Week 16 SNF & MNF Advanced Matchups


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Week 16 SNF & MNF Advanced Matchups

With the release of Matrix 4 on Wednesday, let’s take a venture into the unknown. In my opinion, one of the most intriguing philosophical theories that has been presented “recently” is the possibility that we are living within a simulation. Rather than digging into all of the details, just check out the documentary A Glitch in the Matrix on Hulu. I’m an open-minded individual. When satisfactory evidence is presented in support of a theory and I am unable to refute it, my only course of action is to admit it to be a possibility. And, when some of the top IQs in the world (Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson (video below), Mark Zuckerberg, etc.) all come to the exact same conclusion, we, ladies and gentlemen, may be entering some very scary territory.

The odds that the reality we comprehend, per Musk, holds either a billion to one chance that it is a simulation — an insanely frightening thought — or, from deGrasse Tyson’s view, a far more consumable 50:50. As Musk breaks it down: “either we are going to create simulations that are indistinguishable from reality (or) civilization will cease to exist.” To put that another way, our technological advances have progressed so quickly that the only thing that could stand in the way of creating such simulations is literally our own destruction. It all boils down to what’s referred to as the “base reality.” Earth, December, Year 2021 can be one of three things:

  1. Base Reality
  2. A simulation within the base reality that has already continued in the creation of another simulation indistinguishable from reality
  3. A simulation within the base reality that has yet to advance technologically to the point of creating another simulation indistinguishable from reality

According to deGrasse Tyson’s research, he believes we might be able to eliminate the second option. Such an elimination would cut the billion to one odds down to one to one – either Option 1 (or) Option 3:

If you have the stomach for it, forcing some extremely deep thinking, Hawking’s posthumous explanation reinforces the theory. The scariest reality concerning Hawking is that, no matter how unbelievable his theories might have been at first perceived, none have ever been disproven.

Detractors of Zuckerberg sit around every corner. But he undoubtedly possesses one of the preeminent intellects in this Age of Information. And his contributions to simulation theory are quite unique. Zuckerberg has taken a lot of heat in the past for capturing Facebook user tendencies for use in his own ventures. And, as the article suggests, Zuckerberg plans to “to get inside your brain and access your thoughts directly” within the next 50 years. I’ll stand aside to allow the reader to discover the parallels between simulation theory and those future expectations.

Before we go any further, allow me to be clear, as a man of faith in a higher power, I view this theory as no more blasphemous than the theory of evolution. We all have a choice to make in deciding where we invest our beliefs.

However, you might be asking yourself, how does all of this information have anything to do with fantasy football or DFS?

If we do live within a simulated reality – I am not suggesting that I believe we do, only admitting to it being a possibility – the trends we are able to mine from the historical data take on a new life. We’ll never be able to fully encompass all of the infinite in-game variables into an absolute DFS formula for everything. But we have begun the process toward coming as close to reaching that endgame as possible. And I do believe in every numerical ounce of my football IQ that it’s in complete loyalty toward following the process that will take us closer to discovering the result we all strive to achieve.

As always, the following chart provides the full names for the acronyms and a reference point of comparison for the defensive coverage numbers for each position group through Week 15:

To magnify their importance toward processing the matchup data, familiarity with these abbreviations are key. The full names of the data points in the headers of the data table above will not be written out in full within the specific matchups. You’ll find the following acronyms frequently used whenever referencing defensive coverage statistics:

  • Yards Allowed Per Coverage Snap = YPCS

  • Fantasy Points Allowed Per Coverage Snap = FP/CS

  • Air Yards Allowed Per Coverage Snap = AY/CS

  • Targeted Passer Rating (i.e., Passer Rating on Targets into Coverage) = TPR

Offensive abbreviations used when referring to the performance of QBs/RBs/WRs/TEs:

  • FPs/Dropback = FP/Db

  • FPs/Route = FP/Rt

  • FPs/Touch = FP/Tch

  • Yards/Route Run = YPRR

  • Air Yards/Attempt = AY/Att

  • Air Yards/Target = AY/Tgt

  • Yards/Target = YPT

  • Targeted Passer Rating (i.e., QB Passer Rating When Targeting Receiver) = TPR

If you’d like to learn more about/refresh yourself with each of the defensive coverage shells and other relevant schematic details mentioned throughout this series, utilize the following resources:

