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Fantasy Matchups

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Michael F. Florio's Week 9 fantasy football matchups

Every week this article will look at the best and toughest matchups for each position in fantasy football. It also will give you five players whose fantasy value is on the rise.

Best QB Matchups

Drew Lock vs. Falcons: The Falcons are the best matchup for QBs this season. They give up 25.63 fantasy PPG to QBs this season, the most in the NFL. That includes allowing a league-high 20 pass TDs and 324 passing yards. Atlanta has played better against QBs the past two weeks, but last week was in pretty bad weather, so that could have played a factor. I still think Lock is a good streaming option this week. Especially since he leads the league in air yards per pass attempts (9.5) and the Falcons have allowed five TDs of 20+ air yards this season, tied for the second-most in the NFL.

Josh Allen vs. Seahawks: It's been a tale of two seasons for Allen. In Weeks 1-4, Allen averaged 29.84 fantasy PPG, scoring over 25 fantasy points in every game. But in Weeks 5-8, he's averaged 15.06 fantasy PPG, scoring less than 17 in each week. But this is his best chance to get back on track yet. Allen faces the Seahawks who have allowed the second most fantasy PPG to QBs (25.4), including the most passing yards per game (366.4). With the Bills defense not being as shut down as it was in years past, he will have to put up points to keep up with Russell Wilson and that Seahawks offense. Start Allen this week.

Other Favorable QB Matchups: Derek Carr vs. LAC, Deshaun Watson vs. JAX, Tom Brady vs. NO

Best RB Matchups

Dalvin Cook vs. Lions: You never need to be told to start Cook, but we saw what he could do in a great matchup last week, scoring 48.6 fantasy points and four TDs against the Packers. The Packers have allowed the most fantasy points to RBs this season. The Lions, who Cook plays this week, have allowed the second-most to RBs. The rich get richer! Cook is a must-play in seasonal leagues and a great option to pay up for in DFS.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire/Le'Veon Bell vs. Panthers: CEH is coming off his worst game of the season, scoring under 11 fantasy points for the first time all season. But, even with Lev Bell here, this has still been CEH's backfield. Bell has played 33 and 26 percent of the snaps and had six and nine touches, respectively. Edwards-Helaire has a strong chance of bouncing back this week against the Panthers who have allowed the third-most fantasy PPG to RBs this season (30.31). He is an RB2 with upside, while Bell is more a deeper league flex option.

Other Favorable RB Matchups: James Robinson vs. HOU, David Johnson vs. JAX, Chase Edmonds vs. MIA

Best WR Matchups

Stefon Diggs/Cole Beasley/John Brown vs. Seahawks: Just like Allen, this is a great matchup for Bills pass-catchers. Seattle allows by far the most fantasy points per game (57.76) and receiving yards per game (269.3). But it gets even better. They have allowed a Top 12 WR in every single game and Top 10 in all but one. Diggs is an obvious must-start. But Seattle has allowed a second WR to finish as a Top 25 WR in all but two games. Both Brown and Beasley are high upside options this week. But I prefer Beasley as Seattle allows the most fantasy PPG (21.61) and receiving yards per game (118.9) to slot WRs. Beasley runs 86 percent of his routes from the slot. That makes him a borderline WR2 this week.

Allen Robinson/Anthony Miller/Darnell Mooney vs. Titans: The Titans have given up the second-most fantasy PPG to WRs this season (46.77). You should be starting Robinson every week, but the positive matchup just encourages that. Miller and Mooney are both sleepers in this favorable matchup, but I prefer Miller, as he runs 88 percent of his routes from the slot and the Titans have allowed the second-most fantasy PPG to slot receivers (19.23). 

Other Favorable WR Matchups: Lions WRs vs. MIN, Broncos WRs vs. ATL, Steelers WRs vs. DAL

Best TE Matchups

Noah Fant vs. Falcons: The Falcons have allowed the most fantasy PPG to TEs this season at 18.93. That includes a league-high eight touchdowns allowed to the position and the third-most receiving yards per game (66.8). Additionally, Fant's 18 percent target share is seventh among TEs. There is opportunity going his way and he has the top matchup at his position. Start Fant this week.

Rob Gronkowski vs. Saints: Gronk has been playing well as of late. In fact, he is the TE2 in fantasy PPG since Week 2 and has scored in three straight games. He has a good chance to continue that against the Saints who have allowed the third-most touchdowns (6) and fantasy PPG (16.9) to tight ends this season.

