Exposed: FanDuel Matchup Considerations for Week 12

Aaron Rudnicki and Alessandro Miglio take a look at good and bad matchups for receivers and tight ends in FanDuel contests for Week 12.

Good Matchups 

Jarvis Landry, WR, MIA @ NYJ ($7,000)

Miglio: The Dolphins offense isn’t very good right now, and the Jets defense is great. One of those statements is false.

The latter statement was true as of a few weeks ago, but injuries and decline have hammered New York as of late. Darrelle Revis was smoked by Houston receiver DeAndre Hopkins before being concussed, and Revis Island might be closed for repairs over the next week or two.

Rudnicki: Revis spent some time shadowing Landry in their earlier matchup, but he’s in danger of missing this matchup due to a concussion. That would really leave a huge hole in the Jets secondary as Buster Skrine is playing through an injury, and Antonio Cromartie is struggling a bit. Even if Revis were able to play, he hasn’t looked very impressive the past several weeks, so there is certainly an opportunity for Landry to post a big game here.

 

Nate Washington, WR, HOU vs. NO ($5,300)

Cecil Shorts, WR, HOU vs. NO ($5,600)

Miglio: DeAndre Hopkins is elite, so he is a no-brainer against the Saints. But what about his cohorts?

Rudnicki: The Saints got their defensive coordinator fired so there may be some changes coming, but they will most likely want to match up their top corner Delvin Breaux against DeAndre Hopkins here. Hopkins is good enough to likely draw some safety help to his side of the field as well, and that should open things up for Nate Washington and Cecil Shorts. Washington has a particularly great matchup with Brandon Browner, who has arguably been the worst corner in the league this year.

 

Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI @ SF ($7,400)

John Brown, WR, ARI @ SF ($5,700)

Miglio: After being iffy for the past few weeks, John Brown wound up active against the Seahawks in Week 11. He had a huge game to boot.

Larry Fitzgerald, meanwhile, continues to produce solid numbers on the wings of double-digit targets every week. He remains an excellent cash game option, while John Brown is a steal at $5,700.

Rudnicki:  The 49ers benched starting cornerback Kenneth Acker last week, but his replacement Marcus Cromartie isn’t much of an upgrade. The biggest weakness for the 49ers may be their nickel corner Jimmie Ward, so Larry Fitzgerald will once again be a strong play. Brown is a bit under the radar now since he has been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury, but he’s healthier than Michael Floyd and should be able to pick apart this struggling secondary.

 

Heath Miller, TE, PIT @ SEA ($5,300)

Miglio: Seattle doesn’t cover tight ends, it seems. The Seahawks have given up the third-most fantasy PPG to the position this year, allowing the likes of Vance McDonald and Jermaine Gresham to score in the past couple of weeks. Heath Miller might not be a sexy DFS name, but he could put on a show this week in Seattle.

Rudnicki: The Steelers boast one of the most explosive wide receiver tandems in the league and they figure to draw most of the attention from the Seattle secondary this week. That should allow Miller to exploit some openings in the middle of the field. Lesser lights like Vance McDonald and Jermaine Gresham have found the end zone against Seattle in recent weeks, and elite options like Tyler Eifert and Greg Olsen have also blown up with huge games.

 

Doug Baldwin, WR, SEA vs. PIT ($5,300)

Tyler Lockett, WR, SEA vs. PIT ($5,600)

Miglio: Tyler Lockett had a huge Week 11, and he could follow it up with a similar output against Pittsburgh this week. The Steelers haven't been very good against the pass this season, and Lockett is the kind of dynamic wideout who could explode any given Sunday. Doug Baldwin's price makes him even more enticing given he is still the No. 1 receiver. Neither of these guys is particularly safe, but they make for solid GPP plays based on this matchup.

Rudnicki: The Steelers corners have been pretty generous to opposing receivers all year long. The Seattle passing game doesn’t always put up big numbers but they are certainly capable of it, and they figure to open things up a bit more this week to try and keep pace with the Steelers offense. Baldwin left the game last week with an ankle injury, but if healthy he should have little trouble beating William Gay out of the slow. The rookie Tyler Lockett is coming off a two-touchdown game and figures to match up against Antown Blake, who has been one of the most beatable corners in the league.

 

Jordan Reed, TE, WAS vs. NYG ($5,800)

Miglio: Jordan Reed caught six passes for 96 yards earlier this year against the Giants. Had he scored, it would have been a huge fantasy week for Washington’s talented tight end. He gets another shot this week against a Giants defense that has allowed a ton of fantasy points to opposing tight ends throughout the year.

