Pinnacle Offers Fantasy Football Match-ups
by Trevor Whenham - 08/31/2006
Fantasy football is very popular these days, and it can be fun. Sitting in a room with your buddies on draft day deciding which quarterback is going to have a better season, or which running back will gain more yards and score more touchdowns can be a challenging and exciting process. Chicago or Carolina on defense? Rackers or Janikowski? What would be even more fun, however, is finding ways to make each one of those decisions pay. Pinnacle Sportsbook has set up their fantasy football player matchups for the season. Instead of playing for the jackpot in your fantasy league, you can bet on individual player match-ups. If you're astute, and a little bit lucky, it's a much better way to make some money this season.
The scoring system Pinnacle uses to calculate who wins the match-ups will be familiar to anyone who plays fantasy football. You can also bet on match-ups on a week-to-week basis, but the season long contests provide some better value, not to mention a real challenge. Here's a look at some of the more compelling matchups that are offered:
Donovan McNabb (-165) vs. Daunte Culpepper (+147) - This one's risky on both sides. McNabb seems like the logical pick, but the Eagles had to pick up Donte Stallworth and then cut loose Todd Pinkston, so they obviously aren't in love with their receiving corps. Culpepper's health is a question, but Miami is getting a lot of love these days from the pundits, and they will certainly have a better running game to help the QB out. If you buy into the Nick Saban hype, then Culpepper could be a value play. We certainly know that Culpepper can toss it when he is in his zone.
Matt Hasselbeck (-130) vs. Eli Manning (+114) - Eli gets more hype and love than most players in his position because of his name. If he plays like he did in the first half of last season, then he deserves the accolades. If he plays like he did for the last half of the season, and in the preseason this year, however, then he certainly doesn't. Hasselbeck has matured into a solid player that doesn't make a lot of mistakes and he knows his offense as well as any player can. I'm biased because I don't like the Mannings, but this seems like a pretty easy choice.
Peyton Manning (-250) vs. Tom Brady (+222) - If Peyton stays healthy then you know that he will win this contest. If there were points awarded for winning when it matters and not choking under pressure, then it would be a different story entirely. If you like to get paid for your risks then take note - Brady is the longest shot on the board.
Mark Bulger (-144) vs. Kurt Warner (+127) - The story would appear on the surface to be whether the veteran can outshine the man who replaced him in St. Louis. The real story, however, is whether Bulger can stay healthy and whether Warner gets pulled in favor of Matt Leinart after throwing a pile of interceptions and losing a bunch of games. The wild card is that Warner will also throw for a ton of yards and a bunch of touchdowns. Mike Martz is gone and he will have no impact on the St. Louis offense, so they may not pass on every down anymore. Bulger, however, still seems like a reasonable favorite.
Drew Brees (-140) vs. Philip Rivers (+123) - This one is very interesting, and by interesting I mean hard to choose. Brees has way more experience, but his shoulder is a question mark and, other than a freakish running back, he doesn't have the talent in New Orleans that he did in San Diego. Rivers has ridiculous tools, but everything he does this season he'll be doing for the first time. San Diego will win way more games, but you can bet that Brees will be desperate to show that he is a better player than Rivers.
Terrell Owens (-122) vs. Randy Moss (+106) - If T.O. can keep it together all season and get along with his teammates then he will win this one in a walk. If I had feathers, I could fly. I want to believe that it can work in Dallas, but this preseason hasn't done a lot to build confidence. Of course, the offense is so bad in Oakland that Jeff George seems like a good option. Maybe this one should be a pass.
Tiki Barber (-172) vs. Edgerrin James (+154) - I can find good reasons to pick against either player. Barber is one of the all-time underappreciated players, but he is getting older and may not see the ball as much as he has in the past. James joins a team that has run so badly that it is possible that they don't even have an O-line. I would like Barber at a better price, and I would like James on a better team.
Chad Johnson (-160) vs. Marvin Harrison (+142) - If personality were a part of the scoring system, this wouldn't be close. Johnson is the most fun guy in the league and Harrison would bore a room full of nuns. This really comes down to one question, however - is Carson Palmer going to hold up all year? If he does, and his preseason showing makes that seem likely, then Johnson is a lock. If he doesn't, then Anthony Wright isn't going to get it done, so Harrison becomes the pick. I'd go with Johnson, if only because I want to see his celebrations.
Steve Smith (-174) vs. Larry Fitzgerald (+156) - I think that Steve Smith is one of the best guys, and best players, in the league. With that being said, Fitzgerald is a live longshot here. Smith has been struggling with injuries through the preseason and hasn't seen much action. Leg injuries can affect wideouts more than anyone. If he isn't healthy, then his stats will suffer. Fitzgerald may not win a lot of games, but the ball will come his way a whole lot. That could make him attractive.