Week 13 Passing Matchups

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

Jump to Rushing Matchups

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


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.


Green Bay Packers Passing Offense at New York Giants Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers passing offense looked like it wanted no part of last week’s game against the 49ers as Rodgers threw the ball 33 times for just 104 yards averaging 3.3 yards-per-attempt. With the offensive line issues with Bryan Bulaga out, the Packers had no time to develop any sort of passing game and Rodgers was sacked five times. This has been a growing concern for the Packers as Rodgers has now been sacked 15 times over the last 4 games compared to just 12 times over his first 7 games which include a 5-sack game in Week 1 against the Bears. The Packers seem to be looking for answers and consistency amongst their wide receivers as they have been searching for answers Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard, and Geronimo Allison.

The Giants secondary has been abysmal this season and they have been propped up largely due to the lack of elite passing games and quarterbacks this season. The Giants have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers at 197 yards and 1.4 touchdowns per game to the position. They boast a secondary that has two of the worst cornerbacks in football in Corey Ballentine and Deandre Baker. While Janoris Jenkins is still serviceable, this is a matchup nightmare for the Giants who are second in the NFL in yards per attempt at 8.6. This is a unit that will also be without Jabrill Peppers this week and while Peppers is a better run defender than he is in coverage, he is still a more experienced safety compared to Julian Love who is a fourth-round pick out of Notre Dame.

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


Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Nick Foles is putting up solid yardage back under center for the Jaguars, but that is about all he has contributed as those yards are not consistently translating into sustained drives and points. Foles passed for 296 yards and two touchdowns in his debut, but last week he amassed 272 yards with no touchdowns as he routinely played it safe with Leonard Fournette as the focal point of this passing offense. Foles now has question marks around his job security, however, the Jaguars coaching staff remains firm that a quarterback change is not in consideration for this week. D.J. Chark went from 15 targets in Week 11 to just six last week, but he is still the most talented receiver Foles has at his disposal and should bounce back in a better matchup this week. Chris Conley has actually seen a consistent volume of targets with between 7-9 in each of his last five outings, and he has been a focal point for Foels despite missing a number of opportunities after accounting for 176 air yards from his nine targets last week, but hauling in only four of those for 49 yards. Leonard Fournette has been having a spectacular season through the air, as he put up a season-high nine receptions for 62 receiving yards last week and has now hauled in at least five receptions in four straight games. With a career-high 33 touches in last week’s game, Fournette has to be considered as the focal point for both this passing and rushing offense.

No team has allowed more yards to wide receivers than Tampa Bay, as this secondary stacks up as one of the worst in the league. Three receivers each cleared 65 yards against this team last week while they gave up over 110 yards each to four separate receivers and eight receiving touchdowns in the three preceding games. Quarterbacks have exceeded 320 passing yards in seven of the 11 games played against this defense as they are one of just two teams to have allowed an average of over 300 passing yards per game, fueling why they have given up the second-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. The only bright spot for this secondary is rookie cornerback Jamel Dean, who has started in three of the past four games and played relatively well. Still, the Jaguars receivers should all have advantages with plenty of upside for big plays against these underwhelming Buccaneers safeties.

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


Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Chiefs just can’t seem to stay healthy as Tyreek Hill suffered a hamstring injury and while he is going to play the question is whether he is 100% as he relies so much on his speed for his game. The good news for the Chiefs is that Patrick Mahomes seems to be 100% after rushing for 50 yards against the Chargers in their last game out and no one is happier that Mahomes is back than Travis Kelce. Kelce has scored a touchdown in both of the games since Mahomes return and has been a primary focal point alongside Hill once again after struggling for a while under Matt Moore. Look for the Chiefs to continue to try to get healthy and consistent as they round into playoff form.

On the season, the Raiders have been one of the worst teams against the pass. This is a defense that has allowed two touchdowns or more to seven of the last eight quarterbacks with the only quarterback to not do it was Ryan Finley. On the year, the Raiders have struggled mightily against efficient passing attacks allowing 400+ yards three times on the year including to the Chiefs who threw for 443 yards and four touchdowns earlier this season. While their secondary is not the worst in the league, when combining the secondary with a team that fails to consistently get pressure on the quarterback leaves their secondary exposed as they have lost their top three safeties this season which has forced the Raiders to sign D.J. Swearinger off the street who has really struggled since coming to Oakland.

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


New Orleans Saints Passing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

At age 40, Drew Brees continues to operate with astounding precision. Predictably, he leads all NFL passers with a 76% completion rate, and he sits eighth with 7.2 adjusted net yards per attempt. Brees isn’t connecting downfield at the same pace he once did, but last week’s performance (30 of 39 for 311 yards and 3 touchdowns, with a pick) showed his remaining upside when game flow allows. The Saints would prefer to grind games out, but Brees is clearly capable of strong fantasy lines when they can’t. Michael Thomas remains the model of consistency; he’s caught 84% of his league-high 124 targets, and he’s topped 85 yards in 10 of 11 games. As Brees’ first (and second) read on most dropbacks, Thomas blew through this Falcons secondary for 152 yards and a score. Beyond him, this passing attack is mostly situational and tough to pin down. Even when the Saints throw a lot, Brees tends to sample the goods of Alvin Kamara, Jared Cook, and Ted Ginn, among others. Of the bunch, Kamara is by far the most relevant piece, and he faces a sparkling matchup Thursday. The Falcons have long struggled to contain pass-catching backs, so Kamara should be woven heavily into coach Sean Payton’s game plan.

The Falcons continue to field one of football’s weakest pass defenses. They’ve now allowed 300+ yards to their last 3 opponents, and 6 of 11 overall. That’s included huge lines from Deshaun Watson (426 yards and 5 touchdowns), Kyler Murray (340 and 3), and Jacoby Brissett (310 and 2). The Falcons sorely lack consistent talent in the secondary, and top cornerback Desmond Trufant is suffering through his worst season as a pro. It’s worth noting that Trufant has been superb in back-to-back weeks, but he’s not enough on his own to make up for so many holes. Teammates Kendall Sheffield and Isaiah Oliver have been weekly liabilities in downfield coverage. And they get little help from an anemic pass rush that ranks 26th league-wide in pressure rate. Beyond pocket-pushing tackle Grady Jarrett, there’s not much disruption up front, which forces those mediocre cornerbacks to hold coverage far too long. There’s been modest improvement of late, but a date with Michael Thomas isn’t ideal during the improvement process.

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


New York Jets Passing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Young Sam Darnold’s rollercoaster career continues. Darnold had been mostly horrendous from Weeks 7-9 (all Jets losses), managing just 5.6 yards per attempt with 8 interceptions. But since then, he’s climbed out of those depths by roasting a trio of bad pass defenses, posting 9.4 and 7 touchdowns, with just a single pick. He’s topped 290 yards in 2 straight, including 315 (on 20 of 29 passing) in last Sunday’s big win. Darnold is indeed capable of making things happen with playmakers Robby Anderson, Jamison Crowder, and Le’Veon Bell, if only in spurts. The lesson seems to be that, when facing a great matchup with a shoddy defense, Darnold boasts a solid fantasy ceiling. Last week, both Anderson and No. 4 wideout Braxton Berrios shook loose for long receptions. Even Bell got in on the downfield fun, making a fantastic 23-yard circus catch on an early wheel route. This remains a shaky passing attack, of course, always capable of imploding into a mess of misfires and turnovers. But it projects well in Week 13 at least, squaring off with yet another terrible pass defense.

Few pass defenses make for better fantasy matchups than that of these Bengals. Even in low-volume games against shaky opponents, they give up enough big-play efficiency to make for strong fantasy lines. Over the past 2 weeks, they’ve allowed 8.8 yards per attempt to Derek Carr, Mason Rudolph, and Devlin Hodges. The trio of top cornerbacks - William Jackson, Darqueze Dennard, and B.W. Webb - have been victimized downfield all season. Webb, who plays the slot, has been particularly burnable. He was bullied for a long touchdown catch last week and has been the top culprit in a bevy of big games from the slot. With very little pass rush up front, a lot is asked of the porous secondary, and it just hasn’t responded. Despite all of the early-round pedigrees here, this remains one of fantasy’s most inviting matchups.

