Now that we have seen enough football this season to have a good idea about which defenses represent favorable fantasy matchups for each offensive position, the remaining N.F.L. schedule is worth looking at.But be warned: Overanalyzing the matchups could lead to bad decisions.
For example, Todd Gurley has a brutal remaining schedule. Five of his next six opponents are among the 10 toughest fantasy matchups for running backs, including three in the top five (the Texans, Vikings and Eagles). But for players like Gurley, strength of opponent should not affect how you play him or whether you keep him. Gurley has been matchup proof this season. He even had 20-point-plus performances against two tough run defenses (the Cowboys and Cardinals).
On the flip side, strength of opponent could be a significant factor for players who have not performed as consistently as Gurley has. Take LeSean McCoy, who was taken ahead of Gurley in most drafts last summer but who has been up and down this season.
With favorable matchups against the Chargers, the Colts and the Patriots (twice) the rest of the way, you might see McCoy right the ship and give his fantasy owners a major boost in the second half. It also won’t hurt that the Bills should now have a more balanced offensive attack after adding receiver Kelvin Benjamin.
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s break down Week 10 from a fantasy perspective.It may be time to accept that the Rams have a high-powered offense, which was on full display in Week 9 against the Giants. Goff led the charge with four touchdown passes as the Rams routed the Giants, 51-17. Goff has more to prove before he can be a locked-in fantasy starter each week, but consider him one against the Texans, who have allowed the fourth most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks (19.3) this season.
Taylor has been a top 10 fantasy quarterback in each of the past three weeks, averaging 21.2 F.P.P.G. during that span. What makes Taylor a safer bet than most fantasy quarterbacks is his running ability. His 210 rushing yards are the fifth most among quarterbacks and he has added two touchdowns as a runner. With the former Panthers receiver Kelvin Benjamin set to debut with the team, joining Jordan Matthews, Zay Jones and Charles Clay in the Bills’ receiving corps, Taylor could have an even stronger second half of the season.
After flashing signs that he could be a productive N.F.L. receiver for most of the first half, he exploded in Week 8 with 193 yards on seven receptions and a touchdown. Coming off a bye week, there’s no reason to think that Smith-Schuster is not the team’s second receiving option behind Antonio Brown, no matter what the team says about getting Martavis Bryant more involved. A matchup with the Colts should lead to more fantasy success, as they have allowed the second most receiving yards (293.1 per game) and the seventh most fantasy points (23.7 F.P.P.G.) to the position.