2022 Matchup Monitor Week 18

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 18!

Positive Matchups

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

Jarrett Stidham vs Kansas City Chiefs

It is now Week 18 and most leagues have already completed their fantasy championships. So, this piece will take on more of a DFS angle. First up, Jarrett Stidham, who just threw for 365 passing yards and three touchdowns against a stout San Francisco defense.

The Chiefs entered Week 17 allowing the No. 2-most fantasy points to QBs via the pass. Opponents have attempted 78 passes against them in their last two games. Derek Carr had 241 yards and two touchdowns against Kansas City earlier this season. In a game that will likely have a pass-heavy Game Script for the Raiders, expect Stidham to keep racking up yards and scores from high passing volume this week.

Zack Moss vs Houston Texans

As the Colts’ new RB1, Zack Moss has 51 carries over his last three games. Moss has gotten the bulk of Indianapolis’ carries since Jonathan Taylor‘s injury, seeing Snap Shares over 60-percent since then. While Moss hardly gets any receiving work, his opportunities running the ball will give him scoring chances against a subpar Texans defense.

Houston has allowed over 100 rushing yards to opponents in each of its last five games, yielding nine rushing touchdowns in that span. The Texans struggle to stop anything on the ground. Taylor ran for 161 yards and a score in a Week 1 matchup against Houston. Moss is again slated to see the bulk of the rushing work and will have a better-than-usual shot at scoring against a bad run defense.

Terry McLaurin & Jahan Dotson vs Dallas Cowboys

The Commanders have been eliminated from playoff contention, so watch player availability this week. If Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson suit up, they are good plays for this week. Dotson has seven touchdowns in 11 games while McLaurin is Washington’s WR1 with three top-12 finishes this season. They are utilized well on the outside as both saw at least five targets each of their last four games.

The Cowboys have allowed over 300 passing yards in two of their last three games. They have allowed seven passing touchdowns in that span. The Dallas secondary has allowed big games to receivers in shootouts this season. With a high-octane Dallas offense leaving Washington to play catch-up in another likely shootout, expect McLaurin and Dotson to see plenty of usage.

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.

Mark Andrews at Cincinnati Bengals

With this being Week 18, and taking more of a DFS angle, the first negative matchup is Mark Andrews against Cincinnati. Prior to Week 17, Andrews had four straight games scoring single-digit fantasy points. With Tyler Huntley at QB, Baltimore’s offense has been built around the run with shallow passing and stagnant scoring. While Andrews got 100 yards in Week 17, he is not the same elite play as he was at the beginning of the season.

Mark Andrews Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

The Bengals have allowed just three touchdowns to opposing TEs this season. In their last matchup, Andrews had 89 yards and a touchdown. Since then, the Ravens offense has had fewer receiving weapons to account for and with Lamar Jackson possibly out again, Andrews is a fade this week. You can find another TE at a better cost than Andrews for DFS lineups.

Travis Etienne vs Tennessee Titans

Jacksonville will be full steam ahead this week as they face Tennessee in a game for the division. Starting RB Travis Etienne has three straight top-24 finishes but had three straight finishes outside the top-36 prior to that. He has also been used less in the passing game, seeing more than three targets three times prior to Week 8, and no times since then.

The Titans have not allowed more than 100 yards rushing in five straight weeks. They are holding opponents to less than four yards per carry in that span. Etienne had 32 rushing yards in the last Jaguars-Titans matchup, averaging less than two yards per carry with no receptions. Tennessee’s run defense is top-tier so expect Jacksonville to rely on Trevor Lawrence‘s arm more than Etienne’s legs this game.

Justin Herbert at Denver Broncos

Dealing with offensive injuries all season long, Justin Herbert has put up an underwhelming fantasy season. Herbert entered Week 17 averaging 19.43 (No. 6) Expected Fantasy Points Per Game but averaging 17.1 (No. 15) Fantasy Points Per Game. He has one of the lowest yards per attempt clips in the league and does not add much as a rusher.

The Broncos defense has been more porous as of late, but Patrick Surtain and company are still a solid group. Denver has allowed 15 touchdowns through the air while grabbing 14 interceptions. MVP-favorite Patrick Mahomes had six passing touchdowns but four interceptions against the Broncos. With the Chargers already clinching a playoff berth, don’t expect a special performance from Herbert this week.