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


Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense at Miami Dolphins Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Philadelphia's passing attack, thanks to a banged-up receiving corps and mediocre quarterback performance, has been one of the most disappointing groups in the NFL. Carson Wentz has posted 5 consecutive passing days under 7.5 yards per attempt, which already an unimpressive number that would rank 14th in the league over the course of a full season. Last week, the Eagles trotted a starting group of receivers the ranked no-higher than fourth on the team's preseason depth chart. The lack of chemistry between Wentz and the Eagles' patchwork group of pass-catchers has left Philadelphia's passing game ranked amongst the worst in the NFL in 2019. Zach Ertz has returned to his form of yesteryear in the absence of other viable pass-catchers recently. Ertz has recorded at least 11 targets, 9 receptions, and 91 receiving yards in each of his last 3 games, and if the team's wide receiving unit does not return to near-full-health this weekend, he should be in for another high-volume afternoon through the air in Week 13. Keep an eye on the status of both Nelson Algholor and Alshon Jeffery this week, as both are questionable right now. Either player would immediately become a focal point of Philadelphia's passing game upon returning to the lineup, as the drop off in talent from them to the next-tier of wide receivers is substantial. Additionally, the Eagles' once-top-ranked offensive line is battling injuries, especially on the right side, with Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson uncertain for this weekend's game against Miami. If they are unable to go, expect Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Andre Dillard to fill in at right guard and right tackle, respectively.

Playing from behind, the typical game script of a Miami Dolphins game this season calls for a run-heavy offensive attack out of their opponents, leading to their defense facing the fifth-fewest pass attempts of any team in the NFL through 11 games. Although they've faced exceptionally-low volume through the air, Miami's horrific efficiency metrics (31st in net yards per attempt allowed through the air) have fostered a fantasy-friendly passing environment for opposing passing attacks all season. The Dolphins have allowed the 5th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, and their 26-to-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio is one of the worst in the league. Miami has allowed 5 100-yard receiving days, including performances of at least 9 catches, 135 yards, and multiple receiving touchdowns in back-to-back weeks. Opposing quarterbacks have thrown for multiple scores in 9 out of 11 games this season, and, simply put, there is no redeeming quality for this defense. The Miami Dolphins lack any difference-makers against the pass this season, and this is a matchup ripe for the picking for the Philadelphia Eagles' struggling passing attack. Although Carson Wentz has been held in check for most of the season, a Week 13 clash with the Miami Dolphins' horrific defense is exactly what the doctor ordered for Philadelphia's passing game to get back on track.

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


Carolina Panthers Passing Offense vs Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

After getting out to an impressive start as Carolina's starting quarterback, Kyle Allen has cooled off to startling levels. In a high-volume passing attack that ranks 9th in the NFL in total pass attempts, Kyle Allen has mustered a horrendous 6.4 adjusted yards per attempt this season to go along with a 13-to-9 touchdown-to-interception ratio. The lone bright spot in Carolina's passing game has been D.J. Moore, who has posted over 11 targets and 110 receiving yards per game over his last 4 outings. Moore's emergence has coincided with Curtis Samuel's decline in the offense, as Samuel has only been targeted on 16-percent of Carolina's pass attempts over that span. Also worth noting, after a mid-season lull when Christian McCaffrey commanded just 5, 5, and 3 targets, respectively, across weeks 6,8, and 9, McCaffrey's receiving work has ticked back up recently. Over his last 3 games, Carolina's star running back has commanded an average of 10 targets per game. In all, the Panthers' struggling offense is rooted in an inefficient passing game. Kyle Allen, despite a strong start to the season, has proven to be a below-average quarterback recently, struggling to move the ball through the air and push the ball downfield to anyone other than D.J. Moore.

Washington's defense, thanks to exceptionally-low volume faced through the air, ranks just 16th in the NFL in fantasy points per game allowed to opposing quarterbacks. On a per-pass basis, however, the Redskins grade as a bottom-third pass defense, ranking 24th in the league allowing 6.8 net yards per attempt to go along with a 20-to-12 touchdown-to-interception ratio through 11 games. And although the Redskins have only allowed 2 300-yard passing days on the year, they've allowed 5 different quarterbacks to throw for at least 3 scores. The Redskins' pass rush lacks a true difference-maker, as Matt Ioannidis grades as the team's most effective edge rusher with just 5.5 sacks to his name this year. In the secondary, however, the true standout of this defense is cornerback Quinton Dunbar. Dunbar grades as one of the NFL's best cover corners this season, and he has tallied four interceptions already this season, third-most in the league. Opposite Dunbar, however, the Redskins have struggled to find a capable number-two cornerback to contain opposing passing attacks. Josh Norman's fall from grace as one of the league's best cornerbacks has been as fast as any in recent memory. Norman's 2019 campaign has been so miserable that he would have been a healthy scratch last weekend if not for his willingness to contribute on special teams. Even at safety, former Pro-Bowler, Landon Collins, is posted some of his worst coverage numbers since his rookie season with the New York Giants. In all, Washington's pass defense, aside from Quinton Dunbar, is one of the league's weakest units when opponents press the issue. Expect a bounce-back performance from Kyle Allen this weekend through the air.

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


Chicago Bears Passing Offense at Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Mitchell Trubisky and this Bears passing offense showed slight signs of improvement last week against a terrible Giants secondary as Trubisky passed for a season-high 278 yards and one touchdown. With that improvement, however, Trubisky still showed questionable decision-making as he made a few risky throws, two of which were picked off for his first multi-interception game of the season. Leading into last week, Trubisky had failed to exceed 200 passing yards in three straight games, and he has completed more than 70 percent of his passes just once this season despite consistently focusing in on short-to-intermediate routes. Allen Robinson remains the primary focus of this passing offense with 25 more targets than any other player. While his production has been inconsistent, so has that of this entire passing offense. But when passing yards are available, it is a sure bet that Robinson will get his in as he has exceeded 75 receiving yards six of 11 games, including a season-high 131 yards and a touchdown last week. Anthony Miller has also been more involved during the second half of this season, amassing over 50 receiving yards in four of his last six games while seeing a season-high six receptions in back-to-back weeks with 20 targets over that span.

The Lions passing defense has been one of the worst in the league this season, giving up the third-most passing yards per game (275.5) while amassing a league-low four interceptions. Big plays have been a problem for this unit, as Detroit is one of just three teams to have given up at least 50 pass plays of 20 or more yards. They certainly lack playmaking talent at the safety position, but the largest contributing factor is their weak pass rush that is generating one of the lowest pressure rates in football while accounting for just 23 sacks--tied for fifth-fewest in the league. Cornerback Darius Slay has regressed this season, and he had his hands full last week with Redkins receiver Terry McLaurin. Allen Robinson hauled in six receptions for 86 yards facing coverage from Slay in Week 10, and Robinson should again have the edge in their matchup this week. Starting safety Tracy Walker is doubtful to start this game, while cornerback Rashaan Melvin missed last week and remains questionable to suit up in this one. An absence from Melvin may not be a bad thing though, as rookie Amani Oruwariye played a great game last week--granted, it was against bottom-tier receiver talent. It is also worth noting that this Lions pass defense has given up a league-leading seven receiving touchdowns and the third-most receiving yards per game (58) to running backs--very positive signs for Tarik Cohen and his strong dump-off game.

