Week 15 Passing Matchups

by Mark Wimer and Joe Bryant, Exclusive to Footballguys.com

Jump to Rushing Matchups

Great Matchups: [ARI] [CAR] [DEN] [DET] [KC] [NE] [SEA]
Good Matchups: [ATL] [BUF] [CHI] [HOU]
Neutral Matchups: [GB] [IND] [JAX] [MIN] [NYJ] [SD] [TB] [WAS]
Tough Matchups: [BAL] [CIN] [CLE] [MIA] [NO] [NYG] [OAK] [PHI] [PIT] [STL]
Bad Matchups: [DAL] [SF] [TEN]


PLEASE NOTE: This does NOT replace the Cheatsheet ranking. The Cheatsheet rankings are the final say on where we see a player for that week. The Matchup Breakdowns are simply one more tool in the box when it comes to helping choose your lineup.

Also note, just because a player has a "bad" matchup, it does NOT mean he's not a starter in your league. If Aaron Rodgers is playing the toughest pass defense in the league, that just means he's got a tough matchup that week. He's also your starter unless you're loaded at QB. In the same way, if the worst QB on your roster has a "great" matchup that week, it doesn't necessarily mean he's your starter. It means we think he'll fare better than normal that week.

Bottom line is that the cheatsheets are the final say.


Arizona Cardinals Passing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Carson Palmer led the Cardinals to a 23-20 win over Minnesota in Week 14, with 25/35 for 310 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions thrown. Michael Floyd led the team in receiving with nine targets for 5/102/1 receiving; John Brown handled five for 4/78/1, while Larry Fitzgerald gained 5/41/0 receiving on six targets. It was the fifth time in the last six games that Palmer has gone over 300 yards passing, and the fifth time in the last six games he has thrown two or more TDs. This is perhaps the most consistently productive passing offense in the NFL (though Seattle has certainly been very productive of late as well).

The Eagle's pass D is not much better than their rush D - over the past four weeks the Eagles are the most generous in the NFL averaging 32.3 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks; are fifth-most in the NFL averaging 30.9 fantasy points allowed each contest to opposing wide receivers; and is 16th in the NFL averaging 7.4 fantasy points per week given up to opposing tight ends during that time frame. They are 24th in the NFL averaging 258.8 net passing yards allowed per game, with 29 passing scores handed out vs. 15 interceptions generated (fifth in the NFL) and 31 sacks (tied for 16th) to their credit to date. Last week, Tyrod Taylor threw 19/36 for 268 yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown, with 8/53/0 rushing as well.

This is a dream matchup for the entire Cardinals' offense.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a low of 37 F on Sunday night, with no chance of rain and gentle winds (under 10 MPH). It should be a fine evening for football.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Carolina Panthers Passing Offense at New York Giants Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Cam Newton bombed the Falcons for 15/21 yielding 265 yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions before standing/running on the sidelines rallying the home crowd against the Falcons during the final minutes of a 38-0 blowout win. All told, the Panthers had 301 yards passing when the game was over, over 1/3 of that total belonging to Ted Ginn Jr. (three targets for 2/120/2 receiving) while Corey Brown (six for 3/59/0) and Greg Olsen (four for 3/52/0) contributed as well. Olsen sprained a knee during the game, sat out the second half, but is expected to play in this game even if he is limited in practices during the week (a precautionary MRI revealed no major concerns, according to local reports). The Panthers continue to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear while they wait for the return of Kelvin Benjamin next season.

The Giants' pass D is just awful this year, averaging 308.4 net passing yards allowed per game (worst in the NFL) with 23 passing scores handed out vs. 14 interceptions (tied for sixth in the NFL) and a mere 16 sacks (31st) generated. Over the past four weeks, they've given out the seventh-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks (24.4); 12th-most to opposing wide receivers (25.2); but the sixth-least to opposing tight ends (5.4 per game). Miami managed 25/41 for 235 net yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions thrown with one sack taken for -1 yard last weekend. Two games ago Ryan Fitzpatrick lit up the Giants for 36/50 yielding 374 net yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions thrown.

This is a great matchup for Newton as a passer, and he may be without starting running back Jonathan Stewart for this game, which could spur the passing attack to even higher achievement.

Weather: MetLife Stadium expects a high of 47 F and clear skies with mild wind (around 6 MPH on Sunday) - that should be a great day to play some football!

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Denver Broncos Passing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Brock Osweiler went broke against the Raiders last week, throwing zero TDs despite attempting 51 passes at home in Mile High Stadium. 35/51 for 308 yards was not enough to win the game when four field goals were the sum total of scoring. DeMaryius Thomas saw 14 targets for 10/95/0 receiving to lead the team; Vernon Davis was second in receiving with nine for 7/74/0; Emmanuel Sanders disappointed with six targets for a mere 2/17/0 receiving. In other news, while Osweiler will start this week, Peyton Manning resumed practicing on Wednesday...

The Steelers' pass D has been vulnerable all year, averaging 279.0 net yards allowed per game (second-most in the NFL this year) with 25 passing scores handed out vs. 14 interceptions (ties for sixth in the NFL) and 38 sacks (fifth) generated. Last week, Andy Dalton broke his thumb and exited the game and yet the Bengals still threw for 321 net yards, two TDs and three interceptions during the game, with inexperienced A.J. McCarron under center. You get the picture here.

Advantage, Denver. This week Osweiler is a good bounce-back candidate.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of expects a high of around 43 F on Sunday, with partly-cloudy skies and winds around 5 MPH - that's nice weather for mid-December in Pennsylvania.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Detroit Lions Passing Offense at New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Golden Tate has seen double-digit targets in three of his last four games, with 39 for 32/246/3 receiving, while Calvin Johnson has handled 36 for 17/241/4 during that same time span. Tate has been a PPR star lately, as you can see, while Johnson is the superior basic-scoring option. Last week, Tate led the Lions with 10 targets for 9/60/2 receiving, while Johnson had a down week (five targets for 1/16/0). Theo Riddick (11 for 7/44/0) actually handled the most passes from Matthew Stafford (30/46 for 245 yards passing, two TDs and one interception thrown that was returned for a defensive TD). The passing attack (mostly) did their job against St. Louis, but the rush D crumbled late in the game. Tight end Brandon Pettigrew tore his ACL last week and is done for the season, which may spell more action for Eric Ebron (five for 3/27/0), but Pettigrew hasn't been catching a lot of balls in recent years and we don't get fantasy points for blocking pass-rushers.

