Welcome to the Divisional Round edition of the Brew Crew Corner. During the postseason I go back over the season and analyze how it went. I like to look at the value that each position gave – both positive or negative – which I use to help prepare for next season. Players that finish with a big positive number can be great picks next season if their draft stock is still a good value, while players with a negative number might fall hard in drafts which will be another type of value pick. Beware as sometimes players that have a big season can sometimes be overvalued in drafts, making their draft position too high. Sometimes players who finished with a negative value will be players you would want to avoid next season. Each situation should be looked at on case by case. When looking at these values, you should question. Did the player suffer an injury, and how likely are they to return healthy? Did this player have a breakout season or did he benefit from an injury to other players?
We will take a look at the running back value for the 2011. I determine the value by taking the Average Draft Position (ADP) from this year’s draft and comparing it to the final rankings of a player based on fantasy points. For example, if a running back was going in drafts as the 10th running back and finished the season fifth overall among running backs, his value would be +5.
Top 20 Running Backs with Good Value in 2011
Darren Sproles, New Orleans
Toby Gerhart, Minnesota
Dexter McCluster, Kansas City
Kevin Smith, Detroit
Jackie Battle, Kansas City
Michael Bush, Oakland
Lance Ball, Denver
Chris Ogbonnaya, Cleveland
DeMarco Murray, Dallas
Kahlil Bell, Chicago
Donald Brown, Indianapolis
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle
Marcel Reece, Oakland
Roy Helu, Washington
Maurice Morris, Detroit
Reggie Bush, Miami
Isaac Redman, Pittsburgh
Willis McGahee, Denver
Ben Tate, Houston
Mike Tolbert, San Diego
Top 20 Running Backs with Poor Value in 2011
Jamaal Charles, Kansas City
Jerome Harrison, Detroit
Bilal Powell, New York Jets
Ronnie Brown, Philadelphia
Shane Vereen, New England
Knowshon Moreno, Denver
Ryan Torain, Washington
Jamie Harper, Tenessee
Kevin Faulk, New England
Tim Hightower, Washington
Joseph Addai, Indianapolis
Darren McFadden, Oakland
Jahvid Best, Detroit
Peyton Hillis, Cleveland
Mark Ingram, New Orleans
Derrick Ward, Houston
Felix Jones, Dallas
Tashard Choice, Buffalo
Deji Karim, Jacksonville
LeGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay
New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers – Saturday, Jan. 14, 4:30 p.m. ET
Saints Pass Offense: 1st, Run Offense: 6th
Saints Pass Defense: 30th, Run Defense: 12th
49ers Pass Offense: 29th, Run Offense: 8th
49ers Pass Defense: 16th, Run Defense: 1st
First Meeting: Teams met only in the preseason. The Saints won 24-3.
This game will come down to the fast pace of the Saints offense versus the power run game of the 49ers. The 49ers defense will look to control the Saints running backs, which Drew Brees will have to lead the offense. If the Saints get ahead early, I don’t think Alex Smith can bring this team back. The Saints are 0-4 on the road but can win this matchup.
Prediction: Saints 27, 49ers 17
Denver Broncos at New England Patriots – Saturday, Jan. 14, 8 p.m. ET
Broncos Pass Offense: 31st, Run Offense: 1st
Broncos Pass Defense: 18th, Run Defense: 22nd
First Meeting: Patriots defeated the Broncos, 41-23
Most people are either on the Tim Tebow bandwagon or sick of hearing his name altogether. Don’t forget the jokes that reference white bronco and O.J. I’ve heard that about a million times. The media hype around this game should be pretty good as the Golden Boy Tom Brady faces off against the Mile-High Messiah Tim Tebow. The last meeting had the Patriots pull away in the second half and cruise to a victory. The Broncos come in with big momentum from winning the division (by default of other teams losing) and their big overtime win over the heavy favored Pittsburgh Steelers. As long as the Patriots don’t let the Broncos hang around, they should come away with the win.
Prediction: Patriots 38, Broncos 21
Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens – Sunday, Jan. 15, 1 p.m. ET
Texans Pass Offense: 18th, Run Offense: 2nd
Texans Pass Defense: 3rd, Run Defense: 4th
Ravens Pass Offense: 19th, Run Offense: 10th
Ravens Pass Defense: 4th, Run Defense: 2nd
First Meeting: Ravens defeated the Texans, 29-14, and are 6-0 in head to head matchups against them.
The Ravens took care of business at home by going undefeated, which included a win over the Texans in Week 6. This matchup is different as the Texans will have T.J. Yates, not Matt Schaub, under center, and a healthier Andre Johnson. In that game Arian Foster was held to just 49 yards while Ray Rice topped 100 on the ground. It is going to be a tough game on the road for the Texans and they will need their defense to come through as it has all season.
Prediction: Ravens 21, Texans 20
New York Giants at Green Bay Packers – Sunday, Jan. 15, 4:30 p.m. ET
Giants Pass Offense: 5th, Run Offense: 32nd
Giants Pass Defense: 29th, Run Defense: 19th
Packers Pass Offense: 3th, Run Offense: 27nd
Packers Pass Defense: 32th, Run Defense: 14th
First Meeting: Packers defeated the Giants, 38-35, on a field goal at the end of the game.
At the time the Packers were undefeated and the Giants had a chance after tying the game at 35. The Giants defense could not hold Aaron Rodgers in check, and he promptly marched down the field and put the team in a position to win. This time around the Giants defense is healthier and playing batter as a unit. If they can get pressure on Rodgers the way that the Kansas City Chiefs did, then the Giants have a chance to move on. The Giants, who have had trouble running the ball all year, have picked him that area as well. The Packers will most likely have Greg Jennings back from injury.
Prediction: Giants 40, Packers 36
Division Round: Some tough matchups but only four can advance.
Good luck if your team is in the playoffs. Follow @BrewCrewCorner