Week 15 Passing Matchups

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

Jump to Rushing Matchups

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


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.


Cleveland Browns Passing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Cleveland Browns passing attack continues to disappoint in 2019, as Baker Mayfield has taken a step back following his rookie season instead of the step forward many had hoped for and projected. Head coach and play-caller Freddie Kitchens has seemingly done this offense no favors, as he seems overwhelmed now that he is in charge of the entire operation. At wide receiver, Mayfield's top two targets are obvious, with Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham, Jr. dominating across the board with team-leading numbers at targets, receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Landry's role in the offense has grown over the last month, as he leads the team in all four of those metrics, and all signs point to him continuing as the team's number-one receiver down the stretch. Tight end David Njoku returned last weekend after a lengthy stint on the injured reserve, and although he did not impress in his first game back, a soft matchup against the Arizona Cardinals could ease him back into action this weekend.

Arizona's pass defense has been equally as miserable this season as they were last season. In 2019, they rank dead-last in passing yardage allowed, passing touchdowns allowed, and fourth-to-last in net yards per attempt allowed through the air. Aside from edge rusher Chandler Jones, who ranks 2nd in the NFL with 14 sacks to his name this season, there is little to be excited about with this defense. The rest of the defensive front offers little support rushing the quarterback, and their linebackers are horrific in pass coverage. Jordan Hicks and Hasson Reddick are a leading reason that the Cardinals rank dead-last in the NFL in fantasy points allowed per game to opposing tight ends. Lastly, in the secondary, Budda Baker, who is capable of defending the slot as well as playing safety, is the only above-average pass defender in the unit. Even veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson, who missed the early part of the season due to a suspension, has struggled since returning to the fold in 2019. Overall, this is a dismal pass defending unit, and if Baker Mayfield and the Browns cannot piece together a strong day through the air this weekend, it could signal significant long-term problems for Cleveland.

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


Detroit Lions Passing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Detroit's passing volume continues to rank near the top of the NFL leaderboards regardless of which quarterback is under center; however, their efficiency through the air has taken a significant dive with backup quarterbacks at the helm. Last weekend, David Blough, in just his second career start, posted a measly 205 passing yards on 40 passing attempts, with 1 score and 2 interceptions to go along with the yardage. Since Detroit's original starter, Matthew Stafford went down with a back injury, the Lions' offense has been unable to sustain the production of two top-end fantasy wide receivers: Marvin Jones, Jr. and Kenny Golladay. Since Stafford suffered his potentially-season-ending injury, Danny Amendola, the team's starting slot receiver, has seen an uptick in receiving volume. Working on primarily short and intermediate routes, Amendola offers a safety blanket for David Blough when he has been overwhelmed by NFL defenses. Kenny Golladay's volume has remained relatively high, and since he works down the field more than any other Lions' receiver, his targets are typically very valuable for fantasy purposes. Marvin Jones, Jr. has seen a decrease in volume since Stafford got hurt, significantly damaging his value for fantasy purposes. In total, since the Detroit offense has been turned over to backup quarterbacks, the viability of Lions' pass-catchers across the board, aside from Danny Amendola, has decreased dramatically.

Tampa Bay's pass defense this season has faced the highest volume of any team in the NFL, and their efficiency numbers have been poor to go along with that, producing some of the weakest overall pass defense numbers in the league. The Buccaneers have allowed the 2nd most passing yards, 4th most passing touchdowns, and forced only 9 interceptions on the season, which fosters a very fantasy-friendly environment for opposing passing attacks. Although Shaquil Barrett has been an incredible bright spot in the team's defense, as he leads the NFL in sacks with 15 on the season, he gets little support elsewhere, as the Bucs defense is littered with below-average pass defenders elsewhere. The Buccaneers have allowed 7 300-yard passing days and 9 100-yard receiving days this season, which makes for a soft matchup for David Blough and the Detroit Lions here in Week 15. Although Tampa Bay's performance has been better in recent weeks, especially since parting ways with Vernon Hargreaves, they still grade as a horrific unit all-around. As long as the Lions find a way to contain Shaquil Barrett on the edge, it could be a massive day for their struggling passing attack.

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


Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense at Oakland Raiders Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Gardner Minshew had quite the uninspiring game for his first start back under center since Week 9 for the Jaguars, passing for just 162 yards and a touchdown last week as he was completely unwilling to throw a deep ball. Last week was certainly a contrast from what Minshew displayed earlier this season, as he was no stranger to taking deep shots at his big-bodied wide receivers. Minshew will be without one of those receivers though, as top target D.J. Chark may have caught his last pass this season. Chark suffered a foot injury in last week’s game and will be unavailable this week. This leaves Dede Westbrook as the next best option as he should slide into Chark’s position with Conley lining up opposite him. Westbrook has battled injuries of his own this season, but he has seen at least seven targets in three straight games and should offer a decent option on the outside. Leonard Fournette is the other primary target for Minshew, especially if those underneath passing routes continue to prevail in the minds of Jacksonville play-callers. Fournette has been on fire as a receiver this season and should continue to be a focal point of this entire offense.

The Raiders have consistently been one of the worst teams in football against the pass. They have coughed up the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, the second-most passing touchdowns (30), the highest average yards per pass play (8.6) to opposing passing offenses. Big plays have been a problem for this defense as they lead the league in explosive passing plays allowed, giving up 63 receptions of 20 or more yards and 15 receptions of 40 or more yards. Slot receivers have given Jacksonville fits as cornerback Lamarcus Joyner has been the weakest link in this secondary. This will bode well for Dede Westbrook if the Jaguars can rotate him into his usual slot position this week, but Westbrook will likely run more routes on the outside in place of the injured D.J. Chark. Leonard Fournette should also have a great chance at making plays through the air this week, as these Raiders linebackers have been terrible in pass coverage while the entire defense has struggled to effectively tackle. The defensive line has done a decent job at applying pressure and should be an even match for the Jaguars in the trenches, but nothing else about this passing matchup is even as Gardner Minshew should have plenty of opportunities to get back on track this week.

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


Miami Dolphins Passing Offense at New York Giants Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Ryan Fitzpatrick has led a high-volume passing attack that, in spite of some recent strong performances, has posted bottom-feeding numbers across the board. The Dolphins' passing game has posted 15 touchdowns to 17 interceptions on the season, the 26th and 31st-best numbers in the league, respectively, to this point. At just 5.3 net yards per attempt, the efficiency of the unit is abysmal, ranking 30th in the league, and it is primarily a product of a lack of talent in the receiving corps. DeVante Parker and Albert Wilson, the team's top two wide receivers following the injury to Preston Williams, are both in concussion protocol, and their status for this weekend's game is uncertain. Expect Isaiah Ford and Allen Hurns to step up in their absence, with Mike Gesicki contributing at the tight end position. Ford led the way with 9 targets, 6 receptions, and 92 receiving yards last weekend without Parker and Wilson. This weekend, a soft matchup and high passing volume could foster another unexpectedly strong day for Miami through the day.

The New York Giants' pass defense is one of the weakest in the NFL, as they have allowed 6 300-yard passers and 7 multi-touchdown performances through the air. Last weekend, a depleted Philadelphia Eagles' aerial attack posted 325 yards and 2 touchdowns, including over 132 yards and 12 catches from their two tight ends. The Giants struggle to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, with the sixth-lowest hurry rate of any team in the league, even their number-one pass rusher, Markus Golden's, pass-rushing numbers are misleading. Golden leads the way with 8.5 sacks on the season, but he is converting his pressures into sacks at a wildly unsustainable rate, and when he is not taking down opposing quarterbacks, he rarely applies pressure otherwise. In the secondary, the Giants are especially weak, with Janoris Jenkins and DeAndre Baker grading as two of the weakest cover-corners in the NFL. The Giants have allowed 10 separate 100-yard or multi-touchdown performances to opposing pass-catchers this season. This weekend, look for tight end Mike Gesicki and DeVante Parker or Albert Wilson, if healthy, to capitalize on this soft matchup against one of the league's weakest pass defenses.

