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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.

These are the top WR vs CB matchups for Week 14. Use these to set season-long lineups, as well as gain a competitive edge on FanDuel and DraftKings.

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Wide Receiver Advantages to Exploit

MIN WR Adam Thielen vs CAR CB Captain Munnerlyn

Negative regression finally struck fantasy football's WR5 in Week 13. Adam Thielen faltered in what was a plus matchup versus the Atlanta Falcons, who were without their top two defensive backs. Thielen was an afterthought until the final drive of the game, making Week 13 his first game of the season without at least five catches.

Thielen has a great opportunity to bounce back in Week 14 versus a fading Carolina Panthers secondary. Both himself and teammate Stefon Diggs find themselves in great spots, as Carolina has allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers over the past five weeks.

Thielen, in particular, has a dime of a matchup in the slot (54 percent of his routes are run from the slot) versus Panthers nickel back and former Minnesota Viking Captain Munnerlyn. Munnerlyn has struggled this season, allowing the sixth-highest catch rate (76 percent) among slot corners. The fact this matchup is taking place in Carolina shouldn't affect the deceptively tall Thielen, who is averaging over 16 PPR fantasy points per game on the road this season.

 

NE WR Brandin Cooks vs MIA CB Xavien Howard

Brandin Cooks was on something of a tear before last weeks game versus the Buffalo Bills. Cooks had caught six passes in three straight games and converted two of them for touchdowns. One of those games was a road matchup against his Week 14 opponents, the Miami Dolphins. Cooks was good for 20 PPR fantasy points that game, despite teammate Rob Gronkowski logging 25.2 fantasy points of his own.

Gronk will be absent this time around thanks to a boneheaded move after the whistle in Week 13 that ultimately lead to a one-game suspension. Cooks is set to see an increased target share, which sees an even more significant boost if red zone target hog Chris Hogan is inactive once again.

On top of all of this, the former Saint draws a matchup versus Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard, who has been a fun matchup to pick on for DFS purposes. Howard possesses a coverage grade of just 40.3 per PFF; sixth-worst at the position out of 117 corners.

Cooks can be rostered on FanDuel at something of a discount this week. He carries a price tag of just $7,600.

 

CLE WR Josh Gordon vs GB CB Damarious Randall

Not including the recently returned Cleveland Browns wideout in this weekly article would be a crime; especially to those that frequent Twitter for fantasy football advice and discussions. They in particular know what kind of hype surrounds the enigma that is Josh Gordon.

Gordon certainly made an impact in his first start since 2014. He matched up with Casey Hayward, who has been one of the most dominant corners in the league this season. Gordon was targeted on 38 percent of his routes covered in this game, which is absolutely ridiculous. Gordon capped the performance off with an average of 2.94 receiving yards per route run. Unfortunately for Gordon, the matchup proved difficult in the catch rate department; he hauled in just four of his 11 targets.

The matchup is significantly more favorable this week versus a Green Bay Packers secondary that will be missing its top corner, Kevin King, for the rest of the season. This puts Gordon up against second-string defensive back Damarious Randall, who has a coverage grade of just 48.2 per PFF.

Gordon is already being shown respect in the DFS department, drawing a price of $6,700 on FanDuel. That's a bit of a price gouge for a player that's only run 33 routes all season. That being said, Gordon could be more than worth the price of admission if he delivers in this Grade-A matchup.

 

SF WR Trent Taylor vs HOU CB Kareem Jackson

This is a week where everybody and their mother is going to be on San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin. Rightfully so, as he was heavily and successfully targeted by newly crowned starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 13. With Goodwin likely to draw high ownership on both FanDuel and DraftKings, going contrarian with this offense and playing slot receiver Trent Taylor could pay huge dividends.

The emerging rookie caught all six of his targets for 92 yards last Sunday; just two catches for seven yards less than Goodwin finished the day with. He now draws an even more enticing matchup in week 14 as he prepares to do battle with Houston Texans nickel back Kareem Jackson. Jackson has allowed a 75 percent catch rate on top of a whopping .39 fantasy points allowed per route in coverage this season.

It's not really fair to hold slot corners catch rates allowed against them. They have to cover high success percentage routes exclusively, so it's understandable that their catch rates allowed are a bit higher than left or right corners. Jackson, however, has allowed the seventh-highest catch rate among slot corners this season. This bodes well for Taylor, who has run almost 80 percent of his routes out of the slot this season.

At just $3,300 on DraftKings and $4,500 on FanDuel, Taylor only needs 13 fantasy points to reach three times his value.

 

More Week 14 Lineup Prep