4for4 Mailbag Week 13
Welcome to the weekly 4for4 Mailbag, where I answer your questions about all aspects of fantasy football, including redraft leagues, DFS strategy, advice on handling angry football widows, and even some pop culture. Since it will be published on Thursdays throughout the season, I won’t be tackling waiver wire advice, so be sure to check out 4for4’s valuable articles on streaming and the like to aid with your weekly roster decisions.
To submit a question for consideration, tweet me @themondaymommy or simply use the hashtag #4for4mailbag!
@PApple23: I never know what to do about defenses for the playoffs? What do you think is the best strategy?
JE: When planning for the post season in fantasy football there are several ways to go about it as it pertains to DEFs.
The first would be to check out the remaining schedule using our Hot Spots: Team Defense tool to scope out one DEF that has a really soft path in Weeks 14-16. If the stars align and you find one that not only seems favorable for the entire playoffs AND is actually available, then you’re set.
Because there are others in your league with possibly the same basic strategy, you may have to get creative and piece together a few DEFs to maximize your playoff points at the position. Get rid of some dead weight on your current roster, guys who you know won’t start and grab a few DEFs with cushy games down the stretch.
Another thing you may want to consider is snagging a DEF or two in order to block your opponents from being able to use them. Sure, it’s a prick move but all is fair when it comes to fantasy football. Take a look at the rosters of your potential post season matchups and if they have a weak DEF or have been streaming, not being able to upgrade defensively could be the difference in moving on or hanging up your FF hat for the season.
@wburdett11: Colin or Big Ben. 2 bad defenses vs. Ben at home must win Giants great pass d. How about Wilson?
JE: Since I’m not super clear on whether you are asking for just Week 13 or which QB to ride through the playoffs, I’ll just address both.
When it comes to this week in particular, I would go with Big Ben. Although the Giants do have a solid pass defense, this game is at home and is a must win for the Steelers to keep their playoff hopes alive. Pittsburgh has won two straight games and their roster is healthier than it has been so far this season. The potential of a full work load from Ladarius Green also helps since New York has allowed 16.1 YPC to TEs over the last four games. I do think that Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson will also have solid numbers this week, Ben’s will just be slightly higher.
As far as the remainder of the fantasy season goes, it gets a bit trickier to pick just one of these guys to roll with. I will be looking at only games in Weeks 13-16 as no one’s fantasy championship should take place Week 17. If your league happens to be one that does, I’d bail after this season and find a league with better decision making.
Without taking actual data into consideration, it appears that Kaepernick has the easiest road to your fantasy championship based on the teams he faces. I have seen and read the large amount of hype he has been gaining this week, as it’s growing daily at this point. If you want to just go with the hot hand and hope he continues to put up the numbers we’ve seen from Kaepernick the past four weeks then go for it, it could certainly pay off.
However, if we look at 4for4’s Schedule-Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed metric (aFPA), we can compare each opposing defense by the points they give up to the QB position. Roethlisberger faces teams whose aFPAs are 14.4, 15.7, 18.3 and 16.7 in Weeks 13-16, while Kaepernick’s opponents allow 15.8, 16.8, 19.0 and 18.0 to QBs. Finally, in Wilson’s remaining tilts, his competitors allow 17.9, 17.6, 18.0 and 14.9, in that order.
Since none of these numbers jump out as exponentially better than the other, I say we look at home versus away matchups. The 49ers have three away games out of the remaining four, while the Steelers play two, and Seattle only has one of their playoff relevant games on the road. If we combine Wilson’s vast improvement as the season has moved forward, the fact that he only plays one game during fantasy playoffs outside of CenturyLink Field, and the knowledge that three out of his four opponents allow over 17 points per game to the QB position, I think we have our winner.
Of course if you currently have all three of these QBs on your roster and can stay put, if would behoove you to keep them and perhaps play the individual matchups. You also want to be prepared for injury as both Roethlisberger and Wilson have been dinged up at some point this season.
@drail: Is the Packers offense fantasy relevant again?
JE: It would certainly appear so.
As of Week 12, Aaron Rodgers has the highest number of fantasy points in the league with 257.5. Considering that at the halfway point in Week 6, the Packers QB was sitting as QB13, Rodgers and his offensive weapons have had quite the turn around.
Both Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams are among the Top 10 WRs, and James Starks has certainly held his own since taking over for an injured Eddie Lacy in Week 10 as RB10, with 43.3 PPR points. The one position that still remains non-rosterable is the TE. Both Jared Cook and Richard Rodgers have put together a decent game or two but there are definitely better options out there for TEs.
The remaining schedule for the Packers when it comes to fantasy is not the easiest by any stretch, as they face both Seattle and Minnesota, however it would seem that Rodgers is gelling nicely with his top wideouts and starting RB as they take on the task of winning out for a playoff berth.
If you have any of the aforementioned Green Bay guys on your roster, which would make sense since you asked the question, feel free to start them with confidence as it seems they have found their way back to solid production once again.
As always thanks so much for all your submissions this week. I know clamoring for a playoff spot can be a grind, stay positive and may the fantasy gods be kind to you all. See you next week!