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Fantasy football: Week 7's showdown in Motown

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Here it is, POD faithful. The moment that only a handful of you have been waiting for...

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Editor's Note: A new $2,000,000 one-week fantasy football league has opened on FanDuel for Week 7. First place wins $150,000 on Sunday. Join now!

It's been a matchup almost six weeks in the making. Once Pride Of Detroit Writer Alex Reno told me that his mother beat him in their family fantasy football matchup in Week 1, I couldn't have been happier to tease the everlasting crap out of him. A writer, a knowledgable one at that, who watches more football than most of you could stomach, was given the business by the woman who changed his diapers and tucked him in at night for the past twenty-some years. This feud escalated from there. I took the chance to take shots on the PODcast, he joined the PODcast the following week and fired back, and now things have reached a head. It's come to a breaking point. And only one man will walk out of Week 7 with their head held high, and I'd like you, the POD faithful, to chime in with who you are siding with this week in our FanDuel Daily Fantasy Matchup of the Week: Mr. Alex Reno, or myself, your beloved fantasy adviser, Ryan Mathews.

What you'll find below is the exchange both Alex and myself had via email over the past few days. Completely unedited and in its entirety, this is how we arrived at the lineups we are both wagering $1 dollar on this week in a H2H matchup on FanDuel.

Mathews: It's that time, Reno. Who knows when daily fantasy sports will become a thing of the past like Surge and Bawls. Let's get to pickin'.

Reno: I'm readier than I'll ever be. I just hope you're better at daily fantasy than you are at Rocket League. My only stipulation for this heated affair is that there will be no mother consulting. Let's get it on.

Mathews: How can I trust that you won't be exchanging chores for fantasy tips from Mrs. Reno? This goes both ways: no mother consulting. Deal. Since I'm the resident FanDuel expert, I'm going to defer to you for the first pick. Reno, Alex, is on the clock.

Reno: Alright, whatever. I digress.

Calvin Johnson at $8,400

The Lions did something strange before their game against the Bears last week. They decided to completely skip player introductions. I think we all know why. They didn't want to hear the early boo birds in hopes of keeping the crowd on their side for at least the early duration of the game. I'm going to take a page out of the Lions' book here and make a heel-face turn by picking the hometown favorite, Calvin Johnson. That's right, Megatron is back and he's going to feast on Xavier Rhodes and the rest of the Vikings' defense.

With Joe Lombardi in the booth, the offense is going to peak. But I wouldn't stop there. Let's put Lombardi on a blimp with a pair of binoculars and hope that his headset loses reception, so that Matthew Stafford can sling the ball wherever he pleases.

Mathews: Is it embarrassing to walk around with Honolulu Blue stained lips from all of the Kool-Aid you chugged before that pick? Or are you simply trying to get back into everyone's good graces after being ever so slightly critical of Mr. Stafford after the debacle that was Week 5 against Arizona? Regardless, I hope for the POD's collective sake that your pick crushes it this week.

I want to take a running back with my first selection, and that man is...

Devonta Freeman at $8,700

There's no end in sight for the terror that Devonta Freeman is causing defenses in 2015. This week, he and the Falcons head to Tennessee to take on a Titans run defense that is surrendering an average of 129.6 Y/G. Julio and the rest of the Falcons' offense look to be healthy after the rather lackluster performance the offense as a whole turned in against the Saints last Thursday, so hopefully a healthy core of receivers will keep things open for Devonta out of the backfield and the flats. Even if it doesn't, who cares? Freeman still scored 31.6 FP by racking up 100 yards on just 13 carries and 56 receiving yards on eight catches. Tevin Coleman never stood a chance.

Did I mention that we're doing this draft gym class style? If I didn't, tough luck, tell your mom to check on the meatloaf to drown your sorrows in.

With my second selection I'm taking my second running back...

Todd Gurley at $7,400

The fantasy relationship between Gurley and I started off a little rocky. I drafted him first overall in my keeper league draft, skipping on Abdullah, and effectively going with my head instead of my heart and hormones after watching the shifty moves and explosive plays from the former Cornhusker during the preseason. After Week 1 against San Diego, I was sure I had made a mistake. Gurley was still on the shelf and Abdullah was drawing praise from O'Hara as being reminiscent of a certain former Lions' runner... But then Gurley got to get on the field and show me what I loosely understood from his time at Georgia: he's good.

