Week Seventeen Analysis:
If you're watching this, I don't know how you're still alive in your playoffs after three straight awful games in which Matthew Stafford has thrown a total of one touchdown. Calvin Johnson will likely be rested for this game, after bravely trying to play through crippling knee and ankle injuries. Fortunately, the Vikings are on the schedule, and they've allowed the most passing touchdowns, and it's not close. Over the past month, the average passing game against Minnesota is 349 yards and three touchdowns. So, with or without Megatron, Stafford should be able to find his way to points.
Week Sixteen Analysis:
There can't be many of you still alive with Matthew Stafford as your quarterback. In back to back playoff games, he's thrown zero and one touchdown. And thrown for a meager 148 yards and 235 yards. That's two of the three worst yardage games of his year. He's played poorly, and when Calvin Johnson is dropping your passes, it's always alarming. The Giants secondary is improved enough that you can't automatically assume that Stafford will rebound. Over the Giants last eight games, they've given up just six touchdown passes. Still, Stafford's full season track record at home is overwhelmingly positive, and Stafford remains startable.
Week Fifteen Analysis:
Congratulations if you're still alive in the fantasy playoffs despite Matthew Stafford's blizzardy goose egg. I'm throwing that game out as the conditions were a disaster for the Lions, especially with Reggie Bush injuring himself in pregame warmups. The opportunity for a bounce back is very good. This Lions team is built for the turf, and Stafford is averaging 345 yards and 2.2 touchdowns per home game. Baltimore's secondary has allowed multiple passing touchdowns in four of the last five games. Monday night will make it five out of six.
Week Fourteen Analysis:
Matthew Stafford has thrown for the second-most yards, and he faces the team that has allowed the most passing yards. That's a recipe for, well, a lot of yards. But Stafford isn't just a yardage guy. He's scored multiple touchdowns in 11 of 12 games this year, and has thrown three or four touchdowns in five of his last seven games. There's nothing to suggest that the Eagles leaky secondary suddenly stops Stafford. Despite playing the quarterback carousels in Oakland and Green Bay over the last month, the Raiders have allowed 312 yards per game over that span. Stafford has massive upside this week.
Week Thirteen Analysis:
The division title (and hence, a playoff birth) may be at stake in this game, and I love Matthew Stafford's chances of doing his part to maintain the Lions divisional lead over Green Bay. Stafford has been rocking fantasy owners for a month and a half. Over the last six games, he's averaging 328 yards and 2.8 touchdowns per game. What happened seven games ago, you may be asking? He faced the Packers. They held him to 262 yards and one score, but Stafford was without Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson in that game. The Packers defense is injury riddled at several key positions, and I fully expect Stafford to take advantage.
Week Twelve Analysis:
I didn't love Matthew Stafford's performance last week, but he was facing an elite defense as he battled the rainy conditions in Pittsburgh. Still, at the end of the day, his stat line looked nice: 362 yards and two touchdown passes. It marked his fifth consecutive big week. Let's call it six. Tampa's secondary is awful. They rank 27th in passing touchdowns allowed, and have ceded multiple scores in six straight games.
Week Eleven Analysis:
It's been an epic run for Matthew Stafford over the last month. In the past four weeks, he's had three or four touchdowns in three games. And, he's posted a 357 yard game and a 488 yard game. So, needless to say, he's hot. But, he faces a Steelers pass defense that's the one element of the Steelers that's really working well. Tom Brady's big game a couple weeks ago was a total anomaly. Every other quarterback is averaging 0.75 touchdowns and 184 yards against the Steelers. What's more, they're even better at home, where no opposing quarterback has topped one touchdown in Heinz field, and the Steelers have allowed just 163 passing yards. Stafford is unbenchable, but this is a tough matchup.
Week Ten Analysis:
When Matthew Stafford faced the Bears in week one, he threw the ball well enough to rack up 40 points, but only managed one touchdown pass. Fortunately, he bailed out fantasy owners with a rushing touchdown, something you can't count on. I like his prospects of winning this game with his arm. Before Monday night's game against Seneca Wallace, who was only allowed to throw 19 times, the Bears had given up at least one passing touchdown in every game. Stafford, meanwhile, has thrown eight touchdown passes in the last three games, despite playing the better secondaries in Cleveland and Cincinnati.
Week Eight Analysis:
Since the triumphant return of Megatron, Matthew Stafford has thrown seven touchdowns and averaged 303 yards per game. He's got another chance for a big game against Dallas this weekend. The Cowboys defense hasn't been great this year. Three times this season they have allowed over 400 passing yards AND at least three touchdowns to an opposing QB. But in the other four games, it's been a different story, each QB has been held under 250 yards and they've allowed only three total touchdowns. Stafford just blew away a vastly superior Bengals secondary, so I'm very optimistic here.
