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Fantasy Football Matchups That Matter - Week 6

By Jared Smola 10:31am EDT 10/15/23

Welcome to Week 6’s Matchups That Matter.

The goal of this article is to give you a look into the process that fuels our weekly projections and rankings.

The information below is all stuff that we use when formulating those rankings. Hopefully taking a look through it helps you make better lineup decisions each week.

As always, you should check the Week 6 Rankings and your Team Intel page for customized start/sit advice.

Good luck in Week 6!

 

Highest Game Totals

1. Cowboys at Chargers (51.0)

2.. Cardinals at Rams (48.0)

t-3. Panthers at Dolphins (47.5)

t-3. Broncos at Chiefs (47.5)

5. Seahawks at Bengals (45.0)

   

Lowest Game Totals

t-9. Ravens vs. Titans (42.5)

t-9. Commanders at Falcons (42.5)

t-9. Saints at Texans (42.5)

t-9. Lions at Buccaneers (42.5)

13. Eagles at Jets (42.5)

14. Patriots at Raiders (41.5)

15. 49ers at Browns (36.0)

   

Highest Implied Points

1. Dolphins (31.0)

2. Bills (29.75)

3. Chiefs (29.0)

4. Rams (27.25)

5. Cowboys (26.25)

   

Lowest Implied Points

26. Titans (18.25)

27. Jets (18.0)

28. Panthers (16.5)

29. Giants (14.25)

30. Browns (13.0)

    

Pass Rate Over Expected + Neutral Pace

Here's where every team ranks in Pass Rate Over Expected, neutral pace (average seconds per snap), and plays per game through 5 weeks:

 

Fastest-Paced Games

(Average of neutral seconds/snap)

1. Colts at Jaguars (23.6 seconds)

2. Patriots at Raiders (25.0 seconds)

3. Saints at Texans (25.3 seconds)

4. Cowboys at Chargers (25.9 seconds)

  

Slowest-Paced Games

(Average of neutral seconds/snap)

12. Commanders at Falcons (28.2 seconds)

t-13. Ravens at Titans (28.7 seconds)

t-13. 49ers at Browns (28.7 seconds)

15. Giants at Bills (29.2 seconds)

  

Weather Concerns

Broncos at Chiefs

Forecasted winds of 16-19 mph with potential gusts over 30 mph. That's enough to impact deep passes and kicks. But it's worth noting that the over/under in this game has only dropped a point from 48.0 to 47.0

Vikings at Bears

Sustained winds of 20 mph with gusts of 30+. More than enough to impact deep passes and kicks. This over/under has dropped from 48.5 to 44.0.

49ers at Browns

Sustained winds of 15-20 mph with gusts of 30+. There's also a 50-60% chance of rain during the game. Expect lots of running from both teams in this one.

   

Quarterback

5 Best Passing Matchups 

(sum of pass offense DVOA and opponent pass defense DVOA)

1. Chiefs vs. Broncos (+91.6%)

2. Bills vs. Giants (+82.0%)

3. Dolphins vs. Panthers (+64.6%)

4. Vikings at Bears (+54.5%)

5. 49ers at Browns (+54.0%)

 

5 Worst Passing Matchups 

(sum of pass offense DVOA and opponent pass defense DVOA)

26. Jets vs. Eagles (+0.3%)

27. Raiders vs. Patriots (-0.7%)

28. Titans vs. Ravens (-12.4%)

29. Browns vs. 49ers (-23.9%)

30 Giants at Bills (-50.7%)

 

5 Best QB Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

1. Dak Prescott at Chargers (+85.8%)

2. Matthew Stafford vs. Cardinals (+46.2%)

3. Zach Wilson vs. Eagles (+41.4%)

4. Patrick Mahomes vs. Broncos (+38.8%)

5. Trevor Lawrence vs. Colts (+32.0%)

 

5 Worst QB Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

26. Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Patriots (-21.5%)

27. Mac Jones at Raiders (-22.7%)

28. Jalen Hurts at Jets (-24.9%)

29. Jared Goff at Buccaneers (-30.8%)

30. Daniel Jones at Bills (-35.7%)

 

Sneaky Starters

Matthew Stafford, Rams

Stafford has a few things working in his favor this week:

  1. He has a full arsenal of weapons after Cooper Kupp returned (and looked good) last week.
  2. He’s due for positive TD regression. Stafford is currently sitting on a 2.5% TD rate that ranks fourth lowest in the league.
  3. He gets a Cardinals team that ranks 30th in pass defense DVOA and 31st in adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs.

