The Matchup Machine - Week 5
For those who missed it last season, I will look into all of the different matchups in fantasy football including quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends in an attempt to pick the overall best and worst matchups of the week. Fortunately, PFF has all the tools to break down each individual matchup. Want to know how your wide receiver is going to do? Well if he lines up as a split end on 90% of his snaps, we can pinpoint which cornerback he will be matching up with for those snaps.
Of course, as was the case last season, this column will become more accurate as the season goes on and we compile more grades for the players and get a feel for tendencies and overall strengths/weaknesses of the 32 teams.
Russell Wilson vs. Redskins
Fresh off a bye, the Seahawks host the hapless Redskins in a showdown that will likely look very similar to the previous Redskins game. As I mentioned on last week’s Fantasy Slant podcast, Jim Haslett’s defensive scheme features heavy blitzing, crowding of the line of scrimmage, and often selling out to stop the run. Some figured that with Deangelo Hall’s injury Haslett would scale back his approach, but against the Giants, he stuck true to his style. Before the game got out of hand, the Redskins held Rashad Jennings to just 55 yards after he rushed for just under 200 the week before.
However, what was gained for the Redskins defense in the run game was lost tenfold in the passing game—Manning started the game 18-of-20 for 168 yards and three touchdowns before finishing 28-of-39 for 300 yards and a fourth touchdown. Look for Wilson to show similarly consistent numbers with added points from the occasional rushing attempt. In the matchup against the Giants, the Redskins defense was simply unable to generate any pressure (-5.8 pass rush grade) or put together any coverage (-17.8 pass coverage grade). Seven individual Redskins graded out “in the red” in pass coverage. The Seahawks will find it tempting to pass the ball with so many plus matchups in the passing game against a defense that is shaped to defend the run. Wilson has a real shot at reaching three to five total touchdowns and finishing as a high-end QB1.
Dan Schneier is a staff writer at PFF Fantasy and also writes about real football for FOX Sports. If you want to know any of his other evaluations on skill position players, continue the conversation, or yell at him for something he missed, you can find him on Twitter @DanSchneierNFL. You can also add him to your network on Google+ to find all of his past material.