Battle Royale

In most fantasy football leagues, there are only four weeks left in the season, so we are on the home stretch. If your team is at 2-7 all is pretty much lost, unless you’re in a keeper league, and you still have decisions to make as it pertains to who you’re keeping for the future. And don’t forget, you can still play spoiler this season if you utilize your team the correct way and keep using the waiver wire. If you can’t make the playoffs, it still feels good to beat one of the teams that is going. The worst thing you can do is just to give up, though, and stop setting your lineups, something I see in pretty much every league I play. The teams who don’t have a playoff hope just stop playing, and you get teams starting Sam Bradford and Randall Cobb this week. That is just poor sportsmanship. You started it, you finish it.

I talked about one of my leagues where I’m 7-2 and playoff bound because six teams out of the twelve in the league make the playoffs. Now, the only thing to worry about is what position I’ll be in when the playoffs start. If I can win out then I will definitely get a bye, but with some help from the teams directly below me I could even lose one of these last four games and still get a bye. My plan of course is to win out, but I’m playing the team in second place this week and it should be a fight to the finish. I hope. Here is the matchup…

                      Boom! Shake the Room!            @                                          Suck It!

QB

Andrew Luck (IND)

QB

Peyton Manning (DEN)

RB1

LeSean McCoy (PHI)

RB1

Matt Forte (CHI)

RB2

Bryce Brown (PHI)

RB2

Kendall Hunter (SF)

WR1

Wes Welker (DEN)

WR1

Victor Cruz (NYG)

WR2

DeSean Jackson (PHI)

WR2

Jordy Nelson (GB)

TE

Jordan Reed (WSH)

TE

Jason Witten (DAL)

FLEX

Eric Decker (DEN)

FLEX

Alshon Jeffery (CHI)

K

Dan Carpenter (BUF)

K

Blair Walsh (MIN)

DEF

COLTS

DEF

PACKERS

HC

Chiefs Head Coach

HC

Colts Head Coach

 There are several variables, of course, to this matchup, and the biggest things that could turn the tide are the bye week casualties. For my side they would be Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs coach, while Suck It!’s bye week players include Rob Gronkowski and the Patriots’ coach. First, I’ll say how much of an impact the coaches have in this ESPN league. A win by a coach’s team gives your fantasy team at least 10 points, and a blowout win could net as much as 20, while a loss is a -5. And having the Chiefs coach has been an advantage to me for most of this season. The other coach I have on my bench is the Packers coach, but I don’t feel with a matchup against Philadelphia that he has a win in hand, particularly without Rodgers for the week.

Let’s look at the other players, and you can see a glaring issue at RB2. Usually I win my contests in that league by the combination of McCoy and Charles, and with Charles out this week it leaves a hole. I tried to make a few trades to get a viable alternative, but everyone in the league wanted more than I was willing to give for that replacement. So, I decided to be bold and go with McCoy’s backup. With Foles starting this game (and I feel that he’s the real deal), even in Green Bay, with a team missing its franchise quarterback, as bad as they looked last week against the Bears, there may be lots of opportunity for Brown to make an impact. After all, he did have 54 rushing yards last week.

The biggest issue I have to deal with, though, is Peyton Manning. The man has been a machine for the vast majority of the season, and I’ll need him to tone it down just a little bit in this matchup. Either that or just throw the ball to Welker and Decker, because I can absorb those hits, having both of those players on my team. I feel lucky, though, that Luck is playing against that St. Louis defense this week because he has the ability to, if not hang with Manning, at least stay within 8-10 points of him at the end of the day.

After breaking it all down, I would say that this could easily come down to McCoy vs. Forte, Jackson vs. Nelson, and Reed vs. Witten. I believe I have the advantage in two out of three of those battles, so I have a chance to win this matchup. We’ll see how it goes, but this could very well decide whether or not I get a bye for the playoffs.

FA

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