Fantasy Shells: Coverage Glossary

Fantasy Shells: Cover 1

Fantasy Shells: Cover 2

Fantasy Shells: Cover 3

Fantasy Shells: Cover 4

ATS Picks

*79-77 (51%); 10-6 in Week 15

San Francisco 49ers at Tennessee Titans (-3.5)
Cleveland Browns (+7.0) at Green Bay Packers
Indianapolis Colts (+1.0) at Arizona Cardinals
Detroit Lions (+5.5) at Atlanta Falcons
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-10.5) at Carolina Panthers
Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5) vs. Baltimore Ravens
Los Angeles Chargers (-9.0) at Houston Texans
Los Angeles Rams (-3.0) at Minnesota Vikings
New England Patriots (-2.5) vs. Buffalo Bills
New York Jets (-2.5) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
New York Giants (+10.0) at Philadelphia Eagles
Seattle Seahawks (-6.5) vs. Chicago Bears
Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Denver Broncos (+1.5) at Las Vegas Raiders
Washington Football Team (+10.5) at Dallas Cowboys
Miami Dolphins at New Orleans Saints (+3.0)

Game Totals

*73-60 (55%); 9-7 in Week 15

San Francisco 49ers at Tennessee Titans (Over 44.5)
Cleveland Browns at Green Bay Packers (Over 44.0)
Indianapolis Colts at Arizona Cardinals (Under 50.0)
Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons (Under 42.5)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (Over 44.0)
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (Over 44.5)
Los Angeles Chargers at Houston Texans (Over 46.0)
Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings (Under 49.0)
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (Under 43.5)
Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets (Over 41.0)
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (Under 42.0)
Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks (Under 44.0)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (Under 44.0)
Denver Broncos at Las Vegas Raiders (Over 41.5)
Washington Football Team at Dallas Cowboys (Under 47.5)
Miami Dolphins at New Orleans Saints (Under 38.5)


*99-53 (65%); 11-5 in Week 15

San Francisco 49ers (-180) at Tennessee Titans
Green Bay Packers (-310) vs. Cleveland Browns
Indianapolis Colts (+100) at Arizona Cardinals
Atlanta Falcons (-250) vs. Detroit Lions
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-510) at Carolina Panthers
Cincinnati Bengals (-140) vs. Baltimore Ravens
Los Angeles Chargers (-400) at Houston Texans
Los Angeles Rams (-145) at Minnesota Vikings
New England Patriots (-135) vs. Buffalo Bills
New York Jets (-135) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Philadelphia Eagles (-450) vs. New York Giants
Seattle Seahawks (-310) vs. Chicago Bears
Kansas City Chiefs vs. (-365) Pittsburgh Steelers
Denver Broncos (+100) at Las Vegas Raiders
Dallas Cowboys (-475) vs. Washington Football Team
Miami Dolphins at New Orleans Saints (+150)

Matchup to Target

Michael Gallup, DAL ($5.3K DK | $5.7K FD) vs. Kendall Fuller, WAS

You’ll notice that I’m only listing a single Matchup to Target from both primetime matchups. I am not in love with either of these games. That’s especially true for Miami at New Orleans. We already ran this Sunday Night Football matchup through the simulator in Week 14. Dallas absolutely dominated Washington toward a 24-0 halftime lead. However, WFT manages to outscore the Cowboys 20-3 in the second half to turn it into a game. But it was a brutal half of football to watch. If I’m being honest, I’m actually not looking forward to this rematch. It was such an awkward face-off. I have not been impressed by the Cowboys offense three weeks in a row. And we can apply the same opinion to the Football Team for four straight weeks. Some individuals certainly stand out but, evaluated as units, these teams have counted on their defenses to carry them to victory.

