The fantasy trading deadline looms, but before you take the leap, you might want to consider some of the upcoming matchups. Of course, if somebody offers you Kurt Warner straight up for Shaun Alexander, you might want to take that deal without any questions asked.
But unless the dudes in your fantasy league have quit like a bunch of Cleveland Browns, take your time to do a little research. Or better yet, here is a quick guide to some of the teams that have the best and worst matchups down the stretch. (In no particular order)
- Kansas City Chiefs — Who figured that the Chiefs — outside of staples Larry Johnson and Tony Gonazlez — would be fantasy players down the stretch? But there are some great matchups for quarterback Tyler Thigpen and receiver Mark Bradley. Yes, take a moment and think about that for a bit. If — to borrow a phrase from Nick Bakay — you feel manly, these guys could be huge for you down the stretch.
- Chicago Bears — If you predicted at the beginning of the season that Kyle Orton and Thigpen would be fantasy super stars, you should be enshrined in the Fantasy Football Hall of Fame (which, incidentally is located at Michael Fabiano‘s beach estate).
- Indianapolis Colts — Joseph Addai has no doubt disappointed the guy who drafted him. Now is your chance to make a move. The Colts might not win the AFC South, but their offensive studs could help you cash in on a fantasy title. Whew. Talking about Colts studs, instead of Chiefs and Bears studs, just feels right.
- Miami Dolphins — The Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams platoon is crazy, but they do have at least four favorable matchups down the stretch. The Dolphins play the 49ers and Chiefs during the playoff stretch (Weeks 15-16).
- Carolina Panthers — Four great matchups down the stretch — Detroit, Atlanta, Green Bay and Denver. But the one downer is a Week 16 game against the Giants. Bad news if you are counting on Jake Delhomme. If you do start Delhomme, keep an eye on guys with great Week 16 games — Chad Pennington (KC), Jeff Garcia (SD) and Shaun Hill (STL).
- New York Giants — The Giants play only Top 12 defenses down the stretch. The lone exception is a Week 12 game at Arizona — where the Cardinals play very well at home.
- Baltimore Ravens — The Ravens will play all four NFC East teams down the stretch, which will really test rookie quarterback Joe Flacco. A Week 13 game against Cincinnati is this schedule’s Lesotho. (Look it up.)
- Dallas Cowboys — The Cowboys do have games against Seattle and San Francisco, which is good, but have looming matchups with Washington and Pittsburgh. The Cowboys play the Giants and Ravens during fantasy playoff time (Weeks 15-16), which means your fantasy playoffs could end much like the real Cowboys playoffs in recent years. (Too soon?)
- Detroit Lions — The one saving grace on their upcoming schedule is a game against New Orleans in Week 16. Calvin Johnson is a weekly must-start, but that’s perfect timing for the championship game.
- Washington Redskins — Not a great schedule, and a daunting game against Baltimore in Week 16 should worry Clinton Portis owners with title aspirations.
Don’t dump all of your Giants or Cowboys, and don’t let some bad matchups scare you away from making an upgrade to your roster. Just have this information in mind when you are looking to make a potential deal.