If you think the NFL season is getting down to the nitty-gritty, it is nothing compared to the fantasy football campaigns across the country. In most leagues, the playoffs are just around the corner, and if your squad is still alive for a playoff spot, it's time to get things in order for the second season.
Identifying the players poised to explode is obviously a good thing. It is especially helpful when the players aren't of the automatic-start variety. Here's a look at three not-so obvious choices for Week 13.
These players are in a great position to explode for a huge day. Following the analysis is a list of the 10 players with great matchups this week.
With McGloin seemingly entrenched as the Oakland Raiders starting quarterback for the remainder of the season—barring injury or massive falloff—fantasy owners with QB problems have to at least give him a look.
McGloin hasn't been spectacular in any game this season; more or less, he's been a mildly efficient game manager. In three games, he's thrown for 544 yards, four touchdowns and just one interception. With these types of statistics, why would McGloin be an attractive option in Week 13?
Because he's about to face the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys have been an easy mark for opposing offenses all season. Ranking 31st against the pass, the Cowboys represent an excellent opponent for McGloin to have a breakout game against. Dallas has allowed three 400-yard passing games, two more that exceeded 350 yards and only four opponents haven't at least thrown for 200 yards.
McGloin may not join the Cowboys' 400 Club, but the numbers would seem to suggest he'd at least be primed to have the biggest game of his young career.
There's something about Green Bay for Flynn. To take things a bit further, there may actually be something about facing the Detroit Lions as a member of the Packers for the 28-year-old QB.
Flynn was signed by the Packers on Nov. 13 and almost immediately made an impact. He relieved an ineffective Scott Tolzien on Sunday and led the team to a 26-26 tie against the Minnesota Vikings. Flynn completed 21-of-36 attempts for 218 yards and a touchdown.
It was a far cry from the 480-yard, six-touchdown performance he produced on New Years Day in 2012 for the Pack against Detroit, but it was at least encouraging for the team and prospective fantasy owners.
Flynn has weapons in Green Bay who can make his life a little easier and his stats a bit more gaudy. Assuming he starts, as Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel suggests, Flynn will have an excellent opportunity to light the Lions up again.
Detroit's pass defense has allowed an average of 283 yards in its last four games. In those games, opposing quarterbacks have thrown 11 touchdown passes and just one interception. Aaron Rodgers is coming back, but I like Flynn as a short-term option for any fantasy team with a need at quarterback.
There was a time where this would have been an automatic start, but that hasn't been the case this season. Through the first six games, head coach Tom Coughlin had to be on the verge of sending his quarterback to see an optometrist.
Manning had thrown 15 interceptions in just six games. I haven't seen so many picks since the Madden video game used the vision cone. As usual, Manning has found himself, and he is now playing much closer to what fans and his team expect.
Since Oct. 10, Manning has thrown just two picks compared to five touchdown passes. In Week 13 the Giants are set to face the Washington Redskins. Though Manning hasn't always done well against the Redskins in his career (227.5 yards per game, 14 touchdowns and 15 interceptions) he did perform solidly against them in 2012.
Of the three New York Giants' NFC East foes in 2012, Manning had his best fantasy-related production against Mike Shanahan's team. He averaged 308.5 yards per game against Washington and threw for two scores and two picks.
This season there is reason to believe Manning could continue to find success against the Skins. Washington's pass defense isn't exactly its best trait in 2013. It ranks just 26th in the NFL against the pass.
Manning hasn't had a 300-yard passing game since Week 5, and he has yet to have a really stellar game overall. This feels like a logical spot for him to score big for fantasy owners who put him in the starting lineup.
Here's a look at the top 10 players with great matchups in Week 13.
|1||Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings||Chicago Bears||Bears' run defense is ranked 32nd in NFL.|
|2||Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals||Philadelphia Eagles||Palmer has been hot and Eagles are dead last against the pass.|
|3||Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals||Philadelphia Eagles||Floyd has become a favorite of Palmer's. He has 297 yards receiving in last two games.|
|4||Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans||Indianapolis Colts||Indy is 27th against the run and CJ2K ran for 86 yards and two scores in their first meeting.|
|5||Matt Flynn, Green Bay Packers||Detroit Lions||See analysis above|
|6||Eli Manning, N.Y, Giants||Washington Redskins||See analysis above|
|7||Rashad Jennings, Oakland Raiders||Dallas Cowboys||The Cowboys don't just struggle to stop the pass, the team is also 30th against the run.|
|8||Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions||Green Bay Packers||Because he's Megatron and it doesn't matter who he plays.|
|9||Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals||San Diego Chargers||Dalton is in the middle of a rough patch (eight picks in his last three games), but the Chargers' pass defense is 27th in the NFL.|
|10||Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos||Kansas City Chiefs||Yes, the Chiefs are normally sharp on defense, but Peyton may have cracked the code in Week 11. He went for 323 then, he should be good for another solid game.|
All stats per pro-football reference.