Las Vegas is predicting a crazy weekend this week in the NFL.
It seems like the kind of week where we will need to know which wide receiver will get two touchdowns while his teammates get one.
We’ll do our best to figure it out by looking at the matchups.
For quarterbacks and running backs , we use fantasy points against and Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Values Over Average. For the different pass catchers, we look at fantasy points against, including points for the last five weeks and season totals, and average yards allowed per game.
When all of these numbers point to a couple different situations, we have our good and bad matchups.
Best running back matchups
Mark Ingram/Travaris Cadet vs. Cincinnati — Ingram tops our running back projections for good reason. Not only is this a great matchup, but Khiry Robinson and Pierre Thomas are both out and the Saints are predicted to win by a lot at home. Prime opportunity for Ingram to amass another 27 carries.
Le’Veon Bell vs. Tennessee — Bell is kind of off my radar this week. He might be for a lot of other folks too. He shouldn’t be. The Titans allowed 28.6 points per game to opposing running backs in the last five weeks. They are also the second-worst against running backs according to DVOA.
There are only two matchups that fit the best criteria, but there are a few others worth noting: Ahmad Bradshaw/Trent Richardson vs. New England (allowed 30.4 fantasy points per week to running backs in the last five weeks), Matt Forte vs. Minnesota (28.3), Frank Gore/Carlos Hyde vs. New York Giants (30.3), Terrance West/Ben Tate/Isaiah Crowell vs. Houston (27.4), Steven Jackson/Devonta Freeman vs. Carolina (26.4) and Darren McFadden vs. San Diego (27.9)
Worst running back matchups
Joique Bell/Theo Riddick vs. Arizona — The Cardinals allowed an average of 18.4 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs in the last five weeks. They are also the No. 4 rated rush defense according to DVOA.
Bobby Rainey/Charles Sims vs. Washington — There’s some conflict between the rankings for Washington. They are among the toughest teams to run against when you factor out the outliers and DVOA has them as the No. 6 toughest defense. However, over the last five contests they have given up 24.8 fantasy points to opposing running backs.
C.J. Anderson/Montee Ball/Juwan Thompson vs. St. Louis — I’m not a big fan of any running back by committee unless I know for sure which back is the lead back. There is talk that C.J. Anderson is the best back on the roster. I’m not buying it yet, and considering this matchup — the Rams allow just 19.5 PPR fantasy points to opposing running backs and are the 8th best team against running backs according to DVOA — I’m avoiding them in daily fantasy this week.
Benny Cunningham/Tre Mason/Zac Stacy vs. Denver — Some day, Tre Mason will likely emerge as a fantasy star. Not this season with the rams and it’s unlikely he even shows flashes against a Broncos defense which has allowed 13.4 fantasy points per game to running backs in the last five weeks.
There are a handful of other matchups which don’t quite fit the “worst” label but are still bad: Rashad Jennings/Andre Williams vs. San Francisco, Andre Ellington vs. Detroit, Jamaal Charles vs. Seattle, Alfred Morris/Roy Helu vs. Tampa Bay.