Expect More / Expect Less: Week 9

November 5, 2015 1:50 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.

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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.

Want ALL the Defense Ratings? Find them here.


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:


Expect More:

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


Jay Culter consistently takes advantage of “good” rated matchups. Over his last four games, his algorithm player rating increased by 92 percent as he delivered solid fantasy production against every positive matchup he faced. Cutler gets his fifth-straight positive matchup on Monday night against San Diego. Over their last three games, the Chargers lead the league with seven passing touchdowns against and the third-highest passer rating (115.6) allowed. If you add Cutler to a list of the eight quarterbacks that have already faced the Chargers, his player rating would be the fifth-highest of the group and the player rated sixth (Derek Carr) already scored 23 fantasy points against them in back Week 7.

Forecast: Cutler will need to head back to your bench for the next two weeks as he faces two “worst” rated matchups in a row against the Rams and Broncos. [Recommended Usage: LOW QB1]

DFS Bonus Start: Jameis Winston vs. NYG


Over the last two weeks, Ronnie Hillman is playing over 50 percent of the Broncos offensive snaps while grabbing over 55 percent of the rush attempts. His player rating tripled since Week 4 after delivering his three best fantasy performances of the season. Two of those double digit fantasy days came against “good” rated matchups, while last week he had his best performance of the year against a “bad” rated Green Bay defense. This week Hillman should continue to see 15-20 touches in a “good” rated matchup against the Colts. Over the last four weeks, only three other teams have given up more fantasy points to running backs than the Colts. Opposing lead running backs are earning 1.01 Fantasy Points Per Touch (FPPT) against Indianapolis, the most in the league over that span.

Forecast: The Broncos backfield has faced all but one of its positive matchups this season. The next attractive matchup doesn’t come until Week 13 when they face a “great” rated Chargers defense. [Recommended Usage: RB2]

DFS Bonus Start: Ryan Mathews at DAL


Mike Evans is one of the most volume-dependent receivers in the NFL. Over his first two NFL seasons, Evans averages over 16 fantasy points a game when he sees more than 30 percent of the Buccaneers pass targets and only eight fantasy points when he sees less. Target volume should not be an issue this week against a Giants defense that gives up the second-most receptions in the NFL. This will be just Evans’ third positive matchup of the season and he averaged 13 fantasy points a game in the first two.

Forecast: Evans entered the sweet spot of his season back in Week 7 and produced his best fantasy performance of the year. After a “bad” rated matchup next week, Evans finishes the season with four positive matchups out of his final six games. [Recommended Usage: WR2]

Steve Johnson played over 80 percent of the Chargers offensive snaps over the last two games, and will likely see his role increase after Keenan Allen‘s season-ending injury. Johnson previously had to play 10-12 snaps before seeing a touch, but as his targets increase moving forward (Allen had 25 percent of the team’s targets), he should see a steady decrease in the amount of snaps he needs to play before he sees a target. The Chargers lead the NFL in yards after catch (YAC) with 206 per game, and Johnson had the third-highest YAC on the team. Johnson’s increase in opportunities along with his YAC should serve as a perfect fit against a Bears defense allows the third-most YAC to opposing wide receivers. Johnson has not scored a touchdown since Week 2, but his chances to score increase this week against a Chicago defense giving up the fourth-most touchdowns to receivers.

Forecast: After he returns from his Week 10 bye, Johnson gets a pair of “great” rated matchups against the Chiefs porous defense. [Recommended Usage: FLEX]

DFS Bonus Start: Ted Ginn Jr. vs. GB


Heath Miller will be the beneficiary of the tight end matchup of the week. Miller has a “great” rated matchup against a Raiders defense that gives up a league-leading one touchdown per game to tight ends. The Steelers tend to lean on Miller when the matchup is right. He averages over four FPPT against positive matchups, but just 0.57 against negative ones. This leads to Miller averaging five more fantasy points per game against positive rated opponents like the Raiders than against negative ones.

Forecast: This will be Miller’s final “great” rated matchup of the season. He may not be worth holding on to after this week since he still faces two “worst” rated matchups and has not had his bye. [Recommended Usage: LOW TE1]

DFS Bonus Start: Kyle Rudolph at CHI


CIN vs. CLE: The Bengals defense put themselves back on the fantasy radar last week with their best fantasy performance since Week 2. This week they may have the highest upside of any defense. Cincinnati plays at home on Thursday night in a peach of a matchup against the Browns. Cleveland leads the NFL in giveaways on the road with 2.5 per game. The Browns give up 3.4 sacks a game and average 1.5 turnovers. But the biggest upside for the Bengals is their reunion with semi-professional football player, Johnny Manziel. The last time Manziel faced the Bengals, he endured a 30-0 loss while throwing 18 completions for 80 yards with two interceptions.

ATL at SF: If you are looking for a bye-week filler in Week 9, the Falcons can be trusted. Atlanta is playing on the road, but heads out to Santa Clara to face a 49ers offense with Blaine Gabbert starting a game for the first time since 2013. The 49ers forfeit 3.5 sacks a game, including 12 over the last three games. The 49ers offense averages just 13 points and less than 290 offensive yards a game, making them a prime opponent for fantasy defenses.


