Expect More / Expect Less: Week 4

October 2, 2015 2:15 pm Published by

The winning formula in fantasy football is simple: Play the matchups.

Yet, accurately determining the difficulty of a matchup and the true value of a player can be challenging if you use the same old dusty stats that every fantasy site has been using for the last decade.

Fantasy football is a game of numbers, so why not use the next generation of fantasy analytics to do the number crunching for you?

That’s why my weekly column ‘Number Crunch’ uses a proprietary system called “FantasyoMatic,” which uses an algorithm to provide the actual strength of an opponent and actual player capabilities with accuracy levels that you cannot find anywhere else. This system takes all the emotion and guesswork out of winning in fantasy football, and has proven to be up to 46 percent more accurate than the metrics that everyone else in your league is using.

Sound complicated? Don’t worry — it’s simple to understand. All you need to know is that the player or matchup with the higher rating is the better option. Positive numbers mean positive matchups, negative numbers mean negative matchups. That’s it.

Let the system do all the number crunching. All you need to do is find a spot for that fantasy league trophy.

Weekly Matchup Ranges

Below are the EASIEST and TOUGHEST defensive matchups against each fantasy position. The higher the number, the better the matchup for players who are facing them.

Matchups

Want ALL the Defense Ratings? Find them here.

Legend

Here’s an easy breakdown of how each player module works. When these terms are mentioned in the text (i.e. “best”) they are corresponding to these ratings and colors:

Legend

Expect More:

Players who could exceed expectations this week based on their ability to outplay their matchups combined with the weakness of their opponent.

QB

BWeeden_FNCW4

Brandon Weeden @ NO

You may be desperately trying to fill a roster spot if Tom Brady’s BYE week snuck up on you or Big Ben was your only quarterback. Many leagues are extremely thin on quarterback waiver options already this season. The numbers say that your “fantasy game manager” option this week could be Brandon Weeden. If you watched the Cowboys game last week you saw what appeared to be a very low-risk game plan for Weeden with check-down passes to Lance Dunbar and Jason Witten. You might be shocked to find out that Weeden is currently top five of all quarterbacks in Yards Per Pass Attempt. Weeden faces a New Orleans defense this week that gives up a league-leading 9.7 yards per pass attempt. The Saints’ .74 “Fantasy Points Per Attempt” (FPPA) is the most allowed by any defense and is double Weeden’s average FPPA after two games this season. New Orleans handed a lesser rated Jameis Winston his best game of the season in Week 2. The Saints defense should provide just enough opportunity for Weeden to allow him to not sink your roster.

Forecast: Weeden has one more startable game in Week 7 when he faces a “great” rated matchup against the Giants defense. You can then forget about Weeden as he faces nothing but negative matchups until Romo returns.

[Recommended Usage: QB2]

DFS Bonus Matchup: Sam Bradford @ WAS

RB

 

JonathanStewart_FNCW4

Jonathan Stewart @ TB

Frustrated Stewart owners would like to see more out of him than just four yards per carry and six fantasy points per game. Stewart should be able to improve upon his 0.35 “Fantasy Points Per Touch” (FPPT) since the Buccaneers give up the third highest FPPT in the NFL with an 0.81 average. Stewart could be looking at his first double digit scoring game of the season if he maintains his 14-18 rush attempts and can double his FPPT average this week against the Bucs. Stewart is the highest rated running back to face the Buccaneers so far this season. Three of the lower rated backs that have already faced Tampa Bay have scored double digit fantasy points including 20+ point performances from Alfred Blue and Bishop Sankey.

