Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

04 Dec 2008

Week 14 Fantasy Matchups

I am often confused for Kanye West. This playoff matchups column will not help matters.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 04 Dec 2008

34 comments, Last at 07 Dec 2008, 1:44am by emcee fleshy


by jk (not verified) :: Thu, 12/04/2008 - 4:28pm

Nice to see the matchups back!
Now to decide between MJD (-7%) or Pierre Thomas (+8%). MJD's 11 catch performance against Minnesota makes me think twice.

by The Ninjalectual :: Thu, 12/04/2008 - 8:23pm

I have the same issue, with Ronnie Brown @BUF in the mix.

I also have Chester Taylor on my bench, and I am thinking hard about that matchup against Detroit... but who to bench????

Steve Slaton
Ronnie Brown
Pierre Thomas
Chester Taylor

Pick any 3 I guess...

by superbears (not verified) :: Thu, 12/04/2008 - 5:02pm

I was 7-1 with using the match-ups and I went 0-2 last week, I blame you Bill and not Moss and Grant.

by rageon (not verified) :: Thu, 12/04/2008 - 5:07pm

No Zach Miller +/- projection? Just how great is the effect the San Diego has on Tight Ends? As far as I can tell, it's about the largest percent increase/decrease in points by any defense on any position.

by timmys24@yahoo.com :: Thu, 12/04/2008 - 5:18pm

Is Zach Miller not being on the "+" list an oversight? He's basically the focal point of the Oakland passing game with 5.3 targets per game, far above any of the Raider WRs. San Diego is 30th in the league vs. TE in DVOA, averaging 9.3 attempts and 72.7 yards per game. Heck, you've even upgraded JaMarcus Russell to +6% against the Chargers. Is Miller not a +5% fantasy play this week?

I'm most curious because my other option, Visanthe Shiancoe, is rated at +7%.

edited to say: I see rageon beat me by 10 minutes thanks to my numbers checking and real-life work getting in the way.

by rageon (not verified) :: Thu, 12/04/2008 - 5:30pm

Sorry -- my boss is gone, so I've killed an inordinate amount of time on such things today.

by Boston Dan :: Thu, 12/04/2008 - 5:34pm

I second that emotion and am starting Miller this week.

Along the same lines, I was surprised to NOT see J. Stevens on the +5% list against the Lions, week 12. He did catch a TD pass in that game.

I went with Olsen last week and got burned and am holding onto Stevens for possible use in week 15 (Falcons) and week 16 (Chargers). Keeping an eye on Alex Smith though.

Or it could be Robert Royal in week 15 against MIA.

by DFJinPgh (not verified) :: Thu, 12/04/2008 - 6:24pm

Berrian unbenchable, eh? Not that I disagree, but I have Colston, Jennings, AJohnson, and RWhite ahead of him, and only 3 slots to start a WR. Heheh, just bragging :-) ...

In one league I'm playing an undefeated team in a 2-week playoff (I'm the 4th seed, squeaking in after the last MNF). I need a crazy sleeper who could explode but is (probably) on the waivers. Any suggestions?

by Bill Barnwell :: Thu, 12/04/2008 - 7:36pm

Miller comes in at +4%. Remember, the projection system looks at offensive performance as well as defensive performance, and with the Raiders' pass offense being so bad, the system regresses Miller's chances dramatically because of the likelihood of Russell having a 110-yard day.

by Snidely (not verified) :: Thu, 12/04/2008 - 7:54pm

Any word on Steven Jackson? I have to choose between him and Warrick Dunn (+5%) for my RB2 slot. I'm kind of looking for a home run, because I'm facing my league's scoring leader, but I definitely don't need an utter flameout.

by Snidely (not verified) :: Thu, 12/04/2008 - 7:57pm


by Sergio :: Thu, 12/04/2008 - 10:54pm


-- Go Phins!

by Brent :: Thu, 12/04/2008 - 10:55pm

Go with S-Jax. Much higher ceiling, and a better matchup this week. Reports are that he plays and has more carries than last week.

by Brent :: Thu, 12/04/2008 - 10:57pm

Oh, I forgot the TLAs.


by The Ninjalectual :: Thu, 12/04/2008 - 8:27pm

So, in a 14-team leage where the playoffs start this week I have Baltimore's D vs. Washington and the Jets' D at SF. Do I go with the better D or with the better matchup?

by Ankur (not verified) :: Thu, 12/04/2008 - 8:36pm

Sometimes you go one way, sometimes the other. I say the Ravens defense is always a hairsbreadth away from a 20 fantasy point performance. I don't see how you can bench them.

by BucNasty :: Fri, 12/05/2008 - 10:31am

Yeah, in fact I can't figure out why you even have that second defense. They weren't so hot against Indy or the Giants, but the Ravens are a must-start in my opinion. The great thing about owning them is that it frees up a roster spot because there's really no need to play matchups.

by Ankur (not verified) :: Thu, 12/04/2008 - 8:34pm

Soliciting advice here-- would you guys start Santana Moss (@ Ravens on Sunday night) or Davone Bess (in Toronto, against the Bills)? Moss has a gnarly matchup, but at least I'd heard of him three weeks ago.

by Brent :: Thu, 12/04/2008 - 10:52pm

Guess I'd go with Moss. I figure the 'Skins will have at least some offense, and with Portis banged up and the nightmare that is the Ravens run D, I expect their passing game to be not terrible. And Moss is their go-to guy. I wouldn't expect a huge day, but he'll get a few I think.

