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Week 17 Passing Matchups

by Justin Howe, Devin Knotts, and Keith Roberts, Exclusive to

Jump to Rushing Matchups

Great Matchups: [BUF] [DET] [HOU] [NE] [PIT] [WAS]
Good Matchups: [ATL] [DEN] [IND] [LAC] [NO]
Neutral Matchups: [CAR] [JAX] [LAR] [NYJ] [SF]
Tough Matchups: [ARI] [BAL] [CIN] [CLE] [DAL] [GB] [KC] [MIA] [MIN] [PHI] [SEA] [TB]
Bad Matchups: [CHI] [NYG] [OAK] [TEN]

PLEASE NOTE: This does NOT replace the Cheatsheet ranking. The Cheatsheet rankings are the final say on where we see a player for that week. The Matchup Breakdowns are simply one more tool in the box when it comes to helping choose your lineup.

Also note, just because a player has a "bad" matchup, it does NOT mean he's not a starter in your league. If Tom Brady is playing the toughest pass defense in the league, that just means he's got a tough matchup that week. He's also your starter unless you're loaded at QB. In the same way, if the worst QB on your roster has a "great" matchup that week, it doesn't necessarily mean he's your starter. It means we think he'll fare better than normal that week.

Bottom line is that the cheatsheets are the final say.

Buffalo Bills Passing Offense at Miami Dolphins Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Tyrod Taylor continues to alternate strong weeks with bad ones, and it’s seeming more and more apparent that he’s just not destined to be a consistent passer. His appeal comes from his rushing ability and the flashes we see from his arm, but he’ll likely always be difficult to rely on as a passer. Taylor has topped 225 yards in just 3 of his 11 full games, with only 3 multi-touchdown showings. He throws to a marginal receiving corps that features strikingly little behind Kelvin Benjamin and Charles Clay, and there’s virtually no downfield dynamism or touchdown upside in play. Taylor has looked 15+ yards downfield on just 18.3% of his throws, and he’s often a shaky passer in the red zone. Fantasy owners looking to maximize Taylor’s value with a high-ceiling passing day generally can’t expect more than 250-275 yards and 2 touchdowns on a very, very high note. It’s encouraging that Benjamin has assimilated so quickly into the offense, though. He was impressive in Week 16, catching 5 balls for 70 yards, and was robbed of a clear touchdown; a 6-74-1 line would be a welcomed sight from this beleaguered pass-catching group.

The Dolphins pass defense has experienced quite an awakening over the past month or so, headed by the improved play of the secondary. Second-year cornerback Xavien Howard has turned around a lost season of late, and safety Reshad Jones has put forth a typically strong season. All in all, this is still a hit-or-miss unit – over the last 4 games they’ve throttled Demaryius Thomas (27 yards on 10 targets) and Brandin Cooks (38 on 7), but also been worked over by Cooks (6 catches for 83 and 1 touchdown) and Tyreek Hill (6 for 109). We can see that this is by no means a shutdown crew, but it’s one that should give us more pause than it used to, especially when it comes to wideout production. The big vulnerabilities here are against backs and tight ends; Miami’s linebacking group has been atrocious in coverage.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Detroit Lions Passing Offense vs Green Bay Packers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Lions passing offense had a tough day last week as they lost a must-win game that shattered their playoff hopes. Matthew Stafford had his second-worst fantasy day of the year as he barely passed for over 200 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The Lions offensive line was missing three starters in an already tough matchup, and this noticeably impacted Stafford’s ability to find an open receiver as he was left without much of a pocket on most plays. Keep an eye on injury news and offensive line updates from our specialist Matt Bitonti, as the health of this line will be key to Stafford’s upside this week. Eric Ebron has come on strong late this season for the Lions with back to back touchdown games and over 90 receiving yards in the Week 14—marking three great fantasy outings in a row.

The Packers secondary actually did a decent job in coverage last week as they held the Vikings receivers in check for most of the day despite missing a number of key contributors, such as cornerback Damarious Randall and both outside linebackers Clay Matthews and Nick Perry. Cornerback Davon House returned to the field after missing Week 15 and did a great job against Adam Thielen, contributing to his poor showing with just two receptions for 24 yards. Even without their top two pass rushers, the Packers still racked up three sacks as their nose tackle Kenny Clark had one heck of a day rushing the passer. This week, the key matchup advantage for the Lions should go to Marvin Jones Jr, who is expected to draw coverage on most snaps from Josh Hawkins on the left side. Hawkins has really struggled since seeing his playing time increase, and expect those struggles to continue this week as this battered Packers defense tries to close out the season.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Houston Texans Passing Offense at Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Texans passing offense has struggled with their quarterback ever since the loss of Deshaun Watson earlier in the season. These struggles continued last week as T.J. Yates saw his second start of the season and failed to pass for even 100 yards as he attempted only 16 passes all day in a run-heavy game script. Yates has passed for at least one touchdown in each of the three games he has played in this season, but he also now has three turnovers in both of his starts and is completing just over 45% of his passes—an abysmal accuracy rate for any starting quarterback in the NFL. It takes a special wide receiver to overcome what the Texans have been rolling on the field between Yates and Tom Savage. For fantasy purposes though, DeAndre Hopkins has done just that as he salvaged last week with 65 receiving yards and a touchdown—his third straight game with at least one receiving touchdown. Hopkins has been force-fed by all three Texans quarterbacks this season as he now owns the top spot in terms of fantasy points scored by wide receivers and is tied with Antonio Brown for the league’s most targets per game at 11.6.

