Fantasy News & Analysis

Fantasy Football: QB matchups, streamer of the week, Week 8 rankings and more

2M7M6CF Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) looks to pass during an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Jan.8, 2023, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

• QB Jared Goff (83.0 PFF offense grade), Detroit Lions vs. Las Vegas Raiders: Detroit’s passing-game strengths pair perfectly with Las Vegas’ coverage weaknesses.

• QB Desmond Ridder (51.3 PFF passing grade), Atlanta Falcons vs. Tennessee Titans: Ridder’s newfound downfield-passing and rushing abilities make him Week 8’s QB1 streamer.

• Dominate your fantasy league in 2023: For up-to-date fantasy draft rankings and projections, check out PFF’s fantasy rankings tool!

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

NFL Week 8 action is here. For fantasy football managers who passed on the elite quarterback tier, start-and-sit decisions must now be made. Below are two quarterbacks with advantageous matchups to target, two quarterbacks with difficult matchups to avoid and one streaming option possessing a top-12 finish in his range of outcomes. 

WR:CB Matchup Chart

QB matchups to target

QB Jared Goff, Detroit Lions vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Goff (83.0 PFF offense grade) gets a cakewalk bounce-back spot against a Las Vegas secondary that's likely missing two-of-four starters, including No. 1/slot cornerback Nate Hobbs (69.6 PFF slot-coverage grade). Goff’s elite offensive tackles will keep him upright against Las Vegas’ one-dimensional pass rush.

The game’s 44.5-point FanDuel over/under is Week 8’s sixth highest. Detroit is implied to score a fantasy-friendly 26.5 points.

PFF’s OL/DL matchup chart gives Detroit a 16.0% pass-blocking matchup advantage rating over Las Vegas, No. 9 on the week. Las Vegas two-time-defending Pro Bowl edge rusher Maxx Crosby (90.8 PFF pass-rush grade) lines up at the defensive-left end outside position (LEO) on 76.0% of pass-rushing snaps and accounts for 6.5 of Las Vegas’ 13 NFL sacks. Detroit right tackle Penei Sewell’s (84.2 PFF pass-blocking grade) 99.5 pass-block efficiency and 1.1% quarterback pressure rate allowed both rank No. 1 among 71 NFL offensive tackles with at least 100 pass-blocking snaps. Left tackle Taylor Decker’s 78.5 PFF pass-blocking grade ranks No. 13.

Hobbs remains sidelined following a Week 3 ankle sprain, priming Detroit No. 1/slot receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (83.5 PFF receiving grade) for an elite WR1 showing against backup slot cornerback Amik Robertson (53.4 PFF slot-coverage grade). Among 43 NFL slot cornerbacks with at least 25 slot receiver-coverage snaps, Robertson’s 2.41 yards allowed per coverage snap rank No. 38 and his 7.4% explosive pass plays allowed rate ties for No. 39. 

PFF’s WR/CB matchup chart gives St. Brown an excellent 92.5 receiving matchup advantage rating over Robertson.

Perimeter cornerback Jakorian Bennett (44.5 PFF perimeter-coverage grade) had a chance to return from a multi-week shoulder injury in Week 7 but suffered a knee injury during practice, queueing another start for backup cornerback David Long Jr. (76.6 PFF perimeter-coverage grade). 

Las Vegas’ mid-tier linebacker corps (40.3 PFF tight end-coverage grade) allows 2.95 yards per tight end-coverage snap, No. 17 among NFL-team linebacker corps. Detroit tight end Sam LaPorta’s (69.6 PFF receiving grade) 1.79 yards per route run (YPRR) rank No. 4 among 34 NFL tight ends with at least 120 receiving snaps

PFF’s TE matchup chart gives LaPorta a 10.0% receiving matchup advantage rating over linebacker Robert Spillane (68.4 PFF coverage grade), No. 6 on the week.

Goff combines the No. 2-ranked adjusted completion (80.4%) and turnover-worthy play (1.8%) rates for the No. 10-ranked yards per passing attempt (7.4) among 33 NFL quarterbacks with at least 100 dropbacks. His 2.57-second average time to throw ranks No. 6. 

Goff is a high-floor QB1 with multi-touchdown upside. 

QB Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers

Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins (81.7 PFF passing grade) is a fantasy football QB1 against a Green Bay defense missing impactful starters at all three levels. 

FanDuel implies Minnesota to score 22.0 points. 

