Maximum Value Match-Up: Week 10
With lots of key fantasy players on week 10 byes, it’s easy to get desperate. It’s also easy to plug in someone on your bench who is meant to be nothing more than a handcuff.
That’s where the match-up value comes in. This is not a struggle, but an opportunity to get a leg-up on your opponents who are also fighting the byes. For Week 10, we focus on players who are owned in few leagues, but have the potential to provide the plug-in production you need.
John Brown, ARI WR and Kenny Britt, STL WR
Let’s start with the defenses these two will be facing. John Brown will be going up against the St. Louis defense, which has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to the WR position this year at 25.1 ppg. Kenny Britt will be facing Arizona’s defense, which has allowed the fifth-most points at 27.1 ppg. If these two are going to have big games, the opposing defenses are unlikely to do much to stop them.
What’s nice about these two is their availability. Brown is owned in just 8.1% of ESPN leagues, while Britt is owned in 9.9%. Chances are, they are waiting in the free agency pool for a savvy owner to grab them.
Kenny Britt, you’re up. With Brian Quick’s injury, Britt has been thrust into the WR1 role for St. Louis. Britt does have a reputation of giving up on plays and being generally difficult to own in the fantasy world, but if you’re looking for upside, you’ll find it this week.
The first-year Ram has averaged over five targets per game since Week 3, a respectable volume for a receiver on a team ranked 24th in pass attempts this season. He has only caught two touchdowns and has yet to crack 10 points in any game this season, but if he’s going to do it this year, it’s going to be against the Cardinals. The match-up is good, the volume (a.k.a. opportunity) is there and unlike some days of old in Tennessee, Britt looks like he’s giving it his all in St. Louis.
The Cardinals managed to shut down two good receivers in Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams last week, but don’t be fooled. As well as the Cardinals played, Brandon Weeden’s ineffectiveness had much more to do with Dallas’ wide receiver frustration. Even against a fantastic pass defense — which Arizona still is not — a decent quarterback should be able to complete a pass to one of the league’s best receivers before garbage time begins. Austin Davis might be a third-stringer, but he’s leaps and bounds beyond Weeden right now.
Next up, Brown. One of this year’s preseason darlings, Brown has snatched many of the deep targets that Michael Floyd owners were hoping to get at the beginning of the year. Brown’s primary advantage is his quickness, which has been showcased in every game he’s played this season and should be on display again this week against the Rams.[ad id=”Ad1″]
Brown hasn’t been the most reliable fantasy play, but consider his schedule so far. This week will be the Cardinals’ first crack all season at an opponent ranked in the bottom 10 for fantasy WR defenses. He’s done damage against better opponents, so why not start him against the worst he’s seen yet?
In his last 5 games, Brown has been targeted 7, 6, 5, 10, and 5 times. Again, we have a player about to hit a junction of opportunity, talent and match-up nirvana. While his catch-to-target ratio has been fairly low, remember that many of Brown’s targets are coming on deep go routes. Just one of those catches can make for a great fantasy outing.
Are Brown and Britt players you in your lineup every week? Probably not, unless you’re desperate at WR. However, with Houston, Indianapolis, Minnesota, New England, San Diego and Washington all on bye this week, several teams are scrounging for answers. These two might be boom or bust, but this week all signs point to boom. Drop that player who’s never going to see your starting lineup, grab one of these guys and see if you can catch some bye week lightning in a bottle.