There’s a short slate this week, so these matchups will be brief. I’m going to highlight two plus matchups and two minus matchups per position.
I have high confidence in these matchups and look at statistical data for the season, the last five weeks, the last three weeks and adjusted data, like Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, which attempts to eliminate schedule bias and give us a true picture of how good or bad a defense is.
That said you can study every statistic on the planet and fail to predict that Ben Roethlisberger is going to throw back-to-back 6-TD games. Or predict a massive game from Isaiah Crowell in the opening round of the fantasy playoffs only to see him get 17 yards on 7 carries against the worst-rated run defense in the NFL.
Those are the breaks. All we can do is give ourselves the best chance to make the right call and matchup data is one of the tools that can help.
Top kicker matchups
Shaun Suisham vs. Baltimore — The Ravens allowed 10.4 points per game to opposing kickers in the last five weeks, the most among playoff teams and third most in the NFL. Weather is going to be a factor in this game, adding some risk to Suisham. If you are concerned — and for good reason — you should consider Carolina’s Graham Gano
Justin Tucker vs. Pittsburgh — Here’s another one from potential bad weather bowl. The Steelers have allowed 8.3 fantasy points per game to kickers in the last three weeks, second only to Baltimore among playoff teams. Your weather concern backup option here is Indianapolis’ Adam Vinatieri.
Worst kicker matchups
Dan Bailey vs. Detroit — The Lions allowed kickers just 3.6 points per game over the last five. If I was playing at FanDuel this week I’d probably still have Bailey in a lineup or two.
Mike Nugent vs. Indianapolis — The Colts also allowed 3.6 points per game to opposing kickers in the last five weeks. It’s easier to avoid Nugent than Bailey when filling out your roster.