While we look at defensive efficiency for the team totals, I’m looking at receptions and yards allowed for the individual matchups rankings.
I also like to include some mention of Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average. They say DVOA isn’t helpful for fantasy players or at least isn’t as helpful as the yardage and receiving stats. But I like to think when the two numbers converge you get an ideal situation.
These individual matchups helped me determine a lineup that cashed and finished in the top 8.8 percent out of 92,400 lineups in last week’s Millionaire Maker at Draft Kings.
1. Justin Hunter vs. Jacksonville — This is a +++ DVOA and yardage matchup, meaning there is a high probability that Hunter goes bananas. The big concern is at quarterback where Charlie Whitehurst may limit Hunter’s ceiling. Hunter’s salary jumped $900 at FanDuel and $1,100 at Draft Kings after last week’s performance.
2. Santonio Holmes vs. Atlanta — A sneaky play here in what is predicted to be the highest scoring game of the week. He’ll be off pretty much everybody’s radar.
3. Tavon Austin vs. San Francisco — You want contrarian with upside? You got contrarian with upside. He’s on nobody’s radar right now.
4. Taylor Gabriel/Travis Benjamin vs. Pittsburgh — Gabriel had 85 and 92 yards the last two weeks. Benjamin caught two touchdown passes last week. Both are poised to make something happen again this week against sixth-worst overall defense in the NFL.
5. Houston played on Thursday (and T.Y. Hilton took advantage)
6. Andre Roberts vs. Arizona — Roberts was targeted nine times last week and caught five of them. He also has a touchdown in each of the last two weeks.
7. Vincent Brown/Denarius Moore vs. San Diego — This game could get out of hand quickly and the receivers best poised to make the most of the situation will be the Nos. 3 and 4 guys from Oakland. Brown is questionable and Moore is in the dog house. There’s Brice Butler and Kenbrell Thompkins too. I’m not starting any of these guys in my daily lineups.
8. Victor Cruz/Odell Beckham Jr./Reuben Randle/Preston Parker/Corey Washington vs. Philadelphia — All Giants receivers are in play this week. If anything Cruz is likely to have the toughest matchup coming out of the slot against Brandon Boykin.
9. Wes Welker vs. New York Jets — You know which top Broncos wide receiver doesn’t have a 100-yard game or a TD catch yet?
10. Jarius Wright vs. Detroit — We may see how real the Teddy Bridgewater to Jarius Wright connection is this week.
1. Mike Willams vs. New England
2. Stevie Johnson/Brandon Lloyd vs. St. Louis
3. Davante Adams vs. Miami — DVOA backing up this matchup
4. Jordan Matthews vs. New York Giants — DVOA at it again
5. Dan Sanzenbacher vs. Carolina — Because you were really considering him anyway
6. Jason Avant/Brenton Bersin/Philly Brown vs. Cincinnati
7. Indianapolis played on Thursday
8. Jeremy Ross vs. Minnesota
9. Jacoby Jones vs. Tampa Bay
10. Eddie Royal vs. Oakland