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


Los Angeles Rams Passing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Dismal performances along the offensive line has hindered arguably the league's most disappointing offense of the 2019 season. Although the Rams throw the ball as much as anyone, ranking 8th in the NFL in pass attempts this season, the results have been horrific with 11 touchdowns and 13 interceptions to show for it. Jared Goff's regression during this 2019 campaign has been worrying, although a driving force behind his mediocre production is the fact that he is under pressure this season far more often than he has was last season. Through the air, Goff favors Cooper Kupp as his number-one receiving option. Kupp started the season blazing-hot, recording 4 100-yard days over the first 5 games of the season; however, he has cooled off since then, with just 1 100-yard game in his 6 outings since. Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks round out one of the NFL's deepest receiving corps, as either player would be the number-one option on many other NFL offenses. At tight end, Gerald Everett went down with a right knee injury last weekend, which will move Tyler Higbee into a starting role. Higbee's career-long production has been unimpressive, but in a high-volume passing attack, he makes for an intriguing low-cost tight end option against the Arizona Cardinals. When it's firing on all cylinders, the Rams' high-volume aerial attack can support multiple top-end pass-catchers. A matchup against Arizona's porous secondary could foster a strong bounce-back performance by Jared Goff and company.

Arizona's passing defense has been an unmitigated disaster in 2019, ranking dead-last in fantasy points per game allowed to opposing quarterbacks while also struggling to generate turnovers. The Cardinals have faced the fourth-most volume through the air, but the unit also struggles from an efficiency perspective, ranking 27th in the league in net yards per attempt allowed at 7.3. The Cardinals have allowed 6 different wide receivers to surpass 100 receiving yards this season to go along with 6 quarterbacks eclipsing 300 passing yards. Over their last 4 games, opposing quarterbacks average 368 passing yards and 3 touchdowns against the Cardinals. Personnel-wise, Chandler Jones is a one-man wrecking crew, leading the NFL with 12.5 sacks on the season. Elsewhere, however, Jones gets little support against the pass, as the Cardinals' linebackers and secondary grade as two of the worst coverage units in the league. The Cardinals have allowed the most points per game to opposing tight ends this season, which also exemplifies their weakness at linebacker (over the middle of the field) defending the pass. Although the Rams' offense has struggled to move the ball down the field through the air, a Week 13 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals' defense makes for an elite bounce-back spot for Jared Goff and company.

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


New England Patriots Passing Offense at Houston Texans Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

For the second week in a row, Tom Brady and the Patriots passing game seemed to struggle to consistently move the ball. Both games consisted of horrible weather in what became sloppy games. If there is good news, the good news is that the Patriots won both of those games, and were without Mohamed Sanu and Phillip Dorsett both of whom were injured during the Philadelphia game. Sanu and Dorsett look like they will be returning this week to finally give the Patriots a full complement of receivers as rookie N’Keal Harry also played for the first time last week catching a touchdown in his first career game. This is a week that is critical for the Patriots as their offensive line is finally starting to come together with Isaiah Wynn back, and they are as healthy as they have been all season.

The Texans secondary has been a weak spot on this team for the majority of the season as while they have done a good job shutting down some of the league’s weaker units. Whenever they play an average or above-average passing attack they have struggled. In five of their last six games, the Texans have allowed 3 passing touchdowns or more to opposing quarterbacks and have allowed five 300+ yard passers on the season. The acquisition of Gareon Conley has not helped nearly as much as the Texans hoped and they went out and signed Vernon Hargreaves who was cut by the Buccaneers for his poor play which tells you a lot if the worst passing defense in football cuts a player for poor performance and lack of hustle.

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


Arizona Cardinals Passing Offense vs Los Angeles Rams Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Arizona Cardinals enter this game against the division-rival Los Angeles Rams after resting last week with a Week 12 bye. Before the team's bye, the Cardinals' passing attack, and especially Kyler Murray, showed promising signs leading down the home stretch of his rookie season. Murray has thrown only one interception over his last seven games, and a new number-one pass-catcher has emerged in the team's offense. Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald played similar roles in Arizona's passing attack early in the year, but across their last 4 games, Kirk is the obvious top-dog. The second-year receiver leads the team in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns to go along with a hefty 26-percent target share and a 36-percent market share of air yards in Arizona's passing attack over their last 4 outings. Fitzgerald ranks second in many of these categories, but his underlying metrics lag far behind Kirk's. First-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury has done an excellent job schematically to ensure that opposing defenses are unable to send extra pass-rushers at Kyler Murray, which has allowed Murray to throw from a clean pocket almost as often as any other quarterback in the NFL. Arizona's passing offense is trending upwards here down the stretch, but they will be put to the test against the Los Angeles Rams this weekend.

The Los Angeles Rams' defense has faced a tough schedule of opposing passing attacks, and their overall metrics are damaged by a few outlier performances in shootouts. The Rams have allowed the 18th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season while facing the 11th-most volume in the league. Their efficiency metrics are strong, as they rank 9th in the league allowing 5.9 net yards per attempt on the season, and their defensive personnel is impressive. Since acquiring Jalen Ramsey, one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL, the Rams have not allowed a single 100-yard receiver, and on the season, they've only allowed 2 300-yard passing days. Along the defensive line, Aaron Donald is one of the league's most-feared pass-rushers. He commands (and beats) double teams at a nearly unmatched rate, registering 8.0 sacks himself on the season. On the edge, Clay Matthews and Dante Fowler, Jr. have contributed 7.0 and 6.5 sacks each on the season, making for one of the league's most well-balanced pass-rushes. At linebacker, Corey Littleton ranks amongst the league's best coverage players. Littleton is tied for the team-lead in interceptions, with 2 through 11 games, and he does a great job shutting down the middle of the field, as the Rams allow the 12th-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends on the year. Overall, the Rams' defense is littered with top-end pass-defending talent, and they should do as good of a job as any team could at stifling Kyler Murray here in Week 13.

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


Atlanta Falcons Passing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

As a fantasy asset, Matt Ryan has a lot of factors on his side. He throws with a ton of volume, and his top three pass-catchers are dynamic, proven producers. But on the field, he’s still suffering through a lost season, one that’s seen the Falcons offense riddled with injuries and inconsistency. Ryan opened the season with 6 straight 300-yard games, but has averaged 255 (with just 3 touchdowns) over his past three. He clearly misses his security blanket, Austin Hooper, who leads all tight ends in catches per game but looks likely to sit for a third straight week. Julio Jones continues to excel all over the field, but is probably on the wrong side of questionable after leaving Week 12 with a shoulder injury and missing practice time. This could be a great spot for Calvin Ridley, who drew a career-high 14 targets last week as Jones bounced in and out of the game. Ridley has produced a solid 8.9 yards per target on the year, though it remains to be seen how he’d operate without Jones dominating on the other side.

Marshon Lattimore is slated to return to action Thursday, which is an obvious boost for the Saints pass defense. Lattimore is a shadow cornerback capable of stifling No. 1 wideouts, and he’s played a huge role in shutting down the likes of Amari Cooper (48 yards), D.J. Chark (43), and Mike Evans (catchless in Week 10). That said, he and the rest of the New Orleans secondary have long struggled against this week’s assignment, Julio Jones (if he can play). The future Hall of Famer has averaged 114 yards over these teams’ last 5 meetings. There are also weekly problems in the slot, where P.J. Williams and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson have been victimized routinely. They’ve given up several big recent lines to slot men and tight ends, though it’s worth noting they held Austin Hooper mostly in check (4 catches for 17 yards and a touchdown) just 3 weeks ago. All in all, this is a volatile unit, one that could steamroll Matt Ryan and company just easily as fall apart. Lattimore’s presence is always notable, but this may not be the week to fear him in fantasy circles.

