Evan Silva

Matchups

print article archives RSS

Matchups: Benching Brady

Saturday, November 13, 2010


1:00PM ET Games

Detroit @ Buffalo

Forecasts for Ralph Wilson Stadium will be worth tracking going forward, but this week's isn't too scary. As of Thursday, Weather.com projected 50-plus degree temps with a 30-percent chance of rain. It's good news for two pass-happy teams. Only the Colts throw more than the Lions, and Detroit's pass-early, pass-often mentality doesn't change with Shaun Hill under center. For the season, the Lions average 42.6 pass attempts per game. In Hill's four injury-free starts, he threw 43.5 times a game. OC Scott Linehan is running a spread-type offense with tons of 3-5 receiver sets and shotgun. Employment of the 'gun may be even more frequent this week with Hill nursing a fractured left forearm and struggling to perform hand-offs. Hill is worth a strong look as a QB1 against a Bills team surrendering a league-worst 17-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Hill has five 2010 starts. In them, Calvin Johnson averages six catches for 79 yards with five TDs. Johnson was taken out of last week's game by Darrelle Revis, but banged-up Bills LCB Terrence McGee (back/knee) won't execute a repeat. ... Nate Burleson capitalized on Revis' shutdown of Megatron en route to his most productive fantasy game since Week 17 of '07. Burleson was hurt for much of Hill's five-start run earlier this year, as Brandon Pettigrew took on a more prominent role. Burleson is certainly on the radar as a WR3, but we can't reasonably expect consistency. He's always been an up-and-down player. ... Pettigrew's averages in Hill's starts: seven catches and 66 yards. Looking more athletic than ever, Pettigrew is a strong TE1 with touchdowns in three of his last four games. ... Jahvid Best looked quicker than he has in several weeks during Detroit's Week 9 loss to the Jets, racking up 88 total yards. The Bills rank 32nd in run defense.

The Lions have quietly played stout pass defense since installing RCB Alphonso Smith and SS Amari Spievey as starters, but have trouble containing running backs in the flat. Over their past two games, Detroit has surrendered 14 catches for 114 yards and a TD to Redskins and Jets RBs. This appears to be due to SLB Julian Peterson's coverage woes. According to Pro Football Focus, the 32-year-old allowed six catches on seven throws in his direction to New York in Week 9. With Roscoe Parrish (fractured forearm) out for the year, rookie C.J. Spiller's role will increase in the slot. He'll be the best bet to capitalize on Peterson's declining athleticism and makes for a sneaky flex in PPR leagues. ... Fred Jackson scored a fluky goal-line touchdown in Week 9 thanks to a 45-yard catch-and-run by Steve Johnson, at the end of which Johnson was caught from behind. F-Jax only had 36 yards otherwise. Despite a matchup with Detroit's No. 27 run defense, Jackson remains a low-end RB2. The Bills aren't going to win the trench war Sunday.

Ranked sixth among fantasy wideouts, Johnson is an every-week WR2. Already a red-zone star, Johnson showed his ability to produce without finding pay dirt in last week's 11-catch, 145-yard destruction of Chicago. He'd normally match up with Lions LCB Chris Houston, but Houston has a separated shoulder. If Houston plays, his tackling could suffer against Johnson's run-after-catch skills. If Houston doesn't, Brandon McDonald would draw the start. McDonald has been cut twice this season. ... Lee Evans is a better athlete than Johnson, but doesn't complement Ryan Fitzpatrick's modest arm as well as Buffalo's possession receiver. Evans ranks 32nd in receiver fantasy scoring and is a poor WR3 option. ... Fitzpatrick's matchup isn't quite as good as it appears, but he's playing too well to qualify as anything less than low-end QB1. Continuing to earn his coaches' trust, Fitzpatrick's pass attempts totals have increased in five straight games.

Cincinnati @ Indianapolis

The Cincy-Indy over-under is the second highest of Week 10, so fire up your Bengals and Colts. Peyton Manning has the best TD-to-INT ratio (16:4) in football, ranks fourth in passing yards, and is on pace to finish as a top-six fantasy QB for a 12th straight year. He's safe to use against the Bengals' No. 17 pass defense. ... Jacob Tamme and Reggie Wayne ranked first and second in the NFL in Week 9 targets. Wayne leads the league in catches and will square off with RCB Leon Hall, who was burned on Mike Wallace's 39-yard scoring bomb last week. ... Tamme is filling the Dallas Clark role (without the double teams), and leads all tight ends in fantasy points since taking over the position. His back injury is not expected to threaten his availability or effectiveness.

Just as an F.Y.I., Tamme's backup at "move" tight end is 6'1/255-pound H-back Gijon Robinson, a 2007 undrafted free agent from Missouri Western. Unlike Tamme, Robinson lacks an extensive pass-catching background. He had 25 receptions for 253 yards and a solitary touchdown as a senior at his D-II school, and has been targeted twice this season, catching neither. ... Blair White would be the biggest beneficiary of Tamme's injury. White has zero competition for slot receiver snaps with Austin Collie (concussion) ruled out and Anthony Gonzalez (knee) on injured reserve. ... Pierre Garcon was all but eliminated from Week 9 by Eagles shutdown CB Asante Samuel. The sledding gets a bit smoother against Bengals LCB Johnathan Joseph, and Garcon would also benefit if Tamme sat. He's still an every-week WR3. ... Run defense is arguably the Bengals' biggest weakness, but Donald Brown (3.13 YPC) is shaping up as "Just a Guy" and loses goal-line work to Javarris James. Brown is a low-end RB2.

