If you’re reading this column, one of the following things must be true:

A. You have a team in the championship game and are looking for an extra edge.

B. You’re trying to figure out how to play the DeMarco Murray situation.

C. You really love fantasy football.

D. Any combination of the above.

With it being championship week, there aren’t a whole lot of updates that can be made or waiver wire pickups. You should be in a position where your team got through the semifinals okay and you should be able to set your lineup now for the final. Keep in mind we have a Thursday night clunker (TEN vs JAX) and games on Saturday this week too (WSH-PHI; SF-SD), and that will play a little role in how you set things up.

Let’s see what we can figure out for those little extra boosts…


If Cam Newton plays, he could be an interesting pickup. Cleveland’s run defense is shoddy at best and the Browns could be giving Carolina extra chances if Johnny Manziel plays this week like he did last week. You’ll have to monitor his status and be like the Arizona Cardinals –down to your third and fourth quarterback– before making that kind of move now.  Otherwise, you’re going to work with what you have. Even if it was Jay Cutler.

DeMarco Murray has a broken bone in his hand and had surgery yesterday. He is questionable at best to play against a soft Indianapolis rush defense and hasn’t been ruled out. That’s an amazing prospect that he might play this weekend. If he doesn’t, it’s time to get Joseph Randle as the backup. Randle provides more of the between-the-tackles running that backs this time of year need to excel at. Lance Dunbar is more of a pass-catching back so his value is limited in standard leagues and gets a bump up in PPR formats.

Watch the San Francisco running back situation this week. Frank Gore has a concussion and Carlos Hyde is dealing with a back injury. I’m picking up Hyde if Gore gets stuck in the concussion protocol. Colin Kaepernick looks all kinds of awful and the ground game is about the only way the 49ers move the ball. San Diego allows 108 yards per game on the ground so the chance is there. The other players behind them like Alfonso Smith and Bruce Ellington aren’t worth rostering.

Harry Douglas of the Falcons is the player to find here. Douglas went for 10-131-0 with Julio Jones out of the lineup. Atlanta takes on New Orleans in a de facto division title game, and the Saints defense can be thrown on. Douglas makes a nice WR3 this week and could get into a borderline WR2 if Jones is out. You’ll need to monior this through the week.

It’s also worth watching to see how the Colts wide receivers appear on the injury report midweek. T.Y. Hilton is banged up (hamstring) and Reggie Wayne looks like he is out of gas and has underperformed. This comes down to Hakeem Nicks (remember him?) and Donte Moncrief. I wouldn’t make a move until that injury report comes out mid-week and likely not touching it until Friday.

If you’re in the finals, you have a good one. There really isn’t anyone you can get for the final week unless someone surprisingly turns up hurt for tight ends.

With kickers, simply put, check the weather for erratic winds. It’s a little early in the week to do that but kickers are a last-minute thing anyways. You don’t want to chance either Ryan Succop or Josh Scobee this late in the season even if Thursday’s game sets up to be a field goal fest.

For Defense & Special Teams, this could be the clincher for your team and would be an easy spot to make a move. Normally, you take whoever is against the Jags but it’s the Titans. Blake Bortles threw for 336 yards and a touchdown in their last meeting and the Titans won on a last-second field goal block. This game could end 10-7 or it could end 51-44 if these defenses decide not to show up in a battle of 2-12 teams.  The Jaguars DST is speculative at best and can’t be trusted here.

If you have Baltimore from this past week, use them again when they take on a depleted Texans team down to its third quarterback and possibly without Andre Johnson. It should be easy for the Baltimore front to key on Arian Foster to try and shut him down.

Well, that’s it. Very few leagues play Week 17 so this is the final column of the season. Hopefully, we’ve been able to help you out with good ideas and solid advice. It’s worked for me so far since I am in the finals of the Razzball Writers League from the five seed.


  1. Mark says:

    I’m in the finals of a 2 qb league with Aaron Rodgers and my choice of Kaepernick or Flacco. Who should I start? RGIII is on waivers, too and I could try to make a grab.