The Saints' dumpster-fire season had a bright spot last week as they played spoiler to the young Buccaneers' squad - Tampa Bay had a modest-but-not-disastrous 18/32 for 176 net yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions thrown, but it was an under-performance considering how truly awful the Saints' pass D has played this year (30th in the NFL averaging 278.8 net passing yards allowed per game, last in the NFL with an astounding 36 passing scores given up, next-to-last in the NFL with only six interceptions generated).

This is a great matchup for Detroit despite Jameis Winston's quiet game last week.

Weather: Inside the Louisiana Superdome weather won't impact either team.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense at Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Alex Smith threw for 15/23 yielding 191 yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown vs San Diego last weekend, in wet, muddy, and cold conditions in Arrowhead Stadium. Wide receivers Albert Wilson (six targets for 4/87/1) and Jeremy Maclin (nine for 6/68/0) handled the vast majority of his passes/completions last weekend. Travis Kelce saw five targets but only managed 3/18/0 receiving on those chances. The Chiefs' passing attack slowed back down to a crawl last week after an exciting showing at Oakland two weeks ago.

The Ravens' pass D hasn't been much good this year - they are ranked 21st in the NFL averaging 248.3 net passing yards allowed per game, with a gigantic 27 passing scores handed out over 13 games vs. a microscopic four interceptions generated so far (all alone at dead last in the NFL in interceptions generated). Last weekend, Russel Wilson was not sacked or intercepted en route to 24/33 for 301 net yards passing, and five passing scores thrown - in Baltimore's house. The Ravens are on the ropes with a decimated offense that often fails to move the ball and a bottom-tier pass D paired with that ineffective offense.

Advantage, Smith and the Chiefs.

Weather: Baltimore expects a high of expects a high of around 46 F on Sunday, with clear skies and winds around 8 MPH - nice football weather for Maryland this weekend.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


New England Patriots Passing Offense vs Tennessee Titans Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

With LeGarrette Blount now out for the season, the Patriots are down to journeymen Brandon Bolden and James White at running back, so the burden of carrying the team through the playoffs is now (more than ever) squarely on Tom Brady's shoulders. Good thing he has a lot of playoff experience! In some good injury news, Julian Edelman began practicing on Wednesday and reportedly looked good as he begins to work his way back from his broken foot - his return would be a big boost when the Patriots need it the most. Stay tuned to the Footallguys.com Players in the News as the week goes along to see if Edelman looks like a go on Sunday. Last week, Rob Gronkowski got back in action and showed his usual chemistry with Brady, gaining 4/87/1 on four targets, while Keshawn Martin had four targets for 3/23/1 receiving in his old digs at NRG Field. Tom Brady posted 22/30 for 226 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions and Danny Amendola helped out with eight targets for 6/46/0 receiving. The Patriots' offense just keeps chugging along regardless of personnel issues.

The Titans' pass D got hammered for three passing scores by Ryan Fitzpatrick last week (21/36 for 256 net yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions thrown, with one sack taken for -7 yards), while two weeks ago the Titans were bombed for five TDs by Blake Bortles (24/36 for 302 yards passing, five TDs and zero interceptions thrown, with two sacks taken for -20 yards). This is a pass D that is sinking like a stone right now, folks.

Advantage, New England - and given the injury woes at running back, count on the Patriots to take advantage of the obvious weakness here.

Weather: Gillette Stadium expects a high of 40 F with clear skies and winds around 10 MPH on Sunday - as long as the winds don't gust too high, it should be a fine day to play some football.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Who is that quarterback under center in Seattle? Suddenly, Russell Wilson is the most proficient pocket-passer in the NFL with an incredible 89/118 for 1,171 yards passing, 16 TDs and zero interceptions thrown over the past four games. Doug Baldwin has gone BONKERS with 30 targets for 23/381/8 receiving during that span, while Tyler Lockett has claimed the #2 wide receiver position by catching almost every ball thrown his way (22 for 20/280/4) from Jermaine Kearse (who has shown flashes as the #3 guy in the pecking order, with 19 for 14/155/2 during the nuclear-hot streak. The Seahawks are no longer a grind-it-out, run first offense, friends. The shackles are finally off Russell Wilson.

The Browns' pass defense looked good against Blaine Gabbert, but is ranked 22nd in the NFL this year averaging 253.8 net passing yards allowed per game, with 26 passing scores given out vs. an anemic eight interceptions generated (tied for 24th in the NFL). Two games ago the Bengals defeated Cleveland 37-3 with 16/22 for 233 net yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions thrown by Andy Dalton.

The Browns look like a small speed bump in the path of the Seahawks' juggernaut. Also, the running back situation is dicey for the Seahawks with newly-signed Bryce Brown likely to start this week - look for them to lean on Wilson's smoking-hot cannon arm again in this game.

Weather: Seattle expects temperatures of around 45 F with light drizzle and winds around 8 MPH on Sunday - that's nice weather for this venue in December!

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Atlanta Falcons Passing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

These deep South teams are moving in opposite directions this season - the Jaguars are bootstrapping themselves into contention in the AFC/AFC South, while the Falcons are plummeting out of contention in the NFC. Matt Ryan was ineffective against the Panthers, throwing 22/34 for 224 yards passing, zero TDs and one interception, while Julio Jones once again failed to score despite seeing 10 targets for 7/88/0 receiving. It's been five weeks since Jones scored a TD and three-plus weeks since he went over 100 yards receiving in a game. Not coincidentally, the Falcons are on a six-game losing streak (and counting).

Meanwhile, the Jaguars have won three of their last six games and scored 90 points over their last two games while allowing 58 points to their opposition during that time frame. Tennessee racked up 20/29 for 257 net yards passing, three TDs and one interception en route to a 42-39 win (Jacksonville did have four sacks for -11 yards) two weeks ago, but Indianapolis was held to 20/43 for 227 net yards passing, zero TDs and one interception thrown with three sacks for -33 yards taken by the Colts' quarterbacks. Over the past four weeks the Jaguars are ranked fourth-most-generous in the NFL averaging 26.8 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks; 12th-most-stingy in the NFL averaging 19.1 fantasy points allowed each contest to opposing wide receivers; and second-most generous in the NFL averaging 13.9 fantasy points per week given up to opposing tight ends during that time frame.

This looks like a good matchup for the Falcons' pass attack - if they can get their offense regrouped after last week's beat-down.

