Ask Your Fantasy Football Experts: Week One of the Playoffs

I’m trying a test today that should be a lot of fun for my readers. I’m going to ask my fantasy football experts one question that’s not really a question. Everyone’s a little extra on edge this week with fantasy playoffs starting for the most part. What are your favorite fantasy experts thinking heading into this weekend? Let’s find out. The exact wording of my query is below, and I will add answers as the week progresses, with the newest responses at the top.

Tell me about the one fantasy playoff matchup that you want to win the most this weekend. I assume that most people are starting fantasy playoffs this weekend and everyone in this list made the playoffs because y’all are experts. You can chat about the person you want to beat, or the trophy/cash prize you desperately want to win, or one of the tough decisions you have to make regarding your starting lineup (Alex Green/Knowshon, anyone?). [Zach note: Good thing I stuck with Knowshon.]

Mike Clay

I’ve been running a 16-team keeper league with friends of mine for nearly a decade now. Fresh off winning the 2011 championship, I had some of the worst luck you can imagine to start the 2012 season. Despite leading (no, dominating) in overall points, I was 0-6 after six weeks of play. After briefly considering throwing the towel and maximizing my keepers with a few trades, I decided to package Andrew Luck for a struggling Doug Martin and go for the miracle comeback. Turns out, I made the right decision. Seven weeks later, I’m enjoying a seven-game win streak. Thanks to some help in Week 13, I was able to squeeze into the sixth and final wildcard spot at 7-6. My 1,526 points on the year is 87 ahead of second place. This week, in the first round of the playoffs, I take on Robert Miller, or as many of you know him on Twitter, @FantasyJedi. ESPN’s projections have me as as massive favorite, especially after Demaryius Thomas and Brandon Myers let Bob down Thursday night. The key lineup move to watch will be my decision to sit Jamaal Charles for the first time this season. Instead, I’ll be hoping for better production out of red-hot Bryce Brown. After a miracle comeback, anything less than a league title will be a disappointment, especially since wife, who finished third overall in points, is already mad at me for knocking her out of the playoffs in the final week. Should be a blast.

Fantasy Jedi

It’s the first round of the playoffs in a 16-team league of Mike’s (that would be Mike Clay) friends and family. How I ended up in the league is pure luck, but I take it seriously and I think Mike appreciates that. It’s a great matchup for many reasons that have nothing to do with our rosters. Mike’s team is on a 7-game winning streak after starting the season 0-6. He’s the defending champion, too. My team, on the other hand, is making it’s first playoff appearance in 3 years and is a huge underdog. But what makes it truly special is that I’m one of those teams that beat Mike during the 0-6 spell; I beat his brother and his wife this season, too. The rare Clay Triple.

If I beat him this week, end his winning streak AND his quest for back-to-back titles in his home league, he might just hate my guts. I can’t wait to find out…

The FF Ghost

I’d have to say my must win this week will be against my own website-mate, Tim Stafford. We face off in a league named “Blue Label” that is filled with a lot of fantasy football experts. I got the third seed and got to pick my opponent so I chose Tim. If I lose that’s just going to be horrible because I will have chosen the person who beat me and now he can rub it in my face all off-season long. As for the whole playoff season the league I want to win the most would likely be a league named “Redraft²” that is also filled with a lot of experts. In that league I ‘m facing @SwarmingBichons this week after I *JUST* inched by @Bryan_Fontaine last week where we were tied going into Monday night’s game. The league is best ball and has decimal scoring out to the hundredths place and we were tied! Honestly it was one of the most intense playoff games I’ve ever been in on my end that Monday night. I’ve enjoyed that league immensely so I really want to take it all but it’s going to be *VERY* tough to do.

Ryan Forbes

I really want to beat this buddy I went to college with. I’ve won this league 2 of the last 3 years and all of my college buddies are jealous of me because I’m so awesome. Not only do I want to retain the title, but the guy I’m facing beat me by 0.08 points earlier in the year when his Bears D picked Romo 5 times.

Eric “the Twitter voice of DLF” Dickens

The playoff matchup I most want to win is actually one that I hope to lose…Race To The Bottom is a redraft league created by @EyeoftheGator where the goal is to, well, suck. The worse you are, the better you do. You are required to play ‘starters’, including a TeamQB position, based on a weekly depth chart. I was the #1 seed last season, but unfortunately won in the championship game. This year, I’m again in prime position to take the trophy, but I’m matched up against a dreadful opponent, @whibberz, in order to advance. My starting lineup this week consists of:

Chargers, San Diego SDC TMQB
Hardesty, Montario CLE RB
Harper, Jamie TEN RB
Royster, Evan WAS RB
Jenkins, Michael MIN WR
Murphy, Louis CAR WR
Robiskie, Brian DET WR
Stocker, Luke TBB TE
Scobee, Josh JAC PK
Chiefs, Kansas City KCC Def

With a lineup like that, how could I win?

Shane P. Hallam

I’m extremely excited about the Sirius XM Dynasty League playoffs. This is our first year (thanks to Jim Day for organizing!) and there are 32 teams in 2 conferences. I’m really happy to be the #2 seed in my conference and tied for the best record at 10-2. The league is filled with the best of the best around the internet including almost all of the Sirius XM Fantasy guys. This week is Round 2 of the playoffs and I am up against the great Andy Miley. I’ll be smacking him down like my Buckeyes beat his Wolverines, but being led by CJ Spiller and Aaron Rodgers as well as a plethora of high scoring IDP options (Go Bobby Wagner!) But honestly, I felt like this was one of the leagues that showcases the best of the best. It was one of my best drafts/early waiver wire workings with me nabbing Andrew Hawkins in the 41st round and spending a ton on Cecil shorts in free agency have led me to victory! Now it is time to conquer the best!

