Week 17 Passing Matchups

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

Jump to Rushing Matchups

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


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 Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Baker Mayfield and the Browns passing attack can’t seem to get to the offseason fast enough as it has been a season to forget in Cleveland after coming in with high expectations. The problem is that the Browns don’t have anything positive that they can build on heading into the offseason as all there is in Cleveland at the moment is turmoil. Odell Beckham has been disappointing but does need 46 yards to reach 1,000 yards which could be something the Browns focus in on as they try to keep the star receiver happy in Cleveland. Jarvis Landry continues to be a bright spot in this offense as he leads the team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns in his second year in Cleveland. Outside of these two, however, the Browns have gotten very little from any wide receivers and tight ends which has been a problem for Mayfield that he has not developed how to circle through progressions, but also that the options that he has aren’t getting open outside of Beckham or Landry so he dumps it off to Kareem Hunt if those two aren’t open. David Njoku appears that he will be cut in the offseason after being inactive for the past two weeks due to running the wrong routes and lack of preparation after coming back from a wrist injury. Rashard Higgins has fallen out of favor after he refused to go into the game against Seattle earlier this season. Overall this is a team that has a lot to improve on for the 2020 season.

The Bengals secondary was shredded last week by Ryan Fitzpatrick allowing 419 yards and 4 touchdowns. Making matters worse is that they lost William Jackson with a shoulder injury and Darqueze Dennard is dealing with a knee injury and is unlikely to play. This will leave the Bengals with B.W. Webb, Darius Phillips, and possibly Tony McRae who was cleared to return as the starting cornerbacks as they were already without Dre Kirkpatrick who was lost earlier this season. This is a disastrous situation that the Browns should have a significant talent advantage over this secondary as B.W. Webb has been a bottom-tier cornerback throughout his career, and Phillips/McRae both have very little experience in their career.

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


Green Bay Packers Passing Offense at Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Packers passing offense has been on a bit of a slide to close out the season. Aaron Rodgers failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time last week, and he has failed to throw for more than 243 yards in around two months. Beyond Davante Adams, the Packers passing offense has lacked a consistent contributor. Geronimo Allison hasn’t finished with more than 20 yards since Week 9, and Allen Lazard has been terribly inconsistent, especially last week as he had a couple of ugly dropped passes. Jimmy Graham has also been a non-factor at tight end. The offense runs through Adams, who has seen double-digit targets in all but one game since returning from injury in Week 9. He is coming off back-to-back 100+ yard games with 20 receptions over those past two weeks. Aaron Jones has also made some contributions from the backfield, and his role in the passing game could be increased this week if Jamaal Williams is unable to suit up after suffering a shoulder injury in Week 16. With the Packers playing for home-field advantage, they certainly could push Williams out there--so keep an eye on his status.

The Lions passing defense 32nd in the league with an average of 282.6 passing yards per game while having forced a league-low six interceptions. This team gave up 338 passing yards and three touchdowns to Mitchell Trubisky back in Week 13 in addition to allowing over 440 passing yards to both Jameis Winston and Dak Prescott within the past two months. This group has failed at almost every level on defense, starting with poor coverage from their secondary. Darius Slay is a good cornerback, but he has taken a step back this season. He will offer a plus matchup to Davante Adams this week, who he missed out on back in Week 6 with Adams injured. The front seven for Detroit has also disappointed with just 27 sacks--tied for fourth-fewest in the league. They have sacked the quarterback just four times over the past four weeks and should have a tough time against a strong pass-protecting Packers offensive line.

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


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

The Los Angeles Rams' high-volume passing attack, which has posted mediocre efficiency totals, enters Week 17 with nothing but pride left to play for. On the offensive side of the football, the Rams appear unlikely to rest any starters, as head coach Sean McVay stated he intends to send this current team, which is littered with players on expiring contracts, out on a high note. Jared Goff's 2019 campaign has been very erratic, but his struggles are partially due to a lackluster offensive line. At wide receiver, Robert Woods has been trending upwards throughout the latter half of the season, commanding at least nine targets in each of his last six outings. Elsewhere, Cooper Kupp's receiving volume has been worrying, commanding just 20 targets across his last 4 games. However, Kupp has hauled in all 20 targets and score a touchdown in each of the 4 games, and both unsustainable numbers have masked his mediocre production. Lastly, at tight end, Tyler Higbee has posted 4 straight 100-yard receiving days, and he has been one of the premier fantasy tight ends down the stretch. Rumors are swirling that the Rams may rest critical starters; however, there is nothing concrete reported on this front- keep an eye on this situation, as any key starters missing under center or out wide would significantly hinder this passing attack as a whole.

Arizona's defense, specifically against the pass, has been one of the worst in the league. They have been forced to defend an extremely high number of pass attempts this year, permitting the 2nd-most yards, 35 touchdowns, and 7.1 net yards per attempt while generating just 7 interceptions. On the season, the Cardinals have allowed 7 300-yard passers and 11 100-yard receivers, with both totals ranking amongst the league's worst. The Cardinals are especially terrible at defending opposing tight ends, as they allow the most fantasy points per game to the position by a large margin. Along the defensive line, Chandler Jones, who leads the NFL in sacks with 19.0 this season, is the team's lone source of any consistent pass rush. At the linebacker position, all three of Arizona's primary players, Jordan Hicks, Haason Reddick, and Joe Walker are dismal pass defenders. Lastly, in the secondary, Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson are interesting young talents, but they are incapable of supporting a consistent and above-average defensive backfield this early in their respective careers. Overall, Arizona's pass defense is one of the worst in the NFL, and the Los Angeles Rams are primed to capitalize on this weakness in their 2019 season finale.

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


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

Tom Brady continues to deal with an elbow injury that reports this week indicate are an issue. Tom Brady downplayed the report saying that they won’t be an issue going forward and indicated that it was a tennis elbow type injury. Even so, Brady has been limited over the last several weeks as he had completed 53% of his passes or less in four straight games heading into last week. Last week, Brady looked sharp completing 78% of his passes and throwing for 271 yards against a very good Bills secondary. This was mostly done through check-downs trying to get the ball into the hands of playmakers in space to run after the catch as Brady did a great job distributing the ball to nine different receivers which are far more than what we had seen in recent weeks. There is some optimism coming as the Patriots prepare for the playoffs.

The Dolphins secondary has had some of the most turnovers of any unit in football throughout the season and the results are clear as this is one of the worst units in the NFL. Over the last five weeks, the Dolphins have allowed an average of 317 yards and 2.8 touchdowns per game. This is bad regardless of the competition, but when factoring in the competition it makes it even worse. They allowed these games to Andy Dalton, Baker Mayfield, Carson Wentz, Eli Manning, and Sam Darnold which none of these quarterbacks are in the top-10 in passing this season, and only Carson Wentz is in the top half. The Dolphins are starting Nik Needham who is an undrafted rookie, and Jomal Wiltz who is an undrafted third-year player, but a rookie as he had no experience on an active roster before this year. At the safety position, they are playing Montre Hartage who is also an undrafted rookie, and Adrian Colbert who has the most experience of the starters but is still new to the system after being cut by the Seahawks who have their own safety problems earlier this year. Simply put, this is a matchup that Tom Brady should be able to exploit as he is facing three undrafted first-year players.

