I’m tired of writing about fantasy football. Sorry. I love fantasy football. I really do. But it’s a silly game that’s not that complicated. There’s just not much to write. For now on, these intros will become my own little football column, sometimes touching on fantasy, but sometimes touching on other football things.
This week we’re talking about the College Football Playoff. I hate the College Football Playoff Rankings. They’re unnecessary, inconsequential and are purely for TV ratings. I’ve literally watched the rankings show once and wish I could have that hour of my life back. My normal reaction to the weekly unveilings is “blah, who cares.”
The only ranking that matters is the last one, and I’m interested to see how the committee handles it this time around. I think the SEC and ACC championships are CFP play-in games, and if Oklahoma and Wisconsin take care of business in the Big 12 and Big 10 title games, it will be an easy decision. But if one those two teams loses, things will get interesting.
The likely debate will be between Alabama and Ohio State, assuming the Buckeyes upset Wisconsin. In that case, I’ll side with the Crimson Tide. I know Ohio State has more quality wins, but look at the losses. Alabama has only one, and that was to red-hot Auburn on the road in a reasonably competitive game. Ohio State has TWO losses. One is a forgivable defeat to Oklahoma, but other was a 31-point shellacking to an Iowa squad that finished 7-5. I can’t let that slide.
The college football rankings are purely subjective. There’s a number of different metrics and methods one could use to decide their top four. But for me, the losses matter. I can’t put a two-loss team who fell by 31 to an average ball club ahead of a one-loss team who’s lone defeat was in a competitive game against a 10-2 squad.
Here’s another thought I had today that will be liked in Big 12 country, but probably not anywhere else. If Oklahoma loses to TCU, I think it should still go in ahead of Ohio State. The Sooners beat the Buckeyes by 15 in Columbus, and those head-to-head matchups are supposed to matter. They also don’t have a loss nearly as bad as the one mentioned above. Oklahoma did lose to 7-5 Iowa State, but the Sooners were alive until the final minutes and actually led most the way. They didn’t get embarrassed. They lost a close game that easily could’ve gone in their favor with a friendly bounce or two. That should matter, along with the head-to-head victory.
What do I think is going to happen? I got Clemson beating Miami for the top seed. Georgia jumping into the two-spot with a victory against Auburn. Oklahoma securing it’s position with a win v.s. TCU, and Ohio State pulling the mini-upset of a Wisconsin team that hasn’t been tested. In my opinion, Alabama should slide into Wisconsin’s spot if that were to happen, creating semifinals of Clemson-Alabama and Georgia-OU. But the college football rankings are completely subjective, and I’m sure some of the committee members are looking at this differently than I am.
ON WITH THE PICKS!!!
START: Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers– Rivers is coming off his best game of the year where he torched Dallas for 434 yards and three TDs with no picks. This week he gets a Cleveland team that might be thinking more about the No. 1 draft pick than getting a win. Trust the process.
SIT: Matthew Stafford, Detroit – The top three QBs in fantasy football (Russell Wilson, Tom Brady and Carson Wentz) all have bad matchups, but those guys are unbenchable at this point. Instead, I’d consider sitting Stafford. He’s got top 10 numbers, but no defense has a better INT-Pass TD ratio than Baltimore’s 18-10, and that’s who Stafford plays this week.
START: Dion Lewis, New England – Lewis has carved out a substantial role in New England’s backfield. He’s had double-digit carries in six straight games after never getting more than seven in his first five. During this period, he’s averaged 5.1 yards per carry, and this week gets a Buffalo defense allowing the third-most fantasy points to RBs.
SIT: Jay Ajayi, Philadelphia – The Ajayi experiment isn’t working out and it doesn’t even feel like the Eagles are trying. The Frisco Liberty product had gotten just 20 carries and three targets in three games since being traded from Miami and has a tough matchup this week against a Seattle defense that’s allowing the fifth-least fantasy points to RBs.
START: Robby Anderson, NYJ – Only the savviest fortune teller could’ve seen this coming, but Anderson is blowing up! He’s scored in each of his last five games (including twice last week!) while hauling in 23 catches for 428 yards. He’s got a great matchup upcoming against a Kansas City defense allowing the third-most fantasy point to opposing WRs, so don’t leave him on your bench unless you really don’t care anymore.
SIT: T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis – Hilton has been held to two or less catches in five of his last six games. Granted, that other game he had five grabs for 175 yards and two scores. But that was against Houston’s secondary that’s giving the sixth-most fantasy points to WRs. This week he plays Jacksonville, who has been the toughest secondary against WRs in fantasy by a significant margin. He had only two receptions for 27 yards against the Jaguars week 7.
START: Jason Witten, Dallas – Jared Cook and Hunter Henry also have good matchups, but I decided to highlight Witten, who has one of the highest catch rates (79.4 percent) in the league. He’s had more than five targets in five games, and in those games he’s averaged 7.8 catches for 64 yards with two scores.
This pick is contingent on Dallas using him, because in his other six games he’s averaged just 1.8 catches for 18.2 yards. But if he gets the targets, he’ll probably turn in a good game.
SIT: Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay – If Jameis Winston is back for Sunday’s game against Green Bay, which reports are indicating might happen, Brate might actually be a START. Brate was doing great with Winston under center, but has four straight games of just a single catch since his injury. This is one to monitor throughout the week.
START: Chargers – The Chargers’ vaunted pass rush vs. rookie QB Deshone Kizer and his 5-14 TD-INT ratio might be the most appealing thing to a strong defense.
SIT: Bills – I highlighted Buffalo a few weeks ago as a D/ST to leave on the bench for a while because of a devastating stretch of opponents. This week will be the end of that run (v.s. New England) and the Bills will be usable against starting next week. But expect Brady to eat them up on Sunday.
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