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Week 11: Start of the Playoff Push

Welcome to the week 11 edition of the Brew Crew Corner. Have you started looking ahead to the playoffs? Well you should and it needs to start this week. Forget how well or poorly your season has been up to this point. No matter if you’re 10-0 or 5-5, if you’re still in the running to make the playoffs then you need to try and win out the rest of your games. If your league is like mine, it has been a crazy season where you win big or lose to the teams that you should beat.

With three or four games left in the fantasy regular season, make an effort to work that waiver wire as much as possible this week. Make all your trade offers now. If you haven’t made many moves see what you can find. You never know which owner in your league is open to a deal that can help fill a weakness. This is the final bye week so dump those kickers, defenses and tightends you don’t need or make a trade and package them in. If you feel that you have a good quarterback then maybe your backup can be traded as well. Some thoughts on the backup quarterback position you may want to consider is if a team such as the Packers clinch early, there is a chances that they could sit Aaron Rodgers. We’ve seen the Saints sit Drew Brees before so monitor their playoff situation as well.

Let’s look at who’s hot the past 4 weeks.

Top 20 Players over the past 4 weeks

1. Arian Foster HOU RB    140 Fantasy Points
2. DeMarco Murray DAL RB    102 Fantasy Points
3. Steven Jackson STL RB    101 Fantasy Points
4. Ray Rice BAL RB    89 Fantasy Points
5. Drew Brees NOS QB    86 Fantasy Points
6. LeSean McCoy PHI RB    84 Fantasy Points
7. Ben Roethlisberger PIT QB 83 Fantasy Points
8. Tim Tebow DEN QB    83 Fantasy Points
9. Aaron Rodgers GBP QB    82 Fantasy Points
10. Adrian Peterson MIN RB    77 Fantasy Points
11. Michael Bush OAK RB    76 Fantasy Points
12. Reggie Bush MIA RB    73 Fantasy Points
13. Philip Rivers SDC QB    73 Fantasy Points
14. Cam Newton  CAR QB    72 Fantasy Points
15. Rob Gronkowski NEP TE 71 Fantasy Points
16. Larry Fitzgerald ARI WR     70 Fantasy Points
17. Chris Johnson, TEN RB    68 Fantasy Points
18. Tony Romo DAL QB    68 Fantasy Points
19. Matt Forte CHI RB    67 Fantasy Points
20. Marshawn Lynch SEA RB 67 Fantasy Points

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

Michael Bush– 30 carries for 157 yards one touchdown and three receptions for 85 yards. Bush has made the most of his opportunities with Darren McFadden out. He may get another chance this week as McFadden looks unlikely to play.

Arian Foster– 17 carries for 84 yards one touchdown and four receptions 102 yards one touchdown. Foster’s duel treat ability is why he was still a first round selection despite his hamstring injury. Let’s hope that losing Matt Schaub for the season doesn’t hurt his production.

Larry Fitzgerald– 7 receptions 146 yards two  touchdowns. Fitzgerald proved he is still a factor and if he can continue to work well with John Skelton then he could help owners reach the playoffs.

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

Frank Gore– Six carries for 0 yards. He was probable for the game but since he was starting, some owners put him in the lineup and received nothing.

Vincent Jackson– One reception for 22 yards. From Stud to dud, Jackson followed up his thee touchdown performance with a one catch day.

DeAngelo Williams– Eight carries for 33 yards. Williams is averaging just 45 yards per game and has just one touchdown this season. He’s mainly just a handcuff if Jonathan Steward were to go down.


Good quarterback match-ups this week:

Tom Brady against the Chiefs. The Patriots control their own destiny now and should win their division at the minimum. Their schedule is favorable with matchups against the Chiefs this week and then Colts, Redskins, Dolphins which should be a win. The Chiefs will be starting Tyler Palko who will play the rest of the season with Matt Cassel injured. Tom Brady rarely loses at home so I expect good numbers from him. The Chief pass defense is allowing 230.3 yards per game (16th) with 16 touchdowns given up.

Jay Cutler against the Chargers. The Chargers’ defense started the year strong but after some injuries and playing longer due to turnovers by the offense, this unit hasn’t been as solid. The team as a whole has been very inconstent. Cutler last week didn’t put up great numbers but his defense did plenty to secure the win. Over the past four weeks the Chargers defense has allowed an average of 245 passing yards and 10 touchdowns over that span. They gave up eight touchdowns in the first eight games.

