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WR/CB Matchups to Target and Downgrade - Week 11

Keenan Allen - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Welcome to Week 11 of the WR/CB Matchup chart. Week 10 was a reminder that the NFL is a week-to-week league and that recent trends in terms of player and position performance should be weighted more heavily than season totals. Notable recent trends include the Chargers' inability to cover WR1s without Michael Davis, the Seahawks improving at CB with rookie Tre Brown, the Packers getting stingier against outside receivers, and the Browns' outside CBs struggling with consistency. It's best to factor in injuries and recent trends when utilizing this chart.

Creating the weekly matchup chart has been more challenging than usual this year due to the fact that most teams are moving their WRs around more than they ever have. 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. 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.

While matchups do matter and every piece of information can give you an edge, it is important to understand that WR skill level and target share are more predictive than matchup in many cases. Blindly following the chart is not recommended, but it can be useful in making tough lineup decisions between two WRs close in skill level. The chart is best used to understand the context of matchups overall, not predict outcomes.

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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 the right 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. 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. WRs highlighted in bright green have an easy matchup. WRs highlighted in light red have a tough matchup. The chart is a useful tool, but should not be used as a start/sit cheatsheet.


Cornerback Ratings and Matchups Chart - Week 11

Click image for full-screen view


WR/CB Matchups to Target

The Packers have been better against outside receivers recently, and veteran corner Rasul Douglas has had his moments. Still, the season-long data makes Green Bay a dream matchup for Justin Jefferson. Jefferson is obviously an elite must-start regardless.

CeeDee Lamb was the star of last week's Cowboys win against Atlanta. This week it could be Amari Cooper, who has the easiest on-paper matchup of all the Dallas WRs.

The blitz-happy Dolphins limited Lamar Jackson in a weird Thursday Night slog last week. The Jets will be starting Joe Flacco at QB for some reason, and Corey Davis has a favorable matchup against an underperforming Byron Jones.

D.J. Moore will likely be dealing with his third starting QB in three weeks. He hasn't produced much in easy matchups recently, but maybe the third time's a charm in the case of Cam Newton. Washington CBs performed terribly early in the season, and it would not shock me to see some positive regression. The chart likes Moore's matchup, but failing is definitely within his range of outcomes given the context.

The Bears have struggled against RWRs all year and Marquise Brown lines up at RWR more than any other Ravens WR. He has a plus matchup against Kindle Vildor in a bounce-back spot for Lamar Jackson.

Kristian Fulton is back for the Titans, which means opposing LWRs have a much tougher matchup than they've had for most of the year. RWRs on the other hand still see easy coverage from Jackrabbit Jenkins. Nico Collins plays more RWR than any other Texans WR. Keep in mind that the Texans can easily scheme Brandin Cooks to get that matchup as well. Cooks could also see a lot of snaps from the slot, where the slow-footed Elijah Molden has given up a ton of fantasy points. Danny Amendola has the easiest slot matchup in the league this week.

Mecole Hardman has mostly underwhelmed for the Chiefs, but has an easy matchup against Jourdan Lewis in a projected shootout against the Cowboys. Keep in mind that Tyreek Hill also plays a lot of snaps in the slot.

Jarvis Landry hasn't done much this year and Baker Mayfield is questionable for the Browns' matchup against the Lions. Detroit is a favorable matchup for opposing slots so Landry is in a good spot if his QB can get him the ball.

The Giants have been a favorable matchup for slots this year, so Chris Godwin is in a good spot on Monday night. Just pay attention to practice reports in terms of his health.

Tre'Quan Smith came back from the dead with Trevor Siemien at the helm in New Orleans last week. He gets another favorable matchup against Eagles' nickel back Avonte Maddox.

Finally, Keenan Allen has an easy matchup against the Steelers, who typically funnel receiver production to slots.


WR/CB Matchups to Downgrade

The Bills have the best pass defense in the league which is bad news for Carson Wentz and the Colts. Michael Pittman Jr. is in the midst of a second-year breakout but this might not be a huge week. T.Y. Hilton and Zach Pascal also get downgrades.

The Panthers have also played well on defense and Donte Jackson is one of the better lesser-known CBs in the league. Terry McLaurin can pop off against anyone but this isn't an easy matchup.

Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harris enjoyed modest production with Trevor Siemien at the helm last week. This week they get the Eagles outside CB duo of Steven Nelson and Darius Slay who have been by far the toughest matchup duo for opposing outside WRs in the league.

Kendrick Bourne is quietly having an awesome year, but this week will have to deal with upstart CB A.J. Terrell. It's a downgrade for Mac Jones' best outside threat.

Tee Higgins still hasn't had that monster game, and this might not be the week either. Casey Hayward is one of the best LCBs in the league and Higgins lines up at RWR more than any other Bengal. Tyler Boyd is also in a tough spot against rookie stud Nate Hobbs. Keep in mind that the Raiders D is fresh off giving up five TDs to Patrick Mahomes so Joe Burrow coming off a bye could still have a big game regardless of these individual matchups.

Marvin Jones Jr. let down a lot of people in a supposedly easy matchup last week. This week he'll be left on benches against the 49ers in a tough matchup.

The same goes for K.J. Osborn. The Vikings slot receiver isn't much more than a dart throw in a concentrated offense. The Packers give up the second-fewest FPPG to opposing slots in the league.

Thanks for reading and good luck this week.

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