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WR/CB Matchups to Target and Downgrade - Wild Card Round

Ja'Marr Chase - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS and Betting Picks

Welcome to the Wild Card edition of WR/CB Matchup chart. Most season-long fantasy leagues are over, but there are still plenty of opportunities to play other types of contests in the playoffs. Wild Card games are extremely important in most fantasy playoff formats and drafts. This article can help you identify advantageous matchups and draft accordingly.

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 - Wild Card Round

Click the image for a full-screen view

 

WR/CB Matchups to Target

The Bengals beat the Ravens last week, and Ja'Marr Chase had a productive game. Baltimore has been an easy matchup for opposing WR1s all year. Chase definitely has a big game within his range of outcomes.

Justin Jefferson had some duds down the stretch, but this week takes on a banged-up Giants secondary that has been taken advantage of in recent weeks. If Adoree Jackson can't play, New York will have no cover guys in the same stratosphere as Jefferson. Even if Jackson does play, expect Jefferson to be peppered with targets and deliver a big performance.

Tre'Davious White is back for the Bills, but Buffalo has still been one of the easiest matchups in the league for opposing WR1s. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle move all around the formation, so both get upgrades in this matchup. However, keep in mind that Miami will likely be starting Skylar Thompson, so their ceilings may be capped.

The Cowboys have had a drastic split between giving up fantasy points to WR1s versus WR2s. Trevon Diggs has been able to stifle opposing WR1s all year, while Dallas has been torched by WR2s as a result. Chris Godwin is technically the WR2 based on alignment tendencies, but keep in mind that all Tampa Bay WRs move around the formation.

Sammy Watkins isn't the most inspiring name, but he has one of the easiest matchups in the league against the Bengals, who also give up a ton of points to WR2s. Lamar Jackson may not play, so Watkins has a zero as a floor, but it's a good matchup.

The Bucs have been an easy matchup for opposing slots all year. It's a great spot for CeeDee Lamb.

Finally, most expect the Seahawks to be trailing against the 49ers, which could mean a pass-heavy game script. If that's the case, the Niners are susceptible to slot production. Tyler Lockett isn't a full-time slot anymore but will take a handful of snaps there most likely. He gets a bump. Cade Johnson actually played the slot more than any other Seahawks WR in Week 18. He could be a viable sleeper in large-field tournaments.

 

WR/CB Matchups to Downgrade

Christian Kirk has had an awesome year as Trevor Lawrence's top target. Unfortunately, Bryce Callahan and the Chargers are top-notch at limiting opposing slot production. Kirk gets a downgrade.

The Bengals have had their outside corners switch sides in recent weeks, but as a defense, they have remained consistent in shutting down opposing WR1s (LWRs). That's Demarcus Robinson this week. While he could see enough targets to produce a bit, his matchup is rough.

Trevon Diggs has been stingy against opposing WR1s for two straight years. This isn't a great matchup for Mike Evans.

The Seahawks have been good against outside WRs all year. Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel get downgrades but both are obviously solid plays due to talent and opportunity, which in most cases supersedes matchup.

Finally, the Ravens have been stout against slots all year. Tyler Boyd is an underrated player, but this might not be his best week.

Thanks for reading and good luck this week.



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