Fantasy football playoff time arrives early

Dec 4, 2012 3:07 AM

The calendar has flipped to December and there’s a noticeable chill in the air. Yes, the fantasy football playoffs have arrived. 

Crunch time is upon us as owners around the country begin the process of making that final push towards cash, glory and a year’s worth of bragging rights. Time to go to work.

Start ’em up

Matt Schaub QB, Texans: Schaub has thrown 8 TD passes in his last 3 starts and is averaging a healthy 255.1 passing yards per game. To knock off the Patriots in New England on Monday night, Houston will need more than just the workhorse legs of running back Arian Foster. The good news for Schaub owners is that the Patriots currently rank 29 against the pass (279.9 yds/gm) while surrendering an average of 22.1 fantasy points per game to opposing signal-callers (sixth-most in NFL).

Ahmad Bradshaw RB, Giants: With backup RB Andre Brown lost for the season, Bradshaw is going to be handling a heavy workload from now through the playoffs. Make sure he’s in the starting lineup this Sunday when Big Blue hosts a porous Saints run defense that is giving up more fantasy points (23.9 a game) to opposing RB’s than any other team.

Marques Colston WR, Saints: No 100-yard effort since Oct. 7, but we have a feeling Colston will reward fantasy owners in a big way this Sunday in New York. That premonition has to do with the Giants rank No. 24 against the pass (252.6 yds/gm) while surrendering an average of 26.1 fantasy ppg to opposing WR’s (third-most in NFL). This is a solid matchup.

Sit ’em down

Philip Rivers QB, Chargers: Mechanics are out of whack, arm strength lacking and he’s only thrown 3 TD passes over his last 3 starts. Needless to say, things are not looking good in San Diego at the moment. Leave Rivers on the bench in Week 14 when he and the Bolts travel to Pittsburgh to face the league’s top-ranked pass defense (166.7 yds/gm) that just so happens to be surrendering fewer fantasy points per game (13.0) to opposing QB’s than any other NFL team.

Stevan Ridley RB, Patriots: Ridley has really come into his own this season and just crossed the 1,000-yard barrier last Sunday at Miami. But we’d exercise caution when looking to start the sophomore RB this week as the Patriots have a date with a Houston defense that ranks second in the NFL against the run (82.3 yds/gm) while surrendering fewer fantasy points (11.3) to opposing RB’s than any other team.

Larry Fitzgerald WR, Cardinals: With the QB situation in Arizona getting worse by the minute, owners can no longer afford to run the risk of starting him. He’s still a stud, but his offense is a total joke. Not only that, but the Cardinals head to Seattle for a date with a Seahawks defense that ranks fifth against the pass (202.8 yds/gm) while giving up just 17.7 fantasy ppg to opposing WR’s (third-fewest in NFL).  

Joe Fortenbaugh, worked as an NFL Agent from 2003-2006 at JB Sports, Inc. Follow Joe on Twitter @joefortenbaugh, and check out his website at You can reach him at [email protected].

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