Exposed: FanDuel Matchup Considerations for Week 16

Aaron Rudnicki and Alessandro Miglio take a look at good and bad matchups for receivers and tight ends in FanDuel contests for Week 16.

Good Matchups

DeSean Jackson, WR, WAS @ PHI ($6,800)

Pierre Garcon, WR, WAS @ PHI ($5,800)

Miglio: Philadelphia’s defense is terrible, particularly against the pass -- that unit has given up the sixth-most fantasy PPG to opposing receivers over the past five weeks. Kirk Cousins may not have great road splits, but a fantastic matchup with DeSean Jackson in his holster should rectify that situation nicely.

Rudnicki: He missed the matchup earlier this year, but in two games against his former team last year, DeSean Jackson has posted nine catches for 247 yards and a touchdown. He figures to match up primarily against Byron Maxwell, who has had issues with the deep ball all year. Garcon has not been a big part of the Washington offense of late, but should also have a favorable matchup against rookie corner Eric Rowe. With the way Kirk Cousins has been playing, both receivers look like solid plays but Jackson is likely the better value despite his higher price.

 

Antonio Brown, WR, PIT @ BAL ($9,300)

Martavis Bryant, WR, PIT @ BAL ($7,200)

Markus Wheaton, WR, PIT @ BAL ($6,000)

Miglio: Antonio Brown is going to be a chalk play this week, even at $9,300. If he can dismantle that Denver defense the way he did last week, there is no stopping him. Well, unless Michael Vick is his quarterback.

That was the case the last time the Steelers faced the Ravens in a miserable Thursday night affair. Ben Roethlisberger is back for this divisional tilt, and Baltimore’s defense is a far cry from Denver’s.

While Antonio Brown is a chal play, his teammates should be fantastic options all around. Martavis Bryant can spontaneously combust, and Markus Wheaton could have another one of those unexpected supernovas.

Rudnicki: It’s never a bad idea to play Brown, but there is a chance this game could get out of hand early and lead the Steelers to take their foot off the gas a bit in the second half. If so, some of the lower priced Steelers options may wind up as the better option. Bryant in particular looks like a strong choice as he doesn’t need a ton of targets to put up a big game. Wheaton has been heating up as well, but figures to draw the toughest matchup of the three here with slot corner Lardarius Webb.

 

Kyle Rudolph, TE, MIN vs. NYG ($5,000)

Miglio: The Giants have not been very good at defending tight ends this season, particularly in recent weeks. While Kyle Rudolph is certainly a risk given relatively low usage, he is a nice GPP option this week at just $5,000.

Rudnicki: The Giants have been among the most generous defenses for tight ends all year, so this looks like a very favorable matchup for Rudolph. The injury to Adrian Peterson figures to result in more pass attempts from the Vikings offense, and Rudolph has provided a reliable option for Bridgewater over the past month.

 

T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND @ MIA ($6,800)

Donte Moncrief, WR, IND @ MIA ($6,00)

Miglio: Good thing Matt Hasselbeck is going to play.

The 40-year-old backup-turned-starter looked iffy heading into this Sunday’s action, having to liquify his food after taking a shot to the jaw. His presence in the starting lineup is good for T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief -- assuming the latter also plays -- and they couldn’t have asked for a much better matchup. Cornerback Brent Grimes seems to be in old-age decline, and the rest of that secondary is awful outside safety Reshad Jones.

Rudnicki: The Dolphins secondary didn’t give up much against the depleted Chargers last week, but they have been lit up by the Giants and Jets in recent games. Brent Grimes is not playing at a high level, and the other corners are probably not starter-quality. With Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback, both Colts receivers should warrant strong consideration this week.

 

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, HOU @ TEN ($8,500)

Nate Washington, WR, HOU @ TEN ($5,200)

Miglio: This one is a little tricky. On the one hand, the Titans defense poses little resistance to DeAndre Hopkins and Nate Washington. On the other, Brandon Weeden could be throwing them the ball.

It does look like Brian Hoyer will be on the field, though, and his receivers have an excellent matchup against the Tennessee Titans defense this week.

Rudnicki: The Titans corners didn’t get beaten up too badly by the Patriots wideouts last week, but they are very vulnerable. Hopkins has cooled off, but he should warrant serious consideration as long if Hoyer is cleared to play. Washington should have a great matchup against B.W. Webb on the opposite side as well. If the Texans have to rely on Brandon Weeden this week, however, it may be wise to look elsewhere.

