There are plenty of values to be had and land mines to avoid for Week 5. Without further ado, let's dive into this week's best and worst matchups for wide receivers and tight ends at FanDuel.
Jamison Crowder, WR, WAS @ ATL ($5,200)
Miglio: Part of the reason the Falcons have given up so many fantasy points to wide receivers has been the fact they have blown out a couple of teams.
Plus, there’s this:
Rudnicki: If you throw out the Cowboys game with Brandon Weeden throwing to Cole Beasley, the Falcons have been giving up a lot of yards through the air. Last week, they mostly came in garbage time but the offense is playing so well that could become a regular occurrence. Crowder appears to be gaining the trust of Cousins and figures to remain busy with other receivers banged up.
Owen Daniels, TE, DEN @ OAK ($4,900)
Miglio: The Oakland Raiders cannot cover tight ends. But they aren’t going to give up a touchdown to the position every week, are they?
Rudnicki: If you started every tight end who faced the Raiders this year, you’d be extremely happy with the results. Daniels hasn’t made the impact many expected, but he’s scored in two straight games and gets a dream matchup here.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, CHI @ KC ($7,600)
Miglio: Scared of using Alshon Jeffery given his injury woes? We don’t blame you. But if there was every a matchup to exploit, this is it.
The Kansas City Chiefs have a terrible secondary, at least through four games. They are giving up the most fantasy PPG to opposing wideouts regardless of Sean Smith’s presence on the field or their Justin Houston-led pass rush.
Rudnicki: Jay Cutler returned sooner than expected and looked pretty good while leading a comeback win over the Raiders last week. The Chiefs secondary hasn’t really been able to slow anybody down this year, so this could be a great spot for Jeffery to return. Remember that Sean Smith missed the first 3 games this year, so the coverage should improve. If you want a low-cost option, consider Eddie Royal.
Zach Ertz, TE, PHI vs. NO ($5,000)
Miglio: It’s been a quiet start to the season for Zach Ertz, but the same can be said about many Eagles players whom we expected to have good years. The offense seems to be coming around, though, and that could be of particular import for the third-year tight end.
Rudnicki: Few players have disappointed as much as Ertz this year, but the Eagles offense is showing some signs of improvement. If you’re looking for a player with a great matchup that will likely be owned by few, Ertz is certainly worth some consideration this week.
Vernon Davis, TE, SF @ NYG ($4,900)
Miglio: The San Francisco offense is a mess, and Vernon Davis is coming off an injury. What a perfect time to utilize a low-priced option in a good matchup. That is, of course, if he is healthy enough to play.
Rudnicki: The Giants defense has a been a very friendly matchup to opposing tight ends this year. In 4 games, they have allowed 27 catches and 344 yards to the No. 1 TE. Vernon Davis may not be healthy enough to take advantage so check the latest injury reports before using him, but the matchups don’t get much better than this.
Willie Snead IV, WR, NO @ PHI ($5,300)
Miglio: There is certainly some hype surrounding Willie Snead IV, so he might have a rather significant ownership percentage. Good thing he has a solid matchup this week in a game that could be high scoring. Of course, the last surefire barnburner Philadelphia was involved in turned out to be a defensive stinker, so take that with a grain of salt.
Rudnicki: The Eagles haven’t really been able to slow anybody down this year and now they are expected to be without one of their starting corners in Byron Maxwell. Snead appears to have surpassed Brandon Coleman for a starting spot in the Saints offense, and Drew Brees is coming off his best game of the season. If this game becomes a shootout as expected, Snead looks like the best Saints player to own.
Charles Clay, TE, BUF vs. TEN ($4,100)
Miglio: LeSean McCoy is out. Karlos Williams might be, too. Sammy Watkins and Percy Harvin are hurting. Charles Clay is getting a ton of targets. The Titans have given up the fifth-most fantasy PPG to tight ends this season. The math all adds up here.
Rudnicki: The Titans are coming off their bye week so they’ve likely had some extra time to prepare for Clay, but he’s quickly becoming the primary weapon in the Bills passing attack. He should see plenty of targets this week given all the injuries the Bill have on offense, and I’m not sure Tennessee has the ability to slow down a player like this who can move all around the formation.
Jeremy Maclin, WR, KC vs. CHI ($6,900)
Miglio: After the first couple of weeks, it seemed like all the preseason Jeremy Maclin hype was bluster. A fantastic second half against the Green Bay Packers seems to have jump-started his fantasy output, however. Maclin is now the third-
Rudnicki: The Bears corners have been a weak spot all year, and have given up 8 touchdowns to WRs in 4 games. Maclin has seen his role in the offense and overall production grow each week, and has 19 receptions and 289 yards over the past two games. Tough to see the Bears slowing him down much here.
