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CONSIDER RECENT DEFENSE TRENDS WHEN LOOKING AT FANTASY PLAYOFF MATCHUPS

November 29, 2010 2:58 pm Published by
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Many owners who have the privilege of not having to be anxiously fixed on living past week 13 are already looking forward the most important weeks of the season, the Playoffs.

Most leagues will have their playoffs start week 14 and extend to week 16. So it no longer matters if you won your last 10 games, went undefeated or even barely made it in. If you can win three games in a row from there, you win it all.

Throughout each fantasy week owners will study what defenses their players face. Wise owners will make some of these decisions based on the “path of least resistance” to the highest points they can get for a given week. This is gained by starting players with easier opponents, thus “less resistance”.

Matchups matter too. Consider this comparison of two fantasy Quarterbacks through week ten:

First, lets look at Schaub. He is interesting to study not only in 2010, but also looking back to 2009. Schaub had an amazing breakout season in 2009 and won many fantasy championships with his 5th overall fantasy QB finish and led the NFL with 4770 yards and 5th overall with 29 TDs. Not bad for a guy going in the 6th round or later in most drafts that summer. He finished with and impressive 20 fantasy points per game average. This was no surprise to those who watch the matchups since Schaub went into 2009 with the 6th easiest fantasy schedule of all fantasy QBs.

In 2010, Schaub averages 15 fpts, 257 Yds and 1.75 TDs per game, down 30% from 2010 but that should also be no surprise since he entered the 2010 season with the 23rd easiest schedule for fantasy QBs. (*a note that “dynasty” leagues don’t give you the flexibility to play matchups)

More importantly, matchups WITHIN the fantasy season dictate fantasy player performances. For example, in 2010 when Schaub plays teams that rank in the bottom 10 against fantasy quarterbacks, he averages +33% productivity (22.5 Fpts / 3101Yds / 2 TD) per game over his average.

Conversely,  when Schaub plays teams that rank in the TOP 10 against fantasy quarterbacks, he averages -52% productivity (7.25 Fpts / 204 Yds / .75 TD) per game UNDER his average.

Now, let’s looks at another “matchup affected” fantasy Quarterback; Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitz is interesting because most fantasy owners consider him a “from out of nowhere” boom player who many consider a weekly start. Both are incorrect, granted, Fitz only started 6 games since taking over for Edwards, but the Bills were ranked 4th easiest schedule for fantasy quarterbacks coming into 2010. So not exactly “out of nowhere”.

Now, let’s look at how he plays the matchups to see if he is a weekly starter:

Ryan Fitzpatrick averages 19.25 Fpts 245 Yds and 2.25 TDs per game in eight games this season.

In 2010 when Fitzpatrick plays teams that rank in the bottom 10 against fantasy quarterbacks, he averages +44% productivity (30 Fpts / 243 Yds / 3 TD) per game over his average.

Conversely,  when Schaub plays teams that rank in the TOP 10 against fantasy quarterbacks, he averages -30% productivity (13.3 Fpts / 203 Yds / 1 TD) per game UNDER his average.

Bottom line, he is a matchup play, not a weekly starter (BTW: he is has the 11th ranked SOS for QBs weeks 11-16)

Of course you can find examples of matchup-immune players that can perform well against any Defense (RB Peyton Hillis), and some that simply cant perform against any D…but if you apply these numbers across ALL players, the impact is significant.

Ok, so you know this concept already. You may have already been looking at the defenses that your players play in the post-season to see how good your chances are of performing above average or below average when the games really count. We even provided a list of those players for you in our “Best Fantasy Playoffs Matchups” article.

BUT do you know what the TRENDS are for Defenses against positions? Trends are an important statistical component when using historical data to predict future performances. Especially if you are betting the farm on them.

For example, if you watch football or visit fantasy sites, you will see that 90% of the sites have JAX Defense #2 WORST Against QBs. So you might start your QB against JAX over another QB you have on your team because you see how poor JAX ranks. HOWEVER, if you look at only the LAST FIVE WEEKS of data, you will see that they are the #16 TOUGHEST Defense Against QBs! Or how about how most rankings show the JETS as only a middle of the road matchup (15th easiest) for opposing fantasy WRs? Well in the last 5 weeks, they rank #2 Toughest matchup for fantasy WRs. Thats a pretty huge difference and can be very deceiving when making the most important lineup decisions of the season.

