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WR/CB Matchups to Target and Downgrade - Week 13 (2023)

jaylen waddle fantasy football rankings news NFL DFS lineup picks

Welcome to Week 13 of the WR/CB Matchups article. For those who are not familiar, this is a weekly series looking at fantasy football matchups for wide receivers versus the cornerbacks who are projected to cover them.

During the past three seasons, I have tweaked my process to make the chart more user-friendly and predictive, but 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.

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 last year, 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.

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 13

 

Click the image for a full-screen view

 

WR/CB Matchups to Target

Washington's pass defense has been atrocious all year. It's great news for Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill. Tua Tagovailoa could have a monster game.

Ja'Marr Chase had an underwhelming performance against Joey Porter Jr. and the Steelers last week, but this week gets one of the easiest matchups in the league for primary LWRs. The Jaguars are fresh off giving up a huge game to Nico Collins. Chase won't have Joe Burrow, but he gets an upgrade.

Will Levis has cooled off considerably after his scorching start, and DeAndre Hopkins has underwhelmed as a result. This week, however, Hopkins gets an easy matchup against the Colts. It's a bounce-back spot.

Some reports indicated that George Pickens would get more looks without Matt Canada calling plays in Pittsburgh. He didn't do much against the Bengals, but this week has a much easier matchup against Arizona. He gets a bump.

Michael Pittman Jr. has quietly been solid as the WR1 for the Colts. This week he gets a very burnable Titans secondary.

Frank Reich is out as Panthers head coach. Bryce Young has been terrible without much help, but hopefully some fresh coaching will jump start the stretch run of his rookie year. Tampa Bay's pass defense has been burnable all year, so it's an upgraded matchup for D.J. Chark, Jonathan Mingo, and Adam Thielen.

Rashee Rice has emerged as Patrick Mahomes' top non-Kelce wideout, and this week gets a smash matchup against the Packers. Green Bay has given up the second most FPPG to opposing slot WRs this year.

 

 

WR/CB Matchups to Downgrade

Calvin Ridley has bounced back in a big way the past two weeks. Unfortunately this week he gets a Bengals secondary that has been stingy against opposing WR groups all year.

Cooper Kupp does not seem 100% and this week will have to deal with the Browns suffocating pass defense. He and Puka Nacua get matchup downgrades.

D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett posted duds against San Francisco on Thanksgiving. It'll be another tough spot this Thursday in Dallas.

Garrett Wilson is dealing with one of the worst QB situations we've ever seen. He'll also have to deal with the Falcons outside corners, who have limited opposing outside WRs all year.

Christian Watson finally had a big game against the Lions on Thanksgiving. He could be in for some solid production down the stretch. However, his matchup is a tough one this week against Kansas City. Jayden Reed also gets a downgrade, as KC has been stout against slots all year.

Nico Collins had a huge game against the Jaguars in Week 12. Unfortunately, he'll have to deal with Patrick Surtain II this week. It's a matchup downgrade.

Thanks for reading and good luck this week.



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