The matchup for Amari Cooper across from William Jackson III will be brutal. CeeDee Lamb was benched for around 25% of team passing plays last week, possible due to a string of dropped passes. Michael Gallup has been very impressive as of late. And he’ll be going up against Kendall Fuller after he was activated off the COVID list on Friday. I don’t have any type of data to support the level of health for the players who missed Week 15 due to COVID positives. But it’s worth making a mental note of the situation. Prior to the Cowboys riding its ground game to a 21-6 victory over the Giants last week, Gallup had been averaging 14.7 FPG in his previous three games. Fuller is providing his coverage with 1.09 YPCS (29th-most), 0.25 FP/CS (31st-most), 0.11 AY/CS (16th-fewest), and an 88.1 TPR (33rd-lowest among 76 qualified outside CBs). Is it a perfect matchup? None of the matchups in this game fit inside that category.

My Top-Five SNF and MNF Targets:
  • Jaylen Waddle

  • Michael Gallup

  • CeeDee Lamb

  • Dak Prescott

  • Marquez Callaway

Final notes on Washington

Taylor Heinicke ($5.5K/$6.7K) took a massive beating from Dallas in Week 14. Particularly from Micah Parsons. I’m legitimately concerned that we’ll see a repeat this week. Are we really going down the same turf toe road with Antonio Gibson ($5.8K/$6.8K) to close out the year? Is Gibson destined for a change-of-pace role in his future? It will be if he is unable to keep his health clean with a featured role. It would be great to see Jaret Patterson ($5.1K/$4.9K) or even Jonathan Williams ($4.7K/$5.0K) provided with the lead role if Gibson is unable to play. It’s not gonna be in the cards. They will likely split the responsibilities down the middle. And we might even see a third party added into the mix.

Terry McLaurin ($6.5K/$7.0K) was bullied about in Week 14 by Trevon Diggs. However, it was a situation that F1 McLaurin could do nothing about. The Cowboys devoted a high safety over McLaurin throughout the game until he was ruled out with a concussion. Adam Humphries ($4.0K/$5.1K) is a bit player that’s been given permission to run around the field for entire games. DeAndre Carter ($3.9K/$5.0K) appears to have fallen out of favor for whatever reason after providing more splash plays than any other wideout has managed across from McLaurin. Rookies Dyami Brown ($3.0K/$4.7K) and Dax Milne ($3.0K/$4.6K) aren’t ready for primetime snaps. Curtis Samuel just needs to sit out the rest of the season to get his legs back to 100% for the 2022 season. And the last thing Washington needs is to kick the can around, once again, with Cam Sims ($3.6K/$5.0K) in a featured role.

Ricky Seals-Jones ($3.3K/$5.0K) is just not the type of TE you want featured in your offense. The decision should be made to provide John Bates ($2.9K/$4.6K) with featured reps to see what he is capable of over the last three games of the regular season. As you can see, the offense for Washington is currently in a decrepit state.

Final notes on Dallas

Life in Dallas isn’t all ice cream and candy. Dak Prescott ($6.7K/$7.4K) has been making some head-scratching throws. He will need to clean his ball security if the ‘Boys are going to do anything in the playoffs. The worst part is that he’s not playing anywhere close to the aggressiveness he displayed last season. I would estimate that Ezekiel Elliott ($7.0K/$7.0K) appeared to be playing at around 90% last week. That’s a big improvement after appearing to be at 60% since injuring his knee. I was blown away by how good Tony Pollard ($6.0K/$6.0K) looked while playing with a partially torn plantar fascia in Week 15. So good that we are likely going to see a complete timeshare in the Dallas backfield.

If concerns weren’t in place for brief benchings due to dropped passes, CeeDee Lamb ($7.2K/$7.1K) would be my preferred option over Gallup. I remain unconvinced that Danny Johnson is a top-15 nickelback as his metrics suggest. It certainly appeared to me that, if Lamb dropped a pass, he was removed from the game for the next two-to-three plays. Amari Cooper ($6.0K/$6.5K) will find a difficult challenge from WJ3, but he moves all over the formation to create mismatches. And I still think he might make me regret not featuring him this week. Especially since he lobbied for more touches this week. Dalton Schultz ($5.0K/$6.0K) abused the Giants last week. However, he was ghosted by Washington the previous week.