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


Buffalo Bills Passing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

On Thanksgiving afternoon, Josh Allen will lead an unimpressive Buffalo Bills passing attack against a formidable Dallas Cowboys defense. Buffalo's passing game is a low-volume unit, ranking 22nd in total passing attempts and 24th in total yardage through the air. Josh Allen's shortcomings as a passer have hindered the unit's efficiency totals as well with just a 15-to-9 touchdown-to-interception ratio to go along with 6.7 adjusted yards per pass attempts, which ranks 25th in the league. John Brown is the team's number-one target through the air, topping the team's leaderboards in targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns this season. Brown is also the team's biggest downfield threat, totaling 40-percent of the Bills' total air yards on the season. Cole Beasley complements Brown out of the slot, where Beasley is a high-volume and low-upside pass-catcher that lacks the requisite yardage totals to make him a viable fantasy receiver in most formats. Aside from these two, Buffalo's passing game leaves much to be desired, as second-year-quarterback Josh Allen's accuracy and IQ as a passer are not his strengths at this point in his career.

Dallas' pass defense on the surface looks like a mediocre unit, ranking 25th in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks on the season; however, after digging deeper, the Cowboys field a deep and respectable unit of defenders against the pass. Led by Demarcus Lawrence and Robert Quinn in the trenches, the Cowboys' pass rush is a formidable unit that frequently applies pressure on opposing quarterbacks. On the season, the Cowboys have only allowed 5.7 net yards per attempt, which ranks 5th-best in the league. Dallas' secondary is a well-rounded unit, fielding three above-average coverage corners, along with a pair of capable safeties. On the season, the Cowboys have only allowed 1 wide receiver to surpass 100 yards against them: Robby Anderson, who racked up 92 out of his 125 receiving yards on just 1 reception. Additionally, Dallas' defense has done an excellent job containing opposing passing attacks, allowing just 2 300-yard passers on the season thus far. Expect the Cowboys' deep defensive unit that features top-end pass rushers along with capable coverage linebackers and a well-rounded secondary to give Josh Allen and the unimpressive Buffalo Bills passing attack fits on Thanksgiving afternoon.

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


Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense vs New York Jets Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

At this point, it seems clear that Ryan Finley’s ascension into the lineup was far more about benching Andy Dalton to make a point. Finley was woefully unprepared for the NFL, completing just 47% of his throws for an anemic 4.6 yards per attempt. He was also a turnover machine, with two interceptions and three lost fumbles. Ultimately, coach Zac Taylor has little choice but to re-insert Dalton into the lineup, though the veteran doesn’t project to move mountains. He’ll still struggle to find a clean pocket - the Cincinnati line remains porous even with Cordy Glenn back - and he’s averaged just 6.7 yards per attempt of his own. The whole situation makes productivity tough for his receivers; only slot man Tyler Boyd has a consistent, defined role. For his part, Boyd was phemomenal last week, winning impressively on a pair of jump balls en route to 101 yards and a touchdown. Beyond him, Auden Tate and Alex Erickson are intriguing playmakers who simply don’t see enough quality opportunity to produce. They’ve each posted a big game or two, yet last week they turned 11 targets into just 53 yards. Even in a strong matchup, only Boyd can even be considered for fantasy purposes.

Slowly but surely, the Jets’ youth movement in pass defense is paying dividends. It’s been a wholly beatable unit for quite some time, but has dominated two shaky passing games over the past two weeks. Last Sunday, they chased Derek Carr out of a blowout win; the Raiders’ Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller produced just five receptions. Addition by subtraction can be a real thing, and the Jets’ turnaround has coincided with injuries to ineffective starting cornerbacks Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts. Rookie fill-in Blessuan Austin has been better than either over the past two weeks, while slot cornerback Brian Poole remains one of the league’s stingiest. And on the back end, playmakers Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye make for the NFL’s best safety duo. Still, it has to be pointed out that this unit has failed most of its tests against strong passers. They’ll need to shut down better names than Carr and Dwayne Haskins to build a real reputation. Luckily for them, Andy Dalton and toothless Bengals are next on the docket. It’s fair to expect at least one more strong showing.

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


Cleveland Browns Passing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Browns have had some recent success by simplifying the offense for Baker Mayfield. He’s completed 64% of his throws over the past 4 weeks, with 8 touchdowns to just a single interception. Still, with the more careful approach has come a bit of a drop-off in downfield efficiency. For all of that recent improvement, Mayfield has averaged just 7.1 yards per attempt over that span. At least he’s coming fresh off a dominant performance against the lowly Dolphins, in which he provided both efficiency and big-play dynamism. He and Odell Beckham aren’t always on the same page, but it was encouraging to see them exploit a blown Dolphins coverage for a long touchdown last week. And of course, slot specialist Jarvis Landry is on a tear right now, with 29 receptions for 337 yards and 5 scores over this 4-game stretch. Those two and running back Kareem Hunt comprise the bulk of this attack, though tight end David Njoku could conceivably return to this mix this week. Mayfield certainly has the talent around him to succeed, so the onus is on him to keep taking steps forward.

The Pittsburgh pass defense continues to dominate against the league’s weaker quarterbacks. Dating back to Week 8, they’ve allowed a miniscule 6.4 yards per attempt and 209 per game. But they’ve done so against an awfully uninspiring group of opposing passers: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Hoyer/Jacoby Brissett, Jared Goff, Baker Mayfield, and Ryan Finley. The Steelers haven’t been tested much through the air in 6 weeks, but prior to that, gave up big fantasy days to Tom Brady (341 yards and 3 touchdowns), Russell Wilson (300 and 3), and Philip Rivers (320 and 2). The cornerback play has been generally strong, and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick has been the playmaker this unit needed. But the Steelers can be beaten inside, and opponents have noticed, feeding their slot specialists and tight ends for big success. Last week, the Bengals’ Tyler Boyd won a pair of huge jump balls over the middle, including a touchdown. This group showed well two weeks ago against these Browns, but remains fairly volatile, and without a usable track record to work from. It’s safe to expect Jarvis Landry to be busy over the middle, often testing the Steelers’ shaky linebackers and up-and-down strong safety Terrell Edmunds.

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 (Neutral Matchup)

The Colts passing offense has been one of the more unpredictable units in the league this season, but they clearly rank as a bottom-tier unit in terms of volume--averaging just 195.3 passing yards per game, good for 28th in the league. Jacoby Brissett has battled a knee injury over his past two games, and it has shown both on the field and in his stats as he was clearly hobbled last week and has failed to eclipse 150 passing yards in two straight games. Brissett has actually finished with fewer than 203 passing yards in six of the nine full games in which he has played. Touchdowns were supporting his performance earlier this season, but Brissett has passed for just one touchdown since Week 8. Injuries to Colts receivers have certainly not helped this passing offense, as they just got T.Y. Hilton back last week after a three-game absence. Hilton was clearly not fully recovered in his last game, and his involvement was kept to a minimum with just 37 percent of snaps played. However, Hilton still led the team in targets (6) and should play more snaps in this week’s contest. The tight end situation for the Colts has been tough to predict all season, but it will be clear this week as Eric Ebron has been placed in Injured Reserve due to ankle issues. This leaves Jack Doyle as the primary tight end for the Colts and a viable threat for red-zone looks.

The Titans passing defense clamped down last week as they held an opposing quarterback out of the end zone for the third time this season and the first time since Week 6. While Nick Foles amassed 272 passing yards last week, the majority of that was on short dump-off routes as these Titans cornerbacks did a great job covering the outside receivers. Adoree Jackson, in particular, had a nice bounceback game as he has been on and off throughout the season. Jackson is expected to shadow T.Y. Hilton, which should make for a pretty even matchup. Safety Kevin Byard also continues to have an impressive season, however, this secondary still has a glaring weakness in Leshaun Sims at cornerback Sims has played very poorly in relief of Malcolm Butler and will offer an advantage in coverage to Zach Pascal. The Titans pass rush may be less effective this week due to the season-ending injury to Cameron Wake. Wake had accounted for just 2.5 sacks, but he was the most reliable edge rusher on this line and will be a veteran presence this team will sorely miss--especially against a top-tier Colts offensive line.

