Matchups That Matter – Week 9

When it comes to fantasy football, the weekly matchups are something like a book’s cover. They’ll provide you with a pretty solid picture of how the game is going to play out, but there will surely be a few unexpected twists and turns along the way that the statistics just can’t capture.

I guess that’s why they play the games, and also why they say, “You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover”.

Thing is, the cover tells you everything you need to know sometimes. And like a cover, some matchups are obvious and tell you everything you need to know at a glance, while others are a bit more ambiguous. Let’s take a look at some of the latter, because, well, frankly, breaking down the numbers on Deshaun Watson vs. the Colts is a complete waste of time.

Quarterback

Yes, please

Tyrod Taylor at Jets

As a whole, the Jets passing defense hasn’t been too bad. The other New York Football team is allowing just 241.5 passing yards per game (right about the league average), and has come away with nine interceptions (T-5th). Problem is, they’ve also allowed at least two passing TDs in each of their last four games while allowing the 5th most rushing yards per game to opposing QBs on the season.

Taylor ranks 5th among QBs in rushing yards, and just got a new toy to play with in the red zone – Kelvin Benjamin.

Matt Moore/Jay Cutler vs. Raiders

There are countless things I don’t know, including who will be starting at QB for the Dolphins on Sunday. But, one thing I do know is that the Raiders have a total of zero interceptions on the season, and QBs have a 108.2 QB rate against them; which is the highest rate against any team.

Neither guy gets the nod in your season long leagues, but whoever gets the start could be a sneaky DFS play.

*Honorable Mention: Jacoby Brissett at Texans, Josh McCown vs. Bills

No, thanks

Derek Carr at Dolphins

The Dolphins just lost by 40.

I had to leave that there for a second. Alright, now that that’s out of the way, they lost by 40 but 20 of those points were… let’s say unfortunate; pick-six, fumble recovery TD, pick-six.

Don’t let the blowout deceive you.

Flacco/Mallett were held to just 121 yards passing, and no QB has thrown for more than 250 against the Dolphins over their last four. Add that to the fact that Carr hasn’t been very good, and yeah, it’s a no for me.

Odds are he’ll throw multiple TD passes, and with six teams on bye again this week, you probably don’t have a better option. But if you do, you’d much rather see Carr ball out on your bench than put up a dud in your lineup.

Team Defense vs. QB
TEAMPASS YDS/GRANKPASS TD/GRANKRUSH YDS/GRANKFANTASY PTS/GMRANK
NE309.25322.002719.632521.632
SF263.63241.752415.132220.331
ARI259.29232.002712.571619.329
HOU251.43222.002721.142919.329
IND302.38311.501713.001819.127
NYG269.14262.002714.712119.127
TB280.86301.712119.712718.926
CLE241.88182.00277.75818.725
KC273.13271.752419.632518.124
PHI275.50281.632022.503017.523
NYJ241.50172.133220.002817.222
TEN240.00161.862614.002017.021
DAL250.00211.712111.571216.920
WAS233.14131.431523.003116.518
OAK245.38201.38146.63516.518
ATL238.43151.57186.14415.617
AVG241.671.4713.0315.6
MIA223.86101.57182.43215.516
NO243.43191.291018.292415.315
DEN200.7141.712110.001014.514
GB237.29141.291013.861914.313
SEA230.86121.291024.293213.911
CIN195.0021.291015.142313.911
LAC222.7581.2587.13713.69
DET268.43251.43150.00113.69
LAR223.5791.14711.711513.38
CHI225.63111.00411.131112.97
CAR201.6351.25811.631412.55
MIN217.3871.0045.25312.55
BUF277.29290.8637.00612.44
PIT203.6360.7527.75810.93
BAL195.7531.00412.88179.42
JAX186.1410.57111.57127.71
Running Back

Yes, please

Alfred Morris vs. Chiefs

I only speak one language, and unfortunately, that language isn’t legal jargon. However, from the sounds of it, Ezekiel Elliott won’t be on the field for the Cowboys Sunday.

Now this doesn’t mean Morris will automatically assume the lead back duties (the Cowboys also have Rod Smith, and Darren McFadden). But, Morris is the only back – not named Elliott – to receive consistent carries this season.

Hopefully, we’ll gain more clarity as the week progresses, but whoever sees the bulk of the carries Sunday will do so against a Chiefs team which has allowed 107.6 rushing yards per game to opposing backs (7th most), 4.5 yards per carry (6th highest), and a rushing TD in three straight.

