Now that the holiday season is upon us, history plays a huge part in how we celebrate. What we listen to, what and where we dine, how we decorate, and who we choose to spend time with is all shaped by history. Similarly, history may very well shape who you decide to run with or leave off your holiday card list this weekend in the realm of fantasy!
The last few times Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rogers faced the New York Giants, safe to say things went pretty well. In 2010, Rodgers completed 25 passes for 404 yards and four touchdowns. In 2011 he almost matched that with 28 more completions for 369 passing yards and another four touchdowns. Another high profile quarterback with solid numbers would be New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees. In 2008 Brees completed 23 of 35 pass attempts for 363 yards and three touchdowns against the . He followed that up in 2010 with another 254 yards passing and two more touchdowns.
Hot and cold performances can drive you crazy. No where is that more apparent than with Buffalo Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. In 2008 he completed 18 passes for 170 yards and no touchdowns. However in 2009 he managed to throw for less yards with 155, but was able to toss three touchdown passes. This weekend’s game with the Indianapolis Colts should be a quality performance from both signal callers.
Two players who will be looking to reverse history will be Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning and Minnesota Vikings QB Christian Ponder, the latter probably looking at the more difficult challenge. In 2010 as a member of the Indianapolis Colts, Manning threw for 355 yards but could not find anyone in the end zone against the Kansas City Chiefs. On a side note, how can you run a team up and down the field over three times and not toss a touchdown pass?? The Vikings played the Chicago Bears twice last season, and Ponder was in a word, terrible. He has only thrown for a combined total of 127 game in BOTH matchups and has yet to record a touchdown pass. Considering the way the Bears were tossed around last Monday night against San Francisco, I’d have to think Ponder will have his work cut out for him.
Moving along, San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews brings in a solid past performance this week against the Baltimore Ravens. Last season, Mathews carried the ball 26 times for 90 yards and scored two touchdowns. Atlanta Falcons RB Michael Turner has quite a stellar history versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In seven games, Turner has averaged almost 90 rushing yards and has scored a total of six touchdowns. Before I hit the bottom end of the spectrum, we’ll take look at Cincinnati Bengals RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The last time Law Firm played the Oakland Raiders was last season as a member of the New England Patriots. He carried the ball 16 times for a total of 75 yards and a touchdown. With the success of the Bengals passing game, expect for things to open up for Green-Ellis this weekend.
A few players that fantasy owners will be relying on this weekend will be Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice and Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch. Both players have fairly tepid histories against their weekly opponent. In two career games against the San Diego Chargers, Rice has some decent yards from scrimmage, but the lack of touchdown production really hurts. Going from bad to worse, in his last five games against the Miami Dolphins, Lynch has only one touchdown to his credit. Both of these guys have to get into the end zone.
The New York Giants will need WR Hakeem Nicks to continue his solid play against the Green Bay Packers for this weekend to be a Giant success, literally. The last two times Nicks faced the Packers, he has registered three touchdowns and has averaged over 90 yards receiving. In those same match ups, Packers WR Jordy Nelson has enjoyed similar success, with a touchdown and averaging almost 110 receiving yards. Like I mentioned above with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, hot and cold performances can be maddening. With Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Williams, who came out like gangbusters in 2010 only to disappoint in 2011, his history with the Atlanta Falcons is proof-positive. As a rookie in 2010, Williams averages almost 80 yards receiving and scores two touchdowns against Atlanta. However in 2011 he averaged only 37 yards and did not score a touchdown. He seems to be on an upswing in 2012, so look for Williams to turn things back to 2010 this weekend.
Closing out the receivers, will look at a great performance and one that was not so great. Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne would surprisingly fall into the latter category. The last time he lined up against the Buffalo Bills, he managed to reel in only five passes for 21 yards and did not score a touchdown. Conversely, New Orleans Saints WR Lance Moore torched the San Francisco 29ers in 2008, hauling in seven receptions for 101 yards and scoring two touchdowns.
A guy that seems like he is slowing coming back to prominence and meeting expectations would be Green Bay Packers TE Jermichael Finley. Hopefully he is able to duplicate his previous performance against the New York Giants. Last season he was able to grab six passes for 87 yards and a touchdown. Also, it’s key to note that he was targeted a total of eleven times in the contest. The Phialdelphia Eagles are having their issues this season, but it is also important to mention that they historically have trouble with athletic and physical tight ends. This week they face Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen on Monday Night. In his last three games against the Eagles, he has found the end zone twice. I have a strange suspicion that history repeats itself here.
I’ll close out this week’s historical journey with another hot and cold performance and one that is completely forgettable. In 2011’s first meeting against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans TE Jared Cook caught one pass for seven yards and it wasn’t for a seven yards score. However in the second meeting that season, Cook was fantastic with eight receptions for 169 yards and two scores. It bears mentioning that in the three previous matchups he was a complete non-factor. So goes the fantasy tight end! Speaking of non-factor, let’s stay with the match up and look at Jacksonville Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis. In his past eight games against the Titans, Lewis has only one touchdown catch, and only gained over 40 yards receiving once.
That’ll do it for this week, enjoy the games and good luck!
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