Weather: Everbank Field expects a high of 70 F on Sunday, with a clear sky and gentle winds (around 5 MPH) - it should be a fine day to play pro football.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Buffalo Bills Passing Offense at Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Tyrod Taylor's hot streak of two games in a row with three passing TDs (Weeks 12 and 13) ended last week at Philadelphia when he posted 19/36 for 268 yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown, with 8/53/0 rushing to his credit as icing for his owners. Sammy Watkins saw the most targets (12 for 5/81/1 receiving) while Robert Woods did the most with his chances (seven for 5/106/0) and LeSean McCoy wound up third on the roster with seven for 4/35/0. Charles Clay (two for 1/9/0) hurt his back during the first quarter and didn't return to the game - he looks iffy to play here in Week 15.

The Washington pass D is mediocre with some middling on the side this year - to date, they rank 16th in the NFL averaging 242.4 net passing yards allowed per game, with 24 passing scores given out vs. nine interceptions (tied for 22nd in the NFL) and 24 sacks (tied-25th) generated to date. Over the past four weeks Washington ranked 10th most generous in the NFL averaging 22.6 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks; ninth most giving in the NFL averaging 26.9 fantasy points allowed each contest to opposing wide receivers; and was sixth most generous in the NFL averaging 9.8 fantasy points per week given up to opposing tight ends during that time frame. Last week, Jay Cutler threw 19/31 for 290 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions with three sacks taken for -25 yards when Washington visited Soldier Field.

The Bills have a good matchup to work with in this phase of the game, as Washington has been helping out opposing quarterbacks over the past month with a soft pass D.

Weather: FedEx Field expects a high of around 46 F on Sunday, with clear skies and winds around 5 MPH - near perfect football weather!

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Chicago Bears Passing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Minnesota eked out a 23-20 win over the Bears back in Week Eight, at Soldier Field - Jay Cutler threw 22/33 for 211 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions during the losing effort, finding Alshon Jeffery for the lone TD (15 targets for 10/116/1 receiving).

Cutler threw 19/31 for 315 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions in a losing effort vs. Washington last week - he relied on his two remaining top targets Alshon Jeffery (nine targets for 6/107/1 receiving) and Zach Miller (six for 5/85/1) the most during the game; Marc Mariani (three for 2/37/0) was also in the mix even though Eddie Royal (two for 1/15/0) finally got back on the field during Week 14. This is the Jeffery-and-Miller show until further notice, folks.

The Vikings' pass D has averaged 231.8 net passing yards allowed per game this year (eighth in the NFL), with 19 passing TDs given out vs. eight interceptions generated (tied for 24th in the NFL). The team is in the middle of the NFL range with 29 sacks to date (tied for 18th in the league). Over the past four weeks the Vikings have been ninth-most-generous in the NFL averaging 23.4 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks; seventh-most in the NFL averaging 28.9 fantasy points allowed each contest to opposing wide receivers; but third-most-stingy in the NFL averaging 4.2 fantasy points per week given up to opposing tight ends during that time frame. Last week, Arizona hit this unit for 25/35 yielding 296 net yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions (with two sacks taken for -14 yards); Russell Wilson threw 21/28 for 260 net yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions which at TCF Bank Stadium two games ago. As you can see, the Vikings' pass D is falling short of their season average of late.

Advantage, Chicago.

Weather: TCF Bank Stadium expects a high of 31 F on Sunday, with mild winds (3 MPH) - that's really nice weather for Minnesota at this time of year.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Houston Texans Passing Offense at Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Houston lost to Indianapolis back in Week Five, 20-27 - it was the last time that Ryan Mallett attempted a pass for the Texans (7/10 for 50 yards and one interception thrown). Brian Hoyer took over the job permanently that week, ending up with 24/31 for 312 yards passing, two TDs and one interception thrown - Jaelen Strong caught both TDs with two targets for 2/53/2 receiving.

Unfortunately Brian Hoyer was beat to a pulp by the Patriots last week (sacked many times and hit many more - officially there were six sacks for -57 yards on the Houston quarterbacks last weekend) and wound up with a concussion that may end his season. In the meantime, T.J. Yates (22/47 for 302 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions over three appearances for the Texans this year) will take the reins from Hoyer for the foreseeable future. The team is swearing they will throw to DeAndre Hopkins more (duh) after he went 3/52/0 on six targets against the Patriots (who love to shut down a team's number-one threat).

The Colts' pass D was clawed up in Jacksonville last week (16/30 for 226 net yards, three TDs and zero interceptions generated) after allowing 24/39 for 364 yards passing, four TDs and zero interceptions to Ben Roethlisberger while not sacking him at all. The Colts' entire defense is on it's last legs entering this contest.

Advantage, Houston and T.J. Yates.

Weather: Inside Lucas Oil Stadium weather won't impact either team.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Green Bay Packers Passing Offense at Oakland Raiders Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Aaron Rodgers watched his backs pile up 44/230/2 rushing last week, so he only needed to throw 22/35 for 218 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions thrown vs. Dallas to win 28-7. James Starks (four targets for 4/32/1 receiving) and Richard Rodgers (two for 1/3/1) put his scoring passes into the end zone; Randall Cobb (12 for 8/81/0) and James Jones (seven for 4/49/0) moved the football while Davante Adams seems to have stone-handed himself out of the lineup (three targets for 2/12/0) - he didn't get anywhere near double-digit targets this week.

The Raiders' D kept the Broncos out of the end-zone and engineered a 15-12 win on a day that their offense had eight first downs and 24:20 time of possession - that's a solid effort despite allowing 276 net yards passing to Brock Osweiler (whom they sacked five times for -32 yards). Over the past four weeks, the Raiders' pass D ranked 14th in the NFL averaging 21.4 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks; was seventh-least in the NFL averaging 16.7 fantasy points allowed each contest to opposing wide receivers; and 11th-most in the NFL averaging nine fantasy points per week given up to opposing tight ends during that time frame. This is a so-so unit heading into Week 15.

The Packers have a neutral matchup ahead when they travel to the Black Hole in Oakland.

Weather: Oakland's Black Hole expects a high of 50 F on Sunday, with overcast skies and gentle winds (under 10 MPH). It should be a fine day to play some football!

