Exposed: FanDuel Matchup Considerations for Week 11

Aaron Rudnicki and Alessandro Miglio take a look at good and bad matchups for receivers and tight ends in FanDuel contests for Week 11.

Good Matchups

Calvin Johnson, WR, DET vs. OAK ($8,100)

Golden Tate, WR, DET vs. OAK ($6,200)

Eric Ebron, TE, DET vs. OAK ($5,400)

Miglio: It’s cherries jubilee for the Detroit passing offense. About the only issue here is the fact there will only be so many targets to go around. Unless Matthew Stafford throws 62 passes, anyway.

Rudnicki: The Raiders got a small boost to their secondary when they activated CB T.J. Carrie off IR and sent David Amerson back to the bench, but this is still one of the worst pass defenses in the league. The Vikings didn’t really test them last week as they had plenty of success with the run game, but the Lions can’t run on anybody. This is a great matchup for the Lions passing game with the only real concern being the Raiders pass rush not giving Matthew Stafford much time in the pocket.

 

Tavon Austin, WR, STL @ BAL ($6,000)

Miglio: The Baltimore secondary has been rather generous to opposing wide receivers this season, save for a game here and there. Tavon Austin is a versatile, quick receiver that fits the profile of a guy the Ravens will have trouble covering this Sunday.

Rudnicki: The Ravens secondary has had issues all year, particularly on the outside. The quarterback change to Case Keenum this week should provide a spark to the Rams passing attack, which has looked lifeless all year under Nick Foles. Austin has been the most productive Rams WR all year and this looks like a great chance for him to really break out.

 

Mike Evans, WR, TB @ PHI ($8,000)

Vincent Jackson, WR, TB @ PHI ($5,900)

Miglio: Philadelphia’s secondary is middling at best, so this weekend should be a fun one for the Tampa Bay receivers. Hopefully Vincent Jackson is healthy enough to go, perhaps siphoning some of the coverage the Eagles are sure to throw at Mike Evans.

Rudnicki:  Evans has been putting up the type of numbers over the last month that everyone expected from him this year. He’s averaging almost seven catches for 122 yards per game in his last four games. While the return of Vincent Jackson may eat into his targets somewhat, Evans should still remain the focal point and take full advantage of a matchup with Eagles corner Byron Maxwell who has struggled all year. I’m much less confident with Jackson since he has missed three games and wasn’t all that productive before the injury.

 

Jamison Crowder, WR, WAS @ CAR ($5,800)

Miglio: You would think that the entire Washington defense was in for a long day against the Carolina Panthers. A guy like Jamison Crowder might be spared, though.

That would be because he is likely to avoid the The Bates Motel -- that is, Josh Norman.

Rudnicki: The Panthers defense has not looked quite as dominant of late so Kirk Cousins may be able to have some success here. Cornerback Josh Norman is obviously the player to avoid, but he should be matched up with outside receivers DeSean Jackson or Pierre Garcon. Crowder operates primarily out of the slot and thus should match up against nickel corner Bene Benwikere, who has been a weak spot for Carolina.

 

Danny Amendola, WR, NE vs. BUF ($6,100)

Miglio: Too obvious? Perhaps.

Danny Amendola is the natural heir to Julian Edelman’s targets throne, so he will probably have a higher ownership percentage this week. While the Bills defense is good, they have had trouble with inside receivers this season.

Rudnicki: This one looks too easy. Julian Edelman is out injured, along with running back Dion Lewis. Those two players accounted for quite a bit of the Patriots passing game this year, so there should be a lot of targets available for someone new. Amendola figures to take over the Edelman role in the offense and while he may not be as good, there also shouldn’t be a significant dropoff. The Bills corners are very strong on the outside, but CB Nickell Robey has not held up nearly as well inside so Amendola should be in line for big game here.

 

Michael Crabtree, WR, OAK @ DET ($6,500)

Miglio: A shootout is brewing at the Detroit Corral. Michael Crabtree has been producing like he was a first-round pick or something. He should have a field day against that Detroit secondary.

Rudnicki: The Lions pass defense has obviously not been a strength this year, but it’s likely they will use their best corner Darius Slay on Cooper as much as possible. That should leave Crabtree with the much better matchup against Nevin Lawson, who is filling in after several other injuries have decimated what little depth they had. Cooper has shown that he can produce against just about any matchup, but I prefer Crabtree here due to lower cost and easier matchup.

 

Jason Witten, TE, DAL @ MIA ($5,500)

Miglio: Eagles tight ends absolutely annihilated the Dolphins defense last week. Miami linebackers let Brent Celek and Zach Ertz run roughshod through them, wide open on many occasions. Of course, star safety Reshad Jones was busy doing other things like making game-sealing interceptions -- he well could be involved in covering tight ends more this week -- but Jason Witten should have a nice time with Tony Romo back in the lineup.

