Fantasy Football: Week 10 OL/DL matchups to target and avoid

2RWC1A1 Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20), center Tyler Biadasz (63), guard T.J. Bass (66) and offensive tackle Tyron Smith (77) line up against the New York Jets during an NFL Football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

• Time for Tony Pollard to return to RB1 status: If not this week, then when? Pollard draws a very favorable matchup and will hope to get back on track in Week 10.

• A tough stretch for Zay Flowers likely to continue: Flowers could be in for another down week going against the Cleveland Browns defense this week.

• 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

Whether you’re looking for some important tie-breakers in fantasy start/sit decisions or an advantage in DFS, knowing which players have the most and least beneficial matchups each week can help.

Understanding which teams have the advantage in the trenches can be a key to weekly fantasy football results. These are some of the more crucial matchups to be aware of as fantasy managers head into Week 10.

Click here to see this week’s entire offensive line/defensive line matchup tool on PFF.com.

WR:CB Matchup Chart


Offensive line matchups to target

Dallas Cowboys versus New York Giants

  • The Cowboys offensive line has earned a 65.7 run-blocking grade — the 10th best mark this season.
  • The Giants defensive line has earned a 54.7 run defense grade, which ranks just 22nd this season.
  • The Giants have also allowed 1.6 rushing yards before contact per attempt, tied for the second-worst mark in the league.
Key player(s) to target

RB Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys

  • Pollard has not lived up to expectations heading into the year as the Cowboys' clear-cut lead back, currently ranking as the PPR RB17 on the season.
  • Fortunately, a matchup with the Giants could be just what he needs to get back on track, as the last time he played the Giants (Week 1), he finished as the PPR RB5 for the week — his best finish of the season.
  • While Pollard’s rushing metrics haven’t been overly encouraging this season, ranking 25th among running backs in first down or touchdown rate when given at least a yard before contact, this is an instance where leaning into his volume for touches and a clear matchup in the trenches should allow for a high-end outcome.

Atlanta Falcons @ Arizona Cardinals

  • The Falcons offensive line has earned a 70.3 pass-blocking grade — tied for the 13th-best mark in the league.
  • Atlanta’s offensive line has allowed a 21.0% pressure rate, which ranks as the fourth-best mark in the league.
  • Arizona’s defensive line has earned a 64.1 pass-rush grade, 28th this season.
  • Arizona’s defensive line has generated a 29.7% pressure rate, which ranks 29th this season.
Key player(s) to target

TE Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons 

  • Pitts has earned a team-leading 24.4% target rate on non-pressured dropbacks this season. 
  • Pitts’ ideal target rate on non-pressured dropbacks is over five points higher than his overall season target rate (19.2%) and nearly triple that of his target rate on pressured dropbacks (8.3%).
  • Eighteen of Pitts’ receiving first downs were on non-pressured dropbacks, as was his lone touchdown on the year.
  • Fantasy managers may be down on Pitts this season, but he should at least continue to see a strong target rate in this matchup against a team that is at the bottom of the league in generating pressure.

Seattle Seahawks versus Washington Commanders

  • The Seahawks offensive line has earned a 67.0 run-blocking grade — the seventh-best mark this season.
  • The Commanders defensive line last week without Chase Young and Montez Sweat earned just a 40.4 run-defense grade, the third-worst mark of the week and could be a sign of things to come for the rest of the season.
  • Washington’s defensive line had earned just a 59.4 run defense grade for the whole year that ranks just 16th.
  • Washington is also allowing 1.4 rushing yards before contact per attempt, which ranks tied for the fourth-worst mark in the league.
Key player(s) to target

RB Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks

  • Walker is coming off a couple of quiet games in Weeks 8 and 9 where he finished no better than the PPR RB35 and most recently the PPR RB50 for the week.
  • When given at least one yard before contact, Walker is averaging 6.8 yards per carry — the sixth-best mark among qualifying running backs.
  • Walker has also earned a 90.0 rushing grade when given at least one yard before contact on rush attempts, which ranks as the seventh-best mark among qualifying running backs this year.

Offensive line matchups to avoid

Jacksonville Jaguars versus San Francisco 49ers

  • Jacksonville’s offensive line has earned a 66.1 pass-blocking grade, which ranks 18th this season.
  • The 49ers defensive line has earned the second-best pass-rush grade of the season (90.5).
  • San Francisco’s defensive line is also top-five in pressure rate (40.3%) and quick pressure rate (29.9%).
Key player(s) to avoid

QB Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Lawrence owns a 5.9% turnover-worthy-play rate when pressured, which ranks as the ninth-worst mark in the league.
  • Lawrence has thrown three interceptions when pressured as well, tied for the seventh-most this season.
  • Lawrence’s adjusted completion rate when pressured is just 58.8%, putting him tied for 28th among 36 qualifying quarterbacks.
  • Trevor Lawrence current pass completion total is set at 23.5 on DraftKings Sportsbook, which he has been 50/50 on this season and could be tough to surpass in a difficult matchup.

Green Bay Packers @ Pittsburgh Steelers

  • The Packers offensive line has earned a 54.6 run-blocking grade, 25th this season.
  • The Steelers defensive line has earned the fourth-best run defense grade (66.3) this season.
Key player(s) to avoid

RB Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

  • This one is more for DFS purposes than anything else but tempering expectations for Jones coming off a resurgent performance last week is going to be key in a tougher matchup.
  • Jones is averaging 2.3 yards per carry when contacted two or fewer yards from the line of scrimmage, which ranks 41st among qualifying running backs.
  • Jones has also managed a first down or touchdown on just 9.4% of carries when contacted two or fewer yards from the line of scrimmage, which ranks 46th among qualifying running backs.
  • Jones’ current rushing total is set at 51.5 on DraftKings Sportsbook this week, which he only surpassed once so far this season.

Baltimore Ravens versus Cleveland Browns

  • The Browns defensive line has earned a 91.2 pass-rush grade, the best mark in the league.
  • Cleveland’s defensive line has generated a 44.9% pressure rate, the second-best mark in the league, and a 38.3% quick pressure rate, which is the best mark in the league.
Key player(s) to avoid

WR Zay Flowers, Baltimore Ravens

  • On the year, Flowers has earned a solid 20.5% target rate that is second on the team (min. 10 routes run), behind only Mark Andrews.
  • On pressured dropbacks, Flowers’ target rate drops to just 14.0% and trails the likes of Odell Beckham (18.2%) and Justice Hill (14.3%) on his own team.
  • There are a lot of reasons to fade Flowers this week, including his struggles against man coverage (highlighted here) and the Browns giving up the second-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers, so all signs are points to a down game for Flowers this week.

Minnesota Vikings versus New Orleans Saints

  • The Vikings offensive line has generated just 1.0 rushing yard before contact per attempt, tied for 27th this season.
  • The Saints defensive line has earned the third-best run defense grade (67.0) this season.
  • The Saints have also allowed just 1.1 yards before contact per rush attempt, which is tied for the seventh-best mark this season.
  • Worst of all, Mattison has a first down or touchdown rate of just 2.3% that is, by far, the worst mark among the same qualifying running backs when contacted two or fewer yards from the line of scrimmage.
Key player(s) to avoid

RB Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings

  • Mattison is coming off his best game of the season but don’t get caught trusting him where you can afford to avoid him, as his struggles have been evident all year long.
  • When contacted two yards or fewer from the line of scrimmage, Mattison ranks dead last in yards per carry (1.7) among 53 qualifying running backs this season.
  • Under those same circumstances, Mattison also owns the seventh-worst stuffed run rate (29.2%) and has just one explosive run.
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