Collinsworth Invitational: Jockeying for seeding
(Pro Football Focus gave subscribers the opportunity to win a team in the Cris Collinsworth Fantasy Football Invitational, playing alongside celebrities such as Warren Sapp, Jenny McCarthy and of course Cris himself. As the lucky winner of that contest, I will be writing a weekly piece that provides a view into what it’s like playing in a celebrity league and how I will use the PFF tools to give me an edge.)
Last week I wrote about the tight playoff race in the Collinsworth Invitational, including my matchup with the commissioner himself. When the dust settled from Week 13, I had extended my current win streak to three games and improved my record to 9-4. That puts me in a three-way tie for the second-best record in the league, with only Warren Sapp, Sir QB Killa himself, ahead of me in the standings.
Week 14 is our final week before the playoffs and there are massive implications for who makes the post season. For starters, four of us have already locked up playoff berths. The final spot in the five-team playoff will be either Cris Collinsworth or Brad Hopkins (Tennessee Tuxedos), with a very outside chance for Jim Noble (Noble Savages) if he wins and Cris/Brad both lose. And while four teams have their spot in the playoff secured, the rankings are anything but set. Karen Hunter has her first-round bye locked up as the winner of the XM division. In the Sirius division, there are two byes available and they will either go to me, Warren Sapp or Greg McElory.
What makes this interesting is how the games fall in this final week. McElroy and Sapp go head-to-head in a game that has a big impact. If Sapp wins, he locks up the division title and the first-round bye. He also puts me in a position to take home a bye as well with a win this week. Since I go against Brad Hopkins, my win would also likely knock him out of the playoff picture. If McElroy beats Sapp and I pull home a victory, than there will be a three-way tie atop the Sirius division at 10-4 records.
Long story short, I need to pull home a win this week to put myself in the best position for the playoffs.
Hard decisions at WR
With these playoff implications, I need to make sure I have the right lineup in place. On my roster, I have five wide receivers that all have potential to put up WR1 numbers on a given week. But with only three wide receiver spots and a flex in the starting lineup, one of those receivers will be on the bench. With the playoff race as close as it is, every point will count and I have to put the right players in the lineup.
In situations like this, I turn to the PFF WR / CB Chart to look at weekly matchups. If you aren’t familiar with this chart, it’s an invaluable tool to really dig into the head to head battles in a given matchup. This week, Pro Football Focus is offering all of their fantasy articles for free, which means anyone has the opportunity to look at this chart. So let’s dig in to see how it works for my team.
My receiving corps includes Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, Jarvis Landry, Sammy Watkins and Jordan Matthews. Looking at the PFF Week 14 Rankings, the recommendation would be playing Bryant (WR6), Marshall (WR17), Watkins (WR30) and Landry (WR31), while leaving Matthews (WR36) on the bench. Barring some injury news later in the week, that will be my plan as I look to cement my spot in the playoffs.