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WR/CB Matchups to Target and Downgrade - Divisional Round

Deebo Samuel - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

Welcome to the Divisional Round edition of WR/CB Matchup chart. Most season-long fantasy leagues are over, but there are still plenty of opportunities to play other types of contests in the playoffs. Divisional Round games are extremely important in most fantasy playoff formats and drafts. This article can help you identify advantageous matchups and make decisions accordingly.

As a reminder, the process for assigning points to a specific matchup has to do with how the entire defense defends the player who lines up at one of the three spots (LWR, RWR, slot) the most. For example, in Week 1, Jahan Dotson scored a TD from the LWR spot and the right slot, but all of his points were assigned to Shaquill Griffin because Griffin played primarily LCB and Dotson was the Washington receiver with the most snaps at RWR.

Keep in mind that NFL teams are moving receivers around more than ever in today's game. It is difficult to pinpoint which CB each WR will be matched up against. The chart is designed to give a 1-vs-1 matchup for each player, but the reality is that most NFL WRs will see a mix of all the DBs they face each week. For example, in Week 1, A.J. Brown played 27 snaps in the slot and 21 snaps at LWR. However, Quez Watkins played more snaps in the slot and no Eagles WR played more snaps at LWR than Brown, which explains the chart.

The chart is best used to understand how teams are defending outside versus inside receivers if teams are shadowing, and how much emphasis they put on slowing down the opposing WR1.

 

WR vs. CB Chart Details

The CB Matchup Chart below is a snapshot of each team's cornerback group as it relates to allowing fantasy points. There are inherent flaws within the data compilation of cornerback play. The first is the fact that quantifying a 1-on-1 matchup in an NFL game is unfair because of zone coverages, mental errors, certain passing concepts, and a million other things. Assigning fantasy points against a cornerback isn't a perfect science.

The purpose of this chart is to give more of a general sense of how defenses are handling opposing WR groups rather than identifying exactly where, when, and how every single encounter happened. Another factor to consider is that players are listed based on where they line up the majority of the time. Most receivers do not line up on one side on every single snap, so they won't be matched up with the same CB on every snap.

The "Rtng" column is the rating of each cornerback based on film study and analytics. The lower a player is graded, the easier the matchup for the WR, so low ratings are green and high ratings are red. The "PPGA" is the number of fantasy points per game that the player has given up on average this year. Keep in mind that team scheme is a huge factor in points assigned to specific players. A name in blue means the corner could possibly shadow the WR1. A name in red means that the player is dealing with an injury.

 

Cornerback Ratings and Matchups Chart - Divisional Round

 

Click the image for a full-screen view

 

WR/CB Matchups to Target

The first matchup that stands out on the chart is WR1s against the Chiefs, where Marvin Jones Jr. will likely take the most snaps at LWR for the Jaguars. However, it's important to note that the Chiefs gave up a lot of production to WR1s early in the year, and have been much better since Trent McDuffie came back from injury. The Jaguars will likely need to pass a lot, so all Jacksonville WRs are viable plays.

Adoree Jackson and the Giants did a masterful job against Justin Jefferson last week. This week, however, the assignment is much tougher. If they choose to shadow and bracket A.J. Brown as they did Jefferson, DeVonta Smith could go off for a big game. Brown has the easier on-paper matchup, but Jackson following him around would give Smith more advantages.

On the other side of that game, the best on-paper matchup for the Giants' receiving group is for slot man Richie James. Whether it's Avonte Maddox or Josiah Scott, the Eagles have funneled WR production away from their stud outside CBs and to slots all year.

The Bills have been a relatively easy matchup for outside WRs all year. Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins get bumps.

On the other side of that game, the Bengals have had drastic WR1/WR2 splits all year. Based on the data, Gabe Davis gets a bigger bump than Stefon Diggs. However, Eli Apple covering Diggs is a mismatch in talent.

Deebo Samuel can get production from rushing attempts or yards-after-the-catch so his matchups don't matter that much. However, it's an easy spot against Dallas, who is one of the worst teams in the league against RWRs.

CeeDee Lamb was relatively quiet during the Cowboys' easy win against the Bucs. The 49ers' defense figures to be a tougher matchup for Dak Prescott, but one spot to take advantage of is their slot coverage. Lamb gets a matchup boost.

 

WR/CB Matchups to Downgrade

Isaiah Hodgins has been unbelievable for the Giants, but this week will be a tough matchup for both him and Darius Slayton. James Bradberry and Darius Slay are one of the best outside CB duos in the NFL.

Zay Jones has been terrific as Trevor Lawrence's favorite outside WR. Unfortunately, the Chiefs have been solid against RWRs all year.

Mike Hilton is as solid as it gets in terms of a slot corner. Whether it's Isaiah McKenzie or Cole Beasley, whoever plays the slot for the Bills will have a tough matchup.

Brandon Aiyuk has been underrated as one of the best route-runners in the league all year. However, he will have to deal with Trevon Diggs this week. The Cowboys have limited opposing LWR production at a high level with Diggs at RCB over the past two years.

Thanks for reading and good luck this week.



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