The Matchup Machine: Week 11
November 13, 2013 | Scott Watson
We are at that point of the season where divisional foes are facing each other for the second time. Below are a few of these déjà vu matchups and my thoughts on how they may go this time around, followed, as always, by the almighty Week 11 Matchup Machine:
New York Jets @ Buffalo
Previous Matchup: Week 3 – New York Jets won 27-20
• Their Week 3 meeting was by far Santonio Holmes’ best game in some time. Buffalo gives up an average of 2+ passing TDs per week, so if Santonio Holmes’ is in football shape and ready to go, he could have a nice return. While Buffalo has been easy on the pass, they have been stingy against the run. They have only allowed 2 rushing TDs to opposing RBs all year, including one last week to LeVeon Bell. Even though Buffalo has been tough on opposing RBs at the goal line, they are still allowing an average of 4.2 YPC to opposing RBs. As a result, I would still trust Chris Ivory this week.
• New York has been even tougher on opposing RBs. Buffalo’s 80 rushing yards from their RBs in their first meeting was the second most rushing yards New York has allowed all year to opposing RBs. That being said, Buffalo RBs are still averaging 120 rushing yards per week, so I expect C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson to again be relied upon in this rematch. After holding opposing TEs in check during Weeks 1 & 2, New York allowed Scott Chandler to grab five catches for 79 yards and a TD in Week 3. Since then, New York has allowed an average of 7 receptions for 80 yards to opposing TEs. If you have Jason Witten on a bye, Chandler could be a solid fill-in.
Washington @ Philadelphia
Previous Matchup: Week 1 – Philadelphia won 33-27
• The first time these two met, three Washington WRs had 5+ receptions and 50+ receiving yards. Since then, Philadelphia has continued to allow WRs to pile up stats against against them: allowing 220+ yards to opposing WRs in 7 of 10 games. RG3 and Pierre Garcon are must starts every week, but Leonard Hankerson and Santana Moss may be viable options this week as well.
• In their Week 1 matchup, Philadelphia RBs tallied 209 rushing yards against Washington. Since then, Washington has allowed only two other teams to top 100 rushing yards from their RBs. That being said, those RBs are scoring quite a few TDs against Washington. Since Washington’s bye week (Week 5), opposing RBs are averaging 1.6 rushing TDs per game. And on the passing front Washington has allowed 2+ passing TDs each of last 3 games. Translation: Philadelphia could score a lot of points this week.
Atlanta @ Tampa Bay
Previous Matchup: Week 7 – Atlanta won 31-23
• Atlanta has struggled running the ball this year, while Tampa has been pretty strong all season long against the run, having allowed just one rushing TD to an opposing RB. So the Atlanta game plan will very likely revolve around Matt Ryan and the passing game. Tampa’s pass defense has had good moments and bad moments. On the one hand, Darrelle Revis effectively shut down Mike Wallace last week, but slot WR Rishard Matthews made up for it with a great game. Similarly, Tampa has only allowed one 300-yard QB all year (Drew Brees) but since their bye week (Week 5), they have allowed 2+ passing TDs each week (including to Matt Ryan). It is possible that Roddy White will get the Revis-treatment, which could open things up for Harry Douglas.
• Combining Tampa’s issues on pass defense and Atlanta’s own issues on defense, this could be a sneaky high-scoring contest with several viable fantasy options. The last time these teams met was the game Doug Martin was knocked out and Tampa RBs ended with 98 rushing yards and 0 TDs. Each of the last three weeks since then, Atlanta has allowed 100+ rushing yards and 1+ rushing TD to opposing RBs. With the season-ending injury to Mike James, Bobby Rainey and Brian Leonard are suddenly waiver wire gems and with good reason: opportunity plus a good matchup. On the passing front, Mike Glennon is a viable Tony Romo bye week fill-in considering Atlanta has allowed 2+ passing TDs to every QB they have faced not named Cam Newton (and that includes Glennon).
Below is data produced by the Matchup Machine. A quick reminder of how the Matchup Machine works: the higher the score, the better the matchup. Scores are calculated using data from the first ten weeks of 2013. The data only takes into account the strength of the opponent, not the strength of the player. For example, Russell Wilson has highest QB score this week. That does not mean he is the best QB, it means he is playing Minnesota who offers the best matchup for QBs. Minnesota is allowing opponents an average of 300+ passing yards and 2+ passing TDs per week. Take a look and good luck in Week 11!