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WR/CB Matchups to Target and Downgrade - Week 9

Cooper Kupp - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, Draft Targets

Welcome to Week 9 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.

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 9

Click the image for a full-screen view

 

WR/CB Matchups to Target

Last week, Dee Delaney played slot corner for the Bucs and gave up a productive stat line to Devin Duvernay. This week, the Bucs banged-up secondary will be tasked with slowing down Cooper Kupp. Whether it's Delaney, Antoine Winfield Jr., or a CB, Kupp has an easy matchup.

On the other side of that game, Mike Evans gets a matchup upgrade against the Rams, who move Jalen Ramsey around the formation a lot. Even with the best CB in the league, the Rams have given up the 4th-most FPPG to opposing WR1s this season.

Davante Adams was a ghost last week, but this week takes on a Jaguars secondary that has been susceptible to big games. If Adams doesn't bounce back here, it would be time to be seriously concerned with his fit in Las Vegas.

Tyler Lockett burned a tough corner in Adoree Jackson last week, and this week gets the Cardinals, who have one of the biggest disparities between giving up points to LWRs compared to RWRs. The numbers give Lockett an easier matchup than D.K. Metcalf.

Tee Higgins was relatively disappointing as Joe Burrow's top outside target last week, but this week gets the Panthers, who have struggled a bit with RWRs. Higgins played all across the formation in his first game this season without Ja'Marr Chase.

Romeo Doubs made an unbelievable catch to score a touchdown against the Bills, and this week gets the Lions, who were just shredded by the Dolphins WRs. Doubs is in a good spot.

Washington has given up the second-most FPPG to opposing slots this year. It's great news for K.J. Osborn, who scored a touchdown last week.

Finally, Keenan Allen doesn't seem particularly likely to play, so expect Josh Palmer and DeAndre Carter to both get reps in the slot against the Falcons. Atlanta has given up the most FPPG to opposing slot receivers this year.

 

 

WR/CB Matchups to Downgrade

Stefon Diggs has been tremendous as Josh Allen's number-one target in the league's pass-heaviest offense. This week he'll take on a Jets CB trio that has been extremely impressive as well. Every metric besides target share is in Diggs' favor, but this is a tough matchup against Sauce and the Jets.

Brandin Cooks sent cryptic tweets after not being dealt at the trade deadline. I wouldn't expect him to have his best game of the year against Darius Slay and the Eagles, although a negative game script may force Houston to pass a lot.

On the other side of that game, DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins have the tough on-paper matchups, while A.J. Brown is in the easiest spot based on the numbers. Last week I mentioned the Eagles WRs as potential smashes, but chose to use Smith's image instead of A.J. Brown's. Oops.

Matchups really don't matter much for Tyreek Hill, but the Bears have been dominant against RWRs this season. Kindle Vildor and Chicago's pass defense is giving up just 4.9 FPPG to opposing WRs who play RWR the majority of the time.

Michael Pittman Jr. has been a disappointment, and things don't look great this week with Sam Ehlinger at the helm. Jack Jones and Jonathan Jones have been solid for the Patriots all year.

Finally, the Seahawks have been a pleasant surprise on defense this year despite having an extremely inexperienced CB group. They've been particularly stingy against slot receivers, which is bad news for Rondale Moore. Coby Bryant has been stellar as Seattle's nickel corner.

Thanks for reading and good luck this week.



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