FAVORABLE MATCHUPS (CASH/GPP)
Aaron Rodgers (DK – $6,400/FD – $8.600): Rodgers is well on his way to set career highs in passing attempts (677), passing completions (416), and passing yards (5,325), but he’s trailing his best success in TDs (on pace for 32 TDs). Aaron passed for over 400 yards in his last two starts (442/3 and 425/2). The Rams allowed two passing TDs in each of their last five games with Vikings delivering the only impact game (422/3). The Rams will be playing at home for the first time since Week 4, which sets up a great high scoring matchup. Rodgers will need to throw to win this game, and he should be chasing on the scoreboard. Viable at the top end of the QB position with a couple of his injured WRs returning this week.
Andy Dalton (DK – $6,200/FD – $7,800): Dalton came up short last week (148/1) in what looked to be a favorable matchup. Over his last three games, Andy passes for fewer than 250 yards in each game with four combined TDs and two Ints. His struggles last week even led to a trip to the bench. This week Dalton faces the worst defense in the league against QBs. Tampa allowed over 300 yards passing to five of their six opponents with QBs averaging three TDs and 8.8 yards per attempt per game. An exciting matchup, but Fantasy owners will be skittish to throw another dart at a QB with tends fall short of expectations.
Ben Roethlisberger (DK – $6,100/FD – $8,400): Roethlisberger has four games with over 300 yards passing and three games with three TDs. So far this year his failure in passing TDs came in his three games vs. division opponents. In Week 1 in poor weather, Ben passes for 335 yards with one TD and three Int vs. the Browns. Cleveland allowed six rushing TDs in the last two games, which led better than expected success over this span in passing TDs allowed (2). One QB has one impact game (438/4) against the Browns. The Steelers tend to be a much better offense at home, which gives Roethlisberger a chance at an impact game.
MATCHUP RISK / AGAINST THE GRAIN (GPP)
Patrick Mahomes (DK – $7,000/FD – $9,200): After two short games in passing TDs (1 and 0), Mahomes regains his elite way over his last two starts (352/4 and 358/4). Patrick now has six straight games with over 300 yards passing with 24 combined TDs in seven games. In Week 4 on the road against the Broncos, Mahomes passes for 304 yards with two combined TDs. Denver held their last three opponents to 593 combined passing yards with four TDs, but they did get drilled in two of these games on the ground (NYJ – 38/323/1 and LAR – 39/270/2). Great young player with a high floor and explosive ceiling in TDs and yards. His matchup is slightly against the grain possibly leading to a lower percentage own.
Cam Newton (DK – $5,800/FD – $8,100): Newton quietly sits 5th in QB scoring despite failing to deliver a huge impact game. Cam has two TDs or more in his last five games. He has two playable games (31.95 and 31.10 Fantasy points), which is helped by his value as a runner (52/257/2). The Ravens have the best QB defense in the NFL with no teams scoring over 30 Fantasy points. The Bengals were the only team to have success from the QB position (265/4). Tough matchup, which will require Cam to have success on the ground to finish with a decent game.
Baker Mayfield (DK – $5,700/FD – $7,200): Mayfield had a rebound in his completion rate (67.6) after three down games (51.2, 58.1, and 47.8). Over his last four games, Baker has six TDs and five Ints with one game with over 300 yards passing. The Steelers will rush the QB (22 sacks), but four teams have over 300 yards passing against Pittsburgh. The Chiefs (326/6) and the Bucs (411/3) have had the most success passing the ball. Mayfield isn’t where he needs to be to produce a winning score in the daily games. He needs more talent at the WR position before becoming a trusted asset. Fade for me.
Matthew Stafford (DK – $5,600/FD – $7,300): Stafford has two TDs or more in each of his last five games, but his passing yards have come up short in his last two outings (183 and 217). His only game of value (347/3) came on the road vs. the 49ers in Week 2. Matthew is on pace for 32 TDs, but a career-low 568 passing attempts. Seattle allowed fewer than 20 Fantasy points to the QB in their last five games. Two teams have over 300 passing yards vs. the Seahawks (DEN – 329/3 and LAR – 321/1). On paper, Stafford has a tough game, but he is somewhat due to a winning game in TDs. I like his receiving core, which gives him a reasonable chance at surprising.
C.J. Beathard (DK – $4,900/FD – $7,300): The fun ride of Beathard in the daily games ended with a short outing in Week 7 (183 combined yards with one TD). Over four games, C.J. gained 1,162 combined yards with eight TDs. He played well in his first matchup at home against the Cardinals (356 combined yards and three TDs). Arizona ranks fourth defending QBs due to game score a huge number of rushing attempts against (237 – 33.9 per game). Beathard shows the ability to make plays in the passing game. I don’t trust his receiving core, and I can’t see a repe$6,400ated game of success on the road in Arizona.
BAD MATCHUP (AVOID)
Alex Smith (DK – $5,000/FD – $7,200): Smith is a shell of his 2017 self at this point of the year. He’s yet to pass for over 300 yards with only seven combined TDs. Alex has two TDs or fewer in each game. The Giants are league average defending QBs with no QB scoring over 30 Fantasy points. New York’s biggest struggled came against Houston (385/2) and Atlanta (379/1). On the wrong path to be a winning play in the daily games with questionable receiving options.
Sam Darnold (DK – $4,500/FD – $6,700): Darnold passed for fewer than 210 yards in five of his seven starts while delivering ten TDs and ten Ints. His best game of the year in yards (334) came in Week 2 at home, and his best game in TDs (3) also came at home in Week 5. The Bears fell to 21st in QB defense after struggled in their last two games (MIA – 380/3 and NE – 277/3). The Bears should find their pass rush again in Week 8 leading to a short game by the Darnold on the road.
