I'm both excited and extremely hesitant to write this post. All humility aside, I am playing in three fantasy finals this weekend, and only play in four seasonal leagues. If you've played fantasy football long enough, you know two things:
1. Making it to 75 percent of your league finals is extremely rare, and cannot be taken for granted.
2. Even if you don't believe in superstition or karma in "real" life, you better believe it exists in fantasy!!!
And because of item No. 2, I cannot/will not/must not discuss my own players. There's just too much on the line.
So with that being said, let's get down to business!! Here are my bold start/sit options for Championship Week. As usual I'm not including the obvious studs. This is for the QB/DST streamers and the players with multiple tough Flex option choices:
Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
Oh, boy. This is the definition of risk/reward. I would NOT advise this play if you are favored, or have high floor consistent ballers at all of your position spots. But if you're an underdog and need a potential explosion from the QB spot, I like Cam this week. The Browns are no longer in the playoff hunt, on the road in Carolina, and possibly without their best DB in Joe Haden. There's of course a risk of in-game injury due to his back fracture, but I envision a fairy tale like performance from Superman in this one. Cam will also want to show Johnny Football that the Heisman is the only thing they have in common. Well, that and the fact that they are just a week removed from a car crash and a train wreck.
Torrey Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Smith is no longer on the injury report, and has a tasty match-up against the Texans secondary, who are giving up the most fantasy points to WRs this season. Torrey had a rough start to the season, but had a serious high-end WR2 stretch before injuring his knee. He's an ideal WR3/Flex option this week, with championship winning upside.
Tre Mason, RB, St. Louis Rams
Don't hurt me, Giants fans! We have to be honest with ourselves; we have one of the worst rushing defenses in the league. And always remember, when it comes to fantasy football, you have to separate business and pleasure. Mason is a bull through the hole with exceptionally quick feet for his build, and you know the Rams will want to ride him early and often. Throw in this being the last home game of the year for the Rams, and all the rumors swirling about a potential move to LA LA land, they will play their brand of smash-mouth football on Sunday.
Carolina Panthers DST
The NFL will be even more entertaining if Johnny Football can eventually become the player that we all saw in college. At his best, it was like Doug Flutie and Brett Favre had a child out of wedlock with a rich Texas oil tycoon's widow. But last week's coronation turned into an abomination. I have faith that Mr. Money Fingers could develop into a quality starting QB, but not this week vs Charles Johnson and company at home.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills
Sammy IS a future WR1 in this league, and has shown plenty of glimpses into his bright future in his rookie season. But with mustache aficianado Kyle Orton spreading the ball around and the Bills relying so heavily on the running game and their defense, I can't trust Sammy in finals week. His floor is horrifyingly low.
Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Bet you didn't think you'd be reading that in Week 16 when you drafted Gio in round 2 back in August. Come to think of it, how the heck did you make the finals if you drafted him? I think Gio is a talented back, and can flourish in the Reggie Bush-style space back role. But let's face it, Jeremy Hill is a HORSE, the Denver Broncos rush defense is staunch, and banking on yards and a TD from Gio is too rich for my blood when you're going for a chip.
Mark Sanchez, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
And finally the Giants faithful come back to my corner. When thinking of Sanchez's mental makeup, the scene from the "Christmas Story" when the dad gets his lamp delivered to the house pretty much sums it up: "Fragileeey." Yes, the Redskins secondary, allowing with Jim Haslett's defensive scheme, are an embarrassment. But they do have a pass rush and an underrated front seven, and I believe we will see much more of "butt fumble" Mark than we do Sanchize.
This is it gamers. It's almost SHOWTIME. Everyone tell me who their favorite Flex play is below in the comments. Enjoy this weekend, as we all have to remember that fantasy should be about fun first and foremost, and not about the thousands of dollars you could win and the ultimate year-long bragging rights....
Sorry for lying, you all deserve better than that.