Exposed: FanDuel Matchup Considerations for Week 9

Aaron Rudnicki and Alessandro Miglio take a look at good and bad matchups for receivers and tight ends in FanDuel contests for Week 9.

Good Matchups 

Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, TEN @ NO ($4,900)

Miglio: The Titans get Marcus Mariota back this week, which is good news for the offense even if he is an inconsistent rookie. Unfortunately for him, receiver Kendall Wright is out.

Rudnicki: The injury to Kendall Wright should move Green-Beckham into a featured role in the Titans offense this week. Fortunately for him, they are facing the Saints who just gave up 6 passing TDs a week ago, and the Titans don’t have many other options. A coaching change and the return of Marcus Mariota should spark the team.

 

Heath Miller, TE, PIT @ OAK ($5,800)

Miglio: It’s honestly a bit shocking to see Heath Miller priced so highly for this week. Maybe the folks at FanDuel are proactively inflating tight ends set to face that Oakland defense. Price notwithstanding, Miller makes for a decent cash option. He got plenty of looks from Ben Roethlisberger last week, and he could be a safe outlet for his quarterback in Week 9.

Rudnicki: Few matchups have been more reliable this year than starting tight ends against the Raiders. The Jets had limited options last week, but still got Kellen Davis into the end zone, which means an opposing TE has scored a TD in 6 of 7 games this year. Miller could be in for a big week, especially if this turns into a shootout with a Raiders offense that is heating up.

 

Stevie Johnson, WR, SD vs. CHI ($5,400)

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

Miglio: All eyes will be on Malcom Floyd this week, and he makes for a pretty good play as well. But his cheaper counterparts could be better values when the dust settles.

Stevie Johnson’s volume figures to see the biggest boost in the wake of Keenan Allen’s season-ending injury.

Rudnicki: There is a clear opportunity here for somebody in the Chargers offense to post big numbers this week following the loss of Keenan Allen. Last week, it was Malcolm Floyd as he seemed like the only healthy option available. Stevie Johnson suffered a shoulder injury in the game but played through it. If he’s healed up by Monday night, he should be a great option against a Bears defense that is very weak at the corner position. Dontrelle Inman has yet to make an impact despite consistent playing time, but he could make an intriguing boom/bust option for tournaments this week.

 

Brandon LaFell, WR, NE vs. WAS ($5,200)

Miglio: The New England Patriots are slated to score 33 points this week according to Vegas. That’s a huge number, which means plenty of fantasy points will be flying on Sunday. Most will be on running back Dion Lewis, tight end Rob Gronkowski and receiver Julian Edelman, leaving Brandon LaFell as a great option flying under the radar in a great matchup.

Rudnicki: LaFell is taking some time to knock the rust off and get back in sync with Tom Brady, but the playing time and targets seem to clearly indicate he is the No. 2 receiver behind Julian Edelman. With Washington’s secondary depth decimated by injuries, this could easily be the week when LaFell posts a TD or two and gives fantasy owners another Patriots weapon to consider in their lineups each week..

 

Garrett Celek, TE, SF vs. ATL ($4,500)

Miglio: Blaine Gabbert is your new 49ers starting quarterback. Carlos Hyde and Reggie Bush are injured. The 49ers offense is terrible. Vernon Davis is gone.

Nobody will see Garrett Celek coming.

Rudnicki: The matchup looks favorable, but Celek is in the concussion protocol this week. Bad timing given the trade of Vernon Davis. Maybe Vance McDonald is the true sleeper pick here but you have to figure the 49ers will be throwing the ball early and often.

 

Martavis Bryant, WR, PIT vs. OAK ($6,900)

Miglio: It seems we are all too optimistic about the Pittsburgh offense last week in Ben Roethlisberger’s return from injury. That whole game script went askew, and anyone starting Steelers was left holding the bag.

Fortunately, that was just one week. Big Ben faces a much softer opponent this week in the Oakland Raiders, and his receivers should benefit.

Rudnicki: The Raiders have only allowed one touchdown to an opposing receiver over the past three games, but they are still giving up plenty of yards and catches. The Steelers passing game should dominate this matchup if they can protect Roethlisberger in the pocket. The loss of Le’Veon Bell also figures to open up more targets and opportunities for Bryant, who is a threat to score almost anytime he catches the ball.