Andrew Luck (DK – $6,300/FD – $8,300): Luck only passed for 156 yards last week while the Colts had their best success of the year on the ground (37/220/1), he did deliver four TDs for the third time in four games. Andrew is on pace for 46 TDs and 5,195 yards passing. Oakland allows 8.6 yards per pass attempts with two teams passing for 300+ passing yards (MIA – 341/4 and LAC – 339/2). The Raiders should allow three TDs or more with Indy expected to earn most of them via the pass. Grinder type QB who tends to win by volume of passes. Luck just needs Oakland to press the issue on the scoreboard.
Mitchell Trubisky (DK – $6,100/FD – $7,700): Over the last three games, Trubisky has been a great Fantasy QB. He averaged 395 combined yards with 12 TDs. His success was well above his first three games of the year (655 combined yards with three TDs). Mitchell moved to 4th in Fantasy QB scoring per week in four-point TD leagues. Trubisky has a great feel for the game with a slickness to his footwork and fell for the passing game, which shows similarities to Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson. The Jets are league average defending QBs with four teams passing over 300 yards and QBs tossing 13 TDs. Playing well and Mitchell has delivered two million dollar winners to Fantasy owners over the last three weeks.
Jameis Winston (DK – $6,000/FD – $7,800): Over two starts for Tampa, Winston passed for 760 yards with five combined TD and 84 yards on the ground. Jameis has a career-high completion rate (69.0) with five TDs and six Ints in his 2+ games. Cinci fell to 28th in QB Fantasy defense after their thrashing by Patrick Mahomes (358/4) last week. Five QBs have over 300 yards passing against the Bengals with one other impact game (ATL – 419/3). The Bucs have depth in their receiving core, but Winston needs to do a much better job throwing TDs in the red zone. This game sets up to be wide open, which gives Jameis a chance at a winning game.
Jared Goff (DK – $6,000/FD – $8,500): With the Todd Gurley show (eight TDs) being in high gear over the last three games on the road, Goff finished with only three combined TDs over this period. Jared has four games with over 300 yards passing, which included two impact games (465/5 and 354/3) with both games coming at home. The Packers held five of six of their opposing QBs to fewer than 250 yards passing with only the Vikings having success (425/4). Green Bay can struggle vs. the run, which gives Gurley more momentum in this matchup. I’d like to see Cooper Kupp back in the starting lineup before making my final decision on his value. A possible special game if all TDs by the Rams come via the air.
Russell Wilson (DK – $5,900/FD – $7,400): Over the last two games, Wilson has six TDs while attempting only 22 passes per game. His value as a runner (17/62) remains well below career path. Over the last five games, Russell passed for fewer than 230 yards in each game with short passing attempts in his last four games (26, 26, 21, and 23). The Lions rank 12th vs. the QB position with one disaster game (GB – 442/3). QBs have two TDs or more in five of six games against the Lions. Seattle has become more of a runner team in 2018, which makes Wilson tough to trust in the daily games.
Joe Flacco (DK – $5,300/FD – $7,500): Flacco only has three TDs over his last three games while falling to pass for over 300 yards in each game. Joe has two TDs or fewer in six straight games with his best value coming in Week 2 (376/2) and Week 4 (363/2). Carolina slipped to 19th in QB Fantasy defense. The Panthers allowed two passing TDs or more in his last five games with three teams passing for over 300 yards in the last four contests. Tough to trust with this game having a defensive feel.
Derek Carr (DK – $5,200/FD – $6,900): The Raiders’ team has quit feel to them with Amari Cooper shipped out of town and Marshawn Lynch down for the year. Carr has a plus completion rate (71.7), but he has one TD or fewer in five of his six games. He passed for over 300 yards in three of six games with one game of value (437/4). Indy allowed over 300 yards in two games (HOU – 375/2 and NE – 375/3). The Colts’ defense has played better than expected helped by a stronger pass rush (21 sacks). Tough start in the daily games.
Case Keenum (DK – $5,100/FD – $7,000): Keenum has one Int or more in each of his starts (nine on the year). He’s passed for over 300 yards in three of his seven starts, but Case has two TDs or fewer in his last six games. In Week 4, he passed for 245 yards and no TDs against the Chiefs. Kansas City allows the sixth-most Fantasy points to QBs with four teams passing over 400 yards. Over the last four games, the Chiefs allowed only three combined passing TDs. Keenum has the receiving talent to surprise with a matchup that points to upside, but his resume in 2018 shows a shady investment in the daily games.
Eli Manning (DK – $4,900/FD – $6,700): After seven games, Manning only has seven TDs with a career-high completion rate (69.0). Eli is gaining 7.7 yards per pass attempt, which is his highest success since 2011. Over the last three games, Eli passed for 1,006 yards with three TDs and two Ints. Washington ranks 23rd in the league against QBs with one team passing for over 300 yards (NO – 363/3). His receiving talent ranks well over the league average, which means his upside in TDs could come when least expected. Unlike most football fans, Eli still belongs in the NFL, and he can make all the throws. He just needs more time to throw.
Josh Rosen (DK – $4,800/FD – $6,400): Over the last four games, Rosen only has three combined TDs while failing to pass for any TDs. He did suffer a foot injury late in his last game, but he’s trending toward playing on Sunday. In Week 5, Josh passed for 170 yards and one TD in a win over the 49ers. San Fran is 25th in the NFL defending QBs with four teams scoring over 25 Fantasy points. Low resume, but Rosen has made some winning plays that his receiver core dropped for nice gains. Possible best game of his young career.