Week 12 Passing Matchups

by Justin Howe, Devin Knotts, and Keith Roberts, Exclusive to Footballguys.com

Jump to Rushing Matchups

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


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 Tom Brady 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.


Due to the Wednesday/Thursday games this week, some of the matchups were written using preliminary statistics compiled before the Monday Night Football game - some small discrepancies between the preliminary statistics quoted in the matchups and the final, corrected statistics may be found due to our compressed writing/editing schedule.


Atlanta Falcons Passing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

No, Matt Ryan and the Falcons passing game won’t be reaching (nor even sniffing) their wild 2016 heights. This is still a talented and solid unit, but it’s regressed massively from those record-threatening numbers of last year. Ryan’s adjusted net yardage per attempt, with factors in sacks and interceptions, has fallen from league-best to a middle-of-the-pack 6.89, and his 4.6% touchdown rate is squarely in line with his career marks. And when this unit reverts to those marks, it’s rarely more than a good-not-great one. Ryan has thrown for 294+ yards 3 times this year, but failed to top 254 in any other game, and that touchdown rate sits just 15th among regular starters. The big obstruction here has been the offense’s inability to turn its world-beating potential – specifically, Julio Jones’ dazzling downfield play – into productivity. Jones has registered just 9 receptions of 20+ yards – same as Washington running back Chris Thompson – and scored only once, continuing his career-long refusal to produce touchdowns. As things stand, we can regard this passing game as consistent and workable, but not dynamic or week-winning by any stretch. Luckily, if ever there’s a matchup with blowup potential, it’s a date with the Buccaneers, so it’s fair to expect this unit’s strongest production of the season in Week 12 (or something close to it).

The thin-membraned Tampa Bay pass defense showed up again in Week 11 and found itself thoroughly shredded by backup quarterback Matt Moore. After harassing Jay Cutler into 3 interceptions and chasing him out of the game, the Buccaneers allowed Moore to rack up 282 yards on 28 attempts, including a beautiful 61-yard touchdown strike Kenny Stills. It was no new occurrence: this is a defense that’s allowed 262+ yards to Moore, Mike Glennon, Josh McCown, Tyrod Taylor, and Case Keenum. Matt Ryan and the Falcons pass game have their warts, but Ryan doesn’t exactly need to be in All-Pro form to exploit this unit. And the fact that they’ve allowed 34 completions of 20+ yards – ninth-most in the league – suggests this is a fantastic blow-up spot for Julio Jones and the Falcons crew.

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


Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense vs Houston Texans Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Joe Flacco and the Ravens passing game continue to be tasked with the bare minimum required to get by. Perhaps his offseason back injury is still a bit of an issue, or perhaps Flacco merely isn’t very good at this point, but for whatever reason, this is a “just enough” attack that has yet to create any fireworks. Flacco’s season high in yardage came in Week 9, a 261-yard performance in a tight win over the Titans, and that seems like a perfectly fair ceiling to set – and quarterbacks tend to reach their ceilings against this decimated Houston defense. Wideouts Jeremy Maclin and Mike Wallace boast strong one-on-one matchups this week – the Texans have allowed the league’s third-most fantasy points to wide receivers – as does tight end Ben Watson (sixth-most to tight ends). We never want to rely on Flacco and his weapons, but the Week 12 matchup is cherry and he’s at least been precise with his throws. Expect a solid if volume-driven performance.

As good as the Texans run defense has been, their pass defense has been inversely awful. The losses of cornerbacks A.J. Bouye (free agency) and Kevin Johnson (injury) have truly decimated the secondary, and the many pass rush losses certainly haven’t helped. As a result, opponents have racked up the league’s fifth-most (7.2) net yards per attempt and the seventh-most (252.8) yards per game. Of late. they’ve been absolutely shredded by the Seahawks (452 yards and 4 touchdowns), Colts (308 and 2), Rams (355 and 3), and Blaine Gabbert-led Cardinals (257 and 3). This is among the league’s most targetable units, and they boost the outlooks of even mediocre passing games like that of the Ravens.

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


Denver Broncos Passing Offense at Oakland Raiders Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Paxton Lynch takes over for the Broncos this week and while it is the third quarterback that the Broncos have used this season, it is not difficult to make a case that this is an upgrade for the Broncos compared to Brock Osweiler. The truth of the matter is that we just do not know what to make of Lynch as while he had a ton of talent coming out of college, he was not asked to do very much in the games that he started last season. This is a player who in theory is in a spot that is better than most first-round quarterback selections as he has one of the best wide receiver tandems in the NFL in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders and in his two starts last season Lynch utilized both heavily as the two receivers had 36 total targets in the two games.

The Oakland secondary is one that is one of the worst in the league and is quickly becoming the worst in the league. The Raiders still do not have an interception this season and will be without one of their best cornerbacks in David Amerson this week. Over the last five weeks, the Raiders have allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks as they are allowing 289 yards passing with 2.5 touchdowns per game given up. This is a defense that also has just 14 sacks on the year which ties for the worst in the NFL which is a big reason why this secondary has been as bad as it has been as the team just does not get any pressure on the quarterback.

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


New England Patriots Passing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Packed to the gills with playmaking weapons – even with Chris Hogan still sidelined by a shoulder injury – Tom Brady continues to pick apart opposing defenses and throw touchdowns seemingly at will. His numbers have rebounded back to early-season levels, with 7 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and a 312.7-yard per-game average over his last 3 games. Brady remains the league’s premier pure passer, and week to week he’s a matchup-proof play in the mix for 300 yards and multiple touchdowns. Rob Gronkowski remains a matchup-proof dynamo of his own, producing huge plays and/or drawing valuable downfield coverage every week, and Brandin Cooks has truly found his footing as Brady’s top playmaker. Cooks has been quieter than expected thus far, but has produced 74+ yards in 6 of 10 games and remains a threat to score at any moment. Brady is having buckets of fun sending Cooks on deep routes, which opposing secondaries struggle to manage even with safety help. There isn’t a compelling reason to expect Brady and company to slow down in Week 12; he remains the top quarterback in fantasy on any given week.

