Choosing a Captain - General Strategy

Probably the most unique InGamer feature is the captain. How does the captain feature work you ask? The easy answer is you choose one of your original 6 roster picks as the captain. While the act of entering your captain is simple to execute selecting who to captain is entirely a different story. Captain points are doubled both positively and negatively and to increase the importance of your selection this player cannot be changed during the game.

Let’s take a look at some simple strategies, by position, to help you make your choice for next Sunday’s Superbowl.

Running Backs:

Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh. Mendenhall will be a very popular captain’s pick next Sunday. Why? Quite simply he gets a lot of touches, scores touchdowns and doesn’t fumble very often. Take a look at his stats from this years regular season. 324 carries for 1273 yards, 13 touchdowns with only 2 fumbles. Those kind of numbers transfer to big InGamer points! The only drawback to captaining Mendenhall is the potential impact to the offense line run blocking schemes if injured starting center Maurkice Pouncey isn’t able to play next Sunday.

James Starks, Green Bay Packers. If you knew who James Starks was before the postseason began than this blog is insulting your football intelligence This is truly a risk reward pick as Starks only rushed for 101 yards with no touchdowns during the regular season but his postseason production more than doubled with 263 rushing yards and 1 TD. What James Stark’s will we see in the Superbowl? Time will tell but only captain him if you feel the postseason version will be showing up in Dallas next Sunday and keep in mind he will be facing the best run defense from the 2010 regular season.


Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh. Big Ben has recovered nicely from the turbulent start to this years season. The problem with Ben isn’t necessarily college coeds (sorry couldn’t resist) but rather he doesn’t always put up big statistical numbers. Take this years postseason stats, 359 yards passing, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions and he has been sacked 8 times. These numbers spell disaster for InGamers especially if the interceptions and sacks points are doubled. What Big Ben does well is make big plays in key situations. While his stats don’t scream out InGamer captain his history of winning big games bodes well for the terrible towel nation.

By contrast Aaron Rodgers Green Bay, has thrown for more yards (679), touchdowns (6) and has been sacked less (5 times) than his counterpart from Steeltown. Rodgers is called by many the best quarterback in the NFL right now and on paper is the better option if you are choosing to captain a QB in the Superbowl.

Wide Receivers:

While doing research for this article it occurred to me that you could flip a coin between the top wideouts, Mike Wallace from Pittsburgh and Green Bay’s Greg Jennings. Both had respectable regular season statistics (10 TD’s and 1257 yards from Wallace, 12 TD’s and 1265 yards from Jennings) and both have been fairly quiet in the post season. For some reason I can’t help but think Greg Jennings will be the more productive player and the better captains choice. This is strictly based on the hot arm of Aaron Rodgers and the uncertainty of the Packers rushing game.

Defensive Players:

Picking a defensive player out of the collection of stars from both teams lineups is like having first pick in a shinny hockey game with Gretzky, Lemieux, Messier and Crosby standing in a line waiting for their name to be called. No one is a poor choice and all you can hope for is your captain making the game deciding play. Pittsburgh has big play stalwarts like James Harrison, Troy Polamalu, and Ike Taylor while Green Bay boasts sack monster Clay Matthews Jr and former defensive player of the year Charles Woodson. For my money I like Ike Taylor. Green Bay is going to be throwing the ball more which gives Taylor more interception opportunities and he is healthy something that Troy P can’t say. For you die hard Cheese heads I’d go with Clay Matthews Jr. especially considering the injury issues on Pittsburgh’s offensive line.

So who am I going to captain? All season long I have lived and died with captaining a quarterback and I am not about to change strategies now. I am going to ride the hot arm of Aaron Rodgers and hope that he throws for 300 plus yards, 3 touchdown with no interceptions and no sacks against. Is it next Sunday yet?

Conference Championship - NFC

Green Bay / Chicago

Writer: Matt Cauz

Stars: C. Woodson GB-CB, B. Urlacher CHI-LB
Dogs: J. Jones GB-WR, G. Olsen CHI-TE

Yes, yes, yes we get it Bears vs. Packers, age old enemies, Papa Halas vs. Vince Lombardi. Apparently these teams have a bit of history. Now that we have that out of our system, what should we expect this Sunday? Well Green Bay is going on the road, for their THIRD road game in a row and are still a 3.5 point favourite! Right now the Packers are the hottest team in the league and Aaron Rodgers is playing at a level we've never seen him at. He's putting up big numbers and winning games! For the Bears it comes down to two things, they need to tackle Green Bay's wide receivers and Jay Cutler needs to play the same kind of smart game he did against the Seahawks. The Bears have enough defensive talent to reign in the Packer offence for a quarter but in the end the Packers are simply playing on a higher level. Look for Green Bay to shut down the Bears running game early and for Bronco fans quietly giggling watching Cutler throw some passes in places they just shouldn't go to.