You can also get caught if you play the matchups by “Name Only”. For example, we are constantly hearing from owners who want to load up against teams like CLE or DET in their weekly matchups, but did you know that DET is the 7th Toughest matchup for opposing WRs in the last 5 weeks? Or that CLE is top 15 toughest matchup for opposing RBs? Also some ranks work the other way, you may see TEN as the 15th toughest defense against fantasy RBs, but in the last 5 weeks they are actually the 4th easiest defense against fantasy RBs.

Many Defenses stay at about the same ranking but its important to be familiar with the most recent trends moving forward.

Our “Strength of Schedule Matrix” considered only last 5 weeks performances when determining a team/position strength fo remaining schedule.

Take a look at the Season Defense ranks against Fantasy QBs vs Last Five Weeks  Defense ranks against Fantasy QBs, RBs, WRs, TEs and DST :

Legend:

#1 rank = easiest matchup Defense became tougher against position over the last 5 weeks and trends as a more difficult matchup than their season ranking indicates

#32  rank=Toughest Defense became easier against position over the last 5 weeks and trends as an easier matchup than than their season ranking indicates

______

= QUARTERBACKS =

SEASON RANKING LAST 5 WEEKS RANKING TREND
1. Houston Texans vs. QB 1. Dallas Cowboys vs. QB -5
2. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. QB 2. Houston Texans vs. QB +1
3. Denver Broncos vs. QB 3. Denver Broncos vs. QB 0
4. Washington Redskins vs. QB 4. Washington Redskins vs. QB 0
5. New England Patriots vs. QB 5. Atlanta Falcons vs. QB -11
6. Dallas Cowboys vs. QB 6. New England Patriots vs. QB +1
7. Detroit Lions vs. QB 7. Minnesota Vikings vs. QB -8
8. Buffalo Bills vs. QB 8. Kansas City Chiefs vs. QB -2
9. Oakland Raiders vs. QB 9. Detroit Lions vs. QB +2
10. Kansas City Chiefs vs. QB 10. Seattle Seahawks vs. QB -1
11. Seattle Seahawks vs. QB 11. San Francisco 49ers vs. QB -2
12. Cleveland Browns vs. QB 12. Oakland Raiders vs. QB +3
13. San Francisco 49ers vs. QB 13. Baltimore Ravens vs. QB -15
14. Arizona Cardinals vs. QB 14. Cleveland Browns vs. QB +2
15. Minnesota Vikings vs. QB 15. New York Giants vs. QB -9
16. Atlanta Falcons vs. QB 16. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. QB +14
17. New York Jets vs. QB 17. Buffalo Bills vs. QB +9
18. Philadelphia Eagles vs. QB 18. Arizona Cardinals vs. QB +4
19. Indianapolis Colts vs. QB 19. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. QB -6
20. St. Louis Rams vs. QB 20. Tennessee Titans vs. QB -1
21. Tennessee Titans vs. QB 21. Indianapolis Colts vs. QB +2
22. Carolina Panthers vs. QB 22. Carolina Panthers vs. QB 0
23. Miami Dolphins vs. QB 23. St. Louis Rams vs. QB +3
24. New York Giants vs. QB 24. Cincinnati Bengals vs. QB -3
25. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. QB 25. New York Jets vs. QB +8
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. QB 26. Philadelphia Eagles vs. QB +8
27. Cincinnati Bengals vs. QB 27. Miami Dolphins vs. QB +4
28. Baltimore Ravens vs. QB 28. San Diego Chargers vs. QB -2
29. Green Bay Packers vs. QB 29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. QB +3
30. San Diego Chargers vs. QB 30. Chicago Bears vs. QB -2
31. New Orleans Saints vs. QB 31. New Orleans Saints vs. QB 0
32. Chicago Bears vs. QB 32. Green Bay Packers vs. QB +3