It was certainly discouraging to see the Dolphins defense roll over against Ryan Fitzpatrick. The 34-year-old backup, fresh off a faceplant in his first relief start of the year in Week 10, looked rejuvenated in picking apart this shaky-at-best secondary. Fitzpatrick was allowed to complete a stunning 8 of his 11 deep attempts (15+ yards downfield), and it was disturbing just how easily it all came to him. The Dolphins continued to struggle to generate a pass rush, and in coverage they flailed mightily against not only Mike Evans but a host of supporting Buccaneers. DeSean Jackson and rookies Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard all recorded catches of 24+ yards of their own. All told, on the year Miami has allowed the league’s 10th-most net yards per attempt, and their last 3 opposing quarterbacks have averaged a healthy 276.3 yards against them. This is a borderline-targetable unit, one that can be beaten badly by downfield passing games. Tom Brady and Brandin Cooks are licking their chops.

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


Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Offense vs Green Bay Packers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Ben Roethlisberger is mired in his worst season in years, posting near-career-lows in completion rate, yardage, and touchdown rates and his lowest fantasy output in nearly a decade. But at times – as we saw last week – this volatile passing game is rescued by its dynamic pass catchers. Antonio Brown remains the league’s best all-around receiver, still excelling on underneath, intermediate, and deep routes, and he comes fresh off a massive 10-catch, 146-yard, 3-touchdown show from Week 11. LeVeon Bell is still arguably the league’s premier receiving threat out of the backfield, and the emergence of rookie wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster, who’s averaging 17.2 yards and 0.15 touchdowns per catch, has boosted Roethlisberger’s sagging efficiency. This no longer looks like a passing game that can dominate solely on its quarterback’s arm, but it’s one that can erupt in any matchup thanks to its wildly dynamic weaponry. Unsurprisingly, they’re especially productive against weak secondaries, and the Packers look woefully unprepared to face them in Week 12.

The Packers simply can’t piece together a solid, or even passable, group of starting cornerbacks. Just three years ago they boasted the likes of Casey Heyward and a pre-concussion Sam Shields among their personnel, but are now grasping for starters from an exceptionally shaky pool of candidates. Davon House has been up-and-down at best on one side, while rookie Kevin King has been fighting through an injury and looks unlikely to play, and Damarious Randall has looked terrible in the slot. In fact, aside from safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, there’s very little coverage ability throughout this secondary as a whole. As a result, they’ve been shredded in each of their last 3 reasonably-close games, including a 297-yard gem by Bears rookie Mitchell Trubisky. Along the way, they’ve allowed 6 opposing wideouts to reach 88+ yards over their last 6 games, with a total of 8 wideout touchdowns across that span. Those are terrifying numbers for a defense set to face Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and what’s left of Martavis Bryant’s dynamism.

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


Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense at San Francisco 49ers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Russell Wilson continued his hot streak last week against the Falcons, passing for 258 yards and two touchdowns—his fifth game in a row with multiple passing touchdowns. Wilson’s biggest contribution, however, came on the ground as he obliterated the Falcons defense with his rushing ability. Jimmy Graham continues to impress as he matched his season high receptions mark with seven while scoring yet another touchdown. After starting with no touchdowns in his first four games, Graham now has scored at least one touchdown in five of his last six outings, leading all tight ends with seven touchdowns this season as he ranks as the top fantasy scoring tight end across the last seven weeks. Graham now gets the pleasure of facing a 49ers defense that has allowed a touchdown to opposing tight ends in each of their last four games. Doug Baldwin had a very quiet night last Monday as he struggled against the coverage of Desmond Trufant. Baldwin was targeted six times but finished with just two receptions for 40 yards. He did score a big touchdown late in the game, marking Baldwin’s third touchdown in the last five games. His target share has gone down in recent weeks as he has just six targets in each of his last two games compared to double-digit target numbers in each of his previous three outings, but he still leads the Seahawks on the season with 85 targets.

The 49ers continue to struggle against passing offenses, ranking tenth in passing yards allowed per game (246) while allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks despite the run-heavy game script that most teams have employed against them. They lack talent at both cornerback and safety to present a true matchup challenge for any opposing wide receiver. Sterling Shepard went off with 11 receptions for 142 yards against them in Week 10 as he routinely burned this secondary on big plays. Doug Baldwin draws a great matchup out of the slot against Leon Hall, while Paul Richardson should have a solid chance at making his big plays against these safeties. Jimmy Graham also has a prime matchup here as previously mentioned.

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


Washington Redskins Passing Offense vs New York Giants Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Redskins passing attack looks completely different than it did to open the season, but from a productivity standpoint, it has not taken a big hit. Josh Doctson is emerging into the role that was expected to go to Terrelle Pryor, Jamison Crowder has been more reliable out of the slot than he was early in the season and Vernon Davis is a player who leads this team in receiving yards even though he had just one catch after the first two weeks.

The Giants pass defense stepped up in a big way in a test going up against the Giants last week as they held Alex Smith to just 230 yards passing and forced three interceptions. This was a defense that was basically called out as having quit on their team heading into last week, but Janoris Jenkins Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nate Cockrell who filled in for Eli Apple who was a healthy scratch all stepped up this past week. On the season, the Giants have still allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks so while the performance was nice last week, it is still hard to overlook what this team has been most of the year which is a secondary with a lot of high paid talent, but absolutely no production.

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


Buffalo Bills Passing Offense at Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Mercifully, Tyrod Taylor has been reinstalled as the Bills’ starter. It took a truly disastrous showing from rookie Nathan Peterman – just 4.71 yards per attempt and 5 interceptions – for coach Sean McDermott to realize the folly of replacing Taylor, a marginal but effective passer, for a late-round rookie on a hunch. Taylor isn’t a dynamic passer, nor a particularly efficient one, but he’s the clear-cut best choice here in 2017. He mostly avoids turnovers, and he already carries rapport with most his weapons, namely LeSean McCoy, Charles Clay, and rookie wideout Zay Jones. (New addition Kelvin Benjamin may be set to lose time to a knee injury.) We can expect more of the same – a modest 6.60 yards per attempt and 3.9% touchdown rate, yet difference-making rushing totals – going forward, albeit with a shorter leash.

The Kansas City pass defense, a major sore spot through the season’s early going, has enjoyed a noticeable boost over the last three weeks. Still, the successes have come against a handful of bottom-tier passing games, and they haven’t been enough to keep them from the league’s bottom five in yardage allowed. Aside from All-Pro Marcus Peters, the cornerbacks have been atrocious in coverage, and opposing wideouts have caught a league-high 15 touchdowns against them. Buffalo lacks the firepower to truly best this defense, but if Tyrod Taylor throws with any real volume Sunday, his ceiling is definitely elevated.