  

Bad Matchups

T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND @ CAR ($7,700)

Donte Moncrief, WR, IND vs. DEN ($6,400)

Coby Fleener, TE, IND vs. DEN ($5,000)

Miglio: It goes from bad to worse for T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief. Actually, that’s impossible after Monday night’s rain-soaked debacle, but it’s a terrible matchup nonetheless. The Broncos boast the best defense in the league, particularly against the pass. Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr. and T.J. Ward spearhead that dominant unit, and they will make life difficult for a reeling Colts offense.

Rudnicki: T.Y. Hilton was wearing a walking boot this week and it looks like he may not be able to play. That likely makes things even worse for Moncrief, who figures to line up across from Chris Harris or Aqib Talib for most of the game. Fleener was very quiet against the Panthers last week until the very end of the game, and it figures to be another rough game for him since the Broncos have not allowed a tight end to go over three catches or 40 yards in four straight games.

 

Randall Cobb, WR, GB @ CAR ($7,600)

James Jones, WR, GB @ CAR ($6,200)

Miglio: It’s been a string of bad matchups for Randall Cobb and James Jones in recent weeks, and it doesn’t get any better when they go up against Josh Norman and the Carolina Panthers.

Rudnicki: An argument could be made that Cobb is long overdue for a breakout game, but it doesn’t seem likely to happen in a matchup with the Panthers. They’ve only given up four touchdowns to opposing receivers all year, and Aaron Rodgers has only thrown five touchdowns in his last 4 games. The Panthers can play smothering defense at home (last week’s fourth-quarter collapse against the Colts notwithstanding) and should be able to keep this a low scoring affair. If Josh Norman lines up against James Jones as expected, that’s definitely a matchup to avoid.

 

Stefon Diggs, WR, MIN vs. STL ($7,400)

Miglio: Stefon Diggs has had a magical run, but it’s about to come to an end.

The sensational rookie is going up against a stout St. Louis defense that has only gotten better in recent weeks. That unit hasn’t allowed a touchdown to a receiver since Week 5, and it has held the likes of Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown, Antonio Brown and Travis Benjamin out of the end zone. There isn’t a shutdown corner here, per se, but the outlook isn’t great for Diggs.

Rudnicki: Diggs has clearly established himself as the primary weapon in the Vikings passing game, but the Rams defense figures to make things very difficult for him this weekend. They’ve only allowed 3 TDs to WRs all year, and the pass rush up front should make Bridgewater very uncomfortable in the pocket. I expect a heavy dose of Adrian Peterson this week and less focus on the rookie sensation.

 

Antonio Gates, TE, SD vs. CHI ($6,000)

Miglio: As bad as the Bears have been against wide receivers, they have actually been pretty stingy when it comes to giving up fantasy points to tight ends. Of course they haven’t faced too many good tight ends this season, so take that with a grain of salt.

Rudnicki: With Keenan Allen out injured, a lot of people will likely look to Gates for their lineups this week in what looks like a favorable matchup. He may still wind up with enough targets to be worth his price, but the Bears have surprisingly been one of the best defenses in the league against TEs this year. Jimmy Graham had a strong game against them back in week 3, but they held Travis Kelce to his lowest output of the year.

 

Jordan Matthews, WR, PHI vs. DAL ($6,300)

Miglio: There just hasn’t been much to love about the Philadelphia offense these days, and a matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.

Rudnicki: Feels like the wheels have started to fall off the Jordan Matthews bandwagon. He was erased by the Panthers in his last game, and has struggled with drops quite often this year. The pressure of carrying this offense may be a bit too much for him, and the Cowboys don’t look like a great option for him to get back on track. They’ve only allowed one touchdown and one 100-yard receiver -- both being Julian Edelman -- over their last four games as they have relied on their defense to carry them while Tony Romo is out.

 

Jordan Cameron, TE, MIA @ BUF ($5,200)

Miglio: Tempted by Jordan Cameron for some reason? Don’t be. This is going to be a rough week for the Dolphins offense up in Buffalo, where the Bills have shut down most tight ends this season.

Rudnicki: While the Bills defense hasn’t played nearly up to expectations this year, they do seem to be holding up pretty well against opposing tight ends. Tyler Eifert scored against them, but players like Julius Thomas, Delanie Walker, and Larry Donnell have done very minimal damage. Meanwhile, Miami’s prized free agent signing Cameron has done almost nothing all season (including a 3 for 16 line against the Bills in week 3), and the recent coaching change didn’t help him like it did for many others here.