This game will feature a matchup between two of the league’s worst passing defenses. The Colts are giving up over 250 passing yards per game and are tied with the Texans as the only two teams in the league allowing over eight passing yards per attempt. While they have not allowed more than two passing touchdowns in a single game this season, the Colts have allowed at least two passing touchdowns in over half the games they have played with not a single game in which they have shut out an opposing quarterback from finding the end zone at least once. The Colts have really not played a top stable of quarterbacks this season, yet they still are this bad on paper as this secondary cannot seem to cover anyone. DeAndre Hopkins should be matched up against Quincy Wilson, who has been one of the worst cornerbacks in the league as he ranks atop the list of yards allowed per route covered. Hopkins finished with 86 yards and a touchdown in their last meeting, and even with Yates under center, he should be expected to come close to that same stat line, if not better, this week.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

New England Patriots Passing Offense vs New York Jets Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Tom Brady’s play has been shaky-ish of late, which isn’t too surprising. Over his storied career he’s experienced notable December drop-offs in his yardage, touchdown, and interception rates. And over his last 5 games, Brady has averaged just 248.0 yards and thrown a ho-hum 8 touchdowns (4 of those came in Week 12). Still, there’s reason for controlled optimism as the Patriots look to lock up home-field advantage against the porous Jets. Brady’s Week 16 (224 yards, 2 touchdowns) could’ve been much bigger if not for a pair of misfires (and a pass interference) on deep throws to Brandin Cooks, plus a missed touchdown to a wide-open Rob Gronkowski. All told, Brady is an every-week fantasy QB1, but his receivers don’t get that no-brainer status. Cooks has virtually alternated great games with near-invisible ones; it’s tough to project which weeks he and Brady will be on the same page. Gronkowski remains an unabashed stud, but beyond him and Brady, there’s nothing rock-solid here. We could definitely see a barrage of Brady touchdowns, but just as likely, a sluggish day in the cold that results in more mediocre output.

A discouraging factoid: since Week 5, the Jets have allowed an eye-popping 16 different players to top 68 yards and/or catch 1+ touchdowns, a list that includes solid No. 1 options (Michael Thomas, Demaryius Thomas, Travis Kelce) and complementary receivers (Tyreek Hill, Mark Ingram, Antonio Gates). Over that span, they’ve allowed the league’s 4th-most pass yards (263.0) and touchdowns (1.9) per game. It’s truly not difficult to work this unit over, especially down the field, where the two starting rookie safeties have struggled mightily in coverage. It doesn’t help that the rebuilding Jets have yet to stock any edge-bending pass rushers of note; run-stuffing inside linebacker Demario Davis leads the team with just 5.0 sacks, their 4.8% sack rate sits 6th-worst in football.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Steelers historically tend to enter in this obligatory Week 17 Browns matchup locked into a high seed and rest their studs. But they won’t have that luxury this year – they can still grab the AFC’s top seed. That means we’ll see plenty of Ben Roethlisberger – his volume may dip, but he proved last week that he can still be effective without Antonio Brown. Brown will likely be out until at least Round 2 of the playoffs, leaving his enormous receiving share (30.4% of team targets) primarily to rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster and mega-disappointment Martavis Bryant. But Roethlisberger is adept at spinning worthwhile play from such a scenario. Last week he hit on 20 of 29 passes, 2 for touchdowns, in Brown’s first game out, and now pulls an even more favorable defensive matchup. Smith-Schuster is, of course, the name to watch here. He’s produced 5+ catches and 75+ yards in 3 of his last 5 games, including 114 just 2 weeks ago against the Patriots. It’s hard to project usage or efficiency outside of him and LeVeon Bell, but there’s certainly upside all over the field in this matchup.

The Cleveland secondary remains undermanned and undertalented, and even with Antonio Brown unavailable, it looks as though Ben Roethlisberger could go to town on it. Stud cover man Jason McCourty can’t do it alone; with fellow cornerback, Jamar Taylor shuffling around and disappointing more often than not, and impressive addition Briean Boddy-Calhoun likely sidelined again, the unit takes an incomplete (and displeasing) grade. On the year, the Browns are giving up the league’s fourth-most adjusted net yards per attempt (factoring in sacks, touchdowns, and interceptions) and fifth-highest touchdown rate. The1’y’ve allowed an opposing wideout to top 84 yards in 3 of the last 4 weeks; frankly speaking, when they don’t allow huge stat lines, it’s almost always due to a lopsided game flow. It’s always fun to target fantasy options against the Browns, and nothing looks changed for Week 17.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Washington Redskins Passing Offense at New York Giants Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

All things considered, Kirk Cousins has had a pretty good year when factoring in he has very little wide receiving depth to work with after Terrelle Pryor did not work out in Washington. Josh Doctson has been largely inconsistent for the Redskins leaving only Vernon Davis and Jamison Crowder as consistent options for the passing game in Washington. Adding to the fact that the offensive line has been extremely banged up for most of the season, this has been an inconsistent Washington offense that

The New York Giants secondary is an absolute mess. Landon Collins has been placed on IR along with Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple has now been suspended due to an unwillingness to play on the Scout team. On the season, the Giants have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, the second-most yards, and the most touchdowns allowed. This is a team in disarray that is just trying to get the season to end. Outside of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie who’s play has dropped off from the high level he was at earlier on in the season, the team has liabilities throughout their defense including their linebackers and safeties which have been a big reason why the Giants are the worst team against the tight end on the year which in their first meeting Vernon Davis was unable to go, so this could setup a nice rebound week for Davis who has struggled after a great start to the year.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Atlanta Falcons Passing Offense vs Carolina Panthers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

After setting the football world ablaze in 2016, Matt Ryan and the Falcons passing attack have predictably fallen to Earth here in 2017. Ryan has fallen back in line with his good-not-great career numbers in terms of his yardage and interception rates – and he’s dipped well below in generating touchdowns. Ryan’s per-game averages of 251.9 yards and 1.3 touchdowns are thoroughly mediocre; he’s topped 221 yards just twice over his last 7 games, with a paltry 4 scores over his last 5. He’s simply not producing much that Julio Jones hasn’t already created downfield. And Jones himself has slightly underperformed as the team’s only reliable playmaker. He remains allergic to the goal line (just 3 touchdowns on 137 targets) and a bit too easy to neutralize in the Atlanta game plan (8 games of 5 catches or fewer). Ryan rarely posts catastrophic fantasy lines, but he doesn’t offer many dynamic ones, either. He’s barely a fantasy QB1 at this point, and that’s only rooted in the ever-present potential for Jones to go nuclear. (It’s worth noting, though, that he did just that in a date with the Panthers last season – 12 receptions for 300 yards and 1 touchdown. And that he posted 6 for 118 in Week 9 of this year, plus a truly bizarre drop of a sure 39-yard score.)

