Remember the crappy bikes (you didn’t realize they were crappy at the time) you had when you were in elementary school? I’m talking about the type where you’d brake by moving the pedals backward.

Then, one day, it happened. You got a REAL bike; the kind that changed gears, had hand brakes and, wait for it….. pegs! At that moment you realized that you had enjoyed riding crappy bikes your entire life and it was a hoax, made even more pathetic by your inability to realize what you were missing.

Every time I get new computer I feel this way. You feel like you’re from the future. You pity all of the mere plebes out there, floundering around with their inferior technology. If you’re a Mac person like Doc I guess you feel this way all the time, even when your computer is three years old.

I’m reporting to you from the “Death Star” which, based on my limited knowledge of Star Wars, was pretty f-ing sweet. Doc informed me that at some point it gets blown up, to which I replied “yeah, well, it is a PC after all.”

What is the point of all this? I want to give a shout out to HP for creating this amazing machine, the dv6t quad edition. Let me say right now that the Intel i7 chip (new line of quad core processors) is the real deal. The reviews have been positive but they don’t even do this thing justice.  Hey Microsoft, I’m tired of all the commercials where everyone takes credit for “thinking up” Windows 7. Where’s the guy that was the brainchild behind Vista? Whose idea was that?

OK so that is my random computer rant. Back to football! For many of you this is the semi-final round of your playoffs. Every week that you’re alive in the playoffs is the most important week of the season. Therefore I am officially declaring this the most important week of the season.

Since this is the most important week of the season let’s talk about the decision making process and how we go about filling out our lineups. Personally I believe that players ought to be prioritized as follows: 1)  projected opportunity in TODAY’S game 2) matchup  3) talent  4) assuming a player is active you can give some consideration to the fact that he’s battling injury. We find that often, however, coaches exaggerate the extent of injuries and player are just as productive during such weeks.

This is pretty much how I make all my decisions about who to start on a weekly basis. What you really need to pay attention to most is #1; notice the words I used to describe opportunity (projected, in today’s game). What a player has done in the past doesn’t matter. What a player will probably do in the future doesn’t matter. We want to know how much opportunity he’s getting TODAY in THIS game.

If you think about it that’s what we’re paying for with high draft picks, more so than talent in many cases. We need to choose our lineups each week according to the same principal. I’ll take an unproven running back who is likely to get all the touches over a known quantity (like Ahmad Bradshaw) who’s not the feature guy and will only get 12-15 touches.

So for this all important week scrutinize your lineup and use your best estimate of anticipated touches. You can occasionally get burned this way but over the course of time you’ll benefit from this strategy. As always post your start/sit quandaries in the “Comments” section and we’ll advise you the best we can given the information available at the time.

Larry FitzgeraldHe is going to play. Stop freaking out. There will be fantasy owners who out think themselves and find some twisted logic to sit Fitz. These people are all lesser human beings and I hope that none of our readers consider doing such a thing.

Steven Jackson – Swine flu is in full effect in St. Louis. Jackson has been battling back injuries for several weeks; now he’s been missing practice with flu-like symptoms. There are grumblings out there that he could miss tomorrow’s game which would be a huge blow to fantasy owners. You’re going to have to watch and wait all the way until game time and be prepared to throw someone else in your lineup if necessary.

Calvin Johnson – Slated right now as a game time decision but I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t play. Unfortunately Culpepper is going to start and he’s total garbage. The reality is Megatron’s upside is simply too high to sit him. This isn’t the matchup/situation you were hoping for when you drafted him but benching him could cost you.

Dwayne Bowe – Is going to make you feel like a moron or a genius. The matchup against Cleveland is too good to pass up unless your team is absolutely stacked. Otherwise you’re going to have to use the “play and pray” method.

Fred Taylor – Will not play. This is good news for Laurence Maroney. Sammy Morris owners you’re going to have to wait and stash; this is not the week to get cute with your lineup

Brian Westbrook – Unless your playoffs go until week 17 you can pretty much write him off as irrelevant. He will not play today and is not expected to play next week either. Assuming he gets signed (considering his age and talent that shouldn’t be an issue) I wonder if he could be a comeback type player or if this is the beginning of the end for a great player.

Arian FosterWe have seen him in a lot of start/sit questions and expect that a lot of you will be debating playing him up until game time. He might have to share the ball a little bit but Kubiak’s been consistent all week in saying that it’s his job.  You’re also looking at a matchup against the Rams.

Justin ForsettThis is a tricky situation. Mora is suggesting that he will split touches evenly with Julius Jones. Forsett is also expected to get the goal line opportunities when it’s his “series”. In non PPR I would stay away from him unless you’re really stuck. In PPR it’s a tougher decision (one which I’m battling with personally in several leagues). He is a definite flex option depending on your roster.