This week, Gurley finds himself in an incredibly advantageous position: coming off of a bye, at home, and facing the Cleveland Browns, who are giving up a league worst 149.8 Y/G on the ground.

Your move, Reno.

Reno: You slimy, filthy dog. You knew what you were doing the moment you put me on the clock. Oh well, that's on me. I shouldn't have trusted you the moment you picked wings over pizza. And you have the nerve to speak about Tevin Coleman in a negative light? This is personal now.

With my next pick, I take...

Philip Rivers at $8,000

Philip Rivers is an emotional roller coaster. One day he's having his worst day ever, and the next he's throwing for over 500 yards on 65 pass attempts. He is the most GIF-able QB other than Sad Face Eli. But most importantly, he's averaging the third-highest amount of fantasy points per game (20.6) via Fanduel and is the eighth-cheapest option at QB. Not to mention he's going up against Oakland's 21st-ranked pass defense in DVOA. That's a highway robbery if I ever saw one.

Now, for a running back. I'll go with a sleeper early and take...

Danny Woodhead at $6,000

That's right. Back-to-back Chargers. Rivers has to throw the ball to someone right? Melvin Gordon did his best Ameer Abdullah impersonation, fumbling the ball twice last week and was eventually benched. Woodhead is averaging over five targets per contest in the passing game and I expect that number to increase against the Raiders. I've never been so sure about something in my life. Pick Danny Woodhead for your Fanduel leagues, everyone.

Advantage, Reno. Your move.

Mathews: I lie, I cheat, I steal. I'm actively trying to break whatever the record is for the number of wrestling references in an article on POD is but I'm fairly sure we've already passed it. I don't trust you as far as Philip Rivers can throw a football, so I'm taking any and every advantage I can in putting together a team that will end this fantasy beef we have. By the way, I didn't know you mom was such a Chargers' fan.

Without further ado, my third selection is...

DeAndre Hopkins at $9,200

Hopkins, ever since he turned DeAngelo Hall into a human folding chair, has entirely won me over. The ensuing Twitter barbs they threw each other's way was the icing on the cake. This guy is on his way to having a historic season as far as wideouts go -- on pace for almost 2,000 receiving yards -- and he hasn't even had a consistent starting quarterback from week to week, running routes for the likes of Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett.

And with my fourth selection, let me snatch up another wideout...

Tavon Austin at $5,800

Here is the pick that could make or break this showdown between you and me, Reno. I like how the Rams have been using Austin in their offense: putting him in position to get out in space and have the chance to make defenders miss, which is where he really excels. He's one of the few receivers in the league who is getting chances out of the backfield, which makes him a guy with real boom or bust potential.

If you want, and I won't tell anyone, Alex, we can start this draft over if you feel too intimidated about my team in comparison to who your mom has picked out for you so far.

Reno: That sounds like a cry for help to me. I think your massive ego is overshadowing your undying doubt. You may have started out with the better team, but this is not over. Your time is up and my time is now. I'm going to shock the world.

Let's get straight to the point here. My next selection is...

TY Hilton at $7,700

Andrew Luck is back, and while he hasn't been all that great, he's still going to throw the ball a ton. Hilton has also had a somewhat slow start, but my gut tells me he's going to ball out at home against a porous Saints defense that's giving up 271.5 passing yards per game and has allowed an opposing QB Rating of 106.8 per game. This is a bounce-back game for the Colts' struggling passing attack.

I'm losing count on picks now, but I'll go with a running back next. That man is...

Arian Foster at $8,600

Apparently Arian Foster has been back for three weeks now. I had no idea. I actually thought he returned last week, but who really cares about the AFC South anyway? The Colts are by far the best team in that division and they aren't even good. Winning that division this year is like Mount St. Mary's getting an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament and subsequently getting their asses handed to them by a No. 1 seed. It's pointless.

But anyway, Arian Foster is good and will be facing a flimsy Dolphins run defense that is giving up 141 rushing yards per game this year. You thought DeAndre Hopkins was going to steal the show for the Texas this week? Think again, pal.

Mathews: So you counter with two guys who have gone into every week this season a different flavor of alphabet soup? I'm really starting to like my chances this week, especially after I introduce you to my next two additions to the winning recipe.

But first, let me extend a good-natured congratulations to you, Alex, for getting an 84% on your Calculus 2 exam. If only you put the same amount of effort into picking this fantasy lineup as you did studying for that test, you'd actually be going somewhere in life. Hold on, my mom's asking me if I grabbed the mail yet today.

