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Making a Title Run

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.

Quarterback

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.

Running Back

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.

Wide Receiver

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.

Tight End

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.

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Adam
9 years ago

Nice article. However, given that most fantasy seasons are over by Week 17, I’d like to see a more in-depth study on the traditional fantasy playoff weeks 14-16.

Ryan Macnamara
Reply to  Adam
9 years ago

I second that!

Clockwork
Reply to  Ryan Macnamara
9 years ago

Agreed.

KCGuzz
9 years ago

Yes, league Super Bowls in WK17 is unforgiveable. Suggestion, keep $50 or 1/24 of the league prize fund available for all teams to win in WK17. It will keep everyone interested late, and give a forum for communications with the owners regarding off-season activities . This is part of making it fun for all..!!

flyersfan1981
9 years ago

Nice timing…looking for a bit of advice from anyone willing to give it. I feel I have a team that can compete for the next 2-3 years, but I am being battered with injuries at RB, here is my team:

Rodgers, Fitzpatrick
MJD, Mendy, Dwyer, Daryl Richardson/Pead, Helu
Colston, Demaryius Thomas, Titus Young, Torrey Smith, Jerome Simpson
Celek

The Doug Martin is looking to move him, and I have some interest as he looks to be the real deal and will likely be a 20-touch back for the forseeable future. Would you:

A) Try and move Colston, MJD or Mendy/Dwyer for Martin

B) Rather than depleting depth, make a bigger move and deal Rodgers for Peyton, Doug Martin, and Alshon Jeffrey

I am so torn on this as I drafted Rodgers in our startup to be my cornerstone, but I have taken the advice of some on here and am trying to look at a 3 year window where I think Peyton will produce at close to Rodgers level, and I can keep my depth at other positions…any thoughts would be appreciated…good luck to all!!

Gaelen Kash
Reply to  flyersfan1981
9 years ago

Although currently hurt, I think MJD has name value and that owners will still be interested in having him on their team. I also think that MJD has worn out his welcome in JAX. He has a lot of miles on his body and he may have 1, maybe 2 more semi productive years left. He’ll be 28 next years and I think the Jags will run him and let him hit FA. Then he becomes a 29 year old RB with an estimated 2300 career carries. I don’t see him then getting scooped up as a feature back by another team. So, if you are OK with losing out on 1 season for Martin, who will give you another 6-7 years of production, then I think that is a good move. Additionally, I think Mendenhall is now washed up. And with Dwyer unable to stay healthy for a whole season, I see Tomlin employing a true time share at that spot. Basically, whoever is healthy at that spot. I am sure you are thinking similar things with these same players, so hopefully my comments help you make a decision.

Gaelen Kash
Reply to  flyersfan1981
9 years ago

After today, I doubt you will get Martin…..

Admin
Reply to  Gaelen Kash
9 years ago

Wow is all I can say.

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