This article attempts to highlight some of the best and worst matchups for wide receivers and tight ends each week. Using player tracking data from various sources (NFL.com, Pro Football Focus, ESPN, etc.) as well as reviews of recent trends, I look for situations to exploit or avoid when setting your weekly lineups. Given that this article is intended to help across all sites (both DFS and season-long), variations in pricing and scoring systems are not taken into account so obviously, the values could shift depending on where you are playing. The main intent of this article is simply to call out some players who could be significantly helped or hurt by their situations each week.
The outside corners for the Vikings continue to struggle. Specifically, Breeland, who has allowed the second-most fantasy points of all defenders. Beckham made his season debut last week against the Bears and caught 5 targets for 77 yards. Look for the Cleveland offense to try and take advantage of the Vikings' weak spot and target Beckham heavily on the outside. Keep picking on Breeland until he shows he can stop someone from scoring. He allowed 6 catches for 67 yards and a touchdown while in coverage last week and could see similar numbers again against the Browns.
The Bears offense was downright bad last week, but they get the division-rival Lions defense this week and that should allow for everyone to quickly forget the Browns debacle. Despite the slow start, Robinson is still seeing a 26% target share in this offense and that points to much better days ahead. The Lions secondary is still without their top two corners coming into the season and are running undrafted free agents out there each week. They have faced the third-fewest pass attempts in the league due to a poor run defense, but they have allowed a lot of points on those few passes. Look for Robinson to get back on track this week with whoever the Bears put under center on Sunday.
It has not been the most productive start to the season for Ridley and the Atlanta offense. With the departure of Julio Jones, it was supposed to be his offense to take over. The volume of targets has been there, but Matt Ryan has not been given enough time to push the ball down the field. While being chased down by Chase Young is not going to allow more time, Ridley has a great matchup against St-Juste and could see upwards of 10 targets this week. The breakout game is coming for Ridley and the stars could be aligning for that to happen this week.
This should be one of the better games of the week and a great matchup of division rivals with playoff hopes. Samuel had a great first 2 weeks and then lost targets to Brandon Aiyuk last week. The target share should be closer to 50/50 this week with both Samuel and Aiyuk having great matchups. Flowers has struggled in coverage early this season and was picked on by Kirk Cousins and the Vikings last week. Look for Samuel to use his speed and do damage on the outside. The top pair of receivers for the 49ers could have a day similar to Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen last week.
With all the success of Ja'Marr Chase so far this season, it is easy to forget about Boyd. He has a great matchup out of the slot against Herndon. The Jaguars are very thin at corner after trading C.J. Henderson and that bodes well for all Cincinnati wide receivers. Boyd gets the biggest bump as the most proven receiver in the group and with the most solid matchup against Herndon. Look for him to be targeted early and often by Joe Burrow as the Bengals look to build momentum after a big win against the Steelers last week. Fire up Boyd this week with confidence in a great matchup.
It has been a very successful string of games for McLaurin over the past 2 weeks. He burned James Bradberry 2 weeks ago and added another solid performance against the Bills last week totaling 15 catches for 169 yards and a touchdown. This week he takes on an Atlanta secondary that has not been able to stop anyone. Moreau has struggled on the outside and against quicker receivers. Look for McLaurin to be heavily targeted again this week and to approach 100 total yards.
TE Logan Thomas (WFT vs ATL)
We have not seen the big blow-up game from Thomas yet this season, but he is the only tight end that has played 100% of offensive snaps so far this season. He is still top 10 in targets for tight ends and gets a great matchup against a Falcons defense that has allowed 14 or more fantasy points to Dallas Goedert and Rob Gronkowski so far this season. The rapport with Taylor Heinicke is building and we should start to see numbers like last season very soon.
TE Rob Gronkowski (TB vs NE)
There is no revenge narrative to this game, only that Gronkowski is returning to Foxboro for the first time with Tom Brady. If there was ever a week to call his number in the red zone it would be this one. Look for Brady to target Gronkowski at a higher rate than usual as they look to make a statement in New England.
There are a lot of things going wrong for Hopkins right now. He fought through a rib injury last week in a win against the underwhelming Jaguars, but he was a nonfactor on the field. This week he is going to see a lot of Ramsey. In 2 matchups last season he was held to 6 catches for 52 yards with Ramsey in coverage and that was when he was 100%. Hopkins is not someone that you bench but he is a name to avoid in DFS this week with a tough matchup against a great Rams defense.
Diggs put on a clinic against Jalen Hurts on Monday Night and has made leaps and bounds as a cover corner since last season. This week he is projected to follow Moore across the field and that could make for a long day for the receiver. Moore has quickly become Sam Darnolds’ favorite target but that is going to be tested this week. Like for Robby Anderson to finally get involved in the offense with Moore drawing the tougher coverage this week. Factor in no Christian McCaffrey and the Cowboys secondary should be able to focus more attention to Moore on the outside.
This is a matchup of 2 players who are very familiar with one another. Hayward played for the Chargers last season and is well aware of what Williams can do. This may not be a full-time coverage situation with Hayward moving to the inside on Keenan Allen occasionally. The Raiders secondary ranks near the middle of the pact against receivers but Hayward has done a good job against Marquise Brown, Chase Claypool, and Jaylen Waddle so far this season. Temper your expectations on Williams a bit this week after his breakout start to the season.
The letdown game against Terry McLaurin a few weeks ago is behind Bradberry, and the Giants will look to finish a game and get their first win this week against the Saints. He is still one of the best cover corners in the league and tends to follow the top receiver for the opposition. That is bad news for Callaway. Callaway has had a very disappointing start to the season and despite finding the end zone last week he has yet to crack 100 total yards combined this season. This is a tough matchup for a player that has been struggling. Avoid Callaway altogether this week.
On the flip side of the above matchup, Golladay also draws a tough assignment against Lattimore. The Golladay era in New York has not gotten off to a great start and there is already friction with the offensive coordinator. Daniel Jones wants to get him the ball, but the duo has not been on the same page this season. The Saints defense may not be the same unit that instilled fear in years past, but Lattimore is still a top cover corner and will make for a long day for Golladay. Look for other options if available this week.
The Dolphins have had a very up and down start to the season, but one thing has remained constant. Howard and Byron Jones have locked down outside receivers this season. The Colts have struggled to find an offensive identity this season despite the success of their young receivers. Pittman has lined up outside on 75% of his routes and will see a lot of Howard and Jones this week. Avoid both Pittman and Parris Campbell this week as they both will draw the tough coverage on the outside against Miami.
TE Mike Gesicki (MIA vs IND)
Do not let the big game last week fool you. Gesicki still has the big 0 he put up in week 1 and he draws a very tough matchup against a Colts defense that has allowed just 51 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns to enemy tight ends over the last 8 games (dating back to last season). He was the go-to receiver last week in the overtime loss to the Raiders but look for Will Fuller V and DeVante Parker to get more involved in the offense this week.
TE Evan Engram (NYG vs NO)
The writing seems to be on the wall for Engram. He cannot stay healthy and has not consistently produced in over a year. He returned to action last week and saw 6 targets, but he only caught 2 and lost a fumble. He is not a name to be trusted right now, especially against a Saints defense that has allowed just 3 touchdowns to tight ends in the past 8 games dating back to last season. Engram is not in the conversation to be started this week and is closer to being dropped than anything else.