Aaron Rodgers QB, Green Bay
Look up in the skies, it's Captain Obvious. Listen if you want cryptic picks go to one of those websites where the writers are consistently trying to out smart themselves. Nearly every decision Rodgers made last week was the right one, he's kind of like the a Bizzaro-Nicholas Cage. Did you notice how every time a Packer WR caught the ball he was wide open? The Packers scheme and overall athleticism at WR means Rodgers is almost guaranteed to have a good game.
Lance Briggs LB, Chicago
18 tackles and one interception in two games vs. Green Bay Briggs could be in for an even bigger game if the Packers get a big lead. Keep an eye on him for the second half.

Consider these ...
Donald Driver WR, Green Bay
Yes I have ripped him in the past but remember the Bears play that Two Deep Zone, keep everything in front of them, meaning their will be a lot of short passes open all day. Look for at least six receptions out of the old man.

Johnny Knox WR, Chicago
Yes he only had 48 yards against Seattle but the Bears built a big lead and didn't to pass the ball much in the second half. Remember though Knox was still targeted seven times and I think we can all agree Greg Olsen is not going off again.

Forget these...
Jay Cutler QB, Chicago
I refuse to live in a world where Cutler is seen as a "Field General" instead of an "Admiral Turnover". Okay maybe no one calls him that, but it's kind of catchy isn't it? Last time he played the Pack Cutler needed 39 passes for a grand total of 168 yards and threw two picks. I know I'm not the only one expecting a four turnover game.
Greg Jennings WR, Green Bay
Okay so this is my hero pick. The Bears D does not blitz, instead choosing to take away the big play. I'm not saying Jennings won't get his, but I see all the WR's having similar numbers with no single guy going off.


1. Aaron Rodgers - QB
2. Brian Urlacher - LB
3. Lance Briggs - LB
4. Greg Jennings - WR
5. Matt Forte -RB
7. Donald Driver - WR
8. Tramon Williams -CB
9. Johnny Knox - WR
10. John Starks -RB

Conference Championship - AFC

New York at Pittsburgh

Writer: mattcauz

Tactics: Two big play defenses square off
Stars: S.Holmes,NYJ-WR, B.Roethlisberge,PIT-QB
Dogs: S.Greene,NYJ-RB, M.Wallace,PIT-WR

Trying to figure out how the Jets with Mark Sanchez are going to their second straight AFC Championship game is like me switching jobs and having to learn how to use aMAC. It’s a long arduous process, in the end I’m still confused and all I’ve learned is some new swear words that would make Charlie Sheen blush.

The key for the Jets was their strength at defensive back. They had Cromartie neutralizing the Patriots tight ends and had enough talent beyond Revis to slow down the Patriots offence to 21 points. The biggest concern for the Steelers is a Jets pass rush which managed to sack Tom Brady five times.

Now with that said does it really matter how good your pass rush is against Ben Roethlisberger. Won’t he just throw away a blitzing linebacker while hitting Hines Ward on 3rd & long. The great thing about the Steeler offence right now is they have multiple wide receivers who all garner 5-9 targets a game. Between Mike Wallace, Hines Ward and new comers Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown (key catch in their win over the Ravens) Pittsburgh has enough weapons to match-up against the Jets secondary.

Look for Roethlisberger to have another big game, look for Mark Sanchez to play better than we expect him to, but in the end does anyone want to bet against Roethlisberger in the playoffs?

Holmes, Santonio (New York / Wide receiver)
You beat Pittsburgh with wide receivers and Holmes has started to develop a knack for big plays in the playoffs. Plus is their anyone on this team who wants to see the Steelers lose more than former Steeler Santonio Holmes?

