If you had any doubts about weather's potential to impact fantasy scoring, Week 8 should have allayed them. That Sunday, heavy winds and sporadic precipitation across the north and northeast led to some interesting game scripts and stat totals, highlighted by Dalvin Cook's 30 carries and 226 total yards in Green Bay and Baker Mayfield and Derek Carr's combined 233 passing yards in Cleveland. The wind and rain shouldn't be quite so widespread this weekend, but Green Bay and Cleveland remain the focal points with forecasted winds north of 15 mph and moderate chances of rain in both cities. And that should have a major impact on fantasy this weekend with normal top-10 quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson affected and Patrick Mahomes and Matt Ryan already on bye. This sounds like a job for matchup plays!
The following tables feature the players with the best and worst matchups of the week. Each listed player shows a true-talent (TT) ranking that represents how I would rank him with a perfectly neutral game context. Then, that ranking is adjusted by adding the context of the venue (Ven) -- home and road and dome and outside -- the forecasted weather (Wea), and opponent tendencies (Opp). The line beneath those rankings shows how much those contextual factors move projected PPR fantasy points. That total (Tot) number gives you a comprehensive estimate of how many fantasy points the player will score this week more or less than his typical total.
You can see our full weekly projections with projected stats, matchup adjustments and fantasy points by subscribing to FO+.
|Best Week 10 Matchups - Quarterbacks|
With those weather and bye concerns and many of the second-tier fantasy quarterbacks such as Tom Brady, Ryan Tannehill, Justin Herbert, and Joe Burrow facing difficult defenses (which I will discuss shortly), Kyler Murray stands head-and-shoulders above the other options at the position this week. Frankly, one could argue he's there independent of matchup. His 30.1 fantasy points per game are two full points ahead of even Lamar Jackson's outrageous pace from 2019. But I still don't hate to see Murray playing at home in the dome in Arizona and facing a Bills team that has underwhelmed with the No. 15 DVOA pass defense this season. You wouldn't ever bench him, but it's interesting to note that Murray has averaged 2.6 more fantasy points per game at home than on the road in his career, a typically extreme split for an indoor quarterback even if one would assume his rushing would nullify those types of concerns.
If you don't have the benefit of Murray's fantasy services, you may be stuck playing the wire. Fortunately, there are a handful of strong options among the normal QB2 tier. Derek Carr and Jared Goff are the best of those choices. They both enjoy the same home-dome benefit as Murray and have demonstrated similarly extreme home/road splits of 4.4 and 1.3 more fantasy points per game at home than on the road since 2017. Meanwhile, the Broncos and Seahawks are neutral or better defensive opponents for quarterback scoring, the former because of a top-five boosting of pass plays and the latter because of top-five boosting of pass plays and pass efficiency. Seattle increases completion percentage and yards per pass attempt by 4% and 10%, respectively.
In a deeper format, you can take a gamble on normally shaky options Drew Lock and Nick Foles, who at least have plus defensive matchups to help them this week. The Raiders are a much bigger booster of rushing efficiency than passing efficiency, but critical for Lock and his tendencies, they are the No. 2 cutter of both interceptions and fumbles per pass attempt. Lock may avoid the turnovers that sabotaged his fantasy efforts against the Patriots and Chiefs in Weeks 6 and 7. Meanwhile, the Vikings owe the greater part of their apparent defensive turnaround in recent weeks to Dalvin Cook and the No. 1 DVOA run offense. With a Bears defense that may be able to slow Cook down and balance play totals, Foles can take advantage of a Vikings defense that is a top-three increaser of both yards and touchdowns per pass attempt.
|Worst Week 10 Matchups - Quarterbacks|
Brady has been a fantasy star this year when he has played outside of his new division. Now with a top-10 DVOA ranking, the Saints may have a good enough defense to partially explain Brady's passing lines with fewer than 240 yards and at least two interceptions in Weeks 1 and 9 against them. But his 217-yard, one-touchdown performance in Week 2 against the Panthers is a great reminder of how fantasy can differ from reality. The Panthers are a top-six cutter of passing touchdowns per attempt but not because they are a standout pass defense -- they are just 21st in that DVOA. They reduce quarterback fantasy production because they are an even worse defense against the run (24th) and are susceptible to blowouts that encourage their opponents to run the ball to kill clock in the second half. The Bucs ran 22 times for 122 yards and three touchdowns in their previous meeting. Expect even more carries this week with the team eager to put their historically low output of just five carries last week behind them.
