There is no special sauce you can slop on your daily fantasy lineup to turn it into a winner.
No metric will tell you exactly which player to start. On paper last week, Chris Johnson had a terrific matchup and Calvin Johnson had a horrible matchup. Megatron defies all statistics and CJ?K is a shell of his former self. There were a handful of other candidates who missed out on good opportunities and others who made a mockery of their low rankings.
Still, we press on. We do what we can with the tools at our disposal. One of the strongest pieces of information is fantasy points against, specifically recent fantasy points again.
Last week, fantasy points against led me to create two of my most successful lineups, both featuring a lot of Vikings and Washington players. Both teams had given up a ton of fantasy points at multiple positions, pointing to a potential fantasy gold mine. There isn’t any matchup quite as scintillating this week. The closest thing we have is the Cardinals-Jaguars tilt.
Here are some matchups to target and avoid in Week 11 based on fantasy points against.
Best matchups: Buffalo vs. New York Jets; Philadelphia vs. Washington; Seattle vs. Minnesota; Arizona vs. Jacksonville; Tennessee vs. Indianapolis
Worst matchups: New England vs. Carolina; Green Bay vs. New York Giants; New Orleans vs. San Francisco
Talking points: To get to these overall rankings, I multiplied the average fantasy points against per game at each position to come up with a power ranking-type number. The top two matchups (vs. NYJ and vs. WAS) were miles ahead of the others and there is another clear tier after Tennessee. … Similarly, the Panthers, Giants and 49ers have been stingy across the board, which could lead to some interesting outcomes because they face some of fantasy’s top performers this week.
Best matchups: Matt Ryan vs. Tampa Bay; Russell Wilson vs. Minnesota; Carson Palmer vs. Jacksonville; Andy Dalton vs. Cleveland
Worst matchups: Philip Rivers vs. Miami; Seneca Wallace/Scott Tolzien vs. New York Giants; Christian Ponder vs. Seattle; Tom Brady vs. Carolina
Talking points: I peg Ryan and Wilson for good starts and will avoid Rivers in my lineups this week.
Best matchups: Andre Ellington/Rashard Mendenhall vs. Jacksonville; Donald Brown/Trent Richardson vs. Tennessee; Ray Rice vs. Chicago; Danny Woodhead/Ryan Mathews vs. Miami; LeSean McCoy vs. Washington; Deangelo Williams/Jonathan Stewart/Mike Tolbert vs. New England; Brian Leonard/Bobby Rainey vs. Atlanta
Worst matchups: Le’Veon Bell vs. Detroit; Eddie Lacy vs. New York Giants; Stevan Ridley vs. Carolina; Maurice Jones-Drew vs. Arizona; Knowshown Moreno vs. Kansas City; C.J. Spiller/Fred Jackson vs. New York Jets
Talking points: The Cardinals are stingy to opposing wide receivers, but they’ve been stung by quarterbacks, tight ends and running backs. I like Ellington to sting them hard. … I also will roster Donald Brown (especially in Draft Kings where he could be a low-priced flex option), Danny Woodhead and LeSean McCoy. … Those committees at the end of the best list scare me a bit. … Knowshon had a bad matchup last week too, but still turned in a solid performance. That offense is immune to bad matchups as long as Peyton Manning is at the helm.
Best matchups: Kendall Wright/Nate Washington vs. Indianapolis; Antonio Brown/Jericho Cotchery vs. Detroit; Santonio Holmes (INJ)/Stephen Hill/Jeremy Kerley (INJ) vs. Buffalo; Harry Douglas/Roddy White vs. Tampa Bay; Andre Johnson/DeAndre Hopkins vs. Oakland; Steve Smith/Brandon LaFell/Ted Ginn vs. New England; Golden Tate/Percy Harvin (INJ)/Doug Baldwin vs. Minnesota; Steve Johnson/Marquise Goodwin vs. New York Jets
Worst matchups: T.Y. Hilton/Darius Heyward-Bey/Lavon Brazil vs. Tennessee; Danny Amendola/Aaron Dobson vs. Carolina; Greg Jennings/Jerome Simpson/Cordarrelle Patterson vs. Seattle; Jordy Nelson/James Jones/Jarret Boykin vs. New York Giants; Keenan Allen/Vincent Brown/Eddie Royal vs. Miami; Calvin Johnson/Kris Durham vs. Pittsburgh; Anquan Boldin/Mario Manningham vs. New Orleans
Talking points: I’ll be starting Wright and Brown in quite a few leagues. … Harvin is a risky play but worth the risk at his Draft Kings price. … Andre Johnson and Harry Douglas stand out as players I’ll find ways to roster. … Like I said in the intro, Calvin Johnson is immune to matchup concerns. … The farther down the list you go the less reliable the information, but Vincent Jackson, DeSean Jackson/Riley Cooper, Brandon Marshall/Alshon Jeffrey, Wes Welker/Demariyus Thomas/Eric Decker and Pierre Garcon are on the good matchups side.
Best matchups: Marcedes Lewis vs. Arizona; Scott Chandler/Chris Gragg vs. New York Jets; Rob Housler vs. Jacksonville; Tyler Eifert vs. Cleveland; Brandon Pettigrew vs. Pittsburgh; Rob Gronkowski vs. Carolina
Worst matchups: Antonio Gates vs. Miami; Brandon Bostick/Andrew Quarless vs. New York Giants; Julius Thomas vs. Carolina; Jimmy Graham (INJ) vs. San Francisco; Tony Gonzalez vs. Tampa Bay; Tim Wright vs. Atlanta
Talking points: The clear note here is Gronkowski on the best list. … Jimmy Graham, if he’s at 100%, can be immune to bad matchups.
Best matchups: Rian Lindell vs. Atlanta; Steven Hauschka vs. Minnesota; Dan Carpenter vs. New York Jets; Robbie Gould vs. Baltimore; Rob Bironas vs. Indianapolis; Phil Dawson vs. New Orleans
Worst matchups: Garrett Hartley vs. San Francisco; Mason Crosby vs. New York Giants; Justin Tucker vs. Chicago; Matt Prater vs. Kansas City; Randy Bullock vs. Oakland; Stephen Gostkowski vs. Carolina
Talking points: I’ve been rostering Hauschka a lot lately. … The matchups pushed us toward Bironas and away from Dawson last week. They each scored 9 points.
Best matchups: Packers vs. New York Giants; Raiders vs. Houston; Bills vs. New York Jets; Eagles vs. Washington; Texans vs. Oakland; Colts vs. Tennessee; Chiefs vs. Broncos
Worst matchups: Steelers vs. Detroit; Dolphins vs. San Diego; Patriots vs. Carolina; Ravens vs. Chicago; 49ers vs. New Orleans; Bengals vs. Cleveland; Broncos vs. Kansas City
Talking points: They’re not on this list, but Arizona is a probably worth the price this week against Jacksonville. … The Chiefs have scored at least 12 fantasy points in six of nine games this season. It’s unlikely they’ll do it against the Broncos, but not out of the question.