There are only a few weeks left in the Fantasy Football regular season for most of us but it’s still time to make moves toward the playoffs and picking the right match-ups to play against can be critical this time of the season.
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As is the case each week, we’ll breakdown each match-up over more than 25 stat categories and we’ll highlight some key differences between the teams and where we can find the mismatches to take advantage of. There will also be a smattering of extra interesting stats for the match-ups.
Below is a key that defines each stat category and how they are ranked. The color-coding that shows for each matchup is geared toward looking from an offensive player’s perspective. So the more green you see, the better that matchup is for an opposing offensive player, and vice versa the more red you see, the worse for an offensive player that matchup is that week.
Def vs. Pos categories are based on ½ PPR scoring formats
Pace – How many seconds it takes a team to run a play (1-fastest, 32-slowest)
PPG – Points scored per game (1-most, 32-least)
T.O.P. – Time of Possession (1-most, 32 least)
Total Yards – Total Yards Per Game Offensively (1-most, 32 least)
RZ % - Red Zone TD Scoring Percentage (1-best, 32-worst)
Off Plays – Total Number of Offensive Plays Run Per Game (1-most, 32-least)
Rush Att. – Total Number of Rushing Attempts Per Game (1-most, 32-least)
Rush % - Percentage of Offensive Plays That Are Runs (1-highest, 32-lowest)
Rush Yds – Rushing Yards Per Game (1-most, 32-least)
Rush YPA – Rushing Yards Per Attempt (1-most, 32-least)
Pass Att. – Total Number of Pass Attempts Per Game (1-most, 32-least)
Pass % - Percentage of Offensive Plays That Are Pass (1-highest, 32-lowest)
Pass Yds – Passing Yards Per Game (1-most, 32-least)
Pass YPA – Passing Yards Per Attempt (1-most, 32-least)
DVOA – Football Outsiders Defensive Value Over Average (Negative numbers are better) (1-best, 32-worst)
Yds/G Allowed – Yards Per Game Against (1-least, 32-most)
Yds/P Allowed – Yards Per Play Against (1-least, 32-most)
Rush Yds/G – Rushing Yards Per Game Against (1-least, 32-most)
Rush Yds/Att. – Rushing Yards Per Attempt Against (1-least, 32-most)
Pass Yds/G – Passing Yards Per Game Against (1-least, 32-most)
Pass Yds/Att. – Passing Yards Per Attempt Against (1-least, 32-most)
Def vs. QB – Fantasy Points Allowed Vs QB (1-most allowed, 32-least allowed)
Def vs. RB - Fantasy Points Allowed Vs RB (1-most allowed, 32-least allowed)
Def vs. WR - Fantasy Points Allowed Vs WR (1-most allowed, 32-least allowed)
Def vs. TE - Fantasy Points Allowed Vs TE (1-most allowed, 32-least allowed)
Bye Weeks: Buffalo, Chicago, New York (Giants), San Francisco
Arizona (6-3) at Seattle (6-3)
Last week was a tale of two different games as the Seahawks floundered against the Rams while the Cardinals used their top receiving threat to lock down an improbable victory against the Bills. This should be a bit of a track meet, depending on what offense for the Seahawks shows up. These teams played in Week 7 with the Cardinals winning 37-34, Tyler Lockett had 15 catches for 200 yards and three touchdowns but since then he’s only totalled 13 grabs for 139 yards and no scores. Meanwhile, Russell Wilson has posted 10 giveaways since Week 7. That number 10 is also important for the Cardinals as Kyler Murray has 10 rushing touchdowns on the year, more than the Seahawks combined.
Cincinnati (2-6-1) at Washington (2-7)
Which Washington defense will show up this week? Will it be the one that has shut down opposing offenses pretty well most of the year including allowing a league-low 194.7 passing yards a game, or will it be the one that’s allowed 23 or more points each of the last two weeks? Joe Burrow has looked good against the poorer defenses he’s faced but has been prone to rookie mistakes and now he has to contend against rookie number-one overall picks being 7-14 against number-two overall picks of the same draft class. Alex is set up to have a field day on Sunday as the Bengals are one of the weakest defenses in the league and Smith has posted 325 or more passing yards each of the last two games while Terry McLaurin continues his pace to be a top-five receiver in the league based on yardage.
