The Matchup Machine – Week 3’s Best and Worst
Dan Schneier breaks down the best and worst fantasy football matchups for Week 3.
The Matchup Machine – Week 3’s Best and Worst
For those subscribers who were active readers in 2012, you might remember that last season I wrote a weekly column breaking down the best and worst matchups for running backs. Using PFF’s grading system I was able to breakdown and pinpoint matchups along the offensive/defensive lines and between the fullbacks and tight ends/ linebackers. However, there is more to a running back’s weekly matchup including coaching tendencies, what direction a running back has success rushing to and the likelihood that a team is rushing based on the score of the game. All factors considered, I was able to predict the worst matchups at a highly successful rate while also targeting some of the breakout backs of the week.
This season I will be trying something a little different. Instead of just focusing in on the running backs, 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.
Before each new matchup projection for this week, I will revisit my prediction from last week so you all can get an idea of the process and its results. All the results will show how a player scored in a standard scoring system and in a 12 team league.
I find that this column can best be used for fantasy football day gamers. In leagues set up on websites like fanduel.com, you can choose from the entire player pool and must assemble a team based on a salary cap format. You can get a 100% deposit bonus & chase the dream of the $1 million 1st prize at the @FanDuel #FantasyFootball Championship here.
Let’s take a look at some of the best and worst options for Week 3.
Also, please feel encouraged to tweet questions at me on Twitter @PFF_DanSc or post them in the comments if you want to know any specific cornerback/wide receiver matchups for your players or if you want an idea of how your running back’s offensive line grades out or the rush defense that he faces.
Last Week: Aaron Rodgers – first-overall QB
What Happened: Not my boldest call ever for sure, but Rodgers took advantage of an easy matchup and scored the most points of any QB.
Eli Manning @ Panthers
Eli Manning and the Giants will travel to Carolina this week with a sense of desperation as they hope to avoid falling to 0-3. At this time last season, the Giants were also heading to Carolina for a Thursday night game that they won 36 to 7. Eli Manning threw for 288 yards at will almost entirely in the first half of this contest. What has changed from then until now? In that game, Eli’s starting split end was Ramses Barden and his flanker in three wide receiver sets was Jernel Jernigan. Now, he has Hakeem Nicks and Reuben Randle to replace them.
For the Panthers, they still have the same scheme under former Giants defensive boss Bill Sheridan. Sheridan was run out of town in New York and last week his defense allowed rookie E.J. Manuel to drive 80 yards and score a game-winning touchdown on a simple corner route that confused the Panthers secondary. Speaking of the Panthers secondary, they will be without their leader, free safety Charles Godfrey, who was placed on injured reserve this week. Injuries had forced struggling cornerback Josh Norman to play a lot last week and he continued to struggle—he got injured last week however and will also be out this week. Slot cornerback D.J. Moore will also be out with an injury. Starting strong safety, Quinto Mikell, is also very likely to be out. The Panthers will be starting up to four new players in their secondary. Update: The Panthers just resigned Drayton Florence as of Wednesday night—can you guys think of a more washed up cornerback? This is a dream matchup for any quarterback.
As Dion says… “I belieeeeeve in Eli”.
Machine Readout: Start him! Manning will produce like a mid-range at worst with top-end QB1 potential this week. It is likely the Giants get out to an early lead, which could cap his scoring, but Eli should already have multiple touchdowns and over 250 yards through the air by then.