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.
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.
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:
Players who could exceed expectations this week based on their ability to outplay their matchups combined with the weakness of their opponent.
Brian Hoyer‘s player rating continues to rise after his five game double-digit fantasy scoring streak. His rating is at its highest point of the season coming into a “great” rated matchup with the Saints in Week 12. Over the last four games, Andrew Luck, Kirk Cousins, Marcus Mariota and Eli Manning have carved up the Saints secondary for a combined 17 passing touchdowns. The firing of “defensive coordinator” Rob Ryan and a bye week to prepare for the Texans will likely not improve the Saints defense significantly. Their defense rating is 25 percent higher than even the next easiest rated defense.
Forecast: This is the last of Hoyer’s “great” rated matchups this season, leaving fantasy owners no opportunities to keep spot starting him. Two of his final four games all come against negative matchups. [Recommended Usage: LOW QB1]
While not facing a positive rated matchup since Week 6, T.J. Yeldon‘s player rating still increased by 72 percent. Player ratings increase when players perform well against negative matchups and manage to take advantage of easy ones. Yeldon has a “great” rated matchup this week as he goes up against a Chargers defense giving up the seventh-most fantasy points to fantasy running backs over the last month. San Diego is coming into this matchup having surrendered 22 points each to backups Jeremy Langford and Spencer Ware over the last two weeks. Opposing offenses have produced at least one double digit scoring fantasy running back against San Diego in every game this year but one. Yeldon scores plenty of fantasy points each week while only 14 percent of his fantasy points come from touchdowns. His fantasy owners would like to see him add to his low two touchdown total on the season. Only the Lions give up more touchdowns to opposing running backs than the Chargers, providing Yeldon with his best chance all season to harvest a touchdown.
Forecast: Yeldon faces two “bad” rated matchups in Weeks 13 and 14 before ending his season with two consecutive “good” rated matchups in the fantasy playoffs. [Recommended Usage: RB2]
Brandon Marshall scores just 0.6 less points when facing negative matchups than when facing positive ones, making him one of the least matchup-dependent receivers in fantasy football. Marshall is scoring one touchdown per game over the last three weeks while the Dolphins are allowing at least one touchdown per game to opposing receivers over that same span. If you add Marshall to a list of the 32 wide receivers that have already faced the Dolphins, his player rating would be the sixth-highest of the group and the player rated seventh, Dez Bryant, already scored 10.50 fantasy points against them in Week 11. Expect Marshall’s cornucopia of touchdowns to continue for at least one more week.
Forecast: Marshall has a positive rated matchup against the Giants next week followed by three “bad” rated fantasy playoff matchups. [Recommended Usage: LOW WR1]
Delanie Walker‘s player rating is steadily increasing to a level worthy of a weekly starter. Walker scores nearly four more fantasy points a game when playing against positive matchups, and this week he gets his second best matchup of the season. Walker faces a Raiders defense that leads the league in fantasy points per touch to tight ends (1.78). Walker saw 10 targets last week and similar volume against Oakland could lead to his best game of the season. Overall, the Raiders‘ are the third-easiest rated matchup for fantasy tight ends. Oakland gave up most of their fantasy points to tight ends earlier in the season, and evened off as of late as a result of not facing a positive rated tight end since Week 4. Walker’s positive rating and matchup with the Raiders will have his owners feasting on Sunday.
Forecast: Tamme’s streaming run should come to an end next week against the Vikings. Then he sees only one more positive matchup over his final five games. [Recommended Usage: BYE WEEK TE1]
TB vs. IND: The Buccaneers fantasy defense has scored double digit fantasy points in three of its last four contests. This week they travel to Indianapolis to take on a Colts offense that gave up three turnovers to the Falcons in Week 11, moving them to the top of the league in giveaways. The Bucs are a nice streaming option for Week 12.
OAK at TEN: The Raiders defense is purely a matchup play, but this week they face a generous Tennessee offense. The Titans gave up four sacks to the Jaguars last week while the Raiders produced four sacks of their own against Detroit. The Titans offense averages only 18 points a game and have turned the ball over at least once in every game this season.
Players who could fall short of expectations this week based on the strength of their opponent.
Despite his reputation, “Bad” Andy Dalton only popped up twice this season with poor fantasy point production. In both of his low scoring games, Dalton failed to throw more than one touchdown. One of those games came against a poorly rated Texans defense, causing Dalton’s player rating to take a big hit. Dalton gets a “worst” rated matchup this week against a Rams defense that has allowed just two quarterbacks to throw for more than one touchdown all season. This week is Dalton’s first turkey of a matchup all season and his chances of only throwing for a single touchdown again are as high as they will be until Week 16 against Denver.
Forecast: Dalton’s final “worst” rated matchup of the season is waiting for him in Week 16, a tough draw should he be heading up your championship roster. [Recommended Usage: LOW QB1]
Fantasy owners with late season waiver priority this week gobbled up Rawls after his huge 37.5-point breakout. If you have waiver priority this late in the season, it likely means that you probably need some help getting into the playoffs and unfortunately Rawls might not help that effort this week. Rawls’ big game came against the easiest matchup in the league last week and this week the pendulum swings the other direction as he faces a “worst” rated matchup against the Steelers. Pittsburgh’s run defense allows the fewest fantasy points per touch to opposing running backs and allowed just one running back to score a touchdown all season.
Forecast: The Seahawks running game alternates between two top-10 easy matchups and two bottom-five matchups over the last four games of the season. [Recommended Usage: FLEX]
Allen Hurns is proving to be one of the season’s best draft day bargains. After a seven-game touchdown streak, he currently ranks among the top 10 receivers in fantasy scoring. Hurns scores five more fantasy points against positive matchups than he does against negatives ones, and averages a paltry four fantasy points a game against “worst” rated matchups like the one this week against the Chargers. San Diego has held every wide receiver they’ve faced since Week 7 out of the end zone, and over the last month have given up the 10th-fewest fantasy points to the position.
Forecast: Hurns’ fantasy playoffs schedule consists of two positive matchups, bookending a speed bump “worst” rated matchup in Week 15 against the Falcons. [Recommended Usage: FLEX]
Travis Kelce feasts on easy matchups, scoring twice as many fantasy points when facing positive matchups than when he faces negative ones over the last two years. Kelce scored his lowest fantasy point total of the 2015 season the one time he played against a “worst” rated matchup back in Week 4. Kelce gets another “worst” rated matchup this week against a Bills defense that just held his idol, Rob Gronkowski, to just three fantasy points. Only one tight end scored double digit fantasy points against Buffalo all season and no defense is giving up fewer points to the position over the last month.
Forecast: Week 13 could be Kelce’s redemption week. He faces a Raiders defense that has been eaten up by tight ends all season. [[Recommended Usage: LOW TE1]
STL at CIN: The Rams fantasy defense is falling off their early season fantasy scoring pace, despite facing three consecutive positive matchups. You shouldn’t expect things to turn around this week as they are “on to Cincinnati” as road underdogs against a Bengals offense that produces plenty of yards and points. The Bengals had one giveaway against the Cardinals and allowed four sacks, but the Rams only produced four sacks combined over their last three games.
DEN vs. NE: This week the Broncos host a Patriots offense that is productive against all levels of opponents and could force the Denver D/ST back into single digit fantasy scoring. The Patriots offensive line gives up 2.3 sacks a game, but Brady doesn’t offer too many opportunities for interceptions. If you own the Broncos in a league that penalize defenses for high opponent scoring, note that the Pats average over 33 points and 418 yards a game.
Week 13 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: Ryan Tannehill vs. BAL, Brock Osweiler at SD
RB: Matt Jones vs. DAL, David Cobb vs. JAC
WR: Torrey Smith at CHI, Danny Amendola vs. PHI
TE: Coby Fleener at PIT, Crockett Gillmore at MIA
D/ST: CIN at CLE, JAC at TEN
— Chris Anthony is a guest contributor to NFL.com, hailing from Fantasy Omatic. You can follow him on Twitter @FantasyOmatic. Be sure to check back each week for more analytics-based analysis as the algorithm will only get more accurate over time!