Green Bay’s defensive injuries:
GB Defense Injuries Injury – Week 8 Status PFF Defense Grade
CB Jaire Alexander Back – Likely Inactive 63.5
S Darnell Savage Calf – Out 59.1
CB Eric Stokes Hamstring – Out N/A
ID Devonte Wyatt Knee – Likely Out 65.1
LB De’Vondre Campbell Ankle – TBD 73.9

PFF’s OL/DL matchup chart gives Minnesota a 23.0% pass-blocking matchup advantage rating over Green Bay, No. 8 on the week. Among 79 NFL interior defenders with at least 99 pass-rushing snaps, Wyatt’s (75.4 PFF pass-rush grade) 19.2% quarterback pressure rate and 11.1 pass-rush productivity both rank No. 1.

Cousins continues to play at a high level despite No. 1 wide receiver Justin Jefferson (89.5 PFF receiving grade) landing on injured reserve in Week 6. 

Cousins’ Weeks 6-7 passing data among 32 NFL quarterbacks with at least 25 dropbacks during that span:
NFL QB Passing Kirk Cousins
PFF Passing Grade 84.6 (No. 4)
Big-Time-Throw % 6.3% (No. 13)
Turnover-Worthy Play % 2.5% (No. 14)
Yards/Pass Att. 7.4 (T-No. 13)
Adjusted Completion % 83.3% (No. 4)
Average Time To Throw 2.50 (T-No. 5)
Play-Action % 33.3% (T-No. 2)

PFF’s WR/CB matchup chart gives Minnesota’s breakout rookie wide receiver Jordan Addison (70.7 PFF receiving grade) a good 72.4 receiving matchup advantage rating over Green Bay’s backup cornerback Carrington Valentine (54.1 PFF coverage grade). 

PFF’s TE matchup chart gives Minnesota tight end T.J. Hockenson (70.3 PFF receiving grade) a 13.0% receiving matchup advantage rating over Green Bay linebacker Quay Walker (72.7 PFF coverage grade), No. 5 on the week.

Cousins is a QB1 against Green Bay.

QB matchups to avoid

QB Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams

Prescott (72.2 PFF passing grade) profiles as a high-floor QB2, likely operating as a low-volume game manager against Los Angeles.

Dallas is a 6.5-point FanDuel home favorite. 

Dallas’ 42.9% run-play rate ranks No. 3 among NFL teams and their 52.3% run-play rate when leading by more than six points ranks No. 12, signaling a high-volume outing for No. 1 running back Tony Pollard (64.3 PFF rushing grade).

Dallas’ run-heavy approach stifles Prescott’s ability to produce elite QB1 fantasy-point sums. His lone QB1 finish came against the Los Angeles Chargers, whose 60.5 PFF defense grade ranks No. 26 among NFL teams

PFF’s OL/DL matchup chart gives Dallas a -10.0% pass-blocking matchup advantage rating over Los Angeles, Week 8’s seventh-worst such rating. 

Dallas center Tyler Biadasz (56.9 PFF pass-blocking grade) must hold up against the NFL’s top-graded interior defender Aaron Donald (90.0 PFF pass-rush grade) and nose tackle Bobby Brown III (62.6 PFF pass-rush grade). Among 57 NFL interior defenders with at least 115 pass-rushing snaps, Donald ranks No. 2 in pass-rush win rate (21.5%) and No. 4 in both quarterback pressure rate (16.0%) and pass-rush productivity (8.7). Among 35 interior defenders with at least 10 nose tackle pass-rushing snaps, Brown’s 10.0% pass-rush win rate ties for No. 13. Biadasz ranks outside the top 25 in both pass-block efficiency (96.9) and quarterback pressure rate allowed (5.6%) among 36 NFL centers with at least 100 pass-protection snap

Prescott’s 58.4% short-of-the-sticks throwing rate ranks No. 2 and his 7.5-yard average depth of target (aDot) ranks No. 28. Prescott’s short-game reliance has yielded just 33 explosive passing plays, tying for No. 18 among NFL teams. The dynamic bodes poorly against Los Angeles safety unit allowing explosive pass plays at a 2.4% rate, No. 10 among NFL-team safety units.

Prescott is barred from top-12 consideration. 

QB Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Gaudy sack sums and unhelpful short-area passing comprise Wilson’s (71.0 PFF passing grade) two-year track record against Kansas City. He is a shaky Week 8 QB2. 

FanDuel implies Denver to score just 19.5 points.

PFF’s OL/DL matchup chart gives Denver a -7.0% pass-blocking matchup advantage rating, tied for the ninth-worst on the week. Among 67 NFL right tackles with at least 125 pass-protection snaps, Denver right tackle Mike McGlinchey (53.7 PFF pass-blocking grade) ranks outside the top 60 in both pass-block efficiency (93.3) and quarterback pressure rate allowed (11.3%). 