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


San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense vs Atlanta Falcons Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

For the most part, Jimmy Garoppolo is the relatively low-impact caretaker of a run-dominant Super Bowl contender. He’s averaging a modest 250 yards a game, and much of his fantasy value has been dependent on a high touchdown rate. Still, he’s shown the ability to keep pace in a few recent shootouts, posting lines of 317, 424, and 329 yards - and 4 scores in each game. Garoppolo doesn’t boast special arm talent, and he’s still not much of a downfield passer. But he’s now armed with a handful of gifted playmaking talents that excel in the slots and seams. George Kittle continues to look like a Travis Kelce clone, winning on all levels of the field and extending plays with sheer strength and will. His game-turning, 39-yard catch late in last week’s game was a perfect snapshot of that. He’s flanked by a pair of dynamic wideouts in Emmanuel Sanders, who woke up last week for 157 yards and a wild touchdown, and explosive rookie Deebo Samuel. With his stout build and open-field abilities, Samuel is essentially a running back playing wideout, and he’s now creating impact plays on a weekly basis. He’s topped 75 yards in 3 of his last 5 games and has seemingly jumped Sanders, if only by a bit, atop the pecking order. All in all, this pass game is hard to trust for volume, and game flow sometimes robs them of fantasy opportunity. But there’s individual upside all over this unit, and they could hardly ask for a better matchup than the slot-deficient Falcons. Kittle, Samuel, and Sanders are all set up for success against Atlanta’s shallow secondary.

The Falcons pass defense has taken small steps forward, but remains one of football’s leakiest units. They’re giving up a robust 7.9 yards per attempt and 271 a game, and 6 of their 13 opponents have topped 300. Some of those who fell short, like Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins, simply didn’t need to throw much in big victories. If nothing else, they’ve benefited of late from the midseason turnaround in top cornerback Desmond Trufant. He’s been instrumental in limiting the likes of Michael Thomas (48 yards), Mike Evans (50), and Curtis Samuel (25). But while outside receivers have seen a dip, it’s been open season against the rest of this secondary. Tight ends and slot receivers continue to feast in this matchup, as seen in recent matchups with Chris Godwin (7 for 184 and 2 touchdowns), Tyler Lockett (6 for 100), and Jared Cook (9 for 159 over 2 games). It makes for a great outlook for Jimmy Garoppolo, who leans heavily on the explosive George Kittle and his slot playmakers. That effectively works against the Falcons’ only real point of strength - Trufant on the outside - and sets up Garoppolo for one of his best matchups of the season.

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


Carolina Panthers Passing Offense vs Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Panthers may try to move on from Cam Newton this offseason, but it won’t be Kyle Allen they do it for. Week after week, Allen continues to show that his NFL ceiling is likely as a Matt Moore-level backup. Since his impressive first start back in Week 3, he’s produced just 6.5 yards per attempt and 249 a game, with 12 touchdowns to 12 interceptions (and several more dropped). Allen simply doesn’t boast the pocket sense or accuracy to consistently move an offense - most of that ho-hum production has come in garbage-time situations. Allen’s struggles have limited his gifted young receiving corps, which has produced well enough with so much volume but is capable of even more. D.J. Moore has been a model of consistency, topping 70 yards in 8 of his last 9 games. Drawing 10 targets a game over that span, he remains a locked-in fantasy play regardless of matchup. But Curtis Samuel and the tight ends play more niche roles, and none can be counted on to produce predictably. Of them, young tight end Ian Thomas boasts the most relative appeal if Greg Olsen can’t get cleared. Thomas drew 10 looks of his own Sunday and caught a short touchdown, and he averaged 49 yards a game in Olsen’s place late last year.

The Seahawks sit firmly among the bottom third of the NFL in raw pass defense. That said, a disproportionate amount of that production has come while in blowout/catchup mode, and there’s been noticeable improvement over the past month or so. Opposing passers have averaged 282 yards over their last 5 games, but have needed 41 attempts a game to do so. The Seattle secondary is starting to come together: cornerback Shaquill Griffin has been one of 2019’s most dominant cover men, while Quandre Diggs has served as a massive upgrade on Tedric Thompson at free safety. It’s worth noting that they’re fresh off a semi-collapse, though, with the struggling Jared Goff putting up one of his best performances of a season last Sunday. And there’s still not much pass rush here, even with Jadeveon Clowney back in action. Still, this week has the look of a mismatch. It’s fair to project hefty passing volume for Kyle Allen and the Panthers, though efficiency may be tough to come by.

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


New England Patriots Passing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Patriots passing offense continues to struggle. This offense has now completed 55% or less of their passes in their last four games as the team seemingly is unable to find a second receiver to go along with Julian Edelman. Mohamed Sanu has been a disappointment after the Patriots acquired the receiver for a second-round pick. Sanu has just 6 receptions for 31 yards total over his last three games. N’Keal Harry has just two receptions in his three games back from IR, and Jacobi Meyers is a deep threat but has struggled with consistency. The reality is that this is an offense that is going to need to figure something out quickly and it appears that it likely will be James White who has played in 60% or more snaps in each of the last two games which he has not done since both Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead were out back in 2018.

Cincinnati’s passing defense has made a fairly substantial turnaround in the second half of the season after being a unit that struggled to start the year. Since Week 9, the Bengals have not allowed a quarterback to throw for over 300 yards, and have allowed just one quarterback to throw for over 240 yards. The Bengals held Baker Mayfield to just 11 of 24 last week for 192 yards while intercepting the quarterback twice. This is by no means a perfect unit, as they are still the second-worst team in the league in yards-per-attempt, and their overall numbers look better than they should as they have faced the second-fewest attempts in the NFL this year. Their best corner could give the Patriots matchup problems this week as Darqueze Dennard out of the slot has been far and away the best corner with the Bengals struggling on the outside with B.W. Webb and William Jackson. This is a matchup that should be an efficient but low statistical game for the Patriots.

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


New Orleans Saints Passing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Drew Brees accounted for six touchdowns (5 passing, 1 rushing) and 349 passing yards in last week’s loss to the 49ers. While last week was certainly his best performance of the season, it was not at all out of the ordinary for Breesas he has had huge weeks throughout his 19-year career and has actually passed for three touchdowns in four of his last seven games since returning from injury in Week 8. A big part of his success this season has to be attributed to having the best wide receiver in football, Michael Thomas. Now garnering MVP buzz, Thomas handily leads the league in both receptions (121) and receiving yards (1,424) while also averaging a league-leading 11.4 targets per game. Thomas has now exceeded 100 receiving yards in seven of his last nine games with double-digit receptions in five of those outings. Beyond Thomas, tight end Jared Cook has been a reliable contributor through the air with over 60 yards in three straight games and three touchdowns over that span. Cook exited last week’s game early with a concussion though, so his status may be in question for this Monday night game.

The Colts defense has certainly shown some signs of weakness lately as they have allowed season-highs in total points (31 and 36) in back-to-back weeks. Their secondary is relatively absent of individual playmakers, yet they had been playing very well as an overall unit for most of the season--holding opposing quarterbacks to the ninth-fewest fantasy points per game through the first 10 weeks of the season. Their last four games have been a different story, however, as the Colts have given up multiple passing touchdowns in all four games, an average of 313 passing yards per game, and have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. After coughing up over 450 yards and four touchdowns to Tampa Bay last week, this defense is firmly trending in the wrong direction. Cornerback Pierre Desir stands no chance against Michael Thomas, while even the likes of Ted Ginn and tight end Jared Cook (if he plays) should all have favorable matchups. The Colts have had some success in rushing opposing passers with top edge rusher Justin Houston, but they should be outmatched this week against the top-tier Saints offensive line that has given up the fourth-fewest sacks (21) in football. All in all, the Saints passing offense should have ample opportunities to continue putting up big numbers through the air this week.