Notable Trends:

  • ATL (-11) The season started off well for the Falcons when they held 4 of their first 5 opposing fantasy QBs to under 11 fpts. Drew Brees dropped 28 on them and that appears to have been a glimpse into the second half. However in the last 5 games, ATL has allowed no less than 2 TDs per game and 25 fpts against for QBs.  The likes of Bradford, Flacco and Freeman have fared very well in recent week, expect the same for Freeman and maybe even Hasselbeck.
  • BAL (-15) In a similar fashion to ATL, the Ravens overcame preseason injuries in the secondary to only allow 1 out of the first 4 QBs to score 11 fpts. However a 6 game stretch followed where they gave up 3 multi TD games and 8 of their 12 TDs to opposing fantasy QBs. Except for a date with Brian St. Pierre in week 11, they have been lit up. The return of Ed Reed was supposed to help, but giving up two 30+ games in three games is a good trend for Freeman, Big Ben, Matt Schaub and Drew Brees.
  • NYG (-9) The Giants shook off 2009′s distinction of being one of the leagues worst secondaries early in 2010. With shut down games against, Matt Moore, Cutler and Schaub, QBs were running for their lives and not being productive fantasy starts. They knocked out 5 QBs in the first 7 weeks. However, in the last 5 weeks they give up 19 fpts a game to backups like Kitna, Stanton and Whitehurst. They contained Vick  one week after his fantasy historic game but could be an easier matchup than expected for Garrard, McNabb, Favre and Vick again.
  • JAX (+14) The Jaguars became one of those “name” defenses that you would automatically start your fantasy QBs against and expect big things from. A lot of this came from their horrible 2009 showing but also from giving up 26 fpts/game  and 3 multiple TD games through week 5. However, either things have changed a bit or the quality of QBs has gone down. In the last 5 games, they only allow 17 fpts/game and only 2 multi TD games. Schaub lit them up for 26 but everyone else couldn’t break 20. This means that Eli, Kerry Collins, Gradkowski and Peyton may not have the light up games you expect.
  • BUF (+9) The Bills started off very poorly allowing 21 fpts/game and 5 multi TD games in their first 5 games. Thats a multi TD game per opposing QB. In the last 5 games, they average 17 fpts/game and have only allowed 2 multi TD games. This means possibly less gaudy results for Ben Roethlisberger, Favre and Brady coming up.
  • NYJ (+8) Coming into the 2010 season, The Jets were looking like an unbeatable secondary. However, Revis Island was put on hold due to entering the season out of shape and missing about three games. After averaging 17 fpts/game in the first 5 weeks and giving up 4 of 5 multi TD games to opposing fantasy QBs, The Jets have only allowed one 2 TD game to Stafford and only 14 fpts/game since. Expect a tough matchup for Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and Cutler from here on out.

Players that Benefit a bit more that is seems: Josh Freeman, Aaron Rodgers

Players this Hurts a bit more that is seems: Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger

Best Playoff Matchups (based on more accurate trend rankings):

1. Josh Freeman
2. Michael Vick
3. Aaron Rodgers
4. Kerry Collins
5. Kyle Orton
6. Matt Schaub
7. David Garrard
8. Jay Cutler
9. Jason Campbell
10. Drew Brees

