For those lucky enough to have reached Week 16 of the NFL regular season with something to play for in your fantasy football league, congratulations, because, more than likely, that means you've reach the championship game. Now that you're here, though, we've got some advice for you—don't screw it up!
With bragging rights at stake, it's easy to wilt under the pressure of playing for a title, but take a deep breath and continue reading, because this is how you can win, or completely blow, your fantasy football league championship game.
Why It's Important
If you're really asking yourself why this is important, congratulations my friend, because you've made it to your league's championship game off of pure luck and zero skill whatsoever. That said, playing a quarterback who has a favorable matchup against a poor pass defense this week should trump you starting a bigger named QB who plays a tougher D.
Why It'll Screw You
It's easy to second-guess yourself, so make your decision and stick with it, avoiding going back to your roster to adjust things twice a day. Sure, Drew Brees may have had a enormous game last week against the Arizona Cardinals, but will he be able to duplicate that against a stout Tampa Bay Bucs defense? Maybe, but why not go with the safer bet and start Philip Rivers against the porous Cleveland Browns defense instead?
OK, so you're competitive and want to win, that's great, you're a human being who cares. So go ahead and do the research and read up on which players have favorable matchups this week and figure out the running back who may be sharing carries with a teammate.
When is overthinking anything in life beneficial? Oh, right, never. So while you need to go through the necessary process of weighing matchups to set your starting lineup, continuing to worry about it by reading more and more every other hour will only lead to doubt.
In some cases, rolling the dice with the wide receiver whose been stashed away on your bench all season is a good thing. After all, if the matchup benefits him going up against a poor defense or, more so, may warrant garbage points because his team will need to throw when losing, be bold and make the move.
Now's not the time to get cute. There's a reason why the New York Jets have just 4 wins—because they don't have much talent—so they're not about to just transform overnight and start throwing the ball all over the field. If you've got a stud who you've relied on all year, stick with him.
You may not have paid much attention to this stuff during the middle of the season, but it's do or die now, so educate yourself by getting the most in-depth knowledge you can during the most critical fantasy football game of the year. If you lose your title game because you started an injured guy, that's something you'll never live down.
You know that thing about overthinking things? Yeah, this is when reading too much information can hurt you. One day a guy may be projected to get big points, when, miraculously, just 24 hours later, his projection goes down. Don't fall into the trap of changing up your lineup too much because of that.
All those losers who didn't make the title game may have just released someone from their roster who could help you out, so keep a close eye on which guys end up on waivers.
As mentioned above, it's critical to stick with the guys who helped get you to the title game, so don't go hunting for points that may not exist. You should know your roster well by now, so scooping up a tight end with a favorable matchup who you know nothing about could come back and bite you in the ass.
There are loads of stats out there that provide info about a player annually under or over performing against a certain team; pay attention. While that's not set in stone, if a player like Larry Fitzgerald has trouble when defended by Richard Sherman, that's important to make a note of when setting your lineup.
Sometimes, you can catch lightning in a bottle—but we wouldn't suggest living and dying by that theory. That said, in the aforementioned example of Fitzgerald against Sherman, who knows, maybe this is the game that a future Hall of Fame wide receiver goes off and catches 10 balls for 100-plus yards and a touchdown? Or, even luckier, maybe there's a busted coverage and Fitzgerald gets left wide open for a long TD catch? Trends are important, but wild things happen, too.
Now you can go forth and win your fantasy football championship, guys, so good luck—unless you're in one of my leagues going against me.
MORE: 'Former Porn Star Lisa Ann Gives You Everything You Need To Win Your Fantasy Football League'