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 16!
The first group or player listed in each matchup here has an advantage and potential for greater upside against their opponent.
Jerick McKinnon vs Seattle Seahawks
By now, Jerick McKinnon is a near-weekly start. He has back-to-back games of over 30 fantasy points, seeing at least six targets in five of his last seven games. McKinnon entered Week 15 with 1.14 (No. 3) Fantasy Points Per Opportunity, and 5.56 (No. 1) Yards Created Per Touch. His versatility has led to Patrick Mahomes utilizing him with check-downs and high-volume receiving usage.
Isiah Pacheco GMs in shambles after this Jerick McKinnon TD pic.twitter.com/HlPIaU5qVF
— PlayerProfiler (@rotounderworld) December 18, 2022
The Seahawks have allowed at least 100 yards rushing to opponents in six straight games, allowing at least five RB receptions in four of those games. Seattle’s defensive weakness all season long has been the run, and McKinnon is set to feast on that. Even if he is not a weekly start for you yet, McKinnon is facing a porous run defense and gets high receiving usage. This makes him a definite start this week.
Cade Otton at Arizona Cardinals
Arizona is once again on this list for being poor against opposing TEs. The Cardinals just allowed five receptions and a touchdown to Denver’s various TEs and have given up four TE receptions in all but one game this season. Arizona can be targeted over the middle of the field as shown by high-volume TE performances against them this season.
Technically Tampa’s TE1, Cade Otton, has four top-12 finishes this season. He has not seen great usage as he’s entering Week 15 with a 9.6-percent (No. 30) Target Share, but when targeted, Otton puts up good fantasy numbers. He has five games with at least five targets and four of which he finished as a top-12 TE. In a matchup that yields high volume to TEs, Otton is in a good spot to produce in the barren TE landscape.
Demarcus Robinson vs Atlanta Falcons
As Baltimore’s new “WR1”, Demarcus Robinson has just one top-24 finish this season. However, since Week 8, he has five games of at least five targets scoring double-digit fantasy points in four of those games. Especially with Tyler Huntley at QB, Robinson has seen a lot of shallow targets.
The Falcons entered Week 15 allowing the No. 3-most fantasy points to opposing WRs. Their secondary just allowed a 95-yard, one-touchdown game to Rashid Shaheed. Allowing seven receiving touchdowns in its last four games, Atlanta is a porous secondary. Robinson has a good chance to produce in lineups this week. A Lamar Jackson return would boost Robinson’s scoring chances, but even with Huntley, expect Robinson to see high volume against a struggling defense.
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.
Dallas Goedert at Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys entered Week 15 allowing the No. 28-most fantasy points to TEs this season. While the Dallas defense struggled last week against Jacksonville, they had not allowed over 24 points in four games prior to that. Malik Hooker, Micah Parsons, and the rest of the Cowboys’ defense consistently lock down the middle of the field and have allowed just one TE touchdown this season.
In the last Eagles-Cowboys showdown, Dallas Goedert was held to two receptions for 22 yards. He has not yet been activated from the injured reserve but is expected to return. As Goedert works back from injury, expect him to be eased back in. Throw in the fact that Jalen Hurts is injured, and Goedert is not expected to see high-level fantasy production. You are better off banking on the aforementioned Cade Otton.
Tyler Allgeier at Baltimore Ravens
Falcons rookie Tyler Allgeier has three top-24 finishes this season. Upon Cordarrelle Patterson‘s return, Allgeier has been used mostly as a runner with sparse pass-game usage. He entered Week 15 with a Target Share under 5-percent. With how much the Falcons run the ball, Allgeier has been fantasy relevant, but his lack of receiving usage makes him matchup dependent.
Ravens run defense this season: 1,055 rush yards allowed in 13 games (81.1 YPG)
Since acquiring LB Roquan Smith: 275 rush yards in five games (55 YPG)
— Kyle Phoenix Barber (@KylePBarber) December 16, 2022
Week 15 against the Browns was Baltimore’s first time allowing 100 yards rushing since Week 7 which was also against the Browns. The Ravens have kept games low scoring recently, and that is unlikely to change against rookie Desmond Ridder and company. Expect minimal scoring opportunities for Allgeier and lower efficiency than usual. It may be more of a Patterson game as Atlanta tries to creatively get yards rather than plod ahead against a stingy Baltimore defense.
Chuba Hubbard vs Detroit Lions
Detroit’s defense has been limiting opposing offenses. This has sparked Detroit for a 6-1 run in the Lions’ last seven games. While the Lions struggled against RBs early in the season, they have been much better as of late. They are allowing less than 100 yards rushing in three straight games. The Lions have allowed six RB receptions in that span.
With three targets out in each of the last two weeks, Chuba Hubbard is the Panthers’ pass-catching back. While he has built up a sizable workload, D’Onta Foreman still takes the bulk of the carries. Hubbard had never hit a 50-percent Snap Share prior to Week 15. Facing a team that has been limiting RB receptions and overall RB production, Hubbard’s fantasy value will be capped at a low level.