Roethlisberger, Ben (Pittsburgh / Quarterback)
At what point can start talking about Ben Roethlisberger as a true elite quarterback? Watching Ben get beat up week in and week out by opposing rushers, I'm guessing every member of his offensive line have younger sisters that Big Ben has aggressively "dated". Seriously, between his non existent pass protection and lack of a consistent running game Roethlisberger still finds a way to win and put up solid statistics.

Greene, Shonn (New York / Running back)
Yes he had a good game against the Patriots but for one more time, let's say it all together now "You don't run on the Steelers."

Wallace, Mike (Pittsburgh / Wide receiver)
Am I turing on him after one game? Yes, yes I am. Roethlisberger is spreading the ball around and Wallace can expect to have Revis on him throughout the game.

Consider these...
Ellis, Shaun (New York / Defensive end)
The man is playing like a veteran who knows he doesn't have many more chances to win a Super Bowl. He'll have plenty of tackle opportunities plus do I need to mention again how porous the Steelers line is?

Mendenhall, Rashard (Pittsburgh / Running back)
You can run the ball against the Jets and the last time these team met (Back in Week 15) Rashard gained 99 yards, one touchdown while averaging 5.8 yards per carry.

Forget these...
Revis, Darrelle (New York / Cornerback)
Little tackle opportunities and you don't get points for forcing the QB to throw in another direction.

James Harrison – LB
Ben Roethlisberger -QB
Shaun Ellis – DL
David Harris – LB
Troy Polamalu – SS
Santonio Holmes – WR
Rashard Mendenhall – RB
Hines Ward – WR
Eric Smith – FS
Mark Sanchez – QB

Divisional Playoffs - NFC

Divisional Breakdown by Matt Cauz @mcauz56

Green Bay / Atlanta

Stars: R. White, ATL-WR, A. Rodgers, GB-QB
Dogs D. Driver, GB-WR, M. Ryan, ATL-QB

First off congratulations to the NFL for making the regular season completely meaningless. The Atlanta Falcons, despite owning the NFC's best record have to face the red hot Green Bay Packers. What's the point of busting your ass in the regular season if it doesn't translate to favourable playoff match-ups? They won't say it publicly but every member of the Falcons would rather be facing Seattle than the Pack. The Falcons loss is our gain as we get to see a battle of two of the best young quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan.
Moving on to the match-ups.
Let's start with the Green Bay Packers. As great a day as James Starks had last week vs. Philadelphia (123 yards) remember Green Bay ranked just 24th in rushing during the regular season, so don't expect a repeat performance for Starks. As for Brandon Jackson, well ask anyone who grabbed Jackson after Ryan Grant's season ending injury and they'll go on for hours about just how useless Jackson was in 2010. Throw in the fact that the Falcons ranked 10th defending the run and the clear choice is to load up on the Packers passing game against a shaky Falcons secondary. Seriously name me one premier defensive back on the Falcons roster ... see I knew you couldn't do it.
Aaron Rodgers & Greg Jennings are your two best bets. Some people may forget about Jennings after registering just one reception last week. However, he saw the second most targets of any Packer and all he did during the year was rack up 1265 yards and 12 touchdowns. Look for Rodgers to throw the ball more than the 27 times he did against Philadelphia.
Defensively Clay Matthews is the obvious choice, and maybe the safest player to Captain in this game. Target the Packers high tacklers as Atlanta will look to run the ball 30 - 40 times. Guys like AJ Hawk and Desmond Bishop will get you more points than you may think.
As mentioned above, the Falcons will use Michael Turner early and often to control the pace of the game. Atlanta went easy on Turner's workload in the final two weeks of the season (34 total carries) but in the five games prior he averaged more than 25 carries a game. Some people may be afraid of playing Roddy White considering the talent Green Bay has at CB and the fact that White has not had a 100 yard game since Week 10. I'm going the other way, I expect a Roddy White breakout game. White was the most targeted player in 2010 and I expect Matt Ryan to look his way minimum 12 times. Speaking of Ryan don't expect spectacular numbers.
Defensively I expect the Falcons DBs to making lots of tackles. Avoid Atlanta's LB's but be sure to grab John Abraham who managed to stay healthy and led the team with 13 sacks. For the Falcons to win they're going to need Abraham to spend a great deal of time in the Packers backfield.

Jennings, Greg (Green Bay / Wide Receiver)
Atlanta's secondary doesn't have an answer to Jennings skill set.
Turner, Michael (Atlanta / Running Back)
Good on him for leading the team last week in receiving yards, does anyone really expect him to do that again?