Rudnicki: It’s never a bad idea to start a tight end facing the Giants defense. Reed himself posted six for 96 back in Week 3, and both Rob Gronkowski and Ben Watson have posted huge games against them in recent weeks. The return of Prince Amukamara should help out against the wideouts, but the Giants safeties and linebackers are unlikely to slow down Reed who has 23 catches and five touchdowns in his last four games.

 

Kendall Wright, WR, TEN vs. OAK ($5,300)

Delanie Walker, TE, TEN vs. OAK ($6,100)

Miglio: Last week did not provide the offensive fireworks everyone was expecting in Detroit. The Lions had a fantastic matchup against the Raiders defense, but little came of it in the fantasy realm. While the Raiders defense is improving, that doesn’t mean Kendall Wright and Delanie Walker have a bad matchup by any means.

Rudnicki: The Lions did not have the type of success against Oakland that many expected, but Golden Tate still came through. Slot corner D.J. Hayden has been picked on all year, and that should lead to a strong game from Kendall Wright in his expected return. Meanwhile, Delanie Walker gets to match up with a defense that has given up a touchdown to the opposing tight end in eight of 10 games this year. He’s already a threat for five catches and 55-plus yards in most weeks, but this matchup could help him blow up.

 

Bad Matchups

Stefon Diggs, WR, MIN @ ATL ($6,600)

Miglio: Desmond Trufant has been excellent this season for the Falcons, a big reason why Atlanta has allowed just three touchdowns to opposing receivers. Stefon Diggs is next in Trufant’s sights.

Rudnicki: Although Atlanta seems to be slipping overall, their pass defense has been surprisingly strong. Over the past five games, they have only allowed one touchdown to an opposing receiver and none have gone over five catches and 50 yards in the same game. Diggs has also cooled off the past few weeks as the Vikings passing game has remained generally unimpressive.

 

Charles Clay, TE, BUF @ KC ($5,300)

Miglio: The Kansas City defense has been rather good as of late, but that unit has been excellent against tight ends all year long. The Chiefs have allowed the fewest fantasy PPG to the position this year, and they have gotten stingier as the season has progressed. Charles Clay, meanwhile, has faded a bit from the Buffalo offense in recent weeks.

Rudnicki: The Chiefs defense has turned things around after a rough start, but they have been elite at defending tight ends all year. Thanks in part to the strong play of SS Eric Berry, they have only allowed one touchdown to a tight end in their last eight games. Meanwhile, Charles Clay has seen his big role in the Bills passing game disappear with just 10 targets over the last 3 games.

 

Jeremy Maclin, WR, KC vs. BUF ($6,200)

Travis Kelce, TE, KC vs. BUF ($5,800)

Miglio: The Bills have been quite good at defending tight ends this season. They proved it last week when Rob Gronkowksi was held to two receptions for 37 yards. Granted, some of that was poor targeting from besieged Tom Brady, but Buffalo has now allowed just 3.8 standard PPG to opposing tight ends over the past five weeks and the fourth-fewest on the year despite having faced Gronk twice.

Travis Kelce is next.

Rudnicki: Maclin does move around the formation quite a bit, so he could get some chances in the slot against the vulnerable CB Nickell Robey. He spends the vast majority of his time on the outside though, which points to a tough matchup against Stephon Gilmore or Ronald Darby for most of the game. Meanwhile, Kelce matches up with a defense that has done a great job at limiting opportunities for tight ends with 1 touchdown allowed over their last 8 games. They just held Rob Gronkowski to his lowest output of the year, and will look to do the same against the Chiefs leading receiver this week.

 

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

Miglio: Danny Amendola is the latest receiver to fall in New England. Next man up, right?

That would normally be Brandon LaFell in the fantasy realm. Unfortunately for him, that means a date with cornerback Aqib Talib or Chris Harris and the Denver defense. That’s the same unit that has allowed the fewest fantasy PPG to opposing receivers this season.

Rudnicki: One of the few constants in fantasy this year is you want to avoid receivers going against the Denver defense. While there have been several rare exceptions (e.g. Marquess Wilson going over 100 yards last week), they have still only given up one single touchdown to a receiver all year. If Danny Amendola is able to go, he should draw Chris Harris inside but that would still leave LaFell to face off against Aqib Talib or Bradley Roby outside.

 

Ben Watson, TE, NO @ HOU ($5,400)

Miglio: Ben Watson is a boom-or-bust proposition each week. He is liable to bust this week against an increasingly good Houston Texans defense.

Rudnicki: The Texans defense came into the year with high expectations, but took some time to get going. They are playing at a high level now, however, and have only allowed 1 receiving touchdown over their last three games. If you look at Watson’s history, all of his strong games have come at home while he’s only averaged three catches for 35 yards with just one touchdown scored in five road games this year.