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WR/CB Matchups to Target and Downgrade - Week 2 (2023)

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

Week 2 is here, and I'm excited to update the depth charts for the completely free fantasy football WR/CB Matchup Chart.

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.

Week 1 gave us a lot of new information to work with, as the chart will have updated alignment homes and the PPGA (points per game against) column filled with Week 1 points.  Keep in mind that the sample is obviously extremely small, with just one week of 2023 data.

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 2


Click the image for a full-screen view


WR/CB Matchups to Target

Nico Collins and Robert Woods appear to be the clear-cut top two options in the Houston passing game. This week, they get an Indianapolis secondary that was just shredded by Calvin Ridley and Zay Jones. C.J. Stroud's outside weapons are in a good spot.

Stefon Diggs took advantage of the Jets keeping Sauce Gardner at LCB, as the Bills moved Diggs around the formation in Week 1. This week, Diggs gets a much easier matchup against the Raiders, and has WR1 well within his range of outcomes.

A.J. Brown is in a great spot against a Minnesota secondary that couldn't stop Baker Mayfield in the second half last week. He gets an upgrade.

Patrick Peterson's best days are behind him, as the Steelers secondary was predictably torched by Brandon Aiyuk last week. It's a great matchup for Amari Cooper.

Amon-Ra St. Brown scored a touchdown in Week 1 and this week has a home dome matchup against a Seahawks secondary that was just shredded by inexperienced Rams receivers. Expect the Lions clear WR1 to take advantage in a game with one of the highest totals of the week (47).

Speaking of Rams WRs, Tutu Atwell played more slot snaps than any other LA receiver last week, and this week gets an easy matchup against the 49ers. The Niners gave up a lot of yards to Allen Robinson last week. Atwell is always a threat to win deep down the field as well.

Houston gave up a big week to rookie Zay Flowers in Week 1. Josh Downs will have an easy matchup as the Colts primary slot receiver in Week 2.

The Broncos secondary was effective against Davante Adams in Week 1, but let Raiders WR2 Jakobi Meyers torch them. Jahan Dotson gets an upgrade in Week 2 as the Commanders' WR2.


WR/CB Matchups to Downgrade

The data is a bit skewed by some bad weather, but the Cleveland CB group deserves a lot of credit for shutting down Cincinnati's WRs last week. It's a tough matchup for all three Steelers receivers, including George Pickens. Keep in mind that he may see more volume with Diontae Johnson out, which is usually more important than a bad matchup.

Garrett Wilson made a ridiculous touchdown catch in Week 1, but will now have Zach Wilson as his QB. His Week 2 matchup is also one of the toughest in the league against Dallas' ferocious defense. The Cowboys will be a headache for opposing WR groups all year.

Terry McLaurin couldn't get it going against the Cardinals in Week 1. Unfortunately he'll see a ton of Patrick Surtain II in Week 2. Surtain is one of the best cover men in the NFL.

Drake London put up a goose egg for the Falcons in Week 1, as Arthur Smith seems focused on establishing the run. While I do think Atlanta will prioritize getting London some touches, his matchup is a tough one against Jaire Alexander.

On the other side of that game, Romeo Doubs is coming off a two-touchdown performance against the Bears, but this week will have to deal with A.J. Terrell. The Falcons will likely be very comfortable emphasizing running the ball and playing solid defense all year.

Kendrick Bourne was a popular waiver wire add this week after a great Week 1 performance. Unfortunately he'll likely see Xavien Howard and the Dolphins who just limited the Chargers' outside receivers last week.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba is super talented with a lot of late-season upside. This week, however, he'll see Brian Branch as the opposing nickel corner. Branch, also a rookie, had an unbelievable offseason and scored on a pick-six in Week 1. JSN's first big game will come at some point this year, but it may not be this week.

Thanks for reading all season and good luck this week.

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