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Fantasy Football: 5 WR/CB matchups to target and 5 to avoid in Week 2

Landover, Maryland, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk (13) dives for the end zone in front of Washington Commanders linebacker Jamin Davis (52) during the second half at FedExField. Kris was ruled out of bounds on the play. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Estimated reading time: 13 minutes

Welcome to Week 2 of the 2022 NFL season. The sections below highlight five targets and avoids with data gleaned from PFF’s WR/CB matchup chart.

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5 WR/CB matchups to target

WR Christin Kirk, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. CB Kenny Moore II, Indianapolis Colts

Kirk hogged a 90% slot snap share last week, catching six-of-10 targets for 117 receiving yards en route to a 78.6 PFF receiving grade, which was eighth best among NFL wide receivers with at least eight targets. He was one of just 14 wide receivers to clear double-digit passing game looks last week. Washington threw a trio of defenders at Kirk over the course of the game, but the fifth-year veteran torched them all, notching an explosive pass play of 15 yards or more against each one, and he even forced one missed tackle along the way.

PFF’s WR/CB matchup chart has Kirk pegged for a total of 40 coverage snaps from Moore this week. The Colts cornerback is a decent NFL starter, but his PFF coverage grade slipped to 62.1 last year after a two-year stretch where he hovered between 71.2-77.5. Week 1’s 39.6 PFF coverage grade did little to assuage concerns that he has taken a step back. Moore was torched by Houston wide receivers for five receptions from nine targets, 63 receiving yards and one touchdown, allowing three first downs in his coverage and two receptions of 15 yards or more along the way. Specifically, his slot reps earned him a 47.4 PFF coverage grade and PFF’s matchup chart spit out a 50.9 (“average”) advantage matchup rating in Kirk's favor. The Jacksonville slot receiver should have himself a fine outing in Week 2.

WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions vs. CB Benjamin St. Juste, Washington Commanders

This battle of the saints — St. Brown versus St. Juste — brings an eruption spot for the young Lion. St. Brown has moved into the fantasy WR1 conversation on a weekly basis at this point, but special matchups call for special expectations. With key members of the Lions’ offense missing from over 2021’s final six weeks, St. Brown was targeted on 31.4% of his routes run, fourth-most frequent in the NFL among wide receivers with at least 25 targets during that span. With a now-healthy group of pass catchers, St. Brown improved on that mark, earning targets on 33.3% of his routes — third in the league among all NFL wide receivers with at least 10 targets.

St. Juste looks like an imminent bust. The combination of his 2021 49.2 PFF coverage grade and 79.1 PFF run defense grade show the marks of a sure tackler who simply can’t cover. As mentioned above, Kirk roasted him on a long ball last week, and the second-year cornerback finished the day with a 100% open target rate, meaning every time quarterback Trevor Lawrence chose to throw into St. Juste’s coverage, the wide receiver already had St. Juste beat.

St. Brown is a top-12 fantasy play this week.

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