Much of fantasy football is about exploiting matchups. Sure, there are your guys you start automatically without even thinking, regardless of what defense they’re going up against, but sometimes weeks are won and lost by exploiting good matchups and avoiding tough ones.
In this article, I’ll take a look at some wide receiver/cornerback matchups that could be useful for your fantasy team, and some matchups that could hurt it.
It’s important to note that every team is different, these are just suggestions. Use your best judgment for your team.
Terry McLaurin – I think it’s pretty clear at this point that you should be starting Terry McLaurin no matter what, considering the guy has been a borderline WR1 this year, but I’m especially interested in him this week. He’s likely to be shadowed by Desmond Trufant, which does not scare me at all. So far this year, Trufant has allowed a 116.3 passer rating against, so I’m not worried about McLaurin. He’s a high-end WR2/low-end WR1 this week.
Brandon Aiyuk – Aiyuk is back off the COVID reserve list and is (hopefully) good to go against the Saints this week, which is good news, because before missing Week 9, Aiyuk was really producing. This week, he’ll likely match up against Marshon Lattimore who’s allowed a 121.5 passer rating against and 395 receiving yards. Plus, George Kittle and Raheem Mostert are out, so I wouldn’t be shocked if Aiyuk gets some work and takes advantage.
Curtis Samuel – I have to say, I am very much here for the hot streak Curtis Samuel has been on the past few weeks. He’s kinda lucked into fantasy points a couple weeks with rushing touchdowns, but last week he snagged nine catches for 105 yards and a touchdown on nine targets—that’s no joke. And this week, he’ll likely be matching up against Sean Murphy-Bunting in the slot, and so far this year, Murphy-Bunting has allowed a 124.3 passer rating against and 413 receiving yards (11th-most in the NFL), as well as a 90% catch rate. I think Samuel could be in for another good week this week.
Marvin Jones – Even with Kenny Golladay out last week, Jones didn’t do a ton, though if you started him, he bailed you out with a touchdown. Still, he’s had double-digit points in PPR scoring in each of the last three weeks and it looks like Golladay is going to be out again. And even better, Jones is likely to match up against Ronald Darby, who so far has allowed a 113.5 passer rating against and 409 receiving yards (12th-most in the NFL). I’m not confident Jones is going to go off or anything, but I think he represents a solid flex play with Golladay out.
Jalen Reagor – Reagor hasn’t done a whole lot this year thanks to injuries, but his first game back was a decent performance as he snagged a touchdown. Perhaps most encouraging, he got six targets in his first game back, and if his involvement increases this year, I like his chances as a lottery ticket flex play this week. Reagor’s extremely talented and he’ll likely be matching up against Isaac Yiadom, who so far this year has allowed a 146.9 passer rating against. If you’re looking for an upside play (and if he is for some reason still on the waiver wire), I’d take a look at Jalen Reagor.
D.J. Chark – As I’ve said before, one of the first things I do when I write this article is figure out who Jaire Alexander is shadowing this week, and unfortunately for D.J. Chark, he gets the honors in Week 10. So far this year, Alexander has allowed just a 69.8 passer rating against, and the Packers’ defense as a whole is allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers so far this year. I know Chark went off last week, I love the guy, but not this week. I still think he’s startable in some formats, but more as a flex play than a WR2.
Adam Thielen – You and I both know you’re not going to bench Adam Thielen (nor should you), but it’s worth mentioning that he’s had two bad weeks in a row and could be in for another this week. He’ll likely match up against Kyle Fuller, who’s been really solid so far this year, allowing just a 60.1 passer rating against and a 48.1% catch rate. I think you’ve got to start Thielen given his ceiling, but if he turns in another mediocre-to-bad game this week, don’t be shocked.
Travis Fulgham – Fulgham has looked great this year, posting double-digit fantasy points in all five games he’s played, and as a result, I think you have to start him. But it’s worth noting he’ll likely be shadowed by James Bradberry, who so far this year, has allowed a 74.4 passer rating against and has generally been solid in coverage. Bradberry’s coverage is also why I’m a bit higher on Jalen Reagor this week—if Fulgham is covered, I could see Reagor getting more work. But regardless of the matchup, I think you’ve got to start Fulgham, just temper your expectations.
DJ Moore – Moore has been pretty hot or cold this year, and I’m afraid this week might lean more cold than hot. He’ll likely match up against Jamel Dean, who’s been solid this year, allowing a 58.1% catch rate and 87.6 passer rating against. Not shutdown numbers, but good numbers, and given Teddy Bridgewater‘s affinity for short passes, I could see a bit of a down game for Moore this week. In my view, he’s a flex play.
Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire
DJ Chark might be in luck: Jaire Alexander is doubtful for Sunday and is still struggling through concussion protocol.
Marvin Jones, Tee Higgins or Cooks ( winds and gusts in Cleveland). PPR?
Honestly, given the four-game streak he’s been on, it’d be hard for me to bench Cooks, so I’d go him