Week 11 lineup calls: D/ST teams
The bye weeks are finally done and in our rearview mirror for 2010.
As such, fantasy owners can stop doing the dump- and-chase (is it too much to throw a hockey term in there?) and ride out their top options. Of course, fantasy owners are combing the waiver wire to find that glorious matchup play with the hope of pulling off a huge upset or playing spoiler. All you need is a terribly thrown flat pass, and you’re off to the races.
To that end, let’s steal some points and try to win in the playoff stretch.
Top Defenses/Special Teams
(Other than Pittsburgh, Baltimore, New York Jets and Green Bay)
Tennessee vs. Washington
Opposing passing games have obliterated the Redskins (and Carlos Rogers may not play this week), thereby putting Washington in catch-up mode. Tennessee has the good up front on defense to slow the ground game (with Keiland Williams?) and bring the heat on Donovan McNabb.
The Titans have generated 27 sacks and 14 interceptions this season.
Kansas City vs. Arizona
The Chiefs were dominated by the Broncos in Week 10. I’m anticipating a bounce-back effort against an even Arizona defense that has yet to establish an identity. The key to this game is the Arizona line’s ability to afford Derek Anderson time in the pocket. The deep receivers (Steve Breaston and Early Doucet) are concerning, but Anderson’s erratic efforts under center may create turnover opportunities.
New Orleans vs. Seattle
The Saints are getting healthy at the right time of the season. Lost in the excitement of Reggie Bush’s return and the offensive firepower is the fact that New Orleans ranks first against the pass (166.3 yards per game and six touchdowns allowed) with 19 sacks. The secondary has its playmakers back, so this could be a difficult spot for Matt Hasselbeck on the road.
Atlanta at St. Louis
We love the efforts of Sam Bradford in St. Louis and remain enamored with the heart of Steven “Atlas” Jackson. However, this team is still generating only 17.8 points per game, tied for 30th in the league. The Falcons do well to bottle up the run and put Bradford into disadvantageous passing situations. He’ll need to stay calm in a tough divisional battle.
San Francisco vs. Tampa Bay
The 49ers were one of the top-ranked units coming into the season. Will they rise up at home against the middling Tampa Bay offense? The key here is the ability to put a rush on Josh Freeman. The 49ers have generated 20 sacks this season, but just eight interceptions.
Cincinnati vs. Buffalo
The Bengals haven’t piled up sacks and have some injury issues affecting the secondary. Still, there’s an opportunity against the league’s 29th-ranked offense. Buffalo has struggled to run the ball all season, Fred Jackson’s dominance in Week 10 notwithstanding. The thing we love about Ryan Fitzpatrick (his fearlessness) could be his undoing. Cincinnati has to play a complete game sometime, don’t they?
San Diego vs. Denver
The Chargers return from the bye to square off with the explosive Broncos. San Diego has been fierce against the pass, surrendering just 185.2 yards per game with eight touchdowns and 27 sacks. However, the big-play capability of Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney and Knowshon Moreno gives me pause.
New York Giants at Philadelphia
The Vick factor is huge. We watched the Dallas offense come to life last week and neutralize the pass rush. How do you try and slow down the all-out speed blitz from the Philadelphia offense? The Giants have allowed 14 passing touchdowns while surrendering fewer than 200 passing yards per game (186.9). They may slow down LeSean McCoy, but I don’t suspect that you can thwart this unit altogether.