Kendall Wright, WR, TEN vs. BUF ($5,900)
Miglio: This is a bit of a head-scratcher if you’re purely paying attention to fantasy PPG. On the surface, the Bills are an excellent matchup given they are giving up 30.2 PPG -- third-most in the league -- to the position. But from a pure matchup standpoint, Bills cornerback Stephon Gillmore is no slouch.
Rudnicki: The Bills corners have actually been playing very well this year, but the lack of a pass rush in several games has made things tough on them. Rookie Ronald Darby more than held his own against Odell Beckham last week, and the Bills will likely game plan to limit the chances for Wright this week. Tom Brady and Eli Manning got rid of the ball extremely quickly to neutralize the Bills pressure up front, but I expect more blitzing against the rookie QB here and I’m not sure he will be able to get rid of the ball nearly as fast.
Gary Barnidge, TE, CLE @ BAL ($5,400)
Miglio: It’s been a magical couple of weeks for Cleveland tight end Gary Barnidge, but the clock is about to strike midnight on his fantasy production. The Ravens might not have an elite defense, but there is one thing that unit has done well—defend tight ends.
Rudnicki: The sample size is still relatively small, but no tight end has had a good game against the Ravens defense this year. Seems unlikely that Barnidge will be the guy to break that trend.
Amari Cooper, WR, OAK vs. DEN ($7,300)
Miglio: Mike Wallace had himself a good day last week, but even the best defenses get burned from time to time. That and the Vikings did an excellent job scheming to get Wallace open. The Raiders may well try to do the same with Amari Cooper, but that defense is liable to make life miserable for Derek Carr and his pass catchers.
Rudnicki: The Broncos are almost always going to be a matchup to avoid for receivers, and probably for passing attacks in general. They have three corners who can play physical man coverage, and the most intimidating pass rush the league. The Vikings had some success against this secondary a week ago, but it will be a surprise if that happens again here.
Antonio Brown, WR, PIT @ SD ($8,600)
Martavis Bryant, WR, PIT @ SD ($6,100)
Miglio: We already saw what losing Ben Roethlisberger did to Antonio Brown’s production -- his 50-yard streak came to a crashing end, and his frustration was palpable against Baltimore. Vick just isn’t a precision passer, nullifying Brown’s impeccable route-running. While Martavis Bryant is a deep threat much more conducive to Vick’s skillset, this isn’t the best matchup these guys are walking into.
Rudnicki: Both receivers don’t need a lot of targets to be productive, but it’s hard to feel comfortable with Michael Vick throwing the ball. Especially given that the Chargers corners have held up very well this year and slowed down some big-time receivers like Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green already.
Martellus Bennett, TE, CHI @ KC ($5,500)
Miglio: One week up, another down for Martellus Bennett. He was a chalk play against the generous Oakland Raiders defense, but the Chiefs are another story. Where they give up a ton of fantasy points to receivers they have been rather stingy against tight ends.
Rudnicki: Bennett saw his production spike with Jay Cutler back under center last week and the Chiefs are struggling in pass defense. However, when you look more closely you can see that they have actually done a great job defending the TE position. Some of that is due to facing some weaker TE options, but they do have strength at the safety position.
Calvin Johnson, WR, DET vs. ARI ($8,100)
Miglio: Patrick Peterson. ‘Nuff said.
Rudnicki: Patrick Peterson usually get the job of shadowing the opposing team’s No. 1 receiver. So far this year, he hasn’t really faced a true No. 1 like Calvin Johnson, but this looks like exactly the type of matchup that he’ll be up for. Johnson still managed eight catches for 77 yards against the Broncos, but that might be his upside and makes it tough to justify the high cost.
Randall Cobb, WR, GB vs. STL ($8,200)
Miglio: As we warned you last week, the St. Louis Rams haven’t given up many fantasy points to wide receivers this season. They have allowed the fourth-fewest in the league, and just one has gotten into the end zone -- Pierre Garcon. If any offense is going to shrug that off, it’d be Green Bay’s -- and probably New England’s, if we’re being honest -- but don’t be surprised if Randall Cobb doesn’t hit value this week.
Rudnicki: While it’s generally a bad idea to bet against Aaron Rodgers at home, this Rams defense may be good enough to give you pause. They’ve only allowed one touchdown to an opposing wideout in four games this year, and Cobb figures to get most of their attention.
A.J. Green, WR, CIN vs. SEA ($8,200)
Miglio: Seattle’s defense got off to a slow start this season, but the past couple of weeks it has rounded into form. Kam Chancellor ending his holdout may have had something to do with that, but so was the fact the Seahawks were home and Cary Williams emerged as a solid No. 2 cornerback.
It’s not a home game, but that defense figures to make things tough on A.J. Green and the Cincinnati passing offense.
Rudnicki: Apart from Randall Cobb, no other WR has really had any success against the Seattle defense thus this year. You can likely expect A.J. Green to see plenty of Richard Sherman, but Cary Williams is playing great and Earl Thomas will be there to protect against the deep throws that Green is known for.
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