Want to understand the game better, hunt for future break out players or try to spot trouble before it happens? “Beyond TDs and Tackles” will be offering a handful of players and situations that you should consider when you are watching the games or even just looking at the box score. Everyone knows which players blew up over the weekend but you can gain advantages by following the changes as they start and get better definition on how to value players. Have any questions? Just hit me on twitter @SteveGalloNFL or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you think of CBs that are shutting down opposing WRs, players like Brent Grimes, Dimitri Paterson and Jimmy Wilson probably aren’t guys you are thinking of. But you should pay attention to them, because they do a heck of a job paying attention to opposing WRs. Pro Football Focus has Grimes ranked as their #2 (tie) overall CB in coverage rating, and Paterson comes in at 16. Jimmy Wilson who plays the slot WR more than any other Dolphins DB comes in tied for 33rd. If you are an Antonio Brown owner you should pay head to this as he looks to be in for a very difficult week. Jerricho Cotchery has run 291 of his 395 routes from the slot, and going against Wilson and his 56.3 passer rating allowed when QBs target him doesn’t seem like a wise thing to do. Two other CBs that don’t quite get their due are Jason McCourty and Alterraun Verner. McCourty ranks 4th and Verner 9th in coverage at Pro Football Focus. Verner’s 30.2 passer rating on throws his way is best in the league. Looks like Peyton Manning and his receiving corps will be put to the test this week.
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*Passer rating is based on a QBs passer rating throwing at that CB.
Over the past month, the Dolphins have held the likes of Keenan Allen (7.5) and Vincent Jackson (5.8) to under 10 fantasy points, and only Steve Smith (11.9) to top the 10 point mark. Since week 10 the Titans have done a good job of locking down opposing WRs too. Chris Givens 9.5 pts led all Rams WRs, Cecil Shorts (6.2) was tops for the Jaguars and T.Y. Hilton (9.4, 9.6) was the leading point getter for the Colts. Rod Streater (14.3) is the only WR over the past month to post double-digit points against the Titans.
The last time the Detroit Lions were on the field they were knocking Matt Flynn around and sacked him seven times. Yes, SEVEN times. Will the Lions be able to get to Nick Foles this week or will Foles do his best Rocky impression and take everything they have but not go down? I think it’s safe to say that Foles is going down, but how many times will be the key.
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||Defensive Pressures Applied
Allowed To QBs Ranking
Foles should be the best of the bunch, but Brees, Wilson and Kaepernick all have very tough matchups this week. Especially Wilson, against a 49ers team that’s allowed an average of 11.67 PPG over their last four games to QBs.
There’s nothing better than having a stud running back to plug into your lineup week in and week out during the season. You know what the worst thing is? It’s when your stud running back has a horrible matchup in the playoffs. Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy and Frank Gore all have horrible matchups this week. Gore has been struggling of late, but if you own him you still have to hate this week’s matchup. But at least his recent performances makes him easier to sit…unlike Adrian Peterson.
Allowed To RBs Ranking
Adrian Peterson has averaged 19.96 PPG over his last five games, and that includes scoring just 6.5 points against the Seahawks in week 11. It’s the 6.5 point game that should worry you, because in the playoffs you ill afford to suffer thru a performance like that. Numbers wise the Ravens are stout against the run and even fantasy wise they rank just 31st in fantasy points allowed to RBs this year. Sometimes you need to dig deeper. Since week 10, Giovanni Bernard (23.50), Matt Forte (23.5) and Le’Veon Bell (26.6) have had great fantasy games against the Ravens. Of course the performances by Chris Ivory (3.5) and Benjarvus Green-Ellis (3.6) during that span shows that there is downside too.
Gronk continues to be Gronk, and this week against a Browns team that ranks 11th in fantasy points allowed to TEs you can rest assured that Gronkowski will not be a liability in your fantasy playoffs this week.
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SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE
The Panthers at the Saints is one of the bigger games of the week, and with the Saints offense and the Panthers defense, I think we have a great “Something’s Gotta Give” this week. Some of the luster of this matchup may have worn off since the Saints got manhandled by the Seahawks last week. However, make no mistake about it, as much as it was a hindrance to play in Seattle last week, it will be as much a positive for the Saints offense to play at home in the Superdome this week.
2013 Regular Season Play Direction Report for New Orleans Saints
2013 Regular Season Play Direction Report for Carolina Panthers
If there’s an area of the field the Saints will be able to take advantage of it’s going to be the short middle and short right, but deep right could be the place they go to try and break the Panthers backs, but for that to happen, “Something’s Gotta Give!”