Fantasy Mailbox - Week 16

Welcome to the Week 16 PLAYOFF EDITION of the Fantasy Mailbox! As the fantasy playoffs continue into their final week (most leagues), we answer a few questions to give fantasy owners an edge.

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Q : Hey Freak! I made it to my first ever Fantasy Superbowl. Thanks for your help! Here's my question: Do I start Joseph Addai at Houston or Cedric Benson at Detroit? Brian Westbrook is my other QB. Thanks in advance for your help.

Cheryl G. - Sioux Falls, SD

Thanks Cheryl and congrats!

As you probably realize, Addai injured his ankle against the Bengals on MNF (but his injury isn't the high ankle serious-type injury). Coach Tony Dungy stated that Addai would play against Houston, but I don't think he'll be in for long.

The Bears have a similar situation with RB Thomas Jones, but the difference is that the Bears have already clinched their division and secured the NFC home field advantage throughout the playoffs. As with Addai, I expect that Jones may play...but time on the field will likely be less than Addai's (making Cedric Benson an excellent play against a weak Detroit defense). Play Benson over Addai and good luck in your fantasy Superbowl!


Q : Hi Freak. I am commish of our league and the owners want to go to an auction league (instead of a draft). The problem is that I'm not totally convinced. Can you give me some advantages to doing this? Thanks. I enjoy your stuff.

Dave L. - Madison, WI

Hi Dave. It all depends on how you look at things as to whether an auction league is an "advantage". Personally, I enjoy auctions...but an auction based league is more difficult to run and requires a bit more knowledge and detail to maintain (both by the commish and the owners).

Auction leagues are typically set up with a salary cap (usu. $100 for 15-16 players) per team. During the auction, available players are bid upon team-by-team (NFL team) in $.25 increments until all league rosters are filled. Players not selected are placed on the waiver wire and handled as you would in a draft.

Most auction leagues are also "keeper" leagues and allow a set number of players to be kept with a 20% bump in salary. Trades and drops/pickups need to have player salaries and team salary cap in consideration with an auction league. In addition to the increase in kept players' salaries, a 3-year term is often placed on these players before being ultimately thrown back into the auction and/or "franchised".

Good luck Dave. Let me know how it goes!


Q : Hi Freak. I know you don't mention defenses much, but I need some help this week and it may come down to my DST. I have a choice of 3 defenses this week and don't know what to do. Would you start Seattle, Philly, or Buffalo? Thanks.

Tyler R. - Peoria, IL

Seattle has San Diego at home and I don't like Philly's matchup against Dallas. However, I do like the way Buffalo has looked lately and would go with them at home against Tennessee.


Q : Hi Fantasy Freak. Thanks for your help this season. I'm still playing and in the semis! My choice for QB this week stinks. Do I go with Jon Kitna or consider picking up Tim Rattay? I'm one of the Donovan McNabb casualties that didn't land Garcia (and of course it was after the trade deadline). Thanks.

Nick S.. - Henderson, NV

As crazy as it sounds, I'd go with Rattay if you can still get him. He should do better than Kitna against the Bears (although Kitna does have a better chance if Chicago plays their subs in the 2nd half). Good luck Nick!


Q : Our league is having a 'shootout' in week 17 (our Superbowl is this coming weekend). We actually got the idea for the shootout from one of your columns. We are in a keeper league and moved our Superbowl to week 16 due to problems with resting starters, this is a great solution to give us 17 full weeks. Here is our question...Would you advise that we allow the waiver wire to open back up between weeks 16 and 17? Is there any reason to limit the quantity of certain positions? Thanks for your help and thanks for the idea! It should be fun!

Felipe C. - Wheeling, WV

Hey Felipe! Actually, you can do whatever you'd like. But, I think that opening the waiver wire may be a fun idea for the last week since you are in a keeper league. You will find that some in your league will stock up on kickers to help their chances of wining the shootout, while others in your league will use the wire to pick up bargains and potential for next season (the difference in strategy will really make things interesting). I see no reason to limit pickups, but you will need to make sure that your rules are clear to all league owners regarding waiver order (esp. with multiple pickups). Good luck this weekend!


Q : I have Rex Grossman and have been riding him through his up and downs (mostly downs the last half of the year). I'm worried about his production this week since the Bears have clinched home field advantage. Do I start Jeff Garcia against Dallas over Grossman even though I like Grossman's matchup much better?

Jeff W. - Hobart, IN

Go with Garcia. Grossman does have a better matchup, but the Bears have no reason to play him with things secured. I think we'll see Brian Griese for at least a half.

Happy Holidays to you and all!


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