The fantasy matchup stats you need to know for Week 10
Jeff Ratcliffe identifies the thing to know from each of this weekend's games.
The fantasy matchup stats you need to know for Week 10
Play the matchups in fantasy football, and you’ll win more often than you lose. Now that we’re in the thick of the bye weeks, knowing the matchups to avoid and exploit becomes even more important. Bellow you’ll find the key matchup stats to know from each of the 13 remaining games this week.
Don’t forget to also take a look at the best and worst wide receiver matchups for the week. Also, new this week, we have our fantasy positional matchups chart, which allows you to quickly identify all of the best matchups each week for all offensive and IDP positions. You may also find our O-Line/D-Line matchup chart helpful.
Just a quick note about the recommendations. Downgrading a player is not the same as sitting a player. If an RB1 is downgraded, that means he moves to an RB2 for the week, and vice versa for upgrades. These matchup recommendations and others are reflected in our weekly rankings, which are an invaluable tool in lineup decision making each week.
Green Bay @ Tennessee
Despite the matchup, DeMarco Murray is an RB1.
The Packers are one of the league’s best run defenses, allowing just 3.4 yards per carry to opposing running backs. However, Murray owners do have two working for them this week. Green Bay has only allowed a 100-yard game to Ezekiel Elliott this season, but they have given up three rushing touchdowns in their last two games. Murray also figures to see a heavy workload, as Derrick Henry looks extremely unlikely to suit up for this contest. It’s a tough matchup for Murray, but he’ll see heavy volume. He remains a top-10 running back play.
Minnesota @ Washington
Downgrade Kirk Cousins.
This is the week to pursue other options if you’ve been relying on Cousins. It’s no secret that the Vikings defense has been impressive this season. Mike Zimmer’s squad averages 1.3 interceptions and 2.6 sacks per game. Cousins will also be without DeSean Jackson this week. While Jordan Reed is still very much in play this week, fantasy owners are going to want to fade as much of this Washington offense as they can.
Chicago @ Tampa Bay
Need a QB streamer? How about Jay Cutler?
No, seriously. Stop laughing. Cutler is actually on the streamer radar this week in a fantastic matchup against a Bucs team that gives up the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Alshon Jeffery is poised for his biggest game of the season, and the same could be true for Cutler. Tampa Bay has given up four passing scores in each of their last two games along with a combined 857 passing yards. Cutler is a viable streamer and is in play for DFS contests this week.
Kansas City @ Carolina
Tough matchup for Spencer Ware.
Fantasy owners got good news this week, as Ware cleared the NFL concussion protocol and will play on Sunday. Given last week’s lackluster performance from Charcandrick West and company, Ware figures to dominate touches out of the backfield. Unfortunately, he gets a rough matchup against a Panthers that yields just 3.4 yards per carry to opposing running backs. That being said, Carolina does give up 5.8 receptions per game to opposing running backs. Ware’s ability as a receiver keeps him in the borderline RB1 conversation.
Atlanta @ Philadelphia
Carson Wentz gets back on track.
After a hot start to the season, the rookie signal-caller has struggled over the last month with just two passing touchdowns and an average of 221.5 passing yards per game. But the Falcons have the cure for what ails Wentz. Over the last two weeks, Atlanta has surrendered eight passing scores and they’re likely to be without their top corner, Desmond Trufant. Those looking for streamer help may want to dial up Wentz.
Los Angeles @ NY Jets
Todd Gurley will continue to struggle.
This is a rough situation because Gurley really hasn’t been that bad this season. The problem stems largely from playing in a one-dimensional offense with an offensive line that has produced the second-fewest yards before contact per attempt. And things aren’t likely to improve this week. The Jets did give up a 100-yard day to Jay Ajayi last week, but they’ve been relatively strong against the run for much of the season. Our O-Line/D-Line matchup chart also gives Gurley the worst matchup of the week. Unfortunately, Gurley owners sealed their 2016 fate the moment they put his sticker on the board back in August/September. If you own him, you have to start him. Just don’t expect a big performance.
Denver @ New Orleans
Start Mark Ingram AND Tim Hightower.
That’s right. Both Saints running backs are in play this week. Don’t be fooled by the Denver defense. Yes, they’re darn good against the pass, but the Broncos have struggled mightily in run defense this season. Denver yields an average of 4.3 yards per carry to opposing running backs, and have allowed 100-plus yards to the position in five of their last seven games. It’s a true timeshare in New Orleans, but as we saw last week, both backs can produce RB2-or-better numbers.
Houston @ Jacksonville
Fade Blake Bortles.
He’s been maddeningly inconsistent and seems to have regressed as a player. Bortles also gets a brutal matchup in a divisional contest against the Texans. Opposing quarterbacks have fared poorly against the Texans this season. Houston allows the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to the position and have surrender more than one passing touchdown just once this season.
Miami @ San Diego
Jay Ajayi keeps rolling.
Ride this train until it comes off the rails. Ajayi has 529 rushing yards over his last three games. Only 11 other running backs have more than that on the season. He gets another plus matchup this week against a banged up Chargers defense that yields the third-most PPR points per game to running backs. San Diego also surrenders 1.2 rushing scores per game to the position. Ajayi is locked in as an RB1 play.
Dallas @ Pittsburgh
Start everyone in this contest.
With one of the highest implied combined totals of the week, fantasy owners will want to get as many pieces of this game as they can. Ezekiel Elliott was on track for a massive day last week, but the Cowboys got out to a big lead and throttled back. He’s an elite play yet again this week against a Steelers defense that gives up the fifth-most PPR points per game to opposing running backs. Dallas is a much tougher matchup for Le’Veon Bell, but he’s still a strong play against a Cowboys defense that yields 4.5 yards per carry to the position. Both Ben Roethlisberger and Dak Prescott are top-10 plays this week. Roethlisberger is one more week removed from knee surgery and would be the preferred play of the two.
San Francisco @ Arizona
David Johnson goes nuts this week.
At this point, we’re hitting you over the head with this one, but it bears repeating just one more time. Johnson’s matchup is crazy good this week. The 49ers have given up 200-plus rushing yards to opposing running backs in each of their last three games. They’re the No. 1 fantasy matchup for running backs, and to make matters better, our O-Line/D-Line matchup chart gives the Arizona the most favorable run blocking matchup of the week. Fantasy owners are obviously starting Johnson in season-long, but he’s also a must-play in DFS cash games despite his hefty price tag.
Seattle @ New England
Jimmy Graham gets a tough matchup.
Following Monday night’s massive performance, Graham enters the week as fantasy’s No. 2 tight end. He’s posted three 100-yard games and is tied for fourth among tight ends in targets with 52. If you own Graham, you’re starting him every week. However, it isn’t wise to expect a repeat of Monday’s numbers this week. The Patriots have been solid against opposing tight ends this season, allowing just two receiving touchdowns and an average of 50.1 yards per game to the position.
Cincinnati @ NY Giants
Andy Dalton has a bad matchup.
Fantasy owners may want to steer clear of Dalton this week, as he faces a Giants defense that has allowed just one passing touchdown in their last three games. The G-Men average just 1.4 sacks per game, but their secondary has come up with an average of one interception per game. Dalton is on the outside of the QB1s looking in this week.
Jeff Ratcliffe | Director of Fantasy
Jeff Ratcliffe is the Director of Fantasy at Pro Football Focus. He produces all of our projections and is 2016's second-most-accurate ranker in the fantasy industry. Jeff also is the host of our show on SiriusXM fantasy sports radio and is one of the main hosts of our Fantasy Slant podcast.