Fantasy Playoffs Week 14: 12/7/2011
The most important weeks of your fantasy football season are here and you MUST make the right moves to stay alive and win your league.
Its all about the matchups at this point in the season. We have a solid 13 weeks of data in our algorithm to help us project player performances. Wise “future league champions” do not ignore the numbers in favor of “gut” feelings.
Even more important at this time of year are RECENT TRENDS. Specifically, you have to look at what opposing defenses are doing over the last 4 weeks in order to spot trends that could effect your fantasy playoff matchups. Some things may not be as they were two months ago.
Use these to help you make close roster decisions. Don’t sit regular starters because they have tough matchups, just expect less from them. However, if you have a couple players you cannot decide between, go with the player with the better matchup.
Note: Lower number = better matchup (Sort Ascending)
Hit us up on twitter with roster questions: @fantasyomatic
We discussed this data on the Whats Your Fantasy Podcast this week. Listen to part one of the breakdown here:
Listen to part two of the breakdown here:
These rankings represent trending defense performances over the last 4 weeks. Team/Positions with the lowest rank will face defenses that are weakest vs their position over the last month.
ARI: You see the Cardinals defense on the schedule for your fantasy players and you usually lick your chops. However you should note that they have been trending tougher against fantasy RBs lately. In the last 4 games they are actually the #5 toughest RB matchup, yielding only 9.5 total fantasy points per game to RBs, with only RB scoring more than 10 fantasy points in that span (McCoy). Big Stat: One rush TD allowed over last five Take Note: Frank Gore, Hillis and Benson
GB: Everyone knows you can pass on the Packers this year. Or at least you HAVE TO in order to stay in the game. They are the #2 easiest matchup for fantasy WRs. However, even though they are ranked top 12 vs RBs on the season, in the last 4 games they are #4 easiest averaging 20.7 fantasy points to opposing RBs including two DET RBs over 10 pts, 17 from Blount and 11 from A.P and Brandon Jacobs. Take Note: Mike Bush, KC Backs, Barber
JAX: The Jaguars have been stout against fantasy WRs all season, ranking #3 toughest matchup on the year. They were forced to put CB William Middleton into the starting lineup after losing both Rashean Mathis and Derek Cox for the season in November, then gues what…SAT Middleton shocked everyone by being placed om IR. Those of you that follow us on twitter know we strongly reccommended starting all SD pass catchers including Malcom Floyd last week with that news. In the last 4 games the Jags fell to 15th easiest defense against fantasy WRs with big games by Floyd, VJax and Josh Cribs. Expect even more success now that they are a practice squad on the back end. Take Note: Mike Williams (TB), Roddy and Julio and Damian Williams
PHI: As fun as its been to watch the demise of the “dream team” defense this year, you see Nnamdi on the schedule and think to not start your fantasy WRs. However they are a top #15 ranked defense vs fantasy WRs on the season and in the last 4 games they dropped to #7 easiest. They have given up 30 fantasy points per game to opposing WRs with big games by Golden Tate, Welker, Deion Branch, Victor Cruz and Fitz. Note also that PHi is getting gashed by fantasy TEs this past month as well.Take Note: Brandon Marshall, Holmes/Plax and all DAL pass catchers.
IND: You don’t need advice to load up against the Colts D this year, but quietly they are ranked the #8 toughest matchup against fantasy TEs. However they have completely fallen off in the last month to the EASIEST TE matchup in the league. Losing CB Jerraud Powers for the season with a dislocated left elbow against the Pats didn’t help. Take Note: Ed Dickson, Jared Cook and Owen Daniels.
DET: The Lions D as the talk of the preseason and performed well early on. They are ranked #5 toughest matchup vs fantasy QBs on the season but in the #2 easiest. Getting gashed by Rodgers, Newton and Brees doesn’t help your numbers but last month they lost Suh for a couple games and seem to be falling apart with injuries to CB Chris Houston (knee) and FS Louis Delmas recently. Take Note: Ponder, Palmer and Rivers
NYJ: Revis Island looms on the fantasy schedule for a few fantasy QBs. The Jets #2 toughest defense against fantasy QBs on the season, but fear not as in the last month they are the #13 easiest matchup. Brady, Tebow and a slumping Ryan Fitzpatrick all scored more than 15 fantasy points on them in the last month so they seem to be slipping. Note: Opposing quarterbacks still have a 2.9 passer rating this season when throwing at Darrelle Revis. Revis has allowed just 10 receptions and no touchdowns while covering the opponents’ No. 1 receiver on a weekly basis. Take Note: Palko/Orton, Vick and Eli
DEN: You can’t miss the hot streak that the Broncos are on recently, but hidden behind the glow of Tebow hype is the fact that the defense is simply playing lights out. From a fantasy perspective, all though they rank #2 easiest matchup for fantasy playoffs, in the last month they capitulated to #2 TOUGHEST! Only Rivers has scored more than 10 fantasy points against them in that span (11). Take Note: Hanie, Brady, Fitzpatrick
MIA: The Dolphins were a “load em up against” pass defense for most of the year, ranking #8 easiest for fantasy QBs. But in the last month the defense has been hot and they have been shutting down opposing fantasy QBs. Romo threw two pick s against them on Thanksgiving and only he and Palmer have scored more than 10 fantasy points in the last month and no QB scored more than 15. CB Vontae Davis has yet to allow a touchdown pass this season. Now over his nagging hamstring injury, Davis’ play has picked up substantially since a one-game suspension early last month. Note also: No TDs, one 100-total-yard game allowed to RB in last eight.Take Note: Vick, Fitzpatrick and Brady
TB: The Bucs have been a middle of the pack defense against fantasy QBs, currently ranked #17 easiest on the season. But in the last month they have become the #3 easiest defense to throw against. Rodgers lit em up, but so did Cam and Schaub. Bucs CB Aqib Talib, Tampa’s most physical and best corner, is set for an MRI on his hamstring and will be evaluated later in the week so he may be missing time. Take Note: Gabbert, Romo and Cam.
Expect “less” from these players this week:
Frank Gore vs ARI
LeSean McCoy @ MIA
Roy Helu vs NE
Santonio Holmes vs KC
Mike Wallace @ CLE
BRandon Lloyd vs SEA
Andy Dalton @ HOU
Big Ben @ CLE
Jake Ballard vs DAL
Expect “more” from these players this week:
Ryan Mathews vs BUF
CJ Spiller @ SD
Michael Turner @ CAR
Santana Moss vs NE
Brandon Marshall vs PHI
Damian Williams @ NO
Tony Romo @ NYG
Matt Stafford @ MIN
Matt Moore vs PHI
Jason Witten @ NYG
Dustin Keller vs KC
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