Matchups to Attack
Tyler Lockett vs Ahkello Witherspoon
Tyler Lockett has quietly been enjoying a great season, leading the Seattle Seahawks in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Through 11 games, Lockett is averaging 3.9 receptions for 60.1 yards and 0.7 touchdowns on 4.8 targets per game. He has also been one of the most consistent receivers in the NFL this season, scoring double digit DK points in 10 of his 11 games. He’s also coming off of his best game of the season, scoring 24.5 DK points against the Carolina Panthers.
Lockett has played the majority of his snaps (53%) out of the slot this season, but that hasn’t been the case with Doug Baldwin in the lineup. Lockett is expected to play the majority of this game as the Seahawks left outside receiver, meaning he’ll get a matchup against Ahkello Witherspoon. Witherspoon has played 81% of his snaps as the San Francisco 49ers right outside cornerback, but he has moved around the formation at times. He has graded out as Pro Football Focus’ third worst cornerback in the NFL, allowing a 63% catch rate, while being targeted on 20% of his routes covered. Witherspoon also ranks in bottom-10 of the NFL in fantasy points (0.46) allowed per route covered. Lockett is an extremely consistent option, who should have no issues in this matchup.
Robert Woods vs Nevin Lawson
Robert Woods has looked outstanding this season, leading the Los Angeles Rams in targets. He’s also tied for the lead in receptions, while ranking second in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. He’s averaging 5.4 receptions for 82.2 yards and 0.4 touchdowns on 8.2 targets per game. Similarly to Tyler Lockett, Woods has scored double digit fantasy points in 10 of his 11 games this season. Woods has flashed significantly more upside, though, scoring 36.7 DK points against the Los Angeles Chargers earlier this season.
The Detroit Lions have made some changes in their secondary, including moving Nevin Lawson to the slot. Woods has played 46% of his snaps in the slot this season, and he’ll play the majority of his snaps there again this week with Cooper Kupp injured. Lawson has only played 37% of his snaps in the slot this season, but Woods should see plenty of time against him with Darius Slay expected to shadow Brandin Cooks. On the season, Lawson has allowed a 60% catch rate, while being targeted on 17% of his routes covered. He has graded out as a bottom-12 cornerback in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus, 0.35 fantasy points per route covered this season. The Rams feature an elite offense, and Woods will likely be a major part of their game plan in a plus matchup.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling vs Leonard Johnson/David Amerson
Marquez Valdes-Scantling is in an interesting position, as he seemingly broke out before recording only one reception in each of his last two games. MVS had a string of five games, where he scored more double digit DK points in each of those games. Overall, he averaged 15.0 DK points per game over that span. Since then, he has totaled two receptions for 11 yards on five targets over the last two weeks. He’s expected to draw the start once again, even if Randall Cobb returns this week, though.
Valdes-Scantling’s matchup depends entirely on Cobb’s health this week. If Cobb is out, MVS will play the majority of his snaps as the Green Bay Packers slot receiver, matching up with Leonard Johnson. If Cobb is healthy, MVS will face off against David Amerson, as Patrick Peterson is expected to shadow Davante Adams. Johnson has played limited snaps this season, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ second worst cornerback in the NFL this season. He has held his opponents to a 40% catch rate, but has been targeted on 33% of his routes covered. He is also allowing 2.93 yards and 0.43 fantasy points per route covered. Amerson has also struggled quite a bit this season, grading as a bottom-15 cornerback in the NFL, according to PFF. He has been targeted on 17% of his routes covered, allowing a 70% catch rate. Regardless of the matchup, MVS makes a solid option with Adams occupying Peterson this weekend.
Matchups to Avoid
Stefon Diggs vs Stephon Gilmore
Stefon Diggs has been enjoying a dominant season, averaging 7.9 receptions for 79.0 yards and 0.6 touchdowns on 11.4 targets per game. He is also averaging a healthy 13.8 targets per game over the last four weeks, scoring 22+ DK points in three of those games. He has also been a significantly better option on the road this season, where he is averaging 26.4 DK points per game.
Diggs has moved around the Minnesota Vikings formation this season, but that likely won’t matter this weekend. Stephon Gilmore has been a shadow cornerback for the New England Patriots the entire season, and he’s expected to shadow Diggs this week. Gilmore has faced off against some of the best receivers in the NFL, and he has held them to a 55% catch rate, while being targeted on 18% of his routes covered. Gilmore is allowing only 0.25 fantasy points and 1.14 yards per route covered on the season. He has also graded out as Pro Football Focus’ third best cornerback in the NFL. With Adam Thielen on the field in a much better matchup, the Vikings won’t be forced to feed Diggs the ball. He could potentially see fewer targets in a tough matchup, making Diggs is a risky option on this slate.
Christian Kirk vs Jaire Alexander
Christian Kirk has quietly been enjoying a solid rookie season for the Arizona Cardinals. Through 11 weeks, he’s averaging 3.6 receptions for 48.7 yards and 0.3 touchdowns on 5.5 targets per game. Kirk has seen six or more targets in five of his last six games, scoring double digit fantasy points in three of those games. Kirk is a risky option, but he also comes with quite a bit of upside in the right situation.
He has moved around the Arizona formation this season, playing 31% of his snaps as the Cardinals right outside receiver. He’s expected to see plenty of snaps in that position, and he gets a matchup against Jaire Alexander, who has also moved around the Green Bay Packers defense this season. Overall, Alexander has played 43% of his snaps as the Packers left outside cornerback, though. He has allowed only a 63% catch rate, while being targeted on 20% of his routes covered this season. He has graded out as a top-10 cornerback in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus, and this is not a matchup to utilize Kirk in.
Tyler Boyd vs Chris Harris
Tyler Boyd is in the midst of a breakout season, taking on a larger role for the Cincinnati Bengals with A.J. Green injured. On the season, Boyd is averaging 5.7 receptions for 76.5 yards and 0.6 touchdowns on 8.1 targets per game. Green is expected to return to action this week, and Boyd could potentially see fewer targets. With that being said, he has found success with Green healthy earlier in the season, but he has also struggled quite a bit at times, as well.
Boyd has played 73% of his snaps as the Cincinnati slot receiver this season. He’ll matchup against Chris Harris, who has played 68% of his snaps as the Denver Broncos slot cornerback. He has allowed a 67% catch rate this season, but he has only been targeted on 15% of his routes covered. Harris is allowing only 0.28 fantasy points and 1.25 yards per route covered this season. Harris has graded out as a top-six cornerback in the NFL this season, per Pro Football Focus. Boyd always comes with tremendous upside, but he could struggled quite a bit in one of his most difficult matchups of the season.
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