FAVORABLE MATCHUPS (CASH/GPP)
Ben Roethlisberger (DK – $6,800/FD – $8,600): Roethlisberger remains the second highest scoring QB, but he only has two passing TDs or fewer in six of his last seven games. Ben has over 300 yards passing in seven games with five strong games (452/4, 353/3, 328/5, 314/3, and 452/2). The loss of James Conner does force the Steelers to rely on the passing game vs. the Raiders. Oakland fell to 26th in QB defense after struggling against the Chiefs last week (35.95 Fantasy points). Six teams have three passing TDs or more against the Raiders with no team passing for over 300 yards in the last games. Very winnable matchup even with Ben being a less trusted option on the road. His two great WRs and the TE position should be plenty for Oakland to handle in the passing game. Possible 300+ yards with three or more TDs.
Drew Brees (DK – $6,600/FD – $8,500): Over the last six games, Brees passed for short yards in four starts (212/2, 120/1, 171/4, and 127/1). Drew did have a four-game stretch from Week 9 to Week 12 where he had four TDs in each game while delivering over 300 yards in two contests. Brees attempted 32 passes or fewer in eight of his last nine games. In a chaser game in Week 1, he passed for 439 yards and three TDs vs. the Bucs. Tampa held the QB position to 25.0 Fantasy points or fewer in seven straight games after allowing over 30.0 Fantasy points to QBs three times over the first five weeks. Revenge has to be on the mind of the Saints this week, but they may score multiple TDs in the ground. High scoring offense, which may lead to an explosive showing by Drew in Week 13.
Deshaun Watson (DK – $5,900/FD – $7,800): The Texans continue to win games while minimizing the passing attempts over the last seven weeks (25, 24, 20, 24, 24, 24, and 31). Deshaun passed for fewer than 240 yards in each of his last seven games with his only playable game over this span coming in Week 8 (239/5). His four games with over 300 yards passing came over the first five weeks of the season. Watson passed for 375 yards and three TDs against the Colts in Week 4. Indy sits 14th in QB defense with seven teams scoring fewer than 20.0 Fantasy points. Indy allowed over 30.0 Fantasy points to QBs in three games (HOU – 375/3, NE – 341/3, and OAK – 244/4). The Colts success on defense over the last seven games came against NYJ, BUF, OAK, JAC, TEN, MIA, and JAC), which tells me Deshaun is poised to deliver an impact game while being under-owned.
Andrew Luck (DK – $5,900/FD – $7,900): Luck saw his eight-game streak with three TDs or more end in Week 14 when the Jaguars held him to 248 yards and no TDs. Andrew built some of his cushion in TDs by having a favorable schedule over his last seven games as mention the Deshaun Watson profile. He’s on pace for 43 TDs with a career-high in his completion rate (67.9). The Texans play well vs. the run while ranking 9th in QB defense. Over the last eight weeks, Houston allowed fewer than 21.0 Fantasy points to the QB position in seven games while also playing mostly second-tier offenses over this span (BUF, JAC, MIA, DEN, WAS, TEN, and CLE). Luck will throw TDs, and I expect this game to be more wide open than expected. Viable at this level.
MATCHUP RISK / AGAINST THE GRAIN (GPP)
Patrick Mahomes (DK – $7,000/FD – $9,300): Mahomes scored over 30.0 Fantasy points in six of his last seven games while adding his seventh game with four TDs or more in Week 13. Patrick has nine games with over 300 yards passing while being on pace for 57 TDs and 5,231 passing yards. The Ravens have the second best QB defense in the league while showing risk in three games (CIN – 265/4, CAR – 282 combined yards with three TDs, and PIT – 292/3). Baltimore’s defense is trending forward after winning three straight games, but they did play three weaker teams (CIN, OAK, and ATL) while turning to the run game to control the clock. This game could go in two directions. Either the Chiefs jump out early and force the Ravens to throw, which may lead to turnovers for Lamar Jackson and explosiveness for Mahomes. The second path points success in a run controlled offense by the Ravens while keeping the Chiefs’ offense on the sidelines. Patrick falls into the against the grain mode this week, but I don’t fear the Ravens’ defense.
Carson Wentz (DK – $5,400/FD – $7,300): Last week Wentz passed for over 300 yards for the fifth time in eight games, but he only has three TDs over his last three games. Carson continues to make mistakes in the red zone costing his team wins and TDs. In Week 10, Carson passed for 360 yards and two TDs against the Cowboys. Dallas jumped to 7th in QB defense after holding Drew Brees to only 9.55 Fantasy points. No team has over 28.00 Fantasy points at QB vs. the Cowboys. Tough to trust based on his recent path in TD production. Wentz does have the receiving talent while needing a win.