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


Carolina Panthers Passing Offense at New York Jets Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Panthers come fresh off a 45-21 dismantling of the Dolphins, which saw Cam Newton throw for 254 yards and 4 touchdowns. And the decimated Carolina passing game, which has lost both Kelvin Benjamin and rookie slot man Curtis Samuel in recent weeks, should enjoy a nice boost if Greg Olsen returns as expected. Olsen’s presence is a huge deal: he’ll likely vie for the target lead off the bat, and dating back to 2014, no Panthers receiver has produced more adjusted yards per attempt (factoring in interceptions) from Newton. Even with the personnel losses, we have to like at least the short-term outlook here. There doesn’t seem to be much drop-off from the Olsen/Kelvin Benjamin pairing to Olsen/Devin Funchess, and with Christian McCaffrey erupting out of the backfield, there’s still plenty of dynamism at play here. Consistency, as always, is the sticking point. Newton has thrown for 239+ yards 4 times this year – and that’s plenty considering his rushing output – but also been held below 172 in 4 others.

The Jets’ young pass defense has actually overachieved a bit, considering its inexperienced and shaky personnel, but it’s still a unit to target in fantasy. The team has allowed 5 of its last 6 opponents to top 250 passing yards, with 3 of them topping 285. It’s not hard to see why: the team lacks strong coverage options at cornerback beyond Morris Claiborne, and has struggled quite a bit in the slot, allowing big recent receiving lines to Jarvis Landry (7 receptions for 93 yards and 1 touchdown) and Mohamed Sanu (6 for 74 and 1). And with two rookies starting at the safety spots, there’s tons of opportunity for misreads and missed assignment. Tight ends tend to work them over as well – only six defenses have allowed more PPR points to the position – which bodes well for Greg Olsen’s probable return to the field.

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


Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense vs Tennessee Titans Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Jacoby Brissett has looked much improved in recent weeks as he is actually putting together a decent season. Brissett has multiple passing touchdowns in each of his last three games, two of which came against pretty tough Bengals and Steelers pass defenses. Brissett still struggles to stay upright behind poor offensive line play though. He took another three sacks in his last game as the Colts have allowed a league-leading 39 sacks this year. The wide receiver position for the Colts has been all over the place this year. Donte Moncrief scored a 60-yard touchdown as his only reception during the Colts’ last game, but he has only hauled in more than two receptions in three games this season. T.Y. Hilton can put up monster numbers, but he can also put up a stinker like he did against the Steelers in Week 10, the Bengals in Week 8, the Titans in Week 6, and the list goes on. Each game in which Hilton has hauled in at least five receptions, he has gone for over 150 receiving yards with three touchdowns in those three games. In the other seven games in which Hilton has hauled in fewer than five receptions, he has neither exceeded 60 receiving yards nor scored a touchdown. Until their last game, Jack Doyle was the one consistent piece of this passing offense—but even he has shown he can put up a dud as Doyle caught just two balls for nine yards against the Steelers.

After a stretch of solid outings, the bottom has fallen out from the Titans secondary in the last two weeks. The stat sheet was padded in Weeks five through nine as the Titans really did not face any dynamic offenses or elite receivers. These last two weeks have shown what elite talent can do against this squad though, as AJ Green amassed 115 yards and a touchdown while Antonio Brown exploded for 144 yards and three touchdowns last week. Adoree Jackson was covering Brown for most of the game, and he allowed 10 of 13 targets to be caught for 97 yards. However, Jackson did break up a few passes and nearly immediately tackled Brown on most of those plays. This week, Jackson has a much easier matchup as he should square off against Donte Moncrief on most snaps, while TY Hilton should be manned by Logan Ryan or LeShaun Sims. Ryan had a great game against the Colts earlier this season as he helped to shut down T.Y. Hilton to just one 19-yard reception. The Titans struggled to cover Jack Doyle in that game though as he went for 50 yards and a touchdown, and they allowed a touchdown to Jesse James last week. The Titans have shown difficulty in covering opposing tight ends actually used in their offenses, so look for Doyle to see some looks here as he is certainly an integral part of the Colts offense despite his dud from last week.

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


Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense vs Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Alex Smith is truly coming out of his shell at age 33. Long a game-managing dink-and-dunk artist mocked for his lack of sizzle, Smith is posting his best per-game total by 34 yards and his best touchdown rate ever for a full season. He’s truly embracing Andy Reid quarterbacking: generally safe and sanitized, yet always willing to pounce on a downfield play. Granted, this is very much a three-man receiving game; Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Kareem Hunt dominate targets to a wild degree. That’s good for fantasy owners seeking target share and volume, but a shaky setup for Smith, who essentially can’t succeed without strong days from them. Smith will continue to be boom-or-bust, though it’s encouraging how often he’s boomed thus far, and the Bills’ aggressive secondary could be a gift just as easily as a detriment.

Much like its run defense, the Buffalo pass unit is falling apart. The cornerback play remains generally solid, if occasionally overaggressive, but the coverage play of the safeties and linebackers has gone straight downhill. It culminated in the Chargers’ Keenan Allen somehow catching 12 of his 13 targets for 159 yards last week, but it’s been a problem for several weeks. They’ve now allowed a wideout to notch 73+ yards and/or 1 touchdown in 6 straight games, and Allen’s mammoth line joined those of A.J. Green (7 for 189 and 1) and Mike Evans (7 for 88 and 1) among opposing WR1s. There are huge splash plays to be tried against this gambling defense, and at the moment, they’re all working. That puts Alex Smith and company in a solid spot to rebound from their slump.

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


Miami Dolphins Passing Offense at New England Patriots Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

For whatever reason, Jay Cutler remains coach Adam Gase’s preferred starter as he returns from a concussion. Cutler has been wildly ineffective all year, while backup Matt Moore has posted two great games during Cutler’s inevitable injury timeout. We can’t just apply late-game relief numbers to a full game, and Moore was indeed horrid in his lone 2017 start. But he was strong last year over 3 starts, completing 63.4% of his throws and tossing 8 touchdowns. In any event, Cutler is the chosen one for Week 12, so we should expect a sanitized, low-impact passing “attack” that’s built around the king of low impact himself, slot receiver Jarvis Landry. He’s topped 230 yards just once over 7 full starts, and it’s not a volume problem: he’s averaging a solid 34.3 attempts, but a pitiful 5.75 yards per attempt. Until he shows a willingness to uncork his downfield game, Cutler looks like nothing more than a volatile dink-and-dunker with a ceiling around 225 yards and 1-2 touchdowns. At least Moore shows a willingness to go downfield and create some degree of impact. Cutler has failed all year to incorporate big-play threats DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills in a meaningful way, so it’s safe to project Cutler and company to nickel-and-dime their way to midfield a few times and give up possession plenty.