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


New York Giants Passing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

While rookie Daniel Jones missed the team's game last weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles due to an ankle injury, he reportedly will step back into his starting role immediately when his health permits. Whether it be Jones or Eli Manning under center, New York's passing attack has been a high-volume unit lacking efficiency, ranking 8th in the league in total pass attempts, but just 28th in net yards per attempt. While the team's receiving corps is banged up, rookie Darius Slayton's recent emergence has been encouraging. Over the last month, Slayton leads the team in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Slayton is an impressive downfield threat, making his significant volume through the air especially valuable for fantasy purposes. Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate are finally both healthy, but even with all three receivers available, Slayton has been the unexpected number-one option through the air recently.

The Miami Dolphins defend limited volume through the air, as their opponents rarely need to air it out to gain the upper hand, but when they do, Miami offers little resistance. The Dolphins rarely apply pressure to opposing quarterbacks, with just a 7.0-percent hurry rate this season, the second-lowest of any team in the NFL. Overall, they have allowed a stunning 31-to-9 touchdown-to-interception ratio, one of the worst in the league. On the season, the Dolphins have only faced one passing attack (the Philadelphia Eagles two weeks ago) that surpassed 40 pass attempts, yet they've allowed multi-touchdown performances through the air in 11 out of 13 games. The pass-defending personnel on Miami's roster resembles that of a bottom-feeding defense. With Xavien Howard, the team's number-one cornerback, out with an injury, Miami's patchwork secondary featuring Nik Needham, Jomal Wiltz, Eric Rowe, and Adrian Colbert is one of the weakest in the league. The Dolphins' secondary has allowed a 100-yard receiver in 4 consecutive games, and 7 overall on the season. The New York Giants' struggling passing attack is primed for one of their strongest performances of the season here in Week 15 in an elite matchup.

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


Oakland Raiders Passing Offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Raiders passing offense bounced back last week as Derek Carr played turnover-free football for the first time in three weeks while passing for 263 yards and two touchdowns. Carr has been good in spots this season, but he has certainly shown some inconsistency and questionable decision-making as shown from his eight interceptions. Part of the issue for this passing offense has been a lack of overall talent and weapons though. While Tyrell Williams is a good player, he should not be a WR1 for any offense and has certainly not looked the part for the Raiders--especially after doing virtually nothing last week despite a plush matchup. Darren Waller has been the clear standout and favorite target for Carr, and he had another big game last week catching all six targets for 73 yards--the third time in four weeks he has finished with at least six receptions and 70 yards. Touchdowns have come at a premium for Waller though, as he has scored in just two games and is currently riding a six-game touchdown drought.

The entire Jaguars defense has taken a big step back in recent weeks as they are getting manhandled both through the air and on the ground. Since their Week 10 bye, the Jaguars are giving up the ninth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. While part of that scoring number may be misleading with three rushing touchdowns from quarterbacks factored in, this defense has still been below average against the pass--particularly last week as they allowed four passing touchdowns and a slew of big plays to the Chargers. Cornerback D.J. Hayden has been the best defensive back for this group, while A.J. Bouye has seen his play drop off dramatically through the second half of this season. Bouye actually offers a plus matchup for Tyrell Williams, who is expected to see shadow coverage from Bouye. All Jaguars linebackers have been virtually non-existent in pass coverage, which really came to light last week as they gave up nine receptions for 141 yards to Chargers running backs. Tight ends have also found a ton of success against this defense, as Chargers tight ends up up a pair of touchdowns to mark the sixth and seventh touchdowns the Jaguars have given up to tight ends this season.

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


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense at Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Tampa Bay's high-volume passing attack, which has posted near league-leading totals across the board, suffered at least one major loss last weekend when Mike Evans was lost for the remainder of the season to a hamstring injury. Quarterback Jameis Winston's status this weekend is also in doubt after he suffered a hand injury, opening the door for a potential Ryan Griffin start. Regardless of who starts under center for the Buccaneers, the passing attack will almost certainly run through Chris Godwin, who ranks amongst the league leaders in almost every receiving stat this season. Without Evans in the fold, Godwin's role in the offense has room to grow, while players like Justin Watson and Breshad Perriman may step up as well. Last weekend, with Evans only playing 23-percent of the team's offensive snaps, Justin Watson tallied 8 targets, and Breshad Perriman registered 5 of his own. Tight end O.J. Howard's second NFL season has been disappointing, but he posted a season-high in receiving yardage last weekend without Evans in the fold. In total, Tampa Bay's passing attack will likely suffer without Mike Evans available, and especially if Jameis Winston is inactive. Expect Chris Godwin, Justin Watson, Breshad Perriman, and O.J. Howard to step up without Mike Evans in Week 15 against the Detroit Lions' horrific pass defense.

The Detroit Lions have defended one of the highest volumes of pass attempts of any team in the league this season, and their efficiency numbers against the pass have been horrendous. The Lions have allowed the third-most passing yardage in the NFL while allowing a 26-to-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio through their first 13 games, one of the worst marks in the NFL. On the whole, Detroit's defense lacks pass defending talent aside from Trey Flowers, an impressive edge rusher with six sacks in his last five games. Detroit's linebackers are especially weak in coverage, with Jarrad Davis and Jahlani Tavai grading as two of the weakest pass defenders in the league at the position. Lastly, in the secondary, injuries, trades, and regression have decimated the team's defensive backfield. First, Tracy Walker is the team's number-one pass defending safety has missed time this season, and although he has recently returned to action, he has yet to return to his strong form of earlier this season. Next, the Lions traded away Quandre Diggs in a puzzling midseason transaction with the Seattle Seahawks. Since he was traded away, Diggs has registered three interceptions for his new team while the Lions have allowed multiple three-touchdown passing performances. Lastly, Darius Slay has regressed as a cover corner. His reputation far exceeds his on-field performance this season, and he has been exploited on numerous occasions. Overall, if Jameis Winston is unable to play for Tampa Bay, the soft matchup may not impact very much. However, if he is able to play, expect him to throw the ball early, often, and well against Detroit's porous secondary.

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


Tennessee Titans Passing Offense vs Houston Texans Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

This Titans offense has come to life in recent weeks as Ryan Tannehill continues to light the league on fire with his spectacular play. Tannehill has passed for multiple touchdowns in four straight games and has crossed the 300-yard mark three times this season, including last week when he passed for a season-high 391 yards with three touchdowns. Tannehill is also now leading the league in yards per pass attempt (9.9) as he is showing little fear to push the ball downfield. That was on full display last week as he completed a number of deep balls, including a career-high 91-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Brown. Brown has morphed into the WR1 for Tennessee, leading the team in targets in five of the last seven games while exceeding 130 yards with at least one touchdown in two of his last three outings. The floor with Brown is certainly low given this Titans passing offense could easily amass fewer than 200 yards in any given week, but he is garnering serious attention from Tannehill and has the talent to break a big play in any given week.

The Texans pass defense played as poorly as they have all season last week as they allowed rookie quarterback Drew Lock to pass for 309 yards and three touchdowns in his second career start. It was an astonishingly bad performance by this defense that basically lost the game for Houston within the first two quarters. However, last week’s outing actually was more of the same from what has been a terrible pass defense all season. The Texans have given up more fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks than any other team since Week 10 and have allowed the sixth-most passing yards per game on the season. The Texans cornerbacks have actually done a decent job in coverage against wide receivers over the past four weeks, as only one wide receiver has crossed the 50-yard mark. They have allowed both opposing tight ends and running backs to do plenty of damage though, as Noah Fant found the end zone with over 100 yards last week while Mark Andrews also scored and finished with 75 yards in Week 11. Opposing running backs have scored five times through the air in the last four weeks as well. While the Titans don’t use running backs too often in the passing game, tight end Jonnu Smith should be in for a favorable matchup while outside receiver A.J. Brown should also have the edge against the likes of Gareon Conley.