Sam Howell, Commanders

Howell ranks 14th among QBs in fantasy points through five weeks – despite scoring just 6.3 against the Bills in Week 3.

He’s finished as a top-13 fantasy QB in the other four weeks.

It hasn’t always been pretty, but Howell is being boosted by a Washington offense that leads the league in Pass Rate Over Expected. Only four teams have more pass attempts.

Sunday brings a doable matchup vs. the Falcons, who rank 29th in pass defense DVOA and 19th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs.

 

Running Back

5 Best Rushing Matchups 

(sum of rush offense DVOA and opponent rush defense DVOA)

1. Dolphins vs. Panthers (+55.7%)

2. Chiefs vs. Broncos (+11.0%)

3. Cardinals at Rams (+6.5%)

4. Seahawks at Bengals (+6.5%)

5. Lions at Buccaneers (+3.3%)

 

5 Worst Rushing Matchups 

(sum of rush offense DVOA and opponent rush defense DVOA)

26. Bengals vs. Seahawks (-44.3%)

27. Jets vs. Eagles (-50.6%)

28. Raiders vs. Patriots (-51.5%)

29. Texans vs. Saints (-51.6%)

30. Buccaneers vs. Lions (-52.4%)

 

5 Best RB Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

1. Chiefs vs. Broncos (+124.4%)

2. Vikings at Bears (+73.1%)

3. Rams vs. Cardinals (+44.1%)

4. Dolphins vs. Panthers (+36.2%)

5. Bills vs. Giants (+26.8%)

 

5 Worst RB Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

26. Buccaneers vs. Lions (-32.4%)

27. Broncos at Chiefs (-37.6%)

28. Jets vs. Eagles (-38.5%)

29. Cardinals at Rams (-40.0%)

30. Colts at Jaguars (-40.4%)

 

Sneaky Starter

Tyler Allgeier, Falcons

Allgeier failed as a Sneaky Starter for us last week.

But the process was good!

Allgeier racked up a season-high 17 carries in the win over Houston – but managed just 40 yards.

He’s now tallied 15, 16, and 17 carries in the Falcons’ three wins this season (vs. seven in both of their losses).

Atlanta is a 1.5-point home favorite vs. Washington this weekend.

The Commanders rank a middling 16th in run defense DVOA, allowing 4.4 yards per carry to RBs.

Emari Demercado, Cardinals

Demercado is probably a JAG. He has nice size (215 lbs.) and speed (4.49-second 40 time). But he totaled just 1,615 rushing yards on 4.8 yards per carry across five seasons at TCU. Then he went undrafted this spring.

But volume is volume. And Demercado is set to get it with RB James Conner out.

Demercado's rushing projection is shakier with RB Keaontay Ingram back.

But, at minimum, Demercado should handle passing-down work. He’d already been stealing some passing snaps from Conner and totaled four catches on seven targets over the last two games.

The Rams rank second in adjusted fantasy points allowed to RBs, but that’s largely because they’ve allowed just two RBs TDs – tied for eighth fewest.

Los Angeles is way down at 25th in run defense DVOA.

  

Wide Receiver

5 Best WR Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

1. Falcons vs. Commanders (+43.5%)

2. Bengals vs. Seahawks (+39.0%)

3. Buccaneers vs. Lions (+36.0%)

4. Cowboys at Chargers (+32.1%)

5. Jets vs. Eagles (+31.7%)

 

5 Worst WR Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

26. Cardinals at Rams (-22.0%)

27. Patriots at Raiders (-22.9%)

28. Commanders at Falcons (-31.3%)

29. Eagles at Jets (-43.2%)

30. 49ers at Browns (-55.3%)

 

CB Matchup Upgrades

Dolphins WRs Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle vs. Panthers CBs C.J Henderson, D’Shawn Jamison, and Troy Hill

Bills WRs Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis vs. Giants CBs Adoree Jackson and Tre Hawkins

Rams WRs Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua, and Tutu Atwell vs. Cardinals CBs Marco Wilson, Kei’Trel Clark, and Antonio Hamilton

Ravens WR Zay Flowers vs. Titans CBs Kristan Fulton (outside) and Roger McCreary (slot)

 

CB Matchup Downgrades

Texans WR Nico Collins vs. Saints CB Marshon Lattimore

Broncos WRs Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton vs. Chiefs CBs Trent McDuffie, L’Jarius Sneed, and Joshua Williams

  

Sneaky Starters

Jordan Addison and K.J. Osborn, Vikings

I’m not breaking any news here, but WR Justin Jefferson’s absence is a big deal for Addison and Osborn. Jefferson leaves behind 10.6 targets per game.

