December 19, 2012

Championship QB Battle

It all comes down.... to this. The 2012 Dirty D championship has come down to the 2 most winning players in league history. We've both been here before, with very different results. Sean lost in the inaugural season to Dan by a mere 11 points, and then a year later in 2010 I defeated Adam in the ship by a whopping 41 points. This season Sean and I faced off in Week 4 and I squeaked by with a 160-144 victory. Hopefully this weekend's Championship match is high scoring and closely contested like that one was. A lot of roster moves have been made since then, (You wont see Eric Decker, Torrey Smith, Victor Cruz, or Eli Manning this weekend) so I wanted to break down this matchup, player by player. 

Today I will break down each team's QB. 

Tahiti Loungers-  Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers proved last week he is matchup proof. This week he faces a pretty generous defense in Tennessee, however over the past 5 games the pass defense has actually been very good; allowing an average of less than 10 fantasy points per game. Of course these games were against Sanchez (-1) Luck (7) Schaub (17) Henne (16) and Tannehill (2), so we shouldn't put TOO much stock into this recent good play.  

Rodgers himself will probably be without top deep-threat Jordy Nelson once again. That barely matters, as Randall Cobb, James Jones, and Greg Jennings should be more than capable of picking up the slack. Rodgers had played pretty pedestrian before his 25 point output this past week, mostly due to offensive line issues. I am hoping they have figured it out because with even just a little bit of time, Rodgers can do major, major damage to this defense. The run defense on Tennessee is actually pretty stout; they haven't given up 100+ rushing yards since week 9, and have only had opposing RBs eclipse 100 three times this year. They have shut down Arian Foster (144 yards total in 2 games) and even held AP to just 88 yards back in Week 5. Point is: they are good against the run. The Packers are going to struggle running the ball and will likely air it out a lot. My main concern here is a blow out. The Titans may get down early and just give up, so I'll be looking for Rodgers to score big, early- before a potential run heavy game plan or before he gets yanked for the back up. Also I am not concerned at all about Rodgers' ankle. 

Prediction: 285 yards, 3 TDs, 15 rush yards, 1 interception = 22 fantasy points. 

A Pinch Better- Colin Kaepernick

Look, everyone knows I love Colin Kaepernick. He kinda beat up Boise St during his college career. He beat the Pats the other night on SNF in Foxboro in December. If he completes the tri-fecta and beats me in the fantasy championship I'm just going to have to start hating the guy. 

Last week Kaepernick went bananas in the first half vs the Pats. His final stat line was 4 TDs and 216 yards to go along with 1 pick totaling 24 fantasy points. The Pats are much improved in their secondary and so that 24 points is pretty damn good. The 5 games Kaepernick started before last week he averaged 17 points. That's pretty much the floor for him, which is exceptional. He is a very mobile QB so the threat to score a longer rushing TD is always there. He has not scored a rushing TD yet this season but he put up 80+ yards rushing a few weeks ago. That's what scares me the most about this guy- his legs. Also, he has some crazy rapport with Michael Crabtree. For whatever reason, those 2 dudes are in sync and firing on all cylinders (which sucks, because I traded Crabtree right when Kapernick took over.) 

Luckily for me, Kaepernick has a tough matchup this week. Playing IN Seattle is very tough, although so is playing in Foxboro in December and that didn't seem to phase him.  Seattle has done a great job vs opposing Qbs this season... the only 2 guys to break 20 fantasy points against them this season are Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford. Recently, though, the defense has been slightly more generous. The thing I am most concerned about is the corner back play for the Seahawks. The reason the defense has done great all season is that these guys in the secondary were playing shut down football. Starting corner Brandon Browner in unfortunately suspended for this game and the other corner, Richard Sherman, will likely miss the game as well (His appeal is being heard on Friday.) Also, both BACK UP corners are hurt. Walter Thurmond III and Marcus Trufant are both battling injuries and may miss this week's game. Sucks. No one wants to face Kaepernick with 3rd string corners out there, but I am. Sigh. Let's just hope I'm over estimating on Kaepernick this week. 

Prediction: 255 yards, 1 TD, 30 rush yards, 1 rush TD, 1 Int = 21 fantasy points. 

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