Matchup Monitor: Week 9

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.

Tyler Conklin at Baltimore Ravens

Tyler Conklin Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

The Ravens defense has struggled quite a bit this season, allowing 400-plus passing yards in three games. They have especially struggled against tight ends, allowing 6 touchdowns to the position this season. For context, they have faced Darren Waller, Travis Kelce, T.J. Hockenson, and Noah Fant, some of the top fantasy TEs in the game. However, they still allowed 91 yards and 2 touchdowns to C.J. Uzomah in Week 7. Raven safeties and linebackers have struggled in coverage and the defense overall has not been great at tackling.

Tyler Conklin is the fourth-highest targeted receiver in a Vikings offense that entered week 8 with the fifth-most team pass plays in the league. Conklin is a good gamble to take against a struggling defense on a pass-favorable team.

Darrell Williams vs Green Bay Packers

Darrel Williams Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Replacing Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Darrell Williams has seen a bit of an unstable workload. Williams exploded with 24 touches and 2 touchdowns in Week 6, but his workload shakes more with an offense that isn’t humming the same way it used to. The Packers have allowed 100 yards rushing to opponents in five games this season and teams have run at least 20 rushes a game each of the last four games against them. As of now, CEH isn’t expected back this week. Don’t worry about Derrick Gore as Williams saw 19 touches Monday night and there will be enough work to go around against Green Bay. In a QB star-powered showdown, Williams has the opportunity to put up big fantasy numbers for Week 9.

Brandin Cooks at Miami Dolphins

Brandin Cooks Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Brandin Cooks has seen 20 targets the last two weeks and is the clear-cut top target for the Texans. Prior to week 8, Cooks had seen a 45.7-percent (No. 2) Air Yards Share and a 34-percent (No. 4) Target Rate. He gets WR1-level opportunity on a not-so-great team.

The Dolphins have allowed five 100-yard receivers the last four games. The secondary has scuffled at times, and receivers have taken advantage of the unit. Xavien Howard has lost some burst this season, and Cooks can very easily use his speed and agility advantages over Howard to have a big day. Cooks may be unhappy with the trade deadline this week, but if he’s a Texan playing Miami this weekend, he’s in for a good day.

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.

Broncos WRs at Dallas Cowboys

Courtland Sutton Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

The Cowboys defense has given up a few big games, but also locked down a few games. Last week, Dallas locked down the Vikings pass game, allowing less than 200 pass yards. The Cowboys are middle of the pack in most pass defense measurements, but with Trevon Diggs leading a good secondary and an average Teddy Bridgewater at QB, Broncos WRs will struggle. Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, and Tim Patrick combined for 9 receptions last week. Heading into Week 8, Sutton led the league with 928 (No. 1) Air Yards, but subsequently had 480 (No. 1) Unrealized Air Yards. Both Patrick’s and Sutton’s Target Accuracies and yards per target ranked outside the top 25 receivers entering Week 8. Meanwhile, Jeudy has just returned from injury. The Broncos receivers are victims of mediocre QB play and will struggle to put up fantasy numbers against a solid Dallas secondary.

Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry at Cincinnati Bengals

Odell Beckham Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Odell Beckham has been disappointing this year. He averaged 8.0 (No. 69) Fantasy Points Per Game before getting just 1 reception in Week 8.

Jarvis Landry has been hurt for half the season and seen a low amount of yards per target. They face the Bengals, who just gave up 400-plus yards to Mike White and the Jets, but two of the Jets’ top three receivers that game were RBs. With Jack Conklin hurt, an underrated Bengals pass rush will get to Baker Mayfield, who had a 33.3-percent (No. 28) Pressured Completion Percentage entering Week 8. Beckham and Landry’s fantasy expectations take a hit this week against a decent Bengals defense.

Panthers WRs vs New England Patriots

D.J. Moore Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Continuing the trend of wide receiver groups with negative matchups this week, Carolina’s receivers are in for a tough matchup. The Patriots shut down the Chargers pass game last week, intercepting Justin Herbert twice. Keenan Allen was the only WR with more than 25 receiving yards. The Patriots have allowed just two 100-yard receivers this season and cornerback J.C. Jackson has been solid. Jackson was ranked No. 30 on PlayerProfiler’s CB rankings heading into Week 8. Among Panther receivers, D.J. Moore has been excellent. Behind him, Robby Anderson has been inefficient, and Terrace Marshall has been hurt. As good as Moore has been, Sam Darnold‘s status is in the air due to a concussion. With Darnold potentially out and J.C. Jackson on him, Moore isn’t in for a great matchup either. Panthers receivers will have a tough time producing for fantasy this week.