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Fantasy Football: OL/DL matchups to target and avoid in Week 6

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) passes the ball against the New Orleans Saints during the second half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

  • Ride the hot hand in Seattle: Geno Smith and company have been on fire and their offensive line has improved enough that fantasy managers can trust the top-end play to continue in Week 6.
  • Avoiding the Dolphins offense: The run and pass game of Miami could be in trouble this week against a strong Vikings’ defensive line.
  • Rhamondre StevenSZN: Things have come together perfectly for Rhamondre Stevenson to dominate on the ground against the Browns in Week 6.
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

NOTE: Click here to see this week’s entire offensive line/defensive line matchup tool.



This may come as a surprise that Seattle’s offensive line would be considered a mismatch, especially after ranking in the bottom third of the league in pass-blocking grade through the first three weeks (57.8). However, the line has improved dramatically over the past two weeks as they move into the top half of the league in pass-blocking grade (71.4). This has allowed them to concede just one sack and 11 total pressures in those two games versus six sacks and 38 total pressures in the previous three weeks. Arizona’s defensive line has managed a bottom-five sack total (5.5) and the 26th-ranked pressure rate (23.4%).


QB Geno SmithIf fantasy managers needed an excuse to ride the hot hand that is PFF’s highest-graded quarterback, then this is another great week to do so. Smith ranks first among all quarterbacks in big-time-throw rate when not pressured (7.4%) and second when given more than 2.5 seconds to throw (10.2%). Considering Smith has one of the higher average times to throw (2.75 seconds) in the league, a lot of his success has come from taking his time in the pocket. 

WR Tyler LockettThe biggest beneficiary of Smith being kept clean has been Lockett, who ranks second among all WRs (min. 10 targets) in receiving grade (85.8), fifth in receiving yards (242) and second in yards per route run (3.36) when this quarterback 2.5-plus seconds to throw. 


The mismatch in this game boils down to how poor the Falcons' defensive line has been in creating pressure and converting sacks while the 49ers' offensive line has been above-average at preventing both. San Francisco’s offensive line has allowed just three sacks (third) while Atlanta’s defensive line ranks 31st in quick pressure rate (14.0%) and 29th in average time to pressure (2.60) this season.

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