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Week 15 Favorable Slot Matchups

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  • By Michael Florio
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Welcome to Week 15! This week, I will not only give you the fringier players that get a boost from a great matchup, but I will also address those higher end players that get a big boost this week!

Main Targets


Dede Westbrook is one of my favorite slot plays this week. He will be facing a Redskins team that allowed 16.35 PPR PPG to slow receivers since Week 11, the seventh most in the NFL. In that span, the Redskins have allowed four touchdowns to slot receivers, tied for the second-most in that span. Westbrook ran 39 routes from the slot in Week 14 and saw nine targets, catching six for 80 yards and a touchdown. Also, Westbrook has seen 15 targets from Cody Kessler since Week 12, the most of any player on the Jaguars.

Tyler Lockett is not strictly a slot receiver, but he has been mixed in the slot and out wide this season and it's led to a career-year. In fact, four of his nine touchdowns this year have come from the slot. That bodes well for him since the 49ers have allowed a league-high five touchdowns to slot receivers since Week 11. During that stretch, the Niners have also allowed 23.57 PPR PPG to slot WRs, also the most in the NFL. Lockett will run about 14 routes per game from the slot, but the Seahawks should look to take advantage of this matchup and get their best weapon into the slot more. Lockett's outlook will be further enhanced if Doug Baldwin (hip) misses again.

Much like Lockett, Corey Davis is not a traditional slot receiver. However, Davis does lead all Titans WRs in targets from the slot both on the season and over the past month. During that time, Davis has scored two touchdowns and is averaging eight PPR PPG from the slot alone. He gets a boost this week against a Giants team that has given up 14.95 PPR PPG to slot receivers since Week 11 (tenth-most).

DaeSean Hamilton takes on a Browns team that ranks middle of the pack against slot receivers over the past month. But the matchup is not why I am excited about him this week. Hamilton led the Broncos receivers by playing 97 percent of the snaps in Week 14. Hamilton also ran 31 routes from the slot, the most among Broncos receivers, which is a big deal playing with Case Keenum. We all know how great Keenum made Adam Thielen last year and Emmanuel Sanders was a steady WR2 this season. Both of those receivers ran the majority of their routes from the slot while playing with Keenum. Hamilton may not be as talented as those two, but he should continue to see plenty of targets./

Do not trust Eagles' slot receivers. First of all, Nick Foles is playing in place of Carson Wentz (back) this week. Over the past two weeks, Nelson Agholor has averaged 17 slot routes per game to Golden Tate's 13. Both have fewer than 30 receiving yards from the slot in that stretch. The two will likely continue to take away from one another this week. The downside exceeds the upside in this scenario. Stay away.

Who to pick on the Bucs with this week?


Willie Snead has been the Ravens top slot receiver all season and that has continued with Lamar Jackson at the helm. Granted, Baltimore's pass volume has evaporated as the Ravens continue to heavily run the ball with Jackson at the controls. Still, Snead has seen 17 targets from Lamar Jackson since Week 11, which is tied for the most with Michael Crabtree. Snead does not have a ton of upside, but the Bucs' have allowed a league-high 20.72 fantasy PPG to slot receivers, including 11 touchdowns. Snead is a deep-league PPR WR4/5 this week.

Studs Who Get a Boost


JuJu Smith-Schuster has been on a tear lately and that should continue this week. Not only does he have good history against the Patriots, but New England has allowed the fourth-most PPR PPG to slot receivers over the last month. JuJu has averaged 27.2 routes per game out of the slot and should be trusted as a WR1 this week. In fact, I have JuJu ranked over Antonio Brown this week by a slight margin.

On the other side of the Steelers-Patriots game, Julian Edelman gets a boost against a Pittsburgh secondary that has allowed 18.2 PPR PPG since Week 11, fifth-most in that span. The Steelers have struggled against slot receivers all season, allowing the third-most PPR PPG all year (18.64) and Edelman is always a super safe play. In fact, Edelman has seen 10 or more targets in four of his last six games. He should be started in all leagues.

Adam Thielen has slowed down as of late, but this week he faces a Dolphins team that has allowed 17.73 PPR PPG since Week 11, the sixth-most in that span. Not that you would ever bench Thielen, but start him with full confidence this week.

Deep Sleepers


Isaiah McKenzie is definitely a deep name, but he is also a sleeper I like a lot this week. The Bills face a Lions team who has struggled against slot receivers this season, allowing 16.47 PPR PPG, the fifth-most in the NFL. McKenzie has taken over as the lead slot receiver for the Bills since Week 12. His 13.7 routes per game and 10 targets from the slot since Week 12 are both team-highs. Not only is the matchup favorable, but with LeSean McCoy (hamstring) banged up, McKenzie could see a few carries. He has had at least two carries in three of the last four games, including a 15-yard touchdown last week.

Ryan Switzer is used in the slot at times to allow JuJu Smith-Schuster the ability to run outside. He actually leads the Steelers in targets from the slot over the last three weeks with 10. Switzer could be sneaky in PPR leagues as the Patriots have allowed 18.30 PPR PPG to slot receivers over the past month.

-- Michael Florio is a freelance fantasy writer at NFL.com. Make sure to check back every Thursday to find out which slot receivers you can stream in the upcoming week. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelFFlorio.

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