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Wide Receiver Matchups to Target in Week 13

We're more than halfway through the NFL season, with several teams already having their bye weeks behind them. Nevertheless, injuries have begun to rack up. Picking on the backups that precede starting defensive backs is a common strategy among DFS players, simply because it's a solid process. Fortunately, we have plenty of data to break down those matchups and pick the best ones to target for the coming week.

Nothing is more important than matchup analyzation when it comes to fantasy football. Playing your teams’ best players on a regular basis is important, but picking apart the top matchups on a week to week basis can win you a championship, or even better, some cold hard cash in DFS. Matchups for the wide receiver position aren’t always as black and white as they can be for other positions. Receivers need to be broken down even deeper by analyzing the potential cornerback matchup they’re going to draw. This is especially true in potential shadow coverage cases such as any time an X receiver plays against Patrick Peterson and the Arizona Cardinals. Some analytical data used here such as fantasy points allowed per route covered, and percentage of routes run on the left side, right side, and in the slot is courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

Now, here are the top WR vs CB matchups for Week 13. Use these to set season-long lineups, as well as gain a competitive edge in the Daily Fantasy realm.

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WR/CB Matchups to Target

GB WR Randall Cobb Versus ARZ CB Leonard Johnson

It's difficult to project Randall Cobb this season. The good news is, he's likely returning this week and has a plus matchup to help us all remember what he's capable of.

Cobb has only played in five games this season. However, he has just four fewer catches and targets than Davante Adams in those contests. He hasn't played in a game where he saw fewer than five targets all season. This game against the Cardinals will also take place at Lambeau Field, where Cobb has averaged nearly three fantasy points per game more over the last three seasons.

This matchup against Leonard Johnson is a favorable one, as well. Johnson allowed a perfect five catches on five targets in slot coverage last week for 58 yards. If Cobb can convert just one of those for a touchdown, he'll smash his pricepoint value for Week 13.


CAR WR D.J. Moore Versus TB CB Javien Elliott

The regime shift has slowly begun in Carolina. D.J. Moore has drawn 23-percent of the teams total targets over the last three games, and he's amassed a respectable 22-percent chunk of the air-yards. It helped that Devin Funchess was inactive last week (he's questionable for Week 13) but it really was just a matter of time before the WR1 job was Moore's to lose.

Moore runs out of the slot more than the public realizes, which means he'll see a favorable matchup against Javien Elliott. Elliott remains one of PFFs worst-graded corners this season in relief for M.J. Stewart. Elliott has actually allowed the 12th-most slot receiving yards over the last three weeks, as well as a passer rating of 103.7 when in guarding that spot.


CHI WR Taylor Gabriel Versus NYG CB Janoris Jenkins

'Hello darkness, my old friend'.

I'm 1-2 on Taylor Gabriel smash-calls this season, but the process has brought me back to him a third time for Week 13. With Chase Daniel at the helm for the Chicago Bears last week, Gabriel led the team in targets, catches, and receiving yards. He also finished second to Allen Robinson in air-yards distribution. Gabriel now possesses 31-percent of the Bears' total air yards over the last three contests. Gabriel has 14 catches over his last two games, and he's fairly priced this week at $4,200.

I love this matchup against Janoris Jenkins, who's in the midst of by far the worst season of his NFL career. Jenkins has surrendered 12 catches for 144 yards and a touchdown in coverage over the last three games, which has given him a 122.9 passer rating when thrown at.

This could easily turn into a Robinson-game if he can draw a handful of matchups with Jenkins. But for $1,500 fewer dollars, I'll take my chances with Gabriel.


TEN WR Tajae Sharpe Versus NYJ CB Buster Skrine

Tajae Sharpe went from drawing seven targets and catching a touchdown in Week 11 all the way down to not being thrown to a single time in Week 12. I know, I know. I'm not doing a great job at selling the idea of rostering him right now. Give me a second.

It's entirely possible Sharpe failed to draw a look against the Houston Texans because he was matched up with Kareem Jackson for the majority of the contest. He draws a much easier opponent in Buster Skrine this week, who's allowing the 12th-most receiving yards per route in coverage this season. Sharpe also has a five-inch height advantage on Skrine, which could make this matchup a consistent part of Tennessee's game plan.

This an extremely high risk-high reward play. He makes for a great pivot off the Chris Godwin chalk in tournaments at $3,500, but I'd advise against rostering Sharpe in cash.

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