It’s hard to know what to expect week-to-week from this unit, which has been shredded at times throughout the year but tightened up majorly of late. After allowing their first 6 opponents to average a whopping 322.0 yards, they’ve given up just 225.8 to their last 4. As with the running game, flow is the determining factor here. When an opposing offense is close and utilizing its full playbook, the Patriots are generally toast in coverage. We saw that when Brock Osweiler of all quarterbacks chewed them apart over the first half of Week 10. But if/when the Patriots jump ahead comfortably, offenses have to adapt into a free-throwing passing attack into heavy coverage, one that’s predictable and much easier for Bill Belichick’s flawed defensive personnel to control.

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


New York Giants Passing Offense at Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Eli Manning has had limited support all season long due to injuries throughout his receiving corps, but it hit a new level this past week when Sterling Shepard was unexpectedly ruled out due to a migraine. Without Shepard, Manning was left with a skeleton crew on offense as he spread the ball out between 10 different receiving options. Evan Engram was expected to make a big contribution this week, but he only managed to haul in one of his six targets for a paltry nine yards as he dropped a couple passes and negated a big gain with an offensive pass interference penalty. Engram broke a four-game touchdown streak last week as he had been one of the Giants’ most consistent contributors on offense. Thankfully for Manning, Sterling Shepard is expected to be back in the lineup this week.

The Redskins defense had a tough game last week as they let the Saints come back in the fourth quarter to force what would be an overtime victory, giving up a season-high 385 passing yards in the process. The Redskins are allowing an average of 249 passing yards per game, eighth most in the league. They have allowed the most passing yards and second most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks over the last three weeks. The play from their cornerbacks has been mostly solid, but the Redskins linebackers and safeties have really been the weak pieces of this defense. DeAngelo Hall, in particular, had a very tough game last week as he missed three tackles and single-handedly gave up over 60 yards and a touchdown. Of the 18 receiving touchdowns Washington has allowed, only eight of those have been by wide receivers with four coming from running backs (T-2nd most in the league) and six coming from tight ends (T-3rd most in the league). Shane Vereen has had a very quiet season, but he could have a shot at some upside in this matchup as he has been playing around 30-50% of the snaps in the past three weeks. Evan Engram, of course, will be in a good spot also due to how weak the Redskins have been against tight ends.

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


Tennessee Titans Passing Offense at Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Marcus Mariota had a solid fantasy day last week, but it was far from solid based purely on his play. Mariota threw a whopping four interceptions in their loss to the Steelers on Thursday night. This was Mariota’s third straight game with an interception, and he now has 10 interceptions with only eight passing touchdowns on the season. Compare that to Mariota’s career 45 passing touchdowns to only 19 interceptions coming into this season, and you will see how far he has fallen this year. Rishard Matthews continues to play a big role in this offense despite the return of Corey Davis, as Matthews is on the field for nearly every play and has averaged just over seven targets per game in the last three weeks. He had a big 75-yard deep ball last week for his third touchdown of the season. Delanie Walker has been one of the most consistently utilized tight ends this season, but he still has yet to find the end zone. Corey Davis is a stud from whom big things are expected. He has been targeted just one fewer time than Rishard Matthews in the last three weeks, but Davis has still yet to top 50 receiving yards since his return from injury.

The Colts passing defense has been torched on many occasions this season. They lead the league in passing yards per attempt (8.3) and are second in most passing yards allowed per game (275). To their credit, this Colts secondary did play much better in their last game against the Steelers, holding Antonio Brown to just three receptions on seven targets for 47 yards. However, this secondary still allowed JuJu Smith-Schuster to go for nearly 100 yards and a touchdown against them. This unit struggled against the Titans in their last meeting earlier this season as Marcus Mariota passed for over 300 yards, doing a great job at spreading the ball amongst multiple receivers. Corey Davis will be back for the Titans this time, and he should be up against Pierre Desir for a lot of snaps here. Desir has not looked great in replacement of Vontae Davis, who also was struggling mightily this season. That side of the field should continue to be a gap that opposing offenses such as the Titans will look to exploit.

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


Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Bengals passing game this season has been based on whether A.J. Green has a great game or not. In three of their last five weeks, the Bengals have been held to 154 yards or less passing as they have struggled against teams that are able to take Green out of the game plan with top-end cornerbacks. Outside of Green, the Bengals have struggled to find a secondary receiver as both Brandon LaFell and Tyler Kroft have been extremely up and down.

The Browns pass defense is one that is improving as of late as they have allowed the 12th fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks over the last four weeks and are 15th on the season in terms of passing yardage allowed. Jason McCourty continues to be one of the best cornerbacks in football this season and safety Derrick Kindred has been playing much better as of late. This is a defense that while they give up passing touchdowns as they have allowed the fourth most this season is a defense that is capable of stopping the pass and should give the Bengals problems this week.

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


Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Blake Bortles struggled mightily last week as he could only muster 154 passing yards and one touchdown against the Browns. Bortles also coughed up two fumbles, losing one. The Jaguars are a run-first team as Bortles has had very much of a game-manager role for most of this season, passing for over 300 yards in just one game and only one game with more than one touchdown. Bortles has had exactly one passing touchdown in each of his last five games, so don’t look for much upside out of him on a regular basis. Marquise Lee has been the only reliable receiving option for the Jaguars this season, but he was dealing with a knee injury for most of the last week and had a relatively mediocre game because of it. Lee is averaging just over 50 receiving yards per game this season but has only one game with over 80 receiving yards and just two touchdowns. Overall, this is a passing offense to avoid for all intents and purposes.

The Cardinals passing defense has definitely been exploitable this season as they have given up the fifth and sixth most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks and wide receivers respectively. Most of this production, however, has come from receivers NOT facing Patrick Peterson—as Peterson has been one of the best shutdown cornerbacks in the league. Marquise Lee should see the pleasure of facing Peterson this week, meaning the rest of the Jaguars receivers should have a decent shot at some production. Rookie Dede Westbrook finally saw the first catches of his career last week, but he was out-snapped by their other rookie receiver Keelan Cole. Westbrook has game-changing speed, so if he can get more snaps, he could be a boom or bust candidate for a big play against the struggling Cardinals safeties.