Other Favorable TE Matchups: Darren Fells vs. JAX, Greg Olsen vs. BUF, Evan Engram vs. WAS

Fastest Rising Players:

  1. Chase Edmonds: Edmonds has been a productive fantasy piece this season and he does not have more than six carries in a game. Edmonds has scored over 20 fantasy points in two of his last three games and over 15 fantasy points in three of his last four. Kenyan Drake has topped 15 points just once. Edmonds already was a part of this passing game, seeing at least six targets in three of his last four games, but now he will have a chance to be the lead runner as Drake is dealing with an ankle injury. Edmonds could run away with the job, no pun intended, as Drake had been struggling before getting injured. He is an RB2 with RB1 upside with Drake sidelined.
  2. Zack Moss: Moss out snapped Devin Singletary 31 to 28 in Week 8. The two split duties as both finished with 14 carries and one target. But, it was Moss getting the goal-line work. There were four carries inside the five yard line for the Bills. Two went to Moss, two went to Allen with both scoring a TD. Singletary was nowhere to be seen. If these two are going to split the work but Moss gets the duties near pay dirt, as expected, he will be the more valuable fantasy piece. He is a low-end RB2 or flex option moving forward.
  3. J.K. Dobbins: Mark Ingram was out in Week 8 and it was Dobbins that led them in snaps, playing 66 percent. He had 15 carries, two targets and finished with 121 yards. Gus Edwards also had 15 carries and he scored a TD, but Dobbins was the better runner of the two. These two will split time in Ingram's absence, but Dobbins has a real shot to carve out a larger role here.
  4. Corey Davis: Many of us had written off Davis coming into the season, but he has been a consistent fantasy weapon. Davis has scored over 11 fantasy points in every game this season, and over 15 in three of five, including the last two. Last week, he scored a season-high 26.8 fantasy points. But the production is a result of more opportunity. Davis has seen 10 targets in two straight games. That sort of volume would make him a weekly WR2 if he can sustain it.
  5. Christian Kirk: Kirk was on bye last week, but do not overlook what he did in his last two games. He scored two touchdowns and over 20 fantasy points in each. That is now four straight games with double-digit fantasy points. Even better is the targets, as he saw a season-high eight last game. He's seen seven or more targets in two of his last three games. The usage and production are on the rise here. He is rostered in 55 percent of leagues, but that number should be higher.

Toughest QB Matchups

Lamar Jackson vs. Colts: Jackson has not looked like his 2019 form yet. Last season, he would routinely score well over 20 fantasy points. This season, he has scored under that in four of seven games. Plus, the matchup is as tough as they come this week. The Colts have allowed the fewest fantasy PPG to QBs and have allowed just one Top 10 fantasy QB finish this season. Depending on what is available, you may not be able to bench Jackson, but he is far from a must-start this week.

Drew Brees vs. Buccaneers: Brees scored 14.4 fantasy points against the Bucs in Week 1, his lowest of the season. The Bucs have also allowed the second-fewest fantasy PPG to QBs this season and have allowed just one top 10 fantasy QB this season. Plus, the game is on the road where Brees puts up over four less fantasy PPG compared to at home. Stay away this week.

Other Tough QB Matchups: Ryan Tannehill vs. CHI, Teddy Bridgewater vs. KC, Patrick Mahomes vs. CAR

Toughest RB Matchups

Ezekiel Elliott/Tony Pollard vs. Steelers: Those with Zeke need to monitor his health as he is dealing with a hamstring injury. Pollard is a top backup, but it's going to be hard to get big numbers out of either this week. They face a Steelers defense that is giving up the fewest fantasy PPG to RBs (17.99), including just over 100 yards per game to the position, the third-fewest in the NFL. The worst-case scenario this week is a non-100 percent Elliott plays and the duo splits touches.

Jonathan Taylor/Jordan Wilkins/Nyheim Hines vs. Ravens: This backfield has been anything but predictable this season. Last week, it was Hines and Wilkins both topping 20 fantasy points, while a banged-up Taylor flopped. This week, you should just try to avoid this backfield. Not only has the usage been tough to figure out, but it's a tough matchup as the Ravens allow the third-fewest fantasy PPG to RBs (18.97). Get away from this RB group this week.

Other Tough RB Matchups: J.K. Dobbins/Gus Edwards vs. IND, Wayne Gallman/Dion Lewis vs. WAS, Ronald Jones/Leonard Fournette vs. NO

Toughest WR Matchups

Darius Slayton/Sterling Shepard/Golden Tate vs. Football Team: The Giants have had three Top 20 WR fantasy finishes all season. That is combined, too. So, the production just simply hasn't been there for this receiving group and I do not expect that to change this week against a Washington team that is giving up the fewest fantasy PPG to WRs this season (17.99). Washington allows the fewest catches per game (9.7), third-fewest yards per game (132.7) and the second-fewest touchdowns (3) to WRs this season. Stay away from the Big Blue receivers this week.

A.J. Brown/Corey Davis vs. Bears: This is a tough one as Brown is a player you should start weekly and Davis is working his way into that discussion, seeing 10 targets in two straight games. But the Bears are tough as they allow just 28.3 fantasy PPG to WRs this season, the third-fewest in the NFL. Additionally, they have just allowed two touchdowns to receivers this season. I would still recommend starting Brown, but Davis is more a low-end WR3 or flex option this week.

