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Who Sharks Are Starting – Week 15

Ho-Ho-Holy Playoffs! This is a critical time for fantasy owners, and puzzling times for Who Sharks Are Starting. With most leagues down to just a handful of teams left standing, the Collective Shark Brain is a little smaller, and some weirdness is going to emerge. In this must-read for Who Sharks Are Starting fans, I’ll take you through some of the keys to analyzing this week’s data, along with a few of my personal takes.

Quarterbacks

Kyle Orton shoots up the board riding a pretty good day against Jacksonville as the Chicago Neckbeards host N’awlins.

Kurt Warner holds despite what looks like a rough fantasy matchup. I’m going to chalk this one up to sample bias: Warner owners likely got outstanding value for their pick during the draft or in the early wire days, the kind of value that can be the difference between a winning and losing season. Now ask yourself: Who are the guys who nabbed Warner? It’s the teams that got burned by Brady, or sought value in other positions during the draft. It’s likely most of the Warner starting teams don’t have good options. Bottom line: I think the puter overrates Kurt Warner this week.

And finally, Tyler Thigpen goes against San Diego, who have been very fantasy QB friendly, but falls after a mediocre performance last week. I’m going to dissent with the Shark Collective here and recommend him with a condition: That you don’t get too heavily penalized for interceptions.

Interceptions and The Running Game – Look at the data and you find a strong correlation between getting run on and throwing interceptions. When you’re facing a team that runs the ball better than you, you have to try to beat them through the air. You know it and

they know it. More passing plus defensive anticipation leads to more picks.

And finally, Matt Ryan tumbles, despite a strong performance against the Saints last week, in the face of what looks like a tough fantasy matchup against the Bucs.

Runningbacks

DeAngelo Williams is feeling the holiday love as he shoots up the board. For the same reasons as Kurt Warner, he’s probably on more fantasy playoff rosters than most. Unlike Warner though, facing Denver, I’ve gotta believe he’ll go hog wild like me on a spiked egg nog espresso latte.

Marion Barber shoots up the board at the prospect of his return to action. I say approach with caution. As if a bad

toe isn’t bad enough for a

running back, the Giants running game and D-Line are bad news for opposing runners, as evidenced by their 5th rank run defense.

Tim Hightower looks tiny this week against Minnesota, and probably rightly so.

And finally, Peyton Hillis falls into oblivion with season-ending injury. This backfield was a mess to start the season, and I would resist the temptation to look to Bell to do anything.

All IDPs

Most leagues have still yet to make the IDP leap, and it’s evident this week. IDP rankings are low this week because, relatively speaking, there just aren’t a whole lot of IDP leagues out there. Being the playoffs, there are even fewer teams left. If you’re going to use the IDP rankings this week, be sure to click on the name and look at the detail to see the actual decisions to put the guys in the appropriate light.

Whiskey Tango

This week’s drunken dance is the guy who knocked me out of the Uberleague Playoffs, Atonio Bryant. He’s been okay this season, but the data show what looks like a collosal over-reaction to last week, with owners chasing last week’s points. You start him over a guy with a good matchup who regularly gets you a third of what Bryant put up last week, and my money says you get burned.

That’s all for me this week. Good luck in your quest for the crown, and check out Who Sharks Are Starting for full rankings at these positions, detailed IDPs, and even punters, ranked every hour of every day based on actual shark lineups, waiting for you now.

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FantasySharks.com began in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is, or has been, home to some of the most talented and best known fantasy writers on the planet. Owned and operated by Tony Holm (5 time Fantasy Sports Writer Association Hall-of-Fame nominee,) Tony started writing fantasy content in 1993 for the only three fantasy football web sites in existence at the time.