Week 15 Preview: The Semi-Finals Edition

Playoff Record: 2-2

Final Regular Season Record: 46-40

And then there were four.  The Quarterfinals were an explosive round featuring upsets in three out of four matches.  The one, two, four, and six seed all eliminated.

LIONel Hutz (8) vs. The Brink (5)

LIONel Hutz proved that his late season heroics were no fluke, routing the seemingly untouchable one-seed in the first round of the playoffs.  The Brink defeated Hurricane Ditka in equally impressive fashion.  Now these two teams which have been all but written off at various points of the season face off; one of them guaranteed a ticket to the big show.

Quarterbacks:  After completing another fourth quarter comeback against the Cowboys last week, Eli Manning is the guy every talking head on the NFL Network is raving about.  I am cautious about getting ahead of myself with this Giants team.  As adept at upsetting top teams in big games as they are, they are equally prone to dropping easy games to the Redskins.  So as far as Eli, I’m cautiously optimistic.

The other side of the coin is Tony Romo, who just happens to be starting for The Brink.  He has built a reputation for making bad decisions in big moments, but he still puts up numbers.  This week is a must-win for the Cowboys, and he should be able to produce against the Bucs.

Wide Receivers:  In the late stages of the season The Brink traded superstar Calvin Johnson to Hutz.   That decision has left him with a plethora of WR2/Flex level guys.  He currently is showing Laurent Robinson and Demaryius Thomas getting the starts.  Meanwhile Dwayne Bowe sits on the bench.  I think I would have trouble sitting Bowe for Laurent Robinson with Austin back and Robinson banged up.  I like the Thomas start against the Pats, and caution The Brink that depending on Tebow always seems like a terrible decision right before the points come rolling in.

For Hutz, Megatron is obviously a beast, and he should be hungry facing his former fantasy team who ditched him right before the playoffs after a monster season.  Percy Harvin is getting the WR2 start, despite AP returning.  He is getting the start ahead of DJax, and is a good example of what an explosive player can do if he actually tries and gets touches.

Running Backs:  Micheal Bush has a nice match-up with the Lions, although I do find the Oakland offence a little unpredictable at the moment.  Also his YPC has plummetted to 2.8 over the past three games.  Regardless this is a pretty safe start.  Shonn Greene is turning it on for the fantasy playoffs, what else is new.  Nice pickup for Hutz.  I don’t trust him yet.

Speaking of guys I don’t trust yet, Reggie Bush.  However, he has a nice match-up with the Bills and will be angry after getting fined 5k for wearing the wrong colour socks last week.  Guy I do trust:  Willis McGahee against the Pats.  Look for big things.

Both teams are starting a running back at flex.  Ben Tate has a nice match-up against the Panthers and should do good things assuming he gets some touches.  Brandon Jacobs has been looking much better in the last couple games, and should get close to an even split with Bradshaw on rushing touches.

The Rest:  I’ll give Gates the nod at TE over Jermaine “I’ve put up 3 points for just about every team in the League at one point or another” Gresham.  Hutz’s kicker put up 11 on monday, which is real strong.  I like both defensive matchups.

Prediction:  Real tight.  QB’s I consider even, WR’s a slight nod to Hutz, RB/Flex even.  I’ll sitck with my tradition of picking against the Brink.  You don’t trade Megatron.

Dockers United (3) vs. Rapelithsberger (7)

Dockers just keeps rolling.  They put up the strongest final month in the League, and then they are the only high seed to take care of business in the Quarterfinals.  They are the clear favorite now.

Displaying a surprising lack of championship hangover, the defending and still reigning Champ just keeps hanging around.  He went into Monday night needing fifteen from the Seattle D and got it done.  The guy has never lost a playoff game.

Quarterbacks:  Cam Newton was the steal of the draft, and should be given the most credit in Dockers success.  He is what we thought Micheal Vick would be.

Micheal Vick is constantly banged up and has a tough match against the Jets.  Dockers gets the nod here.

Wide Receivers:  Jordy Nelson has evolved beyond home run threat, into that special class of ‘possession receiver plus home run threat’.  I do think the Jennings injury hurts him, as he is likely to face the top DB’s now.  Still the Pack spreads it around well enough that he’ll get his as long as he stays in the game.  Mike Wallace has a tough match and is losing that ‘possession plus’ designation to Antonio Brown.  He probably will need a TD to put up strong numbers.

Old Anquan has been pretty unimpressive as of late, and has realistically probably fallen to WR2 on the Ravens.  AJ Green is this years Mike Williams, and is another guy who is depending on a TD to put up numbers.  I wouldn’t bet against it.   Rape is starting Nate Burleson at flex, and is another guy depending on a TD.  I see Rapes receiving corps as pretty dicey overall.

Running Backs:  Benson has a nice matchup, but he’s slowing down and splitting carries at this point.  Law Firm is completely unreliable.  Peyton Hillis gets the start at flex for Dockers, and is hoping to get a lot more work than last week.  I still don’t trust him.  Not a fan of Dockers RB’s.

Ray Rice was money well spent in the draft and is the consistency on Rapes team.  I have no doubt in him.  Helu has put up three good weeks in a row, and must have Shanahans trust at this point.  Rape gets a clear nod on the ground (strange sentence out of context).

The Rest:  Rob Gronkowski.

Prediction:  Rape and Hutz face off in a rivalry match so perfect you could almost say it was scripted from the beginning.

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