EXPOSED (WR/TE MATCHUPS): WEEK 9

Breaks down some of the best and worst WR/TE matchups this week to help you build DFS lineups.

This article will try to highlight some of the best and worst matchups for wide receivers and tight ends each week. Using player tracking data from various sources (NFL.com, Pro Football Focus, ESPN, etc.) as well as reviews of recent trends, I look for situations to exploit or avoid when setting your weekly DFS lineups. Given that this article is intended to help across all DFS sites, variations in pricing and scoring systems are not taken into account so obviously the values could shift depending on where you are playing. The main intent of this article is simply to call out some players who could be significantly helped or hurt by their situations each week.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via email (knotts@footballguys.com) or twitter (@ohiostate241)

Aaron will be back next week with his usual Exposed article, so thank you Aaron for allowing me to fill in for you this week.

FAVORABLE MATCHUPS


WR Dez Bryant, Dal (vs Kenneth Acker, KC)
The Chiefs benched Terrance Mitchell in hopes that Kenneth Acker would be an improvement at the cornerback position. Acker has not played much this season, but was on the field for 73 plays last week against Demaryius Thomas and the Broncos. While most of the Broncos struggled in that game, Thomas did lead the team in receptions and receiving yards with 5 receptions for 66 yards. Acker gives up significant size to Dez Bryant this week as Bryant has two inches and 20 pounds on Acker.

WR Michael Thomas NO (vs Robert McClain, TB)
Tampa Bay’s secondary has struggled for most of the year as Robert McLain has not only struggled this season but he is giving up significant size to Michael Thomas in this game. Robert McClain is giving up six inches to Michael Thomas in this game.   

WR Julio Jones, CAR (vs James Bradberry, CAR)

We once again get to see Julio Jones go up against one of his favorite teams to play against as he had a 300-yard performance last season against Jones torched every cornerback that the Panthers threw at him and he succeeded particularly against Bradberry. Bradberry has improved this season and should shadow Julio for most of the day, but this is still a matchup that Julio Jones just has more talent than the second-year second-round pick.


WR DeVante Parker, MIA (vs David Amerson, OAK) 

David Amerson is dealing with a foot injury and if he goes this week he will be at less than 100% health. This is a great matchup for Parker as even when Amerson is healthy he has been largely ineffective this season. If Amerson is unable to go, look for Dexter McDonald who is a seventh-round draft pick out of Kansas and a matchup that Parker should be able to exploit.


WR T.Y. Hilton, Ind (vs Jonathan Joseph, Hou)

Jonathan Joseph no longer has the ability that he once had as he is now 33 years old and no longer has the 4.3 40 yard dash speed that he once had. The problem for Joseph is that Hilton has the speed that Joseph once had and Joseph has really struggled with speed receivers as he is just not able to catch up to them as he once did. Joseph struggled to defend Tyler Lockett last week allowing Lockett to have six receptions for 121 yards.


WR Will Fuller V, Hou (vs Rashaan Melvin, IND)

It is a shame that DeShaun Watson got injured this week, as all of the talk would be centered around this Houston offense. Fuller is going up against Rashaan Melvin who has bounced around throughout his career unable to find a landing spot as he is a replacement level cornerback. Fuller should have the speed which is something that Melvin lacks to get open in this game and depending on how his connection is with new quarterback Tom Savage, this will be something to monitor as yes it is a big blow from a fantasy perspective, but do not completely dismiss the matchup this week.


TE Tyler Higbee, LAR (vs Darian Thompson, NYG)

The Rams had a much-needed bye week this past week after their offense has sputtered a little bit and the team is winning due to their defense. Tyler Higbee has been a player who we have seen a few times this season be involved in this offense and this is the perfect matchup to do so once again this week. The Giants have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Higbee is still out on the field for about 75% of the team's plays, and should be better utilized coming out of the bye week.


TE Zach Ertz, PHI (vs Justin Simmons, DEN)

The Broncos cornerback unit is elite, and there is some risk here that the Broncos would do something where they put one of those corners on Ertz this week, but so far this season the Broncos have not done this. The one weak spot in this pass defense is defending the tight end as they have allowed the third most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Ertz is a premiere option at the tight end position having caught 80 yards or a touchdown in every one of his games, this is a matchup that the team should look to have him exploit Justin Simmons and this Denver defense.

UNFAVORABLE MATCHUPS


WR Mike Evans, TB (vs Marshon Lattimore, NO)

First-round pick Marshon Lattimore this season has been one of the best cornerbacks in football this season. He was just named NFL defensive rookie of the month and has been a significant reason why the Saints defense has been significantly better compared to last season. We have seen the Buccaneers try to have Evans avoid the top corners and this could be a case where the Buccaneers try to find matchups where Lattimore is not on Evans.  

WR A.J. Green, NO (vs Jalen Ramsey/A.J. Bouye, Jax)

A.J. Green will have one of his more difficult games of the season this week as he is going up against one of the best cornerback tandems in football in A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey. On the season the Jaguars have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers as they are averaging allowing only 111 yards per game total and have only allowed one touchdown to opposing receivers.

WR Marqise Lee, Jax (vs Dre Kirkpatrick, CIN)

Marqise Lee is in a tough spot in this game as he is going up against a very physical cornerback in Dre Kirkpatrick. Lee who is a speed receiver who is undersized is going up against a cornerback in Kirkpatrick who is one of the most physical and has tremendous speed which makes him a very tough cornerback to get open against. Lee has been the Jaguars leading receiver this season but could be in for a difficult matchup this week.


WR Corey Davis, Ten (vs Jimmy Smith, Bal)

The Titans are going to get their first-round draft pick Corey Davis back for this game after missing a significant part of this season with a hamstring injury. Davis returns in one of the worst possible matchups he could face all season as he is going up against Jimmy Smith who has held cornerbacks who line up on the left side to the fewest fantasy points this season amongst any team.

TE Cameron Brate, TB (vs Marcus Williams, NO)

Second-round draft pick Marcus Williams has played a significant role in holding tight ends to the third-fewest fantasy points this season as the Saints have only allowed three receptions for 34 yards per game to opposing tight ends this season. Brate has at least 60 yards in each of his last five games, but Williams athleticism could give Brate some issues in this game. 


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