My Fantasy Football Teams: Part 2

One of my other fantasy football teams is in the playoffs this week.  As a brief background, the league is a PPR, keeper league and consists of 12 teams.  6 of those squads make the playoffs.  Teams receive 6 points for any touchdown (including quarterback passes), 1 point for every 50 passing yards, 20 yards rushing, 25 yards receiving, sack, and reception.  Players lose 2 points for each fumble/interception and defenses gain 2 points for these stats as well as for safeties.  1 bonus point is awarded when a passer reaches 200, 300, 400, and 500 yards and when receivers/running backs reach 100, 150, 200, 250, and 300 yards.  Rosters consist of 16 players--three of these people can be kept to the next year (no fees or anything assessed to keepers).  Teams start 1 QB, 2 RB's, 3 WR/TE's, 1 K, and 1 Def.  The best scores usually range from 90-over 100, though only 1 or 2 teams (and sometimes 0) score over 100 in any given week.

My match-up is as follows:

My Team                                                       Competitor’s Team

QB: Matthew Stafford                                      QB: Tom Brady
Michael Bush                                             RB: Arian Foster
RB: Brandon Saine                                            RB: Dexter McCluster
WR/TE: Brandon Lloyd                                    WR/TE: Mike Wallace
WR/TE: Antonio Brown                                   WR/TE: Jordy Nelson
WR/TE: Jason Witten                                       WR/TE: Stevie Johnson
K: Mason Crosby                                              K: Robbie Gould
Def.: N.Y. Jets                                                  DEF: Detroit Lions

On paper, my competitor has a pretty significant advantage over me.  Arian Foster could outscore both of my running backs combined.  Tom Brady is a slightly better fantasy quarterback than Matt Stafford.  His three wide-outs are slightly better than mine.  Usually, I would put the odds on the Jets outscoring the Lions (given the match-ups for each defense); however, the Lions have the edge if both Ponder and Peterson do not play (and it is highly likely that both player sit this one out).

My competitor does not really have any choices to make before Sunday's start; those are his best players by far.  I had to decide among three quarterbacks--Matt Stafford, Ben Roethlisberger, and Alex Smith.  I chose Stafford over the other two because a) he plays in a pass first offense and has a great first wide-out and a decent (though inconsistent) second wide-out and b) he had the best match-up (even better than Alex Smith's in my opinion).  I did worry that Detroit's lack of a running game would hurt their passing; however, I decided to roll the dice with Stafford.  Perhaps that decision will come back to haunt me given that Ben scored 16 points on my bench on Thursday.

I don't have a lot of good options at running back this week.  I'm starting Bush because he at least has a chance of getting some fantasy points against Green Bay's defense.  For my second running back, I would usually start Beanie Wells (on my bench); however, Wells has not been catching passes of late and won't likely score many points via the ground game.  If he scores a touchdown, I might regret benching him.  It then had to choose between Maurice Morris and Brandon Saine.  Morris is a known quantity--he will likely catch  3-5 passes for 40-70 yards and run for another 40 yards, which will yield me 6-9 points.  He might score a touchdown; however I doubt it.  My other choice (and the one I went with) is Brandon Saine.  He should get about half the RB touches this week since Stark is out.  He is a high risk/high reward player in my opinion.  Starting Saine represents a huge gamble on my part; however, I feel that it is necessary to take the risk, as I need to do something to "even the odds" in a match I am projected to lose by 20+ points.

I started the wide receiving core you see above and benched Brent Celek and Laurent Robinson.  I originally had Celek in for Brandon Lloyd; however, I changed that decision a few hours ago when I read that Bradford has a better than 50% chance to start.  Again, Brandon is a risky start given the St. Louis QB situation and Seattle's recent defensive dominance; however, I think Brandon has a chance to score more points than Celek.  Refer to Part 1 of my fantasy football post to see why I am benching Laurent Robinson.

The rest of my line-up was a "no brainer."  I only have one kicker on my team and only one other defense, Tennessee.  I think that the Jets have a much better match-up this week.

While my odds of winning this game are not very good, I did catch a break on Thursday when the Mike Wallace touchdown was overturned on review and Antonio Brown scored his long touchdown.  I'm currently ahead 17-9 and at least feel I have a chance to win.  We'll see what happens...

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