Making tough start/sit calls is the most stressful part of fantasy football. I absolutely hate it, especially when being on the wrong side results in a loss.
Many times these decisions are so close that it’s hard to go wrong. But not being aware of a defense’s strengths and weaknesses is an unforgiveable error. It might surprise you to find out that the public perception of these defenses are vastly different than their actual abilities.
NOT A JAG AGAINST THE RUN
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There’s a major Jaguars stigma out there. That’s understandable, as they’ve gone 37-84 over the last eight seasons. But that doesn’t mean we should want to start running backs against them. The Jaguars rank second in Football Outsiders’ run-defense DVOA, a metric that analyzes a unit based on schedule and is independent of volume. The Jags are also giving up just 3.30 yards per carry, tops in the league.
AWAY FROM REVIS ISLAND
Darrelle Revis has played as expected this year, dominating whoever is in his path to the tune of a 44.3 passer rating against. But the Jets have struggled elsewhere, especially when the ball goes toward Antonio Cromarite. Opposing quarterbacks have a 135.3 passer rating when targeting Cro this year. This unit also sees a ton of volume, as they have the No. 1 DVOA run defense. Identifying which wide receiver Revis will be covering and making lineup decisions off that will be profitable down the stretch.
BUC UP SON
Some owners are cursing Darren McFadden after a poor performance at Tampa in Week 10. Don’t give up on him. The Bucs have quietly been excellent against the run all year, giving up just 3.56 YPC and earning a top-4 DOVA grade in rush defense. The way to beat this unit is through the air, where they have been going through corners at a rapid pace. It’s not going to be a cakewalk for DeMarco Murray this week as the Eagles host the Bucs.
NBA PICKUPS OF THE WEEK
1. J.R. Smith, SG, Cavs – A knee issue and shooting slump crippled Smith’s first few weeks. Now he’s logging monster minutes and heating up.
2. Will Barton, SG, Nuggets – No one on the Nuggets is playing better than Barton, which means his playing time will continue to increase.
3. Jerryd Bayless, PG/SG, Bucks – Jabari Parker’s complications off knee surgery have left Bayless playing next to MCW a lot.
Fire up these borderline wideouts in Week 11:
1. Marvin Jones at ARZ – Look for Patrick Peterson to shadow A.J. Green and Tyrann Mathieu to swallow up the slot. That leaves Jones to roam free.
2. Jordan Matthews vs. TB – Mark Sanchez loves to throw between the numbers and loves Matthews, as evidenced by last year.
3. Danny Amendola vs. BUF – He isn’t Julian Edelman, but Amendola has good rapport with Tom Brady and will see a boost in snaps/targets.
A wholefistful of teams are changing their quarterback ahead of Week 11. Peyton Manning’s benching is great news for Demaryius Thomas and Manny Sanders, as Peyton has been a bottom-three NFL quarterback for a calendar year. Tony Romo (collarbone) returning to action will open the field for workhorse Darren McFadden, who is a top-8 running back the rest of the way. Mark Sanchez is a viable streamer, we’ve seen him put up big numbers against bad defenses under Chip Kelly. And the Rams will get a boost from the aggressive, slinging style of Case Keenum.