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


Los Angeles Chargers Passing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Keenan Allen exploded last week with 12 receptions for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Allen who had shown flashes for sporadic periods of time throughout this season had yet to put one of his vintage pre-injury games together and seeing him do it was very encouraging. The problem for Allen is that will this trend continues where he is the most utilized receiver, as Allen has shown to be inconsistent at times throughout his career. Phillip Rivers has been a model of consistency this season as in every game this season except against the Broncos, Rivers has thrown for over 210 yards, but has only thrown for 300 yards or more one time. While it is not the biggest upside in the world having the dependability on a week-to-week basis is very encouraging for a player who at the moment is a low-end quarterback one, high end-quarterback two.

The Cowboys secondary has been about the definition of average throughout most of this season. The Cowboys rank 14th in terms of passing yards allowed and their cornerbacks are not great, but not horrible either as Orlando Scandrick, rookie Jourdan Lewis, and Anthony Brown have all been serviceable throughout the season. The injury to Sean Lee, while it hurts their rushing defense, does help their passing defense as for as bad as Jaylon Smith has been against the run he has been good in coverage this season.

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


Oakland Raiders Passing Offense vs Denver Broncos Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Derek Carr has largely been disappointing this season, but he is showing signs over his last four games that he is getting back to the types of numbers that we are used to as over his last four games he has thrown for 317 yards per game as he has been blessed with several great matchups in a row for this offense. The receiving group for this Raiders team has been a big problem throughout the season as both Crabtree and Cooper have been extremely inconsistent and Jared Cook has been the leading receiver this season in Oakland as he is on pace for a career season.

The Broncos defense continues to be one of the more talented units in football, but they are not the same unit that they once were and a big reason for this is that Darian Stewart is having the worst season of his career at free safety. The Broncos have actually allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks over the last fourth weeks, which is surprising, but what is killing them is not yardage but instead, it is touchdowns. The Broncos over the last four weeks are averaging allowing 2.8 passing touchdowns per game so which in theory this should be a horrible matchup due to the talent of this defense if the offense continues to put the Broncos in bad starting field positions this could be an opportunity for Derek Carr and company to score some touchdowns this week.

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


Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense vs Chicago Bears Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Carson Wentz had a quiet game on the stat sheet last week, but his two touchdowns and 168 passing yards were just enough to help rout the Cowboys last week. Wentz looked great around the goal line last week as he scored both touchdowns from within the red zone while converting three two-point conversions. Wentz has now passed for multiple touchdowns in six straight games, owning a 19-to-3 touchdown to interception ratio over that span. Alshon Jeffrey has been more involved within the past few weeks as he has over 60 receiving yards and at least one touchdown in each of his last three games. Jeffery has also led the team in targets for five straight weeks, now the most heavily targeted option for Wentz this season. Zach Ertz was not quite right last week as the Eagles may have let him return a bit prematurely from his hamstring injury sustained in Week 8. Ertz is typically an integral part of this passing offense, but he only managed two receptions for eight yards in what was a very forgettable outing. Prior to last week, Ertz had racked up a touchdown in five of his last six games—so look for him to be more involved as his health improves.

The Bears passing defense took a slight step back last week against a Matt Stafford and the Lions, giving up more than one passing touchdown for just the second time this season as Stafford threw for 299 yards. The Bears secondary has been one of the least opportunistic units in the league as they only have four interceptions, fourth fewest in the league. They had a back to back games with two interceptions in each, but outside of that, this secondary has not made many big plays outside of some forced fumbles. Their pass rush has been strong though as they sacked Stafford three times last week, bringing them up to 29 sacks on the year. Akiem Hicks has played a big role in applying pressure on the quarterback as he alone has accounted for seven of those sacks playing from the left side of this line. Hicks will be in for a test this week though as the strength of this very proficient Eagles offensive line has been their right side. The biggest weak spot for the Bears secondary has been Kyle Fuller, and he should be matched up against the Eagles top receiving option in Alshon Jeffrey this week. Jeffrey has both a size and talent advantage over Fuller, and he has scored four touchdowns in the last three games.

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


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Ryan Fitzpatrick remains an exceptionally mixed bag. His schtick is to look competent – even dynamic – at times, yet wholly unqualified to be under center at others. Now 34, and never a particularly precise passer, Fitzpatrick looks more often like the latter. He was strong in Week 11, throwing for 275 yards and 2 touchdowns, but his matchup with the Dolphins was near-cake, and he looked far worse in Week 10 than he looked good against Miami. With his scattershot arm and often baffling decision-making, Fitzpatrick is more an any-given-Sunday threat to implode than to excel. Still, his production (6.36 adjusted net yards per attempt, 5.9% touchdown rate) isn’t any worse than Jameis Winston’s was, so at least on paper, this passing game doesn’t tumble much under his leadership, if at all. Again, matchup played a role, but he kept Mike Evans involved (92 yards across 10 targets) and turned Dolphins turnovers into touchdowns. Fitzpatrick’s Week 12 outlook isn’t rosy by any means, but it appears similar (or even equal) to what Winston’s would be, so Evans, DeSean Jackson, and the team’s tight ends don’t deserve massive downgrades. It’s the floor of the passing game, not its ceiling, that’s tweaked right now.

The Falcons pass defense remains a stout unit, one that gives grudgingly – just 5.3 net yards per attempt, third-best in football, and a seventh-best 200.8 yards per game. When we look deeper, however, we see some cracks in the armor. For one, we know that Tom Brady likely would’ve continued to shred them in Week 7 – he was 21 of 29 for 249 and 2 touchdowns – had game flow not put the ball on the ground. And their recent trend is a bit troubling: Josh McCown (26 of 33 for 257 and 2 touchdowns) and Russell Wilson (26 of 42 for 258 and 2, with 1 interception) have absolutely picked them apart in recent weeks. When the hit-or-miss pass rush isn’t threatening quarterbacks, it’s not especially hard to shred this secondary. Cornerback Desmond Trufant has been a shutdown force at times, but an overly aggressive gambled at others, and slot man Brian Poole has struggled mightily all year.

