The Keepers Fantasy Football XVI playoffs are about to begin! Congratulations to the 6 teams that qualified! Rapids Plungers (defending champ), Bossman and teamAlaska are looking to add another championship to their resume while U Don’t Know, Big Papa and Starrfavrerodg are looking for their first ever championship! It is setting up to be a great playoffs and let’s get to the previews to see who comes out on top this week!
(3) Bossman vs (6) teamAlaska
For some reason, the 3 vs 6 matchup in the playoffs is always one of my favorites. Why? Because usually the 6 seed is a team that had to scrape and claw their way into the playoffs. Maybe they had to run off a few wins in a row to get in or maybe they found a way to pull off that upset in the last couple of weeks. Either way, they usually have some momentum. This year is a bit different as teamAlaska did none of those things. Didn’t scrape and claw their way in, didn’t have a upset win to push them into the playoffs and don’t have momentum on their side. I think of it kind of like someone trying to get in shape. In the beginning they are committed and motivated to getting in shape, they push themselves and they start seeing the results (teamAlaska 6-1 record to start the season). Maybe they start seeing that six pack show up and maybe those love handles become less lovely or maybe the arms become bigger and stronger! People are noticing and commenting on how good you look but then something happens. The work becomes less fun as your gains aren’t as noticeable. People stop commenting and get used to this new you. Your motivation to succeed in this “get in shape” journey starts waning and next thing you know you find yourself sitting on the couch watching football and eating Doritos while all your work from the previous weeks slowly starts going down the drain! Well teamAlaska has been in the sitting on the couch eating Doritos portion of that analogy for the last 6 weeks of the season (1-5 record). Thankfully for them they now have the opportunity to get back to their winning ways and make everyone forget about this little lull to end the season. The playoffs are an entirely new season for those that make it and I am sure teamAlaska will be ready for this one. For Bossman, the teams that they put on the field each and every week tend to have one thing in common and that is consistency. A lot of that has to do with coaching and their coach Steve Boss is one of the best in the league. Bossman can chalk 2020 up as another solid coaching performance and a solid regular season. However, I know that having a good regular season and making the playoffs is not the primary goal for this team. They play to win championships. Bossman came close last year as they made it to the Super Bowl but they then were humbled by Rapids Plungers and a 60 point blowout. I know that didn’t sit well with them and they are on a mission this year to become just the third team in league history to have three or more championships. This should be a good game and let’s get to the preview to see who comes out on top!
The QB position in this one is interesting. J. Allen for Bossman has had a solid year and is coming off one of his best games of the season. R. Wilson for teamAlaska is coming off one of his worst games of the season. It is quite easy to see why teamAlaska started off so strong and the play of R. Wilson was a huge part of that. Through the first seven games, R. Wilson was averaging 32.34 ppg and teamAlaska won six of those games. In his last 5 games he has averaged only 13.42 ppg. That is a huge discrepancy and a major reason for teamAlaska’s slide to end the season. Naturally you would think given what I just wrote that J. Allen and Bossman have the edge but there is one problem this week. The matchup. R. Wilson gets the winless Jets while J. Allen is up against the one loss Steelers. This is a bit of a toss up but I think I am going to give the edge to Bossman and J. Allen. I think R. Wilson has a good game and Sea wins however this might be a game in which Wilson doesn’t have to do much and it becomes a 200 yard rushing game for Sea and their RB’s. The edge at QB goes to Bossman.
The WR position is very close and I expect some fireworks here. The top two receivers (K. Allen and C. Ridley) for both teams will be going against each other on the field as the Chargers host Atlanta. I expect a blow up game for K. Allen this week as over the past three games he has been averaging 13 targets a game. In the last two games, he hasn’t had much to show for it but after last weeks terrible loss to NE I expect them to rebound with a really good effort here. If this game turns into a shootout which it seems like it could then that would benefit the other receiver in C. Ridley for Bossman. Ridley also has been solid this season but outside of the first two weeks he hasn’t scored more then 19pts and a lot of that has to to with the fact that he has a really good “other” WR on the team in J. Jones. The other two WR’s for both teams are formidable and serve as good role players but I think Allen’s big game is enough to give teamAlaska the edge at the WR position.
The RB position on paper seems a bit easier as you could easily make the argument that D. Cook (Bossman) and A. Kamara (teamAlaska) are the two best RB’s in the league. The reality is that D. Cook has been the best RB in the league and it isn’t really even that close. He has scored 273 points in only 11 games while the next closest are D. Henry (232) and A. Kamara (231) but they both have played in 12 games. Bossman also has recently got back A. Ekeler who if healthy all season likely is in the top 5. teamAlaska’s 2nd RB is Gurley and well that is no comparison to Ekeler at this point. So Bossman with the huge edge right? Well, there is one thing that doesn’t bode well for Bossman and that is D. Cook is up against the TB defense this week. The most rushing yards TB has allowed to a single running back all season was 59 and that was C. McCaffrey who it took 18 carries to get there. TB defense has only allowed over 20 points two times this season and that was C. McCaffrey who had two TD’s and in week one and also A. Kamara who had 12 carries for 16 yards but he also got in the end zone twice. If that holds true this week then Cook is likely going to need to get into the end zone for him to get the points Bossman is used to seeing. I still trust Cook and Ekeler over Kamara and Gurley. I am giving Bossman the edge.
Now let’s move to the TE position. E. Engram has been solid for Bossman and I expect Goedert to lose more touches this week to Ertz in his second game back. The edge here goes to Bossman.