Rudnicki: Apart from a couple games that look like clear outliers, the Dolphins defense has been terrorized by opposing tight ends all year. They have given up 60-plus yards to a tight end six times this year and three of them have come in the last three games. The return of Tony Romo and a great matchup should help Witten to one of the best games he’s had all year.

 

Stevie Johnson, WR, SD vs. KC ($5,600)

Miglio: Denver’s debacle last week against the Chiefs might be freshly burned into your retinas, but don’t let that fool you -- Kansas City’s secondary can be exploited for fantasy points. Philip Rivers is far better than today’s Peyton Manning, after all.

Rudnicki: The Chiefs have started to turn their season around thanks to improved play on the defensive side of the ball, but they are still vulnerable in the secondary. Injuries have left Johnson as the primary WR in an offense that ranks 1st in the NFL with 329 passing yards per game. I think the Chiefs match up pretty well with Antonio Gates, while Johnson should have an advantage over Ron Parker inside that will allow Rivers to rely on him heavily this week.

 

Bad Matchups

T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND @ ATL ($7,200)

Miglio: Josh Norman has gotten all the new-generation hype at cornerback this season, but Desmond Trufant has quietly become one of the better corners in the league, too. He figures to shadow T.Y.  Hilton, who has Matt Hasselbeck throwing passes to him for the foreseeable future.

Rudnicki: Hilton figures to see a lot of Desmond Trufant this week, who hasn’t given up much to anybody all year. The change at QB to Matt Hasselbeck also suggests a bigger focus on the short and intermediate passing game, which likely helps Andre Johnson and hurts Hilton.

 

A.J. Green, WR, CIN @ ARI ($8,200)

Miglio: There isn’t much to say here. Patrick Peterson is in rare form this season, shutting down top wideouts all year long. A.J. Green is up next.

Rudnicki: Green has posted two quiet games in a row and now has to take on Patrick Peterson. The Cardinals like to let Peterson shadow the No. 1 receiver on the opposing team, and he is one of the few corners who have length and speed to keep Green in check.

 

Alshon Jeffery, WR, CHI vs DEN ($7,500)

Martellus Bennett, TE, CHI vs DEN ($5,200)

Miglio: If Alshon Jeffery even plays, he’ll likely draw Aqib Talib in coverage. This is just a terrible matchup for that Bears offense all around.

Rudnicki: Jeffery came crashing back to Earth last week in a blowout win over the Rams, and he won’t find things any easier this week. Whether matched up against Aqib Talib or Chris Harris, Jeffery is going to have to battle for his catches this week. Martellus Bennett also figures to have more blocking responsibility this week to try and keep the Broncos pass rush at bay, while the recent emergence of Zach Miller figures to eat into his targets as well.

 

Tyler Eifert, TE, CIN @ ARI ($6,200)

Miglio: Last week Tyler Eifert had a nice matchup and rewarded fantasy owners and Andy Dalton by dropping half the passes thrown his way. This week he gets a much tougher draw. Watch him go off for 100 yards and a score now that we’ve said that.

Rudnicki:  Eifert couldn’t hold onto the ball last week and now he faces a defense that has only given up 1 TD to an opposing TE all year. The Cardinals depth at the safety position gives them multiple options to match up with Eifert and likely limit the damage he will do here.

 

Brandon LaFell, WR, NE vs. BUF ($6,900)

Miglio: Whereas Danny Amendola has a great matchup against the softer interior of that Bills secondary, Brandon LaFell won’t be so lucky. He will benefit from added targets, too, but the coverage will be far better on the outside.

Rudnicki:  The injury to Edelman figures to create more opportunities for everybody else in the Patriots offense, so LaFell likely will see more targets as a result. However, the strength of the Bills defense this year has been the play of their starting cornerbacks. Both Ronald Darby and Stephon Gilmore rank near the top of the league in passes defended and will likely force Brady to use his other options this week.

 

DeSean Jackson, WR, WAS @ CAR ($6,100)

Miglio: DeSean Jackson is checking into the Bates Motel this week.

Rudnicki: Jackson says he’s healthy but he left the game briefly last week and didn’t take advantage of a Saints defense that couldn’t seem to stop anything. Now he gets a much tougher matchup as he figures to line up opposite Josh Norman for most of the game. That’s not likely to work out very well for him.

 

Randall Cobb, WR, GB @ MIN ($7,100)

Miglio: This is a shame -- Cobb is back on the bad matchup list after a tepid start in a good matchup last week. With quarterback Aaron Rodgers seemingly ailing and not playing up to MVP caliber, Cobb could be in for another down week.

Rudnicki: Cobb has a disappointing showing last week against Detroit as he only caught five of the 10 passes thrown his way. This week, he faces a tougher matchup as Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn has emerged as their top shutdown corner and he often covers the slot receiver. James Jones has been very quiet lately but could get back on track as he’s likely to be matched up against Xavier Rhodes who has looked very beatable all year.