= RUNNING BACKS =

SEASON RANKINGS LAST 5 WEEKS RANKINGS TREND
1. Denver Broncos vs. RB 1. Denver Broncos vs. RB 0
2. Arizona Cardinals vs. RB 2. Seattle Seahawks vs. RB -5
3. Detroit Lions vs. RB 3. Arizona Cardinals vs. RB +1
4. Buffalo Bills vs. RB 4. Tennessee Titans vs. RB -14*
5. Indianapolis Colts vs. RB 5. New England Patriots vs. RB -3
6. Oakland Raiders vs. RB 6. Cincinnati Bengals vs. RB -8
7. Seattle Seahawks vs. RB 7. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. RB -4
8. New England Patriots vs. RB 8. Buffalo Bills vs. RB +4
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. RB 9. San Diego Chargers vs. RB -12
10. Carolina Panthers vs. RB 10. Philadelphia Eagles vs. RB -2
11. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. RB 11. Indianapolis Colts vs. RB +6
12. Philadelphia Eagles vs. RB 12. Detroit Lions vs. RB +9
13. Houston Texans vs. RB 13. Carolina Panthers vs. RB +3
14. Cincinnati Bengals vs. RB 14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. RB +5
15. Washington Redskins vs. RB 15. Washington Redskins vs. RB 0
16. Kansas City Chiefs vs. RB 16. Miami Dolphins vs. RB -3
17. New Orleans Saints vs. RB 17. Dallas Cowboys vs. RB -3
18. Tennessee Titans vs. RB 18. Kansas City Chiefs vs. RB +2
19. Miami Dolphins vs. RB 19. Cleveland Browns vs. RB -5
20. Dallas Cowboys vs. RB 20. St. Louis Rams vs. RB -2
21. San Diego Chargers vs. RB 21. Oakland Raiders vs. RB +15
22. San Francisco 49ers vs. RB 22. Houston Texans vs. RB +9
23. St. Louis Rams vs. RB 23. Minnesota Vikings vs. RB -2
24. Cleveland Browns vs. RB 24. New York Jets vs. RB -6
25. Minnesota Vikings vs. RB 25. Baltimore Ravens vs. RB -2
26. Chicago Bears vs. RB 26. San Francisco 49ers vs. RB +4
27. Baltimore Ravens vs. RB 27. New York Giants vs. RB -1
28. New York Giants vs. RB 28. Green Bay Packers vs. RB -1
29. Green Bay Packers vs. RB 29. New Orleans Saints vs. RB +12
30. Atlanta Falcons vs. RB 30. Chicago Bears vs. RB +4
31. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. RB 31. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. RB 0
32. New York Jets vs. RB 32. Atlanta Falcons vs. RB +2

Notable Trends: Most notable is the top three teams stayed exactly where they were. Just goes to show that you know early which teams you can run on and it usually stays that way all season.

  • *TEN (-14) This one is tricky actually. This is an example of the overall points against data being counted on the rank. This, as opposed to this just ranking #1 RB points against. In this case, their rank is effected by their week 8 game vs San Diego where three backs scored over 10 fpts against them. As a result, their rank factors in that data as if separate teams scored against them. If you were to only count the high scorer from week 8, Mike Tolbert, and used only the scores from #1 RBs, then they average only 11 fpts/game, which would rank them #4th toughest against fantasy RBs holding 4 out of their last 5 RBs to 10 points or less. Treat them as a top 5 BAD matchup. So actually view this as bad news for MJD, Indy backs and Arian Foster. Jones and Charles also have them in a matchup week 16.
  • SD (-12) The Chargers have a great defense this season (#1 NFL defense) and were one of the toughest matchup for opposing fantasy RBs in the first 4 games of the season, holding 4 of 5 opposing RBs to 9 or less points. However they have been gashed in the last month allowing 4 of the last 5 RBs to score 14 or more fantasy points including 31 from Arian Foster in week 9. McFadden, Charles, Gore and Benson will all benefit from this trend.
  • CIN (-8) Cincy had two recent good performances against fantasy RBs in week 10 and 12 holding those rushers under 9 fpts. However they got hit pretty hard against Fred Jackson in week 11 and Mendenhall in week 9. A 26 point game from Turner against them also pumps them up. This could be an easier matchup for Mendenhall again, Hillis and the Chargers backs later this season.
  • OAK (+15) This is the perfect example of looking at data, not just team names. Oakland has always been an easy matchup against fantasy RBs, including this year when they allowed huge games to Chris Johnson, SJax, Arian Foster and Moreno this season. However, in the last 3 weeks, no back has scored more than 10 fpts and Seattle couldn’t break 4 fpts from either back. This negatively effects The Chargers backs, MJD, Moreno and the Indy Backs from here on out.
  • HOU (+9) We all know you can throw on the Texans, so really it may just be the data reflecting the fact that teams do not even need to run. So they have either been stout against the run or opponents just gameplan the pass against them. Either way, this means your RB may not fare as well as expected against HOU. After allowing 12 fpts a game in the first 6 games, they have only allowed one rusher (MJD) to score over 10 points in the last 4. This is slightly bad news for Chris Johnson, McCoy, Ray Rice and Moreno.
  • NO (+12) The saints have been staying competitive through their defense as their offense had a couple down weeks. They have become in the top 5 TOUGHEST against fantasy players in every category. Against the run, they started they season givin gup big games to Gore, Turner and Dengello Williams in the first month to the tune of 18 fpts a game. Since then, they only give up 8 fpts a game including two RBs scoring under 5 fpts in the last three weeks. This is some bad news for Steven Jackson, Ray Rice and Mike Turner.

