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WR/CB Matchups to Target and Downgrade - Week 11

CeeDee Lamb - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Targets, NFL Injury News

Welcome to Week 11 of the WR/CB Matchup chart. As the year goes on, the PPGA metric will become more and more predictive. Another important data point to be aware of is the injury report. Defenses missing key secondary pieces are far more susceptible to giving up ceiling games than units that are healthy.

Offensive coaches will always look to take advantage of backup players forced into action. Players dealing with an injury are listed in red on the chart, and checking the statuses of players prior to kickoff is advised. There's a reason NFL teams are required to put out an injury report each week, as it directly impacts Vegas lines. There are also some solid CBs getting healthy, which impacts matchup. Trent McDuffie is back for the Chiefs, which makes a seemingly easy matchup more difficult.

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 Shaquil 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 - Week 11

 

 

Click the image for a full-screen view

 

WR/CB Matchups to Target

CeeDee Lamb finally had a huge game against the Packers and could put up another good stat line against the Vikings this week. The Vikings are below average at limiting opposing WR production at all three spots and Lamb plays all around the formation. Michael Gallup also gets a bump.

On the other side of that game, Adam Thielen gets an upgrade as the primary RWR against the Cowboys. Dallas has given up the most FPPG to opposing RWRs this season. Keep in mind that Justin Jefferson has played RWR on 26% of snaps this year as well.

Terry McLaurin had a big game last week against a tough Eagles secondary, and this week gets a matchup with Texans' rookie CB Derek Stingley Jr. Stingley is a talented player but has given up a lot of production this year, in part due to missed tackles.

Andy Dalton was unable to take advantage of a usually beatable Pittsburgh secondary in Week 10, and the return of T.J. Watt probably had something to do with that. This week the Bengals get the upgrade against the Steelers' rough CB group, which has given up a lot of fantasy points to all three positions this year. Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd get upgrades.

The Titans have funneled production to WRs this season and gave up a long touchdown last week to the hapless Broncos. It's a good matchup for Christian Watson, Allen Lazard, and Sammy Watkins.

Deebo Samuel has been a huge disappointment from a fantasy standpoint this year, but this is a good week to snap out of it. Arizona doesn't have a great defense and has been burned by RWRs a few times this year.

Justin Fields is scorching and this week gets a porous Falcons defense in a dome. Darnell Mooney has the easiest slot matchup in the entire league against Atlanta.

Rondale Moore commanded targets last week against the Rams, and this week gets a 49ers defense that has struggled against slots all year. Moore's upside is capped if Kyler Murray doesn't play.

Parris Campbell was a hot waiver wire add this week and gets an easy matchup in Week 11 against the Eagles. While Philadelphia's outside corners have been awesome, they're susceptible to giving up points to slot receivers.

 

WR/CB Matchups to Downgrade

Davante Adams is obviously one of the best receivers in the league and a must-start in almost all formats. It's still worth noting that Denver is the toughest matchup in all of football for opposing WRs. Adams also plays a lot of slot and the Broncos have been the best team in the NFL in terms of limiting slot production.

A.J. Brown did nothing on Monday night and this week gets a tough matchup against the Colts. DeVonta Smith also gets a downgrade. I don't suggest benching either of them, but the matchup is difficult.

Alec Pierce may emerge as startable down the stretch, but I don't think this is the week for a late-season breakout to begin. Philadelphia has been stout against opposing RWRs all year.

Jakobi Meyers scored a touchdown in his first matchup with the Jets this season, but the matchup is still a tough one for all Pats wideouts. Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed are arguably the best outside CB duo in the NFL.

Donovan Peoples-Jones has had some streamer appeal in recent weeks but he and Amari Cooper get downgrades against the Bills in a possible snow game.

Curtis Samuel gets a downgrade as the primary slot against Houston. The Texans have given up the third-fewest FPPG to opposing slots this year.

 

Thanks for reading and good luck this week.



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