Aaron Jones vs. Lions

Detroit has allowed five rushing TDs over their last five games, and in the four games which Jones has graced us with his presence, he’s put up three. The yardage totals might not be there – the Lions have been solid overall against the run – but Jones has some pretty damn good odds at finding the end zone on Sunday.

Javorius Allen at Titans

We’ll get into why I don’t feel the Ravens will have much success running the football in just a minute, but Allen still has value this week.

Specifically, in PPR leagues.

Allen has seen 42 targets in the passing game on the season; more than all but five RBs. Seeing how the Titans are allowing five receptions and 56.1 receiving yards per game to opposing backs, you have to like Buck’s odds at finding success through the air in this one.

No, thanks

Alex Collins at Titans

Collins almost matched his entire yardage output from a season ago on Thursday night. Yes, he just had a career day. And yes, the overall numbers/fantasy points allowed might suggest that the Titans are just an average run defense. However, Tennessee has allowed just 3.4 yards per carry to opposing backs (5th lowest), and through seven games, a mere two backs have found the end zone on the ground.

There’s also the possibility that Ryan Mallett starts at QB.

DeMarco Murray vs. Ravens

Murray has rushed for more than 60 yards just once this season, and has a total of two rushing TDs while permanently residing on the injury report and having Henry on his heels. Sure, Baltimore has allowed 119 rushing yards per game (3rd highest), over four yards per carry, and 19.7 fantasy points per game (5th most); so you might think the matchup is primed for a bounce back.

It’s not.

The return of Brandon Williams has had an immeasurable impact on this front-seven, and they just held Miami to a total of 45 yards on 19 carries. As a matter of fact, Ajayi’s 1st carry Thursday night went for 21 yards. After that, the Dolphins put up just 24 yards on 18 carries.

Team Defense vs. RB
TEAMRUSH YDS/GRANKYDS/CARRANKRUSH TD/GRANKREC YDS/GRANKFANTASY PTS/GRANK
SF113.25294.08160.752668.753225.4532
LAR106.00254.58281.003145.861922.9031
IND97.63204.09171.003157.753022.5430
GB111.29274.10180.712436.86921.3929
BAL119.00304.18210.632237.131019.7228
OAK112.63284.25230.38848.252219.5927
NE97.00195.11310.501658.253119.5326
NYJ101.00233.96150.501650.132419.3625
JAX121.14325.27320.571831.43519.2624
LAC119.88314.70300.38851.882619.1823
ATL94.43174.18210.29451.002518.8322
TB88.14123.69110.862744.571818.7021
NO98.14214.43260.431355.572818.5120
DET88.71133.81130.862749.292318.3719
CHI91.88163.85140.882938.251118.2618
WAS78.1483.75120.712438.711317.9717
DAL85.00104.38250.431353.862717.8916
AVG91.98-4.01-0.53-43.58-17.74-
NYG101.86244.12200.29443.861617.7115
KC107.63264.53270.882924.38117.4514
PIT99.25224.67290.632239.631417.3913
TEN81.4393.4350.29456.142916.9012
ARI85.57113.5470.571836.57716.7911
MIA91.43154.10180.431341.711516.1710
CLE74.2572.9110.38846.882015.868
CIN96.14183.66100.29436.71815.868
SEA89.71144.33240.571827.71215.747
BUF71.1443.5880.571844.001715.236
PHI43.5013.0530.38848.132114.415
HOU72.8663.3640.14228.57413.574
CAR66.6333.6390.38838.251112.993
MIN72.2553.5060.25332.38612.462
DEN62.4322.9320.00127.71210.731
Wide Receiver

Yes, please

Sammy Watkins at Giants

Who?!

Outside of Week 3, every day has been Halloween for Watkins (Get it? He’s been a ghost). Another thing that’s been clear is the Rams focus on getting him involved in the offense. Well, they’re coming off their bye, and are facing a Giants defense which will be without Janoris Jenkins and has allowed 152.7 yards per game to opposing WRs. Seems like a good look to me.

No, thanks

Demaryius Thomas at Eagles

True, the Eagles have allowed the 7th most yards per game to opposing WRs (166.3) to go with more than 20 fantasy points per game to the position. Also true, the Eagles have shut down the opposition’s passing attack in four straight, and Brock Osweiler will be starting at QB for Denver.

