Exposed: FanDuel Matchup Considerations for Week 15

Aaron Rudnicki and Alessandro Miglio take a look at good and bad matchups for receivers and tight ends in FanDuel contests for Week 15.

Good Matchups

Brandon LaFell, WR, NE ($6,300)

Danny Amendola, WR, NE ($7,000)

Miglio: He has struggled through some drops this season, but Brandon LaFell has been close to popping a big play once or thrice this year. The Titans, meanwhile, get popped for huge plays all the time.

LaFell is certainly riskier than his now-healthy counterpart, Danny Amendola. If the former is too risky for your blood, Amendola isn’t too much more expensive at $7,000. The latter is a great cash option while the former is strictly for GPPs.

Rudnicki: With the way the Titans have played of late, all Patriots receivers should look like very attractive options. This defense has allowed 11 passing touchdowns over the last 3 games to Ryan Fitzpatrick, Blake Bortles, and Derek Carr combined so imagine what Tom Brady can do here. The Titans aren’t really getting strong play from any of their CBs right now, so the particular matchups may not matter much. LaFell has disappointed despite seeing plenty of targets while Amendola has remains a reliable target for Brady on shorter routes out of the slot so his floor is significantly higher.

 

Malcom Floyd, WR, SD vs. MIA ($5,600)

Dontrelle Inman, WR, SD vs. MIA ($5,000)

Miglio: Stevie Johnson is out and Dontrelle Inman is healthy again. The latter is a decent GPP option against a floundering Dolphins defense. Malcom Floyd, meanwhile, is an inexpensive cash game option, though he does not come without risk. The Chargers offense hasn’t been very good, after all, but a matchup against Miami could mean some crooked numbers.

Rudnicki: Everybody saw the Dolphins secondary get shredded by Odell Beckham on Monday night. The Chargers don’t have a game-breaker like that, but there is going to be some opportunity here. If Stevie Johnson is not healthy enough to play, then Inman or possibly Malcolm Floyd should be worth considering. Neither player has done a whole lot lately, but that’s why they come at a low price and they should make nice value options here.

 

Greg Olsen, TE, CAR @ NYG ($6,800)

Miglio: Greg Olsen is starting to approach “too expensive” status, but that doesn’t mean you should fade him just yet. Not against the Giants, at any rate.

If Dolphins tight ends could catch the ball, they would have had a huge game against that New York defense last week. As it stands, that unit has given up a ton of fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

Rudnicki: When picking a tight end to use this year, it hasn’t been a bad idea to go with whoever is facing the Giants that week. In the weeks when they didn’t give up many points to the position, it’s often due to the fact their opponent doesn’t use the position much in the passing game. However, few teams use their tight end as much as the Panthers so Olsen could be headed for a huge game here.

 

Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI @ PHI ($7,200)

J.J. Nelson, WR, ARI @ PHI ($5,400)

Michael Floyd, WR, ARI @ PHI ($6,100)

John Brown, WR, ARI @ PHI ($6,300)

Miglio: John Brown and Michael Floyd were solid fantasy performers last week while Larry Fitzgerald continued his scoring drought. That’s why the latter is in here, along with speedy GPP option J.J. Nelson.

Rudnicki: The Eagles defense has played better than expected over the past couple weeks with just 2 TDs allowed to opposing WRs. The Cardinals should have mismatches all over the field though. Fitzgerald has been trending downward lately, but obviously is the clear #1 WR here. Floyd and Brown have been posting strong numbers in recent weeks and should find little trouble getting behind the outside corners Byron Maxwell and Eric Rowe. Nelson probably doesn’t get enough snaps to warrant serious consideration.

 

Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN vs. PIT ($7,700)

Emmanuel Sanders,  WR, DEN vs. PIT ($7,100)

Miglio: Can we take a mulligan on last week? At least with Emmanuel Sanders, at any rate.

Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders should have had a nice week against the Raiders defense. Unfortunately, the Broncos couldn’t get into the end zone. While Thomas had a decent day nonetheless, both of these guys were bitter fantasy disappointments.

This week, the duo gets an even friendlier matchup against the Steelers. A.J. Green was the latest to set Pittsburgh’s secondary aflame, and he did it after his starting quarterback was knocked out of the game with a broken hand.

Rudnicki: Last week, it was the Demaryius Thomas show as picked up 10 catches on 14 targets while Sanders was a bust with just two catches on 6 targets. The Broncos are going to have to open up the offense this week to try and keep pace with the Steelers offense, so there should be opportunities for both players once again. The Steelers defense has played better of late, but they are still vulnerable to giving up some big games.

 

Eric Ebron, TE, DET @ NO ($4,800)

Calvin Johnson, WR, DET @ NO ($8,000)

Miglio: St. Louis hasn’t given up a ton of fantasy points to receivers this season, which is a big reason why Calvin Johnson wasn’t a good option last week. New Orleans, however, has given up a ton of fantasy points to just about everyone this year. We could see a massive game out of Johnson and anyone else involved in that passing game.