 

Allen Robinson, WR, JAX @ NO ($8,400)

Julius Thomas, TE, JAX @ NO ($6,500)

Miglio: New Orleans poses just about the best fantasy matchup for opposing receivers this season, though the Saints have been a bit better in recent weeks. What they haven’t given up to receivers has gone to tight ends and running backs, though.

Julius Thomas is a bit pricey at $6,500, but that means he could have a low ownership percentage for you as he racks up the fantasy points.

Rudnicki: Robinson has a great chance to go against Brandon Browner this week, who has widely been considered among the absolute worst corners in the league. He has not been as active as he was earlier with just nine targets over the last two games, but he still has an active four-game touchdown streak going. The strongest play here is likely Thomas as the Saints have been terrible at slowing down tight ends all year and Thomas has quickly emerged as a go-to option for the Jaguars.

 

Anquan Boldin, WR, vs. DET ($5,900)

Miglio: The Lions haven’t given up a ton of fantasy points to receivers in recent weeks, but similar players to Anquan Boldin have scored touchdowns in that span.

Rudnicki: The strength of the Lions secondary is CB Darius Slay, but he figures to take out Torrey Smith. That should leave Boldin to work out of the slot and pick on the smaller Quandre Diggs. The Lions have had issues covering slot receivers and tight ends all year.

 

Bad Matchups 

A.J. Green, WR, CIN @ DEN ($8,400)

Miglio: Last week wasn’t a good one for the Exposed #brand -- pretty much everyone with a bad matchup overcame their odds -- but that doesn’t mean we should ignore a season’s worth of data for one data point. That’s why A.J. Green is here -- his matchup against Chris Harris, Aqib Talib and that Denver defense fighting for its playoff life isn’t particularly good. The fact A.J. McCarron is throwing him the ball is an additional drag.

Rudnicki: The Steelers receivers showed that the Broncos corners are not invincible, but don’t expect a repeat performance here. Green is hobbled a bit with a back injury, and now has to deal with Chris Harris and Aqib Talib. The Broncos pass rush should also be able to create problems for backup quarterback A.J. McCarron here.

 

Brandon Marshall, WR, NYJ vs. NE ($8,300)

Miglio: Malcolm Butler has quietly become one of the better cornerbacks in the league, though consistency eludes him. He should be locked onto Brandon Marshall this week, perhaps with a bit of safety help from Devin McCourty if he is healthy.

Rudnicki: The Patriots have gotten remarkable play from their corners this year as Malcolm Butler has emerged as a shutdown candidate. Logan Ryan has also played well at the other corner spot, so the Patriots appear to have the pieces in place to at least slow down the Jets WR tandem in Marshall and Decker.

 

Jordan Reed, TE, WAS @ PHI ($6,900)

Miglio: At this point, Jordan Reed seems matchup-proof. But that $6,900 price tag combined with a matchup against an Eagles defense that has surprisingly allowed the third-fewest fantasy PPG to the tight end position this year make for

Rudnicki: Reed plays more like a receiver and is one of the hottest players in the league with 16 catches and three touchdowns over the last two weeks. That being said, the Eagles have defended the three position just about as well as any team in the league this year. They’ve only given up three TDs to the position all year.

 

Ted Ginn, WR, CAR vs. ATL ($7,100)

Miglio: The Carolina offense has been on fire as of late, and that has included speedy Ted Ginn Jr. Despite his penchant for big drops, Ginn has scored a ton of fantasy points. That’s probably going to end this week, at least if cornerback Desmond Trufant decides to shadow the speedy wideout.

Rudnicki: Ginn just played Atlanta two weeks and ago and torched them for 120 yards and 2 TDs on just two catches, but this has generally been a strong pass defense. The strength of the Atlanta secondary is cornerback Desmond Trufant, but Ginn plays mostly on the other side so he should see plenty of Robert Alford. Given the big plays he made last time, however, I’d expect Atlanta to give him more attention this week.

 

Gary Barnidge, TE, CLE @ KC ($6,400)

Miglio: Gary Barnidge has overcome tough matchups throughout the year, but the Chiefs will be a bridge too far for the big tight end. The Chiefs are humming on defense, and Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry is going to lock Barnidge down this week.

Rudnicki: Barnidge has been an amazing story this year, as he seems to put up numbers regardless of the matchup. The Chiefs have consistently been the toughest matchup for tight ends all year, though -- they have only given up one touchdown to the position since Week 6, and it went to blocking specialist Lee Smith of the Raiders.