Consider these ...
Moore, William (Atlanta / Safety)
Will get plenty of tackle opportunities and was tied for the team lead in interceptions (five).
Williams, Tramon (Green Bay / Corner Back)
Williams made the game winning interception on Vick and has been playing at a Pro Bowl level all season.

Forget these...
All WR's not named "White" or "Jennings
Don't be the hero who thinks that Jordy Nelson or Michael Jenkins could have a big game! Leave your cape in the closet and make the smart decisions.

1. Michael Turner RB (Atlanta)
2. Aaron Rodgers QB (Green Bay)
3. Greg Jennings WR (Green Bay)
4. Roddy White WR (Atlanta)
5. Clay Matthews LB (Green Bay)
6. Matt Ryan QB (Atlanta)
7. Brent Grimes CB (Atlanta)
8. Tony Gonzalez TE (Atlanta)
9. AJ Hawks LB (Green Bay)
10. Charles Woodson CB (Green Bay)

Seattle / Chicago

Stars: B. Urlacher CHI-LB, D. Hawthrone SEA-LB
Dogs: J. Cutler CHI-QB, M. Lynch SEA-RB

The biggest winner this past weekend was not the Seahawks, Packers, Jets or the Ravens. Nope, no team had a better weekend than the Chicago Bears. The #2 seed gets the 8-9 Seahawks, a match-up where no one believes Seattle has a shot.
Now let's give Seattle some credit. Matt Hasselbeck had one of his best games ever, Marshawn Lynch had arguably the greatest run in NFL history and Brandon Stokely came back from the dead to score a long touchdown. Seriously did anyone know that Stokely was still in the league? I could not have been more shocked by the final result. So do I expect a repeat performance? No of course I don't. I would be a hypocrite to say that I think Seattle has a chance. Now that said, the Jay Cutler effect is always in play. Cutler could easily serve up a four pick performance and give the win to Seattle.
So with that in mind ... load up on Seattle defensive backs! There are plenty of turnovers and big plays to be had.
Of course on the flip side there is a reason Seattle went 7-9 in a mediocre division, they finished 27th in total D.

Mike Williams (Seattle / Wide Receiver)
Ten receptions for 123 yards in Week Six versus Chicago, Williams was a big reason for Seattle's upset win over the Saints with 68 yards and one score. If it wasn't for Michael Vick, Williams would be an easy pick for Comeback Player of the Year Award Winner.
Brian Urlacher (Chicago / Linebacker)
125 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 interception ... Urlacher experienced a rejuvenation in 2010. Seattle will try to run the ball early, Urlacher will be the reason they don`t try to run the ball late in the game.

Consider these:
Johnny Knox (Chicago / Wide Receiver)
The teams leading receiver and best big play threat, Knox's best day came against Seattle back in that Week Six match-up (5-120 yards).
David Hawthorne (Seattle / Linebacker)
If it looks like "smart" Mike Martz is calling plays than it should be a good day for Hawthorne. Again just a quick reminder, when Martz calls a balanced game plan the Bears usually win and Matt Forte gets plenty of work. When Martz reverts back to his 2001 Super Bowl formula, the running game will be ignored, Earl Bennet will get 13 targets and Jay Cutler will spend much of the game on his back (or trying to make tackles after throwing yet another careless interception). Back to Hawthorne. He put up plenty of double digit tackle games against traditional running teams. So if Forte is getting fed the ball early Hawthorne will see plenty of action.

Forget these...
Marshawn Lynch & John Carlson (Seattle / RB & TE)
I loved that run by Lynch, I can watch that over and over again. But how many times will you see a guy break eight tackles on his way to a 67 yard touchdown? Especially against a defence as stout as the Bears? You think Peppers, Urlacher or Briggs gets embarrassed by Lynch? Take away that run and Lynch had 18 carries for 64 yards. Not exactly world beater numbers.
As for John Carlson, well many of us got sucked into Pete Carrolls' lies in the pre-season that Carlson would be a big part of the passing game. Than the regular season started. After Week Three, Carlson had only one game where he managed to top 40 yards receiving. I can't believe Pete Carroll would ever lie about anything ... oh wait never mind.
Matt Forte (Chicago / Running Back)
He is about as boom or bust as it gets with the Bears. He is as likely to get just 11 touches for 51 yards (His totals against Seattle in the regular season) as he is to top 150 total yards (four times in 2010).
Really I just wanted to use this space to dissuade you from putting the Captain label on Forte. Running Backs are usually a safe option but I just don't trust Martz or the Bears offensive line. As mentioned above, keep a close eye on the Bears offensive trends and be ready to pick him up or drop him at a moments notice.