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense vs Houston Texans Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Matt Hasselbeck engineered a 27-20 win in Houston back in Week Five, with 18/29 for 213 yards passing, two TDs (both to Ex-Texan Andre Johnson) and zero interceptions thrown. Since then, Johnson has one more TD catch and of late he's become a fringe player on the offense (five targets for 2/44/0 was his best game over the past five weeks).

This past Sunday, the Colts got smoked 16-51 in Jacksonville, and Hasselbeck (who has been nursing sore ribs) aggravated his ribs injury and wound up with just 18/35 for 252 yards passing, zero TDs and zero interceptions thrown (Charlie Whitehurst threw 2/8 for eight yards, zero TDs and one interception in relief of Hasselbeck). Andrew Luck was unable to practice last week due to his injured kidneys/abdomen, and he was inactive on Sunday after being listed as out on Friday. The team hopes he can get back in the saddle for the Colts here in Week 15, but his practice availability will determine that as the week goes along - fantasy owners of Luck know that he was ruled out already as of Wednesday, so it's more of the aching Hasselbeck at quarterback this week. Hasselbeck has one TD and two interceptions thrown over the past two games - his top receivers have been T.Y. Hilton (12 targets for 7/168/0 receiving) and Donte Moncrief (11 for 4/85/0). Frank Gore (ten for 4/48/1) is the guy who reeled in the lone TD.

The Texans allowed 22/30 for 197 net yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions thrown to Tom Brady last week (sacked three times for -29 yards) - two games ago Tyrod Taylor hit them for 11/21 for 208 net yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions thrown. Over the past four weeks, the Texans have averaged 20.5 fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks (17th in the NFL); 18.8 to opposing wide receivers (22nd); and 8.2 to opposing tight ends (12th-most in the NFL during that time span).

This is a neutral matchup for the hurting Colts.

Weather: Inside Lucas Oil Stadium weather won't impact either team.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense vs Atlanta Falcons Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Blake Bortles is on a tear entering Week 15, coming off three multiple-TDs-passing contests with a total of 10 passing scores thrown in the past three weeks (30/49 for 329 yards passing, two TDs and one interception vs San Diego; 24/36 for 322 yards passing, five TDs and zero interceptions at Tennessee; and 16/30 for 250 yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions thrown vs. Indianapolis). Allen Robinson has handled 30 targets for 16/213/5 receiving during that time span, while Julius Thomas has seen 22 for 16/185/3 and Allen Hurns (out one game due to a concussion during that time-frame) has handled 13 for 7/147/1. Last week Hurns dominated the Colts with four targets for 3/105/1 receiving, Thomas handled seven for 5/54/1, and Robinson made his single reception count with four targets for 1/4/1 receiving. Those three receivers are the trio that make this passing attack hum for Bortles right now.

The Falcons' pass D was over-matched last week, allowing an embarrassing 19/27 for 287 net yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions to the Panthers last week as they lost 0-38; after limiting Jameis Winston and company to 18/27 for 222 net yards passing with one TD and one interception thrown two games ago. Over the past four weeks the Falcons were 10th-stingiest in the NFL averaging 18.5 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks; 10th-stingiest in the NFL averaging 17.5 fantasy points allowed each contest to opposing wide receivers; and 15th in the NFL averaging 7.5 fantasy points per week given up to opposing tight ends during that time frame. They fell apart last week, though, and aren't getting much help from their offense lately.

This looks like a neutral matchup for the roaring Jacksonville offense as these two teams are on opposite trajectories (and the Jaguars are the ones on the way up here in December). However, the rushing matchup is really great for Jacksonville in this game so they may not need to throw the ball very much to win this week. especially if the Falcons' offense continues to crash-and-burn.

Weather: Everbank Field expects a high of 70 F on Sunday, with a clear sky and gentle winds (around 5 MPH) - it should be a fine day to play pro football.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense vs Chicago Bears Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Minnesota eked out a 23-20 win over the Bears back in Week Eight, at Soldier Field - Teddy Bridgewater managed the game with 17/30 for 187 yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown. Stefon Diggs led the team in receiving that day with 12 targets for 6/95/1 receiving.

Last week, the Vikings lost at Arizona despite Bridgewater's biggest day passing the football during 2015 (25/36 for 335 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions thrown). Mike Wallace made an effort for the game (five targets for 3/42/1 receiving); Kyle Rudolph led the team in receiving (six for 6/67/0), and Jarius Wright handled six for 5/51/0 as Bridgewater spread the ball around to 11 different receivers during the contest.

The Bears' pass D has averaged just 215.8 net passing yards allowed per game this year (second in the NFL), but they have given out 22 passing scores vs. seven interceptions generated (tied for 27th in the league). Last week, Kirk Cousins threw 24/31 for 275 net yards passing, one TD and one interception at Chicago, while taking three sacks for -25 yards; Chicago allowed 18/32 for 170 net yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions thrown with four sacks for -26 yards to Blaine Gabbert two games back. Over the past four weeks the Bears are ranked 11th in the NFL averaging 22.5 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks; but are fifth-least in the NFL averaging 15.3 fantasy points allowed each contest to opposing wide receivers; while landing at fifth-most in the NFL averaging 9.9 fantasy points per week given up to opposing tight ends during that time frame.

This is a so-so matchup for the Vikings, though Rudolph has an apparent opportunity against the generous-to-tight-ends Chicago D.

Weather: TCF Bank Stadium expects a high of 31 F on Sunday, with mild winds (3 MPH) - that's really nice weather for Minnesota at this time of year.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


New York Jets Passing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

New York Jets WR Brandon Marshall recorded a career-best eighth 100-yard game of the season in last weekend's 30-8 win over the Tennessee Titans. He's put up three 100+ yards receiving outings in the past three games, with 11 targets for 9/131/2 receiving vs. Miami; 13 for 12/131/1 receiving against cross-town rivals the Giants; and 10 for 6/125/1 vs. Tennessee. Marshall is the definition of 'hot' right now, and Eric Decker is on fire, too with two receiving TDs over his last three games and one game over 100 yards receving from the #2 wide receiver position. Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown 79/123 for 930 yards passing, nine TDs and zero interceptions during that same three-week time span - the Jets' passing attack is on a big-time roll entering Week 15.