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


Detroit Lions Passing Offense vs Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Matthew Stafford was just one-yard shy of what could have been his fourth 300-yard game in the last five weeks. Stafford is putting together a very impressive season as he is averaging 278 passing yards per game with 19 touchdowns to just five interceptions. Since his Week 7 bye, Stafford ranks as the second highest-scoring fantasy quarterback as he has racked up seven touchdowns to just one interception while averaging 333 passing yards per game over that span. Golden Tate had been one of the most consistent receivers in football over the last five games leading up to Week 11, but he saw that consistency evaporate as he was targeted just four times with three receptions for 32 yards as Marvin Jones was much more heavily involved last week. Jones led the team in receiving yards while hauling in a touchdown to bounce back nicely from the dud of a game he put up in Week 10. Kenny Golladay saw more than double the snaps last week from Week 10, but he was targeted just three times with a couple receptions as his usage continues to disappoint. Eric Ebron had another decent game here though, hauling in four receptions for 49 yards as he tied to lead the team in targets with seven.

The Lions will draw a tough one against the Vikings this week. Minnesota has allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game against opposing quarterbacks and has limited offenses to just 17.2 points per game—also fourth-fewest in the league. They are allowing just over 210 passing yards per game and have allowed only two 300+ yard games this season. Matthew Stafford had one of his worst outings of the season against the Vikings earlier this year, passing for just 209 yards with no touchdowns. Expect Xavier Rhodes to lock down Marvin Jones Jr. for most of this game while Golden Tate’s matchup does not get much better against Terrance Newman out of the slot.

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


Houston Texans Passing Offense at Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Texans offense, once flying high under rookie passer Deshaun Watson, has predictably stalled with Tom Savage under center. Savage simply doesn’t look equipped to quarterback on this level: he lacks real feel for the pocket and pressure, absorbing untimely sacks and throwing with terrible rhythm. He’s also a turnover machine, with three interceptions and a seemingly-impossible seven fumbles over just five appearances. Across 3 starts since Watson’s injury, Savage has completed just 52.7% of his throws for a Blaine Gabbert-esque 4.61 adjusted net yards per attempt. It’s encouraging at least that he knows where his bread buttered: top wideout DeAndre Hopkins is still drawing a relentless target share (34.8% since Watson’s injury), so Savage is at least maximizing his ability by putting his faith into the Texans’ best player. But since we can’t expect any real efficiency or Watson-esque dynamism from a Savage-led offense, Hopkins is essentially the only fantasy-worthy play here – at least until the mega-explosive Will Fuller returns, which could be this week. Even then, though, it’s hard to project Savage’s awful mechanics and scattershot arm to extend beyond Hopkins.

DeAndre Hopkins has been an All-Pro-caliber receiver all year, but he’ll have his Week 12 hands full with cornerback Jimmy Smith, who’s been fantastic all year, and rookie Marlon Humphrey on the other side. The Ravens’ real vulnerability lies inside, where slot man Lardarius Webb and the team’s athletically challenged linebackers and safeties struggle mightily in coverage. This subsection has settled down a bit of late, even denying breakout slot stud Adam Thielen a strong day (41 yards on 12 targets) in Week 7, but remains the key to success against the Ravens defense. Quick throws to the slot also help neutralize the Ravens’ dynamic pass rush. For Texans quarterback Tom Savage, of course, quick reads and throws are generally foreign; prepare for Savage to try and test the outside guys with Hopkins (and perhaps Will Fuller) on downfield routes. That would make for a truly boom-or-bust outlook in this matchup – and given Savage’s awful play thus far, it’s fair to side with the Ravens and project modest Houston passing numbers.

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


Los Angeles Rams Passing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Rams passing offense had been riding high for a couple weeks in a row before running into a brick wall last week on the road against the Vikings. Jared Goff passed for just 225 yards with no touchdowns as he couldn’t get anything going after their first drive of the game. Robert Woods had a decent game with eight receptions from 11 targets for 81 yards, but he injured his shoulder late in the fourth quarter and is now expected to miss at least a couple weeks. Woods is a big loss for the Rams as he has been their top receiver this season and one of the best deep threats in the league. The Rams will look to Sammy Watkins to help fill the void here. Watkins has not been as involved in this offense as many expected this year as he hasn’t exceeded three receptions in his past seven games. This week should be a good opportunity for Watkins to step up now that Woods is off the field. Cooper Kupp should also see an uptick in usage and has the best matchup of any Rams receiver this week.

The Saints passing defense finally faltered last week as they coughed up 322 passing yards and three receiving touchdowns to the Redskins last week, allowing over 20 points in a game for just the second time since Week 3. They lost Marshon Lattimore early in this game due to an ankle injury. He tried to return in the third quarter but was unable to put full weight on his ankle after just one play. Lattimore has been one of the top cornerbacks in the league and a big key to why the Saints passing defense ranks fourth using DVOA, giving up the second-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers since Week 3. As mentioned before, Cooper Kupp has a good matchup this week against slot cornerback P.J. Williams. Williams had a rough outing last week and has been the worst Saints cornerbacks. Lattimore’s status has yet to be determined for this week, but if he misses time, look for Sammy Watkins to see a huge bump in value.

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


Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense at Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Case Keenum did a great job in a tough matchup against the Rams last week as he led the Vikings to a statement victory. Keenum passed for at least 280 yards for the third straight week and had his first game without an interception since Week 5. Keenum has now completed over 70% of his passes for two straight weeks as he is making a great case to retain the starting job while Teddy Bridgewater continues to warm the bench. Adam Thielen is absolutely balling out this season as he continued his dominance last week with six receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown. Thielen now has a touchdown in three straight games after failing to find the end zone in his first seven outings, averaging just under 130 receiving yards per game across that span and ranking as the league’s top fantasy wide receiver in points per game since Week 8. Stefon Diggs has taken a back seat to Thielen as he has just four receptions in each of his last three games with a couple of games below 35 total yards over that span. Last week, Diggs was up against tough coverage while Thielen was matched up against a rookie—so take that into consideration as well. Kyle Rudolph had a good game last week as he finished with a season-high 58 receiving yards. While he is not putting up huge numbers with just two touchdowns in his last six games, Rudolph remains consistently involved in the offense as he has between five and six receptions in each those last six games.