Tannehill, Herbert, and Burrow suffer similar projected fantasy declines this week, but theirs are much easier to comprehend than Brady's is. The Colts, Dolphins, and Steelers all have top-eight DVOA pass defenses, and the former two are top-eight cutters of passing touchdowns per attempt as well. The Colts and Steelers probably don't surprise you in that respect. But if their No. 32 unit from last year's maybe-tanking team is stuck in your mind, take note that the Dolphins are making a 49ers- and Bucs-level defensive leap this season. They also have a Chiefs-like disparity in the quality of their pass (eighth) and run (29th) defenses that should prompt their opponents to try to run the ball more to take advantage of that defensive weakness. I don't know whether to advocate Justin Jackson, Joshua Kelley, Troymaine Pope, or Kalen Ballage this week. But at least in daily formats, Herbert is an obvious fade, falling from third in my true-talent rankings to seventh this week.
|Best Week 10 Matchups - Running Backs|
The 227-pound Nick Chubb skews more power than equally outstanding but stylistically different teammate Kareem Hunt (216 pounds). That may explain why Hunt "only" managed 76 yards on his 18 carries and failed to score in the heavy wind and rain in Week 8 against the Bengals. Coming off an injured reserve stint and as part of a team whose quarterback's availability is its biggest story this week, Chubb has a rare chance to fly under the radar. I love him in this spot. The Texans can make a case to be the best defense for a back to face in fantasy, boosting yards and touchdowns per carry by 28% and 43% respectively. And that is before even considering the possible inclement weather.
I assume everyone will be hip to Aaron Jones' wind-aided plus matchup this weekend. Even in neutral conditions, the Jaguars increase their opponents' rushing plays by 5% and boost touchdowns by 25% per attempt. But don't sleep on the possibility that the Jaguars can do to the Packers what the road Vikings did to them two weeks ago. With considerations of their full-season efficiency, the Jaguars (30th in DVOA) are not on the Vikings' (14th) level. But the Jags have a particular strength in run-blocking with 4.61 adjusted line yards, sixth-best in football and not dramatically behind the Vikings in first place (5.17). And while undrafted rookie James Robinson is not yet a household name, he is fourth in fantasy scoring and undoubtedly capable of taking advantage of a defense that is the No. 1 booster of touchdowns per carry at 93%.
|Worst Week 10 Matchups - Running Backs|
Dalvin Cook and Derrick Henry face difficult run defenses in the Bears (seventh in DVOA) and Colts (second) this week. But that is only a concern for daily formats. Even in some of the worst possible matchups, they fall to just second and sixth in my weekly running back rankings.
Late word out of San Francisco is that Raheem Mostert will not play this week in New Orleans as he is still fighting to return from an ankle injury. We are leaving him up in our table to indicate that the Saints are still a bad matchup for any of his replacements, be it Jerick McKinnon, Jamal Hasty or Tevin Coleman. Holding the Bucs to five carries may have been extreme, but the Saints are the No. 4 cutter of opposing carries, reducing them by 14% per game. They limited David Montgomery and Mike Davis to just 28 carries and 101 yards combined in Weeks 7 and 8 before the Bucs blowout, and the 49ers may have too many injuries in their passing game to demand a balanced defensive approach.
It's a similar situation for Seattle and Cincinnati. Chris Carson and Joe Mixon may or may not play this week, but their substitutes would also face poor matchups. The Rams have one-man wrecking crew in Aaron Donald. And while Donald may be a bigger deterrent to his opponent's passing games than running games, that may actually matter more for backs' potential for fantasy success. To point, the Rams cut touchdowns per carry by 47%, third-most in football.
