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.
Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals) – Fitz has been pretty consistently good this year, with double-digit points in each week except for one (where he missed out by 0.3 points). This week, he gets the New York Giants and will likely match up against Grant Haley, who has been pretty bad this year, allowing a 125.4 passer rating (19th-worst in the NFL) against and an 82.1% catch rate. Fitz could be in for yet another good week this week.
Cooper Kupp (Los Angeles Rams) – Last week was Cooper Kupp’s first bad game all year, and it came across a San Francisco 49ers secondary that’s been really good this year, so it’s excusable. This week though, he gets to face the Atlanta Falcons and will likely see Damontae Kazee in coverage, which is good news for Kupp. So far this year, Kazee has allowed a 122.9 passer rating against and an 80% catch rate.
John Brown (Buffalo Bills) – If there’s ever a time to play a receiver, it’s against the Miami Dolphins. Brown is the Bills receiver I trust the most, and this week it looks like he’ll line up against Eric Rowe, who has allowed a 128.9 passer rating against (19th-worst in the NFL). Don’t be shocked if Brown hauls in a deep ball or two this game.
D.J. Chark (Jacksonville Jaguars) – Chark slowed down a bit last week, catching just three balls for 43 yards, but this week he gets to face the Cincinnati Bengals, likely matching up against Dre Kirkpatrick. So far this year, Kirkpatrick has allowed a 126.5 passer rating against, and three touchdowns. I like this week as a bounceback week for Chark.
Golden Tate (New York Giants) – With Sterling Shepard potentially out again with a concussion this week, Tate will likely get the primary receiving duties in this receiving corps. He’ll likely match up against Tramaine Brock Sr. who has not played well this year, allowing a 122.9 passer rating against so far, and two touchdowns. If Shepard is out, I like Tate’s chances this week of putting in a decent game.
Tyler Lockett (Seattle Seahawks) – You’re almost definitely still starting Lockett this week unless you have some better options, but he’s likely going to be shadowed by Marlon Humphrey, which could limit his potential this week. So far this year, Humphrey has allowed just a 48.3% catch rate and a 52.8 passer rating against.
Demaryius Thomas (New York Jets) – There’s a chance Thomas doesn’t play this week as he’s been somewhat limited in practice with a hamstring injury, but even if he does, I’d be worried about his potential production. He’ll likely be shadowed by Stephon Gilmore, who has been excellent this year, allowing just a 48.3 passer rating against and a 47.6% catch rate.
Julian Edelman (New England Patriots) – I think you’re likely still going to start Edelman this week, but he’s likely going to draw Brian Poole in coverage in the slot, and Poole has been excellent this year. So far this season, Poole has allowed just a 68.4 passer rating against and a 59.1% catch percentage, not to mention just 90 total yards allowed and 6.9 yards per reception.
Terry McLaurin (Washington Redskins) – I believe a lot in McLaurin’s talent, but going up against the San Francisco 49ers this week is a really tough matchup, especially given the question marks (and that’s putting it nicely) the Redskins have a quarterback. He’ll likely draw Emmanuel Moseley in coverage mostly, which isn’t terrible but still isn’t great. So far this year, Moseley has allowed a 78.5 passer rating against and a 66.7% catch rate, both of which are solid but not incredible numbers. But my concern is the secondary as a whole. When McLaurin isn’t facing Moseley, he’ll be up against Richard Sherman, who has been excellent this year, allowing just a 46.4 passer rating against, or he’ll be up against K’Waun Williams, who has been great, allowing just a 51.5 passer rating against and a 50% catch rate.
Corey Davis (Tennessee Titans) – I’m not sure if perhaps you were considering starting Davis in a deeper league, but given the fact that Ryan Tannehill will be throwing him the ball now, and the fact that he’s likely to be shadowed by Casey Hayward Jr., who has allowed just a 69.5 passer rating against and a 52.4% catch rate, means you should probably be looking elsewhere.
Photo by Kevin French/Icon Sportswire