2012 NFL Playoffs Round Table: Fantasy Football Advice For the Divisional Round
The end of the NFL regular season has killed the spirit in a lot of us, as it also means the end of our regular fantasy football seasons. However, if you’re unaware, there are still some pretty sweet fantasy games going on. You can opt in playoff long games like the one over at NFL.com, or pick your favorite fantasy gaming site and prepare each week for a new roster and a new battle.
We’ve got one more week of four games (8 teams) and a solid group of fantasy studs, and then next week it gets smashed down to just two games and four teams involved. Now is the time to use your fantasy knowledge and skills to make some money before the season completely dries up, and we’re here to help you get it done.
Joined with me for the Divisional Round Fantasy Playoff Round Table:
Keet Bailey (NFLSoup)
Taylor Smith (NFLSoup)
Kevin Roberts (NFLSoup)
Let’s dive right into this mess that we refer to as the NFL playoffs and see if we can’t feel a bit better about our fantasy rosters heading into round two:
1. Name your top player for the Divisional Round an Why?
Keet Bailey: Peyton Manning. Manning is coming off a week’s rest and going up against a banged up secondary with two of the most under-appreciated wide receivers in the game in Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker.
Alan Harrison : Tom Brady – Brady went wild against the Texans in week 14, tossing four touchdown passes on 296 yards passing. With the Texans run defense being one of the best in all of football, there is no reason to believe the Patriots will change their game plan in the playoffs. Expect Brady to attack the Texan secondary again and potentially put up similar numbers on Sunday.
Kevin Roberts: Tom Brady. I still think Houston puts up a fight, but it won’t really be on the defensive end. The Texans have the D to maybe slow the Pats down a bit, but at home with their fire power, it won’t last the entire game. Brady will get his, to be sure.
Taylor Smith: Peyton Manning. Denver has obviously been rolling for quite a while now, and I doubt he’ll have much trouble finding holes in the aging Ravens defense. Not expecting this game to be particularly close.
2. Your bottom marquee player (a starter) who will disappoint fantasy gamers this week and Why?
Keet Bailey: Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is still the reason why the Packers ended up making the playoffs. Unfortunately, I think the defense fails to get off of the field, limiting what Rodgers can do to the 49ers’ already tough defense.
Alan Harrison: Matt Ryan – Ryan has failed to earn a playoff win thus far in his young career and it looks like he may have to wait a bit longer for that signature victory. He and the Falcons face off against a stout Seahawks defense who surrender the league’s fewest fantasy points per week to opposing quarterbacks, 10.5. Expect more of the same on Sunday.
Kevin Roberts: Matt Ryan. I know he’s at home and each year it seems likelier that the Falcons will finally win, but I’m just not seeing it. Seattle is a soul-crushing defense, and after the Falcons had just two lousy points on the scoreboard in their last playoff game, I find them hard to trust.
Taylor Smith (NFLSoup): Ray Rice. Rice was stuffed for 38 yards on 12 carries the first time these two teams met, and Baltimore has been inconsistent with how they’ve been utilizing him in the offense. I’m not too optimistic about his chances again this week.
3. Who is your deep sleeper for the second round?
Keet Bailey: Robert Turbin. The Falcons still have struggled somewhat against the run this season and they will find a way to shut down Russell Wilson. Unfortunately for them, the Seahawks have Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin who should see 8-10 touches and I expect him to deliver on those this week.
Alan Harrison: Brandon Stokely – The Ravens secondary isn’t exactly friendly to opposing wide receivers — surrendering just 19.7 fantasy points per week to pass catchers — but, their defensive backs may have their focus on studs Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. Look for the chemistry between Stokely and field general Peyton Manning to surface just when the Broncos need it the most.
Kevin Roberts: Vernon Davis. He’s a big name, sure, but the dude has caught six balls TOTAL in his last six games. Now would be a fantastic time to break out and make me look like a genius.
Taylor Smith: DuJuan Harris. Not really a total “deep sleeper” anymore, as Harris looked to be a vital piece of Green Bay’s attack in the win over Minnesota. He’ll have plenty of opportunities to show what he can do again this week against San Francisco.
4. Looking to next season, who is someone no one is talking about that you’ll target in every draft?
Keet Bailey: Michael Floyd. I’ve been high on this kid since the 2012 NFL Draft. He came on strong towards the end of the year and should be no worse than the third receiver in Arizona. If they can get a quarterback that can get Floyd the ball, he can make plays because of his size and ability to go up and get the ball in the end zone.
Alan Harrison: T.Y. Hilton – As the 2012 season progressed, people started to recognize the rookie from Florida International, but I’m still not sure he got the attention he deserves. Hilton hauled in 50 passes on 91 targets for 861 yards and seven touchdowns. With fellow rookie Andrew Luck at the helm in Indianapolis, you know the Colts’ will be airing out the ball again in 2013. I will be targeting Hilton higher than most in next year’s drafts, especially in points-per-reception leagues.
Kevin Roberts: Michael Floyd. I really thought Floyd would be huge as a rookie, but Arizona’s awful musical chairs at quarterback stopped that from being a possibility a long time ago. As long as the Cardinals figure the business out under center, I love his prospects in year two.
Taylor Smith: LaMichael James has seen his role grow exponentially late in the season, and heading into next year I’d imagine the Niners will have even more plans to get him into the mix. He’s a potential Darren Sproles/Jacquizz Rodgers scat back, and it also helps that Frank Gore isn’t getting any younger.