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


New Orleans Saints Passing Offense at Carolina Panthers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Week in, week out, it’s still remarkable to see Drew Brees display such steadily consistent brilliance. Over the past 3 weeks, the legend has hit on 79% of his throws and topped 300 yards twice, with a staggering 12 touchdowns. And he’ll look to keep that run going in Week 17, as the Saints can still improve their seeding with a win and some help. Brees still spreads the ball around nicely, but all of the Saints’ projectable usage belongs to the trio of Michael Thomas, Jared Cook, and Alvin Kamara. Those three, for example, drew 28 of Brees’ 38 targets last Sunday, and 21 of 30 the prior week. Thomas is the league’s toughest intermediate cover, and not much more can be said about his dominance. He’s caught 84% of his targets over the past 2 years and already broken Marvin Harrison’s single-season catch record. Kamara is the de facto No. 2, and Cook is used more situationally, but has established himself as a red-zone threat. He’s produced 8 touchdowns over just 41 receptions. Beyond them, there’s virtually no volume to project for fantasy purposes, which makes life easy on fantasy folk looking to play Saints. With those targets concentrated across three guys, this is a relatively simple offense to approach, week after week.

The Carolina pass defense opened 2019 in dominant fashion, but began a tailspin in Week 5 it has yet to climb out of. Since then, opposing passers have put up a robust 8.1 yards per attempt, with 6 topping 300 and 5 throwing multiple touchdowns. And they won’t get a Week 17 breather with the Saints still jockeying for a first-round bye. The spotlight will be on cornerbacks James Bradberry and Ross Cockrell as they work against Drew Brees and Michael Thomas, but recent history isn’t kind. Amazingly, the Panthers have allowed 14 receivers to top 75 yards over their last 11 games - including Thomas’ 10 for 101 back in Week 12.

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


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

Matt Ryan hasn’t been at his most efficient in this lost Falcons season, but he’s at least come through for his fantasy supporters. The Falcons lack an imposing ground game, and they’re often forced into negative game script, so Ryan has ridden high volume (41 attempts per game) to one of his biggest fantasy years. He’s topped 300 yards in 10 of his 13 full games - and he threw multiple touchdowns in two of the other three. Ryan is motoring through Calvin Ridley’s injury by simply locking onto Julio Jones, which is never a bad strategy. Amazingly, they’ve hooked up 23 times for 300 yards over the past 2 weeks, and they found the end zone twice in Week 15. Jones is obviously a matchup-proof play, as he showed once again last Sunday against the Jaguars’ A.J. Bouye. Beyond him, Ryan is zeroing in on tight end Austin Hooper and running back Devonta Freeman, who combined to draw 20 looks last week. There are still great weekly floors in place here, even if all the non-Jones names are sagging a bit in terms of ceiling.

The Tampa Bay defense has dominated against the run here in 2019, funneling tons of volume to the pass. That tends to result in big numbers from their opponents, but this unit has tightened up a bit of late. Dating back to Week 11, opposing passers have produced just 6.2 yards per attempt and only 7 touchdowns, including matchups with Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Deshaun Watson. Last Saturday, Watson was harassed into a mess of sacks and hurried throws as the surprising Tampa Bay pass rush hit home repeatedly. Shaquil Barrett (16.5 sacks) heads up a unit that makes life easier for the Buccaneers’ mediocre secondary. In their defense, though, they did fine work last week against DeAndre Hopkins and Kenny Stills (just 80 yards on their 18 targets). Perhaps this group really has turned around, but they’ll be pushed hard this week by the ball-dominant Julio Jones.

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


Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense vs Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Dallas Cowboys have a must-win game on their hands in Week 17, as they need to beat the Washington Redskins to have an outside chance at winning the NFC East and sneaking into the playoffs. Few teams will have more motivation entering the season's final game, and their success will likely hinge upon the performance of the team's highly-efficient passing attack. Dak Prescott leads a top-end passing attack featuring multiple capable pass-catchers. Last weekend, Prescott was reportedly dealing with a shoulder/AC-joint injury, but his accuracy was not the issue with the team's passing game. Wide receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup underperformed, combining to haul in just 9 of their 23 targets for 122 yards through the air. The receiving duo should be expected to bounce back in Week 17, as their season-long performance has been impressive. Aside from these two, Randall Cobb is a passable number-three receiver, as he tallied 5 receptions on 7 targets for 73 yards last weekend. In total, this unit should shred the Redskins through the air, with all three of their starting wideouts as viable fantasy options.

All around the Washington Redskins field a mediocre pass defense this season, facing an extremely low number of pass attempts on the season but posting middle-of-the-road numbers in terms of raw yardage and net yards per attempt through the air. The most worrying metric for this defense is the 31 passing touchdowns allowed through the air and the 11-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio they've compiled over their last 4 games. This stretch of poor performance against the pass closely aligns with the stretch of games that the Redskins have been without a few of their most impactful pass defenders, Ryan Kerrigan and Quinton Dunbar. Along the defensive line, with Kerrigan on the Injured Reserve, Matt Ioannidis is the team's lone reliable disruptor against the pass. Ioannidis' 8.5 sacks on the season is an impressive total, but without much production from his supporting cast, it is hardly enough to make a significant impact. At the second and third levels of their defense, the Redskins struggle mightily. At linebacker, Jon Bostic and Cole Holcomb, the team's two starters, both grade as below-average players in coverage, leaving the team susceptible against short and intermediate routes. In the secondary, without breakout cornerback Quinton Dunbar, the Redskins' pass defense is highly susceptible against capable passing attacks. Dunbar's replacement, Aaron Colvin, has seen very little action this year, but he undoubtedly provides a significant dropoff in pass-defending production. Lastly, at safety, Landon Collins' 2019 campaign has been extremely disappointing against the pass. While Collins has thrived in run-support, he has failed to live up to expectations against the pass while with the Redskins. In total, Washington's pass defense will be without its most impactful pass defenders here in Week 17, and they will likely provide little resistance against the Dallas Cowboys' highly efficient passing attack. Expect Dak Prescott and company to close the 2019 season on a high note against a porous Redskins secondary.

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


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

Rookie Drew Lock has impressed in small, hard-to-see bursts over his four starts. But he continues to play it extremely close to the vest; as a result, he’s posted only a single fantasy-relevant game. Apart from his big Week 14 showing, he’s produced an anemic 5.3 yards per attempt, with just 3 touchdowns. Ominously, he’s struggled to get anything going in back-to-back games against subpar pass defenses. At the moment, the only projectable upside in this unit belongs to top wideout Courtland Sutton, who’s proven able to make huge plays downfield regardless of his quarterback. Sutton has put up 15.6 yards a catch and 71 a game, and he’s commanded a robust 25% of Lock’s targets. He was held mostly in check last week by the Lions’ Darius Slay, but remains top dog in this attack. Rookie tight end Noah Fant continues to flash, but has been held under 10 yards in 2 of Lock’s 4 games. Behind them, DaeSean Hamilton and Tim Patrick offer bodies but not much upside. Overall, aside from Sutton, fantasy players in Week 17 championship matchups are best served to avoid this unit.

