DFS Rushing/Passing Matchups - Week 11

Diving deep into how the offenses matchup with the defenses.


The amount of information you need to sift through on a weekly basis to build some competitive lineups can seem overwhelming. You’re in the right place to get through all of that information in no time, and we have another item for you to add to your arsenal. Each week, we’ll break down the best and worst rushing and passing matchups for Sunday’s main slate of games.

This will allow you to quickly zero in on the top anchors for your lineups, and we’ll also point out which players you’ll want to avoid as you fill out the rest of your roster. There’s a ton of choices to examine on a weekly basis. The goal of this article is to help you narrow the field of targets down substantially.

Let’s get right to it, starting with the week’s top matchups.  

Matchups to Exploit

Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at New York Giants Rushing Defense

The bye week came at a perfect time for the Kansas City Chiefs, as the club had dropped three of four as Week 9 came to a close. In addition to having a week off to right the ship, the Chiefs get to travel east to take on a New York Giants club that is in the midst of some serious troubles on the defensive side of the ball. While losing three consecutive games, the Giants have given up 105 points. The San Francisco 49ers chalked up its first win of the season against the Giants last week, and the club dropped 31 points while doing so.

In short, things aren’t going too well for a club that was regarded as a contender heading into the season, and the Chiefs are in a prime position to exploit that fact. While the Giants run defense has been strong at the initial point of contact, all bets are off once a running back gets past the defensive line. That’s an appealing prospect for the explosive Kareem Hunt, who has tailed off a bit since his sizzling start. The stars are aligning for both the Chiefs and Hunt to get back on track in a big way this week.   

Los Angeles Chargers Rushing Offense vs Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense

In the early part of the season, the Buffalo Bills run defense was a strength of the team. That’s no longer the case, and it’s no coincidence that the Bills have lost two in a row. Over those two games, the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints have absolutely pounded the Bills on the ground. The Jets ran for 194 yards and two scores, while the Saints would run for a staggering 298 yards and three scores. There’s a gigantic leak in the Bills run defense at the moment, and we’re going to want to continue exploiting it for DFS purposes until it gets plugged up.

This weeks beneficiaries, the Los Angeles Chargers, have had an up and down season. After opening the year with four consecutive losses, the Chargers rattled off three wins and appeared to have righted the ship. That optimism quickly went south as the team dropped two straight, but there’s still plenty of value to be found on the talented club or fantasy purposes. Dual threat extraordinaire Melvin Gordon III can be hit or miss depending on how well the offense is humming along, but this looks like one of those weeks that will be a hit.    

Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense at New York Giants Passing Defense

We already mentioned the potentially fruitful outlook for the Chiefs running game, but things may be even more rosy for the passing game. Alex Smith is in the midst of an MVP-caliber season, and he should have little trouble picking apart the Giants secondary. Over the three game losing streak, the Giants have faced off against Russell Wilson, Jared Goff, and C.J. Beathard. The lowest passing yardage total came in the form of Beathard’s 288 yards from last week, while the three signal callers combined threw for nine scores.

Travis Kelce could be the biggest beneficiary, as the Giants have allowed a touchdown to opposing tight ends in each game this season. He’s going to be popular for DFS purposes, but the enthusiasm looks to be well warranted. Tyreek Hill is another appealing option, as his blazing speed can wreak havoc on any secondary, let alone one that has been as leaky as the Giants. In recent weeks, opposing wideouts have found little resistance once they find themselves open. It’s pretty tough to envision a scenario in which Smith and Hill don’t exploit that, and the duo makes for a fine stacking option as a result.       

New England Patriots Passing Offense at Oakland Raiders Passing Defense

While this is technically a home game for the Oakland Raiders, this tilt is actually taking place in Mexico. The always ahead of the curve New England Patriots have spent the week in Colorado so that the club has no trouble adjusting to the altitude for the game at hand, That’s just one factor that points to the potential for the Patriots to come out with guns a blazing, as does the fact that the game has the week’s highest projected total at 54.5 points. In addition to those positive signs, we can always be optimistic that Tom Brady will come out and carve up an opposing secondary.

