This year, TrenchFantasy looks at some of the more favorable matchups for offensive lines against opposing defensive lines and secondaries as a way to help successful fantasy owners make smart roster decisions. Trench stats consider the unit’s overall performance, not individual blocking stats.
QBs with favorable trench matchups: Schaub (HOU), P. Manning (IND), Garrard (JAC), Rivers (SD), E. Manning (NYG), Kitna (DAL), Brady (NE), Flacco (BAL)
Week 17 provides many favorable matchups for top QBs and their O-Lines. Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis O-Line Pass (ranked #1 by Trench Fantasy), have the biggest advantage. They’re facing the rapidly declining Tennessee Defensive Secondary (ranked 25th). For those who had given up on Peyton Manning a few weeks ago, this is a reminder that not only is he a great quarterback, but he also has a fantastic O-Line.
David Garrard has the benefit of playing behind one of the top O-Lines in the league. This consistently provides him very favorable matchups. This week is no exception, as the Jaguar O-Line Pass (ranked 9th) faces the dead-last Houston Defensive Secondary.
On the other side of the ball, Matt Schaub and the Houston O-Line Pass (ranked 5th) has a favorable matchup against the 31st-ranked Jacksonville Defensive Secondary. Expect a lot of offense — and not much defense — in this game.
Jon Kitna has filled in nicely for Tony Romo, and one reason is that he’s being protected by the #3-ranked Cowboy O-Line Pass. The result: Kitna has 16 TD passes since taking over. They’re facing the middle-of-the road and suffering Philadelphia Defensive Secondary (ranked 19th). Minnesota exposed this as an Eagle weakness on Tuesday night, so expect Dallas to try to do the same.
The Baltimore O-Line Pass is ranked 14th by Trench Fantasy, but they’re facing the 24th-ranked Cincinnati Defensive Secondary. Joe Flacco has quietly put together an efficient season, and with a favorable matchup like this he has the chance to go into the playoffs with some momentum. That, and the Bengals rolled over against the Jets on the last game of the season last year. So if history repeats, Joe Flacco will get some yards and TDs via the air.
QBs to sit because of bad trench matchups: Cutler (CHI), Fitzpatrick (BUF), Cassel (KC), any SF QB, Sanchez (NYJ), Clausen (CAR), Campbell (OAK), Tebow (DEN), Freeman (TB), Grossman (WAS), McCoy (CLE)
There are lots of unfavorable matchups for QBs and their O-Lines going into the final week of the season, but let’s talk Tim Tebow first. He had a Tebow-esque game reminiscent of his college days against Houston in Week 16. But that was against Houston, the lowest-ranked Defensive Secondary and the 29th-ranked Defensive Line. This week is going to be tougher for Tebow. His 13th-ranked Denver O-Line Pass faces the #1-ranked San Diego Defensive Secondary. So for those interested in Tebow’s prospects as an NFL QB, watch this game closely to see the contrast! If he can get some production, then he’s on his way.
Jay Cutler and the Chicago O-Line Pass may have had a big win against the Jets last week, but things aren’t getting any easier this week. The Chicago O-Line Pass, ranked 29th by Trench Fantasy, are facing the #2-ranked Green Bay Defensive Secondary. That equals a tough matchup!
Josh Freeman lit up the Seahawks’ Defensive Secondary in Week 16, but a note of caution. Before we get too enthusiastic, remember that the Seahawks Defensive Secondary is ranked 27th by Trench Fantasy. This week, Freeman and the 15th-ranked Tampa Bay O-Line Pass face the hungry, defending Super Bowl Champion and currently 4th-ranked New Orleans Defensive Secondary. This is a much tougher test against a Saints team that continues to have something to prove.
Running Backs with great trench matchups: JAC, NYJ, HOU, NYG, PHI, SD, KC
The Jaguars have the #1 ranked O-Line for running. And they’re facing the 29th-ranked Houston Defensive Line. We expect the ball to be in the hands of the Jaguar running backs a lot in this game.
On the other side of the ball, Houston’s O-Line Run (ranked 5th) has an advantage against the Jacksonville D-Line (ranked 27th) . Given this advantage, we can expect to see the ball in the Houston running backs. There should be running, passing with some more running and passing in this game of top offenses and woeful defenses.
The New York Jets have had some strange games as the season approaches its end. One of the more consistent aspects of their game has been the Jets O-Line Run (ranked 4th). They’re facing the 31st-ranked Buffalo D-Line this week, so they should use this opportunity to tune-up their blocking for a bruising, ball-control style playoff run.
Running Backs with matchups to avoid: DEN, WAS, CHI, ARI, CLE, SEA, GB, DET, BUF, CAR, CIN
Many people have their hopes and dreams pinned to Tim Tebow’s abilities as a passer and a runner. This week his Denver O-Line Run faces the 2nd-ranked San Diego Defensive Line. That is going to make running the ball tough for Tebow and his RBs. That is – if San Diego keeps its collective head in the game.
In the game that determines the champion of the woeful NFC West, we see one significant mismatch – the Seattle O-Line Run (ranked 32nd) faces the 14th-ranked St. Louis Defensive Line. Granted, the St. Louis D-Line is middle of the road, but this equals a tough matchup for the sorry Seahawk running game, and could prove to be the difference in this one.
Learn more about the trench matchups! Trench Fantasy offers weekly in-depth matchups spreadsheet and a roster analyzer for free! Examine ALL matchups for the week – including Special Teams – on our weekly Matchups and Mismatches spreadsheet. You can also input your fantasy roster in our Start/Bench analyzer spreadsheet, and get start/bench recommendations based on trench stats for all your fantasy players.
Friend us at http://www.facebook.com/TrenchFantasy and you’ll get updates every week with this in-depth view of the trench matchups and start/bench recommendations based on trench stats. Isn’t it time you looked at the game starting with the trenches?