No mail yet, but here's my next two picks:

John Brown at $6,700

Heading into this season, I was real high on Brown as the slot receiver/third option for the Cardinals for a bunch of reasons, but now he's clearly the yang to Fitzgerald's ying, hauling in ten catches on 14 targets for 196 yards of receiving offense. This week, I'm especially high on Brown. He's going to get plenty of opportunities against a porous Ravens pass-defense that has surrendered a whole boat-load of fantasy points to wideouts this year. Believe in Brown.

Antonio Gates at $5,800

Just to protect you from your own self, Alex, I'm going to snag up a San Diego Chargers' player in an effort to make sure you adhere to the rules of FanDuel -- no lineup can have more than four players from a single team. Gates has looked impressive over his first two weeks back from a four game suspension for PEDs, which I think he may have been still taking over those four weeks. The thirty-five year old Gates has had back-to-back nine catch games, each time nearly cracking the century mark, and scoring twice in his first time back on the field in Week 5 against Pittsburgh. This week, the Chargers get Oakland, and Gates has had a well-documented track record of success against the Raiders in his career.


Reno: John Brown? I'm not as high as you are on the Cardinals receiver, but if that's really who you're going to take as your final receiver, then your FanDuel team may replicate the fate of another famous John Brown. BURN.

Let me introduce you to my next pick...

Jason Witten at $5,600

The Cowboys are without Tony Romo which basically renders their offense useless. However, since Dez Bryant's injury, Dallas QBs have rarely targeted their receivers and will look to dump the ball off plenty to Witten. Heading into this game, the Giants are giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. This is a slam dunk pick.

St. Louis Rams at $4,500

St. Louis' defense is good. Cleveland's offense is not.

My rationale is unblemished. My team is flawless. My team is the cream. CREAM OF THE CROP.

Mathews: I really hate the fact that you used what is most likely my favorite wrestling promo ever against me. I'd be even more upset, but you just picked what is the equivalent of Sara Lee white sandwich bread at tight end, so I guess things could be worse. Jason Witten, really? And on top of that, you're putting your trust in Matt Cassel? If you wanted to have a crappy weekend, we should have just hopped in the Delorean, first went back to the day you chose to be a Spartan fan instead of a Wolverine and reverse that decision, and then jumped back ahead to last weekend and had you tune into that one game that got played last weekend. I'm growing tired of this back and forth, allow me to just tell you who my final three picks are for this showdown.

Detroit Lions at $4,400

The Vikings' offense is nothing that frightens me. With the likely addition of James Ighedibo and Haloti Ngata back to the lineup this week, the Lions' defense should be ready to play with a lot of the same tenacity they had in Week 4 against Seattle on Monday Night Football, the last time Ngata was able to get on the field.

Matt Prater at $4,500

The cheapest kicker, playing in a dome, and he hasn't missed a FG all year. Sure, he's only kicked six of them, but that's going to change this weekend as Lombardi's offense from above continues to improve and prosper. So that's one Matt...

Matt Stafford at $7,400

And there's the other one. I wish I could get these two to have this be their entrance onto Ford Field this weekend. That's right, POD faithful, I'm all the way in on Detroit this week. Count 'em up, that's not one, not two, but three Lions on my FanDuel team this week to take down Mr. Alex Reno.

So, Alex Reno, Ryan Mathews, fantasy guru and expert of POD says you can just bring it.

Reno: Reminder: The Detroit Lions aren't very good. So I can't really say you've saved the best for last. But I'm glad you let me close things out so that I can drop the mic. Did you really just counter a Macho Man promo with a Rock promo?! I am thoroughly disgusted with you. This needs to end right now.

Stefon Diggs at $5,800

Diggs is playing the Lions. I'm not going to be happy if he shreds Detroit's secondary, but the man is on fire right now. He's caught 13 passes for 216 yards over the past two games. Despite Charles Johnson coming off of a rib injury, I still have faith that Diggs will continue to demand targets from Teddy and be a beast. Charles Johnson isn't very good.

Stephen Gostkowski at $5,100

He kicks the ball a lot and it goes in.

Checkmate. The POD Fanduel Fantasy Football Championship (PODFFFC) belt belongs to me now.

mathews vs reno

And scene. There you have it folks. Those are the two teams we have put together for Week 7. Who has the better team? Who had the best wrestling references? Let's hear about it in the comments!