A big part of fantasy football is identifying key matchups in games for your fantasy squad. It could be a WR/CB matchup in which Ja’Marr Chase is matched up against a rookie trying to find his legs or an RB/DL matchup in which Dameon Pierce could feast against a defensive line that’s been struggling for several weeks.
Every week, I’ll break down up to five of my favorite matchups to exploit for your fantasy football teams, using analysis from stats we have, as well as knowledge of matchups and how a player might attack his matchup on the field.
The goal is to locate advantageous spots for your fantasy teams so that you can cruise to victory this week!
Let’s dive right into it.
Week 3 Matchups to Exploit
WR/CB Matchups to Exploit
Ravens WRs vs Colts DBs
Taking whoever is facing the Colts’ secondary has been a popular matchup for the season, and for good reason. Dallis Flowers and Darrell Baker have been two of the friendliest matchups for wide receivers this season, with both sporting weak coverage grades, Baker especially (0.85 fantasy points per route run allowed).
Both Ravens’ perimeter WRs in Odell Beckham and Zay Flowers should see a good amount of Baker, so they both should get upgraded in your rankings this week.
Christian Kirk vs. M.J. Stewart
I like to single out players in these sometimes because we get to look at a specific matchup rather than the advantage that one unit has over another unit. It adds a nice wrinkle into the equation because we get to see which players are good against which other types of players.
Stewart gets the call-out in this week’s slate because he has the single worst fantasy points per pass route allowed grade of anyone starting at corner this week, with 0.98 FPpPR. You heard that right, guys. Every single time a player runs a route against Stewart, they earn one fantasy point.
- Check to see where we have Kirk ranked this week in our fantasy football rankings.
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RB/DL Matchups to Exploit
Josh Kelley vs. MIN DL
It might have been an anomaly last weekend, but the Vikings’ defensive line simply had no answer for D’Andre Swift in Philly’s matchup against Minnesota and allowed him to rush for 170 yards on 25 carries. Kelley is not the same type of runner, but he should still be able to find room against this line, especially knowing that they’ll have their hands full already trying to stop Justin Herbert and co. from throwing all over their secondary.
Looking at Kelley’s numbers from last week, it was always going to be a tough matchup for him to get meaningful yards. This matchup against the Vikings should be a lot more straightforward for him.
Javonte Williams vs Dolphins DL
Williams has been struggling to get going a bit this season, which to be fair should have been expected. He’s coming off a major knee reconstruction and obviously, you don’t bounce back right away from that (unless you’re Breece Hall).
This is a great get-right spot for Williams, though. The Dolphins, through two weeks, rank third-worst in the league in rushing yards allowed per game with 160.5, and Williams getting going against this Miami team is really the only way to stop them from controlling the game through the air and the ground.
QB/DB Matchups to Exploit
Baker Mayfield vs Eagles’ DBs
This is going to be an interesting matchup. So far, Mayfield has looked nothing like the QB that struggled mightily in the past two seasons, but has rather looked like his 2018-19 self who was more confident, fitting balls into tight windows, and generally getting things done.
Two weeks into the season, the Eagles have struggled against the pass. They have been hamstrung by injuries, sure, but they’ve allowed offensive weapons to get behind them and have depended on strong red zone play to keep them from scoring at will.
Mike Evans and Chris Godwin could be problems for this crew. With no Avonte Maddox due to a torn pec, it’s unclear who will guard Godwin, while it’s assumed that Darius Slay, who shadows the majority of the time, will be stuck to Evans like glue. Justin Jefferson was able to bully Slay a bit, so let’s see what Evans, who’s third in the NFC in receiving yards, can do as damage.
Anthony Richardson/Gardner Minshew vs. Ravens’ DBs
This made me chuckle when I picked it out, because I know plenty of people will read this and wonder where I’m going with it. I’m choosing to look at the fact Minshew is not terrible as a passer, and Richardson has been pretty solid when he’s been throwing this year, despite all the attention that gets paid (rightfully so) to his running.
I’m also choosing to attack the fact that both Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Williams will likely miss this matchup again, and Baltimore just can’t contain the same way without them. It does feel like Minshew will get the start this week, given that Richardson was not practicing as of Wednesday, and he played well against Houston last week when called into action.