The last 15 weeks of the fantasy football season have been building to this. It's Championship Sunday in most fantasy leagues, which means that lineup construction is going to cause you more headaches than trying to figure out the end of The Matrix Revolutions.
Stars are the lifeblood of fantasy football. All the talk about the waiver wire, trades and any other method of adding talent to your roster is just trying to put a band-aid on a broken leg. You need those stars, most likely added through the draft all those months ago, to get you to the point where you are even playing for a championship.
Now that you're here, there is only so much that you can do in order to claim victory. The rest falls upon the shoulders and legs of the players on the field. With so much debate raging in your head, here are the underrated stars who will make all the difference for you this championship weekend.
Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
vs. Washington Redskins (31st-ranked pass defense)
Like every rookie, Foles has had good days and bad days. He's not going to be a consistent every-week starter in fantasy for at least another year, but this week has all the makings of a huge week for the Eagles quarterback.
Even though he struggled against the Bengals, I am more encouraged by what I saw from him the previous two weeks against Dallas and Tampa Bay. The Cowboys have a very good pass defense, while the Buccaneers are last in the league in that category.
In those two games, Foles went 54-for-85 with 632 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Considering that the Redskins are closer to the Buccaneers than the Cowboys in pass defense, Foles could have his best game of the season.
Starting a rookie at quarterback, especially in the most important week of the season, is always a risky proposition. If you pick the right matchup, though, you can look like a genius. Foles has the right matchup and at least some past evidence of success against bad pass defenses.
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver Broncos
vs. Cleveland Browns (17th-ranked run defense)
Fantasy owners have had a love-hate relationship with Moreno basically since the Broncos drafted him with the 12th pick in the 2009 NFL draft, but he is starting to show some signs of life since taking over the starting job after Willis McGahee was injured.
Two weeks ago against the Raiders, Moreno had 119 yards and a touchdown. The Browns are a notch above the Raiders in overall run defense, so it would be foolish to expect another 119-yard performance.
However, the Browns are also susceptible to the pass. They are 21st in the league in that category, so the logic behind the Moreno thinking is, if Peyton Manning lights up the Browns defense early, it will leave the running game open in the second half.
Moreno is still loaded with talent, so don't think it impossible for him to go off in a game like this. He just needs the right opportunity to do so.
David Wilson, RB, New York Giants
vs. Baltimore Ravens (25th-ranked run defense)
Wilson burst onto the scene in Week 14, with 327 all-purpose yards in the Giants' blowout victory against New Orleans. He seems to be on the right side of the coaching staff right now, which means he is going to get all the touches he needs to be a fantasy contributor.
When you combine all that with the fact that the Ravens have had problems stopping the run this season, Wilson suddenly looks like a Top 10 back for this championship weekend. Considering he was all over the waiver wire two weeks ago, that is a dramatic shift in fortune for anyone lucky enough to have grabbed him.
The Giants are as hot-and-cold as any team in the NFL, so there is some risk involved with a player like Wilson. If Eli Manning is throwing interceptions, the opportunities for Wilson to make plays dramatically decreases.
Considering the way these two teams are playing right now, I have no qualms putting Wilson in the starting lineup and not thinking about until he starts racking up the points.
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