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Week 14: First Round of Playoffs

Welcome to Week 14 of the
Brew Crew Corner. For some leagues the playoffs start in Week 14. This is done
so that teams resting players the final week of the game will not affect the
outcome of the championship games. For others, this is the final week of the
season, and if you are still competing for a playoff spot then this becomes
your first round of the playoffs because if you don’t win you don’t get in.

I’d like to declare one
of my teams for the All-Concussion team. This team was made up of Ben Roethlisberger
and Kurt Warner at quarterback, Brian Westbrook, Jamal Lewis and Clinton Portis
at running back and DeSean Jackson at wide receiver. I lost Chris Cooley this
season as well but it wasn’t concussion-related so I need a tight end for the
list.

It’s amazing how many
people this season have had concussion issues. So much that they have changed
the procedures on how they treat players. The interesting factor is that most
players will do what they can to play through it. They will lie about their
symptoms for a number of reasons. Some have incentives they are trying to reach,
others don’t want to lose playing time if for instance they are on the roster
bubble and others simply do not want to appear as weak. I think the NFL is
doing a great job addressing this issue but there is still a number of
obstacles that are in the way.

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

The chart color chart
below will show teams Strength of Schedule for pass and run over the
next four games.

 

 

Team

Pass SOS

STL

25.5

BUF

22.25

SF

22.

CLE

21.5

MIA

21.25

JAX

20.5

GB

20.25

DET

20

ARI

19.5

HOU

19.5

TB

19.25

BAL

19

DEN

18.75

TEN

18.25

NYJ

17.75

CHI

17.5

SD

17

PIT

16.75

NO

16.5

CAR

15.75

SEA

14.75

CIN

14.5

PHI

14

WAS

13.25

NE

11.75

OAK

11.75

DAL

11.25

KC

11

NYG

10.5

ATL

9.5

MIN

8.5

IND

7.5

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Run SOS

ATL

25

NE

22.75

NO

22.25

DEN

20.5

BUF

20.5

KC

19.75

TEN

19

IND

19

JAX

18.75

BAL

18.75

OAK

18.75

NYJ

18.5

TB

18.25

DAL

18

WAS

17.5

HOU

17.25

CLE

17.25

CIN

17

SF

16.5

SEA

16.25

MIN

15.75

NYG

15

ARI

14

PIT

13.25

GB

12.75

DET

12

CAR

11.75

STL

11.75

SD

10.75

MIA

10.5

PHI

10

CHI

8

 

 

HOT AND COLD

Team records over the
past five games.

 

 

Team

Last 5

Indianapolis Colts

5-0  

New Orleans Saints  

5-0  

San Diego Chargers  

5-0  

Tennessee Titans  

4-1  

Minnesota Vikings  

4-1  

Cincinnati Bengals  

4-1  

Green Bay Packers  

4-1  

Arizona Cardinals  

4-1  

Jacksonville Jaguars  

4-1  

Dallas Cowboys  

3-2  

Philadelphia Eagles  

3-2  

Seattle Seahawks  

3-2  

Miami Dolphins  

3-2  

New England Patriots  

2-3  

New York Giants  

2-3  

Atlanta Falcons  

2-3  

Baltimore Ravens  

2-3  

New York Jets  

2-3  

Denver Broncos  

2-3  

Carolina Panthers  

2-3  

Oakland Raiders  

2-3  

Kansas City Chiefs  

2-3  

San Francisco 49ers  

2-3  

Buffalo Bills  

1-4  

Pittsburgh Steelers  

1-4  

Chicago Bears  

1-4  

Washington Redskins  

1-4  

Detroit Lions  

1-4  

Houston Texans  

1-4  

St. Louis Rams  

1-4  

Tampa Bay Buccaneers  

1-4  

Cleveland Browns  

0-5  

 

 

Top 10 QB Last Three
Weeks

according to Shark League scoring by average points per game

1. Drew Brees 25.3

2. Aaron Rodgers 24.7

3. Brett Favre 22.3

4. Brady Quinn 21

5. Jason Campbell 19.3

6. Tony Romo 19.3

7. Bruce Gradkowski 19

8. Alex Smith 19

9. Vince Young 19

10. Philip Rivers 18.3 

Top 10 RB Last Three Weeks

according to Shark League scoring by average points per game

1. Chris Johnson 24.7

2. Ricky Williams 23

3. Steven Jackson 22.7

4. Justin Forsett 21.3

5. Rashard Mendenhall 20.7

6. Kevin Smith 20.3

7. Joseph Addai 19

8. Ray Rice 19

9. Jamaal Charles 18.7

10. Lawarence Maroney 18.7

Top 10 WR Last Three
Weeks

according to Shark League scoring by average points per game

1. Wes Welker 23.7

2. Percy Harvin 21.7

3. Anquan Boldin 20.7

4. Santonio Holmes 20.7

5. Calvin Johnson 20.7

6. Miles Austin 20.3

7. Robert Meachem 20

8. Terrell Owens 20

9. Larry Fitzgerald 19

10. Sidney Rice 18


Top 10 TE Last Three
Weeks

according to
Shark League scoring by average points per game

1. Vernon Davis 21

2. Antonio Gates 20.3

3. Tony Gonzalez 18

4. Jason Witten 17.7

5. Visanthe Shiancoe 15.3

6. Jermichael Finley 14.3

7. Zach Miller 12.3

8. Fred Davis 11.3

9. Bo Scaife 11.3

10. Dallas Clark 11

Top 10 K Last Three
Weeks

according to Shark League scoring by average points per game

 