Week Seven Analysis:
When the Cincinnati secondary is fully healthy, they're really tough. Leon Hall, Dre Kirkpatrick, Reggie Nelson, and Adam Jones are all quality defenders. But, they've been banged for most of the year. Until now. They should be in their best health since week one. Granted, Thad Lewis managed a couple late touchdowns against them last week, but they held Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, and Aaron Rodgers to a combined two touchdowns. So it sounds gloomy for Matthew Stafford, but he just threw for four touchdowns last week against another very good secondary, Cleveland. So, I'm not counting him out, but I'm keeping my expectations in check.
Week Six Analysis:
Matchups with the Browns don't sound like they'd be dicey, but if you follow Fantasy Victory on a regular basis you know better. The Browns have given up two passing touchdowns all year. That's the best in the league. What's more, they're giving up the fourth fewest passing yards. Granted, they've faced few good quarterbacks, but still, that's remarkable. Complicating matters, Stafford's go-to receiver, Calvin Johnson, is nursing a knee injury, and he's heading into the "Iron Haden". This is, undoubtedly, one of the toughest matchups Matthew Stafford will see all year.
Week Five Analysis:
The Lions put up 40 points against the Bears last week, so it might surprise you that Matthew Stafford was basically a game manager on Sunday. His 242 yards, a passing score and a pick were salvaged by a rushing touchdown, only his second rushing score in his last 13 games. A trip to Green Bay might sound like trouble for Stafford, especially when you consider that the last time the Lions won in Lambeau the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia were still countries. However, in five career games versus the Packers, Stafford has averaged 307 yards and two touchdown passes. This is also the same Packers squad that has allowed multiple touchdown passes in each of their last four regular season games, including three to Christian Ponder in Week 17 last season.
Week Four Analysis:
Last year, Matthew Stafford started the season with six straight games without a multiple touchdown game. This year, he's thrown two touchdowns in each of his first three games. And, he's augmented those scores with a 357 yard game and a 385 yard game. He's getting solid contributions from Nate Burleson and his fantastic pass-catching running backs. Chicago has an amazing secondary, but don't confuse opportunism with impenetrability. The Bears take chances. Those pay off a lot, but they also get beaten. You saw it on Sunday night with Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown. Only Christian Ponder has failed to throw multiple touchdowns on the Bears. And, just four games ago, Matthew Stafford threw for three scores against Chicago.
Week Three Analysis:
The Redskins have the NFL's worst defense. And, while they've been apocalyptically bad against the run, they've been lousy against the pass too. No team has allowed more total quarterback touchdowns than Washington. Michael Vick and Aaron Rodgers have combined for seven touchdowns in two games. And, frankly, Rodgers could have had much more than the 480 yards and four touchdowns he threw if he had been given any reason to throw the ball in the second half. Stafford has been very solid, with 318 yards per game and two touchdowns per game. Both of those numbers will go up this week.
Week Two Analysis:
The Cardinals secondary looked pretty wobbly in the season opener, allowing Sam Bradford to throw for 299 yards, his sixth best yardage game ever. He also completed 71% of his passes, something he only managed twice all of last year. They'll face a much tougher test as Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson come to town. Stafford comes off a very good game against the Vikings, throwing for a whopping 357 yards and two scores, which easily could have been three scores. Arizona has a better secondary than Minnesota, but they're hardly a shutdown unit, and Stafford has a great chance to put up strong numbers again.
Week One Analysis:
I'm very nervous about the Viking secondary, and I'm really optimistic about Matthew Stafford's season. Those converging opinions meet right out of the gate, week one. Stafford has had plenty of success against Minnesota. Over the past two years, his average game against his division rival is 313 yards and two touchdowns. I fully expect him to top those averages in this game because of the flux we've seen in the Vikings secondary. Minnesota will need to adapt to life without Antoine Winfield, and elite slot corner. And, they'll likely be trotting out a first-start rookie, Xavier Rhodes at cornerback. Unlike last year, Stafford has all his weapons healthy, so he's an awesome start.
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Through sheer repetition, Matthew Stafford has found fantasy success the past few years, throwing an insane 1,385 times in two seasons. It seems unlikely he'll keep this pace going, but even with a dropoff in attempts, he can still be very productive for your fantasy team. Last year, he had to deal with the loss of three wide receivers: Ryan Broyles and Nate Burleson to major injury, and Titus Young to major insanity. He'll get those guys back, and that's why I'm optimistic that last year's meager 20 touchdown passes will be closer to the previous year's 40. In addition to the return of Broyles and Burleson, he gets Reggie Bush back. The public's esteem for Stafford is down a bit too much, and I'm finding him to be a good value in most fantasy drafts.
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