Harris: NFC East A Playoff Fantasy Gold Mine
By Adam Harris-
(CBS) When deciding between two players week in and week out, you should take many things into account, but the decisive factor should most always be match-up.
A good match-up for your players can make or break your week, and there is a set of four offenses that have good fantasy match-ups almost every week the rest of the year.
The Cowboys, Redskins, Eagles and Giants all have favorable fantasy schedules the rest of the way, simply because they all play each other. Here are some stats that will convince you to buy on most offensive players on these four teams for the rest of the year.
Each defense in the NFC East gives up between 21 to 24 fantasy points a week to quarterbacks in a standard scoring league, with the Cowboys giving up the most in the NFL.
The Redskins allow 22.5 points per week to NFL backfields, which is last in the NFL. The Cowboys give up a significant 17.5, while the Eagles and Giants give up a more conservative 14 and 14.5 points per week, respectively, to running backs.
The Eagles lead the way in the division to points allowed to wide receivers at 31.5 per week, with the Redskins and Cowboys not far behind at 26.2 and 25.2 respectively. The Giants give up 20 points per week to wide out cores.
Even the tight ends get in on the fun as the Redskins, Cowboys., and Giants give up the 24th, 26th and 28th most points to their position, respectively. The skilled offensive positions in the NFC East can certainly put up some points game in and game out, and it’s in large thanks to their opponents.
The Redskins have a very favorable schedule, facing the Chargers, Eagles, Giants TWICE (once in Week 17) Vikings, Falcons and Cowboys, leaving only two tough match-ups against the 49ers and Chiefs.
The Eagles have an even better schedule, facing the Raiders, Packers, Redskins, Lions, Vikings, Bears, and Cowboys (week 17). Their only tough match-up is against the Cardinals, and a Week 12 bye.
The Giants have very few offensive weapons, but for the Victor Cruz, Eli Manning (cough), Hakeem Nicks, and Andre Brown/David Wilson hopeful owners, there is light at the end of the tunnel. After their bye this week, the Giants face the Raiders, Packers, Cowboys, Redskins TWICE (once in week 17), Chargers, and Lions. The only tough match-up is in Week 15 against the Seahawks.
The Cowboys have amazing weapons already, but certainly will take advantage of their remaining schedule where they face the Vikings, Giants, Raiders, Bears, Packers, Redskins and Eagles (in week 17). There is a bye coming in Week 11 and they travel to New Orleans in Week 10, but the fantasy playoffs are looking oh so juicy for Tony Romo (QB), Dez Bryant (WR), Terrance Williams (WR) and even Jason Witten (TE). Weeks 14, 15 and 16 the Cowboys offense will feast on the Bears, Packers and Redskins.
TALENT – POSITION BY POSITION
Quarterback – The Redskins, Cowboys and Eagles have fantasy value at all offensive positions. Robert Griffin III (WAS) and Tony Romo (DAL) lead the pack under center with potential and consistency, but a pretty big edge goes to Romo. Eli Manning (NYG) can also be used as a bye week fill in, pending match-up and desperation. The Eagles have a mess going on under center, but Nick Foles (PHI) is a capable backup, especially with the correct match-up. Michael Vick (PHI) could get healthy for the playoffs and really give a fantasy team a boost, especially facing the Lions, Vikings and Bears in Weeks 14, 15 and 16.
Running Back – LeSean McCoy (PHI) and Alfred Morris (WAS) show the most upside moving forward, with McCoy the most desirable back to own in the division. His owners have suffered through a lack of production the last couple of weeks, but there is no reason to panic. We saw above the favorable schedule, and Matt Barkley (QB-PHI) will hopefully be gone for good now that Foles is back and Vick is working toward his health. Alfred Morris is going to break out a few times this year, because the Redskins needs to commit to the run if they wish to win this year, and if they wish to protect RGIII. DeMarco Murray (RB-DAL) is a solid RB2 and great FLEX option on championship teams. The Giants have flyers like David Wilson, Andre Brown, Peyton Hillis and Brandon Jacobs that should ride the fantasy pine until otherwise proven.
Wide Receivers – Dez Bryant (WR-DAL) fantasy owners are going to have fun the rest of the year, as if they aren’t already. Bryant wants the ball more and more, and if the Cowboys plan on making the playoffs this year, they will continue to let their leader and playmaker, well, make plays. Terrance Williams (WR-DAL) is a must own in all fantasy leagues starting opposite Bryant. DeSean Jackson (WR-PHI) faces a few defenses that give up the long ball consistently. Pierre Garcon (WAS) is fifth in the NFL in targets, but his fantasy points do not reflect that. They will. Continue to have faith in Garcon because he will eventually produce, (especially for team Ashdrew). Tight end, Jordan Reed (WAS) has recently emerged, which will open the door for Garcon to roam free. Victor Cruz (NYG) is another great option moving forward. If Manning wishes to stop throwing INT’s, he will find Cruz, over and over. Cruz is tied with Dez Bryant for the sixth most targets in the NFL at 77. Keep the faith on these guys, because the schedule and match-ups suggest they will help any fantasy team down the stretch.
Tight Ends – Jason Witten (DAL) is confusing to owners, especially in PPR formats. He had a huge Week 1 and Week 5, but has averaged just three catches in each of the last three games. He should turn it around, as Romo will need to utilize his favorite target moving forward. Jordan Reed (WAS) looks to be the new, fun tight end to own in the NFC East.
Defenses – Based on the stats above, I wouldn’t own any of these defenses.
I’m not saying go overpay for the key players in the NFC East, but I am saying target a few of these players in trades. I’m sure you can buy low on a few, like Pierre Garcon, or Alfred Morris. Go get ’em.
Follow Adam Harris on Twitter @AHarris670 and ask him Fantasy Football questions. Also, listen to the Friday Fantasy Nerd Herd Hour on Friday nights/Saturday mornings with Joe Ostrowski.