Fantasy Doctor: Don't think twice about playing Rodgers

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MVP Meter: Rodgers building case to repeat
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MVP Meter: Rodgers building case to repeat

Every Wednesday, The Fantasy Doctor ponders fantasy football dilemmas and prescribes advice with an eye on helping you win. Email your fantasy questions to fantasydoctor@pfwmedia.com. Questions may be edited for clarity.

Hi there doc!

So I made the playoffs, and now have come to the realization that my No. 1 QB (Aaron Rodgers) is facing my only defense (Bears). I definitely want to beat my opponent, but if I keep them both, I would be hurting my team, since they would be chipping away at each other’s points. This only leaves me with one option: picking up a defensive team just for this week. I’m looking into the Lions or Falcons. What are your thoughts on this? I just need quick and easy points.

Gracias! 

Mary

I see no reason why you can’t start Rodgers and the Bears’ defense. What if Rodgers throws three TDs — and Chicago returns a fumble for a TD? The Bears’ defense has a playmaking streak that may be unmatched. I’d take them over the Detroit and Atlanta defenses without hesitation. 

Yes, it’s a little awkward when you start players and defenses at cross-purposes with one another. But it’s the playoffs, and you have one of the top quarterbacks and top defenses. Play them both. Talent and scoring ability trump all when making decisions like this.

Hey,

We're just starting the playoffs this week, and I like most of my matchups, but one I don’t really like is Aaron Rodgers going up against the Bears’ defense. I have the options of picking up Andrew Luck, Sam Bradford, Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers, Andy Dalton and Nick Foles. I know that the last two are playing on Thursday, so I'm not leaning toward either one of those two, but would love your input on what I should maybe do.

— Alex

My advice is to start Rodgers. I’d take him over all of the options available to you. While he didn't throw a TD pass in the Week 14 win vs. Detroit, he rushed for a score, and he's certainly capable of a big game, even against a tough Chicago defense. The matchup isn’t ideal, but he’s too good to sit.

Hey Doc,

I scrapped my way into the semis and face the No. 1 seed. Thanks to your help last year, I took the championship. It would be cool if I could repeat, but I have a flex/RB situation.

 I am thinking of going with the following lineup:

QB — Josh Freeman

RB — Darren McFadden, Stevan Ridley

WR — Brandon Marshall, Danario Alexander

Flex — Shonn Greene

TE — Brandon Myers

PK — Robbie Gould

DEF — Seattle.

I have Rashad Jennings, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Torrey Smith and Brandon Lloyd. Should I stick with my lineup, or should I switch out Greene or Alexander or both?

Thanks again,
Kevin

Glad to hear we were able to help last season, Kevin. Other than needing a new kicker with Gould out for the season with a calf injury, this looks like a solid lineup to me. I prefer Alexander to all of the wideouts on your bench, and I believe Greene is the best of your flex options. The Jets’ run-oriented approach makes Greene a valuable player to have for the stretch run. Alexander, meanwhile, has become the Chargers’ top target. 

I made it to the playoffs by a tiny margin, so I'm facing the No. 2 seed in our first week of playoffs. I'm in a standard-scoring league and I'm fairly confident that my running backs, Matt Forté and DeMarco Murray, can provide great numbers this week. My main concerns are the WR, flex and TE positions. At wide receiver, I have Denarius Moore, Eric Decker, Kenny Britt and Chris Givens. At the flex position, I have Montell Owens, Alex Green, Mark Ingram and Isaac Redman. At tight end, I have Vernon Davis and Brandon Myers. 

I was planning on starting Moore and Decker at wide receiver, Britt at Flex and Myers at TE. Would it be a better option to start Davis against a defense that's weak against opposing tight ends? Is Britt my best option at Flex? You're always a great help, thanks!

—   Emmanuel 

I think you have the right idea at running back and wide receiver.

At the flex spot, Britt, who comes off his best game of the season, gets the nod over Green and Owens. 

