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WR/CB Matchups to Target and Downgrade - Week 14

Amon-Ra St. Brown - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Welcome to Week 14 of the WR/CB Matchup chart. The chart typically becomes more predictive as the season goes on, and most of the predictions made in this article last week turned out to be correct. Keep in mind that late season trends can impact matchups as non-contending teams look toward player evaluation and draft slot. Another huge factor in WR/CB Matchups is health, as injured CB groups can be taken advantage of.

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 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 14

Click the image for a full-screen view

 

WR/CB Matchups to Target

This is an interesting week for CB matchups, as the easiest matchups in the league aren't taking on a lot of fantasy-viable WRs. The Ravens and Titans have arguably the two easiest matchups in the league this week, but neither team projects to have appealing WR plays. If Treylon Burks is out, Robert Woods and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine get a bump. If Burks is in, he gets the best matchup he'll see all year against the Jaguars. As for the Ravens, Demarcus Robinson is a sleeper but obviously has a low floor.

Amon-Ra St. Brown has an easy matchup against the Vikings. St. Brown is not only a slot and the Vikings have given up a ton of fantasy points to all three WR positions this year. D.J. Chark also gets an upgrade.

The Titans have been dominated by opposing outside WRs all year. It's great news for Zay Jones and Marvin Jones Jr. Keep in mind that Christian Kirk does play a handful of outside snaps each week.

Brandin Cooks is dealing with an injury, but if he does play will have a plus matchup as the primary RWR against the Cowboys. Anthony Brown is out and Kelvin Joseph can be exploited.

Donovan Peoples-Jones is having a nice year and this week gets an easy matchup against Eli Apple and the Bengals. Deshaun Watson looked terrible in his first game back, so DPJ still has a low floor.

Davante Adams is just amazing and this week will get to take on the struggling Rams defense, which was just shredded by Geno Smith and the Seahawks. Adams is obviously a smash regardless of the matchup.

The Bucs have a hilariously low implied team total this week against the Niners' stout defense. However, the data suggests that Chris Godwin still has an easy matchup as the primary slot against Jimmie Ward.

K.J. Osborn has a great matchup against the Lions, who have given up the second-most FPPG to opposing slots this year. Keep in mind that Justin Jefferson has played ten or more slot snaps in every game this season.

 

WR/CB Matchups to Downgrade

The Cowboys have been a tough matchup for opposing LWRs all year. Nico Collins gets a downgrade.

Stefon Diggs is special, and should obviously be started everywhere. However, Gabe Davis and Isaiah McKenzie get downgrades against the Jets' stout secondary.

Mike Evans has been a disappointment and this week takes on the 49ers, who have been solid against WR1s all year.

On the other side of that game, both Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel get downgrades against the Bucs' stingy CB group. Obviously, Deebo is live for rushing production, especially given the QB situation in San Francisco.

Isaiah Hodgins has established himself as the clear WR2 for the Giants but this week has a tough matchup against Darius Slay and the Eagles.

Finally, keep an eye on injury reports. If Jakobi Meyers is in, the difficulty of his matchup will be dictated by Byron Murphy's status. If Murphy is in for the Cardinals, Meyers gets a downgrade.

Thanks for reading and good luck this week.



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