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Week 15: Playoff Killers

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Welcome to week 15 of the Brew Crew Corner. Just 3 week left in the season and playoffs are in full swing for all leagues. Congrats if you advanced last week to the next round or into the playoffs. Despite winning my game and having the most points in the league, I missed the playoffs because of a week 3 head to head matchup. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.

This week we're looking at those players in the first round of the playoffs that killed your chance from advancing in the playoffs. Players such as Larry Fitzgerald, Greg Jennings, Torrey Smith, Bryce Brown, Ahmad Bradshaw, Kyle Rudolph and Brandon Pettigrew have all laid duds in week 14 that cost some owners from getting to the next round. These 7 players combined for 15 fantasy points.

That's a big whole you have to make up with other players. If your quarterback was Tony Romo, Andrew Luck or Matt Schaub, chances are that you were double up by your opponents quarterback such as Tom Brady, Cam Newton or even Nick Foles. By the way, if you lost to someone because you were outscored by Nick Foles or Colin Kaepernick over quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers you have to believe that it just wasn't your week.

Other Running backs that killed owners this week include Ryan Mathews, Chris Johnson, Mikel LeShoure, C.J. Spiller and Michael Turner. These backs scored 11 points or less. That is a big difference when Adrian Peterson or Marshawn Lynch is putting up 32+ points on you with 1 player.

The Golden Mug Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who came through for their team.

Seahawks Defense- 154 yards allowed, 0 points, 3 sacks, 4 interceptions, 4 fumbles and 2 defensive touchdowns. Defense wins championships when you have a stat line like that. The Seahawks embarrassed the Cardinals and lead all fantasy scoring this week. The Seahawks now have had an interception in all but two games this season. The Seahawks defense has another great matchup this week against the Bills.

Cam Newton- 23 for 35 for 287 yards 2 touchdowns, 9 carries for 116 yards and 1 touchdown. Newton posted career high in rushing yards in a game and had his second highest total for fantasy points in a game this season with 38. Most people were down on Newton earlier in the year but Newton is on pace to surpass his passing and rushing totals from his rookie season. Newton has been on fire for fantasy owners averaging 31.8 fantasy points over the past 4 games.

Adrian Peterson- 31 carries for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns. Peterson is just 158 yards away from his best rushing season of his career. In 2008 Peterson ran for 1,757 yards. Peterson reached 10 touchdowns on the season and now has 10 or more touchdowns in every season he's played.

The Urinal Cake Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who you would like to, well you know.

Aaron Rodgers- 14 for 24 for 173 passing yards and 0 touchdowns. 32 rushing yards 1 touchdown. I don't care that Rodgers scored a rushing touchdown, he killed plenty of owners with his lack of passing stats. I'm sure the owners that drafted Rodgers in the first round either missed the playoffs or was bounced out last week.

Andrew Luck- 16 for 34 for 196 passing yards and 1 touchdown with 2 interceptions. In week 12, Luck threw 3 interceptions but that could be over looked because of 391 yards passing and 4 touchdowns. This week, Luck erased the touchdown he threw with those picks. There were plenty owners who rode Luck into the playoffs and may have not advance because of this performance.

Bryce Brown- 12 carries for 6 yards. Brutal, that is all I can say. Brown has been a waiver wire miracle since taking over for LeSean McCoy posting back to back games with 169 yards or more and two score in each. Many thought Brown would be that extra boost to get you to that championship game but one bad game could be all she wrote.

MATCHUPS

Good quarterback matchups this week:

Cam Newton at the Chargers- Like in 2011, owners are riding Newton through the playoffs and he is delivering with a 31.8 fantasy points per game average over the past month. This week he faces the Chargers who are 22nd in the NFL allowing 242.9 passing yards per game with 24 touchdowns given up. If the Panthers can stick to the game plan that has worked so late in this season, Cam will have a monster game again this week.

Josh Freeman against the Saints- Freeman is due for a big game and the last time he faced the Saints he threw for 420 and 3 touchdowns. Last week the Saints defense gave up 259 yards passing and 4 touchdowns to Eli Manning. These are the kind of matchups you hope for when you’re in the playoffs. The Saints defense is 30th in the NFL with 284.5 passing yards allowed per game and 27 touchdowns surrendered.