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


Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense vs New York Jets Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Lamar Jackson’s Week 14 box score wasn’t special, with just 146 passing yards over his 16 completions. But it speaks loudly of his development that he beat the league’s third-ranked pass defense for three touchdowns en route to a statement win. Jackson had little to work with against the Bills’ dominant secondary, but routinely found his backs and tight ends for chain-moving plays and short touchdowns. That conservative attack will be the norm going forward if Mark Andrews can’t suit up, and if speedster Marquise Brown can’t get uncorked. Brown has produced just 64 yards over the past 4 weeks, and this depth chart is one of the league’s thinnest. It’s fair to expect Jackson and the Ravens to lead with the run even more than usual, at least for the time being, which indeed dings their passing upside. Jackson remains fantasy’s every-week QB1, though it’s worth noting he hasn’t topped 247 yards since Week 3. It’s his rushing chops and touchdown upside that make him such an asset.

In the depths of a full-on rebuild, the Jets’ young pass defense has tightened noticeably of late. Over the past 4 weeks, they’ve allowed opponents just 5.9 yards per attempt and 212 a game, with only 3 touchdowns through the air. They’ve had some help, of course, from an extremely forgiving recent schedule of passers: Dwayne Haskins, Derek Carr, Andy Dalton, Ryan Fitzpatrick. But it’s worth noting the massive statistical leaps they’ve taken. The no-name pass rush is starting to take flight, with Nathan Shepherd and Jordan Jenkins forming a dynamic bookend duo and a stout front pushing the pocket. The team is still trying things out at cornerback, though rookie Blessuan Austin has been a revelation on the outside, with Brian Poole and the safeties consistently locking down the slots. Of course, this will be the unit’s first real test in two months, and much hinges upon whether All-Pro safety Jamal Adams (knee sprain) can suit up. Either way, this matchup isn’t really a deterrent for Lamar Jackson’s outlook, though it’s not quite as porous as it once looked.

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


Chicago Bears Passing Offense at Green Bay Packers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Mitchell Trubisky is beginning to revitalize both this Bears passing offense and his career prospects as the starter with back-to-back impressive performances after what has been an otherwise forgettable season. Trubisky went up and down the field for 338 yards and three touchdowns against a down Lions defense in Week 13, and he followed it up last week with a 244-yard and three-touchdown outing against a much better Cowboys defense. With the good also still comes some bad with Trubisky, however, as he threw an interception in each of those games and has at least one pick in each of his last four outings. Top receiver Allen Robinson has certainly enjoyed this recent streak of success, as he has racked up four touchdowns while averaging 88 yards per game over the past three weeks. Anthony Miller saw his role drop off last week as he saw just four targets with three receptions, but he did find the end zone for the first time this season and should continue to be on the field a decent amount until Taylor Gabriel (concussion) can return to action. Tarik Cohen also continues to see a consistent target load from the backfield, granted nearly all of his opportunities are low-leverage situations that have yielded underwhelming results.

Green Bay has had a hard time stringing together consistent performances against the pass this season. The past few weeks have looked good on paper as they racked up as many interceptions as passing touchdowns allowed while holding all three opponents to under 255 passing yards per game, but those outings were against a run-heavy 49ers team along with the Giants and Redskins. Looking at their entire schedule, this Packers pass defense has actually had it easy for most of the season as they have squared off against a top-1o fantasy quarterback just once in 13 games. This isn’t to say the Packers have no talent on defense, as young cornerback Jaire Alexander has made it tough on most opposing wide receivers while Adrian Amos is having yet another great year from the free safety position. Green Bay does, however, have a below-average pass rush and a banged-up slot cornerback in Kevin King, who missed last week’s game but appears likely to play through his shoulder injury this week. This defense has also struggled mightily against tight ends throughout the second half of the season. While Allen Robinson has his hands full with Alexander on the outside, look for the likes of Anthony Miller or tight end J.P. Holtz to find a seam down the middle of the field.

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


Denver Broncos Passing Offense at Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

While Drew Lock got off to a relatively shaky start in his first career NFL game, he put up a gem of a performance last week against Houston--finishing with 309 passing yards and three touchdowns while completing 81.5 percent of his pass attempts. He completed seven pass attempts of 20 or more yards and was not afraid to push the ball downfield. However, Fant did focus heavily on his tight ends as both Noah Fant and Jeff Heuerman scored touchdowns while the top receiving option for Denver, Courtland Sutton, finished with just 34 yards despite a team-leading five receptions from seven targets. Sutton rightfully received a ton of attention in coverage last week, and more of the same can be expected in this one as no Chiefs cornerback has the ability to cover him effectively without some help. With the added defensive focus on Sutton, more opportunities may open up for Tim Patrick and the Broncos tight ends. Noah Fant did leave last week’s game in the second half with a foot injury, so keep an eye on his status coming into this week as the upside for Jeff Heuerman would increase should Fant be sidelined.

The Chiefs pass defense continues to play well as they have held opposing quarterback to fewer than 230 yards in four of their last five games, including games against Kirk Cousins and Tom Brady. The past three weeks have been even more impressive for this secondary, as they have given up just three passing touchdowns while notching seven interceptions. Charvarious Ward has been their top individual cornerback, and he should draw most snaps against Tim Patrick this week--making for a more difficult matchup for Patrick. Bashaud Breeland has played better in recent weeks, but he has been susceptible in man coverage and, if not offered help from these Denver safeties, Breeland will create an opportunity for Courtland Sutton--who had six receptions for 87 yards in their last matchup. Chiefs linebackers have struggled to contain running backs though, as this team has allowed the most passing yards per game (61) to opposing running backs on the season. The Chiefs pass rush has been more consistent in recent weeks now that Chris Jones is back on the field, and they racked up a season-high nine sacks last time against the Broncos struggling offensive line. Putting pressure on a rookie quarterback is always a great game plan, and the Chiefs will likely do just that--especially if they can hop out to an early lead.

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


Green Bay Packers Passing Offense vs Chicago Bears Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Production from the Packers passing offense has slowed down over the second half of the season. Aaron Rodgers averaged 8.2 passing yards per attempt, 290.5 passing yards per game, and two passing touchdowns per game to rank as the fourth-best fantasy quarterback through his first eight games. Since Week 9, Rodgers has regressed to the 24th-ranked fantasy quarterback, averaging just 5.9 passing yards per attempt, 187 passing yards per game, and 1.4 touchdowns per game with no notable difference in his level competition between those splits. As with Rodgers goes the rest of this passing offense, as top receiver Davante Adams has inconsistently produced since returning from injury in Week 9. He continues to regularly lead the team in targets, but Adams has exceeded 64 yards just once in five games. He did score twice in the big game against the Giants and remains a focal point for Rodgers, so look for Adams to rebound soon.

This Chicago defense limited the Packers to just 203 passing yards and one touchdown back in Week 1, however, the Bears defense is certainly a different animal now than earlier in the year due to a number of key injuries. The most notable injury of late is the season-ending pectoral injury to leading tackler Roquan Smith, which is a big loss to the center of this defense. In addition, cornerback Prince Amukamara missed last week with a hamstring injury and appears unlikely to play in this one. This situation creates a significant advantage for Davante Adams, as he should see snaps against Kevin Toliver, who played quite poorly in his start last week. The pass rush for Chicago is always a threat with Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd coming off the edges, but they have slowed as the season has progressed--notching just 13 sacks in their last nine games after opening the season with 17 sacks in their first four outings. Green Bay does have a strong offensive line, but they have yielded four or more sacks in two of the last three weeks and gave up five sacks to the Bears back in Week 1--so the door is open for this Bears defense to harass Rodgers to further complicate a tricky matchup.

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


Houston Texans Passing Offense at Tennessee Titans Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Deshaun Watson attempted a season-high 50 passes while completing below 60 percent of those attempts for just the second time this year in last week’s blowout loss to the Broncos. It was a near-complete reversal of fortunes for this Texans passing offense that looked impeccable in their win over the Patriots in Week 13. The injury to Will Fuller certainly leaves a void in this offense as it allowed almost all of the attention to be placed on DeAndre Hopkins, who actually still performed well last week with seven receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown. Hopkins has had some quiet weeks this season, but he has now amassed at least 80 yards in three of his last four games with three touchdowns over that span. Kenny Stills has done nothing when given more opportunities from Will Fuller being absent this season, so it is tough to rely upon him moving forward. Fuller remains questionable, so his status will require monitoring coming into this week’s game.

