By Jeff Hicks, 4for4
Special to Yahoo Sports
Schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed, or aFPA (Schedule-Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed), 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 now that we are past Week 12, 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 five matchups to target or avoid based on updated aFPA data.
Week 13 Matchups
Josh Reynolds vs. Minnesota Vikings (Yahoo DFS salary $13)
In two games with the Lions, Reynolds has played 86-of-97 snaps, been targeted eight times (five from Jared Goff on Thanksgiving), and caught his first touchdown of 2021. The Vikings defense ranks 31st against opposing wideouts and is bottom five in pressure rate, meaning Goff should have more time to target his pass-catchers. Reynolds is available on the waiver wire in 98% of Yahoo leagues and is an excellent stash candidate as the season winds down.
Najee Harris vs. Baltimore Ravens (Yahoo DFS salary $29)
The Ravens defense is good at one thing in 2021 — stopping the run. They sit atop aFPA against the position compared to 20th or worse against quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends. After five straight games with at least 20 carries, Najee Harris has had 20 the past two games combined. Game script has dictated his running work, but the Steelers defense is as much to blame for having to put up points as the offense. Ben Roethlisberger is cooked and will have to face the top blitzing defense in the league in Week 13. Harris may only have upside in PPR leagues so long as he stays on the field for the majority of passing downs.
Derek Carr vs. Washington Football Team (Yahoo DFS salary $31)
WFT travels to Las Vegas on a short week. Even with Darren Waller not expected to play Week 13, Derek Carr has the best matchup among quarterbacks. WFT ranks 32nd against opposing QBs and gave Russell Wilson life in Week 12. Washington is also 20th or worse against the other skill positions but if you do not want to add/play non-Waller Raiders, go with the syrup that goes over the pancakes.
Logan Thomas @ Las Vegas Raiders (Yahoo DFS salary $19)
On the other side of this game, Logan Thomas returned for the WFT and played 66-of-84 offensive snaps, and was targeted six times. Taylor Heinicke throws to his tight ends, especially when they’re as big and productive as Thomas. Only the Eagles and Colts defenses are worse against tight ends than the Raiders, who allow an average of six catches and 65.73 yards per game to the position.
Las Vegas and Washington have the 29th and 30th-ranked defenses in total offense aFPA. Only two games have a higher over/under in Week 13 than this one at 49.5 and with good reason.
Darnell Mooney vs. Arizona Cardinals (Yahoo DFS salary $17)
Arizona is one of the biggest movers in receiver aFPA as the rankings transition to a 10-week rolling data set. The Cardinals have allowed 18 receivers to post double-digit fantasy points (PPR), with seven of those instances coming in Weeks 1-3. Only two receivers have topped 100 yards receiving, and the second was Tyler Lockett in Week 11. Darnell Mooney has become the de facto WR1 in Chicago with Allen Robinson struggling with injuries and chemistry with Justin Fields.
No matter who starts for Chicago on Sunday, the Bears will have to be resourceful and target as many players as possible with Mooney being the top player to guard for the Bears. David Montgomery could be the most productive Bears player because the Cardinals are a run funnel defense, ranking top 10 against QBs, wideouts, and tight ends.
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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