1. Nate Kaeding 15

2. Matt Prater 12.7

3. David Akers 11.3

4. Shayne Graham 11

5. Mason Crosby 10.7

6. John Kasay 10.7

7. Josh Brown 10.3

8. Billy Cundiff 10.3

9. Rob Bironas 10

10. Rian Lindell 9.7

Top 10 D/ST Last Three
Weeks

according to
Shark League scoring by average points per game

1. Packers 17.7

2. Jets 17

3. Chargers 15.3

4. Bengals 13.7

5. Broncos 13

6. Eagles 12.7

7. Saints 12.7

8. Cardinals 11.7

9. Panthers 11.3

10. Vikings 11.3

10 Struggling Players
Last Three Weeks

according to Shark League scoring by average points per game

1. LeSean McCoy 14.3

2. Mike Sims-Walker 11

3. Reggie Wayne 11

4. Mario Manningham 9.7

5. Austin Collie 8

6. Vincent Jackson 7

7. Darren McFadden 7

8. T.J. Houshmandzadeh 6

9. Laveranues Coles 5.3

10. Willie Parker 2.7

The Golden
Mug Award

Awarded to the fantasy player who came through for their team.

Devin Thomas – 7 receptions,
100 yards, 2 TD. Thomas had his best game as a pro, and if he can continue to
be productive for the rest of the season, he has the makings to be a sleeper in
2010. In the past three weeks he is getting almost seven targets a game.

Anquan Boldin – 7 receptions,
98 yards, 2 TD. Boldin was two yards shy of his third 100-yard game of the
season and he doubled his yearly total of touchdowns. Injuries have hurt his
stats this season, something he’s dealt with the past three years. If you are
wondering why Arizona hasn’t paid him the big bucks it’s because of his injury
history.

Jason Witten – 14 receptions,
156 yards. Witten posted the most yards he has ever had in a game, and his 14
receptions is one less than he had in Week 13 against Detroit when he posted 15
for 138 yards and a score. Witten is on pace to post as many yards as he had
last season but his touchdown numbers are a disappointment as he has just one
this season.

The Urinal
Cake Award

Awarded to the fantasy player who you would like to, well you know.

Joe Flacco – 15/36, 137 yards,
1 TD, 3 INT. Some are calling Flacco’s 2009 season a sophomore slump, but the
numbers aren’t supporting it. Flacco is on pace to finish with just below 4,000
yards and 18 touchdowns to 14 interceptions – all which will be higher than his
2008 rookie season. However, Monday’s game showed a very uncomfortable and
sometimes lost quarterback playing at a cold Lambeau field against a hot Green
Bay defense.

Marion Barber – 15 carries
for 36 yards, 1 lost fumble. Barber did not have the same success against the
Giants as he had in the first matchup. We now see why Barber slipped to the
second and third round of drafts this season. His production overall as well as
his injuries keep him from being a stud in this league. He is on pace to finish
with 973 rushing yards and five touchdowns.

Adrian Peterson – 13 carries
for 19 yards; 6 receptions, 46 yards. All day? Not this day. Peterson’s 1.5
yards per carry was nothing special. He has only one touchdown over the last
three games. Owners should be concerned if the Vikings wrap up a first-round
bye that Peterson will see little work against the Giants in Week 17.
Surprisingly, through 13 weeks Peterson is averaging more fantasy points (23.2)
than he did through 13 weeks in 2008 (21.4).

MATCHUPS

The matchups
I like this week for QBs:

Alex Smith against the
Cardinals. Smith posted his first 300-yard passing game of his career and he
could finish the season with 20 touchdowns. That would be the most he’s had in
a season even though he has played in just eight games this year. Vernon Davis
is having a monster year and that is good news for Smith, who will play well in
this game. The Cardinals will have to play honest as they will look to contain
Frank Gore first. That is when Smith will look to put up some numbers against
an Arizona defense that is allowing 257.8 passing yards a game (30th)
with 18 touchdowns given up to 13 interceptions.

Drew Brees against the
Falcons. We love when our studs get great matchups. We love it even more when
it is the first round of the playoffs for some owners. Brees should be the co-MVP
this with Peyton Manning hands down. This week he gets a very beat up Falcons team
that competed with them in Week 8 when they were healthy. In that game, Brees
threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns. You have to believe that he will light
up the sky in this one. The Falcons defense has given up an average of 306.6 passing
yards and has allowed seven touchdowns in the last three weeks alone. On the
season, the Falcons have allowed 254.7 passing yards (29th) with
20 touchdowns to eight interceptions.

