WATCH: MATCHUPS BREAKDOWN: WEEK 16


Here we are in Week 16, with just two weeks left in the regular season. With playoff spots ready to be clinched, we still have plenty of meaningful football left to be played. Let’s get you set for this Saturday slate, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Highest Scoring Game

Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers

Projected Point Total – 52.5 points

Cam Newton and the Panthers will be on a short week after playing on Monday night. Newton was 21-37 for 300 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Redskins on Monday for 23 DraftKings Fantasy Points (DKFP). At $6,600, I think Newton is worthy of consideration in all formats this weekend, even with the knowledge that the Falcons have been decent against opposing wide receivers, allowing 15 touchdowns and an average of 159 receiving yards per game.

Matt Ryan comes into this game having thrown a touchdown in every game this season and at least 2 in 10 of those. He’ll face a generous Panthers’ defense that’s allowed 24 passing touchdowns and an average of 291 passing yards per game. The Panthers are allowing the most passing yards in the league, ahead of the Falcons by only 135 yards. It’s still unclear if Julio Jones will be active, but we’ll have a good idea by Thursday at the latest.

Lowest Scoring Game

San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams

Projected Point Total – 40 points

Rams vs. 49ers is the lowest projected scoring game of the slate. With Jared Goff not a lock to start this game due to concussion symptoms, the Rams’ offense feels more chaotic than usual. However, they do have a great matchup because the 49ers’ defense ranks near the bottom of the league and they generally play fast allowing opposing offenses to execute more plays. Kenny Britt and Todd Gurley feel like decent GPP plays here, especially if Goff does end up playing.

Colin Kaepernick has seemingly come back down to Earth since being benched midway through a game against the Bears where he managed to throw for four yards. Since then, he’s only thrown for 133 and 183, but he does have three touchdowns. Until I can see some consistency out of him again, I’m staying far away from him.


DvP Matchups

Quarterback

USATSI_9758414_168381090_lowres

Worst QB Matchups

1. Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings – Aaron Rodgers has a tough matchup on tap against the Vikings, but we’ve seen him succeed this season despite facing a tough defense. The Vikings have allowed just 17 passing touchdowns and an average of 224 passing yards per game to opposing QBs.

2. Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks – After a 23.72 DKFP performance against the Saints last week, Carson Palmer faces a much more difficult challenge in the Seahawks. The Seahawks have allowed just 14 passing touchdowns and an average of 241 passing yards per game to QBs this year.

3. Cincinnati Bengals vs. Houston Texans – The Texans have allowed 18 passing touchdowns and a tiny average of 214 passing yards per game to opposing QBs.

Best QB Matchups

1. Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons – This is a great matchup for Cam Newton. The Falcons have allowed 28 passing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks and have allowed an average of 281 passing yards per game.

2. San Diego Chargers vs Cleveland Browns – With a streak of throwing for multiple touchdowns in seven straight games, Philip Rivers faces a very generous Cleveland defense this week. While opposing quarterbacks are only averaging 255 passing yards per game, they have thrown for a league-leading 31 passing touchdowns against this Cleveland defense.

3. L.A. Rams vs San Francisco 49ers – A bit of uncertainty lingers with who will start for the Rams, as Jared Goff is currently in the concussion protocol. Nonetheless, whoever starts will face a 49ers’ defense that’s allowing an average of 258 passing yards per game and 28 passing touchdowns to opposing QBs.


Running Back

USATSI_9748278_168381090_lowres

Worst RB Matchups

1. Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks – Getting a $900 savings in salary from last week, David Johnson remains the most expensive running back ahead of his matchup against Seattle. The Seahawks have held opposing backs to just seven rushing touchdowns and an average of 3.5 YPC.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans – The Jaguars will try to run against a Titans’ defense that’s allowed just five rushing touchdowns and 3.9 YPC to opposing RBs.

3. New York Jets vs. New England Patriots – The Patriots and Cowboys are the only teams in the league that have held opposing running backs to less than 1,000 yards on the season. Opposing running backs have rushed for only four touchdowns and are gaining an average of 3.6 YPC against the Patriots’ defense.

Best RB Matchups

1. L.A. Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers – Todd Gurley received a massive $2,000 bump in salary from last week with a matchup against the 49ers looming. San Fran has allowed a league-leading 22 rushing touchdowns and an average of 5.1 YPC to opposing running backs.

2. San Diego Chargers vs Cleveland Browns – Regardless of who is starting for the Chargers at running back, they’ll be in an even better spot than last week when they faced the Raiders. They’ll face a Browns’ defense that’s allowed opposing RBs to score 17 rushing touchdowns and an average of 4.6 YPC.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints – With Doug Martin handling 84% of the touches in Week 14, he becomes an interesting bounce back candidate against the Saints. New Orleans has allowed 16 rushing touchdowns on the season while surrendering an average of 4.1 YPC.


Wide Receiver

USATSI_9740398_168381090_lowres

Worst WR Matchups

1. Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings’ numbers against opposing wide receivers have fallen a bit as of late, but they still remain the top defense against them in Week 16. Overall, Minnesota is allowing opposing WRs to average 125 receiving yards per game with 11 touchdowns scored. 

