Join the Footballguys Daily Update
Start your morning with our roundup of the most important stories in football - with the fantasy insight you need to make league-winning decisions. Delivered straight to your inbox, 100% free.
Go here for this week's Rushing Matchups.
Top 5 Passing Matchups
LA Chargers at Atlanta
The Chargers air attack may be down at the moment, with Keenan Allen still iffy to return and Mike Williams shelved indefinitely. But it still qualifies for no-brainer Week 9 status, given the number of bye weeks and, more importantly, the sheer amount of passing volume at play here. Justin Herbert has dropped back on 66% of snaps here in 2022, and he’s gotten off 108 attempts over the past 2 weeks. Coordinator Joe Lombardi is fiercely devoted to the air, so that won’t change much, regardless of the personnel. Herbert will still funnel targets to remaining playmakers Austin Ekeler (22 catches over the past 2 weeks) and Gerald Everett (4 games of 50+ yards already). Given the soft matchup, there’s room for optimism over subs Josh Palmer and DeAndre Carter on the outside and Michael Bandy out of the slot. And if Allen is able to return, of course, his outlook will be scintillating against the overwhelmed Atlanta secondary.
The Falcons simply can’t stop anyone through the air. This unit was thoroughly beatable even before starting cornerbacks A.J. Terrell and Casey Hayward left Week 6 with long-term injuries. Now, it’s the worst secondary in football, and quarterbacks all over the talent spectrum have had their way with it. That ranges from the expected, like Joe Burrow (481 yards and 3 touchdowns) and Tom Brady (351 and 1), to the likes of Geno Smith (325 and 2), Jimmy Garoppolo (296 and 2), and P.J. Walker just last week (317 and 1). Healthy or not, there just aren’t enough talented bodies on the back end to contain opposing receivers. Amazingly, they’ve already allowed 16 different pass-catchers to top 70 yards – and 6 of them have cleared 90. It’s safe to project Justin Herbert and his weapons to find space Sunday against this MASH unit. They did add ex-Chief Rashad Fenton to the mix in a mid-week trade, which could help. But as long as the Falcons are leaning on names like Cornell Armstrong, Darren Hall, and Dee Alford to anchor the coverage group, this will be fantasy’s juiciest matchup.
Kansas City vs Tennessee
The Chiefs air attack may no longer be the league’s shiniest new toy, but it’s been just as potent as ever here in 2022. Patrick Mahomes II has adjusted to a more intermediate-based attack, sitting fourth league-wide in yards per attempt with Tyreek Hill out of town. He’s been especially productive of late, averaging 351 yards over his last three games, all in different game scripts. And thanks to the Chiefs’ pass-centric ways near the goal line, Mahomes has thrown multiple touchdowns in six of his seven outings. Projecting his receivers week-to-week isn’t as clear-cut, of course. Travis Kelce continues to pace the position for all of fantasy, but he’s always been a no-brainer play. Thankfully, possession man JuJu Smith-Schuster has settled in nicely. He’s drawn 8+ targets in 5 of 7 games, and he’s put up 12-237-2 over the last two weeks.
The Titans’ snake-bitten pass defense has enjoyed a two-game breather, facing the doomed Matt Ryan experiment in Week 7 and Davis Mills’ Texans in Week 8. But prior to that, they’d been thrashed by four straight opposing passers, allowing 300+ yards and multiple touchdowns to each of them. Simply put, this is a classic “pass funnel” defense, dominating against the run (No. 2 in the league) and forcing everyone to produce through the air (No. 24). It doesn’t help that they’re badly undermanned in the secondary; stud safety Kevin Byard can do only so much on his own. They’ve whiffed badly on early-round cornerbacks for years, leaving mediocre guys like Kristian Fulton and Roger McCreary locked into crucial, every-down roles. They’re also leaning heavily on burnable journeyman Terrance Mitchell, since Caleb Farley, last year’s No. 21 pick, isn’t even in the rotation. It’s hard to see Patrick Mahomes II having to break much of a sweat to find whatever gaps he needs to Sunday.
"Footballguys is the best premium
Continue reading this content with a PRO subscription.
only site on the planet."
Matthew Berry, NBC Sports EDGE
"Footballguys is the best premium