Derek Carr (DK – $5,00/FD – $6,600): Carr threw the ball well last week (285/3), which gives him his third good game at home (437/4 and 244/4). Over his other nine starts, Derek only has six TDs with over 300 yards passing in two other games. The Steelers struggled last week defending Philip Rivers (26.95 Fantasy points) after holding the last six opponents to fewer than 20.0 Fantasy points at the QB position. The Steelers allow 7.0 yards per pass attempt with 23 TDs. Below par matchup with minimal chance to deliver an impact game thanks to 41 sacks by Pittsburgh’ defense.
Ryan Tannehill (DK – $4,800/FD – $6,900): In his first two games back in the starting lineup for the Dolphins, Tannehill passed for 341 combined yards with five TDs. In his seven starts this year, Ryan has under 29 passes attempts in six games. The Patriots held QBs to under 20.0 Fantasy points in three of their last five games, but they still rank 22nd in QB defense. New England allows only 6.8 yards per pass attempt with 23 passing TDs (six over the last five games). I can’t trust the Dolphins’ passing weapons, and the Patriots’ defense is improving.
BAD MATCHUP (AVOID)
Matthew Stafford (DK – $5,200/FD – $6,700): Over the last three games with Golden Tate off the roster, Stafford failed to pass for over 245 yards in any game with only two combined TDs. Matthews has two passing TDs or fewer in ten straight games while passing for over 300 yards in three games on the year. The Cardinals remain a top pass defense (3rd) in the NFL with 11 of 12 opponents scoring fewer than 25.00 Fantasy points at the QB position. Fighting a losing battle with low-value BB gun.
Philip Rivers (DK – $6,500/FD – $8,300): Rivers rates down in the QB field in Week 14 with the Bengals losing their way vs. the run over the last ten weeks (334/1697/15) with four teams rushing for over 200 yards. Cinci also ranks last in the NFL defending QBs with five of their lost ten opponents scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points from the QB position. Rivers has over 300 yards passing in four games while tossing two TDs or more in every game this year. LA can name their price on offense if they want to go full throttle in either the run or the passing game. Not a favorite due to expected game flow with Chargers expected to feature a heavy run offense while playing from the lead in a non-competitive game on the scoreboard.
Cam Newton (DK – $,6,300/FD – $8,400): Newton passed for over 300 yards in two of his last three games while extending his streak with two TDs or more to 11 games. Over the last nine games, Cam only has one rushing TD with some success on the ground (63/314/1). Last week he threw a season-high four Ints while suffering a minor shoulder injury. Cleveland ranks 21st defending QBs with disaster in two games (OAK – 438/4 and KC 375/3). Fantasy owners have a love-hate relationship with Newton as he tends to fall short when considered a favorite while surprising at times in a big way when overlooked. Let’s just say he owes me more money from Week 13 leading to me looking elsewhere to save my Fantasy bankroll. Christian McCaffrey has been hot, which may lead to Newton being the right Panthers to ride this week.
Jameis Winston (DK – $6,200/FD – $7,700): Winston played well in his last two games (312/2 and 249/2) with some success on the ground (12/72). On the year in five full games, Jameis passed for over 300 yards in three games with one game of value (395/4). In Week 1, the Bucs surprised the Saints with a huge passing game (417/5). New Orleans still allows the third most Fantasy points to QBs while playing better on defense over the last month (55 points with six TDs allowed). Over this span, the Saints allowed under 250 yards passing in three games, but QBs did gain 8.0 yards per pass attempt in five of their last six games while being masked by an improved pass rush (20 sacks) in the last four contests. Winston has the tools for success while being a low percentage own this week. I do fear a shaky passing day could lead to another benching.
Aaron Rodgers (DK – $6,000/FD – $8,100): Rodgers is the 11th ranked QB after 12 weeks with his only three games of value coming in Week 1 (286/3), Week 5 (442/3, and Week 6 (425/2). Aaron has two TDs or fewer in each of his last seven games while passing for over 300 yards once over this span. The Falcons allow the 2nd most Fantasy points to QBs with three teams scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points (CAR – 335/3, NO – 396/3, and CIN – 337/3, and TB – 395/4) with each game coming over the first six weeks of the season. Upside matchup as long as the Packers don’t score too many TDs on the ground.
Tom Brady (DK – $5,800/FD – $7,600): Brady is the 13th ranked QB after 12 weeks after tossing only four TDs over his last six games. Over this stretch, Tom passed for over 300 yards in two games. On the year, he has four games with three TDs and one playable game (341/3) in the daily market. Miami is 18th against QBs while allowing over 29.0 Fantasy points to QBs in four of their last seven games. The Dolphins allow 8.1 yards per pass attempt with QBs tossing 23 TDs. The Patriots don’t play well in Miami, but Brady may surprise based on the direction of the Dolphins’ defense.