1. Brian Urlacher LB (Chicago)
2. David Hawthorne LB (Seattle)
3. Mike Williams WR (Seattle)
4. Matt Hasselbeck QB (Chicago)
5. Julius Peppers DE (Chiago)
6. Lofa Tatupu LB (Seattle)
7. Jay Cutler QB (Chicago)
8. Matt Forte RB (Chicago)
9. Johnny Knox WR (Chicgao)
10. Earl Thomas S (Seattle)

Divisional Playoffs - AFC

Breakdown of the AFC Stars and Dawgs by Matt Cauz @mcauz56

NY Jets / New England
Stars: T. Brady NE-QB, S. Holmes NYJ-WR
Dogs: M. Sanchez NYJ-QB, D. Revis NYJ-CB

I know what you're thinking, how can Darrelle Revis be a "dog". Listen I love the way he plays, but the dude didn't have any interceptions in 2010 (Not his fault, teams avoid throwing his way) and finished the year with a mere 32 tackles. As for the Jets, most of their defensive players have similar numbers so it's difficult to focus on just a handful of "star" players. Your best bets are going with Davis Harris and Bart Scott who finished the season first and second in tackles. I also like Antonio Cromartie to have high tackle numbers in this game as I expect Bill Belichick and Brady to focus on him over Revis (and don't forget those return yards with Cromartie).
Speaking of Brady, how can you not Captain him? The guy's numbers are impossible to replicate even if you're playing '94 Madden on your old Sega Genisus. The problem with New England is you never have an idea who is the clear alpha dog WR or RB. The good news is that even if the Pats have a 24 point lead they still will be pouring it on so everyone should get a taste. Your best strategy with New England would be to take Brady, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and just the top
Patriot defensive players.

As for the Jets I expect a ton of runs and for the team to take multiple shots deep in every quarter. With this in mind, keep an eye on the Patriots LB's and safeties as they accumulate high tackle totals.

Hernandez, Aaron (New England / Tight End)
Yes we all know that Tom Brady is a star. My mom knows that and she still thinks Joe Montana is playing for the 49ers. I really like Hernandez who hasn't played since week 15 but in two games against the Jets he put up nine receptions for 152 yards and one touchdown.
Holmes, Santonio (NY Jets / Wide Receiver)
You're going to need to score points to beat the Pats, and Holmes is the most explosive player on the field for the Jets. Plus if the Pats get up big, well I have two words for you folks ... Garbage Yards!!!!

Consider these:
Tomlinson, LaDanian (NY Jets / Running Back)
Tomlinson's late season swoon may have had more to do with the team's decision to rest him for the playoffs. Well it paid off as LDT (Sorry "LT" is for Lawrence Taylor) scored two touchdowns and racked up 99 total yards against the Colts. Tomlinson looked great early in the year versus the Pats and should put up solid numbers again.
Jerrod Mayo (New England/ Linebacker)
Again Rex Ryan is going to want to run the ball 30 times at least. Last time they met, Mayo registered 12 tackles.

Forget these...
Sanchez, Mark (NY Jets / Quarterback)
Until we change the scoring where you don't lose points for turnovers than you must avoid Sanchez at all costs. Doesn't it feel like Sanchez is due to for at least three turnovers?
Wilfork, Vince (New England / Defensive Tackle)
Forget his recent appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated, Vince is a classic case of great "real" player, but he's a lousy stats player. Since you don't get points for disrupting a run play in the back field, I say avoid Wilfork.

