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.
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.
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.
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
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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.
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.
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
|TEAM||RUSH YDS/G||RANK||YDS/CAR||RANK||RUSH TD/G||RANK||REC YDS/G||RANK||FANTASY PTS/G||RANK|
Sammy Watkins at Giants
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.
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
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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?
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.
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).
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
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