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


Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Minnesota Vikings enter this Week 13 with NFC juggernauts with one of the NFL's lowest-volume but highest-efficiency passing attacks. The identity of the Vikings, as dictated by the team's head coach Mike Zimmer, is to be a run-first football team with a capable passing attack to complement it. After a rough start to the season, Kirk Cousins has been one of the biggest surprises in the NFL with a remarkable 9.5 adjusted yards per pass attempt, ranking 2nd-best in the league. When the team is at full-strength, Cousins is equipped with one of the league's best groups of pass-catchers, with Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen ranking amongst the top wide receivers in the NFL. Thielen has been hampered by a hamstring injury lately, which has increased the usage rate of Stefon Diggs, along with tight ends Irv Smith, Jr. and Kyle Rudolph, but he is trending upwards in the lead up to this Monday Night Football showdown. Diggs is the team's number-one receiver, even when Thielen is healthy. However, the return of Minnesota's second top-leading pass-catcher will certainly dig into Diggs' opportunity through the air. In all, Minnesota's highly-efficient passing attack that utilizes play-action over 30-percent of the time (the highest mark in the league) should push the limits of Seattle's pass defense in what should be one of the season's best primetime games to date.

So far in 2019, Seattle's pass defense grades as an average unit, allowing the 12th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks on the year as well as the 6.4 net yards per attempt, which ranks 14th in the league. Offenses have primarily had success through the air when they avoid throwing in Shaquil Griffin's direction. In their 11 games, the Seahawks have allowed 6 100-yard receivers and 4 300-yard passers, showing a propensity to give up prolific passing days against some of the league's most-efficient passing attacks. Along the defensive line, the health of Jadeveon Clowney is critical to the team's pass rush. Clowney is one of the league's best pass-rushers, and after missing last week's game against Philadelphia, his status is in question once again this week. Given the extra night of rest playing on Monday night in Week 13, he should be good to go, but if he is not, and the team is forced to play a struggling Ezekiel Ansah more frequently in his place, it could spell trouble. The biggest weakness of this pass defense comes at linebacker, where Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright both struggle against the pass. The Seahawks have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season, which is almost directly a product of their linebackers' failures in coverage. In the secondary, Shaquil Griffin is an elite cornerback, but he gets little support elsewhere. Expect Kirk Cousins to heavily target his tight ends this week, and avoid Shaquil Griffin's coverage at all costs. Minnesota's highly-efficient passing attack gets neither an increase nor decrease in projected production this weekend against an average Seahawks pass defense.

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


New York Giants Passing Offense vs Green Bay Packers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Giants passing game has been about what you would expect from a rookie quarterback as he has been up and down for most of the season. The Giants have had their fair share of bad luck on the year as Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard have both been dealing with injuries throughout the year that have made it very tough for Jones and the offense to resemble any sort of continuity in the passing game. The Giants look like they will be without Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison this week leaving Kaden Smith as the primary receiving tight end. Smith had six targets last week of which he caught five passes but was more of a possession receiver as the catches only went for a total of 15 yards.

The Packers have been an average passing defense this year as they have only allowed three 300+ yard passers both in which games that they had a commanding lead and won by more than a touchdown. While they have rarely allowed the big passing game, they have not been a shut-down defense either as they have allowed 250 yards or more in seven straight games. This remains a young secondary that while talented with Jaire Alexander and Kevin King, has been one of the worst teams in the NFL against tight ends allowing 109 yards per game over their last five games to the position. This is a unit that has a weakness at the linebacker position as well as at the safety position in rookie Darnell Savage who has struggled. Now, there is some caution there as they have faced the gauntlet of tight ends over the last five weeks in Darren Waller, Travis Kelce, Hunter Henry, Greg Olsen, and George Kittle, but the numbers are alarming even with the talent that they have faced.

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


Oakland Raiders Passing Offense at Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Raiders passing attack took another hit this week as Hunter Renfrow suffered a rib injury and a punctured lung and will miss this week’s game. Renfrow had been coming on as a reliable possession receiver for the Raiders. With the injury, this will likely force more action the way of Darren Waller with a little more action going the way of Zay Jones and Tyrell Williams. For having almost no options in the receiving game, Derek Carr has put together an impressive season and a big reason why the Raiders are in the thick of the playoff mix as Carr has completed 71% of this passes and just understood the limitations that he has around him to consistently move the ball.

The Chiefs passing offense is coming off of a bye after a game in which they nearly lost after allowing Philip Rivers to throw for 353 yards but were opportunistic as the Chiefs intercepted him four times. On the year, the Chiefs have been a defense that for the most part has been average to above-average against the pass. They have only allowed two 300+ yard passers and are 16th in the league in passing yards allowed. The Chiefs will also get Kendall Fuller back which would be a significant upgrade as they would be able to move Morris Claiborne back to a limited role. If there is a weakness on this defense it is Bashaud Breeland who has struggled this year and will likely be matched up against Zay Jones this week.

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


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Jameis Winston has been slinging the ball all over the field this season, for better or for worse. While he ranks second in the league with 3,391 passing yards, including over 300 yards in six straight games, he also handily leads the league with 20 interceptions, including eight over the past three weeks. Winston has absolutely no fear as he continues to force the ball downfield to his pair of elite wide receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Between the two, Godwin and Evans have exceeded 150 receiving yards in six separate games. There have been just three games this season in which one of these receivers did not cross the 100-yard mark and just two games in which neither of them scored a touchdown. While it remains very difficult to predict which one will go off, it is almost assured that this passing offense will run through these two wide receivers as no other targets with any level of consistency have emerged for Winston.

The Jaguars passing defense has done a solid job at limiting production through the air for most of the season, as they haven’t given up more than 280 passing yards in a game since Week 4, allowing just 218 passing yards per game from Week 5 onwards--seventh-fewest in the league over that span. They have given up multiple passing touchdowns in three of their last four games, but only three of their seven receiving touchdowns over that span have gone to wide receivers as this secondary and cornerbacks group has done a nice job in coverage. A.J. Brown from the Titans did break free for a big game last week, but that was at the behest of poor tackling after the catch rather than consistently poor coverage. A.J. Bouye remains a stout matchup for any wide receiver while D.J. Hayden is doing an excellent job from the slot. The matchup to watch this week will be whoever lines up against Tre Herndon, as he has played terribly in his second season as a pro and could easily be exploited for some big plays. With Chris Godwin manning the slot on most plays, look for Mike Evans to see more of those advantageous snaps against Herndon as Evans should have the slight edge for being the top Tampa Bay wide receiver this week.

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 (Neutral Matchup)

The Titans continue to own one of the lowest volume passing attacks in the league, but it has been working with Ryan Tannehill at the helm largely due to the success of their rushing offense. Tannehill did have one of his better games under center last week as he completed 14-of-18 pass attempts for 259 yards and two touchdowns, averaging just over 14 passing yards per attempt. Most of those yards came from his receivers, though, as Tannehill completed few passes beyond 20 yards downfield. He is taking a few deep shots, but Tannehill has rarely connected on those opportunities. This lack of passing volume has been particularly troublesome for Titans receivers, as last week marked just the second time Tannehill has supported a receiver that exceeded 80 receiving yards. A.J. Brown has been a favorite target of Tannehill’s, leading the team in targets (27) since Week 7 while logging two games of 80 or more receiving yards over that five-game span. Brown did blow up for a big game last week, but he has also put forth some lackluster stat lines over that span--proving that he is indeed reliable on a few big plays to put up a respectable fantasy stat line. Corey Davis has all but fallen off the map in this offense, and the Titans will continue without tight end Delanie Walker for the remainder of the season as he was placed on Injured Reserve this week. Tight end Jonnu Smith has been productive, at times, but is still a low volume target in this offense.

