I know what you're thinking …
You've been meaning to thank me for suggesting you sit one of your best players, Darren McFadden, in your fantasy must-win last week.
OK, you're welcome. But at the same time, I think I understand why the attached comments box isn't flooded with thank you's.
That's because our work isn't done.
Last week's advice might have gotten you to the doorstep of the playoffs, but you still might find yourself on the outside looking in if you can't duplicate your lineup-card brilliance this week.
So, because last week's advice went over so well, I'm going to double the pleasure - twice as many selections in Week 13.
Play him/Sit him
Start Matt Cassel over Ben Roethlisberger. Actually, this is a no-brainer because you either rode with Big Ben last week (and swore that was the last time) or astutely sat him (and now realize what a good thing that was). Meanwhile, Cassel is up against the same defense that made Sam Bradford look like Sammy Baugh.
Start Mark Sanchez over Matt Ryan. The Jets and Falcons are similar in that they usually get just enough offense to allow their difference-making defenses to win games for them. So that makes them easy to compare this week. Sanchez is up against the sixth-worst pass defense in the fantasy game; Ryan faces the sixth-best. Any questions?
Start Matt Forte over BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Sometimes, a little knowledge is not a good thing. You probably knew precious little about Green-Ellis until seeing him score two touchdowns while enjoying your Thanksgiving brunch. Now he's your hero. Well, he won't be against the Jets defense. After all, you saw the Lions defense that day too, right?
Start Marshawn Lynch over Brian Westbrook. You remember Brian Westbrook, right? You've still got cleat marks on your back from the number of times he ran over your fantasy team in the past decade. Well, he's back. At least, it appears as if he's back. He'll start in Frank Gore's place this week, so many have rushed to the waiver wire to get him, wise move. Now sit him. He's going nowhere on the road against the Green Bay defense.
Start Steve Smith (Carolina) over Chad Ochocinco. Yeah, I know. Smith has been one of the season's big disappointments. But he's healthy and up against a poor pass defense (Seahawks), which at least gives him potential. The Bengals face a tough pass defense (Saints) and must try to appease Terrell Owens first after his poor game against the Jets. Smith is a much safer play.
Start Legedu Naanee over Mike Thomas. The Chargers are incredible. No matter who's out of the lineup, they simply open a new can of talent and feast upon the next opponent. Naanee is now one of the healthy options, which makes him a viable fantasy play against a weak Raiders pass defense. Going with him sure beats the guessing game that is Mike Thomas.
Start Visanthe Shiancoe over Greg Olsen. Olsen has done better than many had projected, but when you get targeted just one time in a game, that's a red flag. Yes, that one throw went for a touchdown last week, but do you want to bank on that again? Meanwhile, Shiancoe is a much better TD possibility against the league's worst at defending tight ends (Bills), and he's likely to catch many, many more than that.
Start Joel Dreessen over Chris Cooley. And do it quickly. Dreessen is playing in the Thursday-nighter this week, up against an Eagles defense that has given up big numbers to many of the tight ends they have faced. Dreessen caught a TD pass last week and figures to be targeted a lot in what should be one of the week's highest scoring affairs.
Start Josh Brown over Shayne Graham. One of the few things the 49ers did wrong in their win over the Cardinals on Monday night was miss two field goals. It didn't matter, in part because Shane Andrus made two others against a team that surrenders an inordinate number of field goals. You'd be wise to trust that trend and run with Brown this week.
Start Josh Scobee over Nick Folk. Yep, I'm advising benching both kickers in the Jets-Patriots showdown. No, not because it figures to be low-scoring. It's just that, for whatever reason, when the Jets and Pats have given up scores this season, they've almost always been touchdowns. It happened when the rivals met in Week 2, when touchdowns outnumbered field goals 5-2.