Week 11 is upon us. For most, there are only four weeks left in the regular season. For those of you in playoff-contention, now is not the time to rest on your laurels. There is much work to do to ensure your playoff run is as successful as Luke Bryan in a dance-off with Taylor Swift.
At this point, you need to start thinking about weeks 15 and 16. Look at all of your match-ups to discover your weak spots. Clearly, you need ride your top position players as they were the ones who got you there, but the one spot on your roster that you can afford to be flexible with is your defense.
Looking at the top six defenses right now, I see that in weeks 15 and 16 Philadelphia plays Dallas and Washington; Miami plays New England and Minnesota; Houston plays Indianapolis and Baltimore; New England plays Miami and New York Jets; Arizona plays St. Louis and Seattle; and Buffalo plays Green Bay and Oakland. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather stand up face to chest with Trace Adkins and call him a sissy before facing Dallas, Indianapolis, New England or Green Bay in the playoffs. I’m not suggesting overreacting and dropping these teams if you have them (you’re still going to need them). What I am saying is look to drop a bench player that’s gathering dust and pick up a team with a favorable schedule for those two most important weeks of the season. The two most obvious choices are Tennessee who gets to face the Jets and Jacksonville, and Green Bay who gets Buffalo and Tampa Bay. It’s true what they say, defense does win championships. Make sure you have the right one out there come playoff time.
BYES AND PICKUPS
The penultimate bye week is upon us. That means the Cowboys, Ravens, Jets and Jaguars get to trade in their shoulder pads for roller skates. To be honest, this week’s biggest fantasy bye impact lies with having to sit the Cowboys’ three amigos — Tony Romo, Demarco Murray and Dez Bryant (all of which are fantasy beasts). Also make sure Joe Flacco, Justin Forsett, Steve Smith, Torrey Smith, Owen Daniels, Michael Vick, Chris Ivory, Eric Decker and Denard Robinson are on your bench this week.
A trio of well-established running backs are likely returning this week after time off due to injury. The two most prominent are Rashad Jennings and Ryan Mathews. Jennings should have the bigger impact of the two. Montee Ball will also likely return this week, but I suspect Denver will ease him into action especially since C.J. Anderson went off on Oakland last week after filling in for the injured Ronnie Hillman.
The calamitous slide continues for my Takin’ Bills team as we dropped our fifth straight game. As a fantasy football veteran, I can’t imagine anything scarier (well, maybe Colt Ford in bike shorts, but I digress). At 3-7, the playoffs are now about as unthinkable of Blake Shelton releasing a single that doesn’t top the charts. I’m now just hoping to stave off the pointing and laughing from the other owners in my league. To do that, I must start by winning again. The only roster move I needed to make this week was to pick up Mychal Rivera to replace the suddenly usable Jason Witten who is on the bye. Rivera’s put up fantastic numbers for a tight end the last two weeks. That said, I expect him to be a complete flop as I have had zero luck with predicting the success of free agents on this team (I’m sure good at helping others though, speaking of which how about Mark Sanchez and Michael Vick last week?).
That’s all for this week, you can yell at or make fun of me on Twitter @sneezeguard. Praise is also accepted, but mostly undeserved.