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Wide Receiver Matchups to Target in Week 4: Michael Pittman Jr., A.J. Brown, CeeDee Lamb

Michael Pittman Jr. - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Hey everyone, Thunder Dan here, and I'm filling in for Ryan Ramsarran this week who has been doing a great job analyzing some of these WR/CB matchups. I'll do my best to give you a few of my favorite plays and I'm also trying to look for some more contrarian spots because everyone already knows to play Stefon Diggs, right?

We have an opportunity to roster a number of really good wideouts this week at reduced ownership since Diggs is projected to soak up a huge chunk of ownership all by himself. He might just be the chalkiest receiver we've seen so far this year, so let's find some places to pivot!

Matchups for the wide receiver position aren't always as black and white as they can be for other positions. Receivers sometimes move around the formation or may face shadow coverage, meaning these matchups need to be broken down deeper based on that data. Now, here are the top WR vs CB matchups for Week 4. Use these to set season-long lineups, as well as gain a competitive edge in the DFS games. The matchup data used in this article is from PFF.

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Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts vs. Kristian Fulton

DraftKings $7200 / FanDuel $7500

I really love this spot for Pittman this week and I'm pretty thrilled at the fact that he's projecting around 9-10% ownership for tomorrow's game against the Titans. Pittman missed Week 2, but has been the clear #1 target for Matt Ryan otherwise, collecting 17 catches on 22 targets in two games for 193 yards and a touchdown.

This week, he is going to face a pretty bad Tennessee secondary too. Pittman should line up against the Titans' best corner, Fulton, for much of the afternoon but Fulton grades out as mediocre at best with a 63.3 player grade from Pro Football Focus. Furthermore, Tennessee has allowed 24.7 fantasy points per game to receivers who line up on the left side of the field, where Fulton usually is camped out as the right cornerback.

Indy will surely try to establish Jonathan Taylor early on, but Tennessee will also be set out to slow him down, likely forcing the Colts to throw if they're going to sustain drives. I expect another high-target game for Pittman and this is definitely a matchup he can win.

 

Josh Reynolds, Detroit Lions vs. Tariq Woolen

DraftKings $4600 / FanDuel $5900

The breaking news today is that DJ Chark will now miss tomorrow's game too, and now the Lions are without D'Andre Swift, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Chark. The public is scrambling to smash T.J. Hockenson into their lineups (which is perfectly fine) but I am going to make an effort to get more of Reynolds in my builds.

Woolen is the highest-rated of the Seattle corners with a 54.7 PFF grade and only a 53.8 coverage rating. Reynolds is now going to be the WR1 for Detroit and was already coming off a season-high six catches on 10 targets for 96 yards last week against the Vikings.

The Seahawks are allowing a league-high 8.4 yards per passing attempt to opponents, so don't be fooled by their middling 240 yards passing allowed, this secondary is not good.

While Jamaal Williams and Hockenson are worthy chalk plays, Reynolds is a good receiver who is likely to find himself open often in this game and he's also a guy that Goff trusts even going back to last season when he had a fairly large role for a number of weeks.

 

CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys vs. William Jackson III

DraftKings $6700 / FanDuel $6800

The concerns about Lamb being negatively affected by the loss of Dak Prescott as his QB should be gone by now. In the last two weeks, he's caught 15 passes on 23 targets for 162 yards and a touchdown.

Cooper Rush has been solid and the Cowboys are riding a two-game winning streak. Now they welcome the Washington Commanders into Dallas, who have had their secondary demolished by Detroit and Philadelphia the last two weeks.

The Commanders are allowing 274 yards passing per game, which is the fifth-most in the league. Jackson actually rates out better (54.5) than their other starting corner, Kendall Fuller (38.2), as far as his PFF grade, but he's going to have his hands full with the ultra-athletic Lamb in this one.

If he lines up in the slot, it will be against Benjamin St. Juste who has a solid 72.1 coverage grade, but the Commanders have been very exploitable in the middle of the field this year too, allowing 20.6 fantasy points to slot receivers.