The Oakland pass defense remains perpetually under construction - and one of fantasy’s most attractive matchups. They sit dead-last league-wide in net yardage allowed per attempt, with 7 of their 15 opponents topping 275 yards on relatively low volume. Even more alarming, they’ve given up 32 touchdowns, third-most in football. Much of the blame lies on the ever-changing secondary, which has struggled all season in downfield coverage. Cornerbacks Daryl Worley and Trayvon Mullen have been routinely victimized for big plays, while safety Lamarcus Joyner remains a huge liability in the slot. As a result, they’ve allowed a whopping 30 different receivers and tight ends to record 10+ PPR points. At least the long-dormant pass rush is coming around, sitting middle-of-the-pack in hurry rate on the heels of rookie Maxx Crosby’s breakout (8.5 sacks). But it hasn’t been nearly enough to offset the battered secondary, and Denver’s Courtland Sutton matches the profile of playmakers that have worked it over.

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


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

The Texans passing offense has the pieces to be one of the most dynamic groups in football but headed into Week 17, a number of those pieces are now banged up and coming off a dreadful performance against the Buccaneers in Week 16. Will Fuller has been injured on and off all season, and after suffering a groin injury last week, he will now be unavailable for the season finale. The lack of Fuller leaves Deshaun Watson without a key field-stretching target while DeAndre Hopkins sees increased focus from the defense, making it tough for him to remain productive. Kenny Stills typically sees increased playing time in the absence of Fuller, but even he got banged up last week and could be questionable coming into this week. Despite reports from the Houston coaching staff that all starters will play in what is a meaningless game for them, it will be worth keeping a close eye on these key starters--as Watson, Stills, and Hopkins have all dealt with injury issues and would be prime candidates for some rest. Options down the depth chart like quarterback A.J. McCarron or receiver Keke Coutee could come into play this week.

Tennessee has a solid defense, but their secondary has been in a bad spot due to injuries in recent weeks. Over the past four weeks, since cornerback Adoree Jackson went down with an injury, the Titans have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. An opposing receiver has exceeded 100 receiving yards in three of those last four games for Tennessee, and DeAndre Hopkins was one of those receivers back in Week 15. The matchup for Hopkins may not be as premium this week though, as cornerback Adoree Jackson was at practice this week and could be ready to suit up given the high stakes of Sunday’s game for Tennessee. Hopkins will still have the edge over Jackson, but not nearly as nice of a matchup as what he would have had against Trumaine Brock or LeShaun Sims. The Titans had a tough time getting to Deshaun Watson in their last matchup, and they have struggled to apply consistent pressure all season. The Texans pass protection has been nothing to write home about, but allowing Watson plenty of time against this secondary is a recipe for disaster for this susceptible Titans defense.

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


Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Jacoby Brissett had another uneventful start last week at the helm of what has been a very disappointing Colts passing offense ranked 28th in the league with just 197.7 yards per game. After opening the season on fire, Brissett has finished with zero passing touchdowns in six of his last nine full games while averaging just 201 passing yards per game over that span. While he adds some upside with his legs, Brissett and his below-average 61.6 completion rate could have this offense looking for another option under center in 2020. T.Y. Hilton led the Colts in both receptions and receiving yards last week and played closer to a full complement of snaps in his second game back from the calf injury. Hilton did look more explosive last week, but his upside will be tied to that of Brissett. Zach Pascal faded back into obscurity last week while Jack Doyle has failed to capitalize on the absence of Eric Ebron, snaring just two catches in each of his last three games for a total of 65 receiving yards over that span.

The entire Jaguars team has been trending in the wrong direction as the season comes to a close, and this passing defense is no exception. Coming off allowing 384 passing yards to Matt Ryan last week, there is little hope of a bounceback despite facing a much less dangerous Colts passing offense that they shut down back in Week 11. Jacksonville’s secondary has played terribly as of late, and after A.J. Bouye played a big part in allowing 166 yards to Julio Jones last week, the outlook for T.Y. Hilton is certainly trending upwards. Opposing tight ends have also had a field day in the middle of the field, especially when mismatched against one of these Jaguars linebackers. Over the past four weeks, a tight end has either exceeded 60 yards or scored a touchdown in each game. Jack Doyle will look for a better showing after being shut out from the stat sheet during their last matchup. The Jaguars have also given up the seventh-most receiving yards per game (50) to opposing running backs this season and considering Jacksonville now has a couple of backup linebackers out there, the outlook for Nyhiem Hines has to be bumped up.

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


New York Giants Passing Offense vs Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The New York Giants' passing attack is a high-volume unit that returned rookie starting quarterback Daniel Jones to the fold last weekend in a shootout against the Washington Redskins. The Giants have nothing left to play for entering Week 17, as they are far from playoff contention and also do not appear to be tanking. Last week, Daniel Jones pieced together the best performance of his young career with over 350 passing yards, 5 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate have returned to the top of the pecking order at wide receiver, leading the team in targets and receptions over the last two weeks. While they are trending upwards, Darius Slayton, who had a brief moment of fantasy-viability a few weeks ago, has faded into irrelevancy in New York's passing attack. Overall, this is a mediocre unit with some impressive weapons on the outside, but a young and erratic quarterback holding them back this season.

The Philadelphia Eagles' pass defense is an obvious weakness for this unit, as they grade as a below-average group across the board this season. Aside from Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham, both of whom have been incredible this season, in the trenches, the Eagles' pass rush is one of the league's weakest. When they are unable to generate pressure, Philadelphia's susceptible pass defense is exposed regularly. In the secondary, Ronald Darby landed on the IR after last week's game, which will move Rasul Douglas back into the starting lineup. Both players have struggled mightily this season, and cornerback remains a weak-point for this defense. Opposite Douglas, Jalen Mills, wrapping up his fourth NFL season, continues to disappoint in coverage. Then, at safety, neither Malcolm Jenkins nor Rodney McLeod is a strong enough player against the pass to compensate for the team's weakness on the outside. On the season, the Eagles have allowed 5 300-yard passing games and 10 100-yard receiving games; both marks rank amongst the league's worst. Overall, Philadelphia's pass defense is a glaring weakness for the unit. Daniel Jones and the New York Giants passing attack are in a prime situation to close out their disappointing 2019 season on a high note against Philadelphia's porous secondary.

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


Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense at New York Giants Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Philadelphia Eagles' Week 17 matchup with the New York Giants is effectively a must-win game for the team. A win secures the team a playoff spot as the NFC East champion, while a loss means the team must depend on a highly-unlikely Washington Redskins victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Needless to say, there is no shortage of motivation for this season-ending game. The Eagles' passing attack is trending upwards at the right time of the year in spite of an extremely banged-up offense. Quarterback Carson Wentz has surpassed 300 passing yards in 3 out of his last 4 outings, averaging 305 yards per game over that span. Without Alshon Jeffery available, Greg Ward, Jr. has emerged as the top wide receiver, averaging over seven targets and five receptions per game without Jeffery in the fold. At tight end, Zach Ertz's status is in question for this weekend's game after he suffered broken ribs in Week 16's game against the Cowboys. Dallas Goedert, the team's number-two tight end, has emerged as a top-end receiving option in recent weeks, including a 12-target, 9-catch, and 1-touchdown performance last week.