Ben Roethlisberger
against the Browns. The Steelers need a win to stop the bleeding and they get
to play the Browns at the right time. The last time Big Ben faced Cleveland, in
Week 6, he torched them for 417 yards and two touchdowns. Plus, Hines Ward as
said he will play. The Steelers will look for Heath Miller and Mike Wallace to
pick up the slack if Ward can not perform at 100 percent. The Browns have lost
seven in a row and are allowing 246.1 passing yards (26th) with 18 touchdowns
given up to just six interceptions this season.

The matchups
I like this week for RBs:

Thomas Jones against the
Buccaneers. Jones is fifth in the league in rushing yards,

 but I think he doesn’t get enough credit in
fantasy leagues. Especially since he wasn’t even a first-round pick but he’s
putting up Top 10 numbers. He is on pace to finish with the most rushing yards
in his career (1,412). This week he gets to pad those stats against the Bucs.
The Bucs are allowing 160.1 rushing yards (31st) with 13 rushing
touchdowns given up.

Chris Johnson against the
Rams. Just like Drew Brees, Johnson gets a very tasty matchup. In Johnson’s
case, it doesn’t get any better than this for the rest of the year. The Rams
defense is allowing 146.2 rushing yards (28th) with 17 rushing
touchdowns. You got to love your chances if you’re playing in the postseason
this week.

Ray Rice against the
Lions. Rice was stifled last week against the tough Green Bay Packers. This
week he gets a chance to bounce back and put up great numbers against the
Lions. They will be playing Detroit at home against a defense that has allowed
113.4 rushing yards (19th) with nine rushing touchdowns. It has been
three weeks since Rice has scored and he should find paydirt in this game.

The
matchups I don’t like this week for QBs:

Matt Cassel against the
Bills. Cassel has had a rough 2009. Starting the year injured and then playing
on a team that has lost a Pro Bowl tight end during the offseason, a starting running
back that was cut and the No. 1 wide receiver was suspended. Last week, Cassel
played his worse game of the season, going 10-for-29 with just 84 yards and two
interceptions. This week he will play the Bills, a team which creates turnovers
with 21 interceptions on the season. They allow 188.2 passing yards (fourth)
and have given up just 10 passing touchdowns (second). This game could be blacked
out for the first time in 19 years in the Kansas City market.

Jay Cutler against the
Packers. Cutler didn’t put up great numbers last week even though he was facing
the Rams. He’s got a tough task this week against the Packers. He played well
against them in Week 1 where he had 277 passing yards and one touchdown, but
that was during the time the Packers were adjusting to their new defensive
scheme. They have since settled in to that scheme and are now playing really
good defense. Green Bay is allowing just 186.3 passing yards (third) with 22 touchdowns
and 21 interceptions. Even though Cutler is 13th among quarterbacks,
I plan to avoid him as the team will continue to struggle.

Carson Palmer against the
Vikings. This is going to be a very difficult game on both sides of the ball
for the Bengals and the Vikings. Despite Minnesota’s average pass defense of
227.2 passing yards (21st) they lead the league in sacks with 40 and
Palmer will be seeing Jared Allen all day long. Expect a tight back-and-forth
game where you won’t get big stats from the passing game.

The
matchups I don’t like this week for RBs:

Jerious Norwood against
the Saints. This is an example of a bad matchup due to the factors rather than
because of the defense. As a run defense, the Saints are beatable on the ground
as they allow 113.9 rushing yards and have given up 14 rushing touchdowns.
However, the team is going to hold out Matt Ryan if the left tackle Sam Baker
and right guard Harvey Dahl are unable to play. That is not a good sign for
Norwood. Add in the fact that this team could be down big at halftime and the
run game is almost certainly gone for the second half.

Brandon Jacobs against
the Eagles. Jacobs is on pace to have his lowest totals of the season since
2006. In his first meeting with the Eagles he had a decent outing posting 86 yards
on 20 carries. The past three games he has found the end zone twice but is
averaging just 35 rushing yards in those games. The Eagles and Giants will play
a very critical game this week as a win will go a long way in deciding the
division race.

Adrian Peterson against
the Bengals. You know, a year ago that first sentence would have sounded very
awkward. You probably still read it and thought “no way.” However, the signs
point to a disappointing outing for Peterson. The Bengals are playing the run
well allowing 81.6 rushing yards (second) and they have given up just six rushing
touchdowns. The Bengals have had only one running back rush for over 100 yards
and that was in Week 4 (Cleveland’s Jerome Harrison). Also, they have had just
one running back score in the past four weeks (Baltimore’s Ray Rice). This is
Brett Favre’s offense and Peterson will have a quiet day.

Good luck to everyone in
Week 14.

Cheers!

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