By Aaron Fuller
Welcome back for a second round. The games last week were nothing short of unpredictable. No one picked the college style-I’ll score a ton of points in the first half and you can score a ton of points in the second half and whoever scores last wins-matchup between the Chiefs and Colts. No one said T.Y. Hilton would haul in 13 of 18 targets for 224 yds and 2 tds, but that’s the crap that brings us all back week after week trying to predict and set the perfect lineup and pull the most points possible!.
So, without further ado, here are my top picks for the divisional round:
QB: It’s pretty hard to look past the top QB in the NFL right now, and this should be an easy pick, but I know for a small few there will be disagreement with this selection, but seriously folks, let’s look at this for a minute. You know Denver will likely score a few points considering they set a new record this year with 596 pts. Peyton has thrown for 5477 yds 55 tds and threw for more than 4 tds in half of his games this year and all of these are new NFL records. No gambles here, just straight facts, go with Manning.
RB: So what can I say? Charles got hurt right away last week and the Eagles didn’t bring their “A” game. This week most people are starting Lynch which I can’t say is a bad idea considering how dominate a player he has been consistently, but for the true payoff instead of the safe bet start Mathews. Why? Because if you watched any 5 minute span of the last matchup against Denver you would have seen a breakaway run by Mathews for 15-20 yds. He plain dominated the Denver D-line and backers, and oh by the way, Von Miller in having surgery on his ACL Wednesday. The “Safe Bet” RB of the week that isn’t Lynch is Gore. He is facing a 30th ranked run defense in Carolina and watch for him and Cap to combine for a lot of rushing yards against this lackluster D.
WR: Receivers are a little tricky this week because you need to pick the right Denver WR to get the most points. Based on conventional wisdom (aka numbers) Decker has had his piece of the pie lately so it will be Thomas’ turn this week, but honestly though. Numbers never lie and Thomas has been the go-to guy in Denver for a while now and no one will have as good of numbers as him this week. He will be in vengeance mode after the loss to SD a couple weeks ago for which he was shut down. Expect numbers of 9/160/2. I’m also recommending Crabtree again this week because he did well last week in frigid temps (mind you, Cap said he wasn’t cold) and he has been the outstanding favorite for Cap since his return. Expect 13-15 targets and 120yds 2 tds.
TE: Stay with Graham. Remember the year he has had and the fact that the Saints will need to get creative this week and he is that means Brees will be trying to hit him in whatever space he can find, especially in the redzone. If you must make a switch go with Thomas. He has been relentless in the redzone this year and don’t expect that to stop now just because the Chargers held them in check late in the season.
K: Kickers are a crapshoot and at this point you want one that is going to put up points one way or another and the Colts did just that last week. They simply kept coming and outplayed KC in the second half. If they play half that good against the Patriots, and they will, especially against this weak defense. Vinatieri will put up good points for you so play him this week again.
DEF: So this is where the money is won and lost in the close ones. The safe bet is Seattle and a wise one as well considering they have been unparalleled in fantasy scoring. This is hands down the right pick, but the Saints did find a way to win last week and the Chiefs got 45 points poured on them by the Colts of all teams last week so anything can happen and Brees is seasoned, but there is no other good choice because all of these teams put up points. If you want a gamble pick though, there is one that will likely make you scratch your head … the Saints themselves because the Seahawks are boom or bust in the scoring category.