NFL 2015 Fantasy Football Playoffs: Get On The Defensive

Legion of Boom

It is that time my friends.  You are making the last push to get in your fantasy football playoffs.  So it is so important that  you make the most of the opportunity.  How?  Glad you asked.  In fantasy football one thing is true, the best offense is a bad defense.  So we aren’t getting cute.  We are playing the match-ups.  We are targeting the defenses that are going to get our offensive skill players points.  Let’s get to it.

According to oddsharks.com the league average points surrendered by defenses is 22.95.  Lucky for us there are many defenses that fall below that standard.  And the bottom five? Here we go:

1. New Orleans Saints giving up an average of 30.52 points a game. 

Surprised?  You shouldn’t be, no one is.  The Saints’ defense is bad.  So bad they parted ways with their defensive coordinator during the bye week. Goodbye Rob Ryan, hello Dennis Allen.  Unfortunately, their defensive coordinator is not on the field playing.

The defense was slightly better after the change, but not dominating by any measure.  The Saints came into the game averaging the league bottom 6.7 yards per play.  After the change they gave up 5.5 yards per play which is close to the league average.  But they surrendered 362 yards on 66 plays. (That is the third-lowest total of the season).  They also held the Houston Texans to 24 points.  This is the first time they have held a team to under 30 points in a month.    Now before Dennis Allen, Delvin Breaux was assigned to handle the opponents best receiver.  Sunday against the Texans, free safety Jairus Byrd was assigned to double up DeAndre Hopkins on approximately 80 percent of the snaps.  The result (besides total destruction of my DFS teams), Hopkins finished with five catches for 36 yards. Damn!

So what do you have to look forward:  In week 13 the Saints play the undefeated Carolina Panthers in New Orleans.  The O/U 49.5 and the spread is -7.0.

In week 14 the Saints play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa.

In week 15 the Saints play the Detroit Lions in New Orleans.

The Saints weakness has primarily been against the pass.  While the Panthers are undefeated the passing game is not their strong suit.  However, the Saints do  display a weakness for tight ends:  Texans’s Ryan Griffin, 4 receptions for 72 yards and one touchdown; Washington’s Jordan Reed, 3 receptions for 29 yards and two touchdowns; and week 9 Tennessee Titans’ Delanie Walker, 7 receptions for 95 yards an two touchdowns.

Next week looks like a good week for Panthers’ Greg Olsen.

2. San Diego Chargers giving up an average of 27.90 points a game. 

Not sure what is going on in San Diego, but it ain’t good.  The Chargers are having a hard time stopping the run and the pass.  On Sunday, they surrendered 329 passing yards to Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles.  That also included two passing touchdowns with one interception.   They allowed T.J. Yeldon to average 4.0 yards per carry.  While that isn’t exactly knocking your socks off, it isn’t a statistical anomaly.

In week 11 against the now resurgent Kansas City Chiefs, the Chargers allowed Alex Smith to pass for 253 yards.  It’s Alex Smith.  But more astonishing they allowed replacement running back Spencer Ware to average 8.7 yards a carry.  Ware also ran for two touchdowns.

In week nine Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler passed for 345 yards and two touchdowns.  It was complemented by running back Jeremy Langford rushing for 72 yards and a touchdown.  He and Ka’Deem Carey averaged 4.0 yards a carry.

So what are you looking forward:  In week 13 the Chargers play the Denver Broncos in Denver.  The O/U 43.5 with the Broncos coming in as a 4.5 point favorite.  The caveat here is that the Chargers with Mike McCoy at the helm seem to always play the Broncos tough.

In week 14 the Charges play Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City.

In week 15 the Chargers play the Miami Dolphins in San Diego.

Next week may not be the time to go with statistics versus the Broncos.

3. Cleveland Browns giving up an average of 27.70 points a game. 

Here is the quandary: the word around the water cooler is that the Browns are abysmal against the run.  Yes, they are statistically last against the run but they don’t really surrender touchdowns to running backs.  As devout fantasy football players, we like the touchdowns.

