Each week FFSpin will analyze the matchups and provide our take on which WR’s should be splitting out wide for your fantasy teams and which players face difficult matchups with shut down corners and should be avoided if possible. We take several variables into account including matchups, injuries, potential weather problems, arrests, drug busts, baby mama trauma etc. We don’t deal with the must-start kind of receivers in this article; rather we look at guys that may be catapulted by circumstances into the upper echelon for this week and alert you to some wideouts that could struggle thanks to matchups with shutdown CBs.
There are multiple injuries to monitor at the WR position as we head into the first week of the fantasy playoffs. Greg Jennings (knee) will absent for the rest of the regular season. Andre Johnson (hamstring) is again listed as doubtful. The news is more positive on Jeremy Maclin (shoulder/hamstring) who is expected to play. Don’t forget that you can see the injury updates on FFSpin.com on our interactive injury chart with fantasy advice posted on Friday and updated regularly.
Four defenses are slack enough to surrender over 24 fantasy points per game: New England, Green Bay, Minnesota, Indianapolis, New Orleans and the NY Giants.
The best defenses at containing wide receivers, at least in fantasy football terms, are theBrowns, Jets, Jaguars, Steelers, and Titans. Those staunch aerial assault defenders are allowing less than 17 fantasy points to the opposing WR corps.
Check out the Waiver Wire section of FantasyFootballCrystalBall.com, which features some of the top articles on the subject from the expert sites competing in the Fantasy Football Crystal Ball Accuracy Challenge.
Week 15 Upgrade: Demaryius Thomas (vs. Arizona) – Here’s the typical pattern of a Denver Broncos games; Tebow throws some wildly inaccurate passes for three quarters just to keep the defense honest and the Tebow turns into John Elway and improbably wins the game in the fourth quarter. Here is why this week’s contest is unlikely to follow the normal pattern; Tom Brady. One gets the feeling that the Broncos are going to have to open up the passing offense and go high tempo in the first half if they are going to keep pace with the aerial barrage of Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker and company. The Patriots simply cannot defend the pass and Demaryius Thomas should see a lot more targets than usual against the Pats. He’s not normally a WR#2 in fantasy leagues, but that’s where we think he will finish this week.
Guys We Like More than Usual: Percy Harvin ( vs. NO), Nate Washington (@ IND), Plaxico Burress (vs. PHI)
Week 15 Downgrade: Desean Jackson (vs. NY Jets) – Michael Vick is back. That is very good news because Vince Young is just awful. The bad news is that Jackson is making a trip to Revis Island. Jeremy Maclin tried to come back last week just to have his injured hammy act up and his status is anything but certain for this week. The Jets defense, especially if Maclin does not play and Reid continues to refuse to use one of the best running backs in football, will have plenty of resources to focus on a demotivated, malcontent, nearly spineless, Desean Jackson.
Guys We Like Less than Usual: Anquan Boldin (@ SD), Mario Manningham (vs. WAS), Mike Wallace (@SF)
Week 15 Sleeper: Donald Driver (@ KC) – Most experts seem to be jumping on the James bandwagon. We are hitching our fortunes to the more savvy, seasoned Donald Driver against a team in the top 10 in pass defense. Jones is a bit of a knucklehead and we think the fact that Driver has 16 catches over the past five games as opposed to just 11 for Jones is a signal that Driver is, pun intended, in the driving seat. Moreover, Driver has caught 16 of those 21 targets while Jones has caught just 6 of his 11 targets. Aaron Rodger surely must trust Driver more. James Jones may be younger. He may have more spring in his step. He may even be the better receiver at this point. BUT, Driver is the guy Rodgers will go to more often, especially when it matters.
Guys that Could Surprise: Deion Branch (@ DEN), Jabar Gaffney (@ NYG), Early Doucet (vs. CLE)
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