5 fantasy matchups to exploit in Week 17

Dan Schneier brings you his Week 17 Matchups Machine to help you pick your starters and optimize your daily fantasy football lineups.

| 10 months ago
(AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

(AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

5 fantasy matchups to exploit in Week 17

Welcome to the Matchups Machine, which narrows down ideal matchups from around the league on a weekly basis using the tools we have available at PFF, the Las Vegas odds, and insight from yours truly.

PFF has all the tools to break down each individual matchup. Do you want to know how your wide receiver is going to do? Well, if he lines up as a split end on 90 percent of his snaps, we can pinpoint which cornerback he will be matching up with for those snaps. We can also tell you how that cornerback has performed.

Of course, as was the case in the past, this column will become more accurate as the season goes on and we compile more grades for the players and get a feel for the tendencies and overall strengths/weaknesses of the 32 teams.

The goal of this column is to help you with those tricky decisions in year-long leagues, but also to help you narrow down your best options in daily fantasy leagues. You will see a mix of big-name players and fringe starters. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Ryan Fitzpatrick at Bills

Fitzpatrick’s breakout age-33 season has caught most of us by surprise — it is his first season in the NFL with a winning record. However, from a fantasy standpoint, should we have seen this coming? In just 12 games played in 2014, with a weaker supporting cast, Fitzpatrick threw for nearly 2,500 yards with 17 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. Still, his run over the past five games is like nothing we’ve ever seen from him. Fitzpatrick has racked up 13 touchdowns and just one interception while averaging 305.0 passing yards per game over that span. With a week 17 win-and-in matchup on deck against a Bills pass defense that has generated less pressure on the quarterback than any other team, Fitzpatrick is one of the safest Week 17 bets at quarterback.

Fitzpatrick has 29 touchdowns, just 12 interceptions and 3,724 passing yards this season. His emergence is due to several factors — the weapons he has at wide receiver, an offensive scheme that suits his strengths, and his ability to make quick reads with anticipation throws. Fitzpatrick has averaged just 2.32 seconds from the snap of the football to the time he has attempted a pass. Out of all quarterbacks playing right now, only Tom Brady, Andy Dalton and Alex Smith have gotten rid of the football faster.

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Dan Schneier is a staff writer at PFF Fantasy and he covers the NFL for FOX Sports. You can find him on Twitter @DanSchneierNFL. You can also add him to your network on Google+ to find all of his past material.


Dan Schneier is a staff writer for PFF Fantasy, a former FOX Sports NFL scribe, and an auction format enthusiast.

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