The New York Giants' pass defense grades as one of the worst in the NFL across the board this season. The Giants have allowed the 7th-most total passing yards this season on the 13th-fewest attempts to go along with 29 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions. This unit lacks pass-defending talent across the board, with a lackluster pass-rush to go along with a young and inexperienced secondary. In the trenches, Markus Golden's impressive surface-level pass-rushing numbers are misleading. Golden has converted his low total of total quarterback pressures into an unsustainable 10 sacks this season- when he is not taking down the quarterback, he makes little impact. At linebacker, the Giants lack a capable coverage player, with David Mayo, the team's number-one player at the position, grading as one of the league's weakest coverage players. Lastly, in the secondary, the Giants field an incredibly young group of defensive backs, which has left them exposed against the pass. Rookie DeAndre Baker has been dreadful this season, ranking amongst the league's worst cover cornerbacks. Opposite Baker, Sam Beal stepped into a starting role following the release of veteran Janoris Jenkins a few weeks ago. Beal is questionable for this weekend's game, but he has made very little impact during his brief time on the field for New York regardless. At safety, Antoine Bethea lacks the requisite foot-speed to keep up with wide receivers, leaving him a liability at the back-end of this unit. Overall, with their season on the line, the Philadelphia Eagles' passing attack, which has found a groove lately, should have little trouble shredding the New York Giants' defense through the air in a soft matchup.

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


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

Jameis Winston is closing the season without his two elite wideouts, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but it hasn’t affected him much. He’s so dedicated to forcing the ball downfield that he racked up 335 yards last week, with Breshad Perriman and Justin Watson dominating targets. Coach Bruce Arians is an unabashed pass-game enthusiast, and he’ll always push Winston to create chunk plays down the field. That boosts his fantasy ceiling, but also dips his floor as Winston is no stranger to wild, multi-turnover days. His 28 interceptions are awfully excessive, and last week’s 4 were true backbreakers for his fantasy day in most formats. At least his target distribution without Evans and Godwin looks fairly clear. Coach Bruce Arians’ offense tilts heavily toward its top two wideouts, so Perriman and Watson should again lead the way. They drew 22 of Winston’s 48 targets last week, and both are explosive enough athletes to break a handful of big plays. There’s also dynamism at the tight end spot in O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate, but Arians’ attack is heavily concentrated. This game is meaningless to the Buccaneers, but carries their typical high-volume, high-flying outlook - always with the possibility of a major collapse.

The Atlanta pass defense certainly isn’t perfect, and the loss of top cornerback Desmond Trufant to injured reserve has been felt. But this unit has tightened noticeably over the past month. Their competition hasn’t exactly been robust, but they’ve held Drew Brees, Kyle Allen, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Gardner Minshew to just 6.3 yards per attempt and 4 combined touchdowns. More than anything, this is a streaky unit, one that sees both strong and weak play from its secondary. Prior to this 4-game stretch, they’d allowed an 8.2 mark, with 6 of 11 opponents topping 300. When they faced Jameis Winston and his full weaponry back in Week 12, they picked him off twice but gave up 313 yards and 3 touchdowns. They’ll have less to defend this time around, and it’s no rare feat to push Winston into a few mistakes. They’re set up to close this rebuilding season on a high note.

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


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

Ryan Tannehill and the Titans passing offense continues to impress as they head into this must-win season finale against the Texans. Tannehill has passed for at least 270 yards in three straight games with multiple touchdowns in all but one of his nine starts this season. While he has been caught holding on to the ball a bit too long given the challenges this Titans offensive line has had in pass protection, that is one the only flaws to point out with the play from Tannehill over these past few weeks. A.J. Brown had a tough time with his matchup against Marshon Lattimore last week, but he is in a great spot to bounce back this week against this Houston secondary he torched for 114 yards and a touchdown back in Week 15. That last game against the Texans is the only game in which Brown has been afforded double-digit targets, but he still leads this offense in targets and appears to be the central focus of this passing offense. Jonnu Smith also remains involved as the Titans have really been reminded how athletic of a tight end he can be in recent weeks. Tajae Sharpe has also seen an increase in playing time with Adam Humphries sidelined, and after scoring twice while leading the team in targets last week, he should maintain some level of involvement in this offense even if Humphries does suit up this week.

Houston’s passing defense has been one of the worst in the league on the season, giving up the third-most passing yards per game (270.3) and second-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. To their credit, they have been quite the opportunistic unit in recent weeks with seven interceptions--at least one per game--over the past four weeks. However, they have still given up 312 passing yards per game and sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks over that span. This week’s rematch against a Titans passing offense that amassed 279 passing yards and two touchdowns against them in Week 15 should stack up to yield similar results, as the Titans have everything to play for while the Texans are cruising into the playoffs. All three starting Titans receivers will see advantages in their matchups, particularly A.J. Brown, who should see most coverage from Gareon Conley. Jonnu Smith should also be in a good spot despite his inconsistent contributions in the passing offense, as the Texans were gouged by Denver tight ends three weeks ago and gave up five catches for 60 yards to Smith in their last meeting.

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


Carolina Panthers Passing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

If there’s to be a true Will Grier era in Carolina, it didn’t get off to much of a start last week. It has to be noted that Grier was severely handcuffed by the game plan and done no favors by his line, and that top receiver D.J. Moore checked out in the first quarter. But for most of the day, the rookie looked incapable of making tough throws or even sustaining drives. He missed open receivers left and right while completing just 2 of his 12 deep throws (15+ yards downfield), including all 3 of his interceptions. His second start won’t be any easier with Moore (concussion) unlikely to suit up. Most likely, he’ll again feed Christian McCaffrey and his tight ends on short, one-read throws and occasionally send a deep ball toward Curtis Samuel - who will get some shadow treatment from Marshon Lattimore. All told, McCaffrey is the only worthwhile fantasy piece of this crew for Week 17.

The Saints boast a talented but inconsistent pass defense. This unit has looked smothering in bursts, but sits middle-of-the-pack in raw yardage allowed and 24th in touchdowns. Needless to say, it’s bounced back noticeably since the return of cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who continues to remind the world what he’s capable of against opposing No. 1 wideouts. Over the past 2 matchups, T.Y. Hilton and A.J. Brown combined for just 59 yards on their 11 targets. There’s some uncertainty across the field, though, with Eli Apple’s status up in the air. Thankfully, the team can now plug in newly-acquired Janoris Jenkins for relief on the outside, rather than major liabilities P.J. Williams and Patrick Robinson. Those two can be (and have been) beaten early and often, especially out of the slot, as seen recently against the likes of Deebo Samuel (76 yards), Russell Gage (52 and a touchdown), and Tajae Sharpe (2 scores last week). This isn’t a unit to fear much in fantasy - it’s just as capable of imploding as exploding on a given week - though it makes sense to temper expectations for No. 1 receivers. The Panthers’ Curtis Samuel has struggled for months to produce with bad quarterbacking, and his outlook is even muddier for the season finale.

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


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

Mitchell Trubisky had put together three straight games in which he looked as if he was improving and getting back to his early 2018 form where he was one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in football. Last week he was shut down as the Chiefs held him to just 157 yards passing in a game that was never close from the start as Trubisky completed just 53% of his passes and looked out of sync. Allen Robinson continues to be the bright spot in Chicago as he is on pace for a 1,150-yard season despite the limitations in the passing game in Chicago. This is a unit that will look for massive improvement heading into the 2020 season.

