5:08 pm, December 12th, 2012
Each week, Pat Mayo of
RotoExperts.com will bring you 11 fantasy football players with favorable matchups. Whether it’s a wide receiver facing a weak-kneed secondary, a running back taking on a dinged-up front seven, or a team defense preparing to eat a cupcake rookie quarterback, these are the guys who are poised for a big fantasy output this Sunday.
This week, he likes Josh Freeman and Brandon Weeden, two under-appreciated quarterbacks.
Josh Freeman’s torrid pace ended three weeks ago against the Falcons. In the six weeks previous, the Bucs’ pivot averaged 21 fantasy points per game, capped off with a 420-yard, three touchdown domination of the Saints. Well, after a month of anticipation, the sequel is finally here. And I promise it will be closer to Godfather 2 than Airplane! II. New Orleans is fresh off getting Blitzkrieged in the Big Apple and persist as the league’s most generous squad to opposing quarterbacks.
Look, I’m not throwing my full support behind Brandon Weeden. If you have a better option, start him instead. But in case you’re completely out of options, running Weeden out against the Redskins isn’t the worst of ideas. Washington’s pass defense has been pretty bad on the whole, but it gets downright pitiful outside the District. In six road games, the Redskins are giving up an average of 20 fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Jamaal Charles may be having the quietest 1200-yard season in history. I suppose it’s not really his fault. If we play a quick word association with the 2012 Chiefs, Charles’ ground domination is likely to fall somewhere between “Brady Quinn, LOL” and “Remember when Tony Moeaki made that awesome one-handed touchdown catch? Whatever happened to him?” Near the bottom of the list, is what we're saying, because it's been a trying year in Kansas City. It’s too bad really, because Charles has been exceptional, especially lately. Over the past five games, he has piled up 586 yards on the ground and will be looking to exact revenge on the Raiders, the team that showed him his worst outing of the season, a five carry, four-yard performance in Week 8.
Reggie Bush gets a hardy chuckle at the expense of deductive reasoning. In back-to-back soft matchups against the Titans and Bills, Bush thoroughly underwhelmed, failing to crack 21 rushing yards in either game. The next week, with the Seahawks and their formidable front seven in Miami, Bush could not be contained, posting 6.2 ypc and scampering into the endzone. Then, in San Francisco, the toughest unit to fantasy running backs, he tops 100 total yards. None of it makes any sense. So I’m banking the almighty logic God has finally fixed the kinks in the universal algorithm and Bush can finally take advantage of a sweet matchup. Jacksonville has allowed the second most rushing yards and ranks third with 15 touchdowns against to opposing running backs.
I know the whole “It’s cool to bully” craze ended sometime in the early 2000s, but I’m bringing it back for a week - because picking on the Redskins pass defense is just so damn easy, and it makes me feel good about myself! Josh Gordon is the only Browns receiver that has shown any semblance of consistency this season and enters the Washington game having surpassed 50 yards in four straight games, never failing to be on the receiving end of seven Brandon Weeden targets in that time. And now he gets his best matchup of the season - get him in!
Marques Colston was a black plague on every fantasy roster he graced this season. Although a quick glance at his yearly totals doesn’t immediately reveal that information. From Weeks 4 through 7 Colston was the league’s most productive receiver, nabbing five touchdowns and averaging 22 fantasy points per games. Since then, he’s been awful. He cracked double digit points just once in seven contests, destroying the championship hopes at every turn. If you’ve managed to rise above his lousy performance, and are still alive, he’s going to help this week. There’s nary a receiver that doesn’t dominate the Bucs secondary, and Colston will be no different.
It’s difficult to predict how much the Ravens offense will change with Jim Caldwell stepping in as offensive coordinator, so let’s stick with what we do know. Dennis Pitta is Baltimore’s tight end. Denver struggles to stop the big men, allowing a league-high nine touchdowns and the second most fantasy points per game to the position. The Ravens host the Broncos this week. I know that’s complicated logic to follow, but, if you take one thing away, remember, start Pitta.
8.Detroit Lions Defense
Picking on the Cardinals is the new picking of the Chiefs. Don’t expect the Lions to replicate Seattle’s 40-point day, but they should be able to crack double digits. Take out the Seahawks and Arizona is still allowing opposing defenses to average 16 fantasy points in the last month. How is that possible? Well, from Weeks 11 to 14, the Ryan Lindley-powered offense has committed 14 turnovers, five of which have been returned for touchdowns. Oh and he’s been sacked 10 times too.
The Panthers have ceded at least 11 fantasy points to kickers in 10 of 13 games this season. That’s by far the most of any team. Sure, Carolina has been playing better the last few weeks, but that can be directly attributed to the offense, and more specifically a man we call CAAAAAMMMMMM. So no need to worry. Plus, the Chargers offense finally moved the ball (against a pretty good defense, too). If that persists, Nick Novak is a must-play.
Keep riding the wave, because it doesn’t look like it’s going to crest any time soon. Moreno demolished the Raiders last Thursday and continued to receive the bulk of work that’s conducive with fantasy success. Now, against the Ravens, he’ll able to put his 25(ish) touches to proper use again. Baltimore is so beat up on defense that they only have the personnel to limit one segment of the opposition’s offense. And with the Broncos, they’ll be committing every resource to slowing down Peyton Manning. Morneo is going to have acres of spaces to operate, which should lead to another appearance near the top of the scoring leaders.
The feeling out period between Colin Kaepernick and Michael Crabtree is finished - it’s apparent that Crabtree is the first look on every drop back. The last two weeks he’s soaked up 22 targets, 12 more than any other 49ers receiver. He’s been able to translate those looks into actual production as well, grabbing 16 of them for 194 yards. And a date with the Patriots is only going to inflate his numbers; New England is one of a few teams that can force San Francisco into the air for all four quarters. Count on Crabtree to extend your season.
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