Forecast: Four of Stewart’s next five matchups are “good” rated, but he does hit a bit of a rough patch after his BYE week with two negative matchups against the Seahawks and Eagles. If he heats up, he could be a good “buy low” since he will only have only one negative matchup for the rest of the season starting in Week 8. [Recommended Usage: FLEX]

EddieLacy_FNCW4

Eddie Lacy @ SF

Eddie Lacy owners who spent a first round draft pick on him are likely nervous about his early season production. He was injured in Week 2, but was out-carried by James Starks 17-10 on 31 snaps after coming back last week. Health is certainly a factor, but his lack of production can also be attributed to Lacy’s extreme matchup dependency (http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-fantasy/0ap3000000501850/Fantasy-OMatic-Is-Eddie-Lacy-overrated). Lacy averaged 6 fantasy points against negative matchups while averaging an outstanding 18 fantasy points a game against positive ones in 2014. Lacy’s lone double digit game this season came against his only positive rated matchup back in Week 1. Lacy’s should be able to get to double digit fantasy points this week as he faces his second easiest matchup of the season on the road in San Francisco. The 49ers give up the second most rushing touchdowns per game (1.7) and have already allowed lesser rated running backs like Chris Johnson and DeAngello Williams to score 27 fantasy points against them this season.

Forecast: Lacy owners will have to wait until later in the season to feast on positive matchups. The upcoming games against the Rams, Chargers and Broncos will provide his last stretch of negative matchups before he finishes the season with five positive matchups in his eight final games. If the Lacy owner in your league is panicking, buy Lacy now. [Recommended Usage: RB1]

DFS Bonus Matchup: Melvin Gordon vs CLE

WR

JordanMatthews_FNCW4

Jordan Mathews @ WAS

Jordan Matthews has six-plus catches in each of Philadelphia’s first three games and has turned those into a 9.7 fantasy point per game average. Mathews has remained part of the Eagles offensive game plan with an average of ten targets per game, leading all Eagles receivers. Mathews has scored only one touchdown so far this season but this week he faces a matchup against the Redskins defense that has averages over one receiving touchdown per game. The Redskins are a “great” rated matchup for receivers, but they are an even better matchup for opposing slot receivers like Mathews now that they put cornerback Justin Rogers on I.R. Mathews will be matched up in the slot against a practice squad player this week.

Forecast: The next two weeks represent two of Matthews four remaining “great” rated matchups this season. After Week 5 he will see a string of four “bad” rated matchups through Week 10.  [Recommended Usage: WR2]

JordanMatthews_FNCW4

Marvin Jones vs. KC

Marvin Jones has surpassed Mohamed Sanu as the No. 2 receiver in Cincinnati. Jones’ snaps have increased from 63% in Week 1 to 87% in Week 3. Jones has also steadily increased his “Fantasy Points Per Snap” from 0.04 to 0.23 over those three games. Jones was able to take advantage of a “great” rated matchup against the Ravens last week and only 39% of his fantasy points came from his touchdown. He has another “great” rated matchup this week as the Bengals host the Chiefs. Kansas City’s badly beaten up secondary has given up  a league-leading 3.3 passing touchdowns a game to opposing receivers. Jones is ninth in the NFL in “Fantasy Points Per Target” (FPPT) (http://www.fantasyomatic.com/?page_id=10616) and is facing a Chiefs defense that gives up the sixth most FPPT to opposing receivers.

Forecast: Last week’s big game for Jones came against his best rated matchup of the season. After this week, the matchups get tougher with only has three remaining positive matchups. Worse yet, he has five of the algorithm’s toughest rated “worst” matchups still to come this season. [Recommended Usage: WR3]

DFS Bonus Start: Tedd Ginn Jr.

TE

MBennett_FNCW4

Martellus Bennett vs. OAK

Martellus Bennet has not scored a touchdown since Week 1 has had a slow couple weeks ever since Jay Cutler went down with injury. That will likely change this week as Bennett faces a Raiders defense that has given up more yards and touchdowns to tight ends than any unit in the league. The Raiders have given up five touchdowns in three weeks to tight ends. Chicago will need to get into the red zone to take advantage of Bennett’s matchup. Currently Chicago’s offense is last in the NFL in Red Zone Scoring Attempts Per Game (1.7), but Oakland’s defense has allowed the second most Red Zone Scoring Attempts Per Game (5.0) to opposing offenses. This increase in red zone attempts directly correlates to Bennett’s probability of scoring.

