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Fantasy Football: Week 16 OL/DL matchups to target and avoid

2T13WCD Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) during an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)

Austin Ekeler’s decline and poor matchup in the trenches this week: All things considered, combined with a decline in opportunity, Ekeler is no longer a must-start fantasy running back.

Baker Mayfield has the hot hand: As one of the best quarterbacks from a clean pocket lately, a positive matchup this week can help make Mayfield a starting fantasy QB once again 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 16.

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

WR:CB Matchup Chart

Offensive line matchups to target

Indianapolis Colts @ Atlanta Falcons

  • The Colts offensive line has earned a top-10 pass-blocking grade (71.7) this season.
  • Indianapolis’ offensive line has allowed a 24.3% pressure rate — the sixth-best mark this season.
  • Atlanta’s defensive line has earned just a 62.6 PFF pass-rush grade, which ranks 29th.
  • The Falcons defensive line has generated a 27.4% pressure rate, 25th this season.
Key player(s) to target

QB Gardner Minshew, Indianapolis Colts 

  • Over the past three weeks, Minshew has earned an 81.8 passing grade when kept clean, which ranks eighth among quarterbacks over that span.
  • Minshew has also thrown six touchdown passes with zero interceptions or turnover-worthy plays in that same span when kept clean.
  • Minshew has also managed two top-10 fantasy QB finishes over the past three weeks. 
  • Minshew’s 612 passing yards when kept clean over the last three weeks is tied for the fifth-most among quarterbacks over that span.

Philadelphia Eagles versus New York Giants

  • The Eagles offensive line has earned a 75.2 run-blocking grade — the fourth-best mark this season.
  • Philadelphia has also generated 1.6 rushing yards before contact per attempt, which is the fourth-best mark in the league.
  • The Giants defensive line has earned just a 52.6 run defense grade, 22nd this season.
  • The Giants are allowing 1.6 rushing yards before contact per attempt, which ranks as the fourth-worst mark this season.
Key player(s) to target

RB D’Andre Swift, Philadelphia Eagles

  • After highlighting Swift last week, he was able to exceed his rushing total as expected, and he continues to be on an upward trend for his opportunities and matchups.
  • Swift was the clear leader in backfield touches this past week, handling 55% of the team’s rushing attempts, which was his highest mark since Week 9.
  • Swift’s 18 total carries were also his most in a game since Week 9 and tied for the second-most on the season.
  • Swift should see a positive game script in this one to allow him to touch the ball plenty of times and deliver efficient production since he is averaging 6.1 yards per carry when given at least a yard before contact this season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Tampa Bay’s offensive line has earned a 72.1 pass-blocking grade — the ninth-best mark in the league.
  • The Jaguars defensive line has earned a 63.4 pass-rush grade, which ranks 28th.
  • The Jaguars defensive line has generated a 29.7% pressure rate, 22nd this season.
Key player(s) to target

QB Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Mayfield has thrown 18 touchdown passes from a clean pocket this season, which is tied for the sixth-most in the league.
  • Over the past five games, Mayfield has earned an 89.3 passing grade when kept clean, the sixth-best mark among quarterbacks over that span.
  • Mayfield has also thrown for 10 touchdowns (tied for first) and just one interception over that same span when throwing from a clean pocket.
  • The Jaguars have also given up the third-most fantasy points per game to the quarterback position this season.

Baltimore Ravens @ San Francisco 49ers

  • The Ravens offensive line has earned a top-10 run-blocking grade (68.8) this season.
  • Baltimore is also tied for the league lead in rushing yards before contact per attempt (1.9).
  • The 49ers defensive line has earned just a 45.3 run defense grade, which ranks tied for 28th this season.
  • The 49ers defensive line has allowed 1.3 rushing yards before contact per attempt, which is a league-average rate.
Key player(s) to target

RB Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens

  • It hasn’t been easy to start a fantasy running back against the 49ers this season but for deeper leagues, Edwards is an option considering there is an advantage in the trenches the run game.
  • Edwards should also see a larger workload with Keaton Mitchell’s season now over due to a knee injury, expecting him to handle the majority of the running back carries after previously sharing those opportunities with Mitchell.
  • Edwards was easily clearing double-digit carries prior to Mitchell’s emergence in the lineup and went back to that last week (16 carries), so expect more of the same this week, combined with his goal-line touches.

Offensive line matchups to avoid

Miami Dolphins versus Dallas Cowboys

  • Miami’s offensive line has been about league average in terms of pass-blocking grade (69.0) this season.
  • The Cowboys defensive line has generated a 43.4% pressure rate, which is by far the best mark in the league.
  • The Cowboys have also generated a quick pressure rate of 37.4% — the best mark in the league.
Key player(s) to avoid

QB Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

  • Tagovailoa has thrown for just two touchdown passes this season when under pressure, tied for 24th among quarterbacks.
  • Tagovailoa’s 505 passing yards when under pressure ranks 26th among qualifying quarterbacks.
  • Tagovailoa has yet to throw for more than one passing touchdown against opponents whose defensive line ranks among the top-quarter (eight) in the league in pass-rush grade. The Cowboys rank second in that regard.
  • Tagovailoa has also finished outside of the top 20 fantasy quarterbacks in all three of those matchups so far this season.

Los Angeles Chargers versus Buffalo Bills


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