Considering the injuries to the Titans secondary, they did a relatively good job in coverage against the Raiders last week. Tye Smith, in particular, has now played well in back-to-back starts in place of the injured Adoree Jackson. Jackson continues to be questionable with a foot injury, so Smith would likely roll back out as the starter if Jackson misses a third straight game. Squaring off against the likes of DeAndre Hopkins will be an entirely different challenge for Smith this week though, as Hopkins should have a clear edge against both Smith and Trumaine Brock, who was recently acquired from the Cardinals and started for Tennessee last week. While Titans safeties and linebackers have put together a solid body of work in coverage, they have been susceptible to tight ends in recent weeks, giving up the third-most fantasy points per game to the position since Week 10. However, all in all, DeAndre Hopkins and this Texans passing offense should have a relatively even matchup against the red hot Titans defense.

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


Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense at New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Jacoby Brissett delivered in a sweet spot matchup last week against the Buccaneers, bouncing back relatively well from an unfortunate string of poor performances throughout the second half of the season. Brissett managed to throw for just two touchdowns in the five games leading up to last week when he passed for two touchdowns and 251 yards. However, Brissett did miss on quite a few throws as he completed just 52.8 percent of his passes in last week’s game. He showed a nice deep ball connection with receiver Marcus Johnson, who has now seen six and seven targets for 55 and 105 yards in his past two games. The slew of injuries to Colts wide receivers has afforded guys like Johnson an opportunity to step up, but it also has contributed to the lack of consistency displayed from this passing offense as a whole. T.Y. Hilton is rehabbing towards a potential return this season, but it is unlikely to be this week. This should set up Zach Pascal and Jack Doyle as the top options for Brissett yet again. The Colts also reunited with Dontrell Inman this week, but it would be hard to expect much from him with just a few days back on the team.

The Saints defense has been mediocre against the pass on paper this season, but that is primarily due to how well this team as a whole has played to force opposing offenses into pass-heavy game scripts. This New Orleans team has some solid contributors on defense, starting with a fearsome defensive line that ranks tied for fourth in the league with 43 sacks. Edge rusher Cameron Jordan leads the way here, ranking third in the league with 13.5 sacks. The combination of Jordan and Marcus Davenport will be one of the toughest challenges faced by these top-tier Colts offensive tackles, but even with as strong as the Saints defensive line is, they still project to be a relatively even matchup for the equally-elite Colts offensive line. In the secondary, the Saints have one of the best safeties in football with Marcus Williams over the top. Williams has been an excellent asset to help what has, at times, been a middling cornerback group. Marcus Lattimore has elite talent, but he has taken a step back this year after his breakout 2017 campaign. Still, Lattimore will offer a difficult matchup for Zach Pascal in shadow coverage this week. Tight ends have actually got the best of this defense in recent weeks, as an opposing tight end has exceeded 40 receiving yards or scored a touchdown in six straight games--a great stat for the likes of Jack Doyle coming into a game that should afford him plenty of volume.

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


Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense vs Denver Broncos Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Patrick Mahomes suffered an injury to his throwing hand in last week’s game that adversely impacted his play throughout the second half, but he is on track to start this week against the Broncos. The Chiefs passing offense has looked off in recent weeks as Mahomes failed to exceed 200 passing yards in back-to-back games leading into last week before suffering the hand injury that limited him to just 58 passing yards in the second half. It will remain to be seen as to how much this hand injury may impact his play this week, but Mahomes does have all of his weapons healthy and ready to go. Travis Kelce has led the team in targets for three straight weeks and has exceeded 60 receiving yards in each of his last six games while scoring three receiving touchdowns over that span. Tyreek Hill also remains fresh and capable of delivering a big play at any moment, while Sammy Watkins is a volatile WR2 in this offense who has been tough to rely upon with fewer than 40 receiving yards in three of his last four games, including a goose egg in Week 13 despite playing 91 percent of the snaps.

Denver’s defense has been a solid group against the pass this season, with teams passing for an average of just 215.9 yards per game (sixth-fewest) against them. While they do have some holes in their defense--notably at cornerback and on a lack of consistency rushing the passer--this group has come together and leaned on their strength to keep most opposing passers in check. Contrary to their reputation from 2018, the Broncos have done a decent job at limiting production from opposing tight ends--including holding Hunter Henry to just two catches for 10 yards a couple of weeks ago. Travis Kelce had little success against the Broncos in Week 7, but the Patrick Mahomes injury certainly threw a wrench in things that week. Tyreek Hill, on the other hand, had a nice game as he racked up 74 yards and a touchdown in his last outing against Denver. Hill should again have to contend with the tight coverage of Chris Harris Jr though, making for a difficult matchup for the speedster. Breaking big plays against these top-notch Broncos safeties could also be a challenge this week, as they have contributed to giving up the sixth-fewest passing plays of 20 or more yards (35).

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


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

The Los Angeles Rams, fresh off of back-to-back impressive performances against NFC West competition, bring their high-volume passing attack into Dallas to face off with the Cowboys' struggling defense. Both of Jared Goff's last two games rank in his five most efficient passing days of the 2019 season, according to net yards per attempt, and in a high-volume passing attack like the Rams', Goff's efficiency can put their offense over the top, as a whole. In recent weeks, the Rams have utilized two-wide-receiver sets more than ever under Sean McVay. This change in tendency has led to decreased playing time and utilization for Cooper Kupp recently, with six or fewer targets in four out of his last five games. Robert Woods and Tyler Higbee have emerged as Goff's top-two targets in recent weeks. Woods has posted at least 9 targets and 95 receiving yards in 4 straight, while Higbee has registered back-to-back 7-catch, 100-yard games. On the whole, the Rams' passing attack has posted impressive totals, but the team's struggling offensive line does not make it easy on Jared Goff, whose numbers have rebounded in recent weeks after a significant midseason slump.

The Dallas Cowboys' pass defense opened the season very strong, but a handful of poor recent performances have left many skeptical that this team has effectively quit on head coach Jason Garrett. Overall, the Cowboys have faced medial volume on the ground, allowing impressive yardage and touchdown totals, but their inability to force turnovers (only five interceptions this season) is worrying. While their season-long numbers are impressive, allowing the 13th fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, recently, they have drifted off, allowing the 8th most to opposing quarterbacks over the last month. They have not faced particularly stiff opposition in recent weeks, losing to Mitchell Trubisky and Josh Allen in disappointing fashion, and they may be in trouble once again this weekend against the Rams' high-volume passing attack. Along the defensive line, Demarcus Lawrence and Robert Quinn have been extremely impressive this season, disrupting the pocket, and their performance this weekend will be critical to the team's pass-defending efforts. In the secondary, cornerback Byron Jones and the team's number-one safety Xavier Woods have been vital to limiting big plays through the air. On the season, the Cowboys have allowed only 3 100-yard receivers, and they will need a strong bounceback performance this weekend to keep the Rams from shredding them for a third straight week.

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


Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense at Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Back-to-back soft matchups have provided a much-needed boost to Philadelphia's season-long passing totals. As a high-volume passing attack, the Eagles' 22-to-8 touchdown-to-interception ratio is strong, yet their 5.7 net yards per attempt still ranks just 24th in the league. A plethora of injuries to the team's receiving corps has left Carson Wentz with a lack of viable weapons on the outside. Last weekend, following a mid-game injury to Alshon Jeffery, the Eagles had only two active wide receivers available, rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward, Jr. Arcega-Whiteside's struggles on the outside have been obvious throughout his rookie season, but Greg Ward, Jr. tallied 9 targets in the game. The primary beneficiary for the Eagles without Alshon Jeffery in the fold has been Zach Ertz. Without Jeffery, Ertz averages 12 targets, over 8 receptions and 80 yards per game this season. Expect Philadelphia's top tight end to continue to dominate while Dallas Goedert, the team's number-two tight end, plays a significant role in the passing game on short screen-type plays designed to take advantage of his top-end athleticism at the position.

