Special to Yahoo Sports
Schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed, or aFPA, is 4for4’s answer to biased statistics. By removing bias, we can level the playing field and compare matchups in an “apples-to-apples” manner. As the season marches on, the data will change and from this point on, the numbers shown will be based on a rolling 10-week data set.
Each week until the end of the fantasy football season I will be looking at matchups to target or avoid based on updated aFPA data.
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Matchup To Target: Jamaal Williams/Craig Reynolds @ Atlanta Falcons
Reynolds went from Create-A-Player to must-add/must-start Week 16. Jamaal Williams was removed from the reserve/COVID-19 list on December 20, but it is yet to be seen if the virus will slow his conditioning. Lions coach Dan Campbell could also have Williams return to his usual role (making him flex-worthy) and let Reynolds be the D’Andre Swift for one more week. The Falcons are 25th in aFPA against opposing running backs.
Matchup To Avoid: Justin Fields @ Seattle Seahawks
It takes a special coach to put his quarterback in a situation to regress. Matt Nagy is that kind of special. Fields threw for 200 more yards than opponent Kirk Cousins on Monday Night Football and still looked worse. His only touchdown was as time expired and he lost another fumble. That was against one of the worst pass defenses in football.
Seattle is eighth in aFPA against quarterbacks and first against wide receivers. Fields could be throwing to Darnell Mooney and Dazz Newsome as his top two wideouts with Allen Robinson (COVID-19) and Damiere Byrd (bad) off the radar. The Seahawks are a run-funnel defense and should be attacked on the ground, assuming Nagy has any brain cells left.
Matchup To Avoid: Duke Johnson @ New Orleans Saints
It is Duke Johnson SZN!
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The New Orleans Saints just sucked the life out of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense and now get an improving, but mediocre Dolphins squad. Johnson had every reason to run as if his job depended on it and now gets a real test from the Saints run defense (4th in aFPA to running backs). I am so happy for Duke Johnson (poor Myles Gaskin), but his honeymoon with the Dolphins ends Week 16.
Matchup To Target: Tyler Johnson @ Carolina Panthers
The passing game in Tampa took massive blows with injuries to Chris Godwin (ACL) and Mike Evans (hamstring). Antonio Brown will be back in Week 16 but he cannot line up at three positions at once. Tyler Johnson “filled” the Godwin role after he left Week 15’s game and should continue to do so going forward. Johnson has seen the most work this season among Tampa’s depth wideouts (at least 59% of snaps played in four of the last five games) and has a chance to be a PPR savior. The Panthers are middle-of-the-road against wide receivers according to aFPA (13th), but an injury to Leonard Fournette could force Bruce Arians to trust dog-housed running backs named Ronald Jones and Ke’Shawn Vaughn.
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Johnson is an excellent addition to your playoff roster.
Matchup To Target: Kyle Rudolph (and maybe Evan Engram) @ Philadelphia Eagles
Our favorite Christmas-themed NFL player did not get the opportunity to play the Eagles Week 12 when Evan Engram and Chris Myarick combined for 5-48-1. The Giants’ tight ends are low floor, medium-ceiling options with injuries and COVID-19 causing mind-boggling roster turnover. Philly is very generous to tight ends, allowing 16.7 schedule-adjusted fantasy points (half-PPR) per game, the most by 2.0 points per game. In five of their last six games, the Eagles have allowed at least one reception and 20 receiving yards to two tight ends per game.
Jake Fromm and Mike Glennon are not NFL quarterbacks, but even they can find Engram and Rudolph in desperation with their 5.5 aDOTs (or lower).
This article originally appeared in its full form on 4for4.com
Jeff has played fantasy sports since 2001. He has covered fantasy and traditional sports at the pro, semi-pro, and amateur level for the better part of a decade. Born in Illinois and currently living where James Robinson made a name for himself in college, Jeff enjoys running (establish it), followed by doing absolutely nothing.
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