NFL Daily Fantasy: Best Matchups of 2014

Now that we are so deep into the NFL season, we have a lot of data to work with to help us figure out who the best passing and running matchups are, as well as the best matchups by position. The following best matchups are a subjective mix of DVOA data from Football Outsiders, ProFootballFocus premium grading, and our own team Run/Pass projections.

Best Pass Matchup: Washington Redskins

The Redskins have the 32nd ranked pass defense according to DVOA and the 31st ranked pass coverage according to PFF, and have given up the most fantasy points to QBs this year. Our projections show that the Redskins’ opponents have barely preferred passing the ball this year, but that’s mostly a function of playing some of the most run heavy teams in the league. The Redskins have played the Seahawks, Texans, and Cowboys this year, number 1 through 3 respectively in run play percentage. Their secondary is completely talent less mix of late round picks. Look for them to get completely destroyed by a pass heavy Eagles team in Week 16.

Best Run Matchup: Oakland Raiders

This was a tougher one. The Raiders are a middle of the pack or slightly below average run defense according to FO and PFF. But the Raiders have also been run on the most out of any team in the league, and have the worst Rush Rank Against according to our Sportsbook projections. Why are teams running the ball so much against the Raiders? My guess is that coaches play extra conservative against the Raiders for several reasons. First off, the Raiders are arguably the worst team in the league and opponents know they can score few points on offense and still win the game. I also think coaches have a fear of being embarrassed by the Raiders, so they try to play mistake free football. Overall, it seems like teams play conservatively against the Raiders despite not having an awful run defense, and that’s why they are the best run matchup.

Best WR1 Matchup: Houston Texans

Just go through the box scores of Texans games and look at the WR1 stats for those games. It’s absolutely amazing how many yards and TDs this team has given up to WR1’s. FO ranks them as the 4th worst team against WR1, but fantasy wise they are clearly the worst. They have had only 2 games where they gave up less than 17 fantasy points against a WR1, one was against Tennessee where Justin Hunter had 4 catches for 31 yards and a TD, and one against Sammy Watkins who had a similar line. They have also given up two 35+ point fantasy days this season, one to T.Y. Hilton and the other to Jeremy Maclin. The Texans don’t have an awful secondary, but their strategy against WR1’s is clearly yielding tons of fantasy production.

Best WR2 Matchup: Tennessee Titans

The Titans have a great #1 CB in Jason McCourty who was the 11th best graded corner according to PFF last year. This year they have the 2nd worst rated corner in the league, Blidi Wreh-Wilson. This is the guy who guarded DeAndre Hopkins in Week 13 and gave up 200+ yards and 2 TDs. The huge drop off between the Titans #1 and #2 corners causes teams to target Wilson a ton, making WR2 a juicy matchup against the Titans. FO ranks the Titans as worst in the league against WR2.

Best TE Matchup: Indianapolis Colts

The Colts have had a very weak schedule of opposing TEs, so the box scores don’t look that bad. But when they have faced a quality TE, they have given up a ton of fantasy points. Week 1 they gave up 100 yards and 3 TDs to Julius Thomas. Delanie Walker was the leading receiver for the Titans with 5 catches for 84 yards and a TD. Despite the Bengals scoring 0 points, they gave up 10 receptions to Jermaine Gresham. Heath Miller torched them for 112 yards and a TD. Jordan Reed went for 9 catches and 123 yards against them. They’ve managed to hold the non existent TEs of the Texans and Jaguars in check, but everyone else has had at the very least a quality game.


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Daniel Steinberg

About the Author

Daniel Steinberg Daniel Steinberg is a former bond trader at a multi-billion dollar proprietary trading firm in Chicago. He uses his knowledge of statistics and his creativity from his career as a poker professional to create the most advanced Daily Fantasy statistical analysis that you will find anywhere. Follow him on twitter @DanielSingerS

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