or Gonzalez?
RB: Slaton, Rhodes, or Cadillac?


by Red Hedgehog (not verified) :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 7:55pm

RB is obviously Rhodes since it looks like Addai won't play.

WR is a tough call. If Frerotte were still in, I'd say Berrian. Without him, I lean to Gonzalez but I think an argument can be made either way.

by cjfarls :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 5:24pm

Okay need to start 2 WR's of the following:

R. Moss @ Oakland (beware Nmandi)
A Bryant @ ATL
Cotchery v. BUF
Driver @ JAX
T. Ginn v. SF (plus slight bonus of 1pnt/25 return yards)

Leaning to Driver & Bryant, but am open to suggestions.

by cjfarls :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 5:43pm

Oh, and one more question:
Z. Miller v. NE or
Witten (and his gimpy ankle) v. NYG

The big problem there is Witten plays the late game, so I won't know on his status until far after Miller plays at 1pm... can I afford to bench Miller on the hope that Witten plays?

by Red Hedgehog (not verified) :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 7:59pm

I like Bryant and Cotchery for your WRs. Bryant for sure and I think Cotchery has more chance to do well than Driver.

For your tight end, you want to play Witten if you can. As of now, it looks like he's playing.

by N.P. (not verified) :: Fri, 12/12/2008 - 9:42pm

Need some thoughts on 2 PPR league decisions...

1st league...
Romo or Rivers?
Bess or DeSean Jackson?
Zack Miller or John Carlson?

2nd league
Pick 1: L. McClain, L. White, K. Curtis, D. Mason,
B. Edwards, or D. Hixon? (I should've started P. Thomas!)

Thanks for the input...

by Briguy :: Sat, 12/13/2008 - 3:58pm

I had my team set until I read that Fred Taylor is out and MJD is carrying a full load. Now I have to choose 2 out of:

Chris Johnson @ Houston
Brian Westbrook vs. Cleveland
MJD vs. GB

.5 PPR. Any thoughts?

by BucNasty :: Sun, 12/14/2008 - 8:45am

Last-minute Med Check


Johnson's looking like a really good play:


LenDale White RB TEN: White's knee doesn't seem enough to keep him out, but you really can't tell with the Titans. White's been a healthy scratch, so they can play without him, especially with the division title and home field locked up.

by hector :: Sun, 12/14/2008 - 10:28pm

LenDale White RB TEN: White's knee doesn't seem enough to keep him out, but you really can't tell with the Titans. White's been a healthy scratch, so they can play without him, especially with the division title and home field locked up.

The Titans definitely *haven't* locked up the AFC's No. 1 seed yet.