That’s right everyone, for the majority of us this week is Championship week. It’s been an especially good year for me as I have made the Championship match in 4 of my 6 leagues. If you’re still reading this article, congratulations! However, the season will only be complete with a win this week. Let’s get to my thoughts on guys I like for this week versus guys you might want to consider leaving on your bench.
Eli Manning: While the matchup and last week’s (really a season-long problem) performance might give some owners cause for pause, I think Manning can be relied upon this week. Obviously if you have a top 5-8 option you probably aren’t starting him over your guy. Baltimore has been in a bit of disarray lately though and this game means much more to the Giants than the Ravens. Eli might make a few mistakes, but a few TDs should make up for that.
Ben Roethlisberger: Sam Bradford and Colin Kaepernick were also candidates here, but ultimately I’m going with Big Ben. He can overcome the tough matchup easily. He has plenty of legitimate targets and the ground game has been struggling lately which means they’ll rely on Ben’s arm even more in a must win game.
Trent Richardson: I completely understand that TRich has a very difficult game this week facing the Broncos. I also understand that you might be nervous starting him. Still, you have to. He’s a stud, and has found a way to be productive in other tough games this season. He is just too good to sit.
Darren McFadden: It’s now been two games, and two games of startable production for McFadden in his return. This week he should continue the trend against Carolina.
Vick Ballard: Ballard has been very consistent the last three week, even with tough matchups. This week’s isn’t that tough with Kansas City on the docket. It also increasingly sounds like Ballard has impressed the Colts staff enough to keep the main role going into next season.
Danny Amendola: He’s finally off of the injury report! He should be safe to start against the worst defensive secondary in the league vs opposing WRs.
Eric Decker: Decker exploded last week after a bit of a lull the previous few weeks. The Browns secondary outside of Joe Haden is fairly vulnerable after a few injuries, so I expect Decker to keep the ball rolling.
Julio Jones: While Jones has been a bit inconsistent this season, I have no idea how he can be outside of the top-25 on ESPN’s projections. It’s not even like he has a difficult opponent this week. Somehow he finds himself projected way under Roddy White most weeks. Roll with him as a top 5 option and don’t think twice about it.
Heath Miller: Remember how I said you should start Roethlisberger? Well Miller is his favorite target and he can literally take over when Ben wants him to. I would expect a big game for the 2nd week in a row.
Jermichael Finley: Finley has produced better as of late and Tennessee hasn’t been very good as of late. I think I see something to go off of if you’re looking for a filler.
Packers D/ST: The Titans give up plenty of sack and also have a tendency to turn the ball over. The Packers have also been one of the best defenses in the NFL over the past few years at taking those turnovers and returning them for touchdowns.
Matthew Stafford: Atlanta has been very stingy against QBs this year, especially as of late. They stifled Eli Manning last week, and the Lions are really hurting with no other real threat other than Calvin Johnson.
Josh Freeman: He just hasn’t been himself lately, or at least his early season top-10 self. St. Louis isn’t the best matchup either.
Michael Turner: Can he keep vulturing TDs to make up for his 40 yard games? Just don’t know you want to depend on that in your Championship.
LeSean McCoy: You might have to start him. That said, he will be splitting time with Bryce Brown against a tough defense. I just wouldn’t expect much.
Beanie Wells: Same with Turner, you are probably crossing your fingers and closing one eye in hopes Wells can get you a TD. He hasn’t gained more than 67 yards in any game this year.
Kenny Britt: Another week, another high ranking, another bad matchup. I’m sitting Britt for the 2nd week in a row.
Denarius Moore: Moore has fallen quite hard over the last 5 weeks after gaining the trust of his owners earlier in the season. In his last 5 games his best game was just 8 points. Carolina has held more talented WRs to sit-able lines all season.
Vincent Jackson: Once again, a date with a top-10 secondary should stunt owners hopes for a big day.
Jermaine Gresham: Gresham faces the toughest defense against TEs in a game where both teams will be keyed in.
Antonio Gates: Do I really need to explain why I’m listing him here?
Browns D/ST: They’ve been popular as of late, and quietly productive most of the season. That being said… Peyton Manning = No Thanks.
Okay everyone, good luck this week. Merry Christmas!