Tuesday - Jan 22, 2019

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Couch Tomatoes – Week 11

Sunday was a day of exciting football. Chicago attacked St. Louis with that old-time nasty snarling defense I have grown to love throughout the years. Nick Foles played like a man being chased by demons. It brought back fond memories of 1985 in the days before the quarterback was treated like an endangered species, and Chicago knocked out several of them before winning the Super Bowl. Green Bay lost and looked bad doing it, falling out of first place as Minnesota scooted past them.

New England had a last-minute win and Carolina kept moving right along, but there were upsets everywhere. From a pure football aspect, it was awesome entertainment. The best news of the day was that Toby had laryngitis and for the most part watched TV all day in silence, without uttering a word. When his tea needed a refill he just pointed to the cup. Bonnie just pointed back with another finger in an upright position, like a tray on a plane, sort of. Toby remarkably understood and did his own fetching. Watching the bond growing between Bonnie and Toby is just remarkable.

As we hit the last few critical weeks here, waiver moves are getting harder and harder. Quarterbacks and running backs are almost impossible to find and wide receivers are not much better. We can find tight ends, kickers and defenses/special teams in more plentiful supply that we can utilize in matchups. We can pay closer attention to rankings and player matchups to get the optimum points out of our lineups.

For those playing on the myfantasyleague.com platform, a review of the “Power Rankings Report” shows how efficient you are at using the optimum lineup week after week. Most of us leave about 15 percent of our potential points on the bench every week. Think of that as you whiz through lineup submission without paying much attention to it.

When we follow fantasy football we tend to focus on our teams and kind of ignore the big picture. I am trying to be your eyes and ears to take you into and behind the numbers, not only for the current week, but for the season to date as a whole. As usual, there was a lot to see from the couch last week …

The most generous teams at giving up fantasy points are New Orleans, Oakland and Detroit. New Orleans made Rob Ryan its sacrificial lamb to atone for that. Even a Drew Brees offense operating at full capacity has been unable to keep up with the holes the defense puts them in week after week.

Denver, Seattle and Atlanta lead the way in giving up the fewest fantasy points. With Peyton Manning out, will Denver’s defense/special teams play with the same intensity?

After 10 weeks, the top 5 scoring quarterbacks on a fantasy points per game basis are Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Philip Rivers and Carson Palmer.

The leaders in passing yards per game through Week 10 are three quarterbacks who seemingly have been around forever —Tom Brady (338.1), Philip Rivers (337) and Drew Brees (330.2).

As has been the case for several weeks now, Tom Brady (24) and Carson Palmer (23) are still tied at the top of the touchdown pass leaderboard.

Before sustaining a game-ending injury that could keep him on the bench a while, Peyton Manning (17) had four more interceptions. Andrew Luck (still injured) is stuck on 12 and he has now been tied by Matthew Stafford (12).

Seattle’s patience with Russell Wilson (33) is finally running out. Seattle is now publicly commenting that he is to blame for leading the league in sacks. He is closely followed by Alex Smith (30).

It is sad to see Peyton Manning likely ending a great career with a year like this. It would have been awesome to see him go out like a champion, rather than a poor imitation of what he was throughout his illustrious career.

Denver is giving up the least fantasy points per game to quarterbacks with a low 15.0 average. Chicago shredded the highly ranked St. Louis pass defense last week. Can Denver maintain its defensive intensity with the season falling apart because of an inept offense?

Quarterbacks remain anxious to play New Orleans, who is giving up 27 fantasy points per game, and Baltimore, who yields 25 fantasy points per game.

After eliminating the injured Jamaal Charles, Arian Foster, Le’Veon Bell and Dion Lewis from consideration, the top 5 fantasy scoring running backs are Devonta Freeman, Todd Gurley, Adrian Peterson, Lamar Miller and Matt Forte.

With an explosive 200-yard rushing game, Adrian Peterson (106.8) overcame and passed Todd Gurley (101.3) in rushing yards per game.

Pass receiving running back leaders after 10 weeks remain Devonta Freeman (48) and Danny Woodhead (45).

The touchdown scoring race has stalled once again and Devonta Freeman still leads the field with 11 and Tyler Eifert remains just behind him with nine.

New England (17) has joined the New York Jets (17) at the top of the list of stingiest teams at giving up running back fantasy points.

San Diego (30) and Dallas (30) continue with their futile efforts to stop opponents’ running games when it comes to scoring fantasy points. If Philip Rivers has not been able to overcome that defensive handicap all year, how can Tony Romo be expected to launch a winning streak to get Dallas to the playoffs as he comes back from a serious injury issue?

The top 5 fantasy scoring wide receiver after Week 10 are Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, Antonio Brown, Larry Fitzgerald and Odell Beckham.

Leading the league in wide receiver pass receptions are Julio Jones (80) followed by Antonio Brown (79).

Leading the wide receiver fantasy points per game race after Week 10 are Julio Jones (114.3) and Antonio Brown (114.1).

Heading into Week 11, the Denver and Atlanta defenses are tough on opponents’ wide receivers, yielding only 23 and 25 fantasy points per game, respectively.

All wide receivers smile when they play the worst two defenses in fantasy points per game given up — Baltimore (46 fantasy points per game) and Philadelphia (46 fantasy points per game).

After Week 10 we are down to only two undefeated teams. At 9-0 we still have New England and Carolina.

Be sure to remember that the answers to our fantasy football questions can usually be found within the numbers of the game. And if all else fails ask me or Toby. You can reach us at mnease23@yahoo.com. All fantasy football questions are welcome.

About Mike Nease

Mike Nease is a member of the FSWA and has been playing the game since 1985, while also writing about it since 2001. Over the years he has sampled about all the playing scenarios that fantasy football offers, including re-drafter, keeper, dynasty, auction, IDP and salary cap leagues. He and his wife Bonnie reside in West Chicago, IL You can contact Mike at mnease23@yahoo.com anytime and during the football season follow him @mikeinsights.