______

Players that Benefit a bit more that is seems: Gore, Charles, Hillis, Mendenhall
Players this Hurts a bit more that is seems: Maurice Jones-Drew, Chargers backs, Moreno, Ray Rice

Best Playoff Matchups (based on more accurate trend rankings):

  1. Darren McFadden
  2. Felix Jones
  3. LaGarrette Blount
  4. Arian Foster
  5. Frank Gore
  6. Beanie Wells
  7. Donald Brown / Joseph Addai
  8. Jamaal Charles / Thomas Jones
  9. WAS RB
  10. Peyton Hillis

= WIDE RECEIVERS =

SEASON RANKINGS LAST 5 WEEKS RANKINGS TREND
1. Houston Texans vs. WR 1. Dallas Cowboys vs. WR -1
2. Dallas Cowboys vs. WR 2. Baltimore Ravens vs. WR -10
3. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. WR 3. Atlanta Falcons vs. WR -3
4. Washington Redskins vs. WR 4. Houston Texans vs. WR +3
5. Seattle Seahawks vs. WR 5. Seattle Seahawks vs. WR 0
6. Atlanta Falcons vs. WR 6. Washington Redskins vs. WR +2
7. New England Patriots vs. WR 7. Cincinnati Bengals vs. WR -4
8. Arizona Cardinals vs. WR 8. Minnesota Vikings vs. WR -2
9. Cleveland Browns vs. WR 9. San Francisco 49ers vs. WR -7
10. Minnesota Vikings vs. WR 10. Arizona Cardinals vs. WR +2
11. Cincinnati Bengals vs. WR 11. New England Patriots vs. WR                 +4
12. Baltimore Ravens vs. WR 12. Kansas City Chiefs vs. WR -2
13. Denver Broncos vs. WR 13. Denver Broncos vs. WR 0
14. Kansas City Chiefs vs. WR 14. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. WR +11
15. Detroit Lions vs. WR 15. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. WR -8
16. San Francisco 49ers vs. WR 16. New York Giants vs. WR -6
17. New York Jets vs. WR 17. Philadelphia Eagles vs. WR -11*
18. Indianapolis Colts vs. WR 18. Indianapolis Colts vs. WR 0
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. WR 19. Buffalo Bills vs. WR -3
20. St. Louis Rams vs. WR 20. Cleveland Browns vs. WR +11
21. New York Giants vs. WR 21. Miami Dolphins vs. WR -5
22. Buffalo Bills vs. WR 22. Chicago Bears vs. WR -7
23. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. WR 23. Oakland Raiders vs. WR -4
24. Tennessee Titans vs. WR 24. Tennessee Titans vs. WR 0
25. Green Bay Packers vs. WR 25. Green Bay Packers vs. WR 0
26. Miami Dolphins vs. WR 26. Detroit Lions vs. WR +11
27. Oakland Raiders vs. WR 27. St. Louis Rams vs. WR +7
28. Philadelphia Eagles vs. WR 28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. WR +9
29. Chicago Bears vs. WR 29. Carolina Panthers vs. WR -1
30. Carolina Panthers vs. WR 30. San Diego Chargers vs. WR -1
31. San Diego Chargers vs. WR 31. New York Jets vs. WR +14
32. New Orleans Saints vs. WR 32. New Orleans Saints vs. WR 0

Notable Trends:

