Exposed: FanDuel Matchup Considerations for Week 17

Aaron Rudnicki and Alessandro Miglio take a look at good and bad matchups for receivers and tight ends in FanDuel contests for Week 17.

Good Matchups

Keshawn Martin, WR, NE @ MIA ($5,600)

Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE @ MIA ($8,100)

Miglio: With Julian Edelman out and Danny Amendola and Brandon LaFell hurting, this is the perfect week for some unheralded Patriot to put up a crooked fantasy number. That man could be Keshawn Martin, going up against the floundering Dolphins.

Of course, if you would like some standard fare, Rob Groknowski’s price has dipped. He is still the most expensive tight end, by far, but he could have the highest scoring week against that defense.

Rudnicki: The Dolphins secondary is a clear weak spot, but they held the Colts passing game to zero touchdowns last week and were only beaten by running back Danny Woodhead (for three touchdowns) a week prior. Given the depleted depth at wideout, though, you may want to take a chance on Martin since he will have Brady throwing to him after all. Also, Gronkowski should remain a solid play as he is just about every week.

 

Jacob Tamme, TE, ATL @ NO ($4,900)

Miglio: The New Orleans Saints have been terrible, defensively, including giving up the most fantasy points to the tight end position all year long. Jacob Tamme certainly isn’t a cash game option, but he could save you some money in GPPs.

Rudnicki: Tamme has been pretty quiet in recent weeks, but the Saints have been very generous to opposing tight ends all year. They held up well against Greg Olsen in both games, but gave up big games to Julius Thomas and Kyle Rudolph, so Tamme should have a chance for a big game.

 

Rueben Randle, WR, NYG vs. PHI ($5,800)

Miglio: If statistics and Vegas are any indication, the Giants are going to score a ton of points against the Eagles this week. The game has an over-under above 50, and Philadelphia has given up the second-most fantasy points to receivers this season. While everyone will be on Odell Beckham Jr in his return from suspension, Rueben Randle could be a sneaky great differentiator at just $5,800. He has scored a touchdown in four of his past five games, and the Eagles are sure to be preoccupied trying to stop ODB.

Rudnicki: The Giants like to move Beckham around to make it tougher for defenses to key on him, but Randle still lines up on the left most of the time. That should match him up rookie corner Eric Rowe -- with Byron Maxwell, out, the Eagles will be without their top-2 corners this week and figure to devote safety help to Beckham quite often. That should leave Randle in man coverage all game, and he’s been finding the end zone regularly of late.

 

Travis Benjamin, WR, CLE vs. PIT ($5,400)

Miglio: This might be a bit trickier given the Browns don’t exactly have a quarterback, but Travis Benjamin could be one of those unexpected difference-makers in your lineup this week. The reason for this is twofold -- Pittsburgh’s pass defense isn’t very good, and this game could wind up being a blowout. The latter would ensure garbage time starts early.

Rudnicki: The Steelers pass defense has shown signs of improvement, but they are still vulnerable to giving up some big plays. Benjamin looks like he’ll have to rely on Austin Davis at quarterback this week and he hasn’t done much of late (nine catches for 87 yards over last four games combined), but at this price he’s worth considering.

 

Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, TEN vs. IND ($5,700)

Harry Douglas, WR, TEN vs. IND ($5,100)

Miglio: Thinking outside the box this week? Can I interest you in a pair of Titans receivers?

The Titans are once again in the cellar, and that offense was brutal last week against the Texans. The Colts headed in the opposite direction, though, and they have given up the fifth-most fantasy points this season.

Rudnicki: The Colts secondary mostly been a mess this year, but they held up pretty well against the Dolphins and Texans the past couple weeks. Green-Beckham should see plenty of Vontae Davis, who isn’t playing up to last year’s level but can still be a tough matchup. That may leave Douglas as the preferred target since he’ll likely see more of Darius Butler and Greg Toler.

 

Zach Miller, TE, CHI vs. DET ($5,900)

Miglio: Few tight ends have had a better second half to the 2015 season than Zach Miller, who started scoring a ton of fantasy points even before Martellus Bennett was lost for the season. The Lions, meanwhile, have given up the most fantasy points to tight ends over the past five weeks, including four touchdowns.

Rudnicki: Miller is dealing with an injury so watch the reports, but he has a great matchup this week. The Lions have had trouble handling tight ends all year with 12 touchdowns allowed to the position in 15 games. There were only 4 games all year when the opposing tight end didn’t find the end zone against them. Now that Alshon Jeffery is on IR, the Bears offense figures to rely heavily on Miller if he can stay on the field.

