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It all comes down to this, at least for the vast majority of fantasy leagues.  With fifteen weeks in the books, fantasy teams suddenly need to start worrying about which teams will bench their star players if the score gets out of hand.  Luckily, no team’s playoff seed is in cement just yet so you should be able to start most of your studs with confidence.

Matchups, however, should still be taken into consideration and it all starts Thursday night when The Falcons travel to Detroit.  The Falcons may not have been the most consistent defense this year, but they’re talented and guard the pass quite well; just ask The Giants.  If Eli Manning can only manage 161 yards against your defense, you’re doing something right.  That could spell trouble for Matthew Stafford and his dwindling staff of receivers.  Calvin Johnson is a must start every single week, but even his value is limited in a game you know he’ll be getting the bulk of the attention.

The Broncos are dangerously close to a first round bye, but it is by no means a guarantee just yet so they’ll be playing 110% at home against Cleveland.  That’s bad news for Josh Gordon and Greg Little owners.  Although neither has been consistently reliable this season anyway, I would leave both on my bench this week.

Also, if last week’s performance wasn’t enough of an indication, Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Roberts have lost the vast majority of their fantasy value; especially playing The Bears this week.  Sure, they’re both exceptionally talented, but do you really want to trust the remainder of your fantasy season to The Cardinals’ carousel of B-list QBs?

On the plus side, although The Buccaneers might tell you differently, The Saints are still one of the worst pass defenses in the league and that’s great for Tony Romo, Miles Ausin, Dez Bryant, and Jason Witten.  Keep an eye on Bryant’s fractured finger, but it should be all systems go for the Dallas offense and their fantasy owners.

The Raiders are also still a terrible defense despite what The Chiefs might tell you which should keep the good times rolling in Carolina.  Cam Newton has been one of the hottest fantasy players in the league these past few weeks and if he continues to target Steve Smith, the duo may finally redeem themselves in the eyes of fantasy owners who drafted them a tad too high for their production this season.

Finally, with Danny Amendola back in action, The Rams should be able to do plenty of offensive damage again against a Bucs defense that was crushed by The Saints this past week.  Sam Bradford and Brandon Gibson are both solid plays along with Amendola.

Good luck to everyone in their championship games this week!

From Around The Web

  1. Greg says:
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    Championship game. Going against Brady vs. Jags so I need all the points I can get. I have Matty Ryan and Tony Romo. Both have great match-ups but do I run with the man that got me to the finals (Ryan)? My team:

    Ryan
    AJ Green
    Roddy White
    Dez Bryant
    Jamaal Charles
    Alfred Morris
    Bryce Brown
    Brandon Myers ( Might drop him for Mercedes Lewis)
    Romo
    K Wright
    Dwayne Harris
    LaMichael James

    I am leaning towards Matty Ryan because he got me here but the match-up tells me to start Romo. Gotta love the finals!!!!

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Greg: No wonder you’re in the championship game, nice team. Although Romo’s matchup is an attractive one, Ryan got you this far. Whenever people ask me for advice in the championship game, I say this to them:

      “Who would you be more upset about NOT playing if they did really well?”

      In this case, I think the answer is almost certainly Matt Ryan. Ryan has more TDs and fewer INTs on the year with almost identical yardage between them. If you started Romo over Ryan, you’d be kicking yourself all the way into next season, but if you started Ryan and Romo manages to out-perform him, at least you know you went with the player who had performed better up until that point in the season.

      Ryan has the potential to be benched in the 4th quarter of this game, but if that happens, it’ll be because they’re already up by a few scores and he’s done his job.

      • Greg says:
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        @Loudon:

        Thanks for the response! Yeah, I gotta go with Matty. I would lose it if I didn’t. Thanks again. #Gowithwhogotyouthere

  2. T-Bone says:
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    The Falcons may travel to Detroit on thursday, but the game doesn’t happen til saturday.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @T-Bone: Force of habit. Right you are.

  3. Kevin says:
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    Who do I play in my FLEX position this week? PPR league w/0.5pts per reception.

    Cecil Shorts
    Danny Amendola
    Alfred Morris

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Kevin: Even in a .5 PPR league, I think Morris is the safest of those options.

  4. Tyler says:
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    Im in the finals! i need one final batch of brilliance. im a PPR
    WR: Julio jones, miles austin, mike wallace, cecil shorts, anquan boldin, and josh gordon
    RB: darren mcfadden, moreno and bryce brown
    Flex: i only have one spot for a WR/RB
    TE: jason witten and Aaoron hernandez

    Thanks for the help this year!!

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Tyler: I think Julio Jones is a must start with Shorts, Wallace, and Austin all close together for the 2nd best this week. I’d rank them in that order if I had to though.

      I would start both Moreno and McFadden over Brown this week. Brown has a ton of potential, but he’s too turnover prone to rely heavily on.

      For TEs, I would start Hernandez over Witten this week, but they’re both top 5 options.

      Depending on how many people you can start at WR and RB, I would rank all 4 of the WRs I mentioned over Brown, but only Julio over Moreno and McFadden.

      Good luck!

  5. Mike says:
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    Championship game with JC and Spiller. But I’m thinking of benching JC for R. Bush given JC carries total and just the ineptness of the offence against a Colts D that will stack the box. Thoughts?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Mike: I personally would still take my chances with Charles over Bush. They’re both decent options, but Charles has a lot more upside.

  6. Adam Gomez says:
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    I can`t decide on which defense to use for championship game. Cowboys vs Saints or 49ers vs Seattle…..I have Dallas and 49ers. On a side note I`m starting Drew Brees . NEED HELP !!`

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Adam Gomez: 49ers. A, you’re starting Drew Brees. B, the 49ers have a better defense anyway. C, The Saints’ offense is better than Seattle’s despite what the last two weeks might tell you.

  7. Danny says:
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    I am in a ppr league and I’m trying to figure a few things out. First of all do you think I should play cecil shorts or mcfadden this week? Next do you think aj green is worth playing this week or should I go with dez Bryant? I’m already starting Julio jones.

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