The Washington Redskins typically face very little volume through the air, defending the fifth-fewest pass attempts of any team in the NFL this season. However, when teams do elect to throw the ball against the Redskins, they find reasonable success, with 23 touchdowns on the season to go along with 6.3 net yards per attempt, which rank 22nd and 18th in the league, respectively. This defense is a tail of two extremes, with a few top-end producers supported by a handful of horrific pass defenders. Along the defensive line, Matt Ioannidis and Ryan Kerrigan lead the way pressuring the opposing quarterback. Ioannidis has tallied 8.5 sacks on the season, while Kerrigan has 5.5 to his name. Then, in the secondary, Quinton Dunbar has had one of the most impressive 2019 seasons of any cornerback in the NFL. Dunbar locks down his half of the field on a weekly basis, and he also ranks third in the NFL with four interceptions on the year. However, elsewhere, these three get little help. At linebacker, Jon Bostic is one of the league's weakest coverage linebackers, leaving the defense exposed against both running backs and tight ends in the passing game. Additionally, Landon Collins, the team's marquee offseason acquisition, has been disappointing against the pass this season after a string of impressive seasons in New York. Overall, this unit has faced a notably easy schedule in recent weeks to bolster its season-long metrics against the pass. The pass-defending personnel on Washington's roster leads one to believe that they are susceptible against the pass when the opposition steers clear of targeting Quinton Dunbar. Given Philadelphia's lack of healthy and viable receivers, they should have no trouble avoiding Dunbar in coverage, and Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert could be primed for top-end receiving days against Washington's weak pass-defending group of linebackers.

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


Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense at Carolina Panthers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Russell Wilson doesn’t throw with much volume (just 126 attempts over the past 4 weeks), as the Seahawks have definitively moved back into a run-dominant approach whenever possible. But his efficiency remains top-notch, sitting fifth in adjusted yards per attempt and sixth in touchdown rate. Wilson hasn’t topped 245 yards since Week 9, but typically sees enough high-leverage opportunity to make fantasy hay with touchdowns. His top target of late is explosive rookie DK Metcalf, who’s notched 70+ yards in 4 of his last 5 games. Tyler Lockett has cooled off majorly through ankle and flu issues, but is rounding into health and always looms as a play-by-play threat. Josh Gordon was added a few weeks ago, and the Seahawks have made room for his sporadic talents (6 catches over 114 snaps). But this was a successful passing attack before Gordon came along, so there’s little need to force him into a prominent role. This will likely remain a unit replete with role players; they’ll answer the bell, but can’t be counted on for much opportunity under ideal circumstances.

The Carolina pass defense has dominated at times here in 2019, but currently sits in a noticeable rut. They’ve now allowed 300+ yards through the air to 3 of their last 4 opponents, and to 6 of their last nine. On Sunday, Matt Ryan picked them apart for the second time, routinely finding his receivers a step or two ahead down the field. The secondary isn’t without talent: cornerbacks James Bradberry and Donte Jackson have been sticky in coverage, with free safety Tre Boston solid in support. Last week, for example, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley simply won a few contested balls down the field. But this group is still beatable in the slots and up the seams, as the Falcons and Saints have shown over the past few weeks. Strong safety Eric Reid is a weekly liability in coverage - he was scorched last week by undrafted rookie Olamide Zaccheaus for a 93-yard touchdown - and the linebackers are often overmatched by top tight ends. This is a talented unit, but it’s grown more and more beatable as the season has worn on. Inside receivers tend to boast a noticeable advantage, so Seattle’s Tyler Lockett and Jacob Hollister may be leaned on heavily.

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


Washington Redskins Passing Offense vs Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Redskins' passing attack has been horrific all season in 2019, and rookie Dwayne Haskins is not yet able to compensate for the absence of creativity in the team's passing attack along with a lack of pass-catching talent on the outside (aside from Terry McLaurin.) Washington's low-volume passing attack ranks dead-last in the NFL in total yardage, and the 12-to-12 touchdown-to-interception ratio is equally uninspiring. Terry McLaurin has been the lone bright spot for Washington on offense this season. The rookie third-round pick out of Ohio State leads the team in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns, without anyone on the roster within striking distance of any of his totals. In recent weeks, Kelvin Harmon and Steven Sims have emerged as viable secondary options for Haskins through the air; however, neither has been strong enough to warrant any consideration in fantasy. Washington's mediocre offensive line, which ranks 18th in Matt Bitonti's rankings, has done their rookie quarterback no favors this season, and he will likely continue to struggle down the stretch.

Since the return of Jalen Mills, coupled with a softer schedule in recent weeks, Philadelphia's defensive metrics against the pass have improved dramatically. The Eagles still grade as a middle-of-the-pack unit in the NFL, ranking either 17th or 18th in the league in pass attempts defended, total pass yardage allowed, and net yards per attempt allowed. These marks are dramatic improvements from their early-season levels that had them ranked amongst the league's worst pass defenses, but all is not rainbows and sunshine for the Eagles against the pass at this point. Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham shoulder the load for the Eagles in the trenches, as defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has a clear aversion to sending additional blitzers to help apply pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Cox and Graham have impressed, but they get little support elsewhere, resulting in one of the league's lowest hurry rates. In the secondary, while Malcolm Jenkins, Avante Maddox, and Jalen Mills have been strong in coverage, Ronald Darby has been horrific. In last week's game against the New York Giants, Darby was burnt twice by Darius Slayton for touchdowns, and in the game before that, DeVante Parker made it look easy racking up over 100 receiving yards and multiple scores against Darby. This weekend, Darby will likely line up across from Terry McLaurin for the majority of the afternoon, leaving the Eagles' secondary heavily exposed against one of the league's most promising young receivers. On the whole, Philadelphia's pass defense is a respectable unit that struggles to apply pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Should rookie Dwayne Haskins elect to throw at Ronald Darby, as both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Eli Manning have done frequently and with great success in recent weeks, he could be in for a nice afternoon.

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


Arizona Cardinals Passing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

After a promising start to the Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury era, the Arizona Cardinals' passing attack has trailed off in recent weeks, as the team appears to have mailed it in for the season with one eye on their offseason vacations coming up. The Cardinals rank 16th in the league in passing volume, 24th in total passing yardage, and their 16-to-9 touchdown-to-interception ratio is uninspiring as well. Kyler Murray's progress as a starting quarterback has seemingly stunted since the team's Week 12 bye, and the unit's overall production has taken a dive in that time as well. Christian Kirk's emergence as the team's future number-one wide receiver is promising, as he has seemingly seized the role from veteran Larry Fitzgerald, who remains relevant in the team's passing attack. Otherwise, this unit's 5.5 net yards per attempt leaves much to be desired, as the Cardinals' offensive production has faded down the stretch this season.

The Cleveland Browns' pass defense remains one of the toughest units in the NFL to move the ball against, even without their top two pass rushers. On the season, the Browns have allowed the 8th-fewest passing yards per game, while holding every opposing starting quarterback under the 300-yard mark. The Browns' secondary has held up its end of the bargain, as well, allowing just 1 100-yard receiver since Week 3. The return of safety Demarious Randall has been vital to the defense's ability to withstand the loss of key pass-rushers, as their inability to pressure opposing quarterbacks in recent weeks is a massive weakness. Luckily, with top-end coverage players like linebacker Joe Schobert, cornerback Denzel Ward, and safety Demarious Randall in the mix, the Browns have been able to limit opposing passing attacks to just three passing touchdowns in their last three games. Overall, in a battle of two floundering teams down the stretch of the 2019 season, the Cleveland Browns are expected to come out victorious against a struggling offense led by a rookie quarterback that has regressed mightily in recent weeks.