Sleeper Pick of the Week: Ryan Fitzpatrick against the Dolphins. Miami has won back-to-back games after losing their first seven games of the season. In those two wins they have not given up a passing touchdown. Fitzpatrick has played poorly the past two games throwing for just 169 yards per game with two touchdowns versus five interceptions. The Bills need this game if they are going to have any shot at keeping up with New England in the division. Expect Fitzpatrick to play well against Miami’s 25th ranked pass defense.

Good running back match-ups this week:

Adrian Peterson against the Raiders. Last week the Raiders did well to contain the Chargers’ rushing attack but I’m looking at the week before when the Raiders gave up 163 and two touchdowns to Willis McGahee. The Raiders’ defense is allowing 132.4 rushing yards per game with nine touchdowns given up. If the Vikings can stick to giving Peterson 20+ touches, he’ll be in for a monster game.

Marshawn Lynch against the Rams. Lynch has become a viable starting running back again in fantasy leagues. He has a rushing touchdown in five straight games and posted 100+ yards in back-to-back games against Dallas and Baltimore. This week he’s got a favorable march-up that will allow him to get plenty of touches. The Rams last week gave up 90 yards on the ground to Chris Ogbonnaya and don’t forget a few weeks back the 253-yard game they gave up to DeMarco Murray. The Rams are giving up a league worst 150.6 rushing yards per game with six touchdowns given up.

Sleeper Pick of the Week: Brandon Jacobs against the Eagles. With Michael Vick and maybe Jeremy Maclin out of this game, the Giants can get back to running the football and controlling the game. Ahmad Bradshaw looks to be out of this game so Jacobs will get the start again. I was disappointed last week that Jacobs didn’t carry the ball more towards the end of the game but he is going the get the bulk of the touches in this game. The Eagles have given up four 100+ yard games this season and are allowing 120.0 yards (17th) per game with seven touchdowns.

Bad quarterback match-ups this week:

Rex Grossman against the Cowboys. Grossman has regained the starting job after being benched earlier in the season and his first game back was lackluster, losing to the Miami Dolphins. Dallas has gotten the team back on track and has playing good defense. The pass defense has picked off six passes in the last two games while only giving up one touchdown. The Redskins are limited on offense due to the number of injuries they have and will find it difficult to move the ball.

Andy Dalton against the Ravens. This has become an interesting season in the AFC North. These two teams are tied at 6-3 and will look to keep pace with the Steelers who have a one game lead. This is Daltons first meeting against the Ravens. The Ravens have dropped games they should have won but they are still leading the league with fewest passing touchdowns allowed with six and are giving up 194.3 yards per game (6th). With the Ravens’ offense playing poorly. This is going to be a tight low scoring game.

Colt McCoy against the Jaguars. Both teams enter 3-6 and have a slim chance at making the playoffs. Jacksonville’s bright spot this season has been it’s pass defense. Even though they have lost Rashean Mathis for the season, I still see them as a team that can put good pressure on the quarterback as they have 21 sacks on the season. The Jaguars are allowing 189.3 passing yards per game (5th) with 11 touchdowns given up. McCoy has a tough stretch ahead of him with games against Cincinnati and still two against Pittsburgh and two against Baltimore.

Bad running back match-ups this week:

Chris Wells against the 49ers. The 49ers have a chance to set the NFL record for fewest rushing touchdown allowed in a season. The record stands at two which is held by three teams. The Detroit Lions did it in 1934, the Dallas Cowboys in 1968 and the most recent team to do it was Minnesota Vikings in 1971. Their defense is playing solid and are tops in the league allowing just 73.2 passing yards per game. The team will come after John Skelton and force Wells to stay in more for protection. Expect a low amount of touches and minimal chance for a score.

Chris Johnson against the Falcons. The Falcons have not been credited with how well they have been playing the run this season but they have yet to allow a 100-yard rusher in nine games. They are 3rd in the league with 90.6 rushing yards per game allowed and have given up six touchdowns on the ground. Only four of those scores have been by running backs. Johnson last week finally got back to a good performance after four games of disappointment. I expect another letdown by Johnson because he’s not going to get 27 carries like he did against the Panthers.

Fred Jackson against the Dolphins. Jackson is a must start so even though I have him listed here, you still need to play him. The matchup is difficult because the Dolphins are stingy when it comes to giving up rushing touchdowns. Through 10 games this season the Dolphins have allowed just three touchdowns on the ground and only two of those were to running backs. They are allowing 105.1 rushing yards per game (10th) and have not given up any runs over 40 yards.

Week 11: With all the games and the holidays next week, make sure to prepare now for your playoff push.
Good Luck to everyone in Week 11. Follow @BrewCrewCorner

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