Last week the Steelers were a trendy top defense to draft in playoff fantasy leagues for the Wild Card Round, as it appeared teams had caught up to Tim Tebow’s tendencies and surely Pittsburgh would capitalize with a solid performance. Well, Tebow Time struck again with another surprising victory, as the Steelers did a poor job of setting the edge on the left side of the field, which allowed Tebow to make key first downs.
A respectable corner most of the year, Steelers top man Ike Taylor was abused by Demaryius Thomas throughout as the Steelers were selling out to stuff the run and consistently leaving him in single coverage. The Broncos' win over the Steelers just goes to show you that no matter how cold a team is, they’re still in the playoffs, and with home-field advantage, Denver hurt many fantasy owners who had Steeler players, targeting that weak Patriots pass defense this week.
Speaking of the Patriots, while I figure their odds of advancing to championship weekend are high, it’s hard to rank their defense beyond seventh overall, because even if you play with NFL.com rules (double or more points when advancing to the next round), just how many points can this group give you?
In the other AFC divisional round game, the Ravens will face a Texans team hot off their first victory in the playoffs in franchise history. Nice story, but it ends this week, as Baltimore finally has their nemesis (Steelers) out of the playoff picture and should be the top team to target a defense from in this conference.
In the NFC, the Packers haven’t played as well on defense this year when compared to previous seasons, but they are the favorite to win the Super Bowl, and that means three games from this squad. Look to Green Bay as the second defense to target for your lineup.
Will David Akers Redeem Himself?
The 49ers have benefited from David Akers' leg all year as their struggles in the red zone have allowed Akers to set NFL records for field-goal attempts and conversions in a single season. Clearly a Pro Bowler, Akers will have his eye on the playoffs, as his last performance with the Eagles a year ago cost the team a chance to advance as he missed two field goals.
While I expect Akers to redeem himself with a top-notch performance, consider his odds of advancing to championship weekend a 50/50 coin flip as San Francisco will face a red hot Saints team. At worst, Akers should have at least three field-goal attempts as this should be a close game heading into the fourth quarter.
|4||Jon Kasay||@ 49ers|
|6||Neil Rackers||@ Ravens|
|7||Lawrence Tynes||@ Packers|
|8||Matt Prater||@ Patriots|