Baker Mayfield (DK – $5,800/FD – $7,500): Mayfield made multiple early mistakes last week, which led to the Browns chasing in the scoreboard. He finished with 397 yards and one TD while having an 80-yard TD called back due to a penalty. His completion rate (71.8) has been strong over the last month with 1,168 yards and ten TDs while facing three poor defense (KC, ATL, and CIN). The Panthers rank 27th vs. the QB position with three poor showings (ATL – 272/4 and NYG – 383/3, and PIT – 325/5). Five teams have over 300 yards passing against Carolina with ten teams passing for two TDs or more. A reasonable matchup with some upside if the Browns need to fight on the scoreboard.
Lamar Jackson (DK – $5,700/FD – $7,500): Jackson moved to 3-0 after beating the Falcons last week in a ball controlled game. Over his first three starts in the NFL, Lamar has 718 combined yards with three TDs highlighted by his value as a runner (54/265/2). The Chiefs allowed the most Fantasy points to QBs with three teams scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points plus the third-most Fantasy points to RBs, which should lead to plenty of runs again by the Ravens as long as they don’t fall too far behind on the scoreboard. A tempting matchup with explosive upside as long as he doesn’t make too many mistakes leading to Joe Flacco getting the second half action.
Matt Ryan (DK – $5,600/FD – $8,200): The Falcons’ defense couldn’t get Baltimore’s offense off the field last week, which led to only 20 minutes of offense by Atlanta. Ryan finished with his worst game (131/1) of the year. Over his last four games, Matt only has six passing TDs with two games with over 300 yards passing while facing three improving defense over the last three games. Green Bay is 12th against QBs with seven of 12 opponents scoring under 20.0 Fantasy points from the QB position. The Packers allow 7.6 yards per pass attempt with 19 passing TDs. Green Bay has 38 sacks, which may slow down the passing yards of Ryan. Decent floor with some explosiveness if Julio Jones or Calvin Ridley hits on a long TD.
Dak Prescott (DK – $5,600/FD – $7,400): This season Prescott doesn’t have a game with more than two passing TDs while scoring a rushing TD in five of his last seven games. He’s passed for 250 yards or fewer in two-thirds of his games while showing improvement in his completion rate (72.8) over his last five games. In Week 10, Dak passed for 270 yards with two TDs vs. the Eagles. Philly sits just below league average against QBs while showing disaster downside in three games (TB – 402/4, TEN 344/2, and NO – 373/4). Dallas will try to beat Philly on the ground, which will limit the upside in this matchup. The Eagles still have issues at CB, which is a positive for the Cowboys’ passing game if they decide to throw.
Josh Allen (DK – $5,500/FD – $7,400): The Josh Allen/Zay Jones hookup won a lucky Fantasy owner one million dollars last week. Allen came up short again in passing yards (231/2), but his legs (nine rushes for 135 yards) filled his salary bucket. Over the last two games. Josh completed only half of his passes for 391 yards and two passing TDs while pickup 234 yards on the ground with one TD. The Jets are league average vs. the QB position with seven of the last nine opponents scoring between 20.0 and 29.0 Fantasy points. The Bills have a bounce in their step over the last three week while New York will try to avenge an ass whipping in Week 10 (41-10). Worth a down for anyone that made a profit on him last week.
Case Keenum (DK – $5,200/FD – $6,800): Denver has three straight wins with minimal success from Keenum (205/0, 197/2, and 151/1), but he did extend his streak with no Ints to four games. Over the last 11 games, Case doesn’t have over two TDs in a game with his best success coming at home in Week 1 (329/3). The 49ers slid to 25th defending QBs after allowing over 25.0 Fantasy points in their last two games. QBs have 27 TDs against San Fran, which gives Keenum a chance to surprise if forced to throw this week.
Eli Manning (DK – $5,100/FD – $6,500): This season Manning has one TD or fewer in eight of his 12 games while passing for over 300 yards in three games. Eli still doesn’t have a game of value in the daily contests. In Week 8, he passed for 316 yards and one TD against the Redskins. Washington is 24th defending QBs with three of their last nine opponents scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points. I’m still waiting for Odell Beckham to have an impact game while Sterling Shepard enters this week with a potential injury.
Nick Mullens (DK – $4,600/FD – $6,400): Game score helped Mullens attempt a career-high 48 passes in Week 13 leading to 414 yards and two TDs. Over his last three games, Nick has four TDs and five Ints. The Broncos are 15th defending QBs with three of the last five opponents scoring over 25.0 Fantasy points. The Broncos lost their top CB last week, which is a positive for the 49ers passing game. Priced low enough where 250 yards and two TDs may be enough to clear some salary to add another star player. Only a flier.