Sleeper Pick of the Week: Matt Schaub against the Colts. Schaub isn't the fantasy quarterback he was in 2009 when he passed for 4,770 yards and threw 29 touchdowns. The team has become more run oriented and Schaub has been more of a game manager than a top 10 quarterback. This week he'll need to be aggressive as the team looks to bounce back from the ass kicking they received on Monday Night Football. In that game Schaub failed to throw a touchdown against the Patriots who are 29th in the league in passing. The Colts are 20th in the league allowing 241.8 passing yards per game with 22 touchdowns.

Good running back matchups this week:

Doug Martin at the Saints. The Bucs have a chance to do what the Giants did last week and that is rack up yards through the air and the ground. The Saints have had 5 games allowing 100 yards or more to a running back and are last in the NFL allowing 152.4 rushing yards per game with 13 touchdowns allowed. In week 7, Martin ran for 85 yards and a score while adding 37 receiving yards. Last week Martin Ran for 128 yards against a good Broncos defense.

Jamaal Charles at the Raiders. In the first meeting, Charles received just 5 carries all game. The team has lost Dwayne Bowe to an injury so Charles needs to be fed early and often in this game. The Raiders were just beat by the Broncos behind Knowshon Moreno. The Raiders have given up a rushing touchdown in 6 straight games starting with the 4 in one game to Doug Martin in week 9.

Sleeper Pick of the Week: Reggie Bush against the Jaguars. Bush is due for a big game and if Knowshon Moreno can help you win a game then Bush can too. Jacksonville let the Jets run over them for 75+ yards and a score to Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell. The Jaguars are also 31st in the NFL allowing 145.7 rushing yards per game and are tied with the Bills for most touchdowns this season with 18 given up on the ground.

Bad quarterback matchups this week:

Tony Romo against the Steelers. Romo and Dez Bryant were having a great stretch of games but an injury last week to his finger may put Bryant's playing status in jeopardy. Even if he plays he will face tough coverage and have his hand taped. Romo has been the 2nd best quarterback in fantasy leagues over the past 3 weeks even with the average performance he had last week. The Steelers are still the best pass defense in the NFL even though they gave up 3 touchdowns last week to Philip Rivers. Before that game the Steelers gave up 3 touchdowns combined in the previous 6 games.

Tom Brady against the 49ers. We thought last week that Brady would have a tough game against a good Texans defense and he torched them for 296 and 4 touchdowns. As good as the Patriot offense is, the 49ers is just as good. I expect this to be a low scoring game where Brady throws for about 250 yards and just 1 touchdown. Not a horrible game but when you're in the playoffs, one touchdown isn't going to help you win. The 49ers defense has held quarterbacks to 0 touchdowns in 5 of the past 10 games.

Joe Flacco against the Broncos. The Ravens have fired the offensive coordinator and named Jim Caldwell the new OC. Flacco has been up and down all season. In the past 5 games he's had two games over 340 passing yards but then the other 3 games he was held to 188 yards or less. This week he's facing the 7th ranked Broncos pass defense allowing 215.7 yards per game with 22 touchdowns. I expect a ton of Ray Rice in this game as Flacco has struggles lately.

Bad running back matchups this week:

C.J. Spiller against the Seahawks. We've waited for Spiller to be the lead back all season but the Bills coaching staff always preferred Fred Jackson. With Jackson out with an injury, Spiller will carry the load. He'll have a tough time this week against the Seahawks who manhandled the Cardinals last week. The Seahawks have given up rushing touchdowns in just 1 of the past 4 games and are 10th in the NFL allowing 105.4 rushing yards per game and just 7 touchdowns allowed on the season.

Chris Johnson against the Jets. After the first 5 weeks of the season where we felt Johnson was a bust, he had 6 straight games of 80 yards or more rushing with 4 scores during that stretch. However the past two games he is averaging just 47.5 rushing yards and has not scored in the past 3 games. He'll face a Jets team that has held running backs under 100 yards in 4 games with 2 scores. The emergence of Kenny Britt has led to a shift in play calling as well.

Montell Owens against the Dolphins. Owens was a boom or bust pick up and put up 91 rushing yards and a score in his first start. The Dolphins have gone 4 games without allowing a 100 yard rusher and although they gave up 2 touchdowns last week to the 49ers, they held Frank Gore to 63 yards on the ground. In the playoffs each starting spot is critical and you need to maximize your points. I would hesitate to use Owens this week unless you’re hurting at running back.

Week 15: The time you need your key players is now regardless of where you drafted them or when you picked them up off waivers. If they don't produce, you’re headed home.

Good luck in the playoffs.

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