  • BAL (-10) This is another classic example of a “name team”. The Ravens had been so good on defense for so long, they are often feared as a tough matchup by fantasy owners in 2010. They started their season with injuries in the secondary and peaked after three weeks at 24th easiest. Their season started with three WRs held under 4 fpts. On the season they are only #12 easiest due to huge games against them by fantasy receivers like Brandon Lloyd(25), Lee Evans (28), Roddy White (25) with an average of 19 fpts allowed each week to WRs over the last 6 weeks. Only one wR (Brian Hartline W9) scored under 15 fpts since week 4. Load up your WRs against BAL from here on out including bumps for players like; Mike Wallace, Andre Johnson and Marquez Colston.
  • *PHI (-11) This is actually another odd stat we wanted to isolate for you. Although the Eagles are ranked 17th easiest, they really should be considered a tougher matchup for your WRs. If you take out the one 40 point Kenny Britt game in week 7, then Philly actually only gives up 9 fpts/game, which would make them the one of the top toughest teams your fantasy Wrs can face. This means you can bump DOWN the following WRs a bit: Andre Johnson, Miles Austin, Mario Manningham and Sydney Rice.
  • PIT (-9) Over the first five weeks of the season, the tough Pittsburg secondary gave up only 7 fpts/game to opposing fantasy receivers. Since then they give up 12 fpts a game. This is better news than you thought for Anquan Boldin, T.O, Santonio Holmes ans Steve Smith (Car).
  • JAX (+11) As early ago as the first half of this season, the Jaguars were a defense that you “must start” your passing game fantasy players against. It hasn’t changed much, but they are trending towards a slightly tougher matchup. Over the first 5 weeks, opposing fantasy WRs averaged 16 fpts/game. Over the last 6, they average 12. Its not much of a drop off, but enough to slide them down the ranks. They are definitely a good matchup, just not the best.
  • CLE (+11) Cleveland, another “name” team, was very poor against the pass until just the last month. Through their week 8 BYE, they gave up 17 fpts/game. However in their last month, they shut down some relatively weak WRs, but still only gave up only 7! This is an amazing drop off and almost makes them worthy of a ‘sit’ matchup on a bubble WR. Consider this bad news for Brandon Marshall, Steve Johnson, T.O and Anquan Boldin.
  • NYJ (+14) This one should be obvious, without Darrell Revis its hard to expect this secondary to perform as “elite”. He isn’t their entire defense, but without him healthy early in the year, the Jets gave up 14 fpts/game. Now, with Revis in the mix, they give up only 8.5. HUGE difference. So do not let their season rank fool you, since they have only let ONE fantasy WR score more than 10 fpts since week 6. Treat them like the tough matchup they are. Bad news for Welker, Brandon Marshall, Mike Wallace and Johnny Knox.

______

Players that Benefit a bit more than it seems: Colston
Players this Hurts a bit more than it seems: Randy Moss, Brandon Marshall

Best Playoff Matchups (based on trend rankings):
1. DeSean Jackson / Jeremy Maclin
2. Steve Smith (CAR)
3. Vincent Jackson
4. Marques Colston
5. Dez Bryant / Miles Austin
6. Randy Moss / Kenny Britt
7. Mike Williams (TB)
8. Brandon Lloyd
9. Andre Johnson
10.Mike Williams (SEA)