The Dallas offense held the ball for 22:12 last week, leaving the defense to Aaron Rodgers' tender mercies for 37:48 last week. Yup, they lost, 7-28. Don't blame it on the defense who are playing under very adverse circumstances (and weighed down with mail-it-in performances like Dez Bryant's six targets for 1/9/0 receiving last week). Over the past four weeks, Dallas has actually ranked as the 12th-least giving pass D in the land, averaging 18.6 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks, eighth-stingiest to opposing wide receivers (16.8 per game on average) and 12th-hardest on opposing tight ends (6.3 fantasy points per game on average). Of course, Green Bay didn't need to throw much with 44/230/2 rushing last week (Rodgers threw two TDs anyway and posted 22/35 for 205 net yards with zero interceptions thrown).

This is a neutral matchup for the Jets' passing attack as the Dallas defense is vulnerable in the other phase of the game right now and the Dallas offense doesn't score enough to warrant a shoot-out in the passing phase of the game.

Weather: Inside AT&T Stadium weather won't impact either team.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


San Diego Chargers Passing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Chargers' offense was mired in the mud at K.C. last week, and only managed a field goal to go with 24/43 for 263 yards passing, zero TDs and one interception thrown by a flu-ridden Philip Rivers. Antonio Gates was the 'best' receiver on the team with eight targets for 6/76/0 receiving, while Malcom Floyd posted nine for 3/56/0 and Jevontee Herndon handled seven for 5/47/0 receiving. The best thing you can say about this injury-riddled receiving corps is that the Chargers are getting a good look at their depth chart.

The wheels have come off and the engine has fallen out of this team during the past few weeks - they've lost three of their last four games and only scored a single field goal in all three of those losses. YIKES fantasy owners! Stay away from here during fantasy playoffs. There just isn't much fantasy juice to be had here.

The Dolphins gave up 27/31 for 337 net yard passing, four TDs and zero interceptions to Eli Manning last week; and they coughed up 32/46 for 281 net yards passing, with one TD and two interceptions thrown to Matt Schaub and his crew of backups two weeks ago. Over the past four weeks, the Dolphins have averaged 24.9 fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks (fifth-most in the NFL), with 34.5 given up to opposing wide receivers (most in the NFL during that time span) but just four fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends (second-least in the NFL).

Two bad units face off in this neutral matchup, but remember the Chargers' recent track record before you get too excited about San Diego.

Weather: San Diego expects a high of 64 F on Sunday, with clear skies and winds around 5 MPH during the game - near-perfect football weather, in other words.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense at St. Louis Rams Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Jameis Winston had a down week against a very soft New Orleans pass D last week, managing just 18/32 for 182 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions. Part of the problem is that he lost Vincent Jackson to injury (his knee, again) and only managed one target for 1/5/0 to Jackson before he departed the game. Jackson is likely done for the season so Mike Evans (four targets for 3/39/0 receiving last week), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (six for 3/31/0) and Charles Sims (eight for 6/64/0) will need to elevate their games going forwards. We'll probably see a few more flares to Donteea Dye (three targets for 1/16/0 receiving last week) but it doesn't look promising for the 'fringe' members of the receiving corps from where we sit. Winston leaned on Evans extensively in Jackson's absence earlier this season.

The St. Louis pass D is averaging 21.4 fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks per game over the past four weeks (13th in the NFL), with 25.9 handed out to opposing wide receivers (11th in the NFL) and 8.1 per game given to tight ends (13th in the NFL). Last week Matthew Stafford managed 30/46 for 220 net yards passing, two TDs and one interception thrown taking four sacks for -25 yards; two weeks ago Carson Palmer had 349 net yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions against the Rams' failing defense.

This is a neutral matchup for Winston, who continues to learn on the job and who has lost one of his favorite targets for this contest. Also, Doug Martin has a great rushing matchup so Tampa Bay may not need to throw the football a lot in this game.

Weather: Inside the Edward Jones Dome weather won't impact either team.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Washington Redskins Passing Offense vs Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Kirk Cousins won a road game last week (!), and scored a passing and rushing TD in so doing (24/31 for 300 yards passing, with one TD and one interception thrown, and 4/13/1 rushing). Jordan Reed caught every ball thrown to him (9/9 for 120 yards receiving, with one TD), supported by Pierre Garcon (seven targets for 5/52/0) and DeSean Jackson (four for 2/43/0) - nobody else on the team went over 30 yards receiving. It was another step in the maturation of Cousins as a NFL starter, and Washington is in first place (knotted up at 6-7 with the Giants and the Eagles) in the tight NFC East race. This one will go down to the wire, friends, so no worries about players sitting out during Week 15 or 16 on the Washington roster!

The Bills' pass D has been in the middle of the NFL over the past four weeks, averaging 21 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks (15th in the NFL); 23.4 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing wide receivers (15th) and 9.1 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing tight ends (10th-most in the NFL). To date, the team ranks 22nd in the league averaging 253.8 net passing yards allowed per game, with 24 passing scores given out vs 13 interceptions (tied for 10th in the NFL) and 19 sacks (30th) generated. Philadelphia managed 23/38 for 232 net yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown vs. Buffalo last week (with one sack for -15 yards taken).

Cousins is growing as a NFL starter, and he usually plays well in Washington, while the Bills have been so-so of late. That sounds about even to us.

Weather: FedEx Field expects a high of around 46 F on Sunday, with clear skies and winds around 5 MPH - near perfect football weather!

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Matt Schaub is the starter this week 'if healthy enough' and the IF is the operative word in that sentence. Schaub (chest injury) was not put on IR by the club to begin the week because there is a small chance he could play on Sunday - but note that the team signed Ryan Mallett through 2016 to begin the week and you can see how sure the Ravens are that Schaub will be available. The early scuttle-butt is that Jimmy Clausen (23/40 for 274 yards passing, zero TDs and one interception thrown last week vs. Seattle last week) will start for the Ravens this week - but all the above hinges on Schaub's health. In any case, this doesn't look like an attractive passing attack to invest in for the fantasy playoff rounds, friends. Look elsewhere for higher-upside options no matter which Tweedle- (Dee or Dum) gets the start for Baltimore at quarterback this weekend.

Over the last four weeks, the Chiefs were ninth-least-generous in the NFL averaging 17.9 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks; they were 19th in the league averaging 20.6 fantasy points allowed each contest to opposing wide receivers; and 18th in the NFL averaging seven fantasy points per week given up to opposing tight ends during that time frame. Philip Rivers had no joy in Arrowhead Stadium last week, with 24/43 for 236 yards passing, zero TDs and one interception thrown, with five sacks taken for -27 yards. Kansas City intercepted Derek Carr three times two weeks ago, running one back for the final TD of the game (Carr managed 31/48 for 262 yards passing, with two TDs thrown and took four sacks for -21 yards). To date, K.C. is fourth in the NFL with 39 sacks generated, while Baltimore is third in the NFL with only 20 sacks surrendered.