The Colts' defense against the pass has been consistently average throughout the season. They did allow 298 and 296 passing yards with two touchdowns in each of their last two games against divisional opponents, but prior to Week 10, this defense had not allowed more than one passing touchdown in each of five straight games. They have also nabbed an interception in four straight games leading into this week. Cornerback Kenny Moore has two of those interceptions, as he has been the best of these Colts cornerbacks. Marvell Tell has played reasonably well, while Pierre Desir made his return to the field last week after missing time with a knee injury. Desir’s play has been suspect when healthy though, which should lead to A.J. Brown having the edge in their projected matchup. The Colts have been pretty stingy to tight ends as it has been seven games since a tight end has exceeded 30 yards against the Colts, limiting the position to just the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game in that seven-game span since their Week 6 bye. The Titans passing offense did struggle in their Week 2 meeting with the Colts, but the new quarterback, fully staffed offensive line, and further developed receiver in A.J. Brown should make a difference in this one.

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


Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense vs Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Dallas Cowboys, while a middling team in terms of volume, field one of the most efficient and prolific passing attacks in the entire NFL. Dak Prescott's performance in 2019 has been nothing short of spectacular, leading the NFL of yards, ranking 6th in total touchdown passes, and 6th in adjusted yards per attempt. Prescott's new offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore, deserves much of the credit for the team's impressing passing game this season. He has built an offense predicated around more efficient passing concepts and strategies, such as play-action-passing (which the Cowboys utilize more than every team except the Kansas City Chiefs.) At wide receiver, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup form one of the most formidable one-two punches in the NFL. Cooper leads the team in targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns this season, with Gallup ranking second in all four categories. Dallas' top-flight offensive line does an exceptional job of keeping Dak Prescott clean in the pocket, which is paramount to passing success. In all, Dallas' passing attack is one of the NFL's best units, with capable weapons throughout the offense.

The Buffalo Bills' untested defense sports some of the most impressive defensive numbers in the NFL this season at face-value, however, their schedule has been unfathomably easy to this point. Buffalo's pass defense has not exactly faced a murderer's row of quarterbacks this season, as they've played: Sam Darnold, Eli Manning, Andy Dalton, Marcus Mariota, Dwayne Haskins, Brandon Allen, and Ryan Fitzpatrick (twice) in 8 out of their 11 games. This list features six quarterbacks that have spent extended time as their team's respective backup quarterbacks this season. Unsurprisingly, given their schedule, the Bills' defense ranks amongst the league's best units against the pass, allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks on the year. Their defensive personnel is representative of an above-average defensive unit, but certainly not a top-tier defense that will stifle any and every passing offense in their path. Tre'Davious White stands out as Buffalo's best defender against the pass. The young cornerback is one of the league's emerging stars in the secondary; he rarely gets beat in coverage, and he is a play-maker with the ball in the air, ranking third in the league with four interceptions on the season. In the trenches, Jordan Phillips and Jerry Hughes lead the way as the team's best pass-rushers. Phillips leads the team with 7.0 sacks on the season, while Hughes leads the way with 37 pressures on opposing quarterbacks through 11 games. Their defensive front, which has taken advantage of bottom-tier offensive lines throughout the first two-thirds of the season, will have the odds stacked against them in Week 13 when they face-off with Dallas' top-flight group of bruisers. Expect Buffalo's numbers to regress from being one of the league's best pass defenses through 11 games to merely an average or slightly-above-average unit in Week 13's Thanksgiving Day matchup with the Cowboys' elite passing attack.

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


Denver Broncos Passing Offense vs Los Angeles Chargers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Broncos quarterback situation is in flux as of early in the week, with both Brandon Allen and rookie Drew Lock in contention to start this week. Lock has made progress on his way back from a thumb injury suffered during the preseason, but he has not yet been reactivated from injured reserve while coach Vic Fangio has yet to make a decision on Lock’s status. Brandon Allen has started the last three games for Denver, and his last two outings have been thoroughly forgettable with Allen completing less than 45 percent of his passes and throwing one interception in both of those contests. Last week was particularly dismal as Allen managed just 82 passing yards despite attempting 25 passes. Courtland Sutton remains the top receiver here and saw eight targets last week, but even he could not weather the terrible performance from Allen last week. It will be tough to trust any receiving options in this offense if Allen is back under center. However, if Lock were to suit up, it would be his first NFL game with very limited practice under his belt and virtually no chemistry with his receivers. Either way, things look grim for this Broncos passing offense.

The Chargers secondary is full of change this week--some good and some bad. On the bad side, starting slot cornerback Michael Davis will begin a two-game suspension this week. Davis has been decent this season, but his absence will certainly not send shockwaves through this secondary. What will shock this unit, however, is the likely return both All-Pro safety Derwin James and safety Adrian Phillips. James hadn’t played a snap this season after suffering a foot fracture in training campo, while Phillips spent most of the season on Injured Reserve with an arm injury. James is a high impact player who had a tremendous rookie campaign, so if he can pick up anywhere near where he left off, his presence alone will be a significant boost to this passing defense that already boasts one of the top shut-down cornerbacks in football (Casey Hayward) and another talented young cornerback opposite him in Desmond King--both of whom should be challenges for the Broncos receivers. The Chargers edge rushers continue to play well, but they do lack pass-rushing talent on the interior--which is where this Broncos offensive line would be weaker. Still, the Chargers should hold an advantage in the trenches and apply plenty of pressure on whoever ends up under center for Denver.

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


Los Angeles Chargers Passing Offense at Denver Broncos Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Chargers passing offense continues to be one of the highest-volume groups in the league as Phillip Rivers has led them to an average of 276.9 passing yards per game--fifth-most on the season. Rivers has been a pure risk-reward gunslinger though--as shown by his questionable 15-14 touchdown-to-interception. The inconsistency from Rivers has been on full display all season, as he now has four games with multiple interceptions and three games with zero touchdowns. Leading into the Week 12 bye, Rivers had thrown seven interceptions in just his last two games--with both contests against below-average passing defenses. Keenan Allen has seen double-digit targets in four is his last five games and ranks fourth in the league with 9.8 targets per game. Despite that volume, Allen went seven straight games without a touchdown while failing to exceed 70 receiving yards over that span. He did notch 71 yards and a score in his last game, but the lack of production makes it tough to rely on Allen. Austin Ekeler remains consistently involved in this passing offense from the backfield, while Hunter Henry has also been a steady tight end with at least 60 yards or a touchdown in six of seven games played this season.

The Broncos have made it tough on opposing passing offenses all season, giving up just 207.5 passing yards per game (5th-fewest) and an average of just 6.8 passing yards per attempt (T-6th fewest). The scoring has been up against them in recent weeks, but this secondary for Denver continues to play well--led by the shut-down play from cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and continued stellar play from both starting safeties Kareem Jackson and Justin Simmons. Harris played a big part in limiting Keenan Allen to just four catches for 18 yards in their Week 5 meeting, and nothing is to say he can’t do the same this week. Rivers also had a rough day overall in their last meeting, passing for just 211 yards with no touchdowns, two interceptions, and a season-low 4.4 yards per pass attempt. The Broncos do have a pair of relatively exploitable cornerbacks in Duke Dawson and Davontae Harris, while their pass rush is also questionable with Von Miller having an off-year. However, this Broncos group played well in their last outing against the Chargers and now also has a spectacular new linebacker in A.J. Johnson to help keep the likes of Austin Ekeler in check.

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


Miami Dolphins Passing Offense vs Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Miami's 2019 passing game and season, in general, has been a master class in disaster. Playing from behind, the Dolphins throw the ball in volume each week. However, Ryan Fitzpatrick's efficiency distributing the ball ranks amongst the league's worst quarterbacks, posting just 5.7 adjusted yards per attempt, good enough for 32nd out of 34 qualified quarterbacks this year. Since standout rookie receiver, Preston Williams, went down with a season-ending knee injury three weeks ago, DeVante Parker has emerged as the number-one receiver for Fitzpatrick. Parker has posted 3 straight games with at least 10 targets since Williams' injury. Elsewhere, Albert Wilson, Allen Hurns, and Mike Gesicki have also commanded about 6 targets per game over that stretch. Miami's offensive line is the biggest issue with the team's offense, as they have allowed the most pressures and sacks in the league. Without adequate performance in the trenches, there is no hope for this unit piecing together high-efficiency passing days down the stretch, but DeVante Parker's increased volume is eye-catching.