Atlanta (3-6) at New Orleans (7-2)
A lot of attention has been on the Saints this week, and rightfully so, as Drew Brees has six fractured ribs and a collapsed lung and will miss a few weeks. The stats on offense for the Saints should be taken with a grain of salt at this point since Jameis Winston , and likely a decent amount of Taysom Hill , will be at the helm instead of the Hall of Famer but guys like Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas still shouldn’t have any trouble considering how poor the Falcons defense, especially against the pass has been allowing the second-most passing yards per games, third-most pass yards per play, and the most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks and tight ends and the third-most to wide receivers. However, there are some important notes to pay attention to as the Saints haven’t allowed a team to post more than 24 points in four-straight games while the Falcons have averaged 30.3 points per game under Raheem Morris and Alvin Kamara has never scored a touchdown in six career games against the Falcons while the Saints still haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in 47 straight games.
Pittsburgh (9-0) at Jacksonville (1-8)
On paper, this game looks like a mismatch as the Steelers are undefeated and the Jaguars are on an eight game losing streak. In fact this is the third time in NFL history a team on at least a nine-game winning streak is facing a team on an at least eight-game losing streak and the team on the winning streak has won both previous times by at least 15 points. The Jaguars have allowed the most points to quarterbacks in the last four weeks and Ben Roethlisberger has posted 25 or more points in the last two games. James Robinson has been very good this year with an average of 101.9 yards from scrimmage per game but he’s one of the best rushing defenses in the league this week so expect a lower output from him.
New England (4-5) at Houston (2-7)
We saw a bit of life from the Patriots last weekend, although that was with the help of 50 mph winds and a full-on rain storm, but a win is a win. The Texans meanwhile are still struggling to find any sense of consistency this season, except with how consistently bad their defense is. In fact, they’re on pace to be the second team in the last 25 years to be the worst rush defense and allow the highest opponent passer rating right now. The Patriots have turned into a rush-heavy team averaging 167 yards a game on the ground while only having one receiving touchdown all season. Those hoping for a big game from Jakobi Meyers might see it in yardage but so far it’s tough to see an endzone trip happening for him.
Philadelphia (3-5-1) at Cleveland (6-3)
This has a chance to be one of the quicker games in terms of time taken to play as both teams are a top-10 rushing offense based on rushing yards, however they go about it in two different ways. The Browns call 51-percent of their plays to be runs, third-highest percentage in the league, while the Eagles rank 30th at 36.3-percent of plays as runs, but that hasn’t stopped Miles Sanders from putting up yards as he’s put up 80 or more in three straight games with less than 15 carries in each, first RB to do that since 2010. If you’re looking for cheaper wide out options, the Eagles group is still cheap and the Browns rank fifth in most points allowed to opposing WRs.
Detroit (4-5) at Carolina (3-7)
Hyped up after a comeback win against Washington last week the Lions get a team that is going the opposite direction. The Lions are one of five teams to score at least 20 points in each game this year and the Panthers have allowed more than 20 points in each of their last five games. D’Andre Swift has been a big part of the Lions offense recently and now gets a tasty match-up against a defense in Carolina that doesn’t stop the run and allows nice fantasy days to running backs. He’s also one of only four players with at least 250 rushing and receiving yards this year. Let’s not lose sight though of the fact that the Lions are the worst fantasy defense against running backs and so Mike Davis could get back on track a bit here and have a good day against the Lions.
Tennessee (6-3) at Baltimore (6-3)
An AFC playoff match-up from a year ago, comes at a pivotal time of the year for both teams as they’re fighting for division and playoff seeding. On the surface this looks like a good chance for Baltimore to get back on track a bit as the Titans defense isn’t as stout as it was a year ago ranking 24th in DVOA and in the top-10 in points allowed to QB, RB, and WR, however, they do rank a solid 12th in DVOA vs. Running Backs and while they’re being beaten in the passing game, Lamar Jackson has posted a sub-100 passer rating in the last five straight games, though it’s been a tough stretch. One thing to watch for specifically this game is that the Ravens are allowing 76.2-percent of opponent drives into the red zone to post a touchdown and Tennessee scores a TD on 76.5-percent of their red zone trips.