This looks like a tough matchup for whoever winds up under center for the Ravens this weekend.

Weather: Baltimore expects a high of expects a high of around 46 F on Sunday, with clear skies and winds around 8 MPH - nice football weather for Maryland this weekend.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense at San Francisco 49ers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Cincinnati's offense ran into a major problem last week, as starting quarterback Andy Dalton fractured the thumb on his throwing hand - he's out for the foreseeable future, and certainly will be on the sidelines for this non-conference game. What that means is that inexperienced A.J. McCarron (22/32 for 280 yards passing, two TDs and two interceptions thrown last week vs. Pittsburgh) will be under center as the starter for Cincinnati this week. Look for the 49ers to stack the box against Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard as they dare McCarron to try and beat them throwing the ball this week. We'll see if McCarron can stand up to the pressure of an NFL defense that has game-planned to derail him in this contest.

A.J. Green owners hope McCarron thrives as he locked onto the top Bengals' receiver last week (Green posted nine targets for 6/132/1 receiving last week) and Tyler Eifert is still rehabbing a concussion - Marvin Jones got some play last week with eight targets for 6/61/0 receiving. Rex Burkhead got a rare TD reception in the game (one target for 1/5/1 receiving).

The 49ers' pass D was pierced by young Johnny Manziel last weekend (21/31 for 251 yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown) as they dropped a winnable contest at Cleveland. Two weeks ago Jay Cutler managed 18/31 for 194 yards passing, zero TDs and one interception against this secondary. Over the past four weeks the 49ers are ranked 20th in the NFL averaging 19.1 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks; 20th in the NFL averaging 20.1 fantasy points allowed each contest to opposing wide receivers; and are tied for eighth-least in the NFL averaging 5.9 fantasy points per week given up to opposing tight ends during that time frame.

McCarron has a tough matchup here in his first NFL start.

Weather: Santa Clara expects a high of around 55 F with cloudy skies and winds under 10 MPH on Sunday - it should be good football weather.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Cleveland Browns Passing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Johnny Manziel signed a $100 dollar bill last week and now it is (reportedly) worth thousands - too bad his play didn't grow by an order of magnitude last week. Manziel had a very ordinary day throwing the football (which is actually good news for those who remember last year's debacles), ending the 24-10 win over San Francisco with 21/31 for 270 yards passing, one TD and one interception. In related news, his top receiver last week, Brian Hartline, broke his collarbone and is out for the season. This is likely good news for Gary Barnidge owners (seven targets for 5/84/1 receiving last week) but may set back the Browns' passing attack as a whole. Travis Benjamin (seven targets for 4/41/0 receiving last week) likely benefits from the subtraction of Hartline from the lineup as well.

The Seattle pass D gave ground between the 20's last week, but didn't allow any passing scores (23/40 for 274 net yards passing, zero TDs and one interception thrown by Jimmy Clausen) after only allowing 17/28 for 94 net yards passing, zero TDs and one interception with four sacks generated for -24 yards to Minnesota two games ago. Over the past four weeks the Seahawks are giving up the fourth-least fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks averaging 15.8 per game; they are in the middle of the NFL averaging 21.1 fantasy points allowed each contest to opposing wide receivers (18th); and are tied for eighth-least in the NFL averaging 5.9 fantasy points per week given up to opposing tight ends during that time frame. This is a hard-nosed defense that is back to their top form for the stretch run into the playoffs after some bumps in the road earlier this season.

Advantage, Seattle.

Weather: Seattle expects temperatures of around 45 F with light drizzle and winds around 8 MPH on Sunday - that's nice weather for this venue in December!

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Miami Dolphins Passing Offense at San Diego Chargers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Ryan Tannehill threw 25/41 for 236 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions against the very soft New York Giants' secondary - he found Kenny Stills for the lone TD (three targets for 2/49/1) while peppering Jarvis Landry with 18 target for 11/99/0 receiving. As has been the case all year long, Tannehill once again under-delivered for fantasy owners even in one of the most favorable matchups possible.

The Chargers gave up 191 yards last week to Alex Smith and the Chiefs. Including 1 TD and 1 interception. They held TE Travis Kelce to just 18 yards on 3 receptions. The week before that, SD held Brock Osweiler to just 166 yards. Over the past four weeks, the Chargers have averaged just 17.7 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks (eighth-least in the NFL); 17.2 fantasy points per game have been given up to opposing wide receivers (ninth-least in the NFL) during that four week span; and 9.5 fantasy points per game have been ceded to opposing tight ends (ninth-most in the NFL). This secondary is a hard nut to crack, friends, although part of the story here is that the Chargers' rush D has been easily over-run in the other phase of the game, so teams aren't throwing as much at the secondary.

This is a pretty tough matchup for the under-performing Dolphins.

Weather: San Diego expects a high of 64 F on Sunday, with clear skies and winds around 5 MPH during the game - near-perfect football weather, in other words.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


New Orleans Saints Passing Offense vs Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Drew Brees (31/41 for 312 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions thrown) had some fun with his old buddy Marques Colston (eight targets for 6/36/2) last weekend at Tampa Bay. Willie Snead returned from his calf injury with a vengeance (eight targets for 7/122/0) and Ben Watson remained a steady and valuable fantasy tight end with 11 targets for 7/70/0 receiving. Brandin Cooks (five for 3/29/0) had a quiet outing but otherwise the Saints' passing attack remains the best facet of this entire team. Too bad it's a wasted season thanks to their horrendous defense.

The Lions' pass D wasn't really challenged by St. Louis (nobody is this year), and held Case Keenum to 14/22 for 114 yards passing, zero TDs and one interception thrown last week. Over the past four weeks, the Lions are giving up the third-least fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks (15.6 per contest on average); the second-least fantasy points to opposing wide receivers (13.4); but the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends (9.6 per contest). This pass D is performing really well during the closing month of the season.

This is a tough matchup for Brees and company, but they are playing in New Orleans on Monday Night Football, which is the kind of national stage on which Brees has done very well in the past.