Matchup to Target

Jaylen Waddle, MIA ($6.2K DK | $6.9K FD) vs. P.J. Williams, NO

What appeared to be an outstanding matchup of surging teams instantly turned into a game where Miami should be able to run away with the victory. Ian Book looked okay during the preseason. But he is at least another year away from being ready to face a defense like Miami’s. Either way, Jaylen Waddle is my top play of the primetime slate. If he stays on the field over the next three weeks, he will elevate himself into rarified air among rookie wideouts. He’s already only four receptions short of joining only four other rookie WRs to ever post at least 90 receptions.

The Saints use the eighth-highest rate of Cover 1 and third-highest of Cover 4. And P.J Williams has been one of the most elite slot corners this season. He’s only allowing 0.60 YPCS (second-fewest), 0.14 FP/CS (second-fewest), 0.05 AY/CS (fifth-fewest), and a 50.3 TPR (the fewest). We are going to have an unstoppable force colliding with an immovable object with these two phenoms butt heads. However, Waddle will run plenty of routes outside of Williams’ net. We will want Waddle to post some numbers inside his coverage, but that high rate of Cover 1 is cherry. He’s created 28% of his receptions, 38% of his yardage, and 30% of his TDs on only 21% of his routes against Cover 1 this season.

Final notes on Miami

The Saints feature a truly nasty pass rush. And no O-line has permitted more QB pressures than the Miami O-line. It’s one of the reasons why Tua Tagovailoa ($5.7K/$6.8K) deserves some appreciation for leading this team back to an even record. But I am not going to have stock in him this week. It’s a matchup that will likely require some snap-and-release passing that will eliminate much of the air yardage opportunities.

It’s scary to think about what N’Orleans’ record might be if Taysom Hill was originally named the starter. Because they may also feature the top run defense in the league. And, after Duke Johnson Jr. ($4.9K/$K) posted a career game against the Jets – is anyone surprised?, we are likely looking at a three-back rotation between Johnson, Phillip Lindsay ($4.5K/$5.5K), and Myles Gaskin ($5.2K/$5.9K). At least Gaskin isn’t being used as a bell-cow.

DeVante Parker ($4.7K/$5.8K) is likely to draw a dedicated shadow from Mashon Lattimore. And the Cover 3 rate for New Orleans is one of the lowest in the league. Easy fade. In fact, we can add the following to the bus headed to Fadeville:

  • Mike Gesicki ($5.1K/$5.9K)

  • Albert Wilson ($3.3K/$4.9K)

  • Isaiah Ford ($3.1K/$4.9K)

  • Mack Hollins ($3.0K/$4.8K)

  • Preston Williams ($3.0K/$4.6K)

  • Durham Smythe ($2.5K/$4.5K)

  • Hunter Long ($2.5K/$4.0K)

Final notes on New Orleans

It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where Ian Book ($4.0K/$6.0K) isn’t eaten alive on Monday Night Football, on nationwide television. It’s a brutal welcome to the NFL. Miami has allowed the fewest FPG to opposing offense during the last four weeks (51.1). It’s unlikely that Book will remain upright long enough to feed Alvin Kamara ($7.9K/$8.7K) with the type of target share we need from him to cover his 23.7/21.8 floor.

I am going to have some stock in Marquez Callaway ($4.3K/$K). Just like when he faced Tampa Bay last week, the Dolphins will provide a high rate of Cover 3 – 14th-highest rate this season, but third-highest the last five weeks. Callaway has manufactured 45% of his receptions and 43% of his yardage on only 29% of his career routes across from Cover 3. That is the complete extent of my trust in Saints’ wideouts.

Each of the following are, in my opinion, not worthy of consideration:

  • Tre’Quan Smith ($4.2K/$5.3K)

  • Ty Montgomery ($3.4K/$4.6K)

  • Lil’Jordan Humphrey ($3.2K/$4.8K)

  • Esop Winston Jr. ($3.0K/$4.5K)

  • Adam Trautman ($3.0K/$4.5K)

  • Juwan Johnson ($2.7K/$4.3K)

  • Nick Vannett ($2.8K/$4.4K)

  • Mark Ingram II ($5.0K/$5.4K)

With a dedicated focus on studying game film and a faithful commitment to metrics & analytics, Huber’s specialties include DFS (college and NFL), Devy & Dynasty formats, and second-to-none fantasy analysis of high school prospects.