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Fantasy Football: OL/DL matchups to target and avoid in Week 8

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback PJ Walker (11) looks to pass as guard Austin Corbett (63) blocks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Vita Vea (50) pressures in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

  • A new hope in Carolina: D.J. Moore and P.J. Walker have shown a strong connection since Walker has taken over and they’re among the best in the league from a clean pocket.
  • A significant mismatch in the NFC West: The 49ers‘ defensive line is set to dominate the Rams‘ offensive line this week, which doesn’t bode well for Matthew Stafford and company.
  • Mostert is a must-start: A positive matchup for Raheem Mostert should lead to a productive fantasy game on the ground.
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Whether fantasy managers are looking for some important tie-breakers in fantasy start/sit decisions or a DFS advantage, understanding which teams have the advantage in the trenches can be a key to weekly fantasy football success. These are the most crucial matchups to be aware of as fantasy managers head into Week 8.

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


OFFENSIVE LINE MATCHUPS TO TARGET

CAROLINA PANTHERS @ ATLANTA FALCONS

The Panthers offensive line has quietly moved into the top-five units in the league in pass-blocking grade (72.5), allowing a bottom-10 pressure rate (20.2%) through seven games. Atlanta’s defensive line is well on the other end of that spectrum, ranking dead last in pass-rush grade (57.3), 29th in pressure rate (20.9%) and 31st in win rate (34.2%).

TOP PLAYER(S) TO TARGET

QB P.J. WalkerSince taking over as the starting quarterback in Week 6, Walker has earned an 85.0 passing grade from a clean pocket, which ranks seventh among quarterbacks in that time. As a result, he also boasts the second-highest big-time throw rate (14.7%) with zero turnover-worthy plays when not under pressure.

WR D.J. MooreIt appears to be safe to rely on Moore again for fantasy purposes, as his 16 targets over the past two weeks since Walker took over rank inside the top-10 wide receivers. The promising thing for this week’s matchup is Moore's 33.3% target rate when he’s on the field and there is no pressure on the play over the past two weeks, which ranks fifth among wide receivers.

MIAMI DOLPHINS @ DETROIT LIONS

The Dolphins may have one of the worst pass-blocking offensive lines in the league, but when it comes to run-blocking, it ranks inside the top 10 with a 66.3 grade. The Lions defensive line has struggled to defend the run with a 52.0 run defense grade through the first seven weeks of the season.

TOP PLAYER(S) TO TARGET

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