Fantasy Football Advice...Pretty Please...With a Cherry on Top

I am having a severe crisis right now over my Fantasy Football team because I HAVE NO PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE. Seriously, this decision is driving me nuts for some reason (well there is a lot hanging on the result this week, playoffs, points race etc.). So I ask my fellow dopers to help me out…

Standard scoring except we get .25 per reception. I have a WR and a WR/RB slot to fill and these players available to fill it:

Marques Colston: Sketchy matchup against Atl who have been very good against WR this year. Also, has notbeen getting the yards, but has been getting the scores lately.

Darren Sproles: Coming off injury in a crowded backfield, yet still seems to get touches.

Ryan Broyles: Emerging #2 for Detroit with a favorable matchup against Indy. I think he is the riskier play but also has a better chance of going big.

TY Hilton: Emerging #2 for Indy who has been strong that past several weeks against a mid-tier Detroit pass defense.

Start Sproles for sure. Especially with a PPR setting.

The rest I can’t help you with. I am so bad at choosing an optimal lineup for my team that you may want to do the exact opposite of everything I say.

I’m the George Costanza of fantasy football.

EDIT: For the flex spot I’d go with T.Y. Hilton. As you mentioned, he’s been kicking some ass lately.

Sproles then either TY or Colston

Per Yahoo’s projections (Lies, damned lies, and then Yahoo’s projections…), it’s Sproles and Colston. Sproles projects to 15/0.1, 6.3 recp/56.6 rec yds/0.4 rec TD. Colston projects to 5.8 recp, 85.9 yds, and 0.5 TD. 11.7 and 13.0 FF points, respectively. Broyles would project to 9.5, Hilton to 8.5.

ESPN’s projections are a little off, IMHO. They don’t allocate any rushing yds to Sproles, for one thing. They have him getting 5/41 and 0 TD. For the WRs, they have Colston getting 5/67 and 1; Broyles getting 4/55/1; and Hilton getting 5/69/0. All pretty comparable, to my eyes, other than the TDs and you can’t really handicap those much anyway.

From Football outsiders, the ATL DEF is poor against RB receptions (11.1% DVOA (negative is better) 25th overall, 4.9 average receptions for 31 yds.) and poor against rushing (1.9%, 24th overall.) So, you’d think it’s a good matchup for Sproles. Start him, if healthy. And he’s not on their latest injury report. That said, evidentlyhe wasn’t all that in last week’s game, getting 1/2 of his yardage on a garbage time catch and run. I’m attributing that to getting his game legs back, and think he’ll be better this week.

That leaves one of three WRs. If Colston is the Saints’ #1 WR, then FO rates the ATL DEF against #1s this way: -16.0% DVOA, 10th. 7.7 recp, 41.3 yds. Not All-World, but pretty good by the Falcons. Against #2s (assuming Lance Moore is the #1), ATL has this from FO: -26.9% 2nd 6.3 rec, 39.6 yds. Yikes. So, not the best matchup.

How about Broyles? He’s going against Indy, who is the worst rated defense, and 31st rated pass defense, in FO’s database so far this year. Broyles definitely isn’t the #1 WR for Detroit (LOL), but if he’s the #2, then the matchup looks like this: 0.6%, 18th, 7.5 rec, 53.2 yds. Not as great as it could be. If he’s classified as the “Other” wide receiver, though, it looks like this: 45.6%, 32th, 7.5 rec., 80.1 yds. Much better. Who plays slot for Detroit, anyway?

Finally, Hilton against Detroit: 20th ranked pass D overall, and 26.6%, 30th, 6.3 rec., 59.4 yds. against #2 WR. Against “Other”: 8.8%, 24th, 6.4 rec., 55.5 yds. So, a really good matchup.

IMHO, it depends on whether you think Colston can overcome the harder matchup, and whether you think that Broyles has become Stafford’s BFF as far as targets go. Colston’s been averaging 5.25 targets/game over the last 4 (Philly, ATL, Oakland, SF) and pulling down a hair less than 4 receptions/game over those 4 games. He averages a bit over 8 targets a game for the season. He has had a TD in three of the four games though, so he’s getting his points, even if he’s not exactly torching people. In the ATL game a few weeks ago, at home, he went 3/26/1.

You know, the more I look at this, the more I want to take Broyles over Colston, especially if you need a knockout punch.

Advice on the Internet is worth what you pay for it, and I’m probably going to miss the playoffs in both of the leagues I’m in, may Peyton Hillis burn in flames for eternity. So keep that in mind when taking my advice.

My feeling is that at this point in the season, with WRs and TEs, matchup is everything. Sproles is a no question starter. I like Hilton this week more than Colston or Broyles because of the matchup. It’s close, and I can see the case for Broyles, but for me Hilton has the edge.

Guess ESPN was right after all about Sproles. Not a single rush. Probably not what you expected, when you drafted him in the 2nd-4th round. And 5/47/0 tonight was probably not what you were hoping for. Colston was meh, though, with 6/71/0. It could be worse; I have Julio Jones in another league. You’d think he could torch one of the League’s worse pass defenses, but NOOOO…

Sigh. I hate this game.