A.J. Green at Jaguars

This Jags secondary has allowed just one receiver to put up more than 75 receiving yards on them, and their front-seven is likely to get acquainted with Andy Dalton rather quickly.

Neither of which is a good sign for Mr. Green who’s been held under 45 yards in back-to-back contests.

Team Defense vs. WR
TEAMREC YDS/GRANKYDS/RECRANKREC TD/GRANKFANTASY PTS/GRANK
NE196.383214.41291.132526.8332
ARI174.572914.05281.433126.6331
TB194.003113.18181.142826.3630
KC166.632714.98301.633226.2329
IND190.133016.01320.751123.8828
HOU162.862515.20311.002023.3727
DAL147.431810.7521.292923.1126
NYJ136.751312.43121.132521.8925
DET158.862412.78151.002021.8924
GB166.712813.26220.861521.8723
SF152.502113.41251.002021.3522
TEN130.711211.1641.292921.1921
SEA148.291913.31230.861520.9120
PHI166.252612.55140.63820.3119
LAC119.88710.4211.132520.3018
NO150.712013.35240.711019.9017
AVG143.92-12.81-0.86-19.81
CHI139.381512.97170.751119.0816
NYG152.712212.29110.57618.8315
OAK146.881712.91160.751118.7814
CLE125.251013.18181.002018.7313
MIN143.751612.23100.63818.5112
ATL125.00911.0831.002018.3711
BUF158.292311.6680.43318.0010
MIA128.711113.25210.861517.939
CAR121.63811.1850.751117.008
LAR138.861413.69260.43316.037
CIN107.71213.96270.861515.976
WAS117.29613.24200.57615.365
DEN95.43111.5270.861514.494
PIT115.50512.49130.50513.993
BAL112.88411.7390.38213.632
JAX110.71311.2360.14112.891
Tight End

Yes, please

Jason Witten vs. Chiefs

A.J. Derby‘s 11-yard catch – with about two minutes to go – marked the 1st time this season that Kansas City allowed a TE to find the end zone. So, they’re pretty solid at defending the TE position, right?

Not really.

While they’ve allowed just one TD reception, they’re allowing an average of 68.3 yards per game to the position; which is the 5th highest average in the league. Witten currently sits 10th among TEs in yards, and figures to see a few more targets come his way with Zeke out of the lineup.

You can plug him in with confidence.

No, thanks

Martellus Bennett vs. Lions

Detroit has allowed 7.7 fantasy points per game to opposing TEs (18th), and over 60 yards per game to the position (25th).

“Man, they suck! Bennett is about to ball out!”

They’ve also allowed just two TD passes to TEs through seven games, and without Ed Dickson‘s I am Legend performance in Week 5, those aforementioned averages drop to 6.1 fantasy points per game (7th) and 41.2 yards per game (6th).

… “Oh.”

Then, there’s Bennett who hasn’t caught a single TD pass this season, is already talking about retiring, and has Brett Hundley throwing him passes.

“Never mind. I’m cool on Bennett…”

Team Defense vs. TE
TEAMREC YDS/GRANKREC TD/GRANKFANTASY PTS/GRANK
NYG72.57301.143213.8332
DEN77.57310.572511.1931
CLE67.75270.752911.0530
WAS81.14320.431610.7329
NYJ54.63200.75299.9628
HOU60.00240.57259.4327
PHI61.13260.50229.1126
BAL47.38100.75298.9925
NE50.50170.63288.6024
BUF68.43290.2998.5623
MIA51.14180.57258.5422
IND55.00220.50228.4621
OAK50.25160.38148.0520
JAX44.0070.43167.8419
AVG52.74-0.42-7.76-
DET60.29250.2997.7418
KC68.25280.1327.5817
ARI48.14130.43167.3916
SEA54.86210.2997.2015
CAR40.0050.50227.0014
TEN53.14190.2996.7413
MIN44.3890.38146.6912
CIN48.86150.2996.6010
TB39.2940.43166.5010
ATL55.57230.1446.419
CHI48.00120.2566.308
NO37.1430.43166.297
LAR34.0020.43165.976
PIT44.1380.2565.915
DAL48.71140.1445.734
SF42.3860.2565.483
LAC47.88110.1325.292
GB33.7110.0013.091

As always, thanks for reading! Be sure to subscribe, and follow @maxingyourodds on Twitter to stay up to on all of the latest fantasy football insight.

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