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This article highlights 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 Eagles may keep winning, but their secondary continues to give up the most fantasy points to opposing receivers in the league. Both Bradberry and Darius Slay have been giving up big plays on the outside as well as facing a ton of volume through their 11 games. Aiyuk has been up and down this season, and it can be hard to pinpoint who will excel from week to week with the elite weapons all over the field. However, Christian McCaffrey has the toughest matchup against this run defense, and Aiyuk has the best on Bradberry on the outside. Bradberry currently allows 0.34 fantasy points per coverage snap and is being targeted 19% of the time. Look for big plays down the field and upgrade the entire pass-catching unit for the 49ers.
Arizona has been a mess at corner all season. They benched Marco Wilson last week due to poor play and have little in the way of backups to step up. Pittsburgh looked like a different offense a single week since letting Matt Canada go and could continue that trend this week against a poor Arizona defense. Clark has been picked on regularly this season, allows 0.36 fantasy points per coverage snap, and is being targeted 21% of the time. Look for Pittsburgh to roll this week as this offense continues to wake up from a multi-year slumber.
The Carolina offense has been in shambles most of the season, with the lone bright spot being Thielen. Despite the great matchup last week, he did fall flat, but he has another great shot to excel this week. Tampa Bay has struggled mightily against receivers so far this season. They have been unable to stop anyone on the perimeter or in the slot. Thielen moves all over the field and is in the best position to take advantage. Izien is currently allowing 0.35 fantasy points per coverage snap and is being targeted 16% of the time. Both D.J. Chark Jr and Jonathan Mingo can also be upgraded into sleeper flex territory on the outside this week.
Washington continues to churn out yards and receiving stats but has struggled to turn that into points and wins. Sam Howell ranks near the top in most passing stats but is also being sacked at an alarming rate. Miami is going to pin its ears back to get after the quarterback and that will play right into the strength of Samuel. Look for quick-hitting plays across the middle and trying to get the ball in his hands out in space. Kohou is currently allowing 0.40 fantasy points per coverage snap and is being targeted 17% of the time. This is a great matchup for Samuel if they can get the ball out quickly.
This is a situation to watch as we get closer to game time as Olave left last week with a concussion. However, he made a surprise appearance at practice this week and could be cleared ahead of their matchup with Detroit. Olave will be force-fed the ball against a Detroit secondary that is suddenly full of holes if he is healthy. Branch currently allows 0.35 fantasy points per coverage snap and is being targeted 18% of the time. The Saints have little else in the receiving department right now, and this could be another big game for Olave if he clears concussion protocol in time.
The entire Miami receiving group can be upgraded against Washington this week, but Waddle may have the biggest jump against St-Juste. The young corner allows 0.43 fantasy points per coverage snap and is being targeted 21% of the time. Tyreek Hill is the usual must-start on the other side, but there should be more than enough meat on the bone for Waddle to have a big week against Washington. Put Waddle squarely into WR2 territory this week with a potential top-10 finish on the horizon if he gets enough targets.
TE Taysom Hill (NO vs. DET)
Hill always flirts with must-start territory with his high upside and multi-position designation. He secured a safe 8-point floor with multiple rushes and catches last week and could see a huge boost if Chris Olave is not cleared from concussion protocol. There are also 6 teams on a Bye this week with a few big-name tight ends missing from the mix. Hill has shown he can put up monster numbers almost any week, but the combination of a good matchup against this Detroit secondary and the lack of receiving weapons for New Orleans this week could make for one of his biggest games of the year.
TE Evan Engram (JAX vs. CIN)
Engram has shown one of the best volume-based floors of any tight end this season. He has 5 targets and at least 4 catches in every game so far this season and has 7+ targets in 9 of 11 games this season. The biggest downside has been his allergy to the end zone, but that could end against a Cincinnati defense that is allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to tight ends, including the second-most yards overall. This is a great matchup for Engram and the Jaguars as they look to fight for their division and a potential 1 seed.
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