It’s Week 13 of the Brew Crew Corner. I hope everyone had a restful and enjoyable Thanksgiving weekend. As we come out of the holiday weekend we face a critical week for fantasy owners. This is the week a win is vital. Some leagues have opened the playoffs already while most will have them begin in Weeks 14 and 15. The time is now to play your best lineup. For many of us, the season may come down to this week and I am one of them. We’ve all been dealing with injuries throughout the season but now is the time that injuries handicap us the most. With Frank Gore out for the season, Greg Jennings dealing with a foot injury and the waiver wire thinner than American next top model, you’re now faced with some tough line-up decisions.
I wanted to talk about the Andre Johnson fight with Cortland Finnegan. While watching the Sunday night game, I saw the footage and I thought, “Great, now he’s going to get suspended.” A suspension would have put owners like me in a tough position because in the league I have Johnson, I am at the bottom of the waiver priority and need a win for a good playoff seed. Suspensions at this time of year can cripple your chances. Now that we know he will not get suspended, we can focus on more things.
The Golden Mug Award
Awarded to the fantasy player who came through for their team.
Dwayne Bowe – 13 receptions, 170 yards, 3 TD. Since Week 6, Bowe has been on a hot streak. He posted his third consecutive 100-plus yard game and has 13 touchdowns over the past seven games.
Peyton Hillis – 26 carries, 131 yards, 3 TD; 6 receptions, 63 yards. Hillis is the second-best fantasy player behind Arian Foster and owners should ride this truck until the wheels fall off.
Aaron Rodgers – 344 yards, 3 TD; 12 rushes, 51 yards, 1 TD. Rodgers put in his best game of the season and it came at the best time.
The Urinal Cake Award
Awarded to the fantasy player who you would like to, well you know.
Chris Johnson – 7 carries, 5 yards. That had to be one of the most painful stat lines of the year. As a Johnson owner on a team fighting for a division, I nearly lost the game. Let’s hope that Johnson redeems himself with some monster games during the fantasy playoffs.
DeSean Jackson – 2 receptions, 26 yards. Jackson’s reception totals should be a concern for owners during this time of year. He has had more than five catches in a game just once this season and he is averaging just three catches over the past three games.
Mike Williams (Tampa Bay) – 2 receptions, 20 yards. Is Williams hitting the rookie wall? It’s hard to rely on a rookie in fantasy leagues at this time of year.
Good quarterback matchups this week:
Kyle Orton against the Chiefs. Orton has been the sixth-best quarterback over the past three weeks, averaging 21.3 fantasy points. This includes Denver’s Week 10 matchup against the Chiefs where he lit them up for 296 yards and four touchdowns. I’m expecting a repeat performance in this game.
Ryan Fitzpatrick against the Vikings. The Bills have been competing and nearly pulled out a win against the Steelers, which would have given them three wins in a row. This week Stevie Johnson seeks redemption and lights up the Vikings’ secondary. Minnesota is allowing 215.2 passing yards per game (14th) and has given up 18 touchdowns this season.
Sleeper Pick of the Week: Mark Sanchez against the Patriots. Sanchez has confidence against the Patriots after beating them in Week 2. Since then, New England’s pass defense has been just awful. They are now giving up more passing yards than the Houston Texans – 288.5 yards per game (32nd) – and has allowed 21 passing touchdowns this season.
Good running back matchups this week:
Matt Forte against the Lions. At this point in the season you need all of your players to pitch in, and Forte is coming off his second 100-plus yard game of the season. Week 1 seems like forever ago, but when Forte faced the Lions, he put up 201 total yards and had two receiving touchdowns. This is a good week for him to be in your lineup. The Lions have had trouble stopping the run and are allowing 128.6 rushing yards per game (24th) and are 30th in the league with 13 touchdowns allowed on the ground this season.
Jamaa Charles against the Broncos. Charles should have received a Golden Mug award this week but he was over shadowed by Dwayne Bowe‘s three touchdowns. Charles posted his second 170-plus yard rushing game of the season and will look to have another great game against the Broncos, who he totaled 121 total yards and a score against in Week 10. The Broncos are allowing 141.6 rushing yards per game (30th) and have given up a league high of 16 rushing touchdowns this season.
Sleeper Pick of the Week: Tashard Choice against the Colts. Choice is always a good pick up around this time of year for teams thin at running back that may need a spot duty player. Choice has produced during the fantasy playoffs before, back in his rookie season, where he averaged around 81 yards and had two scores. He has a chance to help owners as he faces the Colts, who have given up a ton of yards on the ground the past three games averaging 123 yards allowed per contest.
Bad quarterback matchups this week:
Josh Freeman against the Falcons. Freeman has been average the past three weeks as he is the 22nd quarterback in fantasy leagues. In Week 9 against the Falcons, Freeman did have two scores but was limited to just 189 yards and had two picks. Atlanta will be looking to limit Freeman in this game as they have 15 interceptions this season.
Donovan McNabb against the Giants. Last week McNabb threw his 13th interception which is the most he’s had in a season. With five games left, he will likely throw a few more and end the year with more interceptions than touchdowns. This will be the first of two meetings against the Giants, who still have the league’s best passing defense, allowing just 186.4 yards per game. They have allowed 14 touchdowns this season.
Carson Palmer against the Saints. Palmer had his worst game of the season last week, throwing for just 135 yards with a touchdown and two picks. You have to wonder if Palmer’s days in Cincinnati are numbered. Palmer has another tough matchup against the Saints, who are third in the league with 197.8 passing yards allowed per game and has given up the lowest amount of touchdowns in the league (seven).
Bad running back matchups this week:
Darren McFadden against the Chargers. McFadden missed the first meeting against San Diego. McFadden has been awful running the ball the past two weeks and had just two yards on eight carries against Miami. San Diego’s defense is third in the league, allowing just 81.1 yards per game and just eight touchdowns yielded this season. Look for the Raiders to play from behind and have to give up on the ground attack.
Brandon Jackson against the 49ers. The Packers average 24.5 points per game, but yet are 27th in the league in rushing. As good as the passing game has been for them, the ground game hasn’t been much help. Since the team’s bye week, Jackson has averaged just 27 yards on the ground. Just awful and for owners struggling to find healthy running backs to start, will have a tough time with Jackson in their lineup.
Brian Westbrook against the Packers. Frank Gore is done for the season,which opened the door for Westbrook to return to the starting lineup. Many desperate owners trying to stay alive in the playoff hunt are picking up Westbrook this week. Don’t be fooled by the 136 yards rushing. First take a look at his durability. He’s already questionable for this week. Green Bay is allowing 112.5 yards per game (18th) but has given up just five touchdowns to running backs this season.
Week 13: This is the week that can make or break your playoff chances. Play your lineup smart and start your best players.
Good Luck to everyone in Week 13. Follow @BrewCrewCorner