The Vikings secondary is a unit that after a tremendous start to the season has regressed to the middle of the road defense. The problem for the Vikings is that Xavier Rhodes has been one of the worst cornerbacks in football this season and as good as Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris are at the safety positions, the Vikings look like they are preparing to make a change as Mike Hughes who has struggled as well has out-snapped Rhodes over the last three weeks. Since Week 9, the Vikings have allowed the seventh-most passing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks at 269 per game. This is partially skewed by Dak Prescott’s 397-yard performance, but none the less, it is still a seven-game sample size. On the year, the Vikings have allowed five quarterbacks to top 300 yards and nine wide receivers to top 90 yards (including six since Week 9). This is a unit that needs to get right before the playoffs as they are no longer the shut-down unit we all thought they would be heading into the season. The safeties and pass rush remain elite, but the cornerback play is a real issue.

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


Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Gardner Minshew has been unremarkable since taking back control of this stagnant Jaguars offense after Nick Foles was benched. In his past three starts, Minshew is completing only 55.7 percent of his passes for an average of 181 passing yards per game. While he has not turned the ball over, hs simply isn’t making any plays for an offense that has mightily struggled in recent weeks. Minshew did not start against the Colts back in Week 11, but D.J. Chark did as he lit them up with eight catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns. Chark, however, looked limited last week coming off missing a game due to an ankle injury. While he isn’t in danger of missing this week, it could be wise to keep an eye on the practice reports for Chark. Chris Conley has been playing well as of late with three touchdowns in his past two games, but he has seen limited volume all season and remains somewhat of a flyer at the position. Conley still ranks above Dede Westbrook in this offense though, as Westbrook has finished with fewer targets than Conley in back-to-back weeks and has failed to exceed 25 receiving yards in three straight games.

The Colts secondary caught a break last week with rookie quarterback Will Grier struggling against them, but that by no means should instill confidence in what has been a below-average passing defense that has struggled throughout the second half of the season. Wide receivers had scored 11 times in the five previous games leading into last week, and quarterbacks are scoring the fourth-most fantasy points per game since Week 11 when facing the Colts. Two of their three starting cornerbacks this week will be rookies, and Rock Ya-Sin, in particular, should offer an advantageous matchup to D.J. Chark--who racked up 104 yards and two touchdowns in his last matchup with this defense. The Colts linebackers have done a decent job defending pass-catching running backs, but they have also given up some monster games to the position--such as the 15 catches for 119 yards from Christian McCaffrey last week, or 13 catches for 73 yards from Jaylen Samuels in Week 9. Leonard Fournette hauled in seven for 34 in their last meeting, and based on his increased usage through the air, he could be relied upon heavily this week as well.

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


Los Angeles Chargers Passing Offense at Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Chargers passing offense may rank amongst the top of the league in yards per game, but this group has been far from efficient with Philip Rivers having one of the worst seasons of his career. Tied for the second-most interceptions (18) compared to just 21 touchdowns, Rivers has looked lost out there at times this season--particularly over the back half of the year as he has thrown 11 of those interceptions in the past six games. Keenan Allen remains the top target in this offense but will be closing out what has been a disappointing season. Despite ranking seventh in targets per game (9.3), Allen has scored just twice and failed to exceed 100 yards in a game since Week 3. Hunter Henry also will be closing the season out on a low note as his production has dropped off a cliff in recent weeks, amassing 45 or fewer yards in five of his last six games. Mike Williams has enjoyed somewhat of a breakout season in terms of usage, but he too has been devoid of touchdowns with just two scores all season coming in Weeks 14 and 15. Williams will remain a viable deep threat this week, while Austin Ekeler should continue to be peppered with those short-yardage looks as he has hauled in at least four receptions for 50 or more receiving yards in five straight games.

The Chiefs passing defense has been solid for most of this season, and even more so in recent weeks as they have given up the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks and second-fewest to wide receivers over the past four weeks. These safeties and cornerbacks are playing very well while the pass rush has been strong with multiple sacks in each of their last six games. With the ailing Chargers offensive line, the Chiefs front should be able to apply plenty of pressure in Rivers which could limit the upside of guys like Mike Williams who need time for those deep routes to develop. Where the Chiefs have struggled, however, is defending tight ends and running backs. Hunter Henry hauled in six catches for 69 yards in their last matchup, while Austin Ekeler exploded with eight catches for 108 yards. Kansas City is actually allowing the second-most receiving yards per game (55) to opposing running backs as their linebackers have been terrible in coverage. There is no reason why Ekeler cannot have a repeat performance based on his high-quality matchup this week, however play from Hunter Henry has certainly deteriorated since that last Week 11 matchup--so be weary of his prospects despite the plus matchup.

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


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

The San Francisco 49ers' rushing attack is one of the highest-volume units in the NFL, ranking first or second in the NFL in rushing attempts, yardage, and touchdowns this season. Head coach Kyle Shannahan's schematic genius has enabled the 49ers to move the ball efficiently on the ground, regardless of who lines up in the backfield. Recently, Raheem Mostert has seized the number-one running back job for San Francisco. Mostert has played at least 53-percent of offensive snaps for the 49ers in each of his last 4 games, surpassing 10 carries in each game. Tevin Coleman has been relegated to the number-2 role for the team, playing no-more-than 42-percent of offensive snaps in any of the team's last 4 games, while also topping-out at 5-carries during that span. In a high-leverage game that will ultimately decide the winner of the NFC West, expect the 49ers' top-tier rushing attack to be called upon early and often once again.

Seattle's run defense has defended the 8th-fewest rushing attempts of any team in the league this season; however, they have allowed 4.8 yards per carry, which ranks 28th in the league this season. The volume and efficiency totals seemingly counteract each other, as Seattle's defense is only 14th-worst in fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs in 2019. Personnel-wise, Seattle's run defense features one of the top front-sevens in the NFL, but they lack run-stopping talent in the secondary. Along the defensive line, Jadeveon Clowney stands out as one of the league's best all-around defenders in the trenches this season. Clowney is also flanked by a trio of above-average interior linemen against the run, as Quinton Jefferson, Poona Ford, and Jarran Reed are all capable run-stuffers. At linebacker, Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright are top-end run defenders year after year. Wagner is arguably the best run defender in the NFL at the linebacker position this season, and Wright still grades as an above-average player in this regard. At the back-end, the lone defensive back that grades as even an average run defender is cornerback Shaquill Griffin, who is questionable due to a hamstring injury. Overall, the Seahawks have played a tough schedule loaded with above-average run offenses this season, which has damaged their season-long run-stopping totals. In the front-seven, there is no shortage of run-defending talent for Seattle, but a disappointing secondary may leave this unit susceptible. San Francisco's high-volume and high-efficiency rushing attack should push Seattle's run defense to its limits here in a high-leverage Week 17 matchup that grades as a neutral-to-slightly-favorable situation for the 49ers.

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


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

The Arizona Cardinals enter Week 17 with nothing left to play for besides pride, which has been the case for much of their 2019 campaign. Under center, there is some uncertainty in Arizona, as Kyler Murray left last week's game with a hamstring injury, and (as of Tuesday afternoon) he is not participating in practice as he usually does. In his place, Brett Hundley took over as the team's quarterback in Week 16's game, spreading the ball around to numerous receivers throughout the game. Typically, Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald command the majority of the team's targets through the air, but in Week 16, neither surpassed seven targets on the day. They still top the charts as the team's most-viable receiving options in Week 17, but if Hundley ends up starting at quarterback, they are highly volatile options for fantasy lineups. Overall, this offense has been mediocre throughout the 2019 season, and in Week 17, with uncertainty under center, there are not many enticing fantasy options in Arizona's passing attack.

