2022 Matchup Monitor Week 14

by Aditya Fuldeore · Matchups Start/Sit

Each week, fantasy players question which of their players to insert into lineups and which to bench for that week. A key component in that process is highlighting easy or difficult matchups for players. While an easy matchup does not guarantee a player to have a great performance, it’s certainly a better bet. In this weekly piece, I shine the spotlight on a few different matchups to keep an eye out for as you make your lineup decisions. This is the Matchup Monitor Week 14!

Positive Matchups

The first group or player listed in each matchup here has an advantage and potential for greater upside against their opponent.

Hunter Henry at Arizona Cardinals

Part of a struggling New England offense, Hunter Henry has just three top-12 TE finishes this season. However, your streaming options are reduced this week with five teams on bye. Henry entered Week 13 averaging 9.5 (No. 3) yards per target. He sees deep targets from Mac Jones and hits big when converting them.

The Cardinals have allowed at least four receptions to opposing TE groups in every game this season. They have also allowed nine touchdowns to TEs this season which is among the worst in the NFL. Arizona’s linebackers struggle to defend the pass against the TE position and guys like Tyler Higbee and Noah Fant have boomed against them. If you don’t have a top TE in the dire fantasy landscape, Henry is a viable streaming option with a good matchup this week.

Christian Kirk at Tennessee Titans

As Jacksonville’s big free agent receiving addition, Christian Kirk has put up WR2 numbers this season. He has three top-12 finishes this season and six games with nine or more targets. Trevor Lawrence‘s injury status is up in the air and worth monitoring, but regardless, Kirk has a significant role in the Jacksonville offense.

Christian Kirk Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

The Titans allowed the No. 5-most fantasy points to WRs entering Week 13. Their secondary has allowed three 100-yard receivers in their last two games. Starting slot corner Elijah Molden is hurt and has missed most of the season. So, Kirk is poised to see a large volume against a weakened defense this week. While Lawrence may miss time, Kirk will still be a primary part of the game plan against Tennessee.

Miles Sanders at New York Giants

In a high-octane Eagles offense, Miles Sanders has three top-12 RB finishes this season. Entering Week 13, Sanders had a 68.7-percent (No. 11) Opportunity Share with the Eagles running 34.1 (No. 2) run plays per game. He was inefficient against Tennessee last week but still added on a touchdown in a blowout victory. Sanders has ample opportunity and high-level fantasy production each week with Philadelphia.

Miles Sanders Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

The Giants have allowed over 100 rushing yards in four straight games. They’ve given up 16 RB receptions in that span as well. New York has been gashed inside lately, and that is unlikely to change with Leonard Williams banged up. Philadelphia has scored at least 35 points in back-to-back games. Expect Sanders to continue to get a large slice of the offense and produce for fantasy this week.

Negative Matchups

The first group or player listed in each matchup here has a disadvantage and a greater potential for a lesser fantasy output than usual against their opponent.

Steelers WRs vs Baltimore Ravens

Pittsburgh’s passing game has struggled at times with rookie Kenny Pickett at the helm. Neither George Pickens nor Diontae Johnson has scored over 20 fantasy points this season. Pickens has two top-12 finishes while Johnson has none. Pittsburgh has scored over 24 points in a game just once this season, while Pickett has thrown for over 200 yards once in his last five games.

Baltimore’s defense has sharpened up the second half of the season. They’ve allowed over 24 points once in their last nine games. While the Ravens’ secondary has struggled at times, Marlon Humphrey has been a lockdown corner this season. They have held opponents to under 200 passing yards in two of their last three games. Simply put, they are very good against bad offenses, which the Steelers are. Avoid Pittsburgh receivers this week.

Kareem Hunt vs Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals entered Week 13 allowing the No. 26-most fantasy points to RBs via the rush. Cincinnati has been a middle-of-the-pack run defense overall but has had some game-limiting RB performances due to a favorable Game Script. With the Bengals’ offense heating up and the Browns’ offense not up to speed with Deshaun Watson back, a heavy passing Game Script for Cleveland is a possibility.

Kareem Hunt, as Cleveland’s RB1b, has not made a splash this season. Hunt has just two top-24 finishes all season. He has seen over two targets twice since Week 6 with Nick Chubb seeing an equal number of targets since then. Facing a decent Bengals defense and expecting a non-running Game Script, Hunt will not have the ceiling you want to get you into the fantasy playoffs.

Tom Brady at San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay’s offense has struggled this season, and Tom Brady has had subpar fantasy production. Brady entered Week 13 No. 9 in Expected Fantasy Points Per Game, but No. 20 in Fantasy Points Per Game. The Buccaneers’ offense is struggling to generate points with 11 games scoring under 23 points and Brady’s low efficiency.

The San Francisco defense has been one of the best in the league. The 49ers have held opponents to less than 20 points in each of their last five games. The secondary has five interceptions in their last four games. Brady is going to have a hard time against a good front seven. In a week with several QBs on bye, look elsewhere for a bye-week filler. Brady is poised to under-produce.