Forecast: The majority of Bennett’s remaining games are “bad” rated matchups, yet he should see another spike in production in a “great” rated matchup against the Lions in Week 6.  [Recommended Usage: TE1]

DFS Bonus Start: Charles Clay  vs. NYG

D/ST

SD vs. CLE: DST streaming is all about finding defenses that are favored to win while playing at home and that are projected to be in a low scoring game. The Chargers will enjoy all three of these this week. The Chargers play host to a Browns offense that has given up over three sacks, 1.7 fumbles and just ten scoreboard points per game. If your waivers are thin on defenses, give the Chargers a whirl.

IND vs JAX: The Colts defense is a deep league DST flier in Week 4. They are coming off a three sack and two interception performance against the Titans last week and this week have everyone’s favorite DST matchup against the Jaguars. The Jaguars are playing on the road and are an underdog in a game that is already a must-win for Indianapolis. The Colts should keep their sack and interception streak going since the Jaguars give up 2.3 sacks and one interception per game.

 

Expect Less:

Players who could fall short of expectations this week based on the strength of their opponent.

QB

 RyanTannehill_FNCW4

Ryan Tannehill vs. NYJ

Ryan Tannehill is coming off a Week 3 fantasy performance that was padded mostly by garbage time completions. He spent most of his day trying to evade a pass rush while playing behind an offensive line that was missing Branden Albert. Tannehill faces a Jets defense this week that fantasyomatic rates as the fifth toughest matchup for fantasy quarterbacks. Tannehill’s has a 0.38 “Fantasy Points Per Attempt” (FPPA) that lands him middle of the pack for starting quarterbacks. The Jets have allowed the second lowest FPPA to opposing quarterbacks so far this season. If you add Tannehill to a list of the four quarterbacks that have already faced the Jets this season, his player rating would be the lowest of the group and the Jets held each of those quarterbacks under 10 fantasy points.

Forecast: After his Week 5 BYE, Tannehill will face four negative matchups over his next five games, including another game against a Bills defense that already intercepted him three times.  [Recommended Usage: QB2]

RB

RyanMathews_FNCW4

Ryan Mathews @ WAS

Ryan Mathews had what could be perceived as a breakout game in Week 3. Mathews provided a spark for the Eagles’ ground game with 108 yards on 25 carries after entering the contest with just four carries on the season. Of the three running backs in Philadelphia, the fantasyomatic algorithm awards Mathews with the highest player rating. Mathews was much more effective than DeMarco Murray was in previous weeks. Another week of Murray being inactive could provide another opportunity for Mathews to shine. The Eagles’ Week 4 matchup against the Redskins should concern Mathews owners whether Murray sits or not. Washington is the eighth toughest rated matchup for fantasy running backs. The Redskins give up only 75 rushing yards a game, the third fewest in the NFL. The Redskins have yet to allow a running back to score more than 9 fantasy points against them.

Forecast: It will be hard to tell what role Mathews will have in coming weeks. If he is still getting touches next week then plan on starting him against a Saints defense that the algorithm rates as a “bad” matchup.  [Recommended Usage: FLEX]

JospehRandle_FNCW4

Joseph Randle @ NO

Many specilate that we finally saw our Dallas running back breakout game last week. A closer look at the numbers tells a different story about Randle’s Week 3 performance. After three carries that averaged 28 yards, Randle was shut down in the second half. Some will make the case that the Cowboys went to a pass-heavy approach and featuring Lance Dunbar and that is why Randle stopped scoring. In reality, Randle received 13 more touches after his first three and four of his final eleven carries went for zero or negative yards. If a player scores 81% of his fantasy points on three touches and then has trouble even breaking the line of scrimmage for the rest of the game, you might want to hold off on calling it a breakout. Randle’s player rating is only marginally better than McFadden’s or Dunbar’s. This week Randle faces a “bad” rated matchup against the Saints who have held all but one running back to less than double digit fantasy points. Doug Martin has almost an identical player rating to Randle (-1.89) and Martin was only able to score eight fantasy points against the Saints.

