The counter play is an option

A funny thing happened on my way to my seventh victory of the season.

Peyton Manning threw a career-high six interceptions in the Indianapolis Colts’ loss to the San Diego Chargers. So why is that a good thing? Manning’s six picks allowed me to come back and beat my formidable opponent. The reason: I had the Chargers’ defense.

It was a rare situation where having an offensive player, along with their opposing defense, were able to cancel each other out but give me enough points to win. Don’t expect that to occur often. And other methods of canceling out points aren’t great ideas, either.

For example, if your opponent has Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson and you have quarterback Matt Schaub, the best way to neutralize your opponent is to start the banged-up Schaub. After all, someone has to throw Johnson the passes, right?

While that’s an interesting way to look at it, it’s not necessarily a logical method. Besides, you mean to tell me that you’re going to bench Tony Romo for Schaub? I’m stumped. If you’ve been smart the whole season, you know that the best way to go at your opponent is to simply look at the matchups each week. Stick with the basics, commit some time for homework and you’ll be better off.

STONE-COLD LOCK: Marc Bulger vs. 49ers: Hopefully, you haven’t given up on this guy. I’ve seen him get benched, traded, cut and picked up — just to be cut again. But the St. Louis Rams’ quarterback will do well against a Niners defense that has struggled with the pass rush and has an underachieving secondary.

cnavalta@examiner.com

Start ’em

» QB: Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks

» RB: Earnest Graham, Buccaneers

» WR: Santonio Holmes, Steelers

» TE: L.J. Smith, Eagles

» K: Rob Bironas, Titans

Sit ’em

» QB: Jon Kitna, Lions

» RB: Rudi Johnson, Bengals

» WR: Steve Smith, Panthers

» TE: Greg Olsen, Bears

» K: Mike Nugent, Jets

Pick ’em up

» QB: Rex Grossman, Bears

» RB: Chris Brown, Titans

» RB: Chester Taylor, Vikings

» WR: Drew Bennett, Rams

» Defense: Buccaneers

Cut ’em

» RB: Derrick Ward, Giants

» RB: Dominic Rhodes, Raiders

» WR: Nate Burleson, Seahawks

» K: Jay Feely, Dolphins

» Defense: Texans

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