The Panthers boast a pass defense that’s tumbled wildly over the past two months and now sits as a fairly targetable unit for fantasy purposes. Opposing quarterbacks have averaged 302.6 yards over the Panthers’ last 5 games, with 280+ in 4 of them and multiple touchdowns in 3. It’s an aggressive unit that baits quarterbacks into mistakes and can control a passing game that way; we just haven’t seen it manifest well of late. We may be on the verge of some improvement, though: ineffective slot cornerback Captain Munnerlyn has been benched for superior talent Colin Jones, who underwhelmed last week but should ultimately provide an upgrade.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Denver Broncos Passing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Paxton Lynch will draw his second start of the season for the Broncos this week as he will be looking to finish the entire game this go-around which was something he was unable to do his first time out this season as he left his first start early due to injury. Prior to leaving the game, Lynch did throw an interception, but also completed 64% of his passes and was mobile running for 17 yards. However, he did look lost at times in the pocket and it does not help matters that it is looking unlikely that Emmanuel Sanders will play this week due to an ankle injury.

The Chiefs secondary is led by Marcus Peters who may not play this week as the Chiefs are potentially resting their players. This is already a defense that has given up 258 yards passing per game which is the seventh worst in the NFL, but if they are without their starting cornerback this is a defense that is not deep at all as the drop-off is significant. If Peters does not go, expect to see a combination of an increased role for Phillip Gaines and Kenneth Acker to see the field both are players that have struggled mightily this season.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense vs Houston Texans Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Jacoby Brissett continued his stretch of poor play last week as he posted his worst completion rate of the season in a rainy game against the Ravens. Brissett has really struggled with accuracy this year as he has failed to complete 60% of his passes in six straight games while exceeding 200 passing yards in just two of those six games. Poor play by the Colts offensive line has not helped Brissett at all as he was sacked another couple times last week as the Colts have given up a league-leading 55 sacks this season. T.Y. Hilton had one of his better outings of the season last week as he reached the 100-yard mark for the fourth time. Hilton has been one of, if not the, most up and down receivers in the league as he has four games with at least 100 receiving yards, but nine games with below 50 receiving yards, failing to even exceed 30 receiving yards on seven occasions this season.

The Texans secondary has been routinely obliterated this season as they are only one of two teams that have allowed an opposing passer rating of over 100, fueled in part by them allowing the second-most passing touchdowns (29) and tied for the league’s most passing yards per attempt (8.2). From a yardage perspective, they did keep Ben Roethlisberger and the Antonio Brown-less Steelers in check for just 226 passing yards, but the Steelers had little need to pass after jumping out to a 20-0 lead at halftime. The Texans have allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season, with seven games in which a quarterback has passed for 300 or more yards. The Texans actually allowed Jacoby Brissett to have one of his best games of the season against them earlier in the year as Brissett passed for 308 yards and a couple touchdowns, with over half of that yardage and both touchdowns going to T.Y. Hilton with that also being Hilton’s best fantasy performance of the season. The Colts offensive line has struggled to protect Brissett all season long though, and he needs time to get the ball downfield to Hilton. This Colts offense has been down lately and is such a boom or bust, but primarily bust option.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Los Angeles Chargers Passing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Chargers are likely going to have to lean on Phillip Rivers and Keenan Allen in a must-win game due to the injury to Melvin Gordon that could keep him out of this game with an ankle injury. Rivers over the last five weeks has been on a torrid pace as he is averaging 323 yards passing per game in those contests and the biggest reasons why are the emergence of Keenan Allen and the tight ends as Antonio Gates stepped up in a big way when Hunter Henry went down with an injury. The Chargers will be looking to utilize Gates and Allen heavily in this game.

The Raiders secondary is one that on the surface would appear to be a much-improved unit as over their last five games they have held opponents to the seventh-fewest yards per game and the second fewest amount of touchdowns per game. However, do not be fooled by these stats, the Raiders have simply not faced stiff competition as they have faced Paxton Lynch, Geno Smith, Alex Smith, Dak Prescott and Nick Foles in a very windy game. While they are likely no longer the secondary that was one of the worst in the league, they are by no means a secondary that should be feared and are still a team that has given up four 300 yard passing games to opposing quarterbacks on the year.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

New Orleans Saints Passing Offense at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

We all knew the day would come when we’d look at Drew Brees as a game manager, and here we are. Bolstered by a thoroughly dominant run game and a stifling defense (and with a semi-decimated receiving corps), Brees has shifted to more of a complementary role in this offense, as bizarre as that is to imagine. He remains roughly as effective and sharp as ever, but with his massive dip in volume, he’s on pace to finish with his lowest yardage (272.6 per game) and touchdown (1.47) outputs across 12 years as a Saint. Brees has demonstrated with his 71.9% completion rate and 7.71 adjusted net yards per attempt that he can still answer the bell when called upon, but that’s been rare thus far, and he’s barely dotted the QB1 map lately. At least top wideout Michael Thomas has retained his studly WR1 capabilities. Thomas has soaked up a dominant 27.9% of team targets, turning them into 76.7 yards per game – and he’s registered 91+ in 4 of his last 7. That’s wonderful, and it’s made him an easy fantasy WR1 week after week. It’s just that we’re so used to seeing another fantasy-viable receiver or two; rather, the rest of the meal tends to get spread thin across a wide array of pass-catching backs and situational wideouts.

The Buccaneers pass defense has buckled down over the past 2 weeks, holding divisional rivals Matt Ryan and Cam Newton to 212 and 160 yards, respectively. But on the whole, this unit has been dreadful for most of 2017. The pass rush has been non-existent, and veteran cornerback Brent Grimes has been the only saving grace of a secondary that’s allowed the league’s most passing yardage. There’s nothing fluky about that number: they’ve given up the second-most adjusted net yards per attempt, which considers sacks, touchdowns, and interceptions as well as yards. Prior to the Atlanta and Carolina games, they’d let 3 of their previous 4 opponents throw for 370+ yards – and were on the business end of Julio Jones’ 12-catch, 253-yard, 2-touchdown eruption in Week 12.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Carolina Panthers Passing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

In a particularly up-and-down season, Cam Newton has seen his passing rates fall generally in line with his recent history. And as always, it’s been enough for him to team with his rushing numbers and produce an occasional-QB1 season. Newton gets extra appreciation points for staying relevant while his offense has been upturned: Greg Olsen has missed most of the year but recently returned, and Kelvin Benjamin has been sent to Buffalo. Newton’s recent passing has been wildly dynamic, with 168 yards or fewer in 5 of his last 8 games but multiple touchdowns in 3 of them. It’s at least encouraging that Olsen is back (and producing), but No. 1 wideout Devin Funchess has been erased of late and there’s little real explosiveness in place. The bottom line on Newton is that you want him for his rushing production; trying to project his passing in either direction is borderline-futile, and the same goes for his weapons. There’s week-winning appeal, but it’s always on shaky, hard-to-project grounds.

