What is up Karma Nation! Welcome back to another edition of my WR/CB Matchups Article. In this article, I will be breaking down three of the best and three of the worst matchups across this weekend’s games. I can’t believe we are already through a quarter of the season; it seems like this season is flying by already. Although, the good news is that we have plenty of data to dissect going into this week to find the best edge to win you the week. On top of the free articles, we have a FREE discord where we are always bouncing ideas off each other. Outside of all the FREE content, we offer paid subscriptions. Whether you are low on time or just want to know exactly what we are playing, the premium side of discord is always active, as we have subs continuously asking questions about how to build their lineups.
Last Week’s Results:
Davante Adams: 16 Targets, 11 receptions, 206 Yards, 1 TD
Tyler Boyd: 5 Targets, 4 Receptions, 24 Yards
Jamison Crowder: 6 Targets, 4 Receptions, 24 Yards
Juju Smith-Schuster: 0 Targets, 0 Receptions, 0 Yards
Terry McLaurin: 11 Targets, 4 Receptions, 46 Yards
Darnell Mooney: 5 Targets, 3 Reception, 35 Yards
Wide Receiver and Cornerback matchups are one of the staples of fantasy football. A lot of people will take a look at the overall matchup on defense. While that is important, it is also critical to take your research a step further and dive into the micro matchup between the WR and who he is lining up against the majority of the game.
|Player||Pos||Opponent||DK||FD||Avg. Tar.||Avg. Tar. - L4||Pts/Route||Y/RR||Def.||Y/RC||Rec. All.||TDs All.||Tar. All./Route||RANK|
|Allen Robinson II||WR||GB||5,100.00||0.00||6.00||4.50||0.28||1.34||GB||1.27||70%||12||17%||1|
|Michael Pittman Jr.||WR||HOU||0.00||0.00||7.67||9.75||0.25||1.93||HOU||1.18||80%||7||14%||4|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||WR||ARI||0.00||0.00||6.75||6.33||0.25||1.28||ARI||1.27||62%||7||15%||5|
|Amon-Ra St. Brown||WR||CIN||4,100.00||0.00||5.50||5.50||0.28||1.19||CIN||1.17||71%||6||19%||7|
|Van Jefferson Jr.||WR||NYG||3,500.00||0.00||4.40||4.75||0.29||1.74||NYG||1.29||71%||10||15%||8|
|John Ross III||WR||LAR||3,100.00||0.00||3.67||4.50||0.25||1.84||LAR||0.95||68%||6||14%||9|
|Terrace Marshall Jr.||WR||MIN||3,200.00||0.00||3.67||3.50||0.35||0.75||MIN||1.54||70%||6||16%||9|
|Henry Ruggs III||WR||DEN||5,500.00||0.00||5.33||5.75||0.24||2.13||DEN||1.13||56%||5||15%||10|
|Player||Pos||Opponent||DK||FD||Avg. Tar.||Avg. Tar. - L4||Pts/Route||Y/RR||Def.||Y/RC||Rec. All.||TDs All.||Tar. All./Route||RANK|
This Week’s Matchups:
Brandin Cooks vs Back up Colts Cornerbacks
Brandin Cooks is coming off a season-low three receptions on five targets for 23 yards. This happening just as Davis Mills is coming off a season-high 312 yards and three TDs. While this number should surprise you it really doesn’t surprise me as the Texans were playing the New England Patriots. Bill Belichick loves taking away the team’s first option Although, what did surprise me was the success of Davis Mills even without the use of Brandin Cooks. Prior to last week, Cooks led the league in, % of team’s air yards (57.5%) no player had more than 50%, as well as leading the league in target share with 37.75%. Second place in both of those categories was DK Metcalf with 49.75% air yards share and a 31.75% target share. Last week, Cooks’ numbers weren’t as bad as the boxscore may have suggested. He was second on the team with a 23% air yards share and a 19% target share. I would not freak out due to the bad box score because the sustainability of high output is still present.
