Welcome to the Positional Matchups Report, aka POSAFPA. I provide an easy-to-use positional matchup table in this article 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
Before we get into things for the upcoming week, it’s important to review last week and see if there were any unexpected results and to identify the cause. The most notable underperformance of the week was Kirk Cousins. While he’s delivered 16.6 points on average, and his positional matchup was 23%, he delivered just 8.7 points. That shouldn’t shock anyone, given Justin Jefferson’s absence, but this is a gigantic red flag for Cousins moving forward that you cannot depend on him, even in positive matchups.
Brock Purdy faced a mildly negative matchup of -14% but scored just over a quarter of his usual points. As with Cousins, this can largely be attributed to his offensive weapons, as both Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey missed time with injuries.
The Jets beat the Eagles for the first time in franchise history, which came with unexpected fantasy results. While the Eagles have been a tough matchup this year, the Jets RBs scored 23% more than average. The Jets receivers did better than expected but still came in with 11% fewer points than average. If you were forced to start them, it was likely better than the 43% fewer we expected.
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 Rachaad White (RB-TB) and Tyler Lockett (WR-SEA). For White, find TB in the first column. Follow that row over to the RB column, and you’ll see his positional matchup is -23%. That’s a very negative matchup. Next, for Lockett, find SEA in the first column. Follow that row over to the WR column, and you’ll see his positional matchup is 17%, which is a strong positive matchup. Given both players are averaging between 7 and 8 PPR points per game, I would lean Tyler Lockett.
This is one of two weeks this season where six teams will be on bye. Several of these teams have fantasy every week starters. That means there’s a good chance you’ll be digging deep into taxi squads or waivers to fill out rosters. I’ll highlight some deeper players who might be able to slide into your lineup.
Wan’Dale Robinson should be on everyone’s radar after last week’s performance. 8/8 for 62 yards is no week-winner, but he now gets a favorable matchup against Washington. Despite the Giants offense being ineffective in real life, the Tyrod Taylor to Wan’Dale Robinson connection could be real, and it’s looking like Daniel Jones could miss another week. Wan’Dale has also claimed a strong target share in previous weeks, so I have no qualms about starting him with either quarterback.
AJ Dillon finally showed up in Week 5 against the Raiders, and now with a week off to rest and play Farming Simulator deep into the night. We can look to him to repeat a great performance in Denver. With a 63% positional matchup and implied game script favoring a hefty workload, this could be a big game for him.
At quarterback, there’s a decent shot at Geno Smith being available. He’s given an underwhelming 13.4 points on average so far this season, but with a 38% positional matchup, he should finish well within the top 12 this week.
At team defenses, the New York Giants look like the pick of the week. They’ve faced one brutal matchup after another through the first part of the season, with their best positional matchup being -15% last week. They have two usable performances through the last two weeks despite that. Now they face Washington, who’s giving up 88% more points than average.
Josh Downs is coming off two very good performances with QB Gardner Minshew under center in Indianapolis. Be wary, though; both matchups the last two weeks were moderately positive, but this week, he faces the Browns, who are limited opposing wide receivers to 45% fewer points than average. It’s hard to ignore the volume he’s receiving, but you can’t expect another double-digit performance this week.
IDP Booms and Fades
Once again, Washington is the team to target when it comes to defensive line and linebacker. They’ve been a positive matchup this season so far, and that doesn’t look like it will change soon. While Kayvon Thibodeaux has been an underwhelming IDP dynasty piece, he’s a solid option this week, given the matchup. This is assuming he doesn’t face a suspension for his part in a scuffle last week. Both Micah McFadden and Bobby Okereke should be top linebacker options as well.
Cleveland is also giving up points to IDP, and DL DeForest Buckner is a strong start that he’s back to a full snap count. Don’t write off Julian Blackmon as a defensive back option either, even if he’s coming off a down week.
The Giants have been giving up points for IDP lately but now have Tyrod Taylor at quarterback. Tyrod gave up quite a few points to DBs, so Kamren Curl could still be in play. The questionable situation surrounding Emmanuel Forbes’s benching means you cannot trust anyone else in this secondary.
The Chiefs and Chargers face off in what is expected to be the highest-scoring game of the week by a good margin. That said, Justin Herbert is coming off of a rougher performance, and the Chiefs have been a very tough matchup for QBs. While the Chargers have been very good for wide receivers, the Chiefs receiving corps is a rotating cast of underwhelming fantasy performances. If Herbert doesn’t return to form, this game could get out of hand quickly. You might be left with just half a game of passing while the Chiefs run the clock down. Regardless, if Herbert, Ekeler, or Keenan Allen are on your roster, you’re starting them. Anyone outside of those three should be reconsidered.
Team Trends for Future Weeks
Notable Rush Funnel Teams: Carolina, Chicago, Denver, Green Bay, and Las Vegas have all been allowing far more points to running backs while also holding opposing wide receivers to below average.
Pass Funnel Teams: Detroit, Philadelphia, and Washington are the three biggest pass funnel teams.
IDP Targets: Washington, Cleveland, and the NY Giants are the three to look ahead to.
And that’s it for Week 7 matchups. While it’s an especially tough week for streaming, I’d recommend looking one extra week ahead for pickups in Week 9, as there are no bye weeks during Week 8.
Follow me on Twitter @MonCalFF and check out our other Start-Sit articles, which can be found below. Until next week, good luck!