Going for Broke: Sure things and daring moves to win Week 15 in fantasy football

Well, it’s probably round 2 of the playoffs for most of you. Some of you may already be drowning your sorrows in a bottle of fine liquor–or a jar of Papa’s moonshine.

For the sober ones, it’s beyond time to start plotting next week. What studs does your opponent have? Who will have a big week to save you? If you have studs in a big match up, you are set–and we all hate you. If you are lacking in a few key areas, you may need to take some risks to put down the Tom Brady or Randy Moss owner in your future.

First, some pretty obvious things. Several studs are lined up to have big games and should stay on your starting roster.

STUDS THIS WEEK

  • Joseph Addai   against OAK
    He’s my pick of the week to have a big game against the worst run defense in the NFL. Just look at what Ryan Grant did to them last week.
  • Willis McGahee against MIA
    Even though he struggled last week, he couldn’t ask for a more powerful bounce back match up. Miami allowed 2 100-yard rushers in a single game last week against Buffalo, so what if McGahee just makes it 200+?
  • Kurt Warner against NO
    Kurt Warner likes to pretend he’s a pitcher and throw the ball for the entire game. It just so happens that he gets the Saints defense this week. They like to act like a horrible baseball outfield and just watch the balls sail over their head.
  • Drew Brees against ARI
    With the above message in mind, Brees is going to have to keep up if Warner really turns it on this week. While he’s not as much of a lock as Warner, he will definitely be putting it up big this week.
  • Earnest Graham against ATL
    The Hawks are broken and feeling a little bit rejected this week with Petrino leaving them. I don’t think they will even be able to sleep without a light on with all those feelings of abandonment, and the league took away all their dogs. Graham is a solid runner, and he will put the hurt on them this week.
  • Carson Palmer against SF
    It’s San Francisco, people.
  • Jamal Lewis against BUF
    While Buffalo was getting those 200+ yards rushing, Miami’s Samkon Gado was getting 2 TDs against the Buffalo defense. Expect Jamal Lewis to be able to do some damage after the bruising performance he showed this week.

What? Did I not mention any Patriots? No LT?   Don’t worry. If you have a stud rated at the top and performing hot all season, you should feel safe starting them, and I don’t think you need my advice.

For those of you that need a little daring this week, he is your chance-y plays of the week. They could be big enough to get you over a hump, or they could be snubbed and snub your championship hopes. Say a little prayer for each of them, and only play them if you have a huge deficit to overcome with your week 15 opponent or no other options.

DARING PLAYS THIS WEEK

  •  Lee Evans against CLE
    Buffalo wants to win and lock in a playoff appearance. Now that Trent Edwards has met Lee Evans, they might hook up again with the Browns being one of the worst receiving defenses (30/32). He will either get his due TDs or he will get nothing, and the Bills will lose.
  • Bernard Berrian against MIN
    You can’t run on Minnesota–unless you are Ryan Grant. Berrian will be a key performer if the Bears win this week. The only risk is whether Kyle Orton can come off the bench at QB to make him a star. Better hope his star shines bright, but Berrian could put up a TD and plenty of yardage if he has a good day.
  • Trent Edwards against CLE
    Much like Lee Evans, he is hit or miss. He will either be on and winning the game with his arm, or he will let us all down.
  • Darius Walker against DEN
    Denver’s defense is unpredictable, but as the lead in the RBBC that is now going to operate for the Texans, Walker has the best chance of making them look bad again if he can get the running game going in this one. He could save you or just put up enough numbers to be average and let you lose.
  • Derrick Mason/Mark Clayton against MIA
    With so many passes going out last week over Miami defender’s heads, you would expect one of these guys to have a big game with at least one TD. My money would be on Mark Clayton, but it all depends on whether the Ravens find TOO much success running the football and just stick with Willis McGahee.
  • Jabar Gaffney against NYJ
    Gaffney is consistently getting looks in the zone. Considering the bad blood between these two teams, the Patriots wide receivers could all get big days, and Gaffney could receive a hefty load of that–more so than the likes of Stallworth.
  • Jerheme Urban against NO
    Urban could benefit from a lot of Warner passing this week especially if Boldin sits this one out. Keep your eye on the injury report, but keep in mind that Bryant Johnson could also take some catches. It’s a gamble who takes any TDs from Larry Fitzgerald in this one.
  • Sidney Rice against CHI
    Rice has the ability to take it to the house with every catch. If Tavaris continues to develop, he could get at least one TD in this one against the Bears. He’s probably the most risky play at receiver, but he could pay off in a pinch. It’s possible.

If you still have questions or you just find yourself feeling lonely and vulnerable after absorbing all that, feel free to comment and have the fantasy football genie answer all your questions. Just give me a heads up. It takes awhile to rub this lamp.

Playoff Prep: Top Fantasy RBs for the 2007 Playoffs

Smitty of Fantasy Football Xtreme has put together a list of the top 10 fantasy running backs to have for the playoffs. Consider yourself lucky if you have any of the fools listed, and cry if your first round opponent has more than one of the top 10. Just cry.

While I agree with most of the list, I do have some slight adjustments. Smitty’s list is:

  1. Adrian Peterson (MIN)
  2. LaDainian Tomlinson
  3. Brian Westbrook
  4. Steven Jackson
  5. Joseph Addai
  6. Frank Gore
  7. Willie Parker
  8. Ryan Grant
  9. Reggie Bush
  10. Marion Barber

I agree completely with most of the list and rankings, but I do think that Addai and Ryan Grant deserve to be bumped a little higher. Addai has been consistent thus far and has a match up against Oakland in Week 15 that blows away the downside of his match up against the Ravens in week 14. I would trust him more than I would trust Steven Jackson for my playoff run

Ryan Grant has shown he is a back that can break down even tough defenses with the Green Bay offense, and he plays Oakland first round, St. Louis second round, and Chicago on the week you are probably in your championship game (Week 16). He could very well put up some disgusting numbers for your team, and I might rank him about Willie Parker and Frank Gore for just that reason. His match ups are just better.

At 10, Smitty points out that Ernest Graham, Larry Johnson and Travis Henry could all be a factor around the end of this list depending upon their health and suspension status. I would add to that list Willis McGahee–hopefully you didn’t sit him tonight, if so, I hope you’re not watching him break through the Patriots linebackers. McGahee plays the Colts, Miami and Seattle during your playoffs. I guess that technically makes the list like a top 15 instead of a top 10. But hey, maybe it includes one of your RB and gives you that much more of a reason to go on living, so sue me.

Optimizing your fantasy team to dominate the playoffs

Making a run for the playoffs? If you have already locked up your place, it’s time to start thinking about who you can acquire to blow up in those crucial three weeks. Don’t go doing anything drastic like dropping your studs or trading away top performers for a slew of average Joes, but if you can pick any of these guys off the waiver wire or find some “equal value” trades without letting on your motive, go for getting guys with good schedules.

The top teams to target are the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans according to the stats and analysis of CBSSports.com. Try getting part of the Browns offensive explosion, Carson Palmer and his receivers, Marshawn Lynch or the JP Losman/Lee Evans connection, Favre and his receivers or Ryan Grant or LenDale White as long as he stays healthy.

See CBS Sportsline for more stats and teams to avoid.