Roddy White – Even if he’s healthy you shouldn’t play him.

Cleveland Browns Running Backs – Avoid all of them no matter what. That includes Josh Cribbs unless you’re in a return yard league in which case he should be your MVP this season. It will probably be difficult to play any of them should you make it to the finals. But honestly if you were counting on Cleveland Browns running backs to take you to the Promised Land odds are you didn’t make the playoffs to begin with let alone make a run at the title.

Correll Buckhalter – Will almost certainly be out for today’s game. At this point I feel like it’s safe to drop him in favor of a different backup running back.

Sidney Rice – Questionable for today’s game. He’s been battling the flu so it’s difficult to say that he’ll play for sure or to what extent he’ll be effective. I know he’s been a stud all season but if you have other quality options I would roll with them; the Vikings play Sunday night so you won’t be able to slide anyone else in unless you own Harvin or Berrian.

Michael Turner – Might not play. Even if he is active don’t even think about starting him.

  1. Dam says:
    (link)

    Congrats on your new laptop! Young or Cassel? R Moss or VJax? HOU or GB?

  2. G says:
    (link)

    Which 2 do you like in a 10 team PPR? Mason, Moss, White, Housh or Bowe?

  3. Steve says:
    (link)

    Get a Mac!

    Forsett, Julius or Snelling for the flex? Non-PPR.

  4. Mike says:
    (link)

    Any thoughts out there on playing LDT over Antonio Bryant @ Flex in a PPR this week? I am on the fence…thanks for all the good info Razzball!

  5. tony says:
    (link)

    need one qb… farve or jason campbell
    need 2 rb…sjax, fjax, forsett or hightower.
    thanks

  6. jiggawatt says:
    (link)

    Flex play, non ppr?

    Foster, McGahee, Berrian

    Have Foster in currently.

    Also, if Cards win and SF loses, AZ clinches. Should I worry about Warner not playing next wk and pick up Campbell (Dallas), Henne (Houston), Freeman (@ NO), or Leinart as a backup in the event…

    Thanks in advance.

  7. Drew

    Drew says:
    (link)

    @Dam: Cassell, Moss, Houston

    @G: Moss, Bowe

    @Steve: You Mac people are all the same! haha. I think you’ve got to go with Forsett since he’s getting the goal line carries.

  8. Royo says:
    (link)

    Driver over Megatron? Charles over Gore?

  9. Cos says:
    (link)

    Staring at Flacco, Palmer, and Campbell; Had a chat with Doc yesterday in another post and he recommended Campbell because of upside TODAY. I wish I had a 3-sided coin to flip at this point… please make this decision for me and tell me it’s going to be ok…?!

    Also, Houshmandzadeh or Cribbs, non-ppr. I say Cribbs… can’t believe some of the decisions this is coming down to for me this year!

    Finally, Booooo, Saints. Booooo.

  10. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    @Dam: Young, Moss, Houston

    @Royo: Megatron if he goes and Gore

  11. brannon says:
    (link)

    We give 1 point per 25 return yds. Other than that standard scoring.

    Cribbs, Mendenhall, or Arian Foster?

    I’m liking Mendenhall less and less as the week goes on. Any thoughts?

  12. jiggawatt says:
    (link)

    Drew… Doc… Bueller…

    Bueller…

    Bueller…

  13. Drew

    Drew says:
    (link)

    FYI Steven Jackson’s Yahoo projections are waaay down in Yahoo. I haven’t seen any news confirming that he’ll be out but if you own him I’d pay attention to the injury updates.

  14. Joe B says:
    (link)

    Greg Jennings or Matt Forte in my FLEX and Greg Olsen or Kevin Boss at TE in a non-PPR league???

  15. Drew

    Drew says:
    (link)

    Michael Turner will play today but I wouldn’t start him

  16. Drew

    Drew says:
    (link)

    @Joe B: Forte, Boss

  17. hankg says:
    (link)

    Flex start: Forte or Fred Jackson? Thanks

  18. Buck says:
    (link)

    2 flex spots non ppr: S. Smith (Car), Driver, Antonio Bryant, Forsett

  19. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    Sidney Rice says he’s good to go

  20. Joe B says:
    (link)

    Got two spots for these three in a 1/2 PPR… Derrick Mason, Dwayne Bowe, and Arian Foster. Which duo will bring me glory???

  21. BP says:
    (link)

    Standard scoring, but we also have 1 point per 25 return yards.

    Cribbs, Arian Foster, or Mendenhall?

    I’m leaning towards Foster, but am a little scared of how Kubiak will divide the workload.. I feel like Cribbs may actually be the safer play here? Am I over thinking?

  22. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    Percy Harvin is a go

  23. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    Steven Jackson will go

  24. Drew

    Drew says:
    (link)

    @Joe B: Bowe, Foster

    @BP: I like Cribbs b/c you get the guaranteed return yards w/ the upside of “standard” production. I own him in a return yard league and am starting him today in the semifinals.

