suntimes
SHARP 
Weather Updates

Fantasy football: Chiefs’ Jamaal Charles among those with prime playoff matchups

The Chiefs’ Jamaal Charles ran for 100 yards touchdown Monday against Steelers. | Getty Images

The Chiefs’ Jamaal Charles ran for 100 yards and a touchdown Monday against the Steelers. | Getty Images

storyidforme: 40035741
tmspicid: 14790563
fileheaderid: 6743251

Updated: December 15, 2012 6:20AM



Remember when Jamaal Charles was . . . good? I’m not even talking about Charles from 2010, when he totaled 1,935 rushing and receiving yards. I’m talking about Charles from Weeks 3-5 this season, when he totaled 560 rushing and receiving yards.

He has combined for 223 yards since then, though he showed signs of being good again against the Steelers with 100 rushing yards Monday. Owners who were patient enough to hang on to him through his rough spell might be rewarded with a very good Charles come playoff time.

In Weeks 14-16 — the postseason for many fantasy leagues — Charles and the Chiefs visit the Browns and Raiders and host the Colts. All rank 21st or lower in the league in run defense. What’s more, the Raiders have allowed 12 touchdowns to rushers and the Colts nine.

We’re less than a month away from the fantasy playoffs, and trade deadlines are coming up. So here are some other players with favorable postseason matchups to consider:

Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman: Whatever Freeman did during the Bucs’ Week 5 bye, it worked. In the five games since, he has thrown for 13 touchdowns with one interception. In Week 15, he’ll face the Saints, who rank second-to-last against the pass and have allowed 19 touchdown passes. Then it’s the Rams, who have allowed 10 touchdown passes in the last four games.

Titans RB Chris Johnson: After a miserable start to the season, he has averaged 130 rushing yards in the last five games with four touchdowns. He’ll face the Colts in Week 14, then the Jets, who rank 30th in run defense. Johnson might not win you a title against the Packers in Week 16, but he might get you to the title game.

Texans WR Andre Johnson: He has only two touchdowns, but if Arian Foster will allow it, Johnson might find the end zone in Week 14 against the Patriots and Week 15 against the Colts. Both have allowed 13 touchdown catches to wide receivers, tied for third-most. In Week 16, he gets the Vikings, who have allowed seven such touchdowns in the last four games.

Then there are players with matchups that should concern owners:

Giants QB Eli Manning: After a tasty matchup against the Saints in Week 14, he’ll face the Falcons and Ravens on the road. Both teams rank in the bottom half of the league in yards allowed, but the Ravens have given up a league-low eight touchdown passes and the Falcons 11. Manning already is in the doghouse with owners after three consecutive games with single-digit scoring.

Chargers QB Philip Rivers: Don’t get too excited about his 337-yard, three-touchdown effort against the Buccaneers, who rank last in pass defense. He gets the Steelers’ top-ranked pass defense in Week 14 and the Jets’ sixth-ranked unit in Week 16, both on the road. In between is a Panthers defense that has allowed multiple touchdown passes in a game once.

WEEK 11 OUTLOOK

Bye weeks: Vikings, Giants, Seahawks, Titans.

GAME OF THE WEEK

Packers at Lions: Matthew Stafford finally is piling touchdowns with the yards. The Packers figure to look to the air, too.

GAME OF THE MEEK

Bears at 49ers: The 49ers rank first in scoring defense, the Bears second. Both might start backup quarterbacks.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Raiders QB Carson Palmer: He has moved into the top 10 in quarterback scoring. He gets the Saints’ second-worst pass defense next.

Rams RB Steven Jackson: Coming off his first 100-yard game, he faces a Jets defense that ranks 30th against the run.

Panthers WR Steve Smith: Expect a bounce-back game against the Buccaneers, who have allowed the most yards to wide receivers.

PLAYERS OF THE MEEK

Ravens QB Joe Flacco: Don’t expect another big game against the Steelers, who have the top-ranked pass defense in the league.

Broncos RB Willis McGahee: He figures to struggle against the Chargers, who rank second in run defense.

49ers WR Michael Crabtree: The Bears’ defense and Colin Kaepernick would make for a bad combination.

LAST WEEK’S PICKS

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: 337 yards, 2 TDs, INT

RB Michael Turner: 15 yards

WR Brian Hartline: 8 catches, 79 yards

PLAYERS OF THE MEEK

QB Matt Schaub: 95 yards, TD, 2 INTs

RB Jamaal Charles: 100 yards, TD

WR Cecil Shorts: 6 catches, 105 yards, TD



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.