I could spend a lot of time rambling on about delays and work and Christmas shopping. But it’s championship weekend in standard leagues and probably the last week we’ll see some NFL starters in the lineup for a weekend with a full regular season slate of games.
Everybody should be in for a few bucks this week at your favorite daily (weekly) fantasy site, like FanDuel or Draft Kings. If you’re on the fence about that flex player, that third wide receiver or which value QB to run with, let fantasy points against over the last five weeks help guide your way.
Let’s get to the matchups:
Overall matchups factor in fantasy points allowed at each position for the last five weeks. Players from teams on this list have high probabilities of succumbing to the matchups. Also, this ranking has proven to have a better than 50/50 rate of determining good fantasy defenses. Don’t follow it blindly, but if the Fantasy Pros say one team is going to be top 5, your ranking says it’s going to be top five and the matchup is there, it’s probably worth spending a few extra bucks to get them.
Excellent matchups: San Diego vs. Oakland, Cincinnatti vs. Minnesota, New York Jets vs. Cleveland, Pittsburgh vs. Green Bay.
Worst matchups: Arizona vs. Seattle, Atlanta vs. San Francisco, Green Bay vs. Pittsburgh, New England vs. Baltimore, Seattle vs. Arizona, New Orleans vs. Carolina, Oakland vs. San Diego, Carolina vs. New England.
Best matchups: Andy Dalton vs. Minnesota, Andrew Luck vs. Kansas City, Kirk Cousins vs. Dallas, Joe Flacco vs. New England, Philip Rivers vs. Oakland, Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Jacksonville.
Worst matchups: Carson Palmer vs. Seattle, Matt Ryan vs. San Francisco, Ryan Tannehill vs. Buffalo, Tom Brady vs. Baltimore, Nick Foles vs. Chicago.
Talking points: Dalton, Cousins, Rivers and Fitzpatrick are in a bunch of my lineups at various sites and faces defenses that have been the worst against opposing quarterbacks in the last five weeks. … Foles has been so consistently good that I’m not afraid of what this matchup lists says. He’s a bit pricy, but like Peyton Manning, he has been worth the price more times than not since becoming the Eagles’ starter.
Best matchups: Maurice Jones-Drew/Jordan Todman vs. Tennessee, Ryan Mathews/Danny Woodhead vs. Oakland, Alfred Morris/Roy Helu vs. Dallas, Frank Gore vs. Atlanta, LeVeon Bell vs. Green Bay.
Worst matchups: Marshawn Lynch vs. Arizona, Steven Jackson vs. San Francisco, C.J. Spiller/Fred Jackson vs. Miami, Rashard Mendenhall/Andre Ellington vs. Seattle, Pierre Thomas/Darren Sproles vs. Carolina, Andre Brown vs. Detroit, Chris Johnson vs. Jacksonville.
Talking points: My lineups are loaded with guys in the best tier. … I’ve stayed away from Todman/MJD because of the uncertainty. … I’ve got Morris in a lot of lineups at both FanDuel and Draft Kings. The Cowboys are a good matchup whether we’re looking at the last five weeks or the whole season. [UPDATE – MJD is active. I’m not sure we can trust him in his first game back from injury, but the matchup is enticing. I’m staying away from both backs.]
Best matchups: T.Y. Hilton/Da’Rick Rogers vs. Kansas City, A.J. Green vs. Minnesota, Kendall Wright vs. Jacksonville, Brandon Marshall/Alshon Jeffery vs. Philadelphia, Vincent Jackson vs. St. Louis, Jordy Nelson/James Jones vs. Pittsburgh, Antonio Brown vs. Green Bay, Pierre Garcon vs. Dallas, Denarius Moore/Rod Streater/Andre Holmes vs. San Diego.
Worst matchups: Larry Fitzgerald/Michael Floyd vs. Seattle, Mike Wallace/Brian Hartline vs. Buffalo, Dez Bryant vs. Washington, Golden Tate/Doug Baldwin vs. Arizona, Brandon LaFell/Steve Smith vs. New Orleans, Ace Sanders vs. Tennessee, Roddy White/Harry Douglas vs. San Fancisco.
Talking points: I’ve paid the price to roster Green and Marshall in more leagues than I probably should. Their matchups, both over the last five weeks and over the whole season, are too good. Green should perform well above his price. … Brown is one of the most consistent wide receivers in the NFL. In a good matchup he’s almost a must-start.
Best matchups: Zach Miller vs. Arizona, Dennis Pitta vs. New England, Vernon Davis vs. Atlanta, Charles Clay vs. Buffalo, Delanie Walker vs. Jacksonville.
Worst matchups: Martellus Bennett vs. Philadelphia, Brandon Myers vs. Detroit, Michael Hoomanawanui vs. Baltimore, Rob Housler vs. Seattle, Tony Gonzalez vs. San Francisco, Julius Thomas vs. Texans, Brent Celek/Zach Ertz vs. Chicago
Talking points: Walker has been great since Fitzpatrick took over at QB. He should be open all over the field. … Ignore Clay’s game last week and start him this week. … Arizona just can’t stop tight ends. They gave up 10 points to tight ends in seven of 14 games this season and it’s been 25 or more points three times. Miller ceiling is high this week and he’s low-priced at the daily sites.
Best matchups: Josh Scobee vs. Tennessee, Billy Cundiff vs. New York Jets, Shaun Suisham vs. Green Bay, Josh Brown vs. Detroit, Nick Novak vs. Oakland, Nick Folk vs. Cleveland.
Worst matchups: Robbie Gould vs. Philadelphia, Steven Hauschka vs. Arizona, Rian Lindell vs. St. Louis, Stephen Gostkowski vs. Baltimore, Matt Bryant vs. San Francisco, Sebastian Janikowski vs. San Diego.
Talking points: I expect a shootout in that Bears-Eagles contest so I wouldn’t put too much into that worst matchup ranking for Gould. … It’s difficult for Josh Brown to kick field goals if Eli Manning is throwing picks every series. … They’re not on this list, but I have Matt Prater and Mason Crosby in a lot of my lineups.
Best matchups: Cowboys vs. Washington, Jets vs. Cleveland, Browns vs. New York Jets, Giants vs. Detroit, Steelers vs. Green Bay, Bengals vs. Minnesota, Chargers vs. Oakland, Eagles vs. Chicago.
Worst matchups: Packers vs. Pittsburgh, Cardinals vs. Seattle, Colts vs. Kansas City, Raiders vs. San Diego, Saints vs. Carolina, Texans vs. Denver, Chiefs vs. Indianapolis, Seahawks vs. Arizona, Broncos vs. Houston
Talking points: The Cowboys are absurdly low-priced ($1,900) at Draft Kings. They’re almost a must-start at that price and this matchup. … Neither of them are on this list, but I have Miami and Detroit in many of my lineups.