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.
Best passing matchups
Joe Flacco vs. Steelers — Pittsburgh ranks 30th in DVOA and has allowed 25.3 fantasy points per game over the last five to signal-callers. That is the second-highest total in the NFL. As discussed in the projections posts, there is the potential for some bad weather here.
Cam Newton vs. Cadinals — Arizona ranks 14th in DVOA, a season-long statistic, but fantasy poitns allowed tells a different story. The Cardinals have given up the the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season and in the last five weeks they’ve allowed an average of 24.3 per game.
Worst passing matchups
Andrew Luck vs. Cincinnati — You’re not going to bench Luck in your playoff league but you may not want to have too much exposure to him in DFS. The Bengals rank 7th in season-long DVOA and they allowed 16.8 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks in the last five weeks, the 10-th lowest total in the NFL. However, it is also worth remembering a little game between these teams a few weeks ago, when the Colts won 27-0 and Luck threw for 344 yards and two touchdowns.
Ryan Lindley vs. Carolina — I’m not even going to give you the stats. You’re not starting Lindley this week.