It’s been a mixed bag for opposing quarterbacks attempting to pull that trick against the Raiders, but those that have been successful have hit big. Kirk Cousins, Alex Smith, and Jay Cutler have all thrown for 300+ yards and three scores against the Raiders this season. Brady has tossed for 300+ yards in five different games, and he’s thrown for multiple scores six times. Brandin Cooks and Rob Gronkowski are the top stacking options for the time being, as Chris Hogan may miss another game. If that proves to be the case, keep Danny Amendola on your radar as a sneaky salary saving option.

New York Giants Passing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense

Despite the deficiencies on defense, Eli Manning continues to plug along and do what he can with the talent he has around on him. While Manning is clearly in the neighborhood of the twilight portion of his career, the Giants have been absolutely decimated by injuries on the offensive side of the ball. When you combine that with troubles on the offensive line and a running game that hasn’t been all that efficient, and it’s a wonder that Manning has been able to throw for multiple scores in five games this season. He’s got another good shot to make that happen this week, as the Chiefs secondary has not been a strength of the team.

Five opposing quarterbacks have thrown for multiple scores against the Chiefs so far this season. Two of those outings have happened over the course of the last three games, as Derek Carr hit paydirt three times in Week 7, while Dak Prescott connected for scores a pair of times in Week 9. From a downside perspective, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is 16-2 coming off of a bye during his career, so there is a possibility that some leaks were fixed during the time off. However, we can offset that fear with the assumption that the Giants will be playing catch up. Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram have done a fine job handling the bulk of the targets in the Giants passing attack, and they’re both worthy of consideration on their own or as stacking options with Manning.    

Matchups to Avoid

Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense

If the Jacksonville Jaguars offense can show signs of life as the season moves along, the club will be in the playoffs. That’s because the club’s defense has been playing at an elite level, and it seems to be getting better as the year moves along. That’s true in both facets, but it’s been quite notable in the team’s run defense. Ths unit has improved since acquiring Marcel Dareus, and opponents have been managing just 55 yards on the ground per game over the past three. Isaiah Crowell and Doke Johnson can be safely avoided this week.  

Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense vs Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense

Normally, it would be heresy to suggest passing on the rushing game of the Dallas Cowboys, but these are not normal times. Ezekiel Elliott’s on-again, off-again suspension is finally locked in place, and the club is adjusting to life without one of its stars. While there’s talent to be found among Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden, and Rod Smith, that didn’t translate into success last week against the Atlanta Falcons. It will likely be the same story this week, as the Cowboys face off against a Philadelphia Eagles team that is tops in the league against the run.

Chicago Bears Passing Offense vs Detroit Lions Rushing Defense

The Chicago Bears passing attack has been atrocious this season, and that shows no signs of abating. While the team is clearly treating rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with kid gloves, the lack of weapons at the skill positions isn’t helping matters. Head coach John Fox is perfectly content to run a ground and pound attack, and opponents have had little trouble containing Trubisky and company. The Detroit Lions and shutdown cornerback Darius Slay are on the docket this week, and similar results look probable.  

Cleveland Browns Passing Offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense

We already talked up the Jaguars run defense, but there’s even more superlatives that can be thrown at the league’s to passing defense. Quite simply, opposing quarterbacks are not finding success against the Jaguars. On the season, the Jaguars have allowed only six passing touchdowns. Yes, six. That doesn’t give us warm and fuzzy feelings about the fantasy prospects of the turnover-prone DeShone Kizer and the anemic offense of the Cleveland Browns. We sincerely hope that you follow our lead on this one.  

Green Bay Packers Passing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense

Brett Hundley looked much better at the helm of the Green Bay Packers offense last week against the Chicago Bears. While he didn’t light up the stat sheet, he efficiently led the Packers to a much-needed victory after the club had dropped four straight. That may very well remain as the high point for Hundley for the time being, as he’ll be facing off against a Baltimore Ravens squad that is improving defensively as the season moves along. For the season, opposing signal callers are averaging just 185 passing yards per game against the Ravens, and only two have managed to throw for multiple scores. Hundley looks like he’ll be improving as he gets some more seasoning, but we’re tempering expectations for this week.   

Enjoy the games this weekend, and best of luck with your lineups. Feel free to hit me up anytime via email - feery@footballguys.com - with questions or comments.