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.
JuJu Smith-Schuster – After a bit of a slow start to the year, JuJu has been looking great the past few weeks, getting at least 67 receiving yards in each of the past four games, not to mention at least six catches, which is an added bonus for PPR leagues. This week, I think we could see JuJu have another really good game, as he’s likely to match up against Tre Herndon in coverage, who so far this year has allowed a 134.5 passer rating against, a 71.9% catch rate, and 317 receiving yards. JuJu represents a nice high-end WR2/low-end WR1 this week.
Cooper Kupp – The past few weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster for Cooper Kupp owners. Since Week 5, Kupp has had fewer 12 fantasy points in four out of five games, but one of those games he blew up for 11 catches for 110 yards on a ridiculous 20 targets. So what can we expect this week? I’m anticipating a good game for Kupp, as he’s likely to see Sean Murphy-Bunting in coverage, and so far this year, Murphy-Bunting has allowed a 131.8 passer rating against and 437 receiving yards (14th-most in the NFL). Similar to JuJu, Kupp should be a solid high-end WR2/low-end WR1 this week.
DJ Moore – In a tough matchup following two pretty rough games, I thought Moore wasn’t going to be great last week and he instead proved me wrong, catching four balls for 96 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. This week, I think Moore could turn in a similar game against a pretty poor Lions secondary, as he’s likely to be shadowed by Desmond Trufant this week. So far this year, Trufant has allowed a 70% catch rate and a 114.4 passer rating against, and lest we forget, he covered Terry McLaurin last week who caught seven passes for 95 yards.
Jarvis Landry – I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what we’re going to see from Landry this week, but I think the chances he has a good game are pretty decent. He’s likely to match up against Cre’Von LeBlanc in coverage, who so far this year has allowed a 113.5 passer rating against and an 80.8% catch rate. The Browns are likely to try and get the ball to Landry one way or another, and while they’ll obviously continue to go run-heavy, I think Landry could take advantage of a good matchup to turn in a decent game. He’s a flex play for me, but an interesting lottery ticket if you’re in a deeper league.
CeeDee Lamb – We got to see a nice game from Lamb two weeks ago against the Steelers as he snagged four balls for 71 yards and a touchdown with Garrett Gilbert under center. It’s not clear yet whether Gilbert or Andy Dalton will be at quarterback this week, but either way, I could see Lamb in for a decent game, as he’s likely to match up against Jeff Gladney in the slot. So far this year, Gladney has allowed 506 receiving yards (fourth-most in the NFL) and a 125.3 passer rating against. If Lamb gets the targets he got in Week 9, he could be in for a nice game and is an interesting flex play.
Antonio Brown – After a disappointing 2020 debut, Antonio Brown turned in a solid performance last week with seven catches for 69 yards, but this week, I’d be very wary of starting him. He’ll likely match up against Darious Williams in coverage who, so far this year, has allowed just a 41.4 passer rating against and a 48.6% catch rate. Williams has been one of the better corners in coverage and given that, I don’t know how confident I’d feel starting Brown in anywhere but deeper leagues as a flex play.
Keenan Allen – As I’ve said with other top-tier wide receivers in this article in the past, you’re definitely starting Keenan Allen this week. He’s been a WR1 this year and while he’s had some down games, his ceiling is ridiculous. That being said, he faces a tough matchup this week against Brian Poole who has looked really solid in coverage this year, allowing a 64.7 passer rating against. Like I said, make sure you start Allen this week, but I don’t know that he’s necessarily going to have the no doubt WR1 game that you’re used to from him.
Robert Woods – I like Cooper Kupp this week but I’m worried about Woods. Why? Because he’s likely to draw shadow coverage from Carlton Davis who so far this year has allowed a 58.3 passer rating against and a 55.7% catch rate, not to mention Davis is second in the league in pass deflections. Woods’ tough coverage is another reason why I’m a fan of Kupp—if Woods gets shut down, I could see more passes going Kupp’s direction.
Jerry Jeudy – Jeudy has been pretty solid the past few weeks, turning in a fantastic game in Week 9 against the Falcons, but I’d be a bit worried about him this week. He’s likely to face Xavien Howard in coverage this week, who’s been a tough guy to beat this year, allowing a 62.3 passer rating against and a 54.2% catch rate. Jeudy is just a flex play to me in deeper leagues.
A.J. Green – Honestly I feel like at this point if you were starting A.J. Green you either haven’t been paying attention or you’re desperate for a wide receiver. He’s been really bad, and his brief pop back into fantasy existence in Week 6 and Week 7 doesn’t seem like it’ll stick, as his two games since then have been awful. This week, he’s likely to see Kendall Fuller in coverage, who’s been great this year, allowing just a 66.2 passer rating against and a 55.6% catch rate, so if you’re still hanging onto Green hoping he’ll bounce back, I guess more power to you, but I wouldn’t start him this week.
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