Rudnicki: The Saints have been very generous to opposing tight ends all year. Whether it’s struggles from their linebackers or safeties or just not being in sync, there should be enough opportunities for Ebron this week who has seen a recent spike in playing time. Meanwhile, Calvin Johnson should bounce back after a quiet game against the Rams last week. He figures to match up primarily against Brandon Browner here and it could get ugly.

 

Randall Cobb, WR, GB vs. OAK ($7,200)

Miglio: Randall Cobb may finally be coming out of the fantasy doldrums, and a solid matchup against the Raiders could mean a huge day for Green Bay’s versatile wideout.

Rudnicki: The Raiders managed to keep the Broncos receivers in check last week thanks primarily to a monster game from Khalil Mack. Aaron Rodgers should have a lot more success this week, and his primary target figures to be Cobb who had eight catches on 12 targets a week ago. He should have a clear advantage over cornerbacks Neiko Thorpe and T.J. Carrie.

 

Bad Matchups

Allen Robinson, WR, JAX @ ATL ($8,100)

Miglio: You wouldn’t normally call a team that was just thrashed 38-0 a bad matchup for someone, but the Falcons do still have a quality defender named Desmond Trufant. Granted, Robinson might simply be better, but he is certainly a risk this week against the Falcons.

Rudnicki: The Falcons pass defense has been a strength for them all year, led primarily by Desmond Trufant. Even though he doesn’t shadow the opposing team’s No. 1 receiver, Robinson figures to line up across from him rather often. Robert Alford isn’t a pushover, either. Robinson has played well enough to consider him nearly matchup-independent, but he’s also coming off a game where he was mostly invisible against Vontae Davis and the Colts.

 

Jordan Matthews, WR, PHI vs. ARI ($6,100)

Miglio: There isn’t much to like about Matthews’ matchup this week as he goes up against one of the best cornerback tandems in the league, inside and out.

Rudnicki: It sounds like Matthews may not be healthy enough to play due to back problems, but it’s a terrible matchup for him regardless. Whether he gets to face Patrick Peterson or Tyrann Mathieu, who often covers the slot receiver, he is likely to be blanketed here.

 

Odell Beckham Jr., WR, NYG vs. CAR ($9,100)

Miglio: Forty-six yards and zero touchdowns. Those are the statistics Josh Norman and the Carolina defense have given up on average to Julio Jones, Dez Bryant, Doug Baldwin, T.Y. Hilton, Mike Evans, and Allen Robinson this season. The Bates Motel has a vacancy, and Odell Beckham Jr. is about to check in.

Rudnicki: With an expected matchup against Josh Norman this week, this figures to be one of the toughest matchups for any wide receiver in the league. Beckham is good enough to still produce, but he won’t be given anything easy like he was last week by the Dolphins.

 

Travis Kelce, TE, KC vs. BAL ($6,000)

Miglio: Pretty much every tight end not named Gary Barnidge has had an off week against the Ravens this season. Travis Kelce, meanwhile, couldn’t get anything going in great matchups the previous two weeks. This could be a case of reverse psychology, but don’t bet on Kelce bouncing back against the Ravens this week.

Rudnicki: The Ravens have struggled defending outside receivers all year, but they have generally been strong against the tight end position (except when facing Gary Barnidge). They are led by a strong group of inside linebackers, but also have gotten good play from strong safety Will Hill. Kelce hasn’t really been able to take advantage of bad matchups this year, so it’s tough to expect much from him here.

 

Dez Bryant, WR, DAL vs. NYJ ($6,900)

Miglio: Dez Bryant’s foot and Tony Romo’s collarbone have conspired to sink the former’s season. Bryant has been abysmal without Romo since his return from a broken foot, and a matchup against Darrelle Revis and the Jets defense doesn’t bode well for his fantasy prospects this week.

Rudnicki: Bryant looks like a shell of himself lately, and Matt Cassel isn’t doing him many favors either. Even though Darrelle Revis has looked vulnerable of late, he should still be good enough to limit Bryant here.

 

Antonio Brown, WR, PIT vs. DEN ($8,800)

Martavis Bryant, WR, PIT vs. DEN ($7,100)

Miglio: One of the league’s best passing offenses takes on its best pass defense when the Steelers host the Broncos this week. Who will win the day?

It’s not as if Denver hasn’t faced a good passing offense this season. Antonio Brown is special and Martavis Bryant is explosive, but they could find the going tough this week against Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr.

Rudnicki: This is one of the most interesting matchups in the league this week as you have perhaps the best pair of receivers going up against the best pair of cornerbacks. Brown figures to see plenty of Chris Harris, which will leave Bryant matched up against Aqib Talib. Obviously, both Steelers receivers are good enough to be productive regardless of the matchup, but the great Broncos pass rush could be the difference here.