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Fantasy WRs to start, avoid in Week 1 based on CB matchups

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 06: Vincent Jackson #83 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in action during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium on December 6, 2015 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

Fantasy football matchup analysis used to be very basic: “Team A allows the most fantasy points per game to wide receivers,” or something along those lines. But these days, we’re able to take a much more microscopic view at the matchups, especially at the wide receiver position.

Every week, our WR/CB Matchup Chart gives unique insight into where players line up on the field and the matchups you can expect to see on game day. Not only that, but the chart highlights each player’s PFF grade along with the targets per route (t/r) and fantasy points per route (f/r) for both offensive and defensive positions.

To help you out, I’ll also run down the matchups that stand out every week. Here’s what you need to know for Week 1:

Shadow situations

A shadow corner is player who will follow a specific receiver around the field. While it’s commonly assumed that teams will place their best corner on their opponent’s best receiver, this often isn’t the case. Many defenses will keep their corners on the same sides of the field regardless of where the receivers line up.

However, there are some teams who will use shadowing on most or all of their defensive snaps. We’ll recap team shadow tendencies starting next week in the shadow report. However, there are some projected shadow situations this week.

Arizona CB Patrick Peterson is one of the league’s better cover corners, and one of the best bets to shadow this week. Given the matchup, he’ll likely be on Julian Edelman, which is a matchup downgrade for Edelman. Likewise, the matchup isn’t good this week for Mike Evans. He’ll be shadