Matchup Monitor: Week 5

by Aditya Fuldeore · Matchups Start/Sit

Week by week, fantasy players question which of their players to insert into lineups and which to bench for that week. One key component in that process is highlighting easy or difficult matchups for players. While an easy matchup isn’t a guarantee for a player to perform well, it’s certainly a better bet. In this piece, I highlight a few different matchups to keep an eye out for each week as you make your lineup decisions.

Positive Matchups

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

Laviska Shenault vs Tennessee Titans

Laviska Shenault Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Is it finally time to unleash Laviska Shenault? D.J. Chark‘s unfortunate injury doesn’t necessarily mean more targets, but deeper targets. Last week, Shenault saw a season-high 16.5 yards per reception, highlighted by a big 52-yard bomb.

He could also see more rushing usage with Carlos Hyde a scratch in Week 4 and Shenault seeing 18 carries last season, compared to three so far this season. The Titans allowed 203 receiving yards combined to Corey Davis and Keelan Cole, while Braxton Berrios had 15 yards rushing last week. Tennessee’s defense struggles to stop the pass. In a game that likely will be a negative, pass-heavy Game Script for the Jaguars, Shenault has breakout opportunity in Week 5.

Emmanuel Sanders at Kansas City Chiefs

Emmanuel Sanders Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Devonta Smith was on this list last week against the Chiefs, and Emmanuel Sanders is on this list for similar reasons. Kansas City allowed 122 receiving yards to Smith last week in a high scoring game and have struggled to contain opposing team’s offenses this year. Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs will certainly get his fair share, but Sanders behind him is in line to eat on this generally pass-heavy Bills team. Sanders had 6 (No. 5 among qualified wide receivers) Deep Targets and 335 (No. 8) Air Yards entering Week 4. Josh Allen likes to air it out, so expect Sanders to see plenty of run in what should be another high scoring affair Sunday night.

Cordarrelle Patterson vs New York Jets

Cordarelle Patterson Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Cordarrelle Patterson has been an amazing fantasy asset, yet he’s still not an auto-start for some fantasy managers. Week 5 against the Jets, he is most definitely and auto-start. Even before his Week 4 smash, Patterson had 1.36 (No. 6) Fantasy Points Per Opportunity, 5.35 (No. 1) Yards Created Per Touch, and a 32.9-percent (No. 4) Dominator Rating through three weeks. He is the overall RB2 through Week 4 and has both RB and WR functionality on several different fantasy platforms.

The Jets are not a stifling defense and have allowed many receptions to pass catchers out of the backfield, like Christian McCaffrey, James White, and Jeremy McNichols, who all had five or more receptions against New York. Patterson has yet another opportunity to show what a smash fantasy asset he is.

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.

Pat Freiermuth vs Denver Broncos

Pat Freiermuth Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Better days are ahead for Pat Freiermuth, just not this week, and maybe not this year. Ben Roethlisberger is clearly operating on fumes and his targets are not going to tight ends. Freiermuth and Eric Ebron only have a combined 19 targets out of Big Ben’s 170 pass attempts through four weeks. The Broncos, outside of five receptions to Mark Andrews last week, have not allowed more than three receptions to a tight end group so far this season. Denver has a good secondary, headlined by safeties Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson, both of whom have range in coverage and hit hard. Freiermuth will have a hard time breaking out in Week 5 facing a good secondary with a small Target Share.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs Buffalo Bills

Clyde Edwards-Helaire Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Clyde Edwards-Helaire‘s production has been on the rise the last fewweeks. However, he faces a rough test against Buffalo. The Bills have not yet allowed 100 yards rushing to an opposing backfield. Their defensive line is headlined by Ed Oliver, who ranks in the 95th-percentile or higher in the 40-yard dash and Agility, Speed, and Burst Scores for defensive lineman. CEH has also only seen 8 targets this season, despite back-to-back weeks with receiving touchdowns. Patrick Mahomes slings in deep more often than checking down, and Buffalo’s solid front seven won’t give CEH much room to run. The Bills and Chiefs tend to pass heavily with their big-armed QBs, so don’t be surprised if CEH’s production rattles back down this week.


Leonard Fournette vs Miami Dolphins

Leonard Fournette Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

The Buccaneers primary offensive attack is via Tom Brady through the air. Like CEH on this list, Fournette may just fall victim to that. Tampa is averaging the most pass attempts per game this season, and Week 4’s Sunday night game against the Patriots was the first time they ran more than 20 times in a game. The Dolphins have not been great against the run this season and Game Script could get out of hand down Will Fuller and starting Jacoby Brissett. However, the primary reason Fournette is on this list is because his high-usage Week 4 may trap some fantasy managers, as there is no pattern yet that shows he will still get a large workload. Tampa runs through the air and will continue going at Miami’s up-and-down secondary.