Commentary

Fantasy playoff matchups intel

Week 16 fantasy matchups intel examines best, worst starts by position

Originally Published: December 21, 2011
By Danny Tuccitto | Football Outsiders
Julio Jones and Matt RyanDaniel Shirey/US PresswireMatt Ryan and the Falcons' offense have been firing on all cylinders lately.

First things first: congratulations! If you're reading this column, odds are that you've advanced to the semifinals or finals of your league. The odds are also good that there's not much you can do to improve your roster at this point. You're going to have to roll with what got you here. Therefore, rather than present any statistical analyses, strengths of schedule or devious trade strategies, I'm going to just dive right into a super-sized value meal of matchups worth highlighting in Week 16.


Quarterbacks

Rex Grossman (plus-18 points)
Over the past five weeks, Grossman has been -- well -- very Grossman-esque, throwing for an average of 252.8 yards, 1.6 touchdowns and 1.6 interceptions per game. As has been the case throughout his career, he's amassed decent yardage, but thrown a comparable number of touchdowns and interceptions. Fortunately, over that same five-week period, Football Outsiders' 32nd-ranked Vikings pass defense has failed to intercept a pass while giving up 13 touchdowns to go along with 253.4 yards per game. Split the difference, and you get a stat line for Grossman this week of 250-2-0. That's good enough to recommend him this week.

Matt Ryan (plus-16 points)
In his past two games, Ryan has thrown for a total of 544 yards, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions. The first game was against a Carolina Panthers pass defense that we rank 26th in DVOA. The second was against a Jacksonville Jaguars pass defense that, although currently ranked fifth in DVOA, was playing its third game in 11 days, and had already placed six defensive backs on injured reserve.

This week, Ryan faces another bad pass defense: the 30th-ranked New Orleans Saints. In their game earlier this season, Ryan scored more than 20 fantasy points. Putting everything together, this has all the makings of a favorable matchup.


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