At the FLEX spot, Bossman is rolling with the boom or bust player in J. McKissic and the same could be said for teamAlaska’s D. Singletary. I actually kind of like McKissic in this one he should see a boost in touches with Gibson likely out and may even find himself as the starting RB. Singletary has some upside here like he does in most weeks because he has homerun play ability however I don’t see it this week against a tough Steelers D. I like Bossman to have the edge in this one.
So who wins the game and moves on to the Final Four!?
I am going with Bossman as I trust the way that their team is playing right now. I see a very easy way for teamAlaska to pull off the upset and it involves Wilson, Allen and Kamara having big games which clearly they are all capable of doing. Bossman though is my pick to move on!
(4) Starrfavrerodg vs (5) Rapids Plungers
The defending champ is back as Rapids Plungers is back in the tournament after taking home their first ever championship a season ago! This season didn’t come without adversity and some ups and downs but like all good teams and managers do they weathered the storm and here they are just three wins away from repeating as champs! Their road to the championship did get a bit rockier as they recently lost one of their top WR’s in W. Fuller for the season. Who was the 9th ranked WR at the time of his suspension. This puts a lot of pressure on the rest of the team to make up that scoring. For Starrfavrerodg this is an exciting week as they try to do something no rookie coach has ever done and that is win a championship in their first season. Throughout the regular season they defied the odds and won games they weren’t supposed to win and showed tremendous poise and leadership as they were breezing through the league making all of us veterans wonder what we were missing! Then Week 11 happened and along with it three straight losses to close out the season. This isn’t unusual as most teams hit some type of lull throughout the season the thing I am sure Starrfavrerodg is disappointed in is that they weren’t able to stop the losing streak in the regular season and they missed out on the opportunity for a first round bye. That’s about it though for negatives as this team in their rookie season has been spectacular and now here they are in the playoffs with a shot to take home the trophy! Will Rapids Plungers be able to pull off the win and keep alive their hopes of defending their title or will Starrfavrerodg add a staple win to their already impressive rookie season?
Let’s first take a look at the QB position. We have Mr. Quarterback himself in P. Mahomes (Starrfavrerodg) against D. Watson (Rapids Plungers) who isn’t too shabby himself. These are the two highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL which would mean they are young and they are good and they are capable of leading their team to a championship in the real game so why not in fantasy football as well? If there is any QB that *could* go throw for throw or TD for TD with Mahomes Watson would be on that list however I don’t see it happening this week. I think Mahomes and Starrfavrerodg have the edge here.
Now to the WR position, Rapids Plungers was deep at WR but lost some of that depth when Fuller was lost for the season. They still have one of the best trios in the playoffs with Boyd, Hill and Cooper. How much better would that group just mentioned look if all of them had their starting QB’s throwing them the ball? Starrfavrerodg has a formidable group especially since Crowder has emerged as a boom or bust type of player. What I mean before that I didn’t even see him as a boom opportunity but he has proven that he is capable of a 20 point game. The edge here easily goes to Rapids Plungers and I think it is worth pointing out that Mahomes (Starrfavrerodg) will be throwing to T. Hill (Rapids Plungers). If Mahomes has a big game you would think Hill may be the benefactor and that usually is an advantage to the WR in points. For example, two weeks ago Mahomes threw for 462 yards and 3 TD which led to 37.11 points. In that same game Mahomes was throwing a lot to T. Hill who had a 13 catches for 269 yards and three of those touchdowns which led to 64.45 points! I think the WR edge goes to Rapids Plungers and by how much may determine the outcome of this game!
To the RB’s we go where both teams are very similar. They each have two solid RB’s going this week which probably rank somewhere in the top 20ish range. They have the potential to have a big game and finish in the top ten but that isn’t the expectation this week. All of them have tougher matchups so there isn’t even one of them that benefits the most from a cupcake type of game. Given how poor the Steelers backfield looked without Conner (Starrfavrerodg) I am going to expect him back and to get a ton of work whereas I think we may see a bit more “Taysom-hill” like offense from the Eagles with Hurts starting. This means potentially less carries for Sanders (Rapids Plungers). I will give the edge to Starrfavrerodg in this one.
To the TE position and we have H. Hurst (Rapids Plungers) vs L. Thomas (Starrfavrerodg). This is one of those where whatever you get out of the position you take it and if somehow one of these TE’s has a game like L. Thomas just did (19.90pts) it could be a huge difference maker. I haven’t see anything from H. Hurst which makes me expect much more then the usual 5-7 point game so I guess I am going with L. Thomas and Starrfavrerodg with the edge here.
And lastly the Flex position, this is where Rapids Plungers was able to most of the season take their deep WR core and create a mismatch as they could start four extremely capable WR’s. This is where you see the W. Fuller loss trickle effect as instead of starting Fuller, Boyd, Hill or Cooper here they are left with G. Davis. Davis has actually been decent the last couple of weeks so there is potential there. Starrfavrerodg is waiting on pins and needles hoping that they can put D. Swift into their lineup this week against a Packers D that has been bad against the run. If they can’t then they are left with two not so great other options and it looks a lot different. Given that it seems Swift will play I am going to give the edge to Starrfavrerodg here too.
So who wins? Well if I look at my position predictions Starrfavrerodg has a 4-1 edge so they should win right? Not so fast. The edge’s are slight at the RB / TE and FLEX positions. A bit bigger at QB for Starrfavrerodg BUT the WR group and specifically the fact that Mahomes is throwing to Hill. If you are Starrfavrerodg that is a hard one to overcome and you have to hope that all of the TD’s and yards go to some other WR. All that said, I am having a hard time picking against the defending champs. This is anyone’s game and I am excited to see who comes out on top but for picking purposes I am going with Rapids Plungers to get the win!