= TIGHT ENDS =

SEASON RANKINGS LAST 5 WEEKS RANKINGS TREND
1. Houston Texans vs. TE 1. Tennessee Titans vs. TE -5
2. Buffalo Bills vs. TE 2. Carolina Panthers vs. TE -1
3. Carolina Panthers vs. TE 3. Denver Broncos vs. TE -8
4. Philadelphia Eagles vs. TE 4. Houston Texans vs. TE +3
5. Cleveland Browns vs. TE 5. Philadelphia Eagles vs. TE +1
6. Tennessee Titans vs. TE 6. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. TE -3
7. San Diego Chargers vs. TE 7. Cleveland Browns vs. TE +2
8. New England Patriots vs. TE 8. San Diego Chargers vs. TE +1
9. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. TE 9. Dallas Cowboys vs. TE -12
10. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. TE 10. St. Louis Rams vs. TE -9
11. Denver Broncos vs. TE 11. New York Jets vs. TE -4
12. Arizona Cardinals vs. TE 12. Atlanta Falcons vs. TE -2
13. Oakland Raiders vs. TE 13. Minnesota Vikings vs. TE -9
14. Atlanta Falcons vs. TE 14. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. TE +4
15. New York Jets vs. TE 15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. TE -8
16. New Orleans Saints vs. TE 16. New England Patriots vs. TE +8
17. Dallas Cowboys vs. TE 17. Buffalo Bills vs. TE +15
18. Green Bay Packers vs. TE 18. Green Bay Packers vs. TE 0
19. St. Louis Rams vs. TE 19. Indianapolis Colts vs. TE -12*
20. Washington Redskins vs. TE 20. Arizona Cardinals vs. TE +8
21. Minnesota Vikings vs. TE 21. Baltimore Ravens vs. TE -12
22. Cincinnati Bengals vs. TE 22. Seattle Seahawks vs. TE -3
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. TE 23. Detroit Lions vs. TE -4
24. San Francisco 49ers vs. TE 24. New Orleans Saints vs. TE +8
25. Seattle Seahawks vs. TE 25. Chicago Bears vs. TE -5
26. Miami Dolphins vs. TE 26. Washington Redskins vs. TE +6
27. Detroit Lions vs. TE 27. Cincinnati Bengals vs. TE +5
28. Kansas City Chiefs vs. TE 28. Oakland Raiders vs. TE +15
29. New York Giants vs. TE 29. San Francisco 49ers vs. TE +5
30. Chicago Bears vs. TE 30. New York Giants vs. TE +1
31. Indianapolis Colts vs. TE 31. Kansas City Chiefs vs. TE +4
32. Baltimore Ravens vs. TE 32. Miami Dolphins vs. TE +6

Notable Trends:In 2010, Tight Ends have been hard to come by in fantasy football. With injuries to Finely and Clark, Gates and even early season stud Zach Miller, you have to take every advantage you can to fill that spot in your roster. Matchups are the best advantage, especially with TEs since they are boom or bust in scoring.

  • DAL (-12) The Dallas defense was much better before they melted down after losing Romo. One area where they have been leaky is against fantasy TEs. In the first 7 games, Dallas gave up an average of only 3 fpts/game. Since week 7 they give up 8 ftps/game. Much of this is due to two big games by Marcades Lewis and Kevin Boss. The games in between were not breakouts, but they prove TEs can be effective. Consider this a slight up for Jacob Tamme, Brent Celek and Chris Cooley.
  • *IND (-12) Take this with a grain of salt. Indy was absolutely stellar against TEs and should still be considered one of the toughest matchups for any TE. Through 8 weeks they gave up only 2.4 fpts/game…yes thats correct. They held 4 TEs to less than one points (or zero if your league doesn’t honor fractional scoring). Since then they gave up 12 to Gresham, 6 to Hernandez and held Gates to 4. Thats an improvement as a matchup but still tough. Consider them still the same tough play, but less daunting. This is decent (but not great) news for Witten, Lewis and Zach Miller.
  • STL (-9) The Rams began to shake the “patsy” tag this season, but they have been slipping against fantasy TEs. They started the season holding Gates to 1 fpt and only allowing 3 fpts/game to TEs. However in the last three weeks they have slipped back into the Rams of old and have given up  7fpts. Slight tick up for Shockey, Moeaki and Vernon Davis.
  • BUF (+15) The Bills were absolutely horrible against fantasy TEs early in the year. Through 6 weeks, they gave up an average of 12 fpts/game. Then they shut it down and now have not given up more than 9 fpts in 5 weeks and average only 4.8. This should be noted when making starting decisions. The following TEs take a bit of a hit: Shaincoe, Watson, Fasano and NE TEs.
  • OAK (+15) The Raiders were giving up 8,5 fpts/game to opposing fantasy TEs. They gave up big games to big TEs and shut down the no names. In the last 5 games they only give up 2.6 fpts/game. This should be good for Gates, Marcades Lewis and Jacob Tamme.
  • NO (+8) The Saints are near the top or lead nearly every “fantasy points against” defensive category. They are moving in that direction no vs fantasy TEs. Over the first three weeks, they gave up 12 fpts/game. However in the last 8 games, only 2.75. Its bad news for Gresham, Todd Heap and Tony Gonzales.