  2. Clinton says:

    I appreciate your insight! I had a few questions this week. Should I trust Hill this week vs Den? I have Hill, Anderson, Stewart, Herron and Crowell. Anderson is a lock. I just don’t know about Hill against Den. Also, I don’t know what to do this week on WR. I have Sanders, G. Tate, J. Matthews and Moncrief. Who do I go with this week? I really appreciate it!

  3. Blake says:

    I do appreciate your insight as well!

    However – I do have Jay cutler.

    T Bridgewater
    Cam Newton
    and gulp… Mark Sanchez are all available. Cutler has been killing me but I have held on to get into my championship game. Should I switch?

    Also with TE’s – I have Fleener and Rivera

    D allen
    K Rudoplh
    J cook are available – any of those worth the upgrade?

    DEF – think Miami is worth picking up? I have kanasas city who I used against the raiders last week.

    • Spring Blake says:

      @Blake: Maybe I’m reading into this too much, but I love Sanchez against WAS. WAS is terrible and eagles are in must win mode

      • Blake says:

        @Spring Blake:

        I am a bit thin at RB – I have lynch but really nothing after that – I have

        G Bernard
        J Randle
        D Martin

        I can pickup Gerhardt, Asiata, Oliver, P Thomas, T West – I am in a Standard 10 team league

  4. Toby says:

    Is there any way of rationalizing benching McCoy? He’s made such a mockery of my #1 pick that I almost want to do it out of principle. Then there’s the Washington defense and the fact that he seems physically incapable of reaching the end zone. My other options aren’t great (Blount, Andre Williams or waiver bait) but still…

  5. I’ve already taken Randle. I think he will get the majority of the carries. He’s got the talent, anyway. Great article!

  6. Curt says:

    Need to pick one for my flex—L.Murray, K.Britt, C.Shorts or Kyle Rudolph?……..I’m have Buffalo D, should I stay away from Murray or am I thinking too much?

  7. Nimrod says:

    I have to choose between Hill, A.Morris, and Matthews for RB2. What do you think?

  8. dtrtliedowns says:

    Unfortunately no tight end here … Donnell, witten, or Clay?

  9. Scott says:

    Thanks to my leagues’ settings, the waiver wire is shut down Thursday evening through Wednesday morning. So i have to have all my options on the roster. So, better kicker: Shaun Suisham or Connor Barth?

  10. Big W says:

    Hey Andrew,

    I made it to the finals!! Yay for my team! (first time in fantasy football finals)

    I can start 2 of the following three receivers:

    Martavis Bryant @ Miami, Charles Johnson vs. KC and Marquess Wilson vs. Det… who gets left out here in your opinion?

    For flex my options are:

    Latavius Murray vs. Buf, Matt Asiata @ Miami or one of the left out from the above receivers…

    Who gets the flex play in your opinion?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Big W says:

      @Big W: Oh shit, I mean Bryant @ KC, Johnson @ Miami.

  11. artzlab says:

    championship week! first time in a long time. i have forte and both detroit (v chicago) and miami (v min) defenses. he’s got cutler. which defense do i roll given the bears on both our teams? thanks.

    • artzlab says:

      @artzlab: for context, i am about a 9 point dog according to yahoo, non ppr.

  12. Bryce Krispie Treats says:

    Unfortunately, I have to choose between Rudolph, O Daniels, and and Cameron for my Championship TE slot… any input? (besides “all these guys suck, you are probably better off benching all of them”) Thanks!

  13. BraunWeasleys says:

    Who would you start for the championship?

    Lesean Mccoy vs Washington
    Jeremy hill vs Denver

    Its a 1ppr league but both get vultured by bernard and sproles. Both have tough matchups but Hill has gotten more carries and red zone past 2 weeks. Im leaning towards Hill

    • BraunWeasleys says:


      Also Cincy will probably be down and not get as many carries as Philly will be up on washington and running it into the ground

  14. Clinton says:

    Andrew is there anyway you can help me with my week 16 lineup? I would appreciate your advice!

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