The Lions have had very soft matchups in their last three games, facing the likes of Brett Hundley, Deshone Kizer, and Mitchell Trubisky. Naturally, this passing defense has excelled, allowing just three passing touchdowns and an average of 220 passing yards per game. On the season though, the Lions have been just an average pass defense. Darius Slay is certainly one of the best cornerbacks in the league while Glover Quin has been an elite safety, but they have some holes in that secondary and linebacker core outside of those two studs. It will be interesting to see how the Lions use Slay this week, as one would think that opposing defenses will not let Adam Thielen continue to dominate as he has been this season. Slay has played just two percent of his snaps covering slot receivers this season though, and Thielen lines up in the slot for over 50% of his snaps. Look for Slay to cover more of Diggs here, while Thielen should have an average matchup against Quandre Diggs, who has been much improved this season after being one of the worst cornerbacks in the league in 2016.

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


New Orleans Saints Passing Offense at Los Angeles Rams Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Drew Brees returned to form last week as he had his best game of the season, passing for 385 yards and two touchdowns while giving up one interception. These are the kind of big games we used to expect of Brees on a weekly basis, but he hasn’t had as much of a need to pass this season since the Saints have been rushing the ball so effectively and are finally getting good play out of their defense. Michael Thomas had double-digit targets for the third straight week and sixth time this season as he hauled in six of 11 targets for 91 yards. Brees really spread the ball around last week as four players finished with five or six receptions and between 74 and 91 yards. Alvin Kamara continues to play a big role in the passing offense while Ted Ginn bounced back from a one-catch showing in Week 10 to post 87 yards from six receptions. Colby Fleener had his best game of the season also with 91 yards on five receptions, but he has been a non-factor since back to back touchdowns in the Saints first two games this season.

The Rams defense had one of their worst games of the season last week as they gave up 24 points with neither a sack nor a turnover. Coming into last week, the Rams secondary had been playing pretty well as they had at least one interception eight of nine games with just one quarterback passing for over 260 yards against them. They were torched on a few big plays by the Vikings last week, particularly on behalf of Adam Thielen. The big culprit here was slot cornerback Dominique Hatfield, who was forced into the game when Kayvon Webster sustained a concussion in the first half. Webster’s status this week is uncertain, but if he sits, this should provide a mismatch opportunity for Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn on the outside. The Saints let Ginn and Thomas alternate sides, so Thomas should see Trumaine Johnson on some snaps as well. Johnson did a great job on Stefon Diggs last week, so this is not as positive of a matchup. Overall, the Rams still have a solid secondary with very talented safeties and a couple of elite interior defensive linemen to apply pressure on the quarterback. While the Rams still may not be able to stop this high-powered Saints offense in the midst of an eight-game winning streak, it still should be a tough matchup on the road for Drew Brees and company.

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


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

Against all odds, Josh McCown has both remained upright and been a stabilizing force at quarterback for the rebuilding Jets. McCown has greatly curbed his scattershot ways, posting by far the best completion rate of his career and the league’s 19th-most adjusted yards per attempt. Of course, the cost of that sanitized production is typically dynamism, and this passing game boasts no fantasy appeal outside of wideout Robby Anderson and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Anderson has carried over nicely from 2016 as a productive deep threat, posting 4 games of 76+ yards and catching 5 touchdowns, including his current 4-game scoring streak. He’s the closest thing to a WR1 in this offense and a weekly threat to catch a long touchdown. Seferian-Jenkins has struggled for efficiency (just 7.4 yards per reception) as an exceptionally low-aDOT target, but provided fantasy-TE1 volume with his 78% catch rate.

The Panthers pass defense has been generally strong through 2017, with very few hiccups. They’ve allowed the league’s ninth-fewest net yards per attempt (which factors in sacks) and fourth-fewest raw yards. There are occasional lapses in coverage, though: while only 7 teams have allowed fewer completions of 20+ yards, the Panthers have benefited mightily from several easy-touchdown drops (think Julio Jones’ inexplicable goof in Week 9. Still, opponents’ deep balls are often neutralized by the Panthers’ explosive pass rush, which sits fourth in the league in sacks. The bottom line is that this unit is generally difficult to throw against, but not necessarily a prohibitive one.

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


San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense vs Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

C.J. Beathard had the best outing of his young career against a reeling Giants defense his last game in Week 10, completing 76% of his passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns. Beathard padded his stats with a big 83-yard bomb to Marquise Goodwin, who was wide open on a blown coverage. Beathard also got his tight end involved here as Garrett Celek finished tied for the team lead in targets with six and a touchdown. Beathard did a good job at spreading the ball around, but a ton of his completions were for short yardage gains which helped him achieve that 76% completion rate. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk actually led the team in receptions with five as he was a dump off machine in this game while Carlos Hyde only caught two passes for six yards, his second-worst performance through the air this season. The 49ers offensive line has not done a great job in pass protection on the year, allowing 32 sacks which rank third-most in the league. They were back to full strength before the bye though and did not allow a single sack as Joe Staley returned to left tackle and Trent Brown shifted back to right tackle. This line will be under a ton of pressure this week though, as this Seahawks pass rush looked better during the second half of this season.

Just one game after losing Richard Sherman, the Seahawks secondary took another huge blow as they have now learned that Kam Chancellor may be lost for the season due to a neck injury. Chancellor had been one of the best safeties in the league, and the Seahawks are now down two members of their famed Legion of Boom. Bradley McDougald will step in for Chancellor opposite Earl Thomas. McDougald played relatively well against the Falcons this past week, but he is definitely a downgrade from Chancellor. Jeremy Lane did not look good at all in his first start in relief of Sherman, however, it doesn’t help that he saw a lot of Julio Jones in coverage. In the midst of all these injuries though, linebacker Earl Wagner is having one of his best seasons, particularly in pass coverage as he has looked elite all season long. The 49ers pose a minimal threat to the Seahawks defense, especially as Carlos Hyde should draw coverage by Wagner if he sneaks out of the backfield.

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


Arizona Cardinals Passing Offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The Cardinals passing offense had a new face under center last week as Blaine Gabbert got his first start of the season in relief of the injured Drew Stanton. Despite the low expectations, Gabbert actually had a great fantasy outing as he finished as the sixth highest scoring quarterback of the week. He did throw a couple of interceptions though, which is per the Gabbert game script as he just two more touchdowns than interceptions (41 to 39) in his career. Gabbert is expected to start again this week as Stanton is still nursing his knee injury. Larry Fitzgerald was, predictably, the top target again last week as he hauled in nine of ten targets for 91 yards and a touchdown. Fitzgerald has had some up and down games this season, but he is still the most reliable receiving option in this offense. Undrafted rookie tight end Ricky Seals-Jones came out of nowhere last week to haul in a couple of touchdowns—the first two of his career. Seals-Jones was a receiver in college but has converted to a tight end in the NFL. He is a big-bodied guy at 6’5’’ and 243lbs, so he could definitely be a weapon in the passing attack if he can manage to be allotted more than 15% of the snaps as he was last week.

