- Bill Barnwell
You don't need us to tell you what the stakes are. If you're reading this column with a competitive fantasy football team in mind, chances are you're playing a very important game this week. We wish you the best of luck.
The best way to make your own luck, of course, is to prepare. Nobody gets to the finals by starting the same guys every week. There's no foolproof plan -- the optimal strategy isn't sticking with the people who got you here or abandoning them altogether for great matchups. It's considering the matchup, the usage pattern of the player in question, the health of the other players on the field and the most probable outcome of a game to get the best idea of what's most likely to happen.
Admittedly, most teams in championship games aren't going to require a trip to the waiver wire for a starting quarterback. Most everyone can improve at the flex slot, though, with a great matchup in a given week. And those of you who have a star with a particularly unfortunate matchup (we're looking at you, Peyton Hillis owners) or injury doubts (and that would be you, Adrian Peterson owners) might prefer a free agent to the player on your bench.
So with that in mind, here's the most important matchups article of the year.