Each week I will highlight players and teams who have seen their value rise or fall during the previous week. I will also try to highlight players that have favorable schedules coming up that could give them a boost in value. Remember that you always want to sell high and buy low!
-It is now the time of the year when you need to factor in weather when deciding your lineup each week (mainly for quarterbacks and wide receivers). Teams that rely heavily on their passing game tend to struggle when playing outdoors in bad weather. While you can’t base your lineup decisions entirely on the weather forecast, it can be a deciding factor when choosing between two equal caliber players. Here are some teams that will play a majority of their remaining five games in ideal playing conditions for quarterbacks and receivers.
Detroit Lions- Inside during 4 games,with their only outdoor game coming against the Eagles in week 14
New Orleans Saints- Inside during 3 games, with their two outdoor games coming at Seattle (wk 13) and at Carolina (wk 16)
San Diego Chargers- Finish with 4 game at home, with their only road game at Denver in week 15
Dallas Cowboys- Inside during 3 games, with their two outdoors games coming at Chicago (wk 14) and at Washington (wk 16)
Carolina Panthers- I know that Cam Newton doesn’t solely rely on his passing numbers to put up good fantasy stats, but you always want your quarterback to play in good weather. The Panthers finish the season with three home games and their final two road games are at New Orleans and Atlanta.
Finally, the bye weeks are over for the 2013 season. There hasn’t been a full schedule of games since week 3 and it seemed like the bye weeks would never end this year. I wish the NFL would increase the amount of teams that have a bye each week so less weeks would be effected by breaks for key players. The bye week schedule is like pulling a band-aid off slowly. It doesn’t hurt that much each week, but the length of the pain is extended. I would prefer to have all the teams get they bye weeks over in a 4 week span to just get it over with. Yeah it would hurt a lot during those weeks, but then it would be over quickly. Enjoy having a full roster as you head into the final weeks of the regular season and playoffs.
Running Backs versus the Bears
-Over the last six weeks the Bears run defense has been shredded by opposing running backs. They have given up an average of over 150 yards rushing during that span, with running backs averaging almost six yards per carry. The Bears aren’t just giving up yardage to running backs, they are also giving up rushing touchdowns. They have allowed 10 rushing touchdowns in the last 6 weeks, that includes four games with them giving up multiple rushing touchdowns. Here are the running backs the Bears face over the last five weeks of the season; Adrian Peterson (wk 13), DeMarco Murray (wk 13), Chris Ogbonnaya (wk 13), LeSean McCoy (wk 13), and Eddie Lacy (wk 13). Make sure you have those guys in your starting lineup the week they play the Bears. Even Ogbonnaya could be a valuable flex option when he faces Chicago.
As we saw with the Broncos and Patriots game last week, weather can have a major effect on high-powered offenses. Tom Brady seems have the ability to overcome bad weather, but he and Aaron Rodgers are the exceptions to the rule. Most passing attacks show a decline in production when the weather turns bad.
-The Broncos play their next three games outdoors in cold climates. If the weather is less than ideal, expect a decrease in production from the Broncos passing game. They finish their season with their last 2 games at Houston and Oakland.
-The Falcons play their next two games at Buffalo and Green Bay before heading back indoors to play the Washington franchise.
-The Cardinals only have two home games remaining on their schedule. Their three final road games are at Philadelphia, Tennessee, and Seattle.
-The Steelers finish the season with two road games and three home games. They play at Baltimore in week 13 and Green Bay in week 16.
-Even though Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have shown the ability to be productive despite the weather, they still have to deal with playing in cold climate cities. The Patriots finish the season with only two games in favorable weather conditions. They play at Houston in week 13 and at Miami in week 15. The Packers play the Cowboys in week 15. All their remaining games when Aaron Rodgers comes back are in cold climate outdoor stadiums.
Teams out of the playoffs
-As we come towards the end of the season, it is important to be aware that some teams who are out of the playoff race tend to lose their motivation. Some teams that came into the season with high expectation have not performed as expected. Those are the teams that tend to rest players who are dinged up and they also will give younger players more playing time. Other teams like Jacksonville and Cleveland were expected to be bad and not be in the playoffs, so their play towards the end of the year doesn’t change much. The Falcons and Texans are two teams who have severely under performed this year. Both teams were thought of as Super Bowl contenders heading into the season, but injuries and a decrease in play has derailed their seasons. Bump up any defense that is playing the Falcons and Texans. I would also limit you expectations of any offensive players that you are using in your starting lineup from those two teams.