Eli Manning vs. Falcons -
While the Saints vs. Lions will receive a tone of hype as being the game with the most potential for a high score points feast, the Giants should be in a touchdown scoring slug-fest of their own against the Falcons. The Giants are on a role and with Eli Manning having arguably his best season as a pro, he should be a lock for over 350 yards passing and three touchdowns against an Atlanta defense that is prone to giving up big plays in the passing game.
Even if Victor Cruz wasn’t on the team, Manning would be a great play as he would still have play makers like Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham available. Fortunately for playoff fantasy football owners, Cruz is on the team, and has over 160 yards receiving in each of the past two weeks to go with 99-yard and 74-yard touchdown scores in that time. In fact, Cruz set a team record with five scores on the season from 65+ yards.
While Drew Brees should be the top quarterback to target for playoff fantasy football in the wild-card round, Manning gets the nod in my book over Matthew Stafford, because the Giants are more likely to advance to the second round, than the Lions.
If you happen to plan on playing playoff fantasy football on ESPN, the cap cost for both Manning and Stafford will be the same at six dollars and seventy cents, but because Manning has a better chance to advance, as he plays at home, it’s worth passing on Stafford this week, even though Stafford likely puts up better numbers. Bonus points or a reduction in cost in coming weeks, if a benefit of choosing players from winning teams, throughout the playoffs and that will be important as we progress to the Super Bowl.
Ben Roethlisberger @ Broncos -
If you’re looking for an upside quarterback who will come a little cheaper than Drew Brees, Eli Manning or Matthew Stafford in cap leagues, Ben Roethlisberger is an interesting start. With Rashard Mendenhall likely out with a knee injury, the Steelers will lean on Isaac Redman and John Clay in the backfield, and while they should be effective, Pittsburgh will rely on Roethlisberger and the passing game to win, in Denver.
Where the upside may come from having Roethlisberger is if they win and the Texans beat the Bengals, then Pittsburgh would play the Patriots horrible pass defense next week. On the down side, Roethlisberger may struggle to find the endzone this week, and if the Bengals beat the Texans, Pittsburgh would then head to Baltimore and play the Ravens defense.
It’s a gamble, but I’m sure some Steeler fans will be up for snagging Roethlisberger on their playoff fantasy team, so keep in mind next week possible matchups when considering Roethlisberger, this week.
|3||Matthew Stafford||@ Saints|
|4||Ben Roethlisberger (I)||@ Broncos|
|5||Matt Ryan||@ Giants|
|7||Andy Dalton||@ Texans|
Jake Delhomme or
T.J. Yates (I)