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 considered, 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 Tampa Bay offense has not been firing on all cylinders so far this year, but they are walking into a juicy matchup against Pittsburgh. This offense is currently allowing the most yards and touchdowns (9) to opposing wide receivers and have had eight different receivers eclipse 16 fantasy points in just five weeks. Evans has the best matchup against Wallace on the left side. Wallace is currently allowing a team-high 0.53 fantasy points per coverage snap and is being targeted nearly 27% of the time. Chris Godwin can also be upgraded against an injured Cameron Sutton in the slot this week. Look for the Buccaneers to get back on track this week against the Steelers and for Evans to have a field day.
Gordon may have had a better showing against the Vikings last week, but Samuel is a much better receiver than K.J. Osborn. Samuel has been targeted early and often by Carson Wentz and should have the best matchup of any receiver on the team this week. Despite the better game, Gordon is still allowing 0.63 fantasy points per coverage snap and is being targeted just over a third of the time. Samuel may not be first in line when they get to the red zone, but he has double-digit target opportunity this week against a struggling Chicago secondary.
Chase has been held in check several times so far this season, and the Bengals’ offense has struggled at times. However, Chase will get a chance against the worst cover corner in the league with at least 50 coverage snaps. Adebo is currently allowing 1.03 fantasy points per coverage snap and is being targeted on 30% of routes run against him. Marshon Lattimore and Bradley Roby are allowing 0.20 fantasy points or less per coverage snap. There is a glaring hole in the Saints’ secondary right now, and Chase should have a field day running against it.
The Seattle secondary has been an interesting case. They are currently allowing the fourth-fewest points to receivers and have seen the second-fewest targets to date. Normally this would be a cause to celebrate, but as we saw in the Detroit Lions game, it is a matter of efficiency. They are currently allowing 8.8 yards per attempt when the ball is being thrown to a tight end or running back, and that is by far the worst in the league. Kyler Murray and Brown have a good chance to connect on large chunk plays and get the ball out into space or underneath like a traditional running back route. Look for both Brown and Rondale Moore to have plus matchups this week against a struggling Seattle defense.
The Bears offense can be tough to trust, but they are walking into a great spot against this Washington secondary. Jackson was benched for a large chunk of week 5 due to poor play but should slide back into the starting lineup out of necessity. Mooney may only have 10 catches for 173 yards so far this season, but he has 21 total targets. The low catch rate has been a result of Justin Fields running for his life in the backfield and not having time to accurately deliver the ball. This should be a good week for the entire Bears offense to get back on track.
TE David Njoku (CLE vs NE)
The good times continue to roll with Njoku. He has 250 yards spread across his past three games and continues to become more involved in the passing game for Cleveland. The success of Nick Chubb continues to suck up the linebackers and leave plenty of room to operate for Njoku just in front of the safety. New England ranks near the middle of the pack against tight ends, but the volume for Njoku is too much to ignore. Look for another top 5 finish this week from the big tight end.
TE Evan Engram (JAX vs IND)
Engram is coming off his best game as a Jaguar where he saw 10 targets and reeled in 6 of them for 69 yards. He has become a safety valve for Trevor Lawrence and is showing some of the potential that made him a big target for the Giants in years past. Earlier in the season, he had another 8 targets against the Colts in a Jaguars win and should continue to see the ball thrown his way. The Colts are currently allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends, and Engram is coming off his personal best on the season. There is enough substance here to make Engram a viable streaming option this week.
Surtain is becoming a mainstay on this side of the article. He has been nothing short of elite, traveling with Davante Adams, DK Metcalf, and Brandon Aiyuk so far this season. The Broncos are currently allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers, and Williams has a history of being boom or bust. If Keenan Allen returns from injury this week, it will also cut into the overall production for Williams. Downgrade the big receiver in most formats this week.
The Bengals have been one of the best at limiting perimeter receivers so far this season. Awuzie has played the best and should see a lot of Thomas lined up across from him. Thomas is expected back from injury this week but could still be limited as he tries to get back to 100%. Awuzie is currently allowing just 0.19 fantasy points per coverage snap while still being targeted just over 20% of the time. He has done a great job limiting the big plays and keeping receivers out of the end zone. The Bengals, as a whole, have allowed just a single touchdown to receivers so far this season. Downgrade the Saints receiving group this week against a tough Bengals secondary.
Dak Prescott is not expected back this week, and Cooper Rush will face his toughest defense to date. The Eagles have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers and have both Slay and James Bradberry as their outside cover corners. This does not bode well for Lamb and Michael Gallup this week. Even if they shift Lamb to the other side of the field to get away from Slay, he will just run into Bradberry. This should be one of the better games of the weekend, but the advantage goes to Slay and the Eagles' secondary this week in a matchup of divisional opponents.
The Broncos offense has not been clicking so far this season, as Russell Wilson has been dealing with an injury and questionable play calling in the red zone. To make things worse this week, Jeudy draws coverage from one of the best slot corners in the league in Callahan. He is allowing just 0.15 fantasy points per coverage snap and is seeing the ball thrown his way just under 17% of the time. Even with a fully healthy Wilson, this would be a tough matchup for Jeudy. Courtland Sutton has the more favorable matchup on the outside; Jeudy should be avoided this week.
There is a lot to monitor coming into this matchup. Bateman was ruled out last week due to an injury and is not a sure thing to be back in the lineup this week. If he is ready to go he will likely draw the coverage of Jackson. This could be a shadow situation, or if each player is on their usual side, they would naturally see a lot of each other. Jackson has been dominant thus far, and the Giants are currently allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers. Bateman is already a safe bet to avoid due to the recent injury, but he also has a tough matchup this week if he is in the lineup. Look elsewhere if possible this week.
The Jets have been able to string together several good games so far this season, and Davis has produced in most of them. However, this week he will line up against one of the better cover corners in the league. Alexander has dealt with issues off and on in recent weeks but has been ruled healthy for this matchup. He should line up against Davis at least 70% of the time and has held opponents to roughly 0.28 fantasy points per coverage snap. Green Bay is coming off a frustrating loss and will look to get back on track against the Jets.
TE Dalton Schultz (DAL vs PHI)
Schultz walked away from Week 5 with a knee injury and has not been nearly as effective with Cooper rush under center. He had nine targets in the opener with Dak Prescott and just eight total in the next three contests. Schultz has 18 yards to show for those eight targets and has been shut out in the past two. The Philadelphia defense has been tough on everything passing so far this season, and it is a hard pass on Schultz this week.
TE Tyler Conklin (NYJ vs GB)
Conklin has been a fun name at the tight end position early this season when Joe Flacco was under center. Now that Zach Wilson is back, Conklin's target share has plummeted. He went from having double-digit fantasy days to being shut out entirely. Green Bay has also allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends so far this season. The ride appears to be over for Conklin. He can be sent back to the waiver wire in hopes of a better tight end situation.
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