Forecast: Randle is heating up but after four straight positive matchups his best matchups are already behind him. He still has two algorithm rated “worst” matchups waiting for him as well as eight of his last eleven games against negative matchups. Sell.  [Recommended Usage: RB2]

WR

TravisBenjamin_FNCW4

Travis Benjamin @ SD

Travis Benjamin leads the NFL with an outstanding 4.7 Fantasy Points Per Touch if you include special teams touches. It is an amazing stat if your league awards you points for return yardage and special teams scores. Benjamin has accounted for five all-purpose touchdowns through three games with 64% of his fantasy points coming  from his five touchdowns. The question with Benjamin is whether he can sustain this scoring pace as a receiver. He leads the Browns’ receivers with seventeen targets and converted ten of them for receptions. This week he faces a Chargers defense that has given up the third fewest passing yards per game (189) and the second fewest to opposing receivers. Benjamin has scored 54% of his fantasy points on TWO long 50+ yard pass plays for touchdowns. However, the Chargers have given up only three plays over 30 yards to receivers and only one 40+ yard reception for a touchdown in three games.

Forecast: Benjamin should have a chance to pay dividends next week with a “great” rated matchup against the Ravens. Two of his three games after Baltimore are against two “worst” rated matchups with the Broncos and the Cardinals.   [Recommended Usage: WR3]

TE

JordanReed_FNCW4

Jordan Reed vs PHI

A healthy Jordan Reed has proven to be a consistent fantasy producer over his first three games. He two bad passes away from being a top three fantasy tight end. In Week 4 he faces his first “worst” rated matchup of the season against an Eagles defense that has yet to allow a touchdown to a tight end. Only 20% of Reed’s fantasy points this season have come from touchdowns, but the Eagles have also only given up 105 total receiving yards to tight ends. Reed would be the first tight end to exceed six fantasy points against Philadelphia if he somehow manages to be the first to score a touchdown against them.

Forecast: This week is Reed’s last “worst” rated matchup until Week 13. He has five positive matchups between now and then and only two negative ones all over the next three weeks.   [Recommended Usage: LOW TE1]

D/ST

STL @ ARI: The Rams defense finally showed signs of life for fantasy owners last week. The were able to sack the Steelers five times. They will have a much tougher time getting the the quarterback in this week in Arizona. The Cardinals allowed just their first sack of the season last week and have only thrown two interceptions. Arizona simply does not make enough mistakes to be a good fantasy DST matchup.

BUF vs. NYG: The Bills defense have scored double digit fantasy points in two of their three games this season and appear to have another plus matchup against the Giants at home this week. However, if you look closer at the Giants offense you might be shocked to find that Eli has yet to throw and interception and the Giants are only giving up one sack per game. The Bills should give New York their best competition of the season, but double digit fantasy scoring might be more difficult than it appears this week for Buffalo.

Week 4 Forecast:

STL @ ARI: The Rams defense finally showed signs of life for fantasy owners last week. The were able to sack the Steelers five times. They will have a much tougher time getting the the quarterback in this week in Arizona. The Cardinals allowed just their first sack of the season last week and have only thrown two interceptions. Arizona simply does not make enough mistakes to be a good fantasy DST matchup.

BUF vs. NYG: The Bills defense have scored double digit fantasy points in two of their three games this season and appear to have another plus matchup against the Giants at home this week. However, if you look closer at the Giants offense you might be shocked to find that Eli has yet to throw and interception and the Giants are only giving up one sack per game. The Bills should give New York their best competition of the season, but double digit fantasy scoring might be more difficult than it appears this week for Buffalo.

Week 5 BYE WEEK Forecast:

Do you have holes to fill in your roster because of BYEs? Don’t wait until next week’s waivers, grab these guys now and enjoy their tasty matchups before they are even on your opponents’ radar:

QB: Sam Bradford vs NO, Michael Vick @ SD

RB: Matt Jones @ ATL, Ronnie Hillman @ OAK

WR: Roddy White vs. WAS, Kenny Britt @ GB

TE:  Vernon Davis @ NYG, Richard Rodgers vs. STL

DST: HOU vs. IND, NYG vs. SF

 


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