At tight end, I’d go with Davis over Myers on the belief Davis is more capable of the spectacular, win-the-week game. However, if you are looking for steady points out of that spot, Myers’ production has been superior.  

Hey Doc,

Despite losing Rob Gronkowski and Percy Harvin, I’m still playing meaningful games, but this week, I have some serious dilemmas to figure out as I prepare to face my league’s hottest team.

At QB, I need to choose between Cam Newton, Josh Freeman and Colin Kaepernick.

I've also got to pick two RBs, two WRs and a flex from Doug Martin, Stevan Ridley, Montell Owens, Chris Wells, Joique Bell, Alex Green, Mike Wallace, Josh Gordon, Julio Jones, James Jones and Kenny Britt. My thought is to go with Martin and Ridley at RB and Wallace and Gordon at WR. That leaves uncertainty at only the flex spot. Any ideas?

— Peter

At quarterback, I prefer Newton to Freeman and Kaepernick. Newton is playing very well, and his running ability gives him the potential to fill up the stat sheet in a week when fantasy owners need all the help they can get.

You have a good handle on your RB situation. Let’s turn to your WR decision. In your note, you referred to “J. Jones.” Hence, I’ve listed Julio Jones and James Jones as options just in case. 

Here’s how I’d rate the wideouts: Julio Jones, Mike Wallace, Kenny Britt, Josh Gordon, James Jones.

Finally, here’s how I’d rate your flex options: Kenny Britt, Alex Green, Montell Owens, Josh Gordon, Chris Wells, Joique Bell, James Jones. 

Hey Fantasy Doctor, 

I just got off of my playoff bye week, and I am curious —who you think I should start?

QB — Drew Brees, Colin Kaepernick.  I would assume Brees but he has had a hard time the last couple games.

WR— Larry Fitzgerald, Eric Decker. Pierre Garcon, Mike Wallace, Sidney Rice, T.Y. Hilton. I am thinking of starting Decker, Garcon and Wallace and have Rice in my flex position.

RB— Stevan Ridley, Darren Sproles, Chris Wells, Marcel Reece, Justin Forsett. I figured I would just start Sproles as well as Ridley, the only other one that comes to mind is Reece depending on McFadden’s status.

TE: Martellus Bennett, Vernon Davis. I figured I would keep rolling with Bennett.

Defense: Lions, Seahawks.

Thanks Fantasy Doc.

—   Jeremy

Here’s the lineup I’d go with:

QB — Brees.

WR — Decker, Garcon, Wallace.

Flex — Rice.

RB — Ridley, Sproles.

TE — Davis.

Defense — Seahawks. I believe Seattle’s a must-start. Detroit has a wonderful matchup (Arizona) but no return TDs in 13 games.

Hey Doc,

First time seeking help, but Robert Griffin III going down has me in panic mode to make the championship game in my own league as commish. Worst-case scenario in effect.

Quarterbacks on waivers are Nick Foles, Brandon Weeden, Sam Bradford and Chad Henne. I think they're better options than Kirk Cousins.

My RB options are Ahmad Bradshaw, C.J. Spiller, Darren Sproles or Knowshon Moreno. David Wilson is available on waivers, too.

I'm set at wide receiver with Calvin Johnson, Reggie Wayne, Danario Alexander. They’re must-starts, in my opinion. Who would be your call at flex: any of the above, T.Y. Hilton, Josh Gordon, Rashad Jennings, Jacquizz Rodgers or Bryce Brown. 

Thanks ahead of time!

Keith 

I’d rank your QB options other than Griffin III this way: Foles, Weeden, Bradford, Cousins, Henne.

At running back, Spiller is the best of the group. I also believe Bryce Brown is a strong play. Bradshaw (if healthy), Moreno and Sproles are options Nos. 3-5, in my opinion.

You are correct — your wideouts are very good.

At the flex spot, I’d start Bradshaw if he’s cleared to play, but Moreno or Sproles are also startable, too.

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