The Vikings probably scale back their pass rate sans Jefferson, but there’s still a ton of opportunity for the other pass-catchers.

Osborn has already been a full-time player this season. Addison will be now, too.

They get their first game without Jefferson against a Bears squad that ranks 31st in pass defense DVOA.

Josh Downs, Colts

Downs delivered a 6-97-0 line for us as Sneaky Starter last week. He’s now finished as a top-32 PPR WR in two of the last three weeks.

The first top-32 finish came with QB Gardner Minshew, who will be back under center this Sunday.

We’re considering Minshew a slight upgrade over QB Anthony Richardson for Indianapolis’ pass-catchers. More drop backs will turn into pass attempts (rather than scrambles) with Minshew. And the veteran is a more accurate passer than the rookie at this point of their careers.

Minshew has targeted Downs on 24% of his passes so far this season.

  

Tight End

5 Best TE Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

1. Logan Thomas at Falcons (+72.6%)

2. Dallas Goedert at Jets (+46.6%)

3. Jake Ferguson at Chargers (+46.5%)

4. T.J. Hockenson at Bears (+43.4%)

5. Cade Otton vs. Lions (+38.6%)

 

5 Worst TE Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

26. Chig Okonwko vs. Ravens (-31.7%)

27. Sam LaPorta at Buccaneers (-36.0%)

28. Tyler Higbee vs. Cardinals (-37.6%)

29. Kyle Pitts/Jonnu Smith vs. Commanders (-39.3%)

30. Dalton Schultz vs. Saints (-53.3%)

 

Sneaky Starters

Logan Thomas, Commanders

This feels like cheating.

I just wrote earlier this week that Thomas is a weekly TE1 going forward. But he’s still available in half of the fantasy leagues on Sleeper (and starting in only 27% of them).

Thomas has totaled 22 targets across his three full games this season, finishing TE11, TE22, and TE3 in PPR points.

Next up is a Falcons defense that ranks dead last in adjusted fantasy points allowed to TEs.

  

Defense/Special Teams

5 Best DST Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

1. Falcons vs. Commanders (+177.9%)

2. Bills vs. Giants (+140.0%)

3. 49ers at Browns (+87.5%)

4. Raiders vs. Patriots (+86.7%)

5. Vikings at Bears (+65.0%)

 

5 Worst DST Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

26. Cowboys at Chargers (-53.3%)

27. Buccaneers vs. Lions (-55.6%)

28. Cardinals at Rams (-62.3%)

29. Saints at Texans (-63.8%)

30. Browns vs. 49ers (-98.5%)

 

Sneaky Starters

Dolphins

Carolina has been the seventh best matchup for opposing DSTs, according to adjusted fantasy points allowed.

The Panthers rank bottom-9 in sacks allowed and giveaways. And they’ve scored 10, 17, 13, and 24 points in QB Bryce Young’s four games.

They’re 14.5-point underdogs in Miami with a 16.5-point implied total – fourth lowest on the week.

Falcons

This is an improved defense. It hasn’t shown up yet in fantasy points, where the Falcons rank 28th. But they sit 11th in points allowed and seventh in yards per play allowed.

More importantly, Atlanta gets a Commanders offense this weekend that’s easily been the best matchup for DSTs. Washington has allowed the second-most sacks (29) and surrendered the fourth-most giveaways (10) through five weeks.

  

Kicker

5 Best K Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

1. Eddy Pineiro at Dolphins (+94.3%)

2. Younghoe Koo vs. Commanders (+79.3%)

3. Jake Elliott at Jets (+42.5%)

4. Nick Folk vs. Ravens (+33.9%)

5. Harrison Butker vs. Broncos (+28.6%)

 

5 Worst K Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

26. Graham Gano at Bills (-33.6%)

27. Cameron Dicker vs. Cowboys (-35.5%)

28. Dustin Hopkins vs. 49ers (-40.0%)

29. Matt Gay at Jaguars (-46.2%)

30. Greg Zuerlein vs. Eagles (-51.5%)

 

Sneaky Starters

Brett Maher, Rams

Only three kickers have scored more fantasy points than Maher through five weeks. He drilled three FGs in each of the Rams’ first four games before a rough Week 5 vs. the Eagles.

Sunday brings a bounce-back spot vs. the Cardinals, who rank 22nd in adjusted fantasy points allowed to kickers.

The Rams’ 27.25-point implied total is fourth-highest on the week.

Brandon McManus, Jaguars

McManus sits a solid 12th among kickers in fantasy points so far.

Week 6 brings a home game against the Colts that has the Jaguars 4.5-point favorites with a 24.25-point implied total.

 

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