Kansas City interior defender Chris Jones (89.6 PFF pass-rush grade) lines up at defensive-left tackle, end or LEO at a 62.9% rate. Among NFL defenders with at least 100 such snaps, Jones ranks No. 1 in both pass-rush win rate (25.0%) and pass-rush productivity (11.1) and No. 4 in quarterback pressure rate (18.5%). Edge rusher George Karlaftis (69.5 PFF pass-rush grade) ranks No. 13 (13.7%), No. 8 (7.9) and No. 11 (13.0%), respectively. The two tie for top-five rankings with three sacks apiece.

Wilson’s 2023 and 2022 season-long passing data with his passing data in games against Kansas City:
Russell Wilson Passing vs. KC 2023 vs. KC (One Gm.) 2023 Overall 2022 vs. KC (Two Gms.) 2022 Overall
PFF Passing Grade 57.2 71.0 59.0  64.5
Big-Time-Throw % 4.2% 5.2% 2.5% 4.4%
Past-The-Sticks Throw % 27.3% 31.8% 23.0% 36.8%
Short-Of-The-Sticks Throw % 59.1% 55.1% 66.2% 52.5%
aDot 6.5 7.9 5.2 9.5
Yards/Pass Att. 4.3 7.0 6.3 7.3
Sacks 4 20 10 55
Interceptions 2 4 2 11

Kansas City’s second-year cornerbacks Trent McDuffie (84.1 PFF slot-coverage grade), Jaylen Watson (62.2 PFF perimeter-coverage grade) and Joshua Williams (65.7 PFF perimeter-coverage grade) are emerging as difference-making back-end defenders. Among 25 NFL slot cornerbacks with at least 75 slot-coverage snaps, McDuffie’s 69.2% catch rate allowed ties for No. 5 and his 1.11 ranks No. 12. Among 82 NFL perimeter cornerbacks with at least 85 perimeter coverage snaps, Watson’s 2.3% explosive pass plays allowed rate ranks No. 30 and Williams’ 0.51 yards allowed per coverage snap ties for No. 6 and his 1.0% explosive pass plays allowed rate ranks No. 10.

Wilson is not a Week 8 single-quarterback-league starter.

Streamer of the Week

QB Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons @ Tennessee Titans

Ridder (51.3 PFF passing grade) carries QB1-scoring potential into Week 8 via tactical scrambling and elite downfield passing. Tennessee’s safety-bereft secondary stands little chance. 

PFF’s OL/DL matchup chart gives Atlanta an 11.0% pass-blocking matchup advantage rating over Tennessee.

Ridder (81.5 PFF rushing grade on scrambles) found his footing as a scrambler in Weeks 5-7, gashing front sevens for 9.4 yards per attempt. The rate ranks No. 3 among 13 NFL quarterbacks with at least 13 scrambles during that span. His 0.4 explosive rushing play rate on scrambles ties for No. 2. 

Ridder likewise recently improved as a passer.

Ridder’s downfield passing data among 28 NFL quarterbacks with at least 10 passing attempts 15-plus-yards downfield in Weeks 5-7:
NFL QB Downfield Passing – Weeks 5-7 Desmond Ridder
PFF Passing Grade 86.5 (No. 11)
Pass Att. 24 (No. 6)
Play-Action % 41.7% (No. 2)
Big-Time-Throw % 16.7% (No. 17)
Turnover-Worthy Play % 4.2% (T-No. 7)
Adjusted Completion % 66.7% (No. 3)
Yards/Pass Att. 15.2 (No. 4)
Average Time To Throw 3.00 (No. 16)

Atlanta No. 1 wide receiver Drake London’s (76.0 PFF receiving grade) 80.0% contested catch rate on 15-plus-yard targets ranks No. 3 among 31 NFL wide receivers with at least 40 such receiving snaps. Tight end Kyle Pitts (71.3 PFF receiving grade) 15 targets 15-plus yards downfield rank No. 1 among 23 NFL tight ends with at least 25 such receiving snaps and his associated 4.22 YPRR rank No. 2.

PFF’s WR/CB matchup chart gives London an excellent 95.1 receiving matchup advantage rating over defensive-right cornerback Kristian Fulton (41.0 PFF coverage grade).

Tennessee entered Week 1 with a talented, four-deep safety rotation, featuring two-time first-team All-Pro Kevin Byard (61.2 PFF coverage grade), Mike Brown (75.5 PFF coverage grade) and part-time slot defensive backs Amani Hooker (60.5 PFF coverage grade) and Elijah Molden (63.3 PFF coverage grade). Byard was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles (64.5 PFF coverage grade) on Monday. Brown was placed on injured reserve in Week 4 and remains Tennessee’s highest-grade coverage safety. Molden’s Week 8 status is to be determined following his second hamstring strain in Week 5. 

Ridder is a sneaky Week 8 QB1 streaming option.


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