Weather: Inside the Louisiana Superdome weather won't impact either team.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


New York Giants Passing Offense vs Carolina Panthers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

'Good' Eli Manning won at Miami last weekend, pitching 27/31 for 337 yards passing, four TDs and zero interceptions against the out-of-contention Dolphins. Odell Beckham Jr. was a fantasy owner's dream (as usual), with nine targets for 7/166/2 receiving during the game. Rueben Randle (six for 5/58/1) and Will Tye (five for 5/30/1) hauled in TDs while Dwayne Harris also helped move the sticks (five for 5/41/0). It was one of those games where Eli Manning looks like a world-beater. Unfortunately, Manning is like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get from week to week.

The Panthers will pose a stern test to Manning this weekend - they are currently allowing the second-least fantasy points per game in the league to opposing quarterbacks over the past four games (15.4 on average); are in the middle of the NFL averaging 21.3 fantasy points handed over to opposing wide receivers (17th); and stand at tenth-least fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends during that time span (six per game on average). Matt Ryan and the Falcons were totally shut out last weekend - Ryan had 25/41 for 176 net yards passing, zero TDs and two interceptions thrown after subtracting a whopping five sacks for -59 yards from his totals. Carolina has 40 sacks this year - third-most in the NFL - while averaging 223.2 net passing yards allowed per game (fifth-least in the NFL), and they've notched 21 interceptions (first in the NFL) vs. just 16 passing scores given out. However, the team lost defensive back Bene Benwikere to a broken leg last weekend, and right corner back Charles Tillman is dealing with a partially-torn ACL in his knee, so the corner back position has become an issue for the team entering Week 15. Corner back Robert McClain (last played with New England during preseason) was signed this week to help fill the hole but there is a glaring flaw in the defensive backfield for Beckham to probe this week.

This is a tough matchup if 'Good' Eli Manning shows up at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, and it is a bad matchup if 'Bad' Eli Manning is in play. Unfortunately, we can't guess which flavor we get until the game is in progress.

Weather: MetLife Stadium expects a high of 47 F and clear skies with mild wind (around 6 MPH on Sunday) - that should be a great day to play some football!

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Oakland Raiders Passing Offense vs Green Bay Packers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Derek Carr was stymied in Denver for much of the day (the offense had a mere eight first downs) but he found a way to score two TDs in the second half and the Raiders lived up to their name and stole a 'W' in Denver 15-12. Seth Roberts hauled in 2/20/1 receiving on four targets, while Amari Cooper crapped out with zero receptions on eight targets. Mychal Rivera (four for 3/49/1) and Clive Walford (seven for 3/47/0) provided what little passing offense Carr generated (12/29 for 135 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions). The Raiders will look to bounce back at home this weekend after a perilous journey to Denver.

The Packers bested a wounded Dallas team 28-7 last week, holding Matt Cassel and Dez 'mailed it in' Bryant to 13/29 for 99 net yards passing, zero TDs and one interception thrown (with two sacks of Cassel for -15 yards). Two weeks ago they allowed 23/35 for 205 net yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions thrown to Matthew Stafford. Over the past four weeks the Packers are allowing the fifth-least fantasy points in the NFL per game to opposing quarterbacks (16.1); third-least in the NFL averaging 14.8 fantasy points allowed each contest to opposing wide receivers; and eighth-most in the NFL averaging 9.5 fantasy points per week given up to opposing tight ends during that time frame.

This is another tough matchup for the fading Oakland passing attack.

Weather: Oakland's Black Hole expects a high of 50 F on Sunday, with overcast skies and gentle winds (under 10 MPH). It should be a fine day to play some football!

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense vs Arizona Cardinals Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Eagles won a game vs. Buffalo last week (23-20) - Sam Bradford threw 23/38 for 247 yards passing, one TD and one interception during the contest. Rookie wideout Nelson Agholor led the wide receivers on the roster in receiving, with six targets for 3/62/1 receiving - scoring his first career NFL TD. He's only managed 19/225/1 receiving out of 35 targets this year, though, and Agholor has been over 50 yards receiving in just two of 10 games played. However, Jordan Matthews (three targets for 3/19/0) is tapering off in production here at the end of the season, partially due to his ongoing battle with a sore back/back injury (three receptions per game in four of his five last games) so it may be that Agholor is coming into his own during the stretch run into the NFC playoffs. Tight End Zach Ertz led the team in receiving vs. Buffalo with seven targets for 5/98/0 receiving last week.

The Cardinals' pass D has been playing opposing quarterbacks well over the past four weeks - the Cardinals are giving up the 11th-least fantasy points per game during that time-span to opposing quarterbacks in the NFL averaging 18.6 fantasy points; they've given out the third-least in the NFL averaging 14.8 fantasy points allowed each contest to opposing wide receivers; but are third-most in the NFL during that time span averaging 12.8 fantasy points per week given up to opposing tight ends. To date the Arizona pass D is ranked 12th in the NFL averaging 234.7 net passing yards allowed per game, with 18 passing scores given up vs. 16 interceptions generated (tied for third in the NFL in this category) and 24 sacks generated (tied, 25th). Last week, Teddy Bridgewater managed 25/36 for 317 yards passing, with one TD and zero interceptions thrown, while taking three sacks for -18 yards. Two games ago, Arizona gave up 15/35 for 146 net yards passing with zero TDs and one interception thrown to Nick Foles and the Rams.

This is a tough matchup for Bradford and the so-so Philadelphia pass offense.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a low of 37 F on Sunday night, with no chance of rain and gentle winds (under 10 MPH). It should be a fine evening for football.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Offense vs Denver Broncos Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Ben Roethlisberger didn't throw a TD last week - the only TD goose egg over his last six appearances (30/39 for 282 yards passing, with one interception thrown) but his team still won 33-20. He distributed 10 passes to Antonio Brown (7/87/0 receiving) and Heath Miller (10/66/0), but didn't neglect Markus Wheaton (seven for 4/65/0) or Martavis Bryant (nine for 7/49/0) either. The Pittsburgh passing attack is going strong, but had a scoring hiccup last week.

The Broncos' pass D limited Derek Carr to 12/29 for 99 net yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions last week (they sacked him three times for -36 yards and lead the NFL with 44 sacks this season). This pass D has limited opposing quarterbacks to an average of 16.2 fantasy points per game over the past four weeks (seventh-least in the NFL); held opposing wide receivers to a mere 9.5 per game (least in the NFL - just ask Amari Cooper (eight targets for zero receptions at Denver last week)) during that time span but averaged 14.4 fantasy points per game given up to opposing tight ends (most in the NFL).

