Welcome to the Positional Matchups Report, aka POSAFPA. In this article, I provide an easy-to-use positional matchup table and highlight potentially exploitable matchups. If you’re curious about the process, you can find a full introduction HERE, where I lay out the methodology.
Last Week’s Results
Keaton Mitchell was unexpectedly productive against a very tough matchup, scoring 13.6 PPR points. His volume remains low, so feel free to sell high before trade deadlines. That said, this week, he gets a fantastic matchup against the Bengals.
I voiced cautious optimism about Kyler Murray’s return and nailed it right on the head with him finishing as a borderline QB1 with 18.3 fantasy points. He only threw for 249 yards with one interception and no passing touchdowns but saved his fantasy week with six rush attempts for 33 yards and a touchdown. It’s great to see him using his legs, which was a serious concern with his ACL injury.
Rhamondre Stevenson showed up big time, with 20 carries and four catches on five targets. No touchdown last week, but 13.2 points off yardage means he didn’t sink your team, either.
Derrick Henry put up a paltry three PPR points this week, which was expected given the matchup. Unfortunately, DeAndre Hopkins also floundered and put up only 5.7 points himself despite a very good matchup. Titans players are quickly becoming a team to avoid in bad matchups and only start when necessary in good matchups.
Robert Spillane came through big time, tallying seven tackles, a sack, and an interception.
Despite looking like he would play earlier in the week, Ja’Whaun Bentley did not go this week. Jahlani Tavai still put up a solid 14 points and can be used as a somewhat reliable flex moving forward.
Sam Williams outperformed expectations with a solid performance and saw his best snap share since week 1. His snap share has been up and down all year, while he might not be a consistent contributor, he may be worth a stash.
How to Use the Table
First, find YOUR PLAYER’S TEAM in the first column. Next, follow that line to THEIR POSITION’S column. That percentage is how much better or worse you can expect them to do compared to what they typically score.
Example: Let’s say you’re deciding between Jaylen Warren (RB-PIT) and Rashee Rice (WR-KC). For Warren, find PIT in the first column. Follow that row over to the RB column, and you’ll see his positional matchup is -13%. That’s a moderately negative matchup. Next, for Rice, find KC in the first column. Follow that row over to the WR column, and you’ll see his positional matchup is 24%, which is a very positive matchup. Given both players are averaging just over 12 PPR points per game, I would lean Rice.
Offensive Boons and Fades
Keaton Mitchell has been a mid-season miracle for those thin at RB. His volume remains low, so he’s not a sure thing. This week, he faces the Bengals, who have allowed a whopping 40% more fantasy points to RBs over average. You’re still banking on a touchdown, but hopefully, he’ll see more than a handful of touches, given his performances in the past two games.
It’s hard to trust anyone on the Giants roster outside of Saquon Barkley right now, but the Commanders have been a great matchup across the board. Tommy DeVito is a risky play, to be certain, but last week, he rushed seven times for 41 yards. That rushing volume is great for riskier QBs as they provide a much safer floor. Despite a good matchup on paper, Giants wide receivers should be avoided this week. Between Wan’Dale Robinson, Darius Slayton, Sterling Shephard, Parris Campbell, and Jaylin Hyatt, none have managed to capture a target share of more than 16% over the last six weeks. One of them could very likely go off, but as to whom is anybody’s guess.
Evan Engram faces another tough matchup this week against the Titans, who have allowed 39% fewer points to TEs over the last six weeks. His volume remains very appealing, but we will likely see a fantasy performance similar to last week.
Trey McBride has an excellent matchup at Houston. More on that later in the article.
IDP Boons and Fades
This week, Washington gets the Giants, who have been a great matchup for defensive linemen over the last six weeks. Unfortunately, it’s been a bit difficult to predict the last few games after the departures of Montez Sweat and Chase Young shortly before Week 9. Despite an underwhelming fantasy run, Jonathan Allen put up solid numbers last week with four tackles and a sack in what was a mildly negative positional matchup. Casey Toohill has been a big benefactor as of late, drastically increasing his snap share, so he may be worth a start in deeper leagues.
Baltimore DBs have the best matchup of the week. Kyle Hamilton is a locked starter, and Geno Stone has been putting up solid numbers for many weeks now. Marcus Williams returned last week from a hamstring injury but failed to produce for fantasy; I would avoid starting him until we see him start putting up better numbers.
Steelers linebackers have a very good matchup this week as well. Both Kwon Alexander and Cole Holcomb are heading to IR, so things aren’t as clear as you’d hope. Mark Robinson seems most likely to see the largest increase in work, but Elandon Roberts could see a larger share of snaps as well. He saw a season-high 96% of defensive snaps last Sunday while only averaging about half of defensive snaps previously. Both should be rostered in IDP formats at this point.
While we have a Super Bowl rematch, or this year’s Kelce Bowl if you’d prefer, there’s a different matchup that I think deserves to be highlighted. The Arizona Cardinals at the Houston Texans.
The betting lines are solid but nothing exceptional; with a 47.5 over/under and a 4-point spread favoring Arizona, this looks to be a moderately high, possibly close matchup. The positional matchups, however, are an interesting mix.
Dameon Pierce has now missed two weeks with an ankle injury, and after Devin Singletary‘s excellent performance last week, it’s unlikely that the Texans rush him back. While the matchup for Singletary isn’t as good as last week, it’s still a moderately positive matchup. Dalton Schultz may have a rough week, as the Cardinals have allowed 31% fewer points to opposing TEs over the last six weeks. His volume is enough that I’m not super concerned, and it is TE, so alternatives won’t likely do any better.
It’s the opposite for the Cardinals’ tight ends. Trey McBride is in line for a very nice week, and the Cardinals give up 31% more points to opposing TEs. Kyler Murray has a mildly positive matchup, as do the Cardinals wide receivers. While Marquise Brown and Rondale Moore are most likely to take advantage of this matchup, keep an eye on Michael Wilson, who has seen a solid target share over the last 6 weeks. Don’t fret over James Conner, though, and his matchup is neutral.
With neither team being all that exceptional at forcing turnovers, we’ll likely see a very back-and-forth, tit-for-tat game. This bodes well for kickers on both sides, as teams should be able to make progress downfield regularly. Matt Prater and Matt Ammendola should be on your radar for leagues with kickers.
Team Trends for Future Weeks
Notable Rush Funnel Teams: Cincinnati tops the charts, giving up 40% more points than average to opposing RBs. Seattle, Denver, Carolina, and Indianapolis all funnel fantasy points to opposition running backs.
Pass Funnel Teams: Tampa Bay remains the strongest pass funnel. Philadelphia is also at the higher end, with Detroit and Miami rounding out the category.
IDP Targets: The Giants have been the ideal matchup for defensive linemen, allowing an astonishing 50% more points to opposing DLs. Jacksonville and Carolina have also been a plus matchup for linemen. Cincinnati and Miami are both great targets for streaming DB, as is Detroit to a lesser extent. Philly, Atlanta, Chicago, and Cleveland are all very good matchups for linebackers.
There you have it for week 11. There should be plenty of streaming options for bye weeks, especially with the bye week teams being scarcely populated with fantasy studs. Look out for a playoff preview coming out where I’ll take a look ahead to fantasy playoff schedules.
Follow me on Twitter @MonCalFF and check out our other Start-Sit articles, which can be found below. Until next week, good luck!
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