  25. tourinct says:
    (link)

    Big money league semifinals, still undefeated. .5 ppr, extra for long scores.
    Foster or Wells?
    2 of Deshaun, Magatron and Crabtree?
    Celek or Findley?

    Thanks

  26. Scott says:
    (link)

    Rivers or Favre? Arian Foster or Beanie Wells? Cotchery, Ward, or Bowe?

  27. thetruth says:
    (link)

    @ Drew

    McGahee or Foster as a flex

  28. Drew

    Drew says:
    (link)

    @tourinct: Foster, Deshaun (Jackson I’m assuming) and Johnson, Celek

  29. nick m. says:
    (link)

    SJax still sounds like a risky playing with Null behind center.

    In one PPR league I can sub in Arian Foster for him if necessary, do I still roll with SJax?

    In another PPR, I have Chris Johnson as my number 1, but I need to fill two more spots with SJax, Wells, Ganther, and Arian Foster – which two would you go with here?

  30. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    @nick m.: I still like SJax more than Foster. I’d go SJax/Wells

  31. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    @tourinct: I like Wells and DJax

    Matt Ryan will play today not that it matters

  32. nick m. says:
    (link)

    Do you like Foster more than Brandon Jacobs?

  33. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    @nick m.: Foster is riskier. I’m sticking with Jacobs.

  34. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    Larry Fitzgerald will play

  35. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    Megatron will play

  36. Jim Parkey says:
    (link)

    I’m trying to apply your criteria and need a little help. Should I start Q. Ganther or C. Jennings?

    Thanks.

  37. JumanjiRocks says:
    (link)

    So I shouldn’t start Cribbs over Ryan grant in PPR?

  38. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    @Jim Parkey: I think Ganther has more assured touches. I’d go with him.

  39. Bofum says:
    (link)

    Need a flex play:
    Stephan Jackson
    Percy Harvin
    Willis McGahee
    Josh Cribbs
    Braylon Edwards
    Jason Snelling

  40. Mike says:
    (link)

    Hey, avid reader and need your help.
    Cotchery or Megatron? Mendenhall or Jennings? Vikings or Houston D?
    Thanks!

  41. Matt B says:
    (link)

    which 2 RB in a PPR: LT vs CIN, Benson @ SD, Fred Jackson vs NE, Forsett vs TB

  42. tony says:
    (link)

    still looking for reply to #4
    thanks

  43. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    @Mike: Megatron/Mendy/Vikings

    @Bofum: Jackson

    @Matt B: Benson/LT

  44. Mike says:
    (link)

    i need to start one of these guys: percy harvin, derrick mason, or roddy white?

  45. JumanjiRocks says:
    (link)

    have you heard any new info about Cribbs starting at HB this week? It’s driving me nuts and I want so badly to start him over ryan grant, but i can’t unless I know for sheezey

  46. ahhhh. I love this website even though Doc is a MAC guy! PCs rule!!!

    anyway I’m thinking of playing Devin Thomas over Megatron or Donald Driver? Am I insane? Driver has done nothing of late?

  47. Art Vandelay says:
    (link)

    Pick one for a flex play this week:

    Bowe
    Harvin
    Forsett
    McGahee

    Thanks!

  48. tourinct says:
    (link)

    2 pt ppr, need three from Ricky Williams, Moreno, Charles, Wells or Fred Jackson.

    Thanks

  49. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    @Mike: mason

    @JumanjiRocks: Gotta stick with Grant. Who knows what Cribbs will do.

    @fantasy flukie: Hah! I look more like the PC guy on the commercials! It’s tough. I like Thomas this week, but he is inconsistent. I’d stick with who you have.

    @Art Vandelay: Forsett

    @tourinct: Williams, Moreno, Charles

  50. Cincinnasty says:
    (link)

    Arian Foster, Kenny Britt, or Snelling at my flex

  51. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    @Mike: Sorry I missed it! I like LT. He is too good around the end zone.

  52. Cincinnasty says:
    (link)

    Cassel, Young, or Cambell over Matt Ryan

  53. bubba says:
    (link)

    campbell or farve?

  54. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    @Cincinnasty: I like Campbell

  55. thetruth says:
    (link)

    @ Doc

    Stick with Foster over McGahee at flex though weather could dictate alot of run in Balt?

    Thanks.

  56. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    @thetruth: Yeah, McGahee’s touches are just too hard to gauge

  57. hankg says:
    (link)

    Flex start: Forte or Fred Jackson? Thanks.

  58. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    @hankg: Ooh, tough one! I like FJax with Warren and Wilfork out.

  59. johnnypop says:
    (link)

    Got Forsett, Wells, Turner, and SJax.
    Which 2 to start?
    Also, is Kellen Winslow active?
    Thanks.