Generally speaking, the Falcons sport a thoroughly mediocre pass defense. They’ve done quite well against shaky opposing passers, but tend to bend hard against the better ones, and on the season allow the league’s 13th-most adjusted net yards per attempt (factoring in sacks, touchdowns, and interceptions). And over the past 5 weeks, they’ve allowed 264.0 yards and 1.6 touchdowns per game, with the Buccaneers (283-0 and 299-3) and Drew Brees (271-2 and 239-1) finding various degrees of success. Still, they project decently against Cam Newton and the Panthers’ up-and-down passing game. Shadow cornerback Desmond Trufant has done a fine job against WR1s, slowing down the likes of Stefon Diggs, Doug Baldwin, Mike Evans, and Michael Thomas of late – though Thomas did erupt for 10 catches, 117 yards, and 1 score just 3 weeks ago.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense at Tennessee Titans Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Blake Bortles has been running extremely hot in the past month as he now has four straight games with multiple passing touchdowns and over 300 passing yards in three of those four outings. Bortles had just one game with multiple passing touchdowns leading up to Week 13 when he took his season to another level with this spectacular play in December. Bortles did fall back closer to his past last week with three interceptions to go along with his highest passing yardage total of the season, but he also attempted 50 passes for just the second time this season as the Jaguars were playing from behind for most of the day. Marquise Lee and Allen Hurns both remain sidelined with injuries as rookies Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook have picked up the slack in their absence. Cole posted his second straight 100+ yard outing last week as he is now averaging over 110 yards per game with three touchdowns in the month of December. Westbrook has also put together some decent outings with four or more receptions in four of his last five games serving as the primary perimeter receiver for the Jaguars. TJ Yeldon had 10 targets out of the backfield last week as he remains the primary third-down pass-catching running back for the Jaguars, finishing with a season-high seven receptions for 64 receiving yards last week.

The Titans defense has great timing as they will encounter a Jacksonville offense that has nothing to play for this week with their playoff scenario pretty much locked down. The Titans, on the other hand, have everything to play for as a win gets them into the post-season. This pass defense has been roughed up on multiple occasions this season, including allowing over 300 passing yards in three of their last four games with a four-touchdown outing given up to Jared Goff last week. Their pass-rush has been strong with 16 sacks in the last four games, but the Titans have allowed nearly 20 points per game while only forcing two turnovers in this recent four-game span. Starting cornerback LeShaun Sims was placed on injured reserve last week while cornerback Logan Ryan was inactive with an ankle injury. The Titans rolled out special teams contributor Tye Smith at cornerback last week, and he did a decent job in coverage but was nothing to write home about. With Smith on the right side and Brice McCain covering out of the slot, this should be a great matchup for Blake Bortles to get back on track before the playoffs, even if he does play for limited snaps. One final note to point out is the fact that the Titans now rank as the worst time in the league against pass-catching running backs after what Todd Gurley did to them last week. They have allowed the league’s most receiving yards (902) and are tied for the second-most receiving touchdowns (5) and targets (127) allowed to running backs—all stats that should work in the favor of T.J. Yeldon, who should see an uptick in playing time if Leonard Fournette gets some rest.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Los Angeles Rams Passing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Sean Mannion will be starting for the Rams this week and will likely have limited weapons to work with as offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth will also miss this week, and you would expect that the wide receivers will likely see limited time throughout the game as the team works in their backups for a portion of this game. This is a tough situation for Mannion to be without his ensemble of weapons that have propelled the Rams to win the NFC West.

The 49ers gave up nearly 400 passing yards to Blake Bortles last week as their secondary was as porous as can be, despite the three times they managed to pick off Bortles. The 49ers have played through a very soft schedule over the second half of this season, yet still managed to allow the 10th and 8th most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks and wide receivers respectively since Week 9. Dontae Johnson has been terrible for most of the season, and he looks to be matched up against the touchdown machine Sammy Watkins. Ahkello Witherspoon has been their best cornerback, so he should be on Robert Woods for much of the game—but even Witherspoon is a very winnable matchup, especially with the lack of support at safety that the 49ers have received since the injury to Jaquiski Tartt.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

New York Jets Passing Offense at New England Patriots Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Bryce Petty simply doesn’t seem to have it. A subpar thrower with little confidence in his arm, Petty is little more than a check-down machine that struggles to generate anything of note. He’s “boasting” a truly pitiful 2.09 adjusted net yards per attempt; that factors in sacks, touchdowns, and interceptions, and for reference’s sake, he’s sitting a mile behind the likes of Trevor Siemian (4.38), Brett Hundley (3.84), and DeShone Kizer (3.41). Unlike Josh McCown, Petty hasn’t proven remotely capable of throwing deep threat Robby Anderson open on long routes, and over his 2 starts has completed just 3 of 8 passes (for all of 2 yards) in the red zone. Simply put, this Jets passing game is a mess at the moment, almost entirely ineffective and incapable of producing fantasy-usable numbers. Even in a solid matchup with the Patriots’ beatable secondary, there’s no reason to assume that Petty will produce, or that his receivers will be able to overcome this level of ineptitude.

