Welcome to week 15 of the Brew Crew Corner. All playoff games are now in full swing and I hope that you are a part of it. I still have a team in the fight but injuries have plague my other teams this season. In order to advance to the next round you have to play your best guys. Look at all the angles. Who has the hot hand? Who is facing an easy schedule? And where what teams may be sitting starters down the stretch are questions you want to find answers too.
The weather will become a factor now that we are in December. Teams that have a good run game are at an advantage while making it difficult for those long field goal attempts. This weekend, keep an eye on the game between Miami and Buffalo as there could be some snow in Buffalo.
It seems as if injuries have plagued many owners throughout the season and it will be harder during the playoffs. How I wish I had a healthy Andre Johnson to carry me to the next round. Don’t forget to use the waivers if you can and grab as many people available that can help you advance to the next round.
The Golden Mug Award
Awarded to the fantasy player who came through for their team.
Maurice Jones-Drew– 27 carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns, six receptions 51 yards and touchdowns. That’s the kind of performance that catapults owner’s right into the playoffs. Nearly a 50 point fantasy effort from MJD won a lot of games this week.
Rob Gronkowski– Six receptions for 160 yards and two touchdowns. This guy has been elite over the past six weeks racking up 10 receiving touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. He’s carrying his owners on his back and setting records in the process.
Marques Colston– Seven receptions 105 yards and two touchdowns. The Saints’ offense is unpredictable but at least Colston is getting his targets. Last week he was targeted eight times and this week he was targeted seven. It is the 3rd game he’s had a score in and also his 3rd 100+ yard game.
The Urinal Cake Award
Awarded to the fantasy player who you would like to, well you know.
Jermichael Finley– One target, no catches. Finley has been a disappointment for owners this season as he has been a very shaky starter all a season. After posting 87 yards and a score last week, he came up short for a lot of people. It’s hard to lose a game, especially a playoff game when you get nothing from one of your starters.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis– Five carries for 19 yards. The Patriots’ running back situation will make anyone scream in frustration. Now that it is playoff time the risk reward factor triples as you could have a break out game that will put you into the next round or you can have a flop that will have you waiting for next year.
Sam Hurd– Zero catches and a federal drug arrest. Hurd who had flashes of a sleeper pick during his days with the Cowboys found himself wearing a different uniform on Wednesday. I guess he was trying to supplement his base salary.
Good quarterback match-ups this week:
Tony Romo against the Buccaneers. Romo is going to help plenty of owners this time of year as the schedule is favorable. He’ll face the Buccanneers this week who are 27th in the league against the pass allowing 248.8 yards per game with 22 touchdowns given up. He then has a tougher matchup against the Eagles before playing the Giants again which he lit up for 321 yards and four scores.
Drew Brees against the Vikings. Brees, back in 2008, almost broke Dan Marino’s single season touchdown record and top playoff seed could help in keeping Brees from taking it easy over the final few games. The Vikings have given up big plays in the pass and are 26th in the league giving up 248.8 yards per game with a league high of 26 passing touchdowns surrendered.
Sleeper Pick of the Week: T.J Yates against the Panthers. Yates is playing well as he was thrown into the fire after the Texans lost its two starting quarterbacks. Yates will be without Andre Johnson but last week he posted 300+ yards and two scores with the offense they have in place. They will be playing at home against a Panthers team that can score on offense but is playing poor defense. The Panthers pass defense is allowing 236.5 passing yards per game with 22 touchdowns allowed. Too bad Yates doesn’t get to play in Carolina where he played for the Tar Heels nearby at Chapel Hill.
Good running back match-ups this week:
Ray Rice against the Chargers. For those who drafted Rice in the Top 3 are now benefiting from that investment. Rice has put up 307 rushing yards, 56 receiving yards and two scores over the past two weeks and has a good opportunity to carry the ball 25+ times again. The Chargers ruin defense has not played well as they are allowing 128.9 yards per game. They have held teams to seven scored on the ground but I expect Rice to get into the endzone this week.
Chris Johnson against the Colts. The Colts are staring a winless season in the face and there hasn’t been much for them to cheer about with three divisional games to end the season. The run defense is ranked near the bottom allowing 144.3 yards per game (30th) with 18 touchdowns allowed. Only Tampa Bay has given up more touchdowns on the grown at 19.
Sleeper Pick of the Week: Shonn Greene against the Eagles. You’re looking for a spark off the bench and lately it has not been easy to find production off the waivers. Greene has not played like a starter this season but over the past two weeks he’s put up 30+ fantasy points in back to back weeks with 4 touchdowns during those games. The Jets can officially end the Eagles season and improve their playoff chances against a defense ranked 18th against the run allowing 115.1 yards per game and 11 touchdowns this season.
Bad quarterback match-ups this week:
Philip Rivers against the Ravens. Rivers has had back-to-back games with 240+ yards and three touchdowns so it is hard to think that he have a bad game this week but his match-up is tough facing a Ravens team that is looking to secure a playoff spot as they are currently the 2nd seed in the AFC heading into this weekend. The Ravens pass defense are ranked 4th in the league with 192.3 passing yards allowed per game and just nine touchdowns given up.
Ben Roethlisberger against the 49ers. How much pain can Big Ben play through? A high ankle sprain is not a good thing to have when your playing a tough teams such as the 49ers. Roethlisberger’s biggest asset is his ability to escape the rush but with a hurt ankle he could be a sitting duck if the line doesn’t protect him. The 49ers are playing at home where they have lost once this season. They are 19th against the pass allowing 234.5 passing yards per game with 18 touchdowns surrendered. The 49ers have 32 sacks on the year.
Cam Newton against the Texans. Newton is hands down the rookie of the year this season and He will do well for owners later in the playoffs but this week he will face the toughest pass defense he’s faced all year on the road in Houston. The Texans are riding high having secured their first ever playoff spot and they will look to keep things rolling against the Panthers. The Texans are 3rd in the league in pass defense. They are holding teams to 183.5 passing yards per game with 13 touchdowns scored against them.
Bad running back match-ups this week:
Peyton Hillis against the Cardinals. The Cardinals have been playing good team defense lately and they proved it by beating a good 49ers team. Hillis continues to uphold the Madden Curse mystic as he rushed for just 25 yards last week and has not had a big game since Week 2. The Cardinals defense have allowed just two scores on the ground over the past 6 games and have allowed just 68 rushing yards per game over the past five weeks.
C.J. Spiller against the Dolphins. The Dolphins fired their coach despite the elevated play they have had the 2nd part of the season. The team is still playing good defensively and are 3rd in the league allowing 89.9 rushing yards with just 5 touchdowns on the ground all season. Spiller has not yet lived up to the hype and has not filled the void left by Fred Jackson. If you’re looking for Spiller to carry you into the next round, you need to look elsewhere.
Rashard Mendenhall against the 49ers. When you’re facing the best run defense in the league, it’s going to be a tough match-up. When you’re starting quarterback is limited, that will make it even harder as the offense will need to lean on the run more. The 49ers have been lights out when it comes to run defense. 70.5 yards per game is all they are allowing and they are still pitching a shutout for touchdowns by running backs. This could be a very low scoring game. Field goals galore!
Week 15: Win or go home, the playoffs are here!
Good Luck to everyone in Week 15. Follow @BrewCrewCorner