1. Tom Brady QB (New England)
2. BenJarvus Green-Ellis RB (New England)
3. Santonio Holmes WR (NY Jets)
4. LaDanian Tomlinson RB (NY Jets)
5. Jerrod Mayo LB (New England)
6. Aaron Hernandez TE (New England)
7. Antonio Cromartie DB (NY Jets)
8. Danny Woodhead RB/WR (New England)
9. Bart Scott LB (NY Jets)
10. Wes Welker WR (New England)

Baltimore / Pittsburgh
Stars: T. Polamalu, PIT-S, A. Boldin, BAL-WR
Dogs R. Mendenhall, PIT-RB, T. Heap, BAL-TE

The best rivalry in sports continues! There just isn't enough hate in sports today; but that isn't a problem when it comes to the Steelers and the Ravens. These guys genuinely don't like each other.
For Baltimore, don't be afraid to place your best on their passing game. Joe Flacco may not be a fantasy star but he has put up better than expected numbers against Pittsburgh. (522 yards & two touchdowns) The Steelers weakness is at CB so I expect good days from Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason. Oh don't look for Todd Heap to come even close repeating his numbers from last week against Kansas City!
Now I guess I should say that the key for Pittsburgh is the inability of the Steelers offensive line to keep Ben Roethlisberger healthy. But let's be honest, that isn't going to happen. They're going to be overmatched but it may not matter considering just how talented Roethlisberger is at avoiding the rush. The way to beat Baltimore is with the big play, not the 12-play drive, so Mike Wallace is going to be one player you want on your roster. Wallace averaged an astounding 21.0 per reception while gaining 1257 yards in 2010.
Let's be honest though, there maybe more points to be had with the defences than any skill position players.

Polamalu, Troy (Pittsburgh / Safety)
No defensive player is more important to their team's success than Troy. A big play machine, Troy is just as likely to get a sack as he is an interception.
Reed, Ed (Baltimore / Safety)
The guy misses the first six games due injury and comes back to pick off eight passes in 10 games! If the Ravens defensive line does their job, there will be plenty of errant Roethlisberger throws for Reed to go after.

Consider these:
Boldin, Anquan (Baltimore / Wide Receiver)
Boldin burned Pittsburgh for 118 yards and a touchdown the last time they met.
Ryan Clark (Pittsburgh / Safety)
Two years ago in the playoffs, his hit almost decapitated Willis McGahee. Clark averaged 7.5 tackles against Balitmore in 2010 and will have plenty of opportunities this weekend.

Forget these...
Rice, Ray (Baltimore / Running Back)
You don't run on the Steelers. Rice was shut down both times these teams faced off in the regular season.
Mendenhall, Rashard (Pittsburgh / Running Back)
Pretty much everything I said about Rice applies to Mendenhall. As a rookie Ray Lewis ended Mendenhall's season by breaking his shoulder.

1. Troy Polamula S (Pittsburgh)
2. Ed Reed S (Baltimore)
3. Anquan Boldin WR (Baltimore)
4. Joe Flacco QB (Baltimore)
5. Mike Wallace WR (Pittsburgh)
6. Ben Roethlisberger QB (Pittsburgh)
7. Ray Lewis LB (Baltimore)
8. James Harrison LB (Pittsburgh)
9. Terrel Suggs LB (Baltimore)
10. Derrick Mason WR (Baltimore)

Challenging My Friends and Foes

Want to issue a Challenge?  Here is how:


How do I Challenge my Friends?

Want to play against your friends?  Click on the challenge button at the bottom of the Star Selector home page, enter your friends email address, add a personal message and click send.  It's that easy. 

Adding Rivalries to Your InGamer Account

What to add your friends to your Rivals?  Here is how
Rivals:To create rivalries:
-Log on to Star Selector or InGamer
-Click on your friends profile
-Click 'start rivalry'

Rivalry Benefits:
-Rankings against your rivals
-Notification when your rivals are playing

How do I build my number of rivals?
-Invite your friends to play Crown Royal Star Selector on Hockey Night in Canada broadcast games
-Then challenge them to a rivalry!

InGamer Strategy - Basketball

Basic Basketball Strategy - written by InGamer “milanscud” - Angelo Nero.

I have broken the strategy down in 4 key points along with an InGame Strategy:

Compile a list of captains based on players who either a) play a lot of minutes and are productive in all areas (Kevin Durant and Lebron James or b) are very productive in a single area (Kevin Love and Steve Nash).  These players are "must play" if their game is on the board.

Game Choice:
Utilizing the fact that the objective is to obtain large point totals, the key is to look for games between high scoring / bad defensive teams.  For example, a "dream match-up" would be a game between the Phoenix Suns and the Golden State Warriors.  The other criteria is to select a game that has the potential to be competitive to avoid the aforementioned captains from being benched if the game is out of hand.

