Big Ben is on fire for FF.. 16 TD/3 INT over his past six, all five of his top 12 weekly performances over that stretch.
— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) December 9, 2013
Big Ben has had a few duds this year (Tennessee, Baltimore, and Buffalo come to mind), but he’s also been on a bit of a tear lately. Eleven TDs and no picks in the past four games, for example. Not to say we told you so, but we did. Preseason, the QB Sim App gave him a high end projection of 21.8 ppg (6 pt. scoring). So far this season he’s averaging 22.8 points/game. Next week he gets Cincinnati, which is theoretically a tough QB matchup. But Andrew Luck had his best game in awhile against Cincinnati this week, and Big Ben had no problems with Miami, which was also, allegedly, a negative matchup. Roethlisberger is definitely in the conversation for a week 15 start if you’ve got him. Bonus: in week 16 he faces the hapless Green Bay secondary.
Ryan Mathews is third in the NFL in 100-yard rushing games. Had his fourth today.
— Chris Raybon (@ChrisRaybon) December 9, 2013
Surprise! So many people were down on Mathews preseason; I wonder how they feel about him now? He did start the season rather slowly, but in his last 5 games is averaging over 99 total yards/game, with 3 TDs. That includes 13 receptions, so he’s being involved more in the pass game as well (only 7 catches in his first 8 games). Once again, RotoViz gave you the heads up about Mathews, here, here, and here. Preseason, the RB Sim App gave him a median projection of 11 points/game (PPR). So far this season? 10.8 points/game. With Denver and Oakland remaining, Mathews should be in strong consideration for your starting lineup. He was injured and left the first Oakland game early, but in his previous matchup with Denver this year, he produced 13 PPR points.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) December 9, 2013
Palmer’s last four games have been impressive: 1304 yards, 8 TDs, 2 INTs. Of course, the opponents were Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and St. Louis. Not the most difficult stretch. His next two opponents are Tennessee and Seattle, both good against the pass. Palmer’s been shut down by New Orleans and Carolina this year, and only put up 13 fantasy points (6 pt. scoring) against Seattle earlier this year. Temper expectations for Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald as well. Oh, by the way: the QB Sim App figured Palmer for 20.2 points/game (6 pt scoring) preseason. Year to date? 19 points/game.
No other running back can do what Chris Johnson just did: make one guy miss, run backwards, make another guy miss, and fumble
— Chase Stuart (@fbgchase) December 8, 2013
CJWTFK remains endlessly frustrating (#analysis). Just check this chart of his PPR per/game scoring. But the fact is he’s a top ten PPR RB this year, with nine straight double digit fantasy performances. With a championship week matchup against Jacksonville, he might be a must start. Preseason the RB Sim App gave him a high end PPR projection of 13.5 points/game; so far his average is 14.9. It’s also been reported that he’s likely to be cut before next year. I just hope, for dynasty purposes, he doesn’t go to a team where I already own a RB. With his up and down production and age (28), I want no part of a Chris Johnson (and committee?) backfield. I guess I’m saying try to capitalize on any offseason “hype” to trade him away, if you own him in dynasty.
— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurke_SI) December 8, 2013
I’ve also seen Houston mentioned as a possibility. Whether he goes to Tennessee, Houston, somewhere else, or stays in Chicago, Cutler is certainly going to be a starter next year. I’d like to see him stay in Chicago, where he’s had great success in Marc Trestman’s offense. Regardless, he’s a dynasty asset to hold on to. Locker on the other hand? I don’t think so. He had four (out of six) good fantasy games this year, and completed over 60% of his passes, but still averaged less than 7 yards/attempt. Right or wrong, he’s also got an “injury prone” label, and lisfranc injuries are reputedly hard to come back from. Add in a coach on the hot seat, and it’s hard to see Locker sticking in Tennessee. I’m also not sure he’s a player that another team would acquire hoping he’d be their long term starter. In my opinion, get what you can for him in dyno leagues. And to continue touting the Sim Apps, the RotoViz preseason projection for Locker was 17.6 points/game (6 pt. scoring); he averaged 18 in the games he played this year. For Cutler, we projected 18 points/game, and he’s currently at 20.6 points/game.
— NYT 4th Down Bot (@NYT4thDownBot) December 9, 2013
I don’t have much commentary here, just to point out this neat new twitter account. Using data from Advanced NFL Stats, it calculates in relatively real time the expected points added by “going for it”, punting, or kicking a field goal. Makes it easier to criticize your team’s play calls during the game – based on evidence, which is of course the RotoViz way.
One of my favorite tweets of the weekend. It’s a familiar narrative; Peyton Manning can’t play in bad weather. Manning not only showed us what he thought of that narrative, he even told us:
“Whoever wrote that narrative can shove that one where the sun don’t shine,” he told Denver’s KOA-AM after the game. “I felt pretty good out there today.”
How do you really feel, Mr. Manning? I doubt San Diego and Houston, his next two opponents, are looking forward to finding out. Regardless of weather, neither should pose much resistance. Manning may have broken the QB App, which gave him a healthy 22.2 point/game (6 pt scoring) preseason projection. He’s resting comfortably at 35.1 right now. In redraft leagues this year, he’s been the single biggest difference maker. In dynasty, if you don’t have him- sorry. But his current success might make his eventual successor cheaply acquirable. And finally, Manning’s success in the cold reminds us to always question the narrative.
New post: Dome at Cold Revisited: There were 4 dome teams playing in wintery weather today, and all four lost…. http://t.co/OP02Ov3Pze
— Brian Burke (@Adv_NFL_Stats) December 8, 2013
Unless of course the narrative is right. Mr. Burke’s analysis is always good, so I’m convinced that weather impacts performance. The trick, as Peyton Manning reminded us, is figuring out which weather affects which performances. Until I started playing daily games this season, I never gave it much thought; I just started my best players. The twitter consensus this weekend seemed to be that wind was a bigger factor than cold, but this article seems to indicate that cold matters too, at least for dome teams. For what it’s worth, there’s plenty of weather-related NFL information out there. It also seems that Vegas lines would incorporate the best available weather related wisdom. Next week? Peyton Manning gets the Chargers porous defense in what looks to be cold (but warmer than this week), low wind conditions. Also next week: The Lions, Eagles, and Saints all get to play indoors, so I’ll probably give an edge to those teams when looking at daily lineups.