StrategyDecember 2, 2009

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D-Day: Week 13

By Eli Ricke

In head-to-head fantasy football, some leagues finish their season in Week 14, but for most this week marks the final matchup of the regular season. If you are facing a must-win situation, chances are you’ve scoured the free agent pool to see if there are any upgrades that can give you an extra boost for your last matchup but at this point in the season there are pretty slim pickings on the free agent pool. One area you may have overlooked is team defenses. Perhaps you’ve been rolling with Baltimore all year long and now find them facing the Packers on the road in a must win situation for you. If you’re facing that exact scenario or one very similar to it there might be hope in the free agent pool after all. Right now with the regular fantasy season essentially over, there is probably no reason for you to carry that 4th RB or WR. You may want to consider dropping them and picking up one of the following defenses to plug in and hopefully eke out that last much needed victory.

Plug and Play Defenses for Week 13:

Carolina (28% Owned in Fleaflicker): The only thing that could hurt the Carolina defense this week is the Carolina offense. Carolina has been getting burned all season long by Jake Delhomme and his knack for throwing multiple interceptions in a game and this week that could be dangerous. Carolina is hosting a Buccaneers team this week who have a few ball-hawking DBs of their own. What’s going in the Panthers favor is the fact that Tampa’s offense just isn’t very good. They currently rank 28th in the league for total points scored and 29th in total yardage. Carolina is currently 11th in the NFL in total defense but they are also 3rd overall in passing yards allowed per game. If Carolina does the right thing on offense, and by that I mean run the ball…..a lot, there’s a very good chance that the Panthers defense will score big. Projection: 9 points allowed, 4 sacks, 2 INT, 1 forced fumble.

Buffalo (21%): The Bills are hosting a Jets team that is on a downward spiral after starting the season 3-0. Mark Sanchez has been showing us what he really is lately, but then again we all knew what he was. He’s a rookie. I have no doubt that in future seasons Sanchez will turn out to be a good NFL quarterback. He may even end up being a great one. Right now, however, he’s making mistakes and hopefully learning from them. Speaking of rookies, Buffalo has one that could be a factor here in Jairus Byrd. He is currently tied with Darren Sharper for the NFL lead with 8 INTs on the season and he didn’t start for the Bills until Week 3 when forced into action due to injuries. As a team, Buffalo is currently 2nd in the NFL with 21 total interceptions through 11 games, second only to New Orleans who have 22. Sanchez currently has the 4th most interceptions thrown in the NFL, only 1 behind Jake Delhomme and Matthew Stafford, and 3 behind Jay Cutler. Projection: 13 points allowed, 2 sacks, 3 INT, 1 Forced Fumble.

San Francisco (44%): Aside from being blown out by Atlanta earlier this year, the 49ers have been much better at home than on the road from a defensive standpoint. On the road they have not always fared so well and even though this week’s game is away from home, I still like their chances of putting up decent numbers. They travel to Seattle this week to take on their division rivals and hanging on to a sliver of hope to make the playoffs. Their only real chance is if they can manage to catch the Arizona Cardinals and win the NFC West title. In order to do that, they just might need to run the table. Things are looking more favorable since they gained a whole game on the Cardinals in Week 12 and Week 13 has Arizona facing a very strong Minnesota Vikings team. The 49ers’ season is on the line this week. This will be one of their best chances to pull within a game of the division lead. It’s a must-win game and that’s not a cliché, that’s a fact. Seattle has found new life in their running game with Justin Forsett. You might not realize it by looking at their record, but San Francisco is still pretty darn good at stopping the run. They’re currently ranked 5th in the NFL in rushing defense. That means that Seattle will likely turn to their passing game. Seattle ranks 15th in the league in passing while San Fran is 28th in the league in passing yards allowed. I expect Seattle to put up some points through the air, but overall it should be a decent game for the 49ers defensive unit. Projection: 17 points allowed, 3 sacks, 1 INT, 2 forced fumbles.

For IDP coverage this week, check out R.J. White’s Ballhawkin’ article, which usually goes up Friday nights at FanHouse.

Eli Ricke knows absolutely nothing about Fantasy Football that everyone else doesn’t already know. All of his success in Fantasy Football can be attributed entirely to dumb luck. He has been playing Fantasy Football since 1999 and is a habitual liar. You will occasionally run across him in the café forums under the name 204BC, a name that has no particular meaning whatsoever. He just made it up, the same thing he does with most of the advice he gives.
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