The New England pass defense, a flat-out joke over the first half of the season, has tightened markedly down the stretch. Dating back to Week 7, they’ve allowed the league’s 7th-fewest passing yards and touchdowns. Still, it’s worth noting the exceptionally weak quarterback competition they’ve faced over that span. Since Week 10 they’ve taken on only Ben Roethlisberger, a slumping Derek Carr, Brock Osweiler, and a shaky group of Dolphins and Bills. They’ll certainly welcome Bryce Petty and the Jets’ now-toothless passing attack this week, but we have to take note of their vulnerability – and of the fact that Josh McCown managed 354 yards and 2 scores in this matchup in Week 6, with 4 completions of 23+ yards. Petty is a wobbly passer at best, and one who doesn’t test defenses downfield, but a handful of splash-play opportunities should be there for the taking in Week 17.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense at Los Angeles Rams Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Jimmy Garoppolo has been one of the hottest names in football over the past few weeks. He has won all four of his starts with the 49ers, averaging 313 passing yards per game in the month of December as he has posted the eighth-most fantasy points among quarterbacks during that span. Garoppolo became just the second quarterback this season to score three touchdowns on the Jaguars last week (two passing, one rushing) as he led the 49ers to a win over the best passing defense in the NFL. Marquise Goodwin has been Garoppolo’s top target in all four starts, leading the team in targets throughout all four games. Goodwin struggled in tough coverage last week as Garoppolo was forced into shorter routes to his fullback and tight ends, but Goodwin remains a viable threat as he has come on very strong since their Week 11 bye.

The Rams defense continued to play solid last week as they didn’t allow a single passing touchdown while picking off Marcus Mariota once in the win over the Titans. Their pass-rush continues to be a strength as Aaron Donald racked up his 11th sack of the season, helping with the Rams’ 4th ranked pass-rush with 48 sacks on the year. This pass-rush has really helped their secondary as the Rams lack a traditional shut-down cornerback, with all three starters serving as solid options for most of the season. The big contributors of the Rams secondary have been their safeties, with LaMarcus Joyner and rookie John Johnson III both having outstanding seasons as they each have stopped a number of big plays from occurring this year. The Rams will be resting Donald and may limit the snaps of other starters this week which will limit their effectiveness this week.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Arizona Cardinals Passing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Cardinals decided to go back to Drew Stanton last week after Blaine Gabbert’s needle was constantly trending in the wrong direction with worsening performances on a weekly basis. While Stanton led them to the win last week, it was far from pretty as he completed just 59% of his passes for 209 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Larry Fitzgerald has been having yet another solid season as he posted his sixth game with 90 or more receiving yards and found the end zone for the sixth time last week. Outside of Fitzgerald, though, the Cardinals passing offense has been far too unpredictable to rely upon this season. This offense has been quite sloppy in recent weeks, giving up 21 sacks and six turnovers over the last four weeks—all stats that should have the Seahawks licking their chops coming into this week’s meeting.

The Seahawks defense looked much better last week as they sacked Dak Prescott four times while forcing three turnovers, limiting Dallas to just 182 passing yards and no touchdowns in the game. Having Bobby Wagner back and apparently healthy is a big deal for this defense, as he was noticeably slowed a week ago. This week, the Seahawks are in a must-win situation to keep their playoff hopes alive. Their defensive line should not have a problem against the Cardinals’ bottom-tier offensive line, but Justin Coleman very well could struggle again against Larry Fitzgerald as he helped contribute to Fitzgerald going for over 100 receiving yards in the last meeting between these two teams earlier in the season. Outside of Fitzgerald, there are no matchup advantages to be found as the Cardinals have one of the most unpredictable, and unreliable, receiving groups in football.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense vs Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Joe Flacco’s early-season crater has evened itself out nicely. Finally clear of his nagging offseason back injury, Flacco isn’t setting the world ablaze, but he’s averaging 265.8 yards over the last 4 weeks and thrown multiple touchdowns in 3 of them. He’s certainly resumed his 2016 rapport with Mike Wallace; over that 4-game span they’ve connected 18 times for 337 yards. The return of Flacco’s deep ball has been a blessing – Wallace had averaged just 43.1 yards over his first 10 games – and this passing game is finally paying off, if only in managed chunks. There aren’t any other fantasy-intriguing receivers on the docket here, though, with Jeremy Maclin likely sitting Week 17 and tight end Ben Watson no more than a catch-and-fall dump-off valve. This unit is anything but a world-beating one, but we can at least trust its key components (Flacco, Wallace, and perhaps the receiving backs) to be low-level fantasy starters with modest upside.

The Cincinnati pass defense remains a relatively stout unit, allowing the league’s seventh-fewest yards and touchdowns. They typically waffle as a unit from strong to weak based on opposing quarterback quality – they’ve stifled Jacoby Brissett and Brock Osweiler, but been gashed by Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger. It was encouraging to see them hold Matthew Stafford to just 203 yards last week, and top Lions wideouts Marvin Jones and Golden Tate to 64 yards across 11 targets. Getting back cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick from injury was huge; he’s had a strong season and limited several WR1s throughout the year.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense at Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Andy Dalton and the Bengals pass game remain thoroughly underwater. The receiving corps lacks even a passable downfield option behind A.J. Green, the offensive line is in absolute shambles (our Matt Bitonti currently ranks it 25th), and there’s little reason to be confident in a Week 17 turnaround. Dating back to Week 7, Dalton has posted a weak 5.53 adjusted net yards per attempt (which factors in sacks and interceptions), and the Bengals as a whole have averaged just 194.4 yards per game. He’s also a threat to be pulled at any moment, having been sat for A.J. McCarron in two of the Bengals’ last three games (both blowout losses). He can’t be trusted in fantasy, and while he’s typically a better passer than given credit for, he’s playing without confidence and torpedoing the entire unit right now. Green is definitely feeling the sting, compiling just 175 yards on 26 targets over the past 3 weeks. He’s a certified stud, of course, capable of winning any matchup and scoring on any target. But Dalton’s lackluster play, the front line’s inability to create deep-ball opportunity, and heavy defensive attention continue to work against him; he’s still a fantasy WR1, but a fairly tenuous one in comparison to his peers.

