This article is part of our Exploiting the Matchups series.
I've written this column for five years now. When it's come to championship week, I've written some variation of advising those of us fortunate enough to be playing for one to seek opportunity over talent and beer over stress.
Those tough decisions are certainly magnified by the stakes, but the stress of making them shouldn't displace the joy of being here, in the moment, to watch it all unfold. Few get to be so lucky. And for that stress, I can help. I have a tiebreaker system of sorts to make things easier, sort of like playing "by the book" in blackjack.
It goes like this:
1. Opportunity (who has the clearest path to catches/runs/throws)
2. Talent (who wins the eye-test award, has proven production)
3. Matchup (weigh much lighter, with only consideration for extreme good/bad)
On the last note, I'll add that weather should be considered this time of year for outdoor venues, but it doesn't look like any blizzards will be getting in the way of fantasy production.
Finally, I'm adding one piece to the above formula that in years past I personally have not considered enough in some instances, and often it's applied to selecting a team defense as well: What is a team playing for?
When looking at the matchups and trying to attack extremely friendly defenses, consider also if a team is already on vacation mentally because of how a disappointing season has unfolded. Typically, these teams will really phone it in when on the