Expect Less:

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


Teddy Bridgewater‘s player rating has been steadily dropping since his Week 5 bye due to his inability to take advantage of his easy schedule (Chiefs, Lions, Bears). Bridgewater gets his third “worst” rated matchup of the season this week as the Vikings host the Rams. The Rams allow the fewest passing touchdowns per game (0.7) and no receiver against them has scored since Week 5. Although Bridgewater performed surprisingly well against a similarly rated Denver defense back in Week 4, his ceiling in this matchup is still way too low to be considered a viable bye week option.

Forecast: Bridgewater won’t see another “great” rated matchup until Week 16, and you are likely not making it that far if you have him as your weekly starter. This week starts four consecutive negative matchups for Teddy. [Recommended Usage: SIT]


T.J. Yeldon is quietly becoming one of the most consistent fantasy running backs in the league with three straight double-digit fantasy performances over the last month. Yeldon’s matchup dependency is likely one of the causes of his slow start. He faced three straight “bad” rated matchups in Weeks 1-3, averaging just six fantasy points per game against them. Since Week 3, Yeldon faced four consecutive “good” rated matchups averaging 13 fantasy points a game in those contests. This week Yeldon faces his only “worst” rated matchup of the season as the Jaguars travel to face the Jets. The Jets give up a league-low 78 rushing yards per game, and only 56 yards per game over the last three games.

Forecast: If you want to trade for a running back to help you in the fantasy playoffs, then wait until after this week and trade for Yeldon. Yeldon’s six positive matchups out of his next seven games add up to one of the most attractive playoff schedules of any running back. [Recommended Usage: FLEX]

Rashad Jennings is battling to keep his starting role on the Giants this season, although his starting role on fantasy teams has disappeared. His player rating has dropped consistently every week since Week 1. Bye weeks often require desperate starts, but Jennings should not be considered a viable option this week. He faces a “bad” rated Tampa Bay defense that is giving up only 68 rushing yards per game over their last three games and only 76 rush yards per game at home all season.

Forecast: Jennings’ next four matchups are all negative, including a “worst” rated Jets defense in Week 13 before facing three “good” rated matchups in a row during the fantasy playoffs. [Recommended Usage: SIT]


Torrey Smith is in the top 10 in terms of FPPT over his last two seasons, yet since landing in San Francisco he only sees 15 percent of the 49ers‘ pass targets and is one of the top five most matchup-dependent wide receivers in the league. He scores 11 more fantasy points against positive matchups than he does against negative ones. This week, Smith faces another negative matchup against a “bad” rated Atlanta defense allowing only three touchdowns to receivers all season. The Falcons hold opposing pass catchers to just 0.71 FPPT, nearly half of Smith’s average.

Forecast: Smith comes back from his Week 10 bye with a negative matchup against Seattle. After the Seahawks game, the 49ers receivers only have one more negative matchup in Week 14. [Recommended Usage: SIT]

Tavon Austin‘s second game with two touchdowns and over 20 fantasy points came just last week against the 49ers. Austin is one of the most touchdown-dependent receivers in the league with over 55 percent of his fantasy points coming from scoring plays. Austin gets another “bad” rated matchup this week against a Vikings defense allowing just six total touchdowns to opposing receivers. Austin needs to pad his numbers with receiving yards this week in order to produce fantasy points, which could be a tough task against a Vikings defense allowing the seventh-fewest receiving yards in the NFL.

Forecast: Austin owners should hang on through this “bad” rated matchup. Starting in Week 10, the Rams receivers face six consecutive positive matchups through Week 15. [Recommended Usage: FLEX]


Jordan Reed had his best fantasy performance of the season after returning from injury in Week 7. Reed’s three touchdowns this season account for 35 percent of his fantasy point production. This week, Reed gets a “bad” rated matchup against a Patriots defense that has allowed just two touchdowns to tight ends all season.

Forecast: Two of Reed’s next three matchups represent his only remaining positive matchups of the season. [Recommended Usage: LOW TE1]


TB vs NYG: The Buccaneers fantasy defense had their way with the Falcons in Week 8. This week they face a Giants offense that does not offer many opportunities to opposing fantasy defenses. The Giants give away the ball the third-fewest times per game while allowing just 1.5 sacks a week. Eli is red hot after putting up video game numbers last week and is without an interception since Week 6. Look elsewhere for a fantasy start this week, but come back to the Bucs in Week 10 when they host a Cassel-led Cowboys.

CAR vs. GB: The Panthers fantasy defense is a capable weekly start, but this week they face their most formidable opponent of the season as they host a Packers offense giving away the second-fewest turnovers per game. Last week, Rodgers had his worst performance as a starter against the Broncos and Denver ended up producing below their season average in fantasy points. The Panthers are good for a couple sacks as Green Bay gives up two per game, but the lack of turnover opportunities and the potential for scoreboard points will cap the Panthers‘ Week 9 fantasy potential.

Week 10 Forecast:

Do you have holes to fill in your roster? 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: Joe Flacco at JAC, Derek Carr vs. MIN
RB: Charles Sims vs. DAL, Matt Jones vs. NO
WR: Tavon Austin vs. CHI, Pierre Garcon vs. NO
TE: Heath Miller vs. CLE, Austin Seferian-Jenkins vs. DAL
D/ST: PIT vs. CLE, TB vs. DAL

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This post was written by Fantasy oMatic