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


Buffalo Bills Passing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Josh Allen certainly has his warts, but he’s developed into a competent starter on a likely playoff team here in Year 2. Allen remains a work in progress as a decision-maker, but his mobility and instinctive style keep plays alive, and his powerful delivery is deadly when he allows himself to come set. He’s certainly taken a statistical leap from his dismal rookie year, though he’s still no one’s idea of a fantasy starter on his arm alone. Allen sits 25th among 33 qualifiers in yards per attempt, and 26th with just 211 per game. With middling volume and not much downfield weaponry, he’s only cleared 250 in 4 of his 13 games. Top receiver John Brown has tapered off majorly of late, with just 91 yards over the past 3 weeks. He’s faced some tough matchups, to be fair, but Allen simply isn’t finding him consistently downfield right now. When the two click, both are fantasy starters - they connected for 50+ yards in each of their first 10 games together. But lately, Allen is leaning more conservatively on slot man Cole Beasley and his running backs, who don’t produce nearly as much with his targets. It’s not a recipe for big air numbers, so those playing Allen will, as always, pray for big rushing production on the side.

The Steelers continue to post top-tier numbers against the pass, giving up just 5.6 yards per dropback (fourth in football) and 210 a game (fifth). No opponent has reached 250 yards since Week 6, when Philip Rivers padded his numbers in a second half full of garbage time. That kind of consistency deserves a ton of credit, even if it must be noted that they’ve faced a wildly favorable slate of quarterbacking. They haven’t played a top-10 quarterback by yards per attempt since Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 3. Still, it’s certainly been impressive to see them clamp down so tightly on opposing wideouts. Only two receivers have notched 100 yards in this matchup: Tyler Boyd (101) and Hunter Henry (100). In Steven Nelson, Joe Haden, and Mike Hilton, the Steelers boast arguably the league’s most underrated cornerback trio. And behind them, new free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick has proven his worth - and then some - as an All-Pro caliber cover man and playmaker down the field. If there’s a weakness here, it’s underneath, where the linebackers remain a liability against slot men and tight ends. If the Bills’ thin receiving corps is going to find success here Sunday, it will likely work somewhat through Cole Beasley’s quick, underneath game.

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


Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense vs Los Angeles Rams Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Dallas' passing attack has seen its number bolstered by garbage time production in recent weeks, but on the whole, their metrics are as impressive as any team in the league. Dak Prescott and the Cowboys rank 1st in the league in passing yards, 1st in net yards per attempt, and 5th in total passing volume this season. At the top of the depth chart, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup comprise one of the league's best one-two punches at wide receiver. Over the last month, Gallup has led the way with 36 targets, 22 receptions, and 375 receiving yards, but this is partially a product of the increased attention given to Cooper, who tops the charts across the board as Dallas' best receiver over the course of the entire season. Aside from the top two, Randall Cobb in the slot and Jason Witten at tight end make for a strong supporting cast as well. Behind one of the league's best offensive lines, Dak Prescott typically has plenty of time to distribute the ball to this talented group of receivers.

The Los Angeles Rams' pass defense grades as one of the league's strongest units this season, especially since their acquisition of cornerback Jalen Ramsey. The Rams have defended one of the highest volume of pass attempts of any team in the league this season, and their impressive personnel has done an exceptional job limiting opposing offenses to just 5.6 net yards per attempt, the 5th-best mark in the league. The Rams' pass rush is one of the league's most imposing units, with Aaron Donald, Dante Fowler, Jr., and Clay Matthews combining for 28.5 sacks on the season. Donald alone is one of the league's biggest difference-makers in the trenches, and with strong edge rushers around him, this is one of the most productive pass rushes in the league. At linebacker, Cory Littleton's exceptional athleticism enables him to keep up with opposing linebackers and running backs in coverage as one of the league's best pass-stopping players at the second level. Lastly, in the secondary, the Rams field numerous top-end coverage defensive backs. Jalen Ramsey, Eric Weddle, Nickell Robey-Coleman, and Taylor Rapp all grade as above-average pass-defenders at their respective positions, to name a few. Overall, this defense lacks a clear weakness against the pass, and the Cowboys will have an uphill battle ahead of themselves in Week 15, trying to move the ball through the air.

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


Los Angeles Chargers Passing Offense vs Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

On the whole, the Chargers have struggled throughout their 5-8 start to the season, but their passing attack is not to blame for these struggles. The Chargers rank top-five in both raw yardage through the air and passing efficiency entering Week 15, and now that their passing game is at full-strength, they pose a tough matchup for even the toughest pass defenses in the league. Philip Rivers may be playing his final games in a Chargers' uniform down the stretch in 2019, but with a capable unit of pass-catchers, featuring Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry, and Austin Ekeler, he has a great chance to go out on a high note. Allen's status as one of the NFL's most productive receivers is damaged by the presence of so many other viable pass-catchers, but he is still a strong option regardless. Williams is the team's primary deep threat, as he leads the NFL with 21.0 yards per reception. Then, underneath, Austin Ekeler is one of the league's premier pass-catching running backs, and Hunter Henry is an elite safety blanket at tight end. From top-to-bottom, this is one of the league's deepest passing attacks, and production gets spread around the unit just as much as any other offense.

Minnesota's pass defense has defended the sixth-most pass attempts of any team in the NFL this season, but they have been up for the task, allowing just 5.9 net yards per attempt, the eighth-best mark in the league. The Vikings' pass defense is a well-rounded unit with one glaring weakness at cornerback. Along the defensive front, Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen make up one of the league's best edge-rushing duos, combining for 20.5 sacks between the two of them. Then, at linebacker, Eric Kendricks has grown into his role as one of the best all-around linebackers in the NFL. Kendricks leads the team in pass breakups this season, and his presence in the middle offers unparalleled stability for the Vikings. At safety, Anthony Harris ranks third in the NFL in interceptions, with four on the season, and he teams up with Harrison Smith to comprise one of the league's best pass-defending pairs at the back-end of this defense. Lastly, at cornerback, Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes have struggled mightily this season. These two have regressed from previously impressive levels earlier in their respective careers, and they are the primary reason that the Vikings have allowed 6 opposing pass-catchers to surpass 100 receiving yards this season. Overall, this is a strong unit, but the glaring weak link on the outside leaves them susceptible, even when everyone else handles their respective business. The Chargers' offense is capable of winning this battle; however, they will have their work cut out for themselves, as Minnesota has done a great job limiting the overall damage this season aside from a handful of impressive individual performances.

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


Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense at Los Angeles Chargers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Even without Adam Thielen, one of the league's top wide receivers, the Minnesota Vikings have continued to field one of the league's most efficient passing attacks. The Vikings rarely throw the ball, attempting the fourth-fewest passes in the NFL, but when they do, they utilize play-action at one of the highest-rates in the NFL, which bodes extremely well for their efficiency totals. Kirk Cousins' impressive performance this season has been a driving force behind the Vikings' improved performance through the air, even in the absence of one of their top-two pass-catchers. Without Adam Thielen, who has missed the better part of Minnesota's last seven games due to a hamstring injury, Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph, and Irv Smith, Jr. have all seen increased roles in the team's passing attack. Diggs leads the way as the top producer of the bunch, and with Thielen's status in question once again here in Week 15, Diggs should command the most targets of anyone on the team. If Thielen returns to action, his presence will bode well for the unit's cumulative production, but on an individual level, he would eat into every other pass-catcher's volume.

The Los Angeles Chargers defense has faced the lowest passing volume of any team in the NFL while permitting the fourth-fewest passing yardage in the league. However, the unit's efficiency metrics, including their 6.2 net yards per attempt allowed, which ranks 16th in the league, are not as impressive. Along the defensive line, the Chargers field two top-tier pass rushers with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram on the edges. Bosa has 10.5 sacks on the season already, which ranks 7th in the NFL through 13 games. Additionally, the Chargers' already strong secondary received a boost a few weeks ago with the return of utility defensive back Derwin James. James can play on the outside at cornerback, inside at slot cornerback, and at the back-end of the defense at safety, making his value to the team's pass defense far greater than what may show up on the stat sheet. The Chargers already fielded a strong secondary, with Casey Heyward and Desmond King locking down the outside, and third-year safety Rayshawn Jenkins making massive improvements in coverage this season. Overall, the Chargers have only allowed a single 100-yard receiver on the season, and the return of Derwin James to the fold will only make it harder on all future pass-catchers to join the list of one. The Vikings' highly-efficient passing attack will need to post one of its strongest days this weekend if they have any hope of picking apart the Chargers through the air.