This leads me into the perfect get-right spot as the Houston Texans take on the Indianapolis Colts. On national TV last week we saw the secondary get banged up with the Colts as Lamar Jackson put up over 400 passing yards against this injury-ridden secondary. It appears they may be going into week 6 without Xavier Rhodes or Rock Ya-sin as well as potentially missing Darius Leonard and Andrew Sendejo as they all missed practice on Wednesday. This will be an important narrative to monitor as this could lead to an explosion from Cooks this week as we saw Marquise Brown put up season highs; 9 receptions, 125 yards, and 2 TDs on 10 targets.
Chase Claypool vs Sidney Jones
With the loss of Juju Smith-Schuster in this offense, this will really concentrate the usage in the air over to Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool. So be in store for a potential 10+ target average moving forward from them both. Claypool is coming off a huge game putting up five receptions for 130 yards and a touchdown on six targets. While his numbers dropped from week 3’s dominant performance of 15 targets and 9 receptions for 96 yards, his air yards share and target share stayed similar. Posting a 39% air yards share and a 24% target share last week. While in week three he posted a 34% air yards share and a 26% target share. This being due to Johnson being out. Over the last three weeks, the Steelers have dealt with injuries, having at least one of their main three WRs miss a game due to injury. Johnson in week 3, Claypool in week 4, and Juju in week 5 and now moving forward it is believed they will be without Juju for the remainder of the season.
The Seattle Seahawks are up to their bad defensive ways again. The Seahawks are on pace to break an NFL record by giving up 450.8 yards per game this season. This record is held by the New Orleans Saints who gave up 440.13 yards per game back in 2012. Since going to a 16-game season there have been 18 teams to allow 400 or more total yards per game. Adding 3 teams from 2020 and 11 teams since 2015. As you can tell, in general, offensive numbers have improved over the years. This season six teams are on pace to allow more than 400 total yards per game, this would be a record from any year. We know passing is up on the season but did you know there are currently four teams on pace to allow the most passing yards per game in a season. The Seahawks rank third allowing 321.6 passing yards per game. Only in week one did the Seahawks not allow a 300-yard passer and for Ben, the volume is not normally there. So if Ben ends up passing for 300 yards expect 100+ yards from Claypool. Sidney Jones is allowing the second-most yards per route covered at 3.14 as well as second in the league in Fpts allowed per route cover. Jones has only appeared in two games this season but has allowed the 11th most receiving yards on the season to opposing WRs. The 7th most yards after catch.
Robby Anderson vs Bashaud Breeland
Robby Anderson has not shown up on the stat sheet much this season. Averaging 2.4 receptions and 35.8 yards per game on 5.8 targets per game. With the loss of CMC Anderson has improved his numbers. Going for similar yards per game of 38 but seeing improvements to 3.5 receptions and 9 targets per game. This has led to Anderson having a 41% air yards share and a 24.5% target share. I am curious to see if CMC plays this week, if he does not fire up Anderson for a huge bounceback explosion game.
Bashaud Breeland and the Vikings are a team I like to target. They allowed a 100-yard receiver in their first three games of the season but have slowed down the last two games mainly due to the matchups. Going up against a run-heavy Browns team and a floor 200 yard game from Goff. Breland is allowing 2.17 yards per route covered and 0.56 Fpts per route covered both ranking bottom 5 in the league. He is also bottom 5 in snaps per reception and snaps per target. He is one of only nine corners to allow 300 yards receiving on the season so far.
Hunter Renfrow vs Bryce Callahan
Renfrow has been everyone’s favorite streamer and prop bet WR. Although, he goes up against the number one slot corner in the league. Renfrow has been the definition of consistent this season, he has either five or six receptions in every game this season with 6+ targets in every game as well. He only has two touchdowns on the year but has scored double-digit full PPR points every week. In the two weeks he scored, were the two weeks he cracked the WR2 finishing position, finishing 15th and 22nd in weeks three and four respectively. Renfrow is currently fourth on the team in air yards but this has led to first on the team in yards after the catch.
