Fantasy Doc: Close calls in championship week

Posted Dec. 22, 2010 @ 9:47 a.m.
Posted By The Fantasy Doctor

Now that the fantasy playoffs are here, the Fantasy Doctor will be making regular house calls, answering readers' fantasy questions each Wednesday and Thursday. Send your questions to the Doc at

Hey Doc,
Got a quick question for you and would appreciate some advice. I'm in my league's Super Bowl and I've got to choose two of these three players at wide receiver: Brandon Marshall, Pierre Garcon and Brandon Lloyd. I'm looking at starting Marshall at home against Detroit and Garcon against Oakland, thinking Lloyd's production will be way down with Tim Tebow at QB and Denver not throwing as much. Is this sound thinking? Would you advise something different for my lineup? Thanks for any perspective or advice you can give.

— Steve, Lino Lakes, Minn.

Well, Steve, that does sound like a sensible thought, but this call is a very close one.

Considering the way he has played lately and his matchup with the Lions, Marshall is a definite play. He has found paydirt in each of his last two games and is facing a Detroit team that can be beat through the air. It's the other decision that's a tough one.

As tempting as it is to start Lloyd against the league's worst pass defense in the Texans, I just can't recommend it with Tebow at QB. The rookie did look decent last week, but he threw only 16 passes all game in a very conservative game plan. The Broncos could open up the playbook a bit more this Sunday, but whether they do is anybody's guess. With the season on the line, Lloyd is simply too risky for my liking.

Garcon, meanwhile, isn't a spectacular option, but he's much more enticing with Austin Collie out. Garcon did score two TDs vs. the Titans in Week 14, and the Raiders have allowed 26 TD tosses on the year. He might not see an abundance of targets, but the Colts' No. 2 is a fairly safe fantasy start this week.

I'm one game away from making it to the Promised Land with plenty of no-brainers on my roster. The dilemma is I have Matt Schaub and Jon Kitna to choose from at QB, as my opponent has someone to offset each of my slingers in Andre Johnson and Jason Witten. Which QB should I be putting behind the wheel?

— Dan, Worcester, Mass.

I wouldn't worry too much about who your opponent has, Dan, as there's no way you can do anything about that. All you can do is start the players who give you the best chance to win.

This week for you at QB, I think that guy is Schaub. After hitting a midseason rough patch, the Texans' signalcaller is suddenly one of the league's hotter QBs. Over his last three games, Schaub has racked up an eye-popping 152 pass attempts for 1,055 yards and seven TDs. That's a ridiculous pace that's reminding owners of the '09 version of Schaub. As long as he's slinging the ball 50 times a game, he surely belongs in lineups against a Broncos pass defense that has given up 25 TDs this season. He could have a monster day.

It's not like Kitna is a bad play this week against a Cards "D" that has been terrible, but he doesn't have the massive upside that Schaub does. He'll be good, but the Cowboys should be in a position where they won't have to chuck the ball all night long.