Player choice:
The main strategy is to pair scorers with rebounders.  Given that points are lost from missed shots, the key is to hedge those losses (for example from a volume shooter like Monta Ellis) with the ability to get points from rebounds.  Ideally, a pair of each from opposite teams would provide the maximum value.

In-Game Strategy:
Using the aforementioned Golden State versus Phoenix game as the template, and not regarding players in foul trouble as they will more than likely not be selected this would be the quarter by quarter play:

Quarter 1:
Monta Ellis (Captain - more productive then Nash)
David Lee (rebounder / scorer)
Steve Nash
Channing Frye ( limited rebounder but 3 point threat)
Aaron Brooks/Stephen Curry

Quarter 2:
Dependent on the flow of the game.  Ideally this is the opportunity to substitute centers who do not play extensive minutes.  As well, there is the potential to change your scorer for an "energy" guy off off the bench. This decision however is dependent on how extensively a team uses its bench.  Given that Phoenix uses its bench the substitutions might be: Gortat for Frye (center for center) Brooks / Dudley for Nash Biedrins for Lee

Quarter 3/4:
Return to the original line-ups. The key in the third and fourth quarter is to track foul trouble, injuries, and players who are "hot and cold"  The basic strategy, however, remains the scorer / rebounder pairing.

Come play InGamer for Basketball at

InGamer Strategy - Hockey

There are many risk/reward elements when playing ‘Star Selector’ along with Hockey Night in Canada broadcast games.  Let’s break down some basic tips for playing along:

Overall Strategy:
A successful Star Selector has to be cognizant of the strengths of the teams competing.  For example, if two low scoring teams are matching up there is a better than average chance that there will not be a lot of goals. So in that scenario it makes more sense to start the goalies.  Using this logic if there is a miss match, like the high scoring Vancouver Canucks playing a team that gives up a lot of goals, then it is the perfect time to load up your team with point producing players while placing the opposing goalie firmly on your bench.  A battle between two evenly matched teams is a perfect opportunity to take a closer look at the Star Selector scoring system  (the third tab marked scoring under the Crown Royal Ad box) and pick a couple of players that block shots, throws body checks and wins some face offs; as these additional points will move you up the leaderboard.

Captain Pick:
With the playoffs starting April 13th it is important to consider the shift in intensity and the reduction in scoring when picking your captain.  Goal production drops by just over 2 goals per game and there is an added premium on special team players.  Do your research and lean toward captaining a player that plays on either the power play or penalty killing units.  The increased focus on defensive responsibilities and subsequent reduction in scoring make a goalie captain a far less risky proposition than in the regular season.

Starting Five:
There are a couple of different ways to approach a starting five lineup.  For the advanced Star Selector with some time to research, take a quick look at how the competing teams start the games.  For example the Toronto Maple Leafs have been shut out 38 times in the first period this year, so it would make sense to start the opposing teams goalie and put Phil Kessel on your bench.  I always like picking a balanced lineup until the ebb and flow of the game is established, but to help you with your selections follow this link to see the top performing players by periods for each team:

Second Period:
At this point in the game it should be pretty clear what players have some jump to their game and who are skating in quicksand.  Do not be scared to drop a player that has been relatively non-existent or if you feel that their team isn’t competing.  I also like to use the second period to substitute one or two players that I suspect are not in too many of my fellow Star Selector lineups. Going with some less popular players opens the door to a quicker ride up the standings.  Incremental points from players not picked by a majority of Star Selectors will propel me up in the standings.

Third Period:
The score at the end of the second period will play directly into your third period roster changes.  If one team is up by a couple of goals (especially in the playoffs) it is safe to say that they will be playing a more conservative defensive minded style to protect their lead.  Putting a more defensive player in your lineup will lead to you gaining some valuable hit and block shot points, not to mention increase your odds of sneaking in a potential empty net goal.   Conversely, this is a great opportunity to load up on offensive specialists from the trailing team, as they will be doubling up on their ice time in an attempt to get back into the game.  Either way this strategy will be influenced by the direction in which you think the game is headed.  Just don’t hold it against us if goes in the opposite way!

Good luck with your picks and we look forward to seeing you during every Hockey Night in Canada Broadcast Game!
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