And then there were two.
After 15 weeks of head-to-head action, only Brandon Funston and Matt Romig remain in the Yahoo! Friends and Family League, and only one will be left standing after this week when they meet each other in the championship game.
The stakes are high, but they are far from unique to our 14-team expert league. All public league winners are being decided in Week 16 as well, as are a large number of private league winners. Naturally, for all those owners who have made it this far, setting a lineup has never been as important as it is now.
Start the right players and you maximize your chances of garnering fantasy gold and glory. Start the wrong players and you've got a silver "almost" trophy headed your way. You will remember this fantasy season as that time you almost won, and your fantasy profile trophy case will be there to remind you of your shortcoming for years to come.
Nobody wants that. Not you, not Funston, not Romig – nobody. Looking to avoid a second-best finish, here is how the two experts have set their championship lineups in the Friends and Family League.
Subject to late, pre-game adjustments, Funston is set to start Jay Cutler (at SD), Brandon Marshall (at SD), Randy Moss (Mia), Jerricho Cotchery (at Ten), Joseph Addai (Hou), Dominic Rhodes (at Jac), Donald Lee (at Chi), Kris Brown (at Ind) and the Minnesota defense (Was).
Romig, meanwhile, is starting Peyton Manning (Hou), Hines Ward (at StL), Braylon Edwards (at Cin), Bernard Berrian (GB), Fred Taylor (Oak), Darius Walker (at Ind), Heath Miller (at StL), Robbie Gould (GB) and the Seattle defense (Bal).
All of Funston and Romig's sit-or-start decisions are consistent with the Week 16 positional rankings, which are a must-check resource for all owners seeking that gold trophy. Be sure to take a look.
Peyton Manning, Braylon Edwards and Fred Taylor are all top-five starts at their positions, so Romig should like his chances of defeating Funston this week.
That said, in Thursday's Steelers-Rams game, Hines Ward only scored five points and Heath Miller scored zero for team Romig. Trailing just 5-0 while holding a two-player advantage, Funston is my pick to become the 2007 Friends and Family League winner.
Here is the most notable roster move that was made in the Friends and Family League following the Week 15 slate of games. I examine why the move was made and whether or not you should consider making the same roster addition in your league.
The Move: Funston added Dominic Rhodes and dropped Todd Heap
The Logic: Rhodes will start Sunday against the Jaguars in place of Justin Fargas (knee). Despite Rhodes facing the league's fifth-best rush defense, Funston feels he's more likely to produce than Samkon Gado is at New England. Heap (hamstring) will not play in Week 16.
Read and React: On the road in Jacksonville, Rhodes isn't a pretty start this week. Unless you're absolutely desperate, look elsewhere.