Callahan is someone I feature in my article regularly so if you are a returning reader, you have probably know his name well. Even though Juju did get hurt last week and finished with 0 targets, his replacement Ray-Ray McCloud came in and had one target on him for one reception and one yard. This is not something that is new for Callahan. He has covered the 8th most slot routes in the league, he has allowed the least amount of yards out of the slot among CBs that have covered at least 80 routes out of the slot; 21 corners qualify. This has led to the league lead among these qualifying corners a target every 9.8 snaps and a reception every 25.6 snaps. I mentioned that Renfrow led the team in YAC but Callahan has only allowed 4 yards after the catch.
Tim Patrick vs Casey Hayward Jr
Tim Patrick is similar to Renfrow in the field of streamers and prop plays. People have been pounding these overs and using him as a streamer since Jerry Jeudy has gone down with an injury. He has four or more targets in every game this season as well as seeing a 90% or more offensive snap share in the previous two games leading to season-high 6 and 9 targets. Two weeks ago, when he saw 6 targets for 3 receptions was of course the week I bet his over of 3.5 receptions, although that being the second week in a row I bet that number. Teddy Bridgewater was replaced at halftime as the QB for the Broncos with Drew Lock, leading to a slow down in the offense during the second half. With Bridgewater back under center last week Tim Patrick went for seven receptions on nine targets for 89 yards. All seemed right in the world again.
I would pump the breaks on starting him this week as he gets into a tough matchup against another team with a combination of top-tier edge rushers and dominant cornerback play. The Las Vegas Raiders, still weird to say, has quietly been one of the best defenses in the league. They are headlined by their pass-rushing duo; Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue. The pair has helped the Raiders get pressure on 31% of opposing QBs dropbacks, ranking 7th best in the league. The D-line and secondary go hand in hand. Great coverage helps the edge rushers apply pressure while the edge rushers applying pressure help the CBs keep their yards per route covered down. This brings me to my next stat, guess who leads the league in least amount of yards per route covered? That’s right, Casey Hayward. Hayward is allowing a league-low 0.21 yards per route covered, as well as a 33% catch rate leading to just 0.05 fantasy points per route covered and only a target on 8% of routes covered. On the season as a whole, he has allowed five receptions on 15 targets for just 39 yards. Even though he has not recorded an interception on the season he still has allowed the third-worst QB rating of just 42.4 when targeted.
AJ Green vs Greedy Williams
I featured AJ Green in my article a couple of weeks ago and got some backlash because he was old and dusty so of course, he would not be relevant anymore. This was coming off of a down week one where he only had Fpts. While this is partially true, Green has stood out by his recent performances, finishing as WR 22 in week 3 and WR 17 in week 4. He is coming off a horrible week after some may have had faith in him again, he finished with 2.3 PPR points and as WR102. In week 2 where he finished with 13.2 PPR points, I highlighted his matchup against Breland, a matchup I mentioned earlier in the article. In his three games where he scored over 10 PPR points, weeks 2-4, he led the team in targets (18), Rec yards (223), and air yards & (28.67%). Last week he fell off the cliff, putting up 2 targets, 1 reception, and 13 yards. This was caused by DeAndre Hopkins taking over, he had 76% of the team’s air yards and a 32% target %. This turned into Green having 6% of the team’s air yards and a 7% target share.
The Browns’ defense overall has been amazing with their combination of top-tier pass rush and fantastic cornerback play. People may have forgotten about Greedy Williams after missing the 2020 season due to recovery from a nerve injury. You can tell now that he is coming back into shape and is slowly working his way back into dominating the league in just his second season in the NFL. According to PFF, he is graded as the number one cornerback in the league for good reason. In four games played, he has allowed 20 targets, 12 receptions, and 123 yards. While those numbers aren’t amazing, that is mainly due to the skewed data of the shootout last week between the Chargers and the Browns a game that ended 47-42. If you remove that game, he has only allowed 9 targets for 5 receptions and 80 yards. While he has not been able to play a ton of games this season, he is just really getting into form. He has defended 97 total routes, allowing 1.27 yards per route covered a target on 21% of routes and a 60% catch rate. Although, these numbers are not amazing his two full games played this season were against two of the best receiving corps in the league. Expect those numbers to come back down to Earth this week as he is one of the best young corners in the league.
Individual WR/CB Matchup Chart