 

Marvin Jones, WR, CIN @ BAL ($5,700)

Miglio: If the first half of last week’s game is any indication, A.J. McCarron is going to have himself a great game against the Ravens.

McCarron sliced and diced the Denver defense for two quarters before the Broncos ratcheted up the heat. While the Ravens are certainly capable of getting up for a division opponent -- just ask the Steelers last week -- they have had trouble stopping opposing offenses over the course of the season.

Rudnicki: The Ravens defense shocked everybody with their play against the Steelers last week, but I’m not convinced they can repeat here. Jimmy Smith has struggled and figures to be the primary matchup for Jones this week. Hopefully the Bengals don’t have to rely on Keith Wenning at quarterback, but Jones could still likely find a way to get it done if that happened.

 

Bad Matchups

Amari Cooper, WR, OAK vs. KC ($6,900)

Miglio: The Chiefs are still gunning for the division crown, and they aren’t about to have a letdown against the Raiders. Right?

Divisional games can be tricky from a fantasy perspective -- just look at that unexpected dud from the Steelers last week -- but all indications point to a bad game for Amari Cooper in his rookie season finale. What was once a weak point has turned into a strength for Kansas City, as that defense has allowed just four touchdowns

Rudnicki: Cooper is fading as he’s playing through a foot injury, and now has a surprisingly tough matchup against a resurgent Chiefs secondary. Sean Smith and Marcus Peters are not playing great, but they are good enough to make things tough for Cooper who has been disappointing in three of the past four games.

 

Tyler Eifert, TE, CIN vs. BAL ($6,300)

Miglio: Tyler Eifert might be back this week against Baltimore, a team that gave up exactly zero points to him earlier this season.

Rudnicki: The Bengals don’t figure to use Eifert too much even if he does play, as I’m sure they want him healthy for the playoffs. Even still, the Ravens have been one of the toughest matchups for opposing tight ends with just two TDs allowed to the position all year and just one in the last 10 games..

 

Jordan Reed, TE, WAS @ DAL ($7,400)

DeSean Jackson, WR, WAS @ DAL ($6,900)

Miglio: Washington is one of those teams that has nothing to play for this week, so it might be a good idea to avoid that offense altogether. The division is wrapped up and there is no way to improve seeding.

Rudnicki: Reed is on fire, but there’s a great chance he gets rested this week since Washington has little to play for and wants to be healthy for their playoff game. Dallas has also been a tough matchup for tight ends all year due to their strong defense. None of the Cowboys corners are particularly scary, but they have a good scheme and have limited the damage done by most of the top receivers they faced all year. Even if Jackson were to play a full game, he might not post great numbers given what should be a conservative attack from Washington this week.

 

Allen Robinson, WR, JAX vs. HOU ($8,500)

Miglio: We have witnessed Allen Robinson’s ascension toward the fantasy elite this season, predicted by some. Unfortunately he is heading into a bad matchup for Week 17.

While Robinson has been matchup-proof to a degree, his production has been largely a function of touchdowns in poor matchups. You don’t want to rely on touchdowns to bail you out of an otherwise poor day, which is exactly the situation you’ll find yourself in this weekend with Robinson.

Rudnicki: Robinson is an ascendant talent, but he should have a very tough matchup this week against Jonathan Joseph. The Texans defense is playing well in general and needs this game to clinch the division. Meanwhile, Jacksonville has made regular use of Julius Thomas and Allen Hurns, so Bortles won’t have to force the ball to his best receiver here.

 

Kamar Aiken, WR, BAL vs. CIN ($6,500)

Miglio: Whereas Kamar Aiken had a good matchup last week, the opposite is true in Week 17.

Rudnicki: Aiken has been surprisingly consistent regardless of quarterbacksince Steve Smith went down with an injury.. He figures to go primarily against veteran Adam Jones this week, who has had a huge year and been tough in coverage just about every week. The Bengals defense has only given up two touchdowns to opposing receiversin the past five games so be careful here.

 

Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN

Miglio: The Broncos have a pretty good matchup to secure that first-round bye this week, but that doesn’t mean everyone is going to put up big numbers.

Demaryius Thomas is primed for a matchup against Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett, who has been one of the best in the league this season. While the Broncos are probably going to try to spring Thomas with screens and moving him around, Verrett will probably be on him for much of the game.

Rudnicki: Thomas figures to match up against shutdown corner Jason Verrett this week. He was held to just six targets the last time these teams met, which was his lowest of the year. Additionally, Thomas suffered a hamstring injury last week so there’s a good chance the team won’t risk further injury to him this week and keep his workload light.