December 17, 2008

Maybe Joe Morgan was right. Maybe this Moneyball stuff doesn't work in the playoffs. In a semifinal week that saw the top two seeds in the Celebrity League, we're left wondering if maybe Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball and Billy Beane, subject of Moneyball, did not build their teams for the playoffs.

Jim Nantz's Houstonians presented a well-balanced attack, getting double-digit performances out of his QB, two WRs and two RBs. Antonio Bryant and Steve Smith, in particular, were big,combining for 38 points. In a strange twist of faith, though, it was the very un-Moneyball type players that did Beane in. His two "highest-priced players", Frank Gore and Terrell Owens, combined for three points.

In the other semifinal, Ronnie Lott's team was buoyed by strong performances from Michael Turner (24 points) and Dallas Clark (20 points). The Moneyballers had disappointing performances from his Cajun duo of Drew Brees (13 points) and Lance Moore (2 points).

So now Nantz faces off against Lott in the finals this weekend. I give the edge to Nantz as he brings some strong matchups with Steve Slaton and Matt Schaub in Oakland, which should more than balance out a Michael Turner facing a tough Minnesota defense..

On another note, after questioning my status as a fantasy "expert" last week, I'll take a minute to beat my chest and violate my No. 1 rule of fantasy football (nobody cares about your fantasy football team). In our Experts League, which featured all the heavies in the industry, including SI's David Sabino, ESPN's Matt Berry and Eric Karabel, FantasyGuru's John Hanson, Yahoo's Brandon Funston, etc., etc., etc.), I survived a Tom Brady injury and am battling Rotowire's Chris Liss in the finals this weekend.

I like my chances this week as Maurice Jones-Drew should be a monster against Indy, and Dom Rhodes may get some good touches in that same game. Liss' team is strong with Matt Forte and the artist formerly known as LaDianian Tomlinson in his backfield.

Best of luck to all in their playoffs this weekend.

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