It's news to few by now, but Terrell Owens saw 14 targets to Chad Ochocinco's seven in Week 9. Nearing age 33 (he turns in January), Ocho no longer beats double teams and needs the Bengals to play from behind to have any shot at a big game. He's topped 59 yards twice, both coming when Carson Palmer threw up year-high pass attempt totals. Barking at Palmer and LT Andrew Whitworth won't save Ocho's fantasy season. ... Palmer, playing indoors for the second time all year, passed for 412 yards, three touchdowns, and no picks with a season-best 72.0 completion rate in his only other domed affair. The Bengals should be playing from behind Sunday in what projects as a point-filled game, so this is one of the rare times Palmer will be recommended in this space.

Since his 6/131/1 fluke in Week 7, Jordan Shipley has a scoreless 75 yards in two games. ... The Colts are one of the NFL's better teams in tight end coverage. Jermaine Gresham, averaging a disgusting 6.8 yards per catch, isn't a fantasy option. ... The Colts rank seventh against the pass and 29th in run defense, so Bengals OC Bob Bratkowski's game plan should be simple entering this one. Cedric Benson, in theory, will receive at least 25 carries if the Bengals plan to win. Indianapolis has overtaken the Buccaneers for the NFL's highest yards-per-rushing attempt allowed at 5.12.

NY Jets @ Cleveland

Santonio Holmes moved into a full-time role in Week 9. Leading the Jets in targets and yards, Holmes got the start at split end and played a season-high 56 snaps. (Pro Football Focus had Holmes averaging 36.7 snaps in his previous three games.) Remarked Rex Ryan after Holmes' game-winning 52-yard catch-and-run in overtime, "That's what he does. ... He is explosive. Boy, did we need him." Consider Holmes an every-week WR3 going forward. ... The biggest loser with Holmes' role increasing is Jerricho Cotchery, who in Week 9 played his lowest snap percentage all year. Cotchery is now a clear third receiver in a run-heavy offense and droppable in all leagues. ... With Holmes at split end, Braylon Edwards is still the Jets' full-time flanker. Edwards will square off with shaky Browns LCB Eric Wright for the majority of this one and is always worth a look in non-PPR leagues. Edwards is on pace for 10 touchdown grabs.

No longer breaking tackles and averaging a paltry 3.68 yards per carry in his last four games, the arrow is spiraling downward for LaDainian Tomlinson. The 31-year-old was never a good bet to hold up in the first place, but coach Rex Ryan confirmed this week that L.T. will now begin splitting carries with Shonn Greene. To this point, Tomlinson has averaged 15.5 carries per game compared to Greene's 10.9. Expect a role reversal, with Tomlinson still playing on most passing downs. Either way, L.T. takes a massive hit in non-PPR leagues. He's a very weak RB2 against a Browns defense that's surrendered the fewest rushing scores (1) in football and allows just 3.88 yards per carry. ... Still scoreless since Week 4, Dustin Keller will attempt to break out of his funk in a matchup with a Cleveland defense that gives up the sixth most fantasy points to tight ends.

The Jets haven't let an opponent complete better than 54 percent of its passes in a month, which has a lot to do with the healthy return of Darrelle Revis. According to numbers compiled by Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Revis shadowed Calvin Johnson in Week 9 for all but three snaps. The result? Five targets, one catch, 13 yards. Sit Mohamed Massaquoi. ... The Jets' lone pass defense weakness is in the slot, where CB Drew Coleman gave up six catches for 101 yards and a touchdown last Sunday, most going to Nate Burleson. The Browns, unfortunately, don't have a slot receiver worth any kind of fantasy consideration. ... Ben Watson has two catches for a scoreless 42 yards combined in his last two games. Sit 'em.

Peyton Hillis' matchup is daunting. The Jets rank fourth against the run and permit 3.34 yards per carry, good for second fewest in the league. Hills has proved himself matchup-proof, however, recording his biggest two games of the year against New England and Baltimore. Averaging 24 touches per game over the past seven weeks and coming off a 220-total yard, two-touchdown effort, Hillis isn't just producing on his own. Cleveland's line play has been fantastic, with C Alex Mack leading the way. The Jets will gear up to stop him, but the Browns' entire rushing unit is playing too well for Hillis to be benched. He's the No. 4 overall fantasy back regardless of format.


continue story »
Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Monday

    Monday's Fantasy Minute
  •  
    Beer’s NFL 6 Pack - WR & TE

    Beer’s NFL 6 Pack - WR & TE
  •  
    RotoPat:: Week 3 Rankings

    RotoPat:: Week 3 Rankings
  •  
    Beer’s NFL 6 Pack - QB & RB

    Beer’s NFL 6 Pack - QB & RB
  •  
    Thursday

    Thursday's Fantasy Minute
  •  
    Levitan: Drop options

    Levitan: Drop options
  •  
    Levitan: Biggest flukes

    Levitan: Biggest flukes
  •  
    Wednesday

    Wednesday's Fantasy Minute