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Week 16 Fantasy Football Matchups to Exploit

Sam WagmanSports Content Editor
@swagman95
Last Updated: Dec 22, 2023

Identifying key matchups in games is essential for your fantasy squad.

It could be a WR/CB matchup in which Ja’Marr Chase meets an inexperienced rookie or an RB/DL matchup where Dameon Pierce faces a struggling defensive line.

Each week, I’ll break down up to five of my favorites to exploit, using analysis from our stats and knowledge of matchups.

Let’s find advantageous spots for your fantasy team so you can cruise to victory.

Week 16 Matchups to Exploit

WR/CB Matchups to Exploit

Cooper Kupp, LAR vs Saints CBs

This will mostly fall to Alontae Taylor since Kupp aligns in the slot nearly 60% of the time this season, and Taylor is the nickel CB for New Orleans. Taylor has calmed things down a bit since earlier in the season but is still allowing 0.35 fantasy points per pass route on his coverage snaps, a below-average number.

I think Kupp will be a big part of the passing attack this week, coming off back-to-back big production games. The Saints will look to limit him, but Isaac Yiadom and Paulson Adebo could have their hands full with Puka Nacua aligning on the perimeter 70% of the time and drawing coverage looks.

This should open up the middle of the field for Kupp and provide plenty of soft looks.

Vikings WRs vs Lions CBs

We’ve been saying to start your WRs against the Lions for several weeks now, but do you really want to know just how bad the secondary has been for Detroit?

Since Week 11, the Lions’ Pass Defense DVOA is a crushing 26.8%, a number that ranks fourth-worst in the league, per Jared Smola. Compared to Weeks 1-10 for them, that’s a 30% downward change from their early -3.2% DVOA.

The Lions are struggling against nearly everyone, and that list could expand to include Nick Mullens this week. Justin Jefferson is obviously a must-start, but Jordan Addison has worked his way into the auto-WR2 conversation, as well.


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RB/DL Matchup to Exploit

Breece Hall, NYJ vs WAS DL

It’s been tough with Hall this season, for sure. If you drafted him and then watched him in Week 1, you thought he was completely back, but then had to watch him struggle all season long behind the porous offensive line and poor quarterback play of the Jets, with the only saving grace being his receiving numbers.

Down the stretch, it’s been more of the same, however, this matchup against the Commanders this week could serve as a great spot to start Hall. This Washington team has been recognized as one of the worst passing defenses of the last several years, but what flies under the radar is that their run defense has also fallen off.

Over the past five weeks, the Commanders have fallen to 20th in rushing defense DVOA, as compared to 11th over the first 10 weeks of the season. The Commanders are also allowing the 10th-most receiving yards to running backs this season, and with Hall averaging five catches for 42.5 yards over his last nine games, this could be a real spot for him to shine.

QB/DB Matchups to Exploit

Baker Mayfield, TB vs JAX DBs

We’re a week late on the Baker explosion after he threw for 381 yards and four touchdowns last week in a win over the Packers, but going against the Jaguars is probably just as good a feeling right now, given how porous their pass defense has been.

The Jaguars have allowed a 20-point-scorer at quarterback to each of the last three quarterbacks they’ve played against, and they’re also struggling on offense with an injury to Trevor Lawrence, which should allow Mayfield to take things easier in this matchup and not have to push as much.

I like Mayfield as a top-15 option this week, and he’s my favorite streamer at the quarterback position for Week 16.

Author

Sam Wagman

Sam is the Sports Content Editor for The Game Day. He has been in the sports media industry for 4 years, with stints at VegasInsider, Footballguys, and Fantasy Points. Sam specializes in fantasy football content creation and strategy as well as sports betting content strategy with an NFL and PGA focus. Originally from Philadelphia, he enjoys all Philly sports despite now living in Florida. He enjoys playing tennis, pickleball, and golf -- while constantly struggling to break 80 on the course.

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