Yesterday, like most of you, I was enjoying the game until…until…until Jake Locker left the Titans vs  Jaguars game with an injury.  UGH.  I had invested a lot of my matchup plays into this game and all the calculus changed when Locker left.  No Titans defensive domination with the Jags playing from behind. Grabbed Jake Locker to replace Tom Brady on his BYE week.  Everything was going well with all my teams…

Until…there was a Hurt Locker.


So, ugh, oh well, back to watching the games when the highlights come up and wow, a punt block, a kickoff- fumble and a punt return for a TD.  Special teams or Special Forces plays if you will.  Then, watching more and there’s an interception,…another INT,…a third.  All spectacular plays to “disarm bombs”.  Well, it was then that I knew that that the movie that would appear in this column this week would be The Hurt Locker from 2008.  Jeremy Renner stars as Sergeant First Class William James who is assigned to disarm bombs in Iraq.  He creates conflict, but this is what he is born for.  When asked how many bombs he has disarmed, he says: “Uh, I’m not quite sure.” And after being pressed, he says:

“Eight-hundred seventy-three, sir.” 

Being on Special Teams is important.  Disarming bombs is important.  Your defense and special teams on your football team is important.  You should look closely to try to get defenses that have the best matchups for your fantasy teams.  We need to look at this in two ways:

  1. Must win in week 11 to stay in the playoff hunt
  2. Likely to make the playoffs, need to look at those matchups

Of course if you have one of the top defenses, you need to keep sending them up.  I would say Kansas City, Seattle, Carolina and San Francisco are all playing real well and should give you a good chance to win.  This week with Detroit and New Orleans playing Chicago and Dallas, you may find those two defenses out there and you need to grab one. 

Whatever the situation that you are in, it is time to review the chart below.  The way to use this chart is to look at the teams in green.  Those represent teams that for the season are in the Top 12 of defensive /special teams and are facing the top 10 teams in points allowed to DTs.  

Week 11

Arizona Cardinals at Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jaguars finally showed up on offense this week, but partially because the Tennessee offense was discombobulated.   The Cardinals have averaged more than 10 points in each of the last four games despite playing versus some division powerhouses in SF and SEA.

Chicago Bears DT vs Baltimore Ravens – At the beginning of the season, many fantasy pundits including yours truly thought that the Bears would be the best DT in fantasy football.  Well, injuries happen and the middle of their defense was gutted so they fell to Top 5.  Even that is deceiving as they scored 25 points at Pittsburgh in week 3.  This is a great matchup for the Maulers of the Midway who will do enough to get you double digits.

Buffalo Bills DT vs New York Jets – The Jets DT gives up a lot of points to opposing DT/ST.  Funny thing is even more on the road.  Except for Atlanta whose DT is awful, the Jets gave up 21, 19 and 13 points in their away games.    Buffalo has not scored a ton of points, but has three 14 point performances and I think this one is set up for good points.

Week 14

St Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals – Especially for leagues that give bonus points for points allowed and yards allowed, this should be a good effort for the Rams.  In my opinion, it is a good one for the Cardinals too if you own them.  Low scoring game with points off turnovers and special teams.

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets – The Jets have been hot and cold, but only hot at home.  This one looks less tasty as the Jets do fine delivering the running game with a dash of play action passing at home.

Week 15

Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars – Like is reported above, they have not been stellar, but tough enough and the Jags should make for easy pickings especially with the Floridians looking at which draft pick they can get more than working on getting in the end zone.

Tennessee Titans at Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals have scored only 187 points this year.  They play good defense and are doing a good job of staying in the race.  The Titans will be in the race also and this game will be hard fought, but a good Titans game for the defense.

 Week 16

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars The Titans average about 9 points per week scoring and the Jaguars give up 13.3 per game.  If you could count on the mid-point of that, you would take it EVERY week from your defense.  Count on it in the playoffs.

Buffalo Bill vs Miami Dolphins – Bills only average 8 points a game as a defense, but that is 11th in the league in the scoring system that I chose which does have negative points for teams that allow a lot of points against them.  Miami averages 13.3 points per game given up to opposing DTs. This is also a good match up for the Miami DT also who averages 8.75 with Buffalo giving up 11.4.


So now, that was easy. We learned that for next week, we should look at Arizona, Chicago and Buffalo.  In the playoffs, we should look at St. Louis, Miami, Arizona, Buffalo and Tennessee.   Ok.  This is strictly by the numbers, but you need to watch for trends.  If you are not watching what defenses or players for that matter are HOT, then you could miss out on a gem.  For instance, the Rams performance cannot be overlooked and maybe an early grab of them while they are hot, will also give you the matchup that you covet in week 14.  Like William James says to his son who is playing with a stuffed animal: “You love playing with that. You love playing with all your stuffed animals. You love your Mommy, your Daddy. You love your pajamas. You love everything, don't ya? Yea. But you know what, buddy? As you get older... some of the things you love might not seem so special anymore. Like your Jack-in-a-Box. Maybe you'll realize it's just a piece of tin and a stuffed animal. And the older you get, the fewer things you really love. And by the time you get to my age, maybe it's only one or two things. With me, I think it's one.”



Rick Wolf, Co-Host of Colton & The Wolfman - Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio  The Fantasy 100Rick Wolf is a leader in the fantasy sports industry. Wolf is a founding Board Member and one of only fifteen FSTA Hall of Famers including Bill James and Matthew Berry. Wolf’s career accomplishments include starting the fantasy sports division at SportsLine USA that became CBS SportsLine, incubating Rotoworld to become the #1 fantasy sports news site, and spearheading the sale of Allstar Stats/Rotoworld to NBC Sports in 2006.  With college friend and fellow Hall of Famer, Glenn Colton, the team has won 7 expert titles in baseball and football. Twitter: RickWolf1  


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About Rick Wolf

Rick Wolf is a leader in the fantasy sports industry. Wolf is a founding Board Member and one of only fifteen FSTA Hall of Famers including Bill James, Ron Shandler, Glenn Colton and Matthew Berry. Wolf is the Co-Host of Colton & The Wolfman every week on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio.  With college friend, Glenn Colton, he has won three LABR Expert baseball titles and four FSTA Expert football titles. Twitter: @RickWolf1

Rick Wolf on Twitter

@billyhaze Thanks Billy. My team name is The Wolfman is Hazing You! I don't know anything about College Football so here goes nothing.

@jrschecter Tough. Think Charles Johnson will have 6 catches for 75. That is 13.5 PPR. Stewart guaranteed touches...85 yds - very safe.

.@AdamRonis impression of @nandodifino this morning was awesome. His rant about Jeter was really good.

@jrschecter I play Charles Johnson