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


Atlanta Falcons Passing Offense at San Francisco 49ers Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Win or lose, the Falcons always seem to set up Matt Ryan for big numbers. Ryan hasn’t been the most efficient passer here in 2019, sitting just 16th in both yards per attempt and touchdown rate. But the Falcons throw with such strong volume - a league-high 42 attempts per game - that Ryan can win fantasy matchups even on his down weeks. He’s topped 300 yards in 9 of his 11 full games, with 8 multi-touchdown games along the way. Still, it’s certainly fair to wonder about his potential against a punishing 49ers defense. Ryan boasts strong weaponry in Julio Jones, Austin Hooper, and a supporting cast of reserves. (Last week, Olamide Zaccheaus won a go route last week for a 93-yard touchdown.) But he’s also working behind a deteriorating front line, which has hindered his deep-ball connection with Jones of late. Jones remains a consistent producer, but he hasn’t found the end zone since Week 3. It doesn’t help matters, of course, that he’ll be without the services of Calvin Ridley for the rest of the year. As has often been the case, Ryan enters the week as the underdog quarterback and should be expected to throw early and often. But his fantasy QB1 ceiling depends on that volume, and if he’s put off his game Sunday, there’s less of a floor in place than usual.

The San Francisco pass defense has spent 2019 as arguably the league’s premier unit. They’re allowing just 5.8 yards per attempt and 176 per game - only 2 opponents have topped 250 yards thus far. It all starts up front, where their dominant pass rush sits sixth league-wide in pressures despite blitzing at the fourth-lowest rate. And the secondary has been stout, with a deep rotation of cover men that’s smothered most opposing wideouts. Still, this unit faces a bit of uncertainty entering a likely shootout with Matt Ryan and the Falcons. They’re fresh off a 349-yard, 5-touchdown drubbing from Drew Brees in last week’s marathon win over the Saints. They had no answer for Michael Thomas, who went off for 134 yards, or Jared Cook, who caught a pair of early touchdowns. More concerningly, they’ll be without top cornerback Richard Sherman for the near future. Sherman was instrumental in limiting No. 1 receivers Davante Adams (43 yards), D.J. Moore (38), and Marquise Brown (1) in recent matchups. There’s good depth here, but a shutdown talent like Sherman will always be missed - especially with Julio Jones coming to town.

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


Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense vs New England Patriots Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The Bengals will once again start Andy Dalton after they seemingly have abandoned the Ryan Finley experiment. Dalton has kept the Bengals in both of the games since coming back from the benching as he played a key role in beating the Jets and lost a close game to the Browns last week. Dalton provides more stability to the Bengals making them more competitive. The Bengals did suffer a tough injury this week as Auden Tate was placed on IR and with no signs of A.J. Green coming back this season will make the options for this offense limited outside of Tyler Boyd and John Ross who returned last week but saw just 51% of the snaps.

The recent struggles from the Patriots can not be blamed on their pass defense which continues to be the best in the NFL this season. This is a unit that has not allowed a 300-yard passer on the year and has allowed just two quarterbacks to top 250 yards one of which was garbage time production from Ben Roethlisberger back in Week One. This is a unit that over the last two weeks has been vulnerable to speed receivers as Mecole Hardman and Kenny Stills both have caught touchdowns in back-to-back weeks against the Patriots and a big reason for this has to do with Jason McCourty’s injury. McCourty who was active played just four snaps last week and has been a limited participant this week. If he is unable to go, the Patriots could be vulnerable to John Ross on a deep play as they rely on McCourty to match up with the fastest receiver. If McCourty is unable to go, it will be J.C. Jackson who has been up and down this year in his second season in the NFL. Overall, outside of a deep throw to Ross, it will be difficult to see the Bengals consistently move the ball against this defense this week.

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


New York Jets Passing Offense at Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Sam Darnold continues to flash difference-making potential, as seen on last week’s 26-yard touchdown strike to Robby Anderson. From the shotgun, Darnold stepped up through pressure while Anderson broke off his route into the open, and the in-stride throw resulted in an impressive touchdown. Still, consistency evades Darnold, who continues to struggle when hurried and send off too many errant throws. He’s only been intercepted twice over the past five weeks, but has had several close calls. Last week, Darnold again struggled mightily to throw effectively down the field, hitting on just 2 of his 9 deep passes (15+ yards downfield). At least his connection with Anderson looks back on track. Anderson has recorded 86, 101, and 116 yards over the past 3 games, producing even without big-time deep balls. The free agent-to-be is playing for a contract, and he closed 2018 on a similar tear, so he looks like a matchup-proof play at the moment. Unfortunately, there’s not much fantasy value anywhere else. Jamison Crowder (just 56 yards over the past 3 weeks) is locked into a low-impact slot role, while Demaryius Thomas and tight end Ryan Griffin are novelty pieces in this attack.

The Baltimore pass defense has been a tale of two units here in 2019. After a rocky start to the year, the team added cornerback Marcus Peters in the trade market and got Jimmy Smith back from injury at midseason. Over 7 games since, they’ve been football’s stingiest group, giving up just 5.2 yards per opponent dropback and a league-low 5 touchdowns. Peters, Smith, and Marlon Humphrey make up an elite cornerback trio, and they’ve teamed to contain the likes of DeAndre Hopkins, Emmanuel Sanders, and John Brown in recent weeks. Earl Thomas is an ideal free safety behind them, proving an upgrade over even the rock-solid Eric Weddle. This secondary would be even more dominant if not for a hit-or-miss pass rush, though at least linebacker Matt Judon has been relentlessly disruptive throughout the year. All told, this is simply not an ideal get-right matchup for the Jets’ struggling pass game. Sam Darnold will have his hands full looking for the gaps in this ultra-talented unit.

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


Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Offense vs Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

At the moment, Devlin Hodges is not being cast as a superhero. He’s throwing just 20 passes a game in the Steelers’ banged-up, stripped-down offense, averaging just 165 yards and 1 touchdown. But he’s also been much steadier than Mason Rudolph, leading and throwing with poise and accuracy in a lessened role. Hodges has completed 71% of his passes, and his ability to keep plays alive and convert has made for a huge improvement. Unfortunately, the lack of volume continues to hamper his receivers’ value. James Washington has thrived of late, with 69+ yards in 4 of his last 6 games. His Week 14 line (4 for 33) could have been much bigger had he not drawn a pair of pass interference flags deep down the field. Washington’s value will take a hit if JuJu Smith-Schuster can return this week, but perhaps not much of one. His connection with Hodges is impressive, and it’s likely Smith-Schuster’s return would add some target opportunity by itself. It would, however, push Diontae Johnson’s role (6 for 60 and a touchdown last week) into uncertainty. This attack boasts plenty of dynamism, but doesn’t offer the volume to support much fantasy value - nor the clarity to know where it will come from on a given week.

The Buffalo pass defense remains a major team strength; in fact, it’s probably been the catalyst to this improbable 9-4 record. This has been a near-lockdown unit, sitting third in net yardage allowed per game and per attempt. They’ve allowed only 3 opposing passers to top 250 yards, and 2 of them needed extensive garbage time to do it. It’s no surprise they’re so stingy against No. 1 wideouts with shutdown cornerback Tre’Davious White on board. White is enjoying another All-Pro caliber season, routinely limiting the opponent’s top target. He’s helped stifle downfield playmakers Marquise Brown, Courtland Sutton, and Terry McLaurin (a combined 64 yards on 8 receptions) in recent matchups. White gets great support from the elite safety duo of Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde, which keeps the deep game mostly under wraps. The Steelers will likely keep the offense as close to Devlin Hodges’ vest as possible, getting by on quick, underneath throws short of the secondary. Whatever they do, it’s hard to project them to much dynamism in this grueling matchup.

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