After a shaky start of the season, Philadelphia's pass defense has improved dramatically over the last five weeks. The Eagles have faced medial volume through the air while allowing 6.2 net yards per attempt, which ranks 15th in the league, but the results have been much stronger in recent weeks. After allowing 6 100-yard receiving performances over the first 6 games of the season, Philadelphia has allowed just 1 such performance over their last 5 games. Across their 5 most-recent games, Philadelphia's defense has allowed no more than 239 passing yards in any game, and they've only allowed 2 passing scores once. This improvement against the pass aligns almost perfectly with cornerback Jalen Mills' return to the lineup. Aside from Mills' impressive 2019 performance against the pass, Philadelphia's secondary has been a relatively weak unit, and the strength of their defense is in the trenches. Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox make up one of the league's top pass-rushing duos along the defensive line, and in 2019 they've lived up to expectations. In all, Philadelphia's defense is an improving unit against the pass, and a Week 13 matchup with Miami's horrendous offense should prove to be one of the easiest games of the season for this defense. Expect Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins' offense to struggle to move the ball through the air against Philadelphia this weekend.

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


Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Mercifully, the Steelers have apparently pulled the plug on the Mason Rudolph era. Rudolph guided the team to a handful of wins, but looked woefully overmatched as a starting quarterback and fell off dramatically. Since beating the Dolphins back in Week 8, he’d produced an anemic 5.6 yards per attempt and 218 per start, with just 3 touchdowns. Inaccurate and with little feel for the pocket, Rudolph has been pulled for undrafted rookie Devlin Hodges, who’s at least shown some life under center. Hodges lacks a big arm or pedigree, but resembles Gardner Minshew as a nimble playmaker under pressure. Still, this will remain a thoroughly run-based offense with such inexperience at the helm - and especially while JuJu Smith-Schuster works through the concussion protocol. Smith-Schuster will always carry appeal when he returns, but he’s been held below 50 yards in 4 of 7 games since Ben Roethlisberger’s injury. On the plus side, second-year wideout James Washington may be in the midst of a breakout. He’s now topped 90 yards and scored a touchdown in 2 of his last 3 games, including an explosive 79-yard score last week in which he simply bullied his way into the end zone. Washington led the team in targets against the Bengals, which suggests more opportunity is ahead to create huge plays. He and Diontae Johnson represent the only palpable upside here with Smith-Schuster on the shelf.

The Cleveland pass defense has been stout throughout the season, sitting ninth league-wide in net yards allowed per attempt and seventh per game. They’ve yet to allow a 300-yard passer, and only Russell Wilson has reached even 270. With top cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams back healthy, as well as safety Damarious Randall, this is a talented young secondary that does well in downfield coverage. The big question going forward lies up front, with the pass rush. The Browns sit a respectable 11th in pressure rate, though they’ll sorely miss Myles Garrett, who’d racked up 10 sacks before his suspension. If bookend Olivier Vernon can return this week from a -game absence, it will help stem the bleeding. Overall, this isn’t exactly a shutdown unit, and it’s a bit up in the air. But upsides seem limited against it, and the Steelers’ Devlin Hodges isn’t exactly set up to buck the trend.

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


Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense vs Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Seattle Seahawks, led by quarterback and MVP candidate Russell Wilson, throw the ball as effectively as almost any other team in the league, ranking 5th in the NFL with 9.3 adjusted yards per attempt on the year. However, the Seahawks rarely elect to air it out, as they rank 23rd in the league in pass attempts per game. Two receivers have separated themselves from the rest of the pack as Wilson's favorite targets this season. Tyler Lockett tops the charts as Seattle's leader in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns through 11 games this season, and his role is as secure as any in the league. Although he was considered to be a raw prospect at the wide receiver position, D.K. Metcalf has surprised many by posting respectable numbers across the board in his rookie season. Josh Gordon, who the Seahawks signed off of waivers just over three weeks ago, has yet to play over half of Seattle's offensive snaps in either of their first two games. His role should grow as the season goes on, and he builds a strong rapport with Wilson at quarterback, but keep expectations low in the short-term future while his role is uncertain. Seattle's offensive line has struggled this season, allowing constant pressure on Russell Wilson in the pocket. However, Wilson's other-worldly ability to extend plays has trumped this weakness in the trenches en route to top-end passing production in 2019.

Minnesota's pass defense is a highly-talented unit that, despite facing the 5th-most pass attempts in the NFL, has allowed the 19th-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. The Vikings field a strong pass-rush to go along with a deep and talented unit of coverage players, aside from one critical weakness at cornerback. The team's weakness at cornerback has fostered a fantasy-friendly environment for top-end wide receivers, as they have allowed 4 100-yard games in the last 3 games and 5 such performances over their last 5 games. Aside from that, however, the Vikings' defense is filled with impactful players capable of disrupting opposing passing attacks. Along the defensive line, Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter combine to make up one of the league's strongest edge-rushing duos. Then, at linebacker, Eric Kendricks has grown into one of the NFL's most well-rounded players, capable defending both the run and the pass. Lastly, at safety, Anthony Harris leads the way with three interceptions on the season, the fourth-most in the NFL. Harris' running mate, Harrison Smith, is also a perennial Pro-Bowl candidate thanks to his impressive coverage skills, and this year is no different. On the whole, the Vikings do a good job limiting big plays and the opposition's passing attack in general; however, a weakness at cornerback with Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes regressing to below-average levels this season has allowed opposing top-end wide receivers to post impressive receiving totals.

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


San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense at Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

immy Garoppolo’s season has been a tale of two quarterbacks. In 2 games against the Cardinals’ barely-there pass defense, he racked up 317 and 424 yards and 8 touchdowns. But in his other 9 matchups, he’s averaged just 221 and thrown 12 scores. At least he’s trending upward, with a solid 8.4 yards per attempt over the past 4 weeks. The difference of late has been his revamped receiving corps, which now boasts gobs of talent and appears fully healthy. In Deebo Samuel, Emmanuel Sanders, and tight end George Kittle, Garoppolo throws to a dynamic trio of playmakers capable of creating yards after the catch. That’s an essential trait, as the quarterback still struggles to push the ball downfield accurately (28th in completed air yards). Among those three, Kittle continues to produce most consistently. He’s an elite talent on all levels of the field, and he’s topped 50 yards in 8 of his 9 games, with a pair of 100-yard days. Sanders has been mostly a decoy of late, ceding targets to Samuel and Kendrick Bourne as he’s pushed himself through an injury to his ribs. This is likely a full-on changing of the guard, though, as Samuel has dazzled in the opportunity. Over the past 3 weeks, he’s caught 18 of his 23 looks for 296 yards, and he likely would’ve piled on more last week had the 49ers not run away with the game. This Sunday, Garoppolo would be wise to lean more on Kittle and his dynamic rookie underneath than on trying to beat the Ravens’ smothering secondary downfield.

On the year, the Ravens sit near the middle of the NFL’s pack in pass defense, ranking 15th in yards allowed per attempt and 16th per game. But it’s important to note the positive trend in those numbers, which has come through a strategic rebuilding of this unit midstream. Since new starters Marcus Peters and Chuck Clark have hit the lineup 6 games ago - and with cornerback Jimmy Smith back from injury - this group has allowed just 5.9 yards per attempt (best in the league) and 218 per game. In Peters and likely All-Pro Marlon Humphrey, the Ravens boast a pair of shutdown-capable cornerbacks that can both minimize top wideouts and make disruptive plays on the ball. Humphrey kicks inside often; he and free safety Earl Thomas offer plenty of help up the seams, and all of this iso-coverage ability is put to good use on a defense that blitzes more often than anyone (51% of opponent dropbacks). Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, Deshaun Watson, and Jared Goff have all struggled recently in this matchup, combining for just 5.9 yards per attempt and 2 touchdowns. The deck looks stacked against Jimmy Garoppolo, who will likely need to rely upon the creativity and after-catch dynamism of his receivers this week.