New York (0-9) at Los Angeles (2-7)
While the records seem pretty similar, there really is a much bigger gap between these two teams than just two wins. The Chargers just haven’t been able to squeak out the close wins (3-16 in games decided by eight points or fewer since 2019) as evidenced by Justin Herbert being the only QB to have one or fewer wins with a passer rating of 100 or more in at least eight starts in a season. The rushing defense for the Jets is the best part of their unit and it’s still only mediocre so the Chargers should be able to have nice fantasy days in the passing game for sure while the Jets might need to use more secondary options since the Chargers rush defense and ability to shut down the number-one WR is top-nine and top-six respectively based on DVOA.
Miami (6-3) at Denver (3-6)
It’s been a tale of two different seasons for the Dolphins defense as the last five games, they’ve been perhaps the best unit in the league as they’ve brought their points per game allowed down to 20.2 which is fifth-best in the league and they’ve been very good at getting turnovers. Speaking of turnovers, the Broncos lead the league in giveaways this year with 21 and Drew Lock is injured for this game too. Miami ranks ninth in PPG at 27.9 and the Broncos have allowed 30 or more points in four straight games leading up to this so Tua Tagovailoa might continue putting up another solid passing day.
Dallas (2-7) at Minnesota (4-5)
The bye week certainly helped the Cowboys to get Andy Dalton back, but he will definitely need to look better than the last time we saw him if he’s going to help get another win for Dallas. In terms of star power on the same field this week this game can go toe-to-toe with the Monday Night game as Dalvin Cook , Adam Thielen , Justin Jefferson, Ezekiel Elliott , Amari Cooper , Michael Gallup , and CeeDee Lamb are all in this game with bad defenses on both sides. The Vikings defense though has improved since the Week 7 bye as they are allowing 18.3 PPG and 90 fewer yards a game with 2.0 takeaways a game too. Lamb might be the wideout to get from the Cowboys since Dalton has targeted him more than the other weapons.
Green Bay (7-2) at Indianapolis (6-3)
Here comes another test for the Colts number-one ranked defense based on yards allowed (4th in DVOA). A few weeks ago they played the Ravens and fared admirably but the Packers are a whole other challenge as their scheme has given plenty of other good defenses fits this season. The difference with the Packers offense though compared to some others is that they don’t turn the ball over. They average over 30 points a game on offense and have turned it over less than six times all season which is an NFL record at this point. Green Bay also doesn’t allow sacks as Aaron Rodgers has been sacked once or zero times in eight of nine games this year. Philip Rivers has turned a corner recently and Green Bay allows a bunch of points to running backs, so look for Nyheim Hines to have a big role on Sunday as he leads the Colts in receptions.
Kansas City (8-1) at Las Vegas (6-3)
News was made this week when it came out that the Raiders did a victory lap around Arrowhead in their team bus after their mid-October win over the Chiefs. However, that celebration might be a bit short-lived as the Chiefs haven’t lost multiple division games in a season since 2014 and Andy Reid is 18-3 in games after bye weeks in his coaching career. A lot of the offense has been on Patrick Mahomes since Le’Veon Bell arrived as Clyde Edwards-Helaire has seen a dramatically smaller role and fewer yards but the Chiefs are still only middle of the road in yards per game on the ground but rank first in passing yards a game. Oakland needed 40 points to beat the Chiefs last time, expect them to need that many again and could use Josh Jacobs to keep the ball out of the Chiefs’ hands as the Raiders rank seventh in rush yards per game and Jacobs has more touchdowns himself than the Kansas City team as a whole.
Los Angeles (6-3) at Tampa Bay (7-3)
For all of the offensive weapons everyone can name on the field in this game from Tom Brady and Jared Goff to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski and Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods , this is actually shaping up to be a defensive showdown. The Bucs and Rams are both among the best in nearly every defensive category including being two of the top-three teams in fewest yards allowed. It’s likely going to come down to who can do just enough to move the ball as the Rams have allowed 25 or fewer points in seven of nine games this year and the Buccaneers have been struggling offensively recently and the Rams offense is averaging just 24 points a game, the second-lowest among NFC playoff picture teams. The other way to look at this game is the fact that Brady is 3-30 on deep passes since Week 5 and the Rams are top-five against all deep balls based on DVOA while the Bucs are also good on deep balls and Tampa gets the second-most QB pressures this year while Goff has a 37.1 passer rating under pressure. So with all of the offensive weapons, it’s the defenses that will play the biggest role.