The Los Angeles Rams defense, when at full-strength, is one of the most talented units in the NFL. This season, the Rams have defended medial volume through the air, allowing the 10th-fewest passing yards of any team in the league and just 5.8 net yards per attempt, the 6th-best mark in the NFL. In the secondary, the Rams are expected to be without two of their cornerbacks, Jalen Ramsey and Troy Hill this weekend, which will certainly hurt the unit as a whole. Darious Williams and David Long, Jr. are likely to move into the starting lineup as their replacements. Elsewhere in the secondary, Eric Weddle and Taylor Rapp do a tremendous job of preventing chunk plays through the air as one of the league's strongest pass defending safety duos. At the second level of the Rams' defense, Cory Littleton is one of the NFL's premier coverage linebackers. Littleton leads the team in pass breakups this season, and he plays a critical role in defending both tight ends and running backs. In the trenches, the Rams field one of the league's most imposing groups of pass-rushers. Aaron Donald, Dante Fowler, Jr., and Clay Matthews have each registered at least 8.0 sacks this season, rushing the passer from both the edge and the interior. Overall, the Rams pass defense is one of the most talented in the NFL, and if Jalen Ramsey and Troy Hill are the only two starters out from this unit in Week 17, they will surely give the Cardinals fits as they attempt to move the ball through the air.

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


Buffalo Bills Passing Offense vs New York Jets Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Bills are likely going to play their starters for some time in this game and then bench Josh Allen and the starters for Matt Barkley and a backup unit to come in. At the receiver position, it will likely be Cole Beasley and John Brown sitting out which will have major implications if that occurs as the Bills have one of the shallowest receiving units in football as outside of those two they do not have a receiver who has more than 25 receptions which is speedster Isaiah McKenzie. Once you get past McKenzie things get shallow as no receiver has more than 7 receptions on the year and you are looking at guys like Robert Foster, Andre Roberts, and Duke Williams.

The Jets secondary has been a unit that statistically looks better than what they are, mostly driven by the AFC East’s easy schedule this season in which the Jets only had to play two quarterbacks in the top-10 in passing. This is a unit that started the year off poorly as Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts both struggled earlier in the season which led to Johnson’s benching and Roberts moving to a backup role. This has allowed the Jets to play Arthur Maulet and Blessuan Austin both who have been strong at the corner position and have been a big reason why the Jets are only allowing 212 yards passing since Week 12 which is the sixth-best in football. This is a unit that does give up its fair share of touchdowns as they have allowed the 13th most passing touchdowns on the year, but this is a byproduct of having a shut-down run defense and a poor offense that teams are going to throw at a higher percentage of red-zone appearances.

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


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

Say what you want about Andy Dalton and his limitations, but he is a competitor. Last week Dalton brought the Bengals back from down 23 points to force overtime against the Dolphins in a game in which they fell just short. Dalton had his best game of the season throwing for 396 yards and 4 touchdowns as Tyler Boyd saw 15 targets and John Ross saw 13 targets as the Bengals remain limited with wide receiving options. This is a unit that is quite possibly Dalton’s last game as the Bengals quarterback is going to look to end up at home with a win. Look for the offense to once again go through Boyd with Ross and the tight ends being secondary options.

The Browns secondary is one of only two teams this year to not allow a 300-yard passer and have allowed just three quarterbacks on the year to throw for more than 250 yards and just one over 275 yards. While on paper, this seems like this is a lock-down unit, but the reality is that it is a good unit that has benefitted from some other factors. This is a unit that has benefitted from the run defense being borderline terrible and the offense not being able to put up enough points or getting out to leads that force opponents to throw against them. The Browns are led by Denzel Ward who has been great this season as in back to back weeks he has shut down Marquise Brown and Christian Kirk. Opposite of Ward is rookie Greedy Williams who has been up and down for most of the year that if there is an opportunity for a big play it would be against Williams. What will be interesting is how the Browns defend the Bengals in this one as Ward in their first matchup saw a lot of John Ross based on Ward being one of the fastest cornerbacks in the NFL which could set up well for Tyler Boyd who had 75-yards in their first game.

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


Detroit Lions Passing Offense vs Green Bay Packers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

David Blough has thoroughly unimpressed during his time under center for the Lions, failing to exceed a 60 percent completion rate in any of his four starts while throwing more interceptions than touchdowns (5 to 4). Kenny Golladay has somehow remained fantasy-relevant over this four-game span as he has scored three times with Blough under center, but he has failed to exceed four receptions in two of those games and had a disappointing three-catch outing against Tampa Bay in Week 15 that reminds everyone of the floor he could present. Speaking of floors, safety blanket option Danny Amendola flashed his last week with a two-catch performance for just 21 yards. Amendola saw just three targets last week, just one week removed from a 13-target game in which he caught eight balls for 102 yards in Week 15. The Packers held Amendola to just one catch in their last meeting, whereas Golladay put up 121 yards from five catches. With Blough under center, however, you can throw out any historical performance as this passing offense should remain in the dumps.

The Packers defense has rightfully taken some heat this season, but their passing defense has played relatively well down the stretch and should be in a great spot for success this week. On the season, quarterbacks are scoring the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game against Green Bay. They have allowed multiple passing touchdowns just once since Week 8 and have nabbed eight interceptions to just seven touchdowns allowed in those past seven games. Cornerbacks have been the weaker position for the Packers, but these guys have covered receivers relatively well outside of their poor performance against Chicago in Week 15. Stefon Diggs was the only receiver to do anything last week for the Vikings, and he only managed three receptions. Expect for the matchup between Kenny Golladay and Jaire Alexander to be close, but the other two Packers cornerbacks should have the advantage in their matchups. In the trenches, the Packers have notched 12 sacks in their last three games while this Lions offensive line gets a C- grade in pass protection and ranks near the bottom of the list according to Matt Bitonti of Footballguys. This looks to be a mismatch almost all the way around as the Lions offense should have a tough time moving the ball through the air this week.

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


Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense vs Los Angeles Chargers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense coasted to an easy win last week against Chicago as Mahomes passed for multiple touchdowns in the second straight game after a three-game span with just one touchdown in each game from Weeks 11 to 14. While his numbers are down from the 2018 MVP season, Mahomes still ranks as the fourth-best fantasy quarterback on a points per game basis and has one of the best touchdown-to-interception ratios in the league (25-to-4). Mahomes has leaned on Travis Kelce heavier than any other player in this offense, as Kelce has finished just two games with fewer than eight targets and is now averaging just under eight receptions and 93 yards per game over the last four weeks. Tyreek Hill has been relatively subdued over the past four weeks with the exception of his two-touchdown outing in Week 15 against the Broncos. Sammy Watkins remains the third option in this offense, but he hasn’t had more than four receptions in a game since Week 10. A healthy Damien Williams will also have the ability to make contributions from the backfield, especially if Spencer Ware misses this week as Williams will become the primary back and usurp a few extra snaps on passing downs.