On the other hand, Bess is a total wildcard. We have no idea what he'll do, because we haven't seen enough of him yet.

by thestar5 :: Thu, 12/04/2008 - 10:07pm

Any help on who to start at TE this week? I am in a PPR and I had Kellen Winslow. Obviously he's out so I have to pick up someone. My choices are Billy Miller, Donald Lee, Greg Olsen, Desmond Clark, Mercedes Lewis, Robert Royal, Daniel Graham, LJ Smith, and anyone below those type of guys. I picked up Billy Miller because he's done decently lately but its hard to justify starting a backup TE. I know thats a lot of names but I really don't know who to pick. Kinda a crapshoot I guess.

Any advice?

by bman (not verified) :: Thu, 12/04/2008 - 11:32pm

You guys really straightened me out last week! Need some advice on Romo, Collins or Orton. I'm thinking Orton since Collins has the huge running game and Romo is up against the D in Pitt.

by DGL :: Fri, 12/05/2008 - 12:25am

Woo-hoo! Jamarcus Russell comes through with 68 yards, two picks, and a fumble, for an amazing -3 LL points! And Janikowski nails down a single point! The Second Slowest Gazelles are making their move, baby!

by Boston Dan :: Fri, 12/05/2008 - 11:02am

Most importantly, Zach Miller racked up the 60+ receiving yards.

by DGL :: Fri, 12/05/2008 - 12:26am

Of course, I also analyzed the crap out of my QB situation and benched Rivers, whereupon he promptly put up 21 in my league. Thigpen, I expect great things from you...

by D Jones :: Fri, 12/05/2008 - 1:00pm

What does the crowd think:

McNabb at Giants or
Thigpen at Den

Bad matchup for McN, but is Thiggy for real?

by skol (not verified) :: Fri, 12/05/2008 - 3:54pm

go Thigpen. Minnesota originally cut him, so you know he must be the real deal.

I'll solicit some advice:

I need to decide which 2 to bench:

Matt Hasselbeck
Willie Parker (or Marion Barber, actually)
Amani Toomer

I play in a league where the flex can be any position, and I don't feel comfortable with any of these.

by Will :: Sat, 12/06/2008 - 12:07pm

Of the four, I'd play Toomer. Hasselbeck isn't very good, Parker is splitting time and injured, MB3 is even more injured and playing Pittsburgh.


by Will :: Fri, 12/05/2008 - 6:09pm

I'm set except for my W/R slot in a league where carries are .5 pts and receptions are 1.5, plus standard scoring for yardage and touchdowns. I have three real options:

Pierre Thomas vs. ATL (with Deuce not suspended)
Jerious Norwood vs. NO (hoping for receiving yards here)
Braylon Edwards vs. TEN (not much hope, but Dorsey might force him the ball)

Right now I'm leaning towards Thomas (maybe 15/60), but am giving serious thought to Norwood (who could get 4 or 5 receptions). If I give Dorsey a 12 for 30 day or something equally hideous, you gotta figure Edwards will get 8-10 targets and maybe 3 or 4 catches, right?


by Calig23 :: Fri, 12/05/2008 - 8:06pm

I have three questions, basically:

1. Tagging along with that previous question about McNabb vs. Thigpen, I need to choose 2 out of McNabb, Thigpen, or Big Ben(vs. Dallas). Last week, I chose not to start McNabb, and it all but cost me a playoff spot. Now, with a miniscule chance at getting in, I can't afford to make another mistake. Problem is, that matchup against the Giants isn't exactly an attractive one...

2. For one of my RB slots(the other one went to Tomlinson), I need to choose between Hightower(against the Rams) or Hillis(against the Chiefs). Both look like very nice starts, but which one is more of a sure thing?

3. Is starting Lee Evans(against the Dolphins) a good idea or a bad idea, considering that Losman is going to be the QB? My only other option at the moment is Antonio Bryant(against Carolina)

by Will :: Sat, 12/06/2008 - 12:04pm

1. That's a tough one, but I'd probably stick with McNabb.
2. I'd be afraid of JJ Arrington getting more PT, so I'd go with Hillis, but really you can't go wrong there.
3. Bryant against Gamble is tough - go with Evans and hope for a long bomb or two.

Take my advice with a grain of salt - I traded TO for Braylon Edwards & Carson Palmer the week before Palmer went down for the season.


by Calig23 :: Sat, 12/06/2008 - 4:38pm

So which of Ben or Thigpen would you start McNabb over? I need to start two of those guys.

And your judgment is probably as good as mine. The first two wide receivers I took in my draft this year were Edwards and Chad Johnson....

by Chief (not verified) :: Sat, 12/06/2008 - 9:16pm

Ben, unless the field conditions are a complete mess in Pittsburgh.

by Chief (not verified) :: Sat, 12/06/2008 - 7:05pm

I've got Slaton, Grant, and Rodgers. The weather is supposed to be very cold, but clear and calm. How does that affect my guys?

(My other RB choices are Westbrook and Hightower, and my other QB is McNabb. Absent weather considerations, I'd probably go with Westbrook, Slaton or Hightower, and Rodgers.)

by emcee fleshy (not verified) :: Sun, 12/07/2008 - 1:44am

Whew. . .
When you said you were going to do a Kanye impression, I figured you were going to ambush us with a crappy quasi-techno album.