The pro football season kicks off tonight, and the Fool is getting in the spirit. Our fantasy team might just help you tear up the investing gridiron! Head this way to read all about the starting lineup.
Let me draw up a different kind of game plan for this fantasy football piece. As an eclectic investor, I find opportunities by going against conventional wisdom, so let me go with a growth stock for defense and a value stock for offense.
Don't worry. It'll make sense in the end. As a fantasy football buff, it's the way I play the game. I don't bother trying to draft Peyton Manning in the first round. I can pick up Matt Leinart or Jon Kitna in the fifth round. Or I can wait even longer and draft David Garrard -- yes, Garrard -- in the 12th round. Of those four quarterbacks, I'll bet you that Manning isn't the one with the best fantasy numbers by the end of the year. Just wait.
Let's kick things off, then, shall we?
Mr. Softy doesn't get a whole lot of love among growth-stock investors these days. That explains why the only Motley Fool newsletter with Microsoft on its scorecard is Inside Value.
It's easy to see why the world's leading software company isn't a snug fit in running shoes lately. There are barbarians attacking from all over. Apple
Why am I not worried? Well, Apple still commands just a single-digit percentage of the PC market. Besides, Apple does Windows these days, and one of the hottest third-party titles for Apple is Microsoft's Office. Salesforce is a force, though most of the subscriber computers are still powered by Microsoft.
Sure, trading at just 17 times this year's bottom-line expectations, it's easy to see Microsoft as a value play. However, I see it as the well-rounded offense, with more options in the playbook than the market knows about.
Defense: The Knot
A dot-com defender? Don't laugh. The Knot is the country's leading wedding planning website. Pre-tax profits are soaring thanks to service providers, who are flocking to the website as sponsors, paying well to reach young people about to spend a whole lot of money.
The model is perfect, and the company's acquisition of Wedding Channel last year has it sitting pretty as the niche leader in online bridal registries. The shares may appear to be richly priced at less than 40 times next year's analyst profit estimates, but that's the price of admission for a fast-growing company that just about owns a high-margin market. Really, now, do you think folks will stop getting married anytime soon?
I doubt it. The stock may have nearly doubled since being recommended to Rule Breakers subscribers last year, but love is the best defense.
Now be careful out there. Fantasy football injuries can be season-enders.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz really does stand by his fantasy QB picks. He may also be the only person to rank Stephen Jackson, Frank Gore, and Joseph Addai ahead of Larry Johnson after LT is taken off the board with the first overall pick. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.