Happy Holidays! It’s week 16 of the Brew Crew Corner. The fantasy season is in its second round and there are championship games for some. The biggest problem owners are facing is not the weather, but all the QB changes on the league hurting the wide reciever position. Make sure to play only the best receivers you have and to load up on running backs. John Skelton, Joe Webb, Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow are not the guys you want to see out there when trying to win a playoff game.
In games between teams that are out of the playoff run, you have to be careful who you start because some teams will look to shut down their best players.
In the AFC, Miami, Houston, Cleveland, Buffalo, Denver and Cincinnati are out of the race. Teams like New England and Pittsburgh who have clinched a playoff spot might also shut players down once the seeding his been established. It is good to see a Colts team not resting players at this time of year for once.
In the NFC, Minnesota, Washington, Dallas, Detroit Arizona and Carolina are out of the race. Only Atlanta and Chicago have clinched a spot.
The Golden Mug Award
Awarded to the fantasy player who came through for their team.
Ray Rice- 31 carries for 153 yards, 1 touchdown and 5 receptions for 80 yards and 1 touchdown. If you have stuck by Rice all year, he came through for you this week. Look for another big game this week against the Browns.
Micheal Vick- 242 passing yards 3 touchdowns and 10 carries for 130 yards 1 touchdown. Vick was held in check until the final 7 minutes of the game when all hell broke lose helping plenty of owners advance to the next round.
Vincent Jackson- 5 receptions for 112 yards and 3 touchdowns. If anyone had Jackson in their line-up it was either because they had a lack of players to start or just a gut feeling. With the Bengals and Broncos left on the schedule, Jackson can be a good asset to have for the final games.
The Urinal Cake Award
Awarded to the fantasy player who you would like to, well you know.
Anquan Bolden- 1 reception for 2 yards. The problem with having a player like Ray Rice go off is that the rest of the players on offense suffer.
Steve Smith & Randy Moss– Are the good times gone from these once stud receivers?
NY Giants- As a Giant fan, I became sick to my stomach over the final minutes of that game. They lost the game and more importantly my #1 seeded teams’ playoff run.
Good quarterback matchups this week:
Matt Schaub against the Broncos. You don’t know how many more snaps Andre Johnson will get so use him while he is still playing. Houston has fallen short of making the playoffs again and will be playing for pride while the Broncos will be playing backups to get ready for next season. Schaub has been the second best fantasy quarterback over the past 3 weeks averaging 23.3 points per game. He will face a Broncos defense allowing 227.6 passing yards per game (22nd) with 25 touchdowns allowed.
Matt Cassel against the Titans. The Titans defense has deteriorated since earlier in the season and are now 26th in the league allowing 247.8 yards per game and have given up 18 touchdowns. Kansas City will look to hold off San Diego and Oakland so expect the Chiefs to be in playoff mode. This is good news for Dwayne Bowe owners.
Sleeper Pick of the Week: Jason Campbell against the Colts. The Raiders have a slim chance at making the playoffs so this week will determine their fate. They will play out this game hoping to keep that chances alive. Campbell has put up good numbers when he has had favorable matchups as he is the 8th best quarterback in fantasy leagues over the past 3 weeks averaging 19.0 points per game. He will be facing a Colts team that gave up almost 300 yards to David Garrard last week. The Colts’ defense is allowing 209.5 yards per game with 19 touchdowns allowed.
Good runningback matchups this week:
Ray Rice against the Browns. If you planned your draft accordingly back in August, you would have seen that Rice had great matchups at this time of the year. Expect the weather to be very cold, allowing Rice to get as many touches as possible. Rice is averaging 25 points per game over the past 3 weeks. He faces a Browns’ defense ranked 25th in yards per game with 129.2. Surprisingly, they have only allowed 5 touchdowns on the ground all year.
Marshawn Lynch against the Buccaneers. Lynch is a player that will get production as he is playing for a job next year. He is the 8th best running back over the past 3 weeks averaging 20.7 a game. He goes up against a Bucs defense allowing 136.5 yards per game (29th) with 10 touchdowns allowed. At this stage of the game, you have to look at all possible players that are producing as starters that can help you win a championship.
Sleeper Pick of the Week: Donald Brown against the Raiders. We all need a flex option that will help us get over the top and Brown is playing well at the right time. He is coming off a 129 yard rushing game including a score. He will have a chance to be productive this week facing the Raiders who are allowing 130.9 yards per game (26th) with 12 touchdowns giving up.
Bad quarterback matchups this week:
Ben Roethlisberger against the Panthers. This is one of those games where you can’t expect much from your quarterback. The match-up is meaningless for both sides and you can expect the Steelers to do just enough to get a win. However, the Panthers’ defense against the pass has been the one bright spot for this team in 2010. The Panthers are allowing just 203.4 yards per game with 16 touchdowns allowed. I expect a slow drawn out game in this one.
Eli Manning against the Packers. This is going to be the key NFC game this weekend. The final wild card spot comes down to New York, Green Bay and Tampa. Manning played very well against a good Eagles team but playing on the road in Green Bay will be a challenge. Eli is prone to turnovers and the Packers have 18 on the year. The Green Bay pass defense is 3rd in the NFL with 192.4 passing yards per game and just 14 touchdowns given up.
Jay Cutler against the Jets. Playing against a good Vikings’ pass defense while facing the field and weather condition at the game, Cutler put in a great effort. But Cutler has been up and down this season such as the game against New England where he posted just 7 fantasy points. This week he will face Darrelle Revis and the Jets who need a win badly as they are holding on to the #6 spot at the moment. The Jets’ pass defense is ranked 9th with 205.9 with 21 touchdowns allowed.
Bad runningback matchups this week:
Javid Best against the Dolphins. Best started the year hot but injuries have derailed his season. Since coming back healthy he has been out played by Maurice Morris. The chances of Best helping you win this week is slim as he faces a Dolphins team holding running backs to 96.6 yards per game (6th) with 6 touchdowns given up.
Peyton Hillis against the Ravens. In week 3, Hillis surprised everyone by running over the Ravens for 144 and a score. He has been dependable all season, but over the past few weeks, the pounding is has taken a toll. Hillis has failed to score in 3 straight games and is averaging just 58 yards in two of those games. The Ravens are still battling the Steelers for the Division and will look to contain Hillis. The Ravens’ defense is allowing 93.6 yards per game (5th) and have allowed just 5 touchdowns.
Cedric Benson against the Chargers. With the team out of the playoffs, Terrell Owens on I.R. and Chad Ochocinco having a melt down, there isn’t much going the Bengals way this season. Benson had a monster game last week after an awful 19 yard performance at Pittsburgh. San Diego is tough against the run allowing 89.4 yards per game (2nd) with 12 touchdowns on the ground.
Week 16: Have a happy and safe holiday. There is magic in the air.
Good Luck to everyone in Week 16. Follow @BrewCrewCorner