The Jaguars have the absolute best defense in the league this season. They are leading nearly every category as it pertains to passing defenses and have allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to both opposing quarterbacks and receivers by a large margin. Their secondary is healthy and playing at an untouchable level. Even the great Larry Fitzgerald should struggle against either of these Jaguars cornerbacks. The Jaguars defensive front that has racked up a league-leading 40 sacks should also dominate a very weak Cardinals offensive line, making it tough on Gabbert to have even a second to think about who to throw to.

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


Chicago Bears Passing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The Bears passing offense continues to be one of the worst in the league as they are truly a run-first team considering their lack of talent outside of the running back position. Mitchell Trubisky has helped lead this offense to just 170.4 passing yards per game. Trubisky is still getting his feet wet in the NFL as he just had around a dozen starts in college before getting his opportunity in the NFL. Trubisky has only thrown two interceptions on the season, but he has lost three fumbles as Trubisky has just two starts without a turnover. Last week, Dontrelle Inman led the Bears in receiving for the second week in a row but his contribution was still minuscule as tight end Adam Shaheen had the Bears’ only receiving touchdown. Tarik Cohen is still seeing a ton of targets out of the backfield as Trubisky likes to keep it safe on most of his throws, completing just one pass over 20 yards last week.

The Eagles defense stonewalled the Cowboys last week, holding them to just 225 total yards and three field goals. The Eagles forced Dak Prescott into four turnovers and four sacks as they terrorized him all night. The Eagles have racked up at least three sacks in four straight games as their defensive line is playing at an extremely high level. This secondary now ranks second in the league with 14 interceptions and is currently in the midst of an impressive run with 11 interceptions across their last five games. While the Eagles rank sixth against the pass using DVOA, they have been arguably one of the best playmaking pass defenses in the league over the last six weeks. This is an incredible mismatched game in which the Bears should be expected to really struggle.

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


Cleveland Browns Passing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

There really isn’t any way to say it other than DeShone Kizer is an absolute mess. The Browns passing game with a combination of DeShone Kizer and Cody Kessler over the last three weeks have been sacked 12 times, thrown three interceptions, and fumbled the ball three times of which they lost two of those. The good news for the Browns is that they got Corey Coleman back this past week and appear to be utilizing him heavily as he had 11 targets this past week and is the lone receiver on this Browns team that has above replacement level talent.

The Bengals secondary has been one of the best defenses against the pass in the league as they are only averaging 200.6 yards per game which is the sixth best in football. Over the last four weeks, however, they are 15th in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks and have faced Brock Osweiler, Marcus Mariota, and Blake Bortles, so while this is a good unit, it is not an elite unit as they are decimated with injuries. The Bengals are without one of their best corners Adam Jones as he is still dealing with a concussion and appears unlikely to play this week. The good news for the Bengals is that their pass rush should have a field day against this Browns passing game as the Bengals are fourth in the NFL in terms of sacks and the Browns are fourth in sacks allowed this season.

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


Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense vs Los Angeles Chargers Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Each week we continue to discuss the “Sophmore Slump” of Dak Prescott and early on in the season even mentioned that his touchdowns were the saving grace of his season, those touchdowns have now ceased to exist. In three of his last four games, Prescott has failed to throw a touchdown and has failed to go over 176 yards. The problem for the Cowboys is that outside of Dez Bryant, the offense has now playmakers now that Ezekiel Elliott is suspended.

The Cowboys are in a really tough spot this week going up against one of the best secondaries in football in the Chargers. The Chargers who are eight in terms of passing yardage allowed at just 209.8 yards are also 7th in terms of the fewest touchdowns allowed this season which is a very difficult combination. Casey Hayward who might be the best cornerback in football this season should be following Dez Bryant everywhere he goes this week, and the other two cornerbacks Trevor Williams and rookie Desmond King have both been playing at a high level this season. The Chargers also rate as the second best in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends which should cause problems for Jason Witten who is looking like he is on his last legs of his NFL career after a great start to the season.

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


Green Bay Packers Passing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

It’s sad to have to be this blunt, but through 4+ games in relief of future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers, Brett Hundley has shown little sign that he belongs starting NFL games. He’s always impressed in preseason play, as the team has routinely showcased him for trade value, but looks to be in woefully over his head now that the games count. Struggling to make quick reads and holding the ball far too long on a Tom Savage level, Hundley has completed just 60.8% of his throws, with a truly pitiful 3.12 adjusted net yards per attempt (factors in sacks and interceptions). Even after he looked set to turn some kind of corner in Weeks 9 and 10, Hundley regressed badly last Sunday, taking 6 sacks and coughing up 4 turnovers in a shutout loss. There is a little fantasy utility to be mined from here: Davante Adams has emerged as his go-to target, averaging 6.7 receptions for 89.7 yards over the last 3 weeks. But it seems foolhardy to expect any kind of stability, even in that connection. This passing game looks unlikely to produce much of note until/if Rodgers returns in Week 15, and there’s major implosion potential against this fierce Steelers defense.

Like their run unit, the Steelers pass defense has been elite for most of the season, more so than any unit aside from that of the Jaguars. Pittsburgh is allowing the league’s fourth-fewest net yards per attempt and third-fewest yards per game, and only Jacksonville has given up fewer touchdowns. Granted, the Steelers have faced an absurdly soft schedule of quarterbacks, and the last 2 good ones they’ve faced (Matthew Stafford and Marcus Mariota) have produced 423 and 306 yards. But it needs to be pointed out that Stafford and the Lions were shut out of the end zone, and that much of Mariota’s production came on 2 long completions and in garbage time during a 40-17 game. The Steelers intercepted Mariota four times – the first game in his career with more than two picks – and allowed virtually nothing of consequence aside from those two long balls. This remains a suffocating unit, one that’s iffy in coverage but stymies quarterbacks and severely disrupts their connections with receivers, even without cornerback Joe Haden. Haden’s Week 11 replacement, Coty Sensabaugh, was dominant aside from the long score he allowed to Rishard Matthews. He’ll have more pressure on him against Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams, but it’s hard to imagine underwater Packers quarterback Brett Hundley making much real noise against this unit.

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