And while the Steelers have underwhelmed the last two weeks in allowing 265 and 144 rushing yards to the Ravens and Cowboys, those totals were likely influenced by those specific matchups. The Ravens have Lamar Jackson to undermine any defensive game plan. And despite their offensive line injuries, the Cowboys remain top-10 in run-blocking with 4.48 adjusted line yards this season. The Bengals don't have that luxury (3.71, 31st), and if they fall behind on Sunday, Joe Burrow may have to throw another 40-plus pass attempts at the expensive of Bengals' running back touches.
|Best Week 10 Matchups - Wide Receivers|
Domes are just as important for receiver production as they are for quarterback production, so it's little surprise to see Stefon Diggs, DeAndre Hopkins, Cooper Kupp, and Terry McLaurin on the plus matchups list playing in Arizona, Los Angeles, and Detroit this week. But pay close to attention to their opponent adjustments, too, because they don't perfectly align with their broader defensive trends.
The Cardinals have made major strides, improving from the 26th DVOA pass defense last year to the 11th this year. But while they cut efficiencies to No. 2, slot, and deep receivers, the Cardinals boost No. 1 receiver yards and touchdowns per target by 14% and 77%, respectively.
In contrast, the Bills have declined from the sixth to the 15th DVOA pass defense, but cornerback Tre'Davious White anchors a neutral defense against No. 1 receivers. DeAndre Hopkins should gain more than he loses, but he may fall short of his usual league-best target share -- although keep an eye on White's ankle injury.
The Seahawks likely owe most of the blame for their fourth-worst DVOA pass defense to their secondary, which will be even weaker this week with cornerbacks Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar injured. But star linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright have not been enough to keep slot receivers such as Kupp in check, either. They boost yards and touchdowns per target by 38% and 62% to the position.
And receivers haven't enjoyed the full fantasy benefits of facing a below-average Lions pass defense (18th) because their run defense is even worse (25th). That has prompted opponents to call 17% more run plays against them, a tendency that in turn has cut touchdowns per target for every receiver group.
|Worst Week 10 Matchups - Wide Receivers|
I've spent some ink on breakout third- and second-year cover corners Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean, who even after the Bucs' lopsided loss to the Saints remain in the top 10 at the position allowing just 4.9 and 5.5 yards per target. But cornerbacks Byron Jones and Xavien Howard have spurred a defensive leap for the Dolphins this season as well. They haven't been quite at the Davis and Dean level, but they are both above average in allowing 7.5 and 8.0 yards per target. That lands Keenan Allen a similar projection loss to Robby Anderson this week. You should never avoid either player in traditional formats. Their 29.8% and 27.5% target share are first and sixth at the position his season. But facing difficult defenses this week, both receivers fall from my true-talent top 10 to rankings in the teens.
|Best Week 10 Matchups - Tight Ends|
Tight end is a wasteland in general this season, but this week should be especially difficult with Travis Kelce on bye. Fortunately for DFS players, top-two remaining true-talent options Darren Waller and T.J. Hockenson have good matchups. Both players are at home in their domes this week. And Waller draws a Broncos defense that promotes pass attempts by 3% and tight end yards by 6% per target while Hockenson will see a Washington defense that boosts yards and touchdowns to tight ends by 8% and 64% per target, respectively.
Aaron Rodgers was the one quarterback who overcame the Week 8 weather issues (291 yards and three touchdowns) and generally has defied the typical positional venue and weather trends. That gives me confidence that Robert Tonyan can take advantage of one of the best matchups for tight ends -- the Jaguars increase yards and touchdowns by 29% and 117% per target to the position. But Tonyan isn't a TE1 for me this week because of his lowered true-talent ranking. With Allen Lazard expected to return to the Packers lineup, Tonyan seems likely to fall to Rodgers' fourth option for targets.
|Worst Week 10 Matchups - Tight Ends|
I'm not sure it's full-on panic time for Mark Andrews, who has now produced three or fewer catches for 32 or fewer yards and failed to score for three straight games. Some of that was likely matchup-related. Andrews faced the Steelers and Colts the last two weeks, the No. 1 and 10 DVOA defenses against the position this season. But relief may still be another week away since Andrews' Week 10 opponent, the Patriots, are the second-best tight end defense and cut touchdowns per target by 83% to the position. There aren't enough options at the position to push Andrews out of my top five, but I'm not eager to use him in my daily lineups.
