FanDuel Matchup Analysis: Five Matchups to Target in Week 16

By Matt Johnson on Tuesday, December 19th 2017
FanDuel Matchup Analysis: Five Matchups to Target in Week 16

In this article, we'll highlight five matchups we want to target for the upside they offer and players who should see a sizable share of your roster makeup. It will be a mix of players and specifically highlight some of the best matchups on the slate, rather than value-based targets alone. For Week 16, we'll evaluate the Saturday and Sunday slate of games, providing options for FanDuel's main and additional slates.

This week represents another slate of great matchups to take advantage of with targeted areas to attack with specific players. As always, our list will focus on two quarterbacks, two running backs and two wide receivers.

So let's get started with our top five matchups to target in Week 16.

Cam Newton vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defense

We highlighted Cam's matchup as one to take advantage of last week, he now finds himself back on the list once again. When a player rewards you with over 50 rushing yards and throws four touchdown passes, executing on a great matchup, you have to roll with him again when another bad defense rolls into Carolina. This week, the Buccaneers' defense rolls in to face the Panthers.

Tampa Bay's defense ranks as one of the worst in the league. According to Football Outsiders' DVOA, the Buccaneers' defense ranks 31st in total pass defense, 21st against opposing team's No.1 wide receivers, 23rd against running backs and 19th versus No.2 wide receivers.

Last week we saw Carolina use Christian McCaffrey heavily against Green Bay and given Tampa Bay's struggles covering running backs, an area where Devonta Freeman exposed them, Carolina should continue that exploitation this week. McCaffrey will be used in a variety of creative ways in space and cause problems, while Devin Funchess and Greg Olsen present further issues for Tampa Bay. Newton will sprinkle in five-plus points with his legs and turn in another top performance.

Case Keenum vs. Green Bay Packers defense

Keenum's rise into fantasy stardom is something no one in a million years could have predicted. Yet here he is, helping push the Vikings' high-powered offense with a balanced attack up and down the field. Minnesota's offensive supporting cast and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur's system might be elevating Keenum beyond his normal talent level, but the numbers solidify him as a top-10 fantasy quarterback.

Now Keenum faces a Packers' defense that is in decline. Injuries to the secondary, specifically cornerback Davon House and Kevin King, significantly hurt this defense. Since Week 9, their defense allowed the most FanDuel points per game (21.5), most touchdowns (17) and third-most passing yards (1,918). Now with their season over and Aaron Rodgers back on injured reserve, this is a team without anything to play for.

Keenum carries a quality price this week and should be highly trusted in DFS and season-long leagues. He certainly isn't the quarterback who you thought could lead you to the fantasy title or a big payday, but Keenum is poised to do just that in Week 16.

Dion Lewis vs. Buffalo Bills run defense

The absence of Rex Burkhead works significantly in Lewis' favor. Burkhead, who in the past few weeks would steal some receptions and take goal line work ahead of Lewis, is now out for the remainder of the regular season. As a result, the 27-year-old running back should return to the 15-plus touches he saw in weeks prior. The workload is the first factor in his favor, but even greater is his matchup in Week 16.

Lewis will face a Bills' defense that is simply awful against the run. In the last seven weeks, Buffalo's defense surrendered the most FanDuel points per game (30.4), rushing yards (1,014) and rushing touchdowns (12). Needless to say, matchups don't come much better than this for a running back led by an elite quarterback who can helped make it easier to find running lanes and a high-powered offense. Make sure to get Lewis into a significant number of your FanDuel lineups this week and start him confidently in season-long leagues.

Alex Collins vs. Indianapolis Colts run defense

Collins didn't reach statistical expectations last week against the Cleveland Browns. In a quality matchup, he racked up 19 rushing on only 12 attempts. It certainly hurt fantasy owners and those who started him in DFS, but Collins' skill level and performances before Week 15 merit our consideration again. If the matchup is right, Collins becomes a high-end play to target and he will face quite a matchup in Week 16.

Before Week 15, Collins averaged over five yards per carry on the season and significantly more once Baltimore named him the starting running back. Now he'll face a Colts' defense that allowed the seventh-most rushing yards (636) since Week 10. Baltimore continues to show a strong commitment to the running game and the results are demonstrated in Collins yardage and touchdown totals over the past six weeks.

Adam Thielen vs. Packers' secondary

Much like we highlighted Keenum, we'll want to target Thielen for the same reasons. While Thielen's three receptions for 30 yards on five targets last week hurt many fantasy owners, it's a result of a game script that got out of hand quickly and resulted in Minnesota just abandoning the passing game with clock-killing drives and rested starters in the second half.

While that could happen in the fourth quarter this week, Thielen should still return fairly close to his normal usage in a great matchup. As Keenum's favorite target and the team's No.1 receiver, Thielen will see some great big-play opportunities against Green Bay's secondary. The Packers' secondary ranks 31st in the NFL against No.1 receivers according to Football Outsiders' DVOA. Given the matchup and his connection with Keenum, Thielen can finish as the top receiver on the slate this weekend.

Mike Wallace vs. Indianapolis Colts secondary

We've seen flashes of the old Wallace in recent weeks, memories of the days when he would roast opposing cornerbacks deep on nearly every drive. Recently, Wallace's numbers have skyrocketed up with 277 receiving yards on 14 receptions in his last three games. Joe Flacco is unleashing it deep to him often with 23 targets over the same span. As a result, Span sits at a whopping 19.79 yards per catch over the last three weeks.

Wallace finds himself in the face of a great opportunity in Week 16. The Colts' defense enters Week 16 with the most plays of 20-plus yards allowed to opposing receivers (61) this season. Indianapolis' secondary also allows the highest yards per catch (13.5) in the NFL and the fourth-most receptions of 40-plus yards (11), all of which bode well for Wallace. He'll pair nicely with Collins to make a Ravens' mini stack for DFS lineups and Wallace can settle in as a high-end WR3 in fantasy this week.

Fantasy Alerts

 Mar 22nd, 2018
Frank Gore (RB)
Indianapolis Colts
 Mar 13th, 2018
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 Mar 9th, 2018
Tyrod Taylor (QB)
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