Lamb is a stud and feels underpriced for this matchup. Of the receivers in this article today, he's probably going to be the most highly rostered, but that shouldn't dissuade you from using him in your lineups. He should have a big day and is a safe play that carries a lot of upside at the same time.

 

A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tyson Campbell

DraftKings $7400 / FanDuel $8300

We are looking at another ceiling spot for Brown this week in my opinion. After blowing the doors off Detroit in Week 1, he's caught only five balls the last two weeks but he did manage to get the end zone for the first time last week against Washington.

I probably don't need to sell you on A.J. Brown being really good, but holy moly has he made a big impression in Philadelphia and his presence on the field has allowed both DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert to get open and produce too.

But let's talk about Brown a bit. He has a massive 41% red zone target share, meaning that both his coach and his QB are looking his way down near the end zone. He's an incredibly tough cover for smaller corners due to his size, but also has the speed to run past bigger corners too.

The Jags have the #1 run defense coming into this game and that will be tested against a solid Eagles offensive line and I'm sure Philly will attempt to run the ball. But if Philly is going to have to air it out against this funnel defense, I expect Brown to have a huge day against Campbell.

Campbell checks in with a pretty decent PFF grade this season of 72.2 so far this year but was only the 60th-best corner in the league last year with only a 62.7 grade. He avoided Michael Pittman in Week 2 and got to face the Chargers last week with a QB who was nursing bruised ribs and missing their top receiver Keenan Allen too.

The Jags' secondary allowed four passing TDs to Carson Wentz in Week 1, let's not forget about that.

 

Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks vs. Jeffrey Okudah

DraftKings $5900 / FanDuel $6900

This game could be a fantasy goldmine as neither of these defenses are very good. The Seattle passing game got on track last week, despite coming short against Atlanta. They have another juicy matchup here against a Detroit defense that ranks 25th in pass DVOA and has allowed the seventh-most passing yards per game this season.

Lockett has posted nine catches on 11 targets now in back-to-back weeks and while he's still without a touchdown, that type of volume will certainly work especially on DraftKings with full PPR scoring.

Lockett is going to line up against Okudah on the outside or possibly Mike Hughes in the slot. Hughes is the best matchup as he has only a 36.7 PFF cover rating, but Okudah hasn't been all that great either. Will Harris is their other corner and at 6'1" and 205 pounds, he's likely going to attempt to take on DK Metcalf (good luck!).

Lockett is one of the better route runners in the NFL and should find himself open quite often. Geno Smith is starting to get a nice rapport with him going and I think we see that continue this week. I like Lockett in all formats, even cash games as I think this volume is sustainable and the matchup is too good to pass up.

 

Christian Kirk, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Avonte Maddox

DraftKings $6600 / Fanduel $7600

Avonte Maddox isn't nearly as bad as he once was, I want to point that out first. He had one of the worst coverage grades of any cornerback in 2020, but was pretty solid last year (71) and has been effective this season so far (78.5). That doesn't mean we still can't attack him and the Eagles' linebackers with Christian Kirk, who has seen his fantasy stock rise in a big way as the slot receiver for the Jags this year.

I think most people now agree that Kirk was misused in Arizona and that Doug Pederson is getting the most out of him this year but putting him in battles he can win and scheming him the ball where he can run with it after the catch.

Kirk doesn't have blazing speed, but he does a great job of getting open and finding openings in zone coverage as well as winning matchups against slot corners and linebackers. I look for Kirk to continue that success this week as I expect Jacksonville to be forced into a pass-heavy game script against the Eagles as underdogs.

If you're stacking Jalen Hurts with AJ Brown, bring it back with Kirk as I think he's the one Jaguar who could really have a big day by avoiding Darius Slay and James Bradberry, the Eagles' outside corners who have been fantastic this year.

All data is from PFF, FantasyData and Player Profiler. Thanks for reading and good luck in your DFS contests!



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