C hampionship Week is upon us and the storylines are dropping hotter than Snoop Dogg’s 2004 hit song. We have the two best teams in the NFL facing off to represent the NFC and we have the narrative filled drama that is Manning v Brady in the AFC. The Moneyball options are few and far between so let’s dive straight into the Championship Monday and see if we can find some players to sidestep.
Peyton Manning ($7,300) – It absolutely kills me to put Manning down as an avoid in what could possibly be his final career game. Manning has been the greatest fantasy quarterback of all time (a title that Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck & Cam Newton will ultimately take one day) and has led many to fantasy glory. Manning is not here because “he struggles in the playoffs” — because that narrative is just not correct, he is here because 39 year old Peyton Manning is a shell of his former self and the other options at quarterback (especially in the NFCCG) are better value at $9,500.
One last thing on this game, if Manning and Denver do pull off the upset, many will say “the better quarterback lost” to which I’ll say, “that’s what we’ve been saying for 12 years”
Steven Jackson ($4,700) & Brandon Bolden ($4,700) – This weeks games are a running back nightmare considering you have to play a Quarterback priced at $9,500 and either Rob Gronkowski or Greg Olsen at Tight End but don’t get too cute. James White is the guy in New England last week recording 42 snaps compared with Jackson’s 17 and Bolden’s 4. While we don’t expect a big ground on the game at all from New England, White’s ability as a pass catcher makes him a play in Moneyball formats. If you do want to get cute at running back, we suggest Mike Tolbert at $4,500.
Tedd Ginn Jr ($6,700) – The much maligned receiver has actually been decent in stretches on Moneyball this season including a four week stretch with an average 21.22 fantasy points. His last two games however have been very disappointing only recording 1.1 and 1.4 points respectively. Ginn lines up opposite Patrick Peterson this week, who despite allowing 101 yards to Jeff Janis last week, has been one of the better cover corners all season long. With Peterson covering and Ginn’s frustrating drops we prefer some of his team mates for a cheaper price.
Vernon Davis ($4,500) – While we understand the temptation on slotting Davis, the owner of 7 career postseason touchdowns, into your lineup just don’t do it. Don’t do it. Hate yourself for even considering him. Davis played one, yes just ONE, snap on offense in Denver’s 23 – 16 victory over the Steelers. Teammates Virgil Green (31 snaps) and Owen Daniels (52 snaps) are much better options if you can’t afford Gronkowski or Olsen in your lineups.
Chandler Catanzaro ($5,300) – The scores of kickers is hit and miss every single week but there is no reason why all four don’t perform well this week. But this is an avoid article so we have pick one, so get off our backs Dad, so we are picking Catanzaro purely for his price. He is only $200 cheaper than Gostkowski and more expensive than Gano and McManus both of whom are more reliable when it comes to extra points.
Carolina ($6,800) – Carolina’s defense is filled with stars at every level starting up front with Kawann Short complimented in the middle with Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis and the strawberry on top is infamous Josh Norman. They are however quite weak outside of Norman in the secondary with injuries to Charles Tillman and Bene’ Benwikere. That looms large in a match up against Carson Palmer, Bruce Arians and this passing attack. We aren’t selecting this defense with Palmer attacking Cortland Finnegan and Robert McClain with John Brown, Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd.
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