A highlight for this Chargers team has been their passing defense, ranked fourth in the league having allowed just 202 passing yards per game. Only one team has passed for multiple touchdowns against the Chargers over their last eight games, and the Chiefs are not on that list as Patrick Mahomes had just 182 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in their Week 11 matchup. This Chargers secondary actually held Chiefs receivers to just five receptions fort 48 yards in that matchup, in part due to Tyreek Hill exiting early with an injury. Hill will be in store for a challenge this week as top cornerback Casey Hayward should blanket him all day. Travis Kelce did have 92 yards and a touchdown in their last matchup, but safety Derwin James wasn’t on the field yet back in Week 11. James is an All-Pro caliber player, and with coverage from him and Rayshawn Jenkins, Kelce should have a tougher time this week.

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


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

It remains to be seen whether Kirk Cousins and this offense will play their starters as they have nothing to play for in this game. As of Thursday, Cousins indicated he was still not sure whether he would play which is generally a sign that the starters are going to be sitting this one out. If Cousins is unable to go, it would be Sean Mannion who has made just one start in his five-year career which was in Week 17 of 2017 in which he threw for 169 yards for the Rams in a 34-13 loss. The problem for Mannion and this offense will be the lack of receiving options if he starts as assuredly Diggs and Thielen will not play in this game leaving a combination of Bisi Johnson, Laquon Treadwell, and Alexander Hollins as the primary targets in this offense.

The Bears secondary has been a unit that very rarely shuts you completely down, but also limits your success as evidenced by having allowed just two 300-yard passers all year. Last week, the Bears held Patrick Mahomes to just 251 yards on 33 attempts, although it could have been a lot more as the Chiefs had a commanding lead. At the corner position, the Bears have three middle-of-the-road guys in Prince Amukamara, Kyle Fuller and Buster Skrine who have been asked to do more this year due to the lack of pass rush as Khalil Mack is having one of the worst years in his NFL career with just 8.5 sacks. Where the Bears have excelled is in the red zone as no quarterback has thrown for more than two touchdowns this season as once the Bears get into a tighter space they clamp down making it difficult for receivers to get open as Eddie Jackson and Haha Clinton-Dix have been burnt deep a few times this year, but for the most part, are excellent coverage safeties.

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


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

With Derek Carr at the helm, the Raiders passing attack remains a safe but relatively low-impact one. Carr has yet to reach the 300-yard mark this season despite sitting second league-wide in completion rate (71%). There’s just not much volume at play here, and it doesn’t help that Carr still isn’t a fan of pushing the ball downfield. He’s thrown deep (15+ yards) on just 15% of his attempts, with most of his attention focused on his backs, tight ends, and slot men. Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow lead the way, but they’ve produced just 12.1 yards per catch. Explosive deep threat Tyrell Williams (15.5, with 6 touchdowns) has seen his role scaled back of late; he’s topped 50 yards just twice since Week 9. There’s usually a strong volume floor for Waller and Renfrow, but their upside is always capped as the Raiders look to shorten games and keep things underneath.

The Denver pass defense has been up-and-down for much of 2019, but remains a relatively stingy matchup from an efficiency standpoint. Apart from a Week 15 shredding by Patrick Mahomes, they’ve allowed just 6.8 yards per attempt to opposing passers, and only 4 teams have given up fewer touchdowns through the air. Altogether, only Mahomes and two others have topped 275 yards in this matchup. That doesn’t bode well for the Raiders’ low-impact attack, which has yet to reach 300 in a game this year. Chris Harris is still strong enough in the slot to limit their top targets, Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow, and there’s not much of a downfield component in play. Still, there are vulnerabilities to be found here, especially with free safety Kareem Jackson suspended. Carr may lack big upside, but there’s a bit to be found if Tyrell Williams is able to work his way open downfield once or twice.

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


Washington Redskins Passing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Washington Redskins, a team with no incentive left to win this season, will start veteran Case Keenum under center in Week 17. Rookie Dwayne Haskins sustained an ankle injury last week, and owner Dan Snyder reportedly requested that Haskins be sidelined for the remainder of the game to preserve his health for the sake of the long-term outlook for the franchise. Keenum offers little improvement over Dwayne Haskins in the short-term, and this offense still projects as a low-volume and low-efficiency unit on the whole. At wide receiver, Steven Sims, Jr. and Terry McLaurin, if he is available (he is currently questionable as he recovers from a concussion he sustained last week) are the only two players worth considering in fantasy football this weekend. Sims, Jr. has tallied double-digit targets in each of the last two games, along with three touchdowns over that span. McLaurin has been the number-one option through the air all season, and he is just 81 receiving yards away from the 1,000-yard mark entering the season's final game. These two young pass-catchers command nearly all of the receiving volume available in this offense and are the only players in this passing attack worth considering for lineups in Week 17.

Dallas' defense is one of the most well-rounded units in the league, and in a must-win game against a struggling Washington Redskins passing attack, they should be at their best. Despite defending the 12th-most volume through the air this season, the Cowboys' efficiency numbers against the pass have salvaged respectable totals against the pass. On the season, Dallas has only allowed 3 300-yard passing performances to go along with only 20 passing touchdowns, the 10th-lowest total in the league. Along the defensive line, Demarcus Lawrence headlines an impressive pass rush. Lawrence's sack totals (only 5.0 on the season) are mediocre, but he applies pressure on opposing quarterbacks nearly as often as any edge-rusher in the league. Opposite Lawrence, Robert Quinn is stuffing the stat sheet this season in what has surprisingly turned into one of the best seasons in his career. At linebacker, another veteran, Sean Lee, is enjoying a shockingly-strong season in coverage. Lee hauled in his first interception since 2017 just two weeks ago, and his strong performance has helped to mask the struggles of Jaylon Smith against the pass. In the secondary, cornerbacks Byron Jones, Jourdan Lewis, and Chidobe Awuzie all grade as above-average defenders against the pass rounding out a solid all-around defense. Overall, the Washington Redskins will have a long day ahead of themselves through the air in their 2019 season finale, especially if standout rookie receiver Terry McLaurin is unable to go.

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


Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense vs Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

With Lamar Jackson resting, Robert Griffin III will make his first start in since January of 2017 (also against the Steelers). The Ravens are run-dominant as it is, throwing just 28 passes a game, and that should be pushed to the extreme in this meaningless showdown. Griffin may not throw more than 15-20 times, and there’s no way of knowing whom he’ll be aiming at when he does. Beyond Jackson, the Ravens could sit or at least limit a handful of other big contributors. Tight end Mark Andrews has been the engine of this attack, averaging 55 yards over his last 7 games, but there’s nothing to gain from forcing him into much action. And Marquise Brown, who’s nursed an ankle sprain down the stretch, may not see more than a handful of tune-up snaps. With low passing volume coming from a backup, and with very little Week 17 clarity, there’s no reason to target any piece of this unit.

The Steelers will close the 2019 season against a tremendously favorable run of opposing quarterbacks. They’ve faced just a single top-10 passer (by yards per attempt) dating back to Week 4, and that one - Philip Rivers - needed a half’s worth of garbage time to post fantasy-relevant numbers. Still, performers have to perform, and there’s no denying how dominant this group has been against the schedule. Over that 12-game span, Steelers opponents have averaged an anemic 6.2 yards per attempt and 201 a game, with just 16 touchdowns. The going won’t get any tougher Sunday, with Ravens backup Robert Griffin III and his limited receiving corps on the docket. Griffin likely won’t throw often, but when he does drop back, they’ll look to harangue him in the pocket (a league-best 29.6% pressure rate) and blanket his ho-hum receivers with their strong cornerback trio. They hold coverage so well that All-Pro candidate safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is often free to roam and make plays on the throw. It’s hard to find much fantasy value for the Ravens’ B-squad, and this smothering unit dents those chances even further.