  60. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    @johnnypop: Wells/SJax

    He’s in the later game and I haven’t heard. I’d sit him unless you have another TE that goes late.

  61. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    @johnnypop:Adam Schefter reports Bucs think Winslow will play

  62. johnnypop says:
    (link)

    thanks alot doc.

  63. Mike says:
    (link)

    If Harvin is a go as reported, would you give him a go over Megatron?

  64. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    @johnnypop: No problem!

    @Mike: I’d stick with Megatron, but it’s close.

  65. Commish Cauda (formerly Mike) says:
    (link)

    0.5ppr

    McCoy or Willis McGahee?

    Thanks

  66. Fred says:
    (link)

    Kubiak should really re-think his “you fumble you sit policy”. Saying that as dispassionately as possible considering I started Foster. But it keeps happenning with every one of his backs! So what IS he doing to stop the bleeding? ‘um whatever it is it aint good so time for a change if he doesn’t get canned post season.

  67. Cheese

    Cheese says:
    (link)

    Jamaal Charles. No big deal.

  68. Drew

    Drew says:
    (link)

    @Commish Cauda: McCoy

  69. Cheese

    Cheese says:
    (link)

    Cribbs.. wow.. I hope you have him in a return league!

  70. Drew

    Drew says:
    (link)

    @Cheese: I do and I am loving him today.

  71. Fred- I am feeling you. I HATE Kubiak. You win some you lose some.Kubiak’s policy is moronic. ALL HIS BACKS FUMBLE!!! He has to accept to and stop his policy of punishing EVERY back he has!

  72. Drew

    Drew says:
    (link)

    @fantasy flukie: it makes about as much sense as changing quarterbacks after every single interception

  73. Cheese

    Cheese says:
    (link)

    Judging by Harrisons performance today, should I drop Breaston for him? It would be a block move/potential flex start (against Oakland) for championship week (assuming I win today). Good move?

  74. Drew

    Drew says:
    (link)

    @Cheese: Yes. You’re not going to play Breaston

  75. Fred says:
    (link)

    roger that flukie, a little confidence perhaps? They just fumbled a snap, I think he should bench Schaub and the center! I mean, Gary, no one even hit them and they practice that all year! They should both sit….or maybe he should lay it on Gibbs or Shanahan’s kid for not training their players about ball security? But he just keeps whipping the horses all year and they’re not even gonna show this in this race. I didn’t hate him but now questioning his capabilities as a game/player manager on top of the seasonal poor showings. The other day Doc called him a “little” frustrating and I agreed but now Kubiak is makin’ me a hater too!

  76. Drew

    Drew says:
    (link)

    If you had the stones to start Jerome Harrison congratulations!

  77. Cos says:
    (link)

    This Foster nonsense got me thinking; Kubiak has actually made such a big deal of not fumbling that his backs are now actually likely to fumble MORE! What’s the saying? If you will it, it will happen? (If you build it, they will come) The collective conscious starts to think fumble and then sooner or later, it’s fumble time.

    Booo. I’m done in all leagues.

  78. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    @Cos: Yeah, makes absolutely no sense. They almost lost to St. Louis. Does Kubiak think he’s handled his RB situation well?

  79. Asdrubal Bastardo says:
    (link)

    Imagine how the fantasy world would have changed had Mangenious acted like a real NFL coach and named Harrison his feature back. I am sure alot more teams would have gambled on him and reaped loads of points today. I was already eliminated from my playoffs so I could care less, but I am sure alot of owners who flexed the likes of Arian Foster or Justin Fargas would have liked to have Harrison today.

    And when exactly did Mangini earn that nickname btw? Does half a successful season with the Jets call for a nickname incorporating “genius”? His nickname should be Mandingus from now on.

  80. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    @Asdrubal Bastardo: I came so close to recommending him, but Mandingus talks about Cribbs getting RB looks? Huh? I thought Jennings was used in that Steelers game because it was such a grind it out game and wanted a bigger body between the tackles, so I thought they’d go back to Harrison, but Hindsight!

  81. Asdrubal Bastardo says:
    (link)

    @Doc: Mandingus, Kubiak, and Belichick must be the leaders of the “Finding ways to screw over fantasy GMs” club. They meet on Wednesdays, they all wear hoodies with the sleeves cut off, and they listen to Lady Gaga as they discuss which RBs they will tell the media they will start, only to do the complete opposite.

  82. Matt B says:
    (link)

    Doc: Thanks, picking Ravens DST over Seahawks helped saved the day to move on to championship. I didn’t even include Harrison in my RB question earlier but I may have to at least give you the chance to shoot him down next week!

  83. Doc

    Doc says:
    (link)

    @Matt B: Glad it worked out!

Comments are closed.