Other Tough WR Matchups: Robby Anderson/DJ Moore vs. KC, Tyreek Hill/Mecole Hardman vs. CAR, Zach Pascal vs. BAL

Toughest TE Matchups

Mark Andrews vs. Colts: Just like the Colts are tough on QBs, they are tough on tight ends too. On the season, they have allowed just 6.74 fantasy PPG to TEs, the fewest in the league. They give up a league-low 31.7 receiving yards per game to tight ends and are the only team in the NFL to not allow a TD to the position. Given the state of tight end, you probably still must start Andrews, but you certainly don't have to like it. Avoid using him in DFS.

Dalton Schultz vs. Steelers: The Steelers are giving up just 8.66 fantasy PPG to TEs this season, the sixth-fewest in the NFL. But this one isn't just about a tough matchup. Schultz hasn't been putting up reliable fantasy numbers as he has scored less than eight fantasy points in three of his last four games. Additionally, we do not even know who will be throwing him the ball this week. Avoid him and much of the Cowboys' offense this week.

Other Tough TE matchups: Dan Arnold vs. MIA, Irv Smith/Kyle Rudolph vs. DET, Logan Thomas vs. NYG

More Matchup Stats to Know:

ATL: Allowed 30+ fantasy pts to QB twice this season (Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott)

ATL: Allowing most fantasy PPG to QBs this season (25.63)

ATL: Allowing 2nd-most pass YPG this season (323.8)

ATL: Allowing 5th-most fantasy PPG to WRs this season (43.28)

ATL: Allowed five rec TD to WRs in last four games

ARI: Allowed Top 10 fantasy WR in three straight games

ARI: Allowing 4th-most fantasy PPG to WRs since Wk 5 (49.47)

ARI: Allowed 53.0 fantasy pts to T. Lockett in Wk 7 (most by any player this season)

BUF: Allowed four Top 10 fantasy TEs in last five games

CAR: Allowed 3rd-most fantasy PPG to RBs this season (30.31)

CAR: Allowed 4th-most total YPG to RBs this season (158.1)

CAR: Allowed Top 5 fantasy RB in five games this season (most in NFL)

CHI: Allowed 5th-fewest fantasy PPG to QBs this season (15.14)

CHI: Allowed fewest pass TD/gm to QB this season (1.0)

DAL: Allowing 10.5 fantasy PPG to D/STs this season (3rd-most in NFL)

DAL: Allowed 15+ fantasy pts to D/STs in 3 straight games

DAL: Allowed Top 5 fantasy D/ST in 4 straight games

DAL: Allowing 2nd-most offensive TD/gm this season (3.6)

DEN: Allowed three total TDs to RBs this season (T-fewest in NFL)

DET: Allowed 2nd-most total TD to RBs this season (12)

HOU: Allowed Top 5 fantasy WR in three of last four games

HOU: Allowing 6th-most fantasy PPG to WRs since Wk 4 (49.1)

HOU: Allowing most offensive TD/gm this season (3.7)

IND: Allowed one Top 10 fantasy QB this season

KC: Have not allowed Top 12 fantasy WR this season

KC: Have not allowed 20+ fantasy pts to any WR this season

KC: Allowing 4th-fewest fantasy PPG to WRs this season (28.81)

JAX: Allowed 4th-most fantasy PPG to QB this season (22.5)

JAX: Allowing 4th-most fantasy PPG to TEs this season (16.61)

MIA: Have not allowed Top 12 fantasy QB in 5 straight games

MIA: Allowing fewest fantasy PPG to QBs since Wk 3 (10.12)

MIA: Allowed eight pass TD this season (T-fewest in NFL w/CHI)

MIA: Have not allowed Top 12 fantasy QB in 5 straight games

MIA: Allowing fewest fantasy PPG to QB since Wk 3 (10.12)

MIN: Allowed 3rd-most fantasy PPG to WR this season (45.91)

NE: Allowing 3rd-fewest fantasy PPG to QBs this season (13.99)

NO: Allowed 11 rec TD to WRs this season (T-6th most in NFL)

NYG: Allowed Top 10 fantasy TE in 3 straight games

NYG: Allowing 8th-most fantasy PPG to TEs since Wk 6 (15.77)

PIT: Allowed one Top 12 fantasy RB this season

SEA: Allowing most fantasy PPG to WRs in NFL history (57.76)

SEA: Allowed Top 12 fantasy WR in every game this season

SEA: Allowed 100+ rec yds to 5 WRs this season (T-most in NFL)

SEA: Allowing most rec YPG to WRs this season (269.3)

TB: Allowed one Top 10 fantasy QB this season

TB: Allowing 2nd-fewest fantasy PPG to QBs this season (13.45)

TB: Allowed 11 pass TD, have 11 INT this season

TEN: Allowing 2nd-most fantasy PPG to WRs this season (46.77)

TEN: Allowed seven Top 20 fantasy WRs in last six games

WAS: Allowing 8th-most rec YPG to TEs this season (58.3)

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