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 17!
The first group or player listed in each matchup here has an advantage and potential for greater upside against their opponent.
Michael Gallup at Tennessee Titans
The Cowboys’ passing attack has been on a roll the last few games. Dak Prescott has thrown for over 250 passing yards in three straight games with over 100 passing attempts in that span. CeeDee Lamb is Dallas’ WR1 with Michael Gallup behind him. Gallup has seen 15 targets in his last three games with Snap Shares over 80-percent in his last two. He is ramping up as a top target for Prescott in a high-volume passing attack.
What a throw by Dak Prescott.
What a catch by Michael Gallup.
— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) December 24, 2022
The Titans entered Week 16 allowing the No. 5-most fantasy points to WRs. The Tennessee secondary has allowed over 300 yards through the air in three of its last four games. Expect Gallup to see quality looks in a high-volume passing game against a bad secondary.
Brian Robinson vs Cleveland Browns
As Washington’s primary rusher, Brian Robinson has gotten at least 13 touches in all but two games this season. He has four top-24 finishes this season as a plodder with minimal receiving usage. Washington entered Week 16 as No. 8 in run plays per game with Robinson getting the bulk of those rushing opportunities.
The Browns have allowed over 100 yards rushing in each of their last three games with three of five touchdowns allowed in the span coming via the rush. Cleveland’s run defense is porous and allows many scoring opportunities. Robinson is a high-volume rusher with a better chance than usual to fall into the endzone and end with a big day.
Tyler Conklin at Seattle Seahawks
In a barren TE landscape, Tyler Conklin has four top-12 finishes this season. Prior to Week 16, he had a 93.9-percent (No. 7) True Catch Rate and a 46.2-percent (No. 9) Contested Catch Rate. When targeted, Conklin is a good big target for whatever Jets QB is back there.
The Seahawks look like one of the worst teams in the league against TEs. They have faced elite TEs like Travis Kelce and George Kittle to inflate those numbers. However, they have allowed serviceable games with good volume to guys like Gerald Everett and Foster Moreau as well. TEs only need a few receptions and a big play to finish top-12. If you are looking to stream a TE in a crucial spot for the fantasy playoffs, Conklin is a good bet for quality receptions, especially with Mike White or Joe Flacco throwing to him.
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.
Jeff Wilson at New England Patriots
Within Miami’s high-octane offense, Jeff Wilson has two top-12 finishes and no other top-20 finishes as a Dolphin. His Snap Shares in Miami are barely surpassing 60-percent as Raheem Mostert continues to get touches.
The Patriots entered Week 16 allowing the No. 30-most fantasy points to RBs via the run. They have allowed over 100 yards rushing twice in their last eight games. In a Week 1 matchup, Dolphins RBs averaged less than three yards per carry against the Patriots. New England’s front seven is successfully stonewalling opponents up front, forcing them into passing situations where the Dolphins are successful. Tua Tagovailoa‘s injury status may alter the game plan but expect Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle to be utilized more than Wilson in this game.
Pat Freiermuth at Baltimore Ravens
Coming off a seven-catch game against the Raiders, Pat Freiermuth now has eight games scoring double-digit fantasy points this season. However, he still has seen low Snap Shares lately, getting above a 75-percent Snap Share once since Week 4. In a low-scoring Steelers offense, he has not gotten the touchdown opportunities to be a top-tier TE.
This week particularly, Freiermuth faces a tough matchup against Baltimore. The Ravens have not allowed over 50 receiving yards to an opposing TE group each of the last three weeks. Freiermuth scored a touchdown against Baltimore a few weeks ago but had just 33 receiving yards. With Roquan Smith in the mix dropping into coverage, Freiermuth will once again depend on a TD for a good fantasy finish.
Andy Dalton at Philadelphia Eagles
With two top-12 finishes this season and several abysmal performances in between, Andy Dalton should only be rostered in SuperFlex leagues. Despite throwing for 7.6 (No. 7) Yards Per Attempt entering Week 16, Dalton averaged 14.8 (No. 21) Fantasy Points Per Game before throwing for 92 yards and an interception in Week 16.
The Eagles’ defense gave up a big performance to Dak Prescott last week but had not allowed over 220 passing yards in the three weeks prior to that. Eagles corners James Bradberry and Darius Slay have been solid this year in limiting opponents through the air. In a critical week for the fantasy playoffs, avoid Dalton in your SuperFlex leagues. Look instead for a QB in a better offense (Brock Purdy) or one with rushing value (Malik Willis, Tyler Huntley).