Check out the league.

Steve “IDP Steve” Gallo

You neglected to realize that some of use earned byes this week. [Zach note: Did I neglect your double awesomeness? An oversight.] SOFA IDP is the league I most want to win but I have a bye this week, and in my big dynasty IDP league the same thing — got a bye.

Andy Miley

Some may call me as masochist, but I joined two 32 team dynasty leagues this year. I am fortunate enough to have won my first playoff game in one of them and now I’m facing the second seeded team in the AFC Conference aka the Uptown Chiefs. We faced each other in Week Two with the Chiefs winning by .55 points! The winner of this game pays out the next two years of league fees with the opportunity to increase my investment seven fold. This matchup with come down to two positions: quarterback (my Big Ben if healthy or the upstart Russell Wilson vs. Eli) and running backs (my Ray Rice, Forte, Sproles vs. Gore, Chris Johnson, Al Morris). My biggest question that I am facing is trust “the Silverback” James Harrison or stay the course with Nick Barnett. Hopefully it will come down to the very generous Andre Johnson (he gave a 19k shopping spree to some very needy kids) whooping up on his Patriot defenders (Mayo, Dennard, and McCourty).

Matt Schauf

Frankly, at this point every week of my fantasy season is about building my rankings and trying to help others win. My combo of in-season workload and failure to stop creating children has severely inhibited my focus on my own fantasy teams. I’m still heading into the playoffs in multiple places, but I’m more focused on which DEs are about to exploit matchups across the league.

Jeff Haseley

I have no matchups this week, due to winning the #1 seed in two different leagues, thus awarding me a bye in week 14. I failed to make the playoffs in three other leagues. I’m not happy about that, but I blame injuries. Darren McFadden, Willis McGahee, Greg Jennings, Antonio Brown, etc. Also worth note – I had Antonio Gates in three leagues this year. Interestingly enough, it’s the same three leagues I failed to make the playoffs. But enough about my unfortunate bad luck in those three leagues. Allow me to accentuate the positive. THE NUMBER ONE SEED in two expert leagues (both IDP). I will be gunning for Adam Ronis of RotoExperts in both leagues, provided he can advance to face me. I have some unfinished business to take care with Mr. Ronis. Hear that Adam? I’m coming for you bro!

“Dynasty” Tim Stafford

We all have a favorite league no matter how many we play in. Mine is my salary cap/contract league. This is the fourth year in a row that I’ve made the playoffs, but I’ve never won a playoff game. Over the last three years I’ve lost by a collective total of five fantasy points – that’s rough. I actually earned the bye, so I can’t lose this week. But my team better man up and deliver a win in week 15.

Mark St. Amant

This is a weird one, because while my inclination to answer “My opponent in my 14-year league who’s also a good, longtime friend,” I’m going to answer, “My opponent, Bryan Fontaine, in the 2 Mugs league, whom I’ve never met, I’m sure is great dude, and to whom I bear no ill fantasy football will” is my biggest must-win this weekend. Why?

Because competing against a solid batch of fellow ‘experts’ in this league has been a lot of fun, and much more challenging than most leagues. I mean, not a single waiver gem magically slips past anyone in this league, and falls right into your lap. Just doesn’t happen. So to have some degree of success against guys who either do this for a living, are as obsessed with it as I am, or both — even if they’re total strangers — has somehow become more gratifying than winning against longtime friends. Shit, I don’t even know what the cash prize is in this league. We each put in $25, if memory serves? But it doesn’t matter: I want to make it past Fontaine in Round 1 of the 2MugsFF League. A tall order, since he’s got Cam Newton back to playing at a Newton-ish level; Doug Martin playing the Pop Warner Eagles; Julio being, well, Julio; Cobb due to a rebound at home; Rudolph enjoying the benefits of a Harvin-less Vikes offense; etc…meanwhile, my Jordy Nelson has injured his vulva again & is likely out, replaced by some illustrious waiver dice-roll like Mike Thomas or Alex Green; Spiller keeps getting bent over and violently “Channed”; Brees has looked mortal lately; etc.. So while normally, I’d say a squad of Brees, Spiller, Morris, AJ Green, Demaryius, Witten, A.Hernandez & Waiver WR/RB To Be Named Later would be a lock for a title. And Bryan does have Harvin out (pain I feel, being a Harvin owner in that aforementioned longtime league).

But this year’s been f’n wacky. And you just never know. Good luck everyone. Except Bryan, that is.

Jeff “OrangeBru” Brubach

I have secured a first round bye in my main league with my hometown pals, so my focus has shifted this weekend to a first round matchup in my highest paying league. This league is comprised of folks I worked with at a previous place of employment, and the entry fee is the highest among the slew of fantasy leagues in which I participate.

The main issue facing my squad this weekend (besides my opponent having Aaron Rodgers), is my depleted pile of receivers, led by Percy Harvin. I was able to swipe Chris Givens off the wire this week, so I am hoping he provides some PPR mojo once again with Amendola hurting.

The competitive nature between friends and co-workers is always enough to motivate a person in the fantasy playoffs, but the extra incentive of winning a couple grand with my wedding on the horizon raises this matchup to critical levels!


There will be more. Keep coming back to this page for more fantasy football experts talking about their week one fantasy matchups. If you want my story as I face off with my dad, aka OBL, I set up a separate post with the details.

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