Editor’s Note: The Member Corner articles come from a group of writers selected from our Writer’s Contest we had a few months ago. These writers all showed great interest in having their work posted and we’re excited to offer them the ability to do that. Keep in mind all the articles in the Member Corner are not edited by DLF, nor do they always necessarily reflect the collective opinions of us. However, we have approved these writers because of their ability and passion for writing. We hope you enjoy this whole new revamped section of DLF!
With the fantasy trade deadline fast approaching, now is the time for savvy owners on competing dynasty teams to look ahead at their playoff match-ups and decide if they can truly make a run for the title.
Matt Ryan owners have been enjoying the benefits of Atlanta’s passing attack all year long, but unless the Falcons are playing for a perfect season, it is unlikely Ryan will be behind center in weeks 16 and 17. Will John Fox subject Peyton Manning to injury risk at the end of the year if Denver has already locked up the division title? Arian Foster sat out at the end of last season to be ready for Houston’s first playoff run. As long as Ben Tate is around, that could easily happen again. Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Brandon Marshall all could be sitting at the end of the year or catching passes from back-up quarterbacks.
If you are a contender, then you obviously have a decent team. There is no need to blow up the future of your dynasty at year end. However, there may be some players to target if the price is right. If you are rebuilding for next year, you may be able to add extra value or future draft picks to your current roster by dealing with a contender.
The following is a list of the worst fantasy defenses against each offensive position and a few players that you could consider targeting or moving. For scoring format, I used 1pt/25 yrds passing, 5pt/PassTD and 1pt 10 yrds/rushing or receiving, 6pt/TD, 1pt PPR.
Worst Defenses: New Orleans, Washington, Cleveland, Buffalo, Tennessee
Tony Romo (Rank 17): There shouldn’t be any dyntasy teams who currently have Tony Romo as their QB1. If they do, it is unlikely they are a contender this year. A lot of people who had put stock in Romo as a QB1 in August may be willing to part with him for some future upside. One of the biggest knocks on Romo has been his inconsistent play in December, but this year the Cowboys will face the Saints in week 16 and the Redskins in week 17 – that could easily make Romo the highest scoring QB for those two weeks.
Worst Defenses: New Orleans, Buffalo, Carolina, Tennessee, Oakland
Ryan Mathews (Rank 23): Acquiring Ryan Mathews would not be cheap, but if you already own him, you have to like your chances to finish the season strong. The Chargers offense has played poor all year but will face the Panthers in week 15 and Oakland in week 17. Mathews will have more value in the offseason than he does now so this is the opportunity to buy low from a frustrated owner.
Jonathan Stewart (Rank 47): DeAngelo Williams seemingly wasn’t traded (as of the posting of this article), so there isn’t an obvious upgrade in value after the trade deadline passed. Even without a trade, the Panthers will play the Raiders in week 16 and the Saints in week 17. Stewart is the best running back in Carolina – not the best rusher (thanks, Cam), but still the best running back.
Worst Defenses: Washington, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Indianapolis
DeSean Jackson (Rank 34): Now is the time to go after DJax. He has not come anywhere close to living up to his new contract, but most of that can be blamed on Mike Vick’s poor play. Even a quarterback change to Nick Foles should not crush his value. He really has nowhere to go but up. The Eagles play the Buccaneers in week 14 and the Redskins in week 16. There is also the added benefit of playing the Saints in week 9 and the Redskins for the first time in week 11.
Dez Bryant (Rank 22): Bryant is another player that won’t come cheap, but with his performances being so inconsistent, his value has dropped down to the level of “affordable.” As a Bryant owner, you’ll want to hold him and see how the season finishes. Like Romo, Bryant will go up against the Saints in week 16 and the Redskins in week 17.
Andre Johnson (Rank 28): If the AJ owner is not a contender, they could likely give him up for future upside. It is entirely possible AJ will not play in week 17, but if your league finishes in week 16, he is a guy to consider. The Texans will play the Colts in weeks 15 and 17 as well as nice match-ups against the Bills and Patriots leading up to the fantasy playoffs.
Worst Defenses: Tennessee, Washington, Denver, Cincinnati, Oakland
Dennis Pitta (Rank 13): Pitta is sitting just slightly outside the TE1 ranks so he carries some value. You might have to wait for a poor performance to snag him and as an owner, you’ll want to hold. The Ravens will play the Redskins in week 14, the Broncos in week 15 and the Bengals in week 17.
Jason Witten (Rank 4): Witten is only being mentioned here in case he is owned by a non-contending team in your league. He has helped many owners with strong season finishes in the past and should be poised to do the same in 2012. The Cowboys will play the Bengals in week 14 and the Redskins week 17. There is also the match-up in week 16 against the Saints. New Orleans is not in the worst Tight End Defenses, but Witten is extremely active in the Cowboys passing game and they are very poor against Wide Receivers.