Fantasy players may want to extend the "low target depths are better in the wind" Tonyan logic to Texans tight end Darren Fells playing in Cleveland, but for me, he's a tougher sale. Fells had his best games of the season with 57 yards and a score and 85 yards and a score in Weeks 5 and 6 when teammate Jordan Akins was sidelined with ankle and head injuries. With Akins playing, Fells has capped at 26 yards this season, and even that could be a tall order against a Browns defense that cuts yards per target by 16% to the position.
|Best Week 10 Matchups - Kickers|
With top-10 true-talent rankings, Wil Lutz and Kai Forbath theoretically would be K1s within neutral contexts. They just never get that playing their home games in the domes in New Orleans and Los Angeles, respectively. Use them as top-three kicker options there this week. And if you need a waiver substitute for either Harrison Butker or Younghoe Koo on bye, consider Daniel Carlson. He doesn't get the high-altitude distance bump playing the Broncos in Las Vegas that he would playing them in Denver, but he doesn't need it. He has already drilled three kicks from 54 yards this season and should have extra opportunities from both short and long range facing a top-10 booster of field goal attempts.
|Worst Week 10 Matchups - Kickers|
After attempting three or more field goals in each of the Colts' first five games, Rodrigo Blankenship has just two tries in the last three. I think that's a result of his matchups since the Bengals, Lions, and Ravens all cut short attempts, the latter two by 40% or more. Unfortunately for the rookie, he could spend most of another week on the sidelines. Like those recent opponents, the Titans cut short field goal attempts by 20%. And they also cut long ones by 51%, second-most in football.
|Best Week 10 Matchups - Defenses|
With the Steelers and Ravens as every-week options in fantasy, the Giants and Bears are the teams to consider with matchups this week. And for all the mocking of the NFC East, that division has some decent defenses. New York (22nd) can't match Washington (sixth) or Philadelphia (11th) in terms of DVOA, but they have been the best of the bunch and a top-10 option in most fantasy formats. And while they likely can credit much of that success to facing the poor offensives of their division rivals, the Giants should again enjoy that benefit at home against the Eagles this week. With both Miles Sanders and Alshon Jeffery poised to play, the Eagles may be closer to full strength than they've been in two months. But that won't fix their offensive line, which is second-worst with its 8.7% adjusted sack rate. The Eagles are a top-three booster of both sacks per pass attempt and tackles for loss, so expect the Giants to make some big plays and force some turnovers.
The Bears feel like the riskier choice. Their relative weakness against the run (seventh in DVOA) versus the pass (fourth) plays into the Vikings' preferred strategy of running early and often. But while it may be the worse of its two aspects, the Bears run defense is dramatically better than both the Packers (20th) and Lions (25th) that Dalvin Cook shredded the last two weeks. If they can force the Vikings into a balanced offense, then the Bears should have fantasy success as top-10 increasers of interceptions per pass attempt and facing an offense that is a top-10 booster of sacks per pass attempt.
|Worst Week 10 Matchups - Defenses|
It's easy to visualize at least the Chargers and Bucs defenses having fantasy success on Sunday. The former faces rookie Tua Tagovailoa after one bad and one good NFL start. And the latter will likely want to take out its Week 9 frustrations on a Panthers offense without its star running back Christian McCaffrey. I won't tell you to avoid them. The small losses we project for the Chargers and Bucs in facing those offenses are counterbalanced by playing outdoors -- even without poor forecasted weather, it's better to avoid the domes that so dramatically boost offensive production. The real reason those defenses land in the bad matchups list is that they don't have obvious plus ones this week. That is the case for a bunch of appealing defenses and could serve as the disqualifier for daily consideration.