Antonio Brown v Vontae Davis/Colts DBs
In years past this would be a tough matchup for Brown, but Davis has battled multiple injuries this year and suffered another one in week 11 against the Titans. After hurting his ankle in the game Davis was beat for a long touchdown by Tajae Sharpe. He was seen in a walking boot Monday and only got a limited practice in Wednesday. With the game being Thursday night it’s doubtful he’ll be anything close to 100%. If Davis can’t go none of the other Indianapolis corners will be any match for Brown. Even if Davis does play I would expect Brown to have no trouble getting separation.
Golden Tate v Trae Waynes
With Terrance Newman doubtful to play this week Golden Tate is likely to draw a lot of Trae Waynes. Waynes is the 87th ranked corner according to PFF and 92nd in coverage. With Rhodes likely shadowing Marvin Jones Tate should get a nice boost in this game.
Jamison Crowder v Orlando Scandrik
Crowder has been extremely efficient on a relatively low number of targets but that shouldn’t matter this week as he draws a favorable matchup. Scandrik ranks 64th overall and 63rd in coverage. With Crowder playing 73% of his snaps from the slot he should see plenty of one on one opportunities against Scandrik. Don’t be surprised if Crowder has another big game.
DeSean Jackson v Anthony Brown
Brown should line up on Jackson’s side most of the game and when he does Jackson should feast. Brown ranks 66th overall, 68th in coverage and is giving up 0.4 fantasy points per route. Jackson has been dealing with a shoulder injury and has been limited in practice, but if he plays he should be in line for a big game.
Stefon Diggs is hurt and unlikely to play, but if he does he will get a great matchup against Quandre Diggs. Something to monitor in tmorning.
Adam Thielen v Darius Slay
With Stefon Diggs looking unlikely to play on Thursday Thielen should be in line for more targets. Unfortunately he may see plenty of Darius Slay as well. Detroit does play a lot of zone so I don’t think Slay will shadow him though it is possible. Slay is ranked 23rd overall and 16th in coverage. He’s done well against some top receivers but has given up 8 touchdowns this year. I still like Thielen this week if you are hurting at WR as he should be in line for extra work.
Pierre Garcon v Brandon Carr
Where DeSean Jackson will typically line up on Anthony Brown’s side of the field, Garcon will be stuck lined up against Brandon Carr. Ranked 19th overall and 20th in coverage Carr has been great for the Cowboys defense. I expect Crowder, Jackson and Jordan Reed to dominate the targets in this game so don’t be surprised if Garcon is kept quiet in a tough matchup.
T.Y. Hilton v William Gay
Not only will Hilton be catching paces from Scott Tolzien instead of Andrew Luck, but he’ll be playing most of his snaps opposite William Gay. Ranked 24th overall and 25th in coverage Hilton will have to work hard for whatever he gets. The unknown at quarterback makes the situation even worse. You’re likely starting him but temper expectations.
Dez Bryant v Josh Norman
Although not a given it seems very likely Josh Norman will spend this game shadowing Dez Bryant. Norman is ranked 13th overall but ranks 6th in coverage. Bryant and Dak Prescott seem to be getting on the same page, and he’s always a threat for a touchdown, but Norman could certainly shut him down. You’re not benching him but you’re probably not feeling great either. In any case this should be a fun matchup to watch in what could be the best game of the day.
Marvin Jones v Xavier Rhodes
Remember when Marvin Jones was the #1 WR in fantasy? Since his week 3 torching of Green Bay (who we now know is really, really bad) he’s fallen off in a big way. Things won’t get any easier for him this week as he is likely to be shadowed by Xavier Rhodes. In week 9 against Rhodes, Jones had 1 catch on 5 targets for 5 yards. Rhodes ranks 20th overall and 17th in coverage so don’t be surprised if Jones puts up a similar stat line this week.
Anyone I forgot to mention? Disagree with the matchups? Let me know in the comments below.