While Fantasy Football Owners everywhere gear up for the second half and home stretch, too many ignore their players’ schedules in the final weeks of the year. A solid matchup will make or break a season, so listen up. Here are some Quarterbacks who will benefit from weak opponents in the coming weeks:
- Vince Young (TEN) will face a bottom-five pass defense in four of his final eight games, thanks mainly to two matchups against Houston, the NFL’s cellar dweller when it comes to passing yards against. Expect several big outings from Young, who now has Randy Moss to throw to.
- David Garrard (JAC) has a similar schedule highlighted by two games against the Texans. Garrard, who is normally inconsistent, may produce at a steady rate in the year’s second half.
- Mark Sanchez (NYJ) has several nice matchups against Cleveland, Houston and New England upcoming, so expect him to finish out your regular season strong. However, he will face tough tests in Pittsburgh and Chicago in Weeks 15 and 16, the end of most fantasy playoffs. Be wary.
In the short term, here is who I like in Week 10:
|Eli Manning vs. DAL
|The big news in Big D this week was the firing of Wade Phillips, who led a defense that gave up the second most points in the NFL. Manning contributed to the Cowboys’ putrid stats with a 300 yard, four touchdown extravaganza in Dallas. Now, he faces the same foe at his new house after a 290 yard, 3 touchdown performance against Seattle last week.
Eli has been inconsistent on the year, but I’m ready to consider him and his young receivers a premiere passing attack. He will have a third straight impressive performance this week against the Cowboys.
|David Garrard vs. HOU||David Garrard is quietly tied for the 8th most touchdown passes despite missing a game, thanks to three games with three or more touchdowns. However, he’s given fantasy owners fits thanks to consistent inconsistency. This week, Garrard gets the easiest matchup in football. The Texans have given up the most passing yards and touchdowns and have had trouble slowing the Jaguar QB in recent meetings. Expect Garrard to finish the week as a top 10 fantasy Quarterback.|
|Ben Roethlisberger vs. NE
|After a hot return, Big Ben has had two mediocre performances in the last two weeks. However, you shouldn’t give up hope and bench him this week. The Steelers get to face a Patriots defense that has given up the 4th most yards per game through the air. Also Ben has thrown seven touchdowns in four previous games against the Pats. Expect him to get back on track this week.|
|Joe Flacco @ ATL||Flacco has clicked with Anquan Boldin and the rest of his receiving corps, throwing for 250 yards and at least two touchdowns in three straight games. This week, the Ravens get the Falcons on a short week. The Falcons defense won’t put up much of a fight considering that they have been a bottom-ten defense with full weeks of preparation. Flacco performed well in his one other game indoors, so get off to a fast start this week by starting Joe Flacco.|
|Mark Sanchez @ CLE||Sanchize has been very average of late, but the smart move is to give him another chance this week. The Browns have given up the 6th most passing yards and the 10th most passing touchdowns this year. Additionally, I expect them to have a let-down game after toppling the Patriots. Consider giving Sanchez one more shot this week.|
And here is who to sit in Week 10:
|Josh Freeman vs. CAR
||The Fantasy world seems to have fallen for Josh Freeman. However, let me issue a word of warning. Freeman has only scored two touchdowns in three games this week, and he’s only thrown for 250 yards twice. While one of the two-touchdown games came against Carolina, the Panthers have generally been stingy this year, limiting opponents to the 5th fewest passing yards on the year.
Also, Freeman averages 40 fewer yards per game while at home, despite getting 10 more attempts in each home game. His passer rating drops 17 points in the Tampa heat and he has thrown for fewer touchdowns in an equal number of games. Feel free to start Freeman, but don’t expect much.
|Carson Palmer @ IND||Palmer has strung together five straight multi-touchdown games, mainly due to the re-emergence of Terrell Owens. This week, I expect the Colts defense to focus on Owens, limiting his opportunities. If Palmer is going to succeed he will have to find other receivers, like his old pal Chad Ochocinco. However, what is more likely is that the offense will test the Colts’ fourth worst run defense rather than their seventh best pass defense. That will result in disappointing numbers for the QB.|
|Shaun Hill @ BUF||Hill was successful in a prior stint as starter this year, but don’t expect that production to reappear immediately. Hill’s numbers were significantly better at home than on the road earlier this year. He threw twice as many touchdowns in half as many games at Ford Field. This week, he’ll have to travel to Buffalo and face a defense that has given up the sixt fewest passing yards. I also would not be surprised if star players feel fatigued by the brevity of Matt Stafford’s healthy reign.|
|Brett Favre @ CHI||Favre had a huge game last week, but against a weak Cardinals pass defense. I expect him to have a lot less success this week against Chicago’s pass defense that has only given up five passing touchdowns all year. Also, Favre’s limited options will continue to hold him back until Sidney Rice returns. Don’t assume that last week’s game represented a return to the old Brett.|
|Jay Cutler vs. MIN||Across from Favre will stand Jay Cutler. Cutler’s numbers have been significantly worse since his week four concussion against the Giants. This week he faces a top-ten pass defense. Consider looking elsewhere.|