2. Cincinnati Bengals vs. Houston Texans – The Texans’ defense has really looked great over the past two weeks, and they will try to continue that in Week 16. Overall, they’ve allowed an average of 134 receiving yards per game to WRs with 11 touchdowns scored. 

3. Houston Texans vs. Cincinnati Bengals – Not to be outdone by their opponent, the Bengals have been on the same level as the Texans against wide receivers. They are also allowing an average of only 134 receiving yards per game, but they’ve given up 12 touchdowns to opposing WRs on the year.


WATCH: SLEEPER PICK – DeANDRE HOPKINS


Best WR Matchups

1. Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers – The Vikings will face a Packers’ defense that’s allowed opposing WRs to score 21 touchdowns and average 180 receiving yards per game.

2. L.A. Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers – The Rams will face a 49ers’ defense that’s allowed 21 touchdowns and an average of 175 receiving yards to opposing wide receivers.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans – Can you trust Blake Bortles enough to take his wide receivers in a plus matchup against the Titans? If you can, they’ll face a Tennessee defense that’s allowed 16 receiving touchdowns and an average of 186 yards per game to opposing wideouts.


Tight End

USATSI_9755432_168381090_lowres

Worst TE Matchups

1. Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals – Jimmy Graham has become a forgotten member of the Seahawks as of late, catching just two passes on six targets over his last two games. It’s hard to be excited for this matchup against a Cardinals’ defense that’s allowed just one touchdown and an average of 25 receiving yards per game to tight ends.

2. Cincinnati Bengals vs. Houston Texans – Tyler Eifert is another player who is coming off a less than stellar performance in Week 15 and follows it up with a tough Week 16 matchup. The Texans have held tight ends to three touchdowns and 35 receiving yards per game this season.

3. Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks – With only two touchdowns allowed to opposing TEs and an average of 46 receiving yards per game, the Cardinals will be in a tough spot against Seattle in Week 16.

Best TE Matchups

1. San Diego Chargers vs. Cleveland Browns – Cleveland has allowed 12 touchdowns and an average of 64 receiving yards per game to opposing TEs. Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry combine for 41% of the touchdowns Philip Rivers has thrown this season.

2. Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers – The Falcons’ tight ends are rarely used since the loss of Jacob Tamme, but they are in a great position this week. They’ll face a Carolina defense that’s allowed 10 touchdowns and an average of 60 receiving yards per game to opposing tight ends.

3. Houston Texans vs Cincinnati Bengals – It doesn’t matter if it’s Ryan Griffin or C.J. Fiedorowicz starting at tight end, both are in a great spot against the Bengals here. Cincinnati has allowed opposing TEs to score seven touchdowns while averaging 72 receiving yards per game.


Target Report

Target Leaders – Last Week

NameTeamLast Week’s OPPTargets
DeAndre HopkinsHOUJAX17
Cameron MeredithCHIGB13
Julian EdelmanNEDEN12
Bilal PowellNYJMIA12
Pierre GarconWASCAR11
Brandon MarshallNYJMIA11
J.J. NelsonARZNO11
Willie SneadNOARZ11
DeSean JacksonWASCAR10
Jordy NelsonGBCHI10

Target Leaders – Last 3 Weeks

NameTeamLast 3 WeeksAvg. Targets
Julian EdelmanNE3913
T.Y. HiltonIND3010
Kyle RudolphMIN3010
Robby AndersonNYJ299.7
Larry FitzgeraldARZ299.7
DeAndre HopkinsHOU299.7
Brandin CooksNO279
Jordy NelsonGB279
Kenny BrittLA268.7
Michael CrabtreeOAK268.7


Lineup Quick Hits

QB To Build Lineups Around…

Andrew Luck ($7,000) – Luck has some interesting options priced right around him this week. At $6,900 you can roster Philip Rivers taking on the Browns. At $7,200, you can grab Matt Ryan taking on the Panthers. With these two good spots sandwiched in between Luck, he could be a bit overlooked, thus amplifying his value in a solid matchup. Luck is coming off a nice 18.8 DKFP performance against the Vikings which saw him throw for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Facing an Oakland defense that allows an average of 269 passing yards per game with 23 touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks, Luck should be in a prime spot to excel once again. 

WR To Pair Him With…

T.Y. Hilton ($7,800) – Hilton is the third most expensive wide receiver on this slate, but with no player exceeding a $9,200 price tag, the $7,800 doesn’t hurt as much as it normally would. Hilton continues to eat up targets every week, grabbing 30 over his last three games. He’s coming off a disappointing, but somewhat expected, rough week against the Vikings, where he scored only 7.5 DKFP catching 3/7 targets for 45 yards. Hilton has blown away his teammates in terms of targets, grabbing 16 more than Jack Doyle, who has 14 over the last three weeks.

The Top RB Will Be…

Jordan Howard ($6,300) – At a very friendly $6,300 salary this week, Howard faces a very poor Redskins’ defense that continues to be ripped by opposing running backs. Over the past four weeks, the Redskins are allowing an average of 109 rushing yards per game with three rushing touchdowns and three through the air. Since Week 7 (when Howard saw only seven carries), he’s averaging 19 carries while hovering around 101 rushing yards per game.

 


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.