NFL Playoffs are here!!

The Captain Morgan Playoff Challenge begins this Saturday and below is a Wildcard Weekend preview brought to you by InGamer co-Founder and fantasy sports expert Nic Sulsky. Enjoy the read and come try the coolest new sports game around at http://football.ingamer.sportsnet.ca

CIN @ HOU

We have 2 playoff rookie QB’s facing off against each other in what looks to be a very close, running-based game. The Texans are going to rely on their imposing rushing attack led by Arian Foster, supported by Ben Tate and bolstered by the best run-blocking line in the league. The Bengals are a solid yet unspectacular team. They will have their work cut out for them on both sides of the ball, but if they can get Cedric Benson some 1st down yardage, they will be in a good position to let Andy Dalton let some balls fly to their explosive combo of AJ Green & Jerome Simpson. Look for the MLB’s and SS’s to be good plays here as each team will look to set up the pass with the run to take some pressure off their inexperienced QB’s. That will mean lots of tackles to be had. With Andre Johnson still rusty and hobbled from late season injuries and shut-down CB Jonathan Joseph likely keying on phenom AJ Green, Jerome Simpson may be the best WR in this game.

My Starting 6:
Captain: Arian Foster
Neil Rackers
Thomas Howard
Daniel Manning (don’t forget Return Yards!)
Jerome Simpson
Andre Johnson

Keep an eye on: Rey Maualuga, Brian Cushing, Owen Daniels, Reggie Nelson

DET @ NO

Can anyone say “shootout”. Listen, I know most people will Captain Drew Brees, but remember that if he throws a couple INTs (major negative penalty) you’ll have a hard time winning. It might be better to simply start him and captain someone else, like Darren Sproles! Sproles will be guaranteed a ton of yards (don’t forget special team return yard points) and have a great shot scoring at least once. Obviously both QBs are going to throw and thow lots with Calvin Johnson, Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston seeing the majority of targets, but don’t disregard the Safeties in this game. Both Roman Harper and Amari Spievey are going be extremely active. Think those guys will be putting up some tackle pts?? And do any of you remember what the Saints did to defend Megatron in their game earlier this year? They treated him like a special teams gunner on almost every play with 2 DBs literally bracketing him wherever he went. They will try and take him out of the game as best they can.

My Starting 6:
Captain: Darren Sproles (seriously folks)
Drew Brees
Matthew Stafford
Amari Spievey
Jimmy Graham
Marques Colston

Keep your eye on: Chris Ivory, Titus Young, Roman Harper, Stephen Tulloch

ATL @ NYG

This might be the hardest game to pick players for this week. How will the Falcons fare outdoors? Can they keep the imposing Giants pass rush away from Matt Ryan? Can the Falcons handle both Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks? How will the leaky Giants secondary handle the best WR tandem in the league in Roddy White and Julio Jones? And, most significantly for 1st quarter picks: what will the weather be like? Both teams will try and get their running game going early on, but the Falcons have a solid run D, so Ahmad Bradshaw & Brandon Jacobs will have a hard time finding yards. Both QBs have had great years, and could be considered captain potentials, but Matt Ryan outdoors is a tricky proposition. I won’t be starting Eli in the 1st Quarter as he’s typically a slow-starter, but he has been the best 4th Quarter QB in the league this year so unless the G-men have a huge lead, make sure he’s in your lineup for the beginning of the 4th.

My Starting 6:
Captain: Roddy White
Matt Ryan
Jason Pierre-Paul
Curtis Lofton
Victor Cruz
Lawrence Tynes

Keep an eye on: Curtis Lofton, Matt Bryant, Justin Tuck, Eli Manning, Michael Turner

PITT @ DEN

You know you want to, you really do. Captain Tim Tebow. You wanna laugh? I think he would be a better captain than Big Ben Roethlisberger. I’m scared about his ankle. I’m scared about his creaky O-line. I’m scared about the loss of Mendenhall. I’m scared about Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil teeing off. Now, I still think the Steelers will prevail, but I think points are going to be few and sacks are going to be a’plenty. I could see someone selecting 4 pass rushers (the two Broncos I mentioned plus James Harrison and Lamarr Woodley) and competing for the top game score. I wouldn’t do it myself, but makes ya think doesn’t it? Tebow loves to get sacked. Dick Lebeau is going to man-up the Bronco wideouts, dial up enough run blitzes to control the line of scrimmage, get Tebow into 3rd & longs and then bring the house at the poor guy. Now come the 4th quarter, I will swap in Tebow to score me some Tebow-magic, but prior to that I don’t think any Bronco offensive player outside Willis McGahee is pickable. For the Steelers, I think Antonio Brown is ‘the’ guy. Champ Bailey will be all over Mike Wallace, so Brown will see the majority of targets (as he has all season-long) and net you some serious punt-return yards. Yes, the Broncos will be punting and punting often.

My Starting 6:
Captain: Antonio Brown
Elvis Dumervil
James Harrison
Lawrence Timmons
Troy Polamalu
Isaac Redman

Keep an eye on: Willis McGahee, Shaun Suisham, Demarius Thomas, TIM TEBOW!

Good Luck Everyone! See you in the games....

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