Players that Benefit a bit more than it seems: Jacob Tamme, Vernon Davis, Antonio Gates

Players this Hurts a bit more than it seems: Ben Watson, Gresham


Best Playoff Matchups (based on trend rankings):
1. Tony Moeaki
2. Jermaine Gresham
3. Heath Miller
4. Todd Heap
5. Greg Olsen

= DST =

SEASON RANKINGS LAST 5 WEEKS RANKINGS TREND
1. Carolina Panthers vs. DEF 1. Washington Redskins vs. DEF -9
2. Arizona Cardinals vs. DEF 2. Carolina Panthers vs. DEF +1
3. Cincinnati Bengals vs. DEF 3. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. DEF -6
4. Minnesota Vikings vs. DEF 4. Arizona Cardinals vs. DEF +2
5. San Diego Chargers vs. DEF 5. Minnesota Vikings vs. DEF +1
6. New York Giants vs. DEF 6. Dallas Cowboys vs. DEF -2
7. Chicago Bears vs. DEF 7. New York Giants vs. DEF +1
8. Dallas Cowboys vs. DEF 8. Cincinnati Bengals vs. DEF +5
9. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. DEF 9. New Orleans Saints vs. DEF -2
10. Washington Redskins vs. DEF 10. Chicago Bears vs. DEF +3
11. New Orleans Saints vs. DEF 11. Denver Broncos vs. DEF -5
12. San Francisco 49ers vs. DEF 12. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. DEF -11
13. Detroit Lions vs. DEF 13. Buffalo Bills vs. DEF -6
14. Cleveland Browns vs. DEF 14. Detroit Lions vs. DEF +1
15. Oakland Raiders vs. DEF 15. Philadelphia Eagles vs. DEF -9
16. Denver Broncos vs. DEF 16. Oakland Raiders vs. DEF +1
17. Miami Dolphins vs. DEF 17. Seattle Seahawks vs. DEF -1
18. Seattle Seahawks vs. DEF 18. Kansas City Chiefs vs. DEF -11
19. Buffalo Bills vs. DEF 19. New York Jets vs. DEF -11
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. DEF 20. Houston Texans vs. DEF -5
21. St. Louis Rams vs. DEF 21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. DEF +1
22. Tennessee Titans vs. DEF 22. Baltimore Ravens vs. DEF -5
23. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. DEF 23. San Diego Chargers vs. DEF +8
24. Philadelphia Eagles vs. DEF 24. Miami Dolphins vs. DEF +7
25. Houston Texans vs. DEF 25. Tennessee Titans vs. DEF +3
26. Green Bay Packers vs. DEF 26. Atlanta Falcons vs. DEF -2
27. Baltimore Ravens vs. DEF 27. San Francisco 49ers vs. DEF +15
28. Atlanta Falcons vs. DEF 28. Cleveland Browns vs. DEF +14
29. Kansas City Chiefs vs. DEF 29. Indianapolis Colts vs. DEF -2
30. New York Jets vs. DEF 30. Green Bay Packers vs. DEF +4
31. Indianapolis Colts vs. DEF 31. St. Louis Rams vs. DEF +10
32. New England Patriots vs. DEF 32. New England Patriots vs. DEF 0

Best Playoff Matchups (based on trend rankings):
1. Buccaneers
2. Cowboys
3. Eagles
4. Giants
5. Packers


To best prepare for the playoffs, you should become familiar with which opposing Defenses are good or bad matchups in the last 5 weeks, not just the season. These trends will help you make some sneaky plays late in the season or will help you set realistic expectations on your existing starters.

Good Luck in the Post!

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Categorised in: Features, Start/Sit

This post was written by Fantasy oMatic