Now we’re really under a time crunch here, so we must go through these relatively quickly.
It’s difficult to look at the matchups through a lens that filters out our perception of skills, but we must if we want to find diamonds in the rough and charcoal in the king’s crown. (Too goofy? Eh, I’m going to let it go.) Starting the right sleepers and avoiding the busts will be crucial for you Sunday when you try to take down me and 92,000 other fanatics for a $1 million top prize at Draft Kings.
For the record, my best and worst defensive rankings are based on Football Outsiders’ Defensive Efficiency ratings, not yardage (which is too incomplete) or fantasy points (which can be Larry Donnell’d).
Please note that I’d love to be able to write 1,800 words on every position, like I did with the quarterbacks, but like Jack Bauer we’re all running out of time. I have included some notes on an as-necessary basis.
1. Brian Quick vs. Philadelphia — Quick has been better than some of you realize, especially in PPR formats.
2. Percy Harvin vs. Washington — If the Seahawks can’t run against Washington, they’ll pass. Good news for Harvin owners.
3. Marques Colston vs. Tampa Bay — I have some extra confidence with this matchup. Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average jives with the number of yards given up to WR1s.
4. Andrew Hawkins vs. Tennessee — Hawkins has received 33% of his team’s targets. Only Jordy Nelson has seen more. Jordan Cameron’s return could open things up for Hawkins to have his best game of the season.
5. Miami is on bye
6. Antonio Brown vs. Jacksonville — This isn’t fair for Jaguars fans. This is also a plus matchup where DVOA matches the yards allowed.
7. Brandon Marshall/Alshon Jeffrey vs. Carolina — Marshall’s the No. 1, but it’s close. Either one of them could benefit from this machup. Another DVOA plus matchup.
8. Allen Robinson/Allen Hurns vs. Pittsburgh — Like with the Bears I’m not sure this is so clear cut. Robinson’s going to have a better career, but Hurns just seems to find his way behind the defense every game.
9. Dez Bryant vs. Houston — It’s a poor matchup for Tony Romo but it’s a good matchup for Dallas’ No. 1 wide receiver. When Romo does throw, it will likely be to Dez.
10. Reggie Wayne vs. Baltimore — Thought about adding Hilton along with Wayne, but after last week I think it’s still pretty apparent who the No. 1 is in Indianapolis.
1. Sammy Watkins vs. Detroit — Kyle Orton will be throwing the rock this week so I was tempted to put Watkins in to see if he can turn his piles of targets into something more, but this matchup screams stay away.
2. Andre Johnson vs. Dallas — Johnson was cleared to play, but he’s got a bad matchup this week.
3. Eric Decker vs. San Diego — The Chargers secondary has done a 360 compared to last season so far in 2014
4. Victor Cruz vs. Atlanta — I really wanted this to be a big week for Victor Cruz. It still could be, but this matchup suggests otherwise.
5. Pierre Garcon vs Seattle — A no-brainer. The Seahawks struggle with small, quick receivers.
6. Torrey Smith/Steve Smith vs. Indianapolis — This is another plus matchup. Torrey is more talented than Steve Smith Sr., but I’m not sure when defenses might start rolling extra coverage Steve’s way because he keeps burning them.
7. Larry Fitzgerald/Michael Floyd vs. Denver — Another wide receiver situation where I wonder if there is a clear cut WR1.
8. Julio Jones vs. New York Giants — I wanted this week to be the Cruz vs. Julio show, but it looks like that was a bad call.
9. Kelvin Benjamin vs. Chicago — I’m seeing Benjamin’s name come up a lot, but it appears to be a bad matchup for Benjamin and his quarterback, Cam Newton.
10. Demaryius Thomas vs. Arizona — Demaryius is also getting a lot of love as a sleeper this week. The matchups say otherwise.