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


Washington Redskins Passing Offense at Carolina Panthers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Although he picked up his first career victory last weekend, Dwayne Haskins led a low-volume passing attack to a very uninspiring day through the air against the Detroit Lions. With Haskins under center, the Redskins attempt only 28.67 passes per game, an exceptionally-low total, with horrific efficiency totals as well. In his three starts, Washington's rookie quarterback has tallied 2 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, with only 3.9 adjusted yards per attempt to his name. Rookie wide receiver, Terry McLaurin, who also played at Ohio State alongside Dwayne Haskins, has been one of the most impressive young players in the NFL. On the year, McLaurin leads the Redskins in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns, more than doubling and Washington pass-catcher in the latter two categories. Kelvin Harmon, another rookie wide receiver, has stepped up his production in the last two games while Paul Richardson battles a hamstring injury. However, in an offense that struggles to support one top producer at the receiver position, it will be especially difficult for Harmon to rise to relevancy as the number-two option through the air. Dwayne Haskins has yet to eclipse 216 yards through the air in any of his 3 starts, leaving this unit at a severe disadvantage against even middle-of-the-road defenses, which the Panthers appear to be on the surface.

The Carolina Panthers, playing in the NFC South, have faced one of the league's toughest schedules of opposing passing attacks this season. The Panthers have defended the 10th-most passing attempts of any team in the league this year. While their efficiency metrics are respectable, as they rank top-10 in net yards per pass attempt allowed, they've allowed some massive performances through the air. The Panthers have allowed 6 different receivers to surpass 100 receiving yards against them this season, to go along with 5 300-yard passing days from opposing quarterbacks (with all 5 coming across their last 7 games.) The Panthers have done a good job limiting the damage, however, with an impressive 14-to-13 touchdown-to-interception ratio through 11 games, which certainly bodes well for their chances of shutting down a floundering Washington Redskins' passing attack. The strength of this defense comes in the trenches, where Mario Addison and Brian Burns supply a consistent pass-rush off of both edges. Addison leads the way with 8.0 sacks on the season, while Burns, a rookie, has 5.5 to his name thus far. Then, in the secondary, safety Tre Boston is nearing career-best numbers in coverage. Boston has always been an above-average player against the pass, but his 2019 levels are nearing Pro Bowl, or potentially All-Pro, levels if he can tack on a few more interceptions to his season-long total. Overall, the Panthers have defended a high volume of passing attempts against some of the league's strongest passing attacks through the first 11 weeks of the 2019 season. While their numbers initially are unimpressive, this unit is primed to dominate a struggling Redskins' passing attack that has yet to eclipse 250 passing yards with Dwayne Haskins under center.

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


Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Lamar Jackson’s MVP-likely breakout hasn’t just come from his legs. The dynamic youngster has also dazzled through the air, leading the league in touchdown rate and sitting sixth in adjusted yards per attempt. He’s thrown 12 touchdowns over the past 3 weeks, a dazzling mark made even more impressive by the fact that it took just 61 attempts to achieve it. And he comes fresh off a full-on dismantling of the Rams, in which he threw as many scores (five) as incompletions. Most impressively, Jackson is staying flexible by spreading his success around. Breakout tight end Mark Andrews leads the way with a 24% target share, posting 59 yards per game and 6 touchdowns as a dangerous target on multiple levels. But Marquise Brown (58 and 6 of his own) continues to provide a big-play presence, while names like Willie Snead, Myles Boykin, and Seth Roberts are used situationally. The playmaking capabilities of this unit don’t require much volume to succeed, but they’ll surely be tested Sunday by a dominant 49ers pass defense. Expect the Ravens to move Andrews and Brown around plenty to create mismatches in a must-see chess match.

The San Francisco pass defense continues to dominate all comers as the league’s stingiest unit. Through 11 games, they’ve allowed just a single passer - Andy Dalton in a Week 2 fueled by garbage time - to reach 250 yards through the air. No defense has given up fewer net yards per attempt, and only three have allowed fewer touchdowns. Last Sunday night, Aaron Rodgers was bullied into one of the worst showings of his storied career, managing just 104 yards on his 33 throws. The brilliance starts up front, with a pass rush that leads the NFL in pressure rate and sacks despite blitzing at the fourth-lowest rate. The deep, talented line boasts six names that have already compiled multiple sacks. In the secondary, Richard Sherman leads a deep stable of cornerbacks that’s locked down premier wideouts all season. Davante Adams (just 43 yards on 12 targets), Tyler Lockett (26 on 4), and D.J. Moore (38 on 9) have been all but erased from the conversation in recent matchups. Overall, this looms as the toughest test of Lamar Jackson’s breakout campaign. The 49ers certainly boast the pass rush to disrupt his rhythm, and the coverage talent to corral Marquise Brown and company down the field. Jackson will need to be awfully creative to find playmaking holes in this one.

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


Detroit Lions Passing Offense vs Chicago Bears Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The Lions quarterback situation is once again in flux as backup Jeff Driskel suffered a hamstring injury during last week’s loss to the Redskins. With Matt Stafford still sidelined with a back injury, the Lions will be forced to turn to UDFA David Blough with Driskel unable to suit up after the short week for this Thursday game. With as bad as Driskel was, things could be worst if Blough gets the start this week. Blough has never thrown a pass in the NFL and was a fringe candidate to even be on this roster. A start from him would lower the tide of this entire offense. Kenny Golladay has struggled to put up consistent numbers without Stafford, catching just 8-of-18 targets these last three games while failing to exceed 61 yards in a game after putting up over 120 receiving yards in three of his four preceding games from Weeks 6-9.

The Bears squared off against this Lions team just three weeks ago and did a decent job for most of the game, minus a late-game comeback staged by Driskel and company. This Chicago pass defense is a talented unit that has done an exceptional job against most opponents this season. While many of their stats are down from previous seasons, the Bears still rank as the ninth-best passing defense according to yards allowed per game (218.8). Only three quarterbacks have passed for multiple touchdowns against the Bears this year, and they have limited quarterbacks to the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game over the past five weeks. The overall quality of quarterbacks and passing offenses the Bears have faced has certainly been below average but this group still has the talent to contend, and they did just that three weeks ago against the Lions where this secondary held Kenny Golladay to just three catches from nine targets. The Bears cornerbacks don’t offer particularly troublesome individual matchups, but safeties Eddie Jackson and Haha Clinton-Dix make it tough to spark big plays while this Khalil Mack-led pass rush will be a daunting obstacle to overcome.

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


Houston Texans Passing Offense vs New England Patriots Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Consistency has been key for the Texans passing offense for most of the season. In the Texans seven wins this season they have averaged 285 yards passing compared to just 226 yards passing in their losses. The good news for the Texans is that they are starting to get healthy which is something that they have struggled with for most of the season as they got Will Fuller back last week who dominated Indianapolis catching 7 passes for 140 yards. Fuller adds a different level as his presence helps the entire offense as it opens up more space for DeAndre Hopkins and forces the defense to be honest with two receivers rather than focus in on just one.

At this point, New England’s pass defense is on a historic pace. Since Week 1 when Ben Roethlisberger had a lot of garbage time production in a blow-out, this defense has allowed just 171 yards passing per game and has not allowed a quarterback to throw for over 212 yards. This is a unit that is made up of a tremendous secondary. The Patriots look like they will get Jason McCourty back this week after missing last week with a hamstring injury which will be a tremendous upgrade to the secondary that once again makes it a dominant unit as Jason McCourty, Devin McCourty, Stephon Gilmore, Jonathan Jones, and Duron Harmon make up one of the best secondaries in a long time.

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