This is a tough matchup for Roethlisberger and the wide receivers, but less worrisome for Heath Miller (at least on paper).

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of expects a high of around 43 F on Sunday, with partly-cloudy skies and winds around 5 MPH - that's nice weather for mid-December in Pennsylvania.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


St. Louis Rams Passing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Case Keenum played as well as everyone expected last week (not very), with 14/22 for 124 yards passing, zero TDs and one interception thrown. Tavon Austin reprised his 'slash' role from earlier in the year with 4/40/0 rushing and five targets for 3/19/0 receiving against the Lions - Kenny Britt 'led' the team in receiving with five targets for 2/35/0 receiving. There remains little-to-no fantasy juice for members of the Rams' passing attack entering fantasy playoffs. Do everything you can to find higher-ceiling prospects for your team(s).

The Tampa pass D gave up 31/41 for 301 net yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions to Drew Brees last week, sacking him twice for -11 yards; Matt Ryan threw 30/45 for 255 net yards, one TD and one interception while taking three sacks for -14 yards at Tampa two weeks ago. Over the past four weeks, the Buccaneers are 16th in the NFL averaging 20.8 fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks; have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers (27 fantasy points per game); and are tighter with the tight end, averaging 6.1 fantasy points allowed per game (11th-least in the NFL).

This is a tough matchup for the severely limited St. Louis passing attack.

Weather: Inside the Edward Jones Dome weather won't impact either team.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense vs New York Jets Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

'We believe in Matt Cassel. We believe he can win games for us,' Garrett said after the loss in Green Bay, 'We will evaluate the tape before we talk about anything regarding personnel.' Cassel has thrown just one touchdown pass vs two interceptions over his last four appearances, and has been under 200 yards passing in two of the contests and under 100 yards passing in a third. The 'best' yardage total over that four game stretch is 16/29 for 222 yards passing, zero TDs and zero interceptions thrown at Washington during Week 13. Meanwhile, Jason Witten caught 5/40/0 on 9 targets during the Cowboys' Week 14 loss to the Packers - the Cowboys' passing attack is so dysfunctional that Witten hasn't caught a TD pass since Week One! And all Dez Bryant owners are intimately aware of his poor-return-on-the-Cowboys'-investment season (63 targets for 27/351/2 receiving in a partial season, including last week's six targets for 1/9/0 receiving 'gem' at Green Bay).

Meanwhile, Darrelle Revis is back in the mix for the Jets' pass D, and Tennessee managed eight points last weekend - one TD pass TO Marcus Mariota (21/39 for 227 net yards passing, zero TDs and one interception thrown with five sacks taken for -47 yards while passing the football) on a trick play with a two-point conversion. Over the past four weeks, the Jets have averaged 22.2 fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks (12th in the NFL), but did play most of those games without Revis. Oh, and this week Matt Cassel is their opponent.

Advantage, New York.

Weather: Inside AT&T Stadium weather won't impact either team.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense vs Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Blaine Gabbert Gabberted fantasy owners last weekend, failing to show up against the very-beatable Browns (18/28 for 194 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions) as the Browns remembered what terrorizes Gabbert - pass rushing. Gabbert was sacked nine times for -44 yards during the 10-24 loss. He did find wide receiver Jerome Simpson for a TD (four targets for 2/20/1), but that helped approximately 0.000001% of fantasy owners in the nation in arcane IDP dynasty leagues with benches deep enough to accommodate Simpson. Most fantasy owners were dismayed by Anquan Boldin eking out a mere 2/22/0 receiving on three targets against the Browns. Any way you slice it last week was a disaster for fantasy owners invested in the 49ers' patchwork offense.

The Bengals have problems of their own entering Week 15 - their starting quarterback Andy Dalton (thumb injury on his throwing hand) is out and the inexperienced A.J. McCarron is in, which means the defense needs to provide McCarron with some short fields. Happily for Cincinnati, the 49ers allowed nine sacks last weekend (see above) and reminded everyone how to beat Gabbert. Look for the Bengals (tied for ninth in the NFL with 34 sacks this season) to get after Gabbert in a big way in this phase of the game. Cincinnati sacked Ben Roethlisberger just twice last weekend (for -12 yards), but held him out of the end zone (30/39 for 270 net yards, zero TDs and one interception thrown) - Gabbert is not a Roethlisberger clone, though. To date, the Bengals are ranked 17th in the NFL averaging 242.6 net passing yards allowed per game, but have given up less TDs (15) than interceptions generated (16, tied for third in the NFL).

This is a bad matchup for the reeling 49ers' offense.

Weather: Santa Clara expects a high of around 55 F with cloudy skies and winds under 10 MPH on Sunday - it should be good football weather.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Tennessee Titans Passing Offense at New England Patriots Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Marcus Mariota had a rough outing vs the Jets' top-shelf D (as many quarterbacks do), though a trick play did garner him a 41-yard receiving TD. In the passing aspect of his game, Mariota threw 21/39 for 274 yards, zero TDs and one interception vs. the Jets; the down game came after his monster game against the Jaguars (20/29 for 268 yards passing, three TDs and one interception thrown with 9/112/1 rushing). Like many rookies, Mariota has run hot-and-cold during the course of the season, and last week he was cold. Delanie Walker remains a favorite target (13 targets for 7/71/0 receiving) and Dorial Green-Beckam (seven targets for 3/53/0 receiving) continues his maturation at this level. Harry Douglas also helped out last week (seven for 3/65/0 receiving).

The Patriots mauled Brian Hoyer and company in Houston 27-6, eventually concussing Brian Hoyer in the course of six sacks for -57 yards (allowing 12/24 for 102 net yards passing, with zero TDs or interceptions thrown). This is a special concern for the Titans who have allowed 44 sacks this season (second-most in the NFL) so they can expect to see the Patriots charging at Mariota early and often in this game. The Patriots have averaged 12.6 fantasy points per game allowed to opposing quarterbacks over the past four weeks (that's least in the NFL during that time frame); 15.9 fantasy points to opposing wide receivers (sixth-least); and 4.4 fantasy points to opposing tight ends (fourth-least in the NFL).

The Titans have a bad matchup here.

Weather: Gillette Stadium expects a high of 40 F with clear skies and winds around 10 MPH on Sunday - as long as the winds don't gust too high, it should be a fine day to play some football.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.