In week 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, DeAngelo Williams averaged 3.2 yards a carry on 17 rushes.  The Steelers had zero rushing touchdowns.  However, Ben (I might have a concussion so take me out of the game) Roethlisberger passed for three touchdowns and 379 yards.

In week 9 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Giovanni Benard averaged 5.5 yards a carry, but it amounted to a total of 72 yards and zero touchdowns.  Mohamed Sanu had the lone rushing touchdown and it was on his only rushing attempt in the game.   However, Andy Dalton passed for three touchdowns and 234 yards.

In week 8 against the Arizona Cardinals, Chris Johnson rushed for 109 yards.  But that was on 30 carries, for an average of 3.6 yards a carry.  And he had zero touchdowns.  In fact in that game there were zero rushing touchdowns.  However Carson Palmer torched the secondary for 374 yards and four passing touchdowns.

So what are you looking forward: In week 13 the Browns host division foe Bengals.  The O/U 44 with the Bengals being a touchdown favorite.

In week 14 the Browns host San Francisco 49ers.

In week 15 the Browns go to Century Link field and meet the Seattle Seahawks.

Next week you might want to think of playing quarterback Dalton.  I know he has had a couple of bad games, but this game is a 1pm start.  Dalton shines in the afternoon.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars giving up an average of 27.18 points a game. 

The Jaguars defense should be oh so much better.  They are pretty solid against the run but suck against the pass.  Last Sunday, Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers threw for 300 yards and 4 touchdowns against them.  Rookie running back Melvin Gordon averaged 4.3 yards a carry but still didn’t see the end zone.

In week 11 Tennessee Titans ‘ quarterback Marcus Mariota threw for 231 yards.  He also had no passing touchdown but one rushing touchdown. While undrafted running back Antonio Andrews averaged 5.2 yards a carry with zero rushing touchdowns.

In week 10 against the Baltimore Ravens, Joe Flacco passed for three touchdowns on 316 yards.  The Ravens two running backs both averaged 3.8 yards a carry while neither entered the end zone.

In week 9 New York Jets’ quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 272 yards and two touchdowns.  Puzzling, running back Chris Ivory averaged 1.1 yards a carry.  He did however score two rushing touchdowns.

So what are you looking forward to?

In week 13 the Jaguars go to Tennessee.  The O/U 43.5 while the Titans are 2.5 point favorite.

In week 14 the Jaguars host the Indianapolis Colts.

In week 15 the Jaguars host the Atlanta Falcons.

Next week you are going to be considering Mariota. Remember this the Titans are better away than they are at home.  This especially goes for Mariota’s stats. Away Mariota has passed for 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions.  At home he has passed for three touchdowns and six interceptions.  Even a bad defense can swallow that up.

 

5. Detroit Lions giving up an average of 26.18 points a game. 

Here is where adhering o season long stats might hurt you.  Since their bye week and that horrendous game in London, only the Green Bay Packers have managed more than 14 points against the Lions defense.  The Packers point total was 16.

The Lions will meet the Packers again on Thursday night.  The O/U 46.5.  The Packers are a 3.o favorite.

Here is where you forget season long statistics are think about the trends for your fantasy football playoff picture:

The last two weeks the Philadelphia Eagles have given up 45 points.  In week 13 they play Tom Brady and the depleted New England Patriots offense in Foxborough.   The Patriots are coming off an overtime loss at the hands of the Denver Broncos.  You think Brady was playing with a chip on his shoulder before?

The Legion of Boom adheres to the bend but don’t break policy.  They may win but they have given up mammoth yards to opposing quarterbacks.  In week 13 they play the Minnesota Vikings in Minnesota.

And Washington is very good on the offensive side at HOME.  And in week 13 they play the hapless Dallas Cowboys in Washington on Monday night.  Two Grudens for the price of one.  I’m liking Kirk Cousins in this game.

Follow me on Twitter @nevernoughglt

Addendum: I am watching the Monday night game now.  PLAY everyone against the Browns’ defense.

 

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