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


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

Whatever Ryan Fitzpatrick’s future holds he has brought a fight to this team and made them competitive overcoming talent shortages on both sides of the ball. Fitzpatrick threw for 419 yards and four touchdowns last week against the Bengals. Mike Gesicki and DeVante Parker both had big days last week and have been bright spots in the second half of the season. Albert Wilson over the last two weeks has stepped up as a nice complementary role as he has seen an increase in snaps the past two weeks to 80% and 73% respectively after having topped 50% just twice this season as the Dolphins look for receivers to fill in for Preston Williams and Jakeem Grant. The Dolphins may be without Allen Hurns this week who is dealing with an ankle and knee injuries and has been limited in practice this week.

The Patriots secondary continues to be the best group in football as they have not allowed a quarterback to throw for over 283 yards, and have allowed just two quarterbacks to throw for more than 250 yards. This is a unit that is veteran-led and does not have any flaws especially now that Jonathan Jones is likely to return after suffering a groin injury that kept him out, and Jason McCourty also was at practice this week as he continues to struggle with a groin injury. If those two were unable to go, the Patriots would likely turn to Joejuan Williams once again, and the rookie was tested but held his ground this past week as Devin McCourty mostly shadowed him assisting him through his first game as a starter. The key to this entire defense continues to be Stephon Gilmore who is the best cornerback in the league and a likely candidate to win defensive player of the year. In a game the Patriots need to win, this is likely going to be a tough day for the Dolphins in this one.

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


New York Jets Passing Offense at Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Sam Darnold has had a roller coaster of a season as he has had some great moments and some games in which he looked like a 22-year-old quarterback. In three of his last four games, Darnold has completed less than 60% of his passes and thrown for 240 yards or less. The problem in the passing game has not all been Darnold’s fault as much blame can be had on the team construction and the wide receivers themselves as the reality is that having a young quarterback and asking him to throw to Robbie Anderson and Jamison Crowder is not ideal for his development. Both Anderson and Crowder are fine players for their roles with Anderson being a deep threat and Crowder being a slot receiver, but the problem is that the Jets don’t have a third guy who is an outside possession receiver.

While the Bills secondary is still one of the better units, their overall stats are propped up by a weak schedule. On the year, they have allowed the second-fewest yards to opposing quarterbacks, but they have faced two quarterbacks in the top ten of passing in the NFL this season in their 15 games which was Dak Prescott who threw for 355 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Tom Brady who they did shut down the first appearance holding him to just 150 yards, but Brady got the best of the Bills last week throwing for 271 and two touchdowns. This is a unit that is led by Tre’Davious White who is one of the top cornerbacks in the league, and the Bills have one of the best safety combinations in Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde making it incredibly difficult for a big play against them. In their first meeting, the Bills held Sam Darnold to just 175 yards on 41 attempts. They did struggle to stop Jamison Crowder out of the slot allowing the receiver to catch 14 passes for 99 yards. This has been a theme for the Bills as the slot receivers have been the way to have success as Taron Johnson has struggled out of the slot.

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


Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Offense at Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

It’s astounding the Steelers have remained in the thick of the playoff race with such ineffective quarterbacking. Since the injury, Devlin Hodges and Mason Rudolph have combined to produce a pitiful 6.6 yards per attempt and 202 per game. Hodges will start Week 17 by default, with Rudolph shelved by a shoulder injury. The Steelers are in do-or-die mode, so they’ll look to hide his arm as much as possible. In his 4 full starts, he’s thrown just 20, 21, 19, and 38 passes - the latter due almost entirely to second-half game flow. (Hodges wasn’t efficient in that one, either, racking up just 202 yards and throwing 4 interceptions.) Needless to say, he and Rudolph have severely dampened the production of what’s once again a young, dynamic receiving corps. James Washington and Diontae Johnson have flashed big-play ability throughout the year, while JuJu Smith-Schuster returned from his knee ailment last week out of necessity. But all three have been boom-or-bust guys throughout the year, with their big games hard to predict and not enough volume for more than one to erupt at a time. They’re hard to rely on in any fantasy format, and a date with the Ravens’ swarming secondary is far from ideal.

The Ravens pass defense opened the season in bumpy, injury-riddled fashion. But to say they’ve retooled successfully on the fly would be a massive understatement. Since acquiring cornerback Marcus Peters and getting Jimmy Smith back from injury, they’ve stood as football’s most suffocating unit. Dating back to Week 7, opposing passers have posted a league-low 5.8 yards per attempt and 199 a game. Peters has dominated his boundary at an All-Pro level, while Smith remains solid across the field and Marlon Humphrey continues to excel in the slot. Opponents also have to contend with playmaking safeties Earl Thomas and Chuck Clark over the middle and down the seams. The Steelers’ mix-and-match quarterbacking has been atrocious for much of the season, and they’re not exactly set up to close out with a bang. Devlin Hodges will be hard-pressed to find any meaningful room downfield, even if he’s pressed into catchup mode.

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


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

The Seattle Seahawks field one of the league's most-efficient, but underused, passing attacks, in large part thanks to Russell Wilson. In Week 17's matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, the NFC West division title and a first-round bye in the playoffs are at stake. Additionally, there is reason to speculate that the Seahawks may elect to air the ball out in higher volume than they have throughout the 2019 season, as their first, second, and third-string running backs are all sidelined with injury. Through the air, Tyler Lockett tops the charts as Seattle's obvious number-one receiver. Lockett leads the Seahawks in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns this season in spite of a mid-season slump thanks to illness and injury. D.K. Metcalf, a standout rookie receiver, ranks second on the team in all major receiving categories, and he should continue to play a prominent role in Seattle's passing attack. In the trenches, the Seahawks struggle to protect Wilson, as he was sacked six times last weekend against the Cardinals. In a tough matchup, the battle in the trenches could be pivotal against San Francisco's top-tier pass-rush.

The San Francisco 49ers field one of the NFL's best pass defenses this season, which aligns with the highly-talented group of players they field at all three levels of their defense. This season, the 49ers have faced very little volume through the air, but when they have been tested, they have passed with flying colors allowing just 4.7 net yards per attempt, the best mark in the NFL. The 49ers' pass rush is one of the league's deepest and best units, with Arik Armstead, Nick Bosa, DeForest Buckner, and Dee Ford all tallying at least 6.5 sacks on the year. Then, at linebacker, Fred Warner, on the heels of a pivotal pick-six in last week's game, continues to impress against the pass. In the secondary, San Francisco's group of cornerbacks is one of the deepest in the league, with Richard Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon, K'Waun Williams, and Emmanuel Moseley all shining in their time on the field this season. At safety, the availability of Jaquiski Tartt is critical for this defense. Tartt, while he does not shine in any individual phase of the game, affords defensive coordinator Robert Saleh the ability to call a very dynamic and complex defense thanks to his incredible versatility. Tartt is currently listed as questionable for this weekend's game, and he is a key player to keep an eye on leading up to kickoff. Overall, this season-ending NFC West clash with the division title on the line will pit strength against strength, as Seattle's passing attack is incredibly efficient while San Francisco's pass defense ranks amongst the best of the best. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks should have their work cut out for themselves when they attempt to move the ball through the air here in Week 17.

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