Let Me Check My Schedule – Week 11

Click Here for a link to my Dropbox – where I store the spreadsheets that generate these posts. Feel free to download and modify as you see fit.

Defensive Averages


Passing Matchup Changes
As you’ll see below, I have added a new feature to this post. The third set of data in the picture below represents how the teams have performed in the last four weeks. As we move toward the fantasy playoffs, knowing which teams are trending up and down is important.

Remember, the categories for matchups are as follows:
Easiest to Hardest – Prime CutsExploitableBreaking a Tie, Neutral, Proceed With CautionTough SleddingAbort Mission.

  • New Orleans (Prime Cuts), New England (Exploitable), and Miami (Breaking a Tie) are all consistently good matchups, while Tampa Bay the Giants are decent matchups trending downward.
  • Surprisingly, Washington is a Neutral matchup in the last four weeks.  Perhaps they’re not quite as brutally terrible as they had been earlier in the season.
  • Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Jacksonville, Minnesota, and Oakland are Neutral for the year and in the last four weeks.
  • Kansas City is actually improving in the last four weeks, going from Proceed With Caution to Tough Sledding.  Perhaps this is because teams don’t have to play four full quarters of offense against them.  Also contributing is Monday Night’s brutal offensive “performance” by Pittsburgh.
  • Despite seemingly looking more mortal in the last few weeks, both Arizona and the Jets remain consistent Tough Sledding.
  • Over the last four weeks, there have been a lot of “shutdown” teams.  At no point since I started tracking these have there been as many Abort Mission teams as there are right now when considering only the past four weeks of data.

Rushing Matchup Changes
As you’ll see below, I have added a new feature to this post. The third set of data in the picture below represents how the teams have performed in the last four weeks. As we move toward the fantasy playoffs, knowing which teams are trending up and down is important.

Remember, the categories for matchups are as follows:
Easiest to Hardest – Prime CutsExploitableBreaking a Tie, Neutral, Proceed With CautionTough SleddingAbort Mission.

  • While Buffalo’s run defense for the whole season sits alone in the worst category, over the last four weeks, it actually has some company among the bottom-feeders.  No team (not even the Bills) has been a Prime Cut matchup in the last month.
  • St. Louis is neutral for the year but Exploitable in the last four weeks, giving you an idea the direction they’re trending.
  • Meanwhile, Indianapolis is Neutral for the year but has improved all the way to Abort Mission in the last four weeks.
  • For a team with a reputation of getting gashed on the ground, Carolina has been surprisingly good in the last month.
  • Houston is consistently Tough Sledding, while Green Bay and Tampa Bay are good and getting better.
  • Many speak about Denver’s offense hitting its stride, but over the same period of time, their rush defense has been Abort Mission.  Perhaps those go hand-in-hand as teams run less when trailing the Broncos.

Passing Schedules Going Forward

  • Despite having last week’s game against New Orleans now of the schedule, Atlanta’s pass offense schedule remains among the easiest in the league.  Perhaps that’s because they have another matchup with the Saints forthcoming.
  • Laugh at this now, remember it later – Nick Foles will be a viable option for all but one week the rest of the season.  Even though his team has given up on their coach, the coach is still inexplicably pass-first.  And the schedule is rather easy.  If you’re going to make the fantasy playoffs and feel like you need an insurance policy for your obviously strong and/or at-the-risk-of-injury-starter (RG3, don’t get hurt please), think about Foles.  Seriously.
  • Baltimore’s schedule is the weirdest in the league.  Two matchups against Pittsburgh in the next three weeks highlight the third-hardest schedule between Week 11 and Week 13.  But a couple NFC East teams (Washington and the Giants), make their playoff schedule the second-easiest.
  • As my fellow FootballGuy and wonderful promoter of this blog Sigmund Bloom noted last week, Chicago’s road ahead is not so easy, but the playoffs look manageable.  Don’t go trading Brandon Marshall for 75 cents on the dollar though just because of some red boxes above.
  • I’ve been trying to unload Percy Harvin in one league, but who would’ve thought that an injured player who has a bye week in Week 11 wouldn’t bring market value in return?

Rushing Schedules Going Forward

  • Miami still has the easiest rush schedule (two matchups vs Buffalo will do that for you), but the Dolphins are a great case as to why these charts should be used as a piece of your informational pie – not the whole thing.  Which RB do you want?  And after this week, it’s unlikely Miami has the easiest schedule (because one of the Buffalo matchups will have fallen off).
  • There isn’t a player in fantasy football for whom I would trade Arian Foster.  In fact, a two-for-one would really have to knock my socks off (Doug Martin and a Falcons WR or something, but good luck getting that).
  • Maybe picking up Beanie Wells (who can’t return until Week 12) isn’t the worst idea in the world.
  • As hot as he is, Marshawn Lynch has a tough road ahead.  First, he has a bye, so he’s not helping you this week.  Then at Miami and at Chicago are difficult games.  Even with the “freebie” in Buffalo to help you advance to your Super Bowl, Lynch is rewarded with San Francisco in Week 16.
  • Not that anyone has ever questioned his ability, but let’s see how Adrian Peterson does against BYE-at CHI-at GB-CHI-at STL-at HOU.  That’s rough.

That’s all for this week on schedules.  Be sure to check back later this week for the growing-in-popularity (I swear, it is) Start-Sit-FLEX.

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Posted in Fantasy, Football, Weekly Matchups
5 comments on “Let Me Check My Schedule – Week 11
  1. Mikey says:

    Just a follow-up to last week’s post.
    Moved Megatron for Lynch and a draft pick upgrade rather an McCoy. Don’t love the sked, but he battles hard for yards and has the Bills in the 1st week of my playoffs.
    My other RB2 is Ridley. Is it too aggressive to look for Morris instead down the stretch?
    Input greatly appreciated.

    • Mikey, I think the delta between Ridley and Morris is slim. I just traded Morris and Harvin for Ridley and D. Moore in a league where I’m the #1 team. Some of the reasoning, though, was because RG3 is my QB, and I didn’t want a down game from Washington to cost me in the playoffs.

      Ridley is the better player. Morris may be safer, though, because of his role.

  2. Mikey says:

    Well, considering that RG3 is also my QB, I’m happy to stand pat based on that logic!
    I traded for Reggie Bush to give me an option later on, whoever that Miami backfield shapes up.
    Thanks again for the weekly analysis.

    • Mikey,
      I hope Bush pans out for you. I tried getting him all year in two leagues but never did. With last week’s fumble and benching and last night’s lack of production against a terrible run defense, I’m almost glad I didn’t get him. I’m a big believer, though, that the most talented player will end up being the best fantasy player. For your sake, I hope I’m right.

  3. [...] recently as last week, Washington was a Prime Cut matchup for opposing pass defenses.  They still sit at 302 yards and [...]

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