The Ravens are missing top cornerback Jimmy Smith, who’s on IR, and that could prove a big deal. This is a unit short on strong cover men – rookie Marlon Humphrey has been great, but much of the crew has been shaky at best. Slot cornerback Lardarius Webb has been dreadful, and the safeties and linebackers, units built more for run-stuffing than coverage, present frequent mismatches to exploit. Of course, this pass defense has been suffocating for much of the year, so we can’t overreact. But it’s worth noting that T.Y. Hilton shredded the Ravens’ zones for 100 yards on 6 catches last week.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Cleveland Browns Passing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

DeShone Kizer’s rookie year has been an abject disaster. Erratic and lost against defensive schemes in college, he hasn’t improved in any measurable way in the NFL, and there’s no true reason to expect a Week 17 turnaround. Kizer leads the league in giveaways and sits dead-last in both completion rate and adjusted net yards per attempt, which factors in sacks, touchdowns, and interceptions. He’s had 4 times as many zero-touchdown games (8) as multiple-touchdown ones (2), and he hasn’t topped 215 yards in 5 weeks. Clearly not the answer under center but somehow the best passer on roster, Kizer has been, simply put, a rarely-seen mixture of low floor and low ceiling all year. He’s not a QB2 option, and his ineptitude has severely dampened three enticing Browns values: gifted wideouts Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman and dynamic rookie tight end David Njoku. Of the trio, only Gordon is startable right now, and even he’s a major dart throw, hauling in just 14 of his 35 targets and declining in yardage in each of his 4 weeks back.

The Steelers pass defense has fallen off noticeably over the past two months. Their season-long numbers still look stout: fifth-best in raw yardage allowed, seventh in touchdowns, and fifth in adjusted net yards per attempt. Don’t be lulled by last week’s domination of T.J. Yates and Taylor Heinicke; this unit has allowed 269+ yards to 4 of its last 8 opposing quarterbacks. (The other three exceptions: Jacoby Brissett, Brett Hundley, Andy Dalton.) Clearly, this pass defense is a nightmare for the NFL’s quarterback dregs, and they’re thankful to face one (DeShone Kizer) this week. This is an aggressive and talented enough unit to force any passer into a rough, sack- and turnover-riddled week, and Kizer’s potential for catastrophe is through the roof. But we need to hold in the backs of our minds just how vulnerable this group can be at times. Kizer seems unlikely to succeed this week, but there are mismatches in the secondary he can theoretically exploit with Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman. They’ve allowed 10 touchdown throws to wideouts over the past 7 weeks, a trend that hasn’t snapped despite the return of top cornerback Joe Haden.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

This has been an extremely down season for the entire passing offense of the Dallas Cowboys as Dak Prescott really struggled in a must-win game at home against the Seahawks last week throwing two critical interceptions and has now thrown 13 interceptions on the season compared to just 4 last season. Jason Garrett confirmed that Prescott would play the final game of the season this week and the Cowboys will be looking to end the season on a high note as Prescott over his last seven games has just five passing touchdowns and nine interceptions. There is clear frustration within the Cowboys locker room as Dez Bryant has come out publically this week and showed clear frustration with the team’s scheme and not the chemistry between him and Dak Prescott.

The biggest thing to watch for here is what the Eagles will do regarding playing their starters as Doug Pederson came out and said that he has not yet made a decision yet on whether they will rest their starters or not. He indicated that based on pure numbers some of his starters would have to play due to roster sizes and the inactive list only containing seven names. The two players that could rest on this Eagles team are veterans Patrick Robinson and Malcolm Jenkins both of whom are two of the better players for the Eagles and if they were to miss would open up opportunity out of the slot as well as for Jason Witten if he is active this week as Malcolm Jenkins is a former cornerback who has moved to strong safety and is still a very good coverage player.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Green Bay Packers Passing Offense at Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Packers put forth one of their poorest showings of the season last week as they were shut out by the Vikings and held to just 130 yards through the air. Brett Hundley finished with his worst completion rate of any game this season at just 42.5% as he looked as bad as we have seen him this year. To his credit, Hundley was without his top target Davante Adams for this entire game, and he lost Jordy Nelson early due to a shoulder injury. Both are questionable coming into this week. At this point, though, this Packers offense should be considered toxic as they are fully banged up with nothing to play for now that they have been eliminated from the playoffs.

The Lions have one of the most lopsided secondary units in the league. On one hand, they have one of the best lock-down shadow cornerbacks in the league in Darius Slay, who is leading the NFL in both passes defended (23) and interceptions (7). On the other hand, they D.J. Hayden, Quandre Diggs, Nevin Lawson, and Teez Tabor—all of whom have played horribly for most of this season which has led to the Lions defense allowing the fifth most passing yards per game this season. Slay alone keeps this unit ranked closer to the middle of the pack according to DVOA, but any receiver not covered by Slay has had a significant matchup advantage all season long. With Hundley playing as poorly as he is, it is tough to give anyone on this offense a bump. If Adams manages to suit up, look for him to be shadowed by Slay. Randall Cobb looks to be the only viable option who is healthy and should be in a decent matchup for most of this game. Keep an eye on injury statuses for this game though, as having both Adams and Nelson in the lineup would naturally bump up the outlook for Green Bay.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense at Denver Broncos Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Rookie Patrick Mahomes will be making his first start in his professional career and it could be a difficult one as we will have to see what the Chiefs do, but they may be without Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill if the Chiefs elect to rest their starters heading into the playoffs. So what should we expect from Mahomes who a lot of people have been calling to be the starting quarterback for the Chiefs as soon as next season? Like a lot of rookies it is tough to know as a lot of it has to do with the support system around him and if Hill and Kelce are out this could put Mahomes in a tough position this week. He will likely rely on players such as Demarcus Robinson and Albert Wilson at wide receiver and Demetrius Harris at tight end if the starters for the Chiefs do not go.

As bad as the Broncos have been this season, their defense has been a tremendous strength as their cornerbacks continue to be one of the best in football with Aqib Talib, Chris Harris, and Bradley Roby. While this unit has allowed more touchdowns in years past, they are still very stingy when it comes to yardage as they are only allowing 207 yards per game which is the second best in football and over their last four games they are still allowing just 188 yards per game which is showing that this team has not quit even though they have very little to play for. If the starters play this week, this could be a very difficult matchup for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Miami Dolphins Passing Offense vs Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Jay Cutler is likely facing his last game as an NFL quarterback. And his curious voyage through the league has culminated in an odd, unlike-Cutler season that’s seen him throw somewhat timidly and ineffectively. That said, this passing game has semi-erupted over the past 3 weeks; Cutler has averaged 274.3 yards while throwing downfield with regularity. With a strong running game at his back, the offense has opened up enough for Cutler to utilize DeVante Parker downfield at least a moderate amount. Still, Cutler remains erratic and unpredictable for fantasy purposes, and too much of this passing game is tied up in low-impact slot man Jarvis Landry. We’ve recently seen the projectable upside of this passing game – around 280 yards and 1-2 touchdowns – and it’s not enough to pin any of these names (aside from Landry on a volume basis) as fantasy starters.

The Buffalo pass defense continues to vacillate wildly from impenetrably strong to overly aggressive and burnable. It’s a unit that boasts strong talent – rookie cornerback TreDavious White often looks like an All-Pro, while free safety Jordan Poyer has broken out as a coverage stud in his own right. They’re two huge reasons the Bills have allowed a season-low 13 touchdown passes on the year. But the unit’s go-for-the-play mentality can get it into trouble, and we’ve seen a handful of huge fantasy performances from opposing receivers. On the weeks the pass rush (28th in sack rate) can’t bring pressure, the task is even taller. It’s hard to know what to expect from this unit, but it certainly doesn’t look like prohibitive – nor a particularly vulnerable – unit.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense vs Chicago Bears Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Case Keenum has done a magnificent job leading the Vikings offense this season, but he had one of his worst games of the year last week in Green Bay as he put up his lowest passing yardage total of the season with 139 yards and just one passing touchdown. Keenum took care of the ball, but he struggled with accuracy for most of the day by missing a number of open targets while lacking efficiency in the red zone. What still was a shutout could have been an absolute route had Keenum actually made all the plays he could have last week. Despite this, Keenum still had four straight weeks with multiple touchdowns leading into last week while completing over 61% of his passes in all but three games this season. Adam Thielen has been his top target all season, but Thielen is now coming off two very quiet and disappointing games with five receptions for 54 yards over the last two weeks. Three of his last four games have been Thielen’s lowest usage we have seen this season as he hadn’t finished with fewer than five receptions until Week 13. Stefon Diggs now has back to back touchdowns, but still has finished with just one game above 70 receiving yards since his injury earlier in the season that kept him sidelined for virtually three weeks. Speaking of injury, Kyle Rudolph continues to be limited as he recovers from an ankle injury, so don’t expect him to play much, if at all, this coming week.

The Bears passing defense has been an above-average group this season with some tough quarterback matchups on their resume. Last week was a cakewalk due to facing DeShone Kizer, but they have also had to square off against a red-hot Jimmy Garoppolo, Carson Wentz, and Matthew Stafford twice since Week 11. Over that six-game span, this defense has played pretty well with 14 sacks, seven fumbles recovered, and four interceptions while allowing the 12th fewest fantasy points per game against opposing quarterbacks. All three cornerbacks have been proficient this season while Adrian Amos has been one of the best safeties in the league despite his snub from the Pro Bowl, giving up just 5.8 yards per catch while forcing a couple of fumbles and returning an interception for a touchdown. Combine the proficient coverage with a top-10 pass rush, and this Bears defense should be a challenging one to close out the season against.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense vs Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

After a tremendous first start as the Eagles starting quarterback, Nick Foles struggled last week as the offense just is not taking the deep shots down the field that they did when Carson Wentz was the quarterback. A big part of this had to do with the wind last week as it was a very windy night game, but Alshon Jeffery had just one target in this game. Doug Pederson has come out and said that Nick Foles will start this week which is much needed as the Eagles will prepare for the playoffs after not having a great outing last week.

The Cowboys secondary has been one that has been up and down this season as they have been very strong over their last four-game holding opponents to just 186 yards per game which is the third best in football, but they have been hurt by giving up so many touchdowns 1.8 touchdowns per game over that same time period which is the sixth-worst in football. This is a team that held Russell Wilson to just 93 passing yards last week which was the lowest in his career. While this is a secondary that does not have any holes, it does not have a shut-down corner either as Chidobe Awuzie, Xavier Woods and Jourdan Lewis are all playing about league average on the season. The first time these two teams played the Eagles shut down the Cowboys holding Carson Wentz to just 168 yards passing.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense vs Arizona Cardinals Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Russell Wilson had an uncharacteristically underwhelming performance on the stat sheet last week, but he did just enough to carry the Seahawks to a win and keep them playing for something going into Week 17. Wilson managed just 93 passing yards but got back on track with two passing touchdowns and his first turnover-free outing in the last three weeks. This game marked Wilson’s fewest pass attempts of the season, which of course trickled to some tough fantasy days for his receiving options. However, those two touchdowns went to two of his most consistent contributors in Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham. Baldwin has had two underwhelming games in a row now with just 41 receiving yards in the last two weeks while Jimmy Graham has been even worst with just two receptions for two yards in the last three games. The touchdown salvaged what would have been yet another disastrous outing for Graham, who has seen just six targets in three games after averaging nearly seven targets per game through Week 13 this season. Despite his overall usage falling off a cliff, Graham remains the top red zone threat in this offense as they go into this must-win game against the Cardinals.

The Cardinals secondary has been playing much better during the later weeks of this season as they have now ascended to a top-10 defense against the pass using DVOA. Patrick Peterson has been elite, playing as one of the top shadow cornerbacks in the league. Opposite Peterson, veteran Tramon Williams has quietly been having a very impressive season. Williams has defended five passes over his last three games with an interception and fumble recovery over that span. Williams has been doing a great job in coverage while the Cardinals safeties have played well all season long to help over the top. Since Week 9, the Cardinals are giving up the second-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing receivers—a testament to how well this secondary has been playing. While they do have just an average group of pass rushers, this defense should be set up well to defend against Russell Wilson and make the Seahawks work for their spot in the playoffs

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Jameis Winston has a ways to go as an NFL passer – he’s reckless and mistake-prone, and he takes too many sacks at inopportune times, as we saw in Week 16. But he’s also a prolific passer, fully capable of capitalizing fantasy-wise on the Buccaneers’ lack of a run game. Garbage time helps, of course, and Winston has averaged 301.3 yards in full games this season, with multiple touchdowns in 6 of those 10. Stocked to the gills with volatile yet high-impact weapons, Winston’s gunslinging ways certainly produce. The real fantasy worry in this passing game is Mike Evans, who’s topped 90 yards just 4 times on the season and produced a disappointing 5 touchdowns. He’s still creating huge mismatches and producing Mike Evans catches, though, so he’s certainly not helpless in his looming matchup with Marshon Lattimore. The wildcard is tight end Cameron Brate, typically a favorite of Winston’s and a touchdown machine, but whose weekly role is always uncertain. He’s not the type to rack up yardage but is a true red-zone weapon who can win a week with his scoring.

The Saints’ new-look pass defense just continues to impress. Long an NFL laughingstock (and the league’s worst unit through the first 2 games of 2017), they’ve remade themselves almost entirely and now actually present a semi-prohibitive fantasy matchup for opposing pass games. The lynchpin has been rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who’s frankly looked like Patrick Peterson in his debut season. We saw this pass defense shredded in 2 of the 3 games he missed, for yards, only to snap back to the elite upon his return. Lattimore has had a growing pain here and there, but he’s dominating in coverage and doing his part against opposing WR1s. His Week 16 battle with Julio Jones was a joy to take in; Jones burned him early for a long gain, but Lattimore recovered to deny him a touchdown and break up a few targets later. Some of this unit carries inherent shakiness – the pass rush is often ineffective, for sure – but it’s still a tough, aggressive bunch capable of neutralizing pass games on a week-to-week basis. Mike Evans will absolutely have his hands full when faced with Lattimore: he managed just 1 catch on 6 targets in their Week 9 meeting, albeit with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Chicago Bears Passing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Mitchell Trubisky has helped lead the Bears to just one yard from being the worst passing offense in the league, as they are averaging 176 passing yards per game going into Week 17. Trubisky has shown flashes of solid play, but the majority of what he has displayed this season has been below expectations. He has just as many interceptions as touchdowns (seven), and Trubisky has yet to pass for more than one touchdown in a single game throughout his 11 starts. The Bears never developed a clear-cut number one wide receiver this season, with Kendall Wright being the closest they may have to that type of player as he leads the team in targets, receptions, and receiving yards but had only one receiving touchdown on the season.

The Vikings will be playing to lock down a first-round bye this week, so expect for this defense to bring its A-game as they get ready for the playoffs. They are coming out their first shutout in 25 years as the Vikings manhandled the Packers last week. This unit has been impressive against the pass all season long with only 6.1 passing yards per attempt and less than 200 passing yards per game allowed. They have racked up five interceptions and six sacks over the last three weeks, giving up the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks over that span and the second-fewest on the season as a whole. This is not a defense that the Bears will be excited about facing, especially considering what the Vikings have to play for.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

New York Giants Passing Offense vs Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

This is a season to forget for the Giants passing offense as it has been ravaged by injuries this year. Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, and Tavarres King are not practicing thus far this week and are questionable for this game against the Redskins. The Giants have more incentive to not play these two than to play them as if they lose this week they will ensure that they lock up the number two overall pick in the NFL Draft. If these three are unable to go, Roger Lewis would likely be the primary receiver alongside Rhett Ellison at the tight end position.

The Redskins secondary continues to be one that has been dominant over the last five weeks as excluding a game against Phillip Rivers, the Redskins have held opponents to just 149 yards passing per game. Typically this is where we would comment on the level of competition that the Redskins have faced and it has been weak (Osweiler, Gabbert, Prescott, Manning), but they are facing Eli Manning who was held to just 113 yards passing the last time these two teams met. The biggest reason for the improvement is Kendall Fuller has been almost perfect over the last five weeks as he has taken a significant step to becoming one of the best slot cornerbacks in the league. This should be a very difficult matchup for the Giants this week.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Oakland Raiders Passing Offense at Los Angeles Chargers Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The Raiders suffered a critical injury last week when Michael Crabtree went down with a hamstring injury which limited his production and prevented him from having a catch. The good news for the Raiders is that Crabtree appears to be alright after not being on the injury report this week. Derek Carr has struggled for most of this season, but he has particularly struggled over his last three games as he is averaging just 174 yards passing and has four touchdowns to four interceptions. A big reason for this is the disappearance of Jared Cook as he once was a big part of this offense has just three catches for 32 yards total over his last two games.

The Chargers secondary continues to be one of the best units in football led by Casey Hayward, Trevor Williams, and Desmond King. Helping matters is the pass rush has been tremendous this season in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram coming off the edge. This is a defense that has only allowed one 300 yard game this season and has held opposing offenses under 200 yards passing five times this season including a week 6 game against this Oakland team in which the Chargers held the Raiders to just 171 yards passing and forced two interceptions. In a must-win game for the Chargers this unit will be relied upon heavily to shut down the Raiders this week.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.

Tennessee Titans Passing Offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Marcus Mariota and the Titans passing offense have definitely taken a step back as their forgettable second half of the season continued last week. While Mariota posted his third-best game of the season from a yardage perspective with 275 passing yards, he again struggled with accuracy with no touchdowns and one interception as the Rams pressured him constantly throughout the afternoon. Mariota has shown the ability to lead drives and make plays when needed this season, he just has made far too many mistakes for opposing defenses to capitalize on. Corey Davis finally had a solid game last week as he reached a career-high in receiving yards with 91 from six receptions. While Davis has still yet to find the end zone, he is should be highly involved in the passing offense this week. Eric Decker has been much more involved in the last three games with over 50 receiving yards in each outing, but he still is tough to rely upon given all the mouths to feed in this offense.

The only thing that could be on the Titans’ side this week is the fact that the Jaguars have little to play for with their playoff spot locked up coming into this season finale. This Titans team will be in a must-win situation as they are fighting for their playoff hopes, but they will be in a very tough spot if the Jaguars do not rest any of the key components of this fierce passing defense. As the clear-cut top passing defense in the league, the Jaguars have given opponents fits all season, limiting both quarterbacks and wide receivers to the fewest fantasy points per game. Opposing passing offenses are averaging just 173 passing yards per game against the Jaguars. To illustrate how proficient that really is, the next best team against the pass is the Vikings, who have given up a whole 21 more passing yards per game than the Jaguars. They lead the league in sacks with 52 and rank second in interceptions with 21. This defense is not a fun opponent to play, and based on how the Titans offense has been performing as of late, they will need some luck and rested Jaguars starters if they stand a chance against this unit.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.