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.
A lot has changed since their week 2 matchup and the Dolphins’ defense regressing is one of the biggest things. Coming into the season, the secondary was supposed to be a strength of the defense. However, that has not been the case and Howard has been picked on all year. Diggs came away with 4 catches for 60 yards and a touchdown in the last matchup and drew Howard in coverage on 26 of 30 snaps. This is the matchup we should fully expect to see again this week with Diggs taking the upper hand and walking away with a similar stat line.
We will continue to pick on Miami until they prove they can turn things around on defense. Needham has since replaced Justin Coleman as the slot corner and has not done anything to instill confidence. The Dolphins are currently allowing the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing receivers including the 2nd most to outside receivers and the 6th most to the slot. Emmanuel Sanders could also be added to this list with his matchup against Byron Jones as well. Upgrade the entire Bills passing attack this week as the Miami defense has struggled all season.
The defense was supposed to be a strength for Washington, but that has not been the case this season. They are currently allowing the 2nd most fantasy points to receivers, as well as the most to outside and 2nd most to slot receivers. This bodes well for Sutton on the outside as well as Tim Patrick. The Denver offense will also get a much-needed injection with the return of Jerry Jeudy in the slot this week. Jackson was ruled out in week 7 and caused some corner shuffling for Washington and that could be the case again in week 8. Much like Buffalo above, we can upgrade all of Denver’s pass catchers this week.
This is a game that may get out of hand very quickly if the Packers continue to have COVID issues. Stokes has been asked to travel with Ja'Marr Chase and Terry McLaurin in the past few weeks and it has not gone well. He has allowed 13 catches for 281 yards and 2 touchdowns across those situations and will be taking on an elite receiver in Hopkins. Stokes has allowed the 11th most fantasy points to receivers so far this year and continues to draw the tough assignments. Arizona has continued to show they will throw the ball, even with a lead. Fire up Hopkins this week in all formats.
Even in the driving rain against San Francisco last week, the Colts finally got their passing game back in sync. Carson Wentz may have thrown a very bad interception, but he also finally started spreading the ball around to this young group of receivers. Pascal has the best matchup by far against Molden in the slot. This is a position the Tians have struggled with all season and this week is not going to be any different. TY Hilton should be back on the outside and will draw a lot of the defensive attention. Upgrade Pascal in the slot this week with a great matchup against a struggling corner.
It is easy to see Diggs name and think about all of the interceptions he has. With these picks comes a lot of blown coverage as well. We saw him return an interception against the Patriots and then get beat for a long touchdown on the next offensive play. Diggs has been targeted 22% of the time and will see that number potentially grow as he faces Jefferson on the outside. Diggs may intercept an errant Kirk Cousins pass this week, but he has a very tough matchup against a great receiver in Jefferson. Do not let the interceptions scare you and fire up Jefferson without a second thought this week.
TE Hunter Henry (NE vs LAC)
We do not normally talk about revenge games when it comes to tight ends, but Henry will be visiting his old team for the first time this week. He has not seen a lot of targets in the past 4 weeks (8), but he has a touchdown in each of those contests. Add in that the Chargers are currently allowing the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing tight ends and this is a great spot for Henry to be in. Look for a top 10 TE finish this week for Henry.
TE Tyler Higbee (LAR vs HOU)
The Texans are currently allowing the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing tight ends and it seems like they give up at least a touchdown almost every week. Higbee is in a great spot this week in an offense that is playing very well. There is always concern about target share with so many weapons in the offense but it should not be a problem this week in what will be one of Higbee’s best matchups of the season.
One of the lone bright spots for the Dolphins’ offense so far this year, Waddle has played very well in the past few weeks. Enter White and a Buffalo defense that is allowing the 2nd fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers. Buffalo has given up just 2 touchdowns to receivers all season and this Miami unit combined for just 112 yards on 27 targets back in week 2. White traveled with DeVante Parker in week 2 but should find himself opposite of Waddle this week. Downgrade the entire Miami unit this week in a tough matchup against one of the best defenses in the NFL.
There is a long history in this matchup with Lattimore taking the slight edge all time. Outside of a few touchdowns and one big game in 2018, Lattimore has largely held Evans in check. Lattimore also did a great job shutting down D.K. Metcalf last week outside of falling down on the long touchdown play. Across 3 games last season, Lattimore held Evans to 6 catches for 69 yards and 2 touchdowns. Evans has long been a receiver with wild up and down streaks and this is setting up to be one of those down games. He is too good to bench in your season long leagues but is a name to avoid in daily fantasy this week.
There is something wrong in Kansas City right now and it is going to take contributions from everyone to get it right again. Unfortunately, Hill is going to be facing off against Bradberry this week and it is going to be very difficult. Outside of the poor showing against Terry McLaurin, Bradberry has been an elite cover corner and has traveled with the best receiver from the opposition. Patrick Mahomes II has not been playing well in recent weeks and is dealing with injury coming into this matchup. Temper expectations on Hill this week as he has been boom or bust for most of the season.
Johnson struggled last week in a tough matchup against Mike Evans, but that was against a much better offense with a great quarterback under center. This week the Bears defense will take on a San Francisco team that has dealt with injury and quarterback issues. Samuel has been the favorite target in this offense and is going to draw the double coverage for the majority of the game. His overall volume should keep him in the conversation, but we can expect a lesser week from Samuel against a solid Bears defense.
This is not going to be a good week for any Houston offensive player. After recently trading Mark Ingram II the only guy left is Cooks right now. He is going to draw the tough coverage from Ramsey this week as the only weapon left in the offense. This game could get out of hand quickly and there is always the opportunity for late yards for Cooks, but this does not look to be a good spot this week. Avoid the situation in Houston all together if possible.
It was a rough year for Awuzie with Dallas last season, but he has turned the corner and is leading this Cincinnati secondary. Cincinnati has allowed the 15th fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers and Awuzie has been targeted a whopping 26% of the time. He has more than held his own and will likely see a boost with Zach Wilson ruled out due to injury. This is not going to be a good week for the Jets offense and is a situation to avoid if possible.
TE Ricky Seals-Jones (WFT vs DEN)
Seals-Jones has played well with Logan Thomas injured but he is walking into a very tough matchup. The Broncos are currently allowing the 4th fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends and the game is in Denver. Seals-Jones has been a great waiver wire add and fill in for those who are desperate, but this is going to be a tough week and should have you looking elsewhere.
TE Jared Cook (LAC vs NE)
On the flip side of the Hunter Henry game, Cook will be playing a very tough New England defense. They have allowed just 3 touchdowns to opposing tight ends this season and are coming off a game where they dismantled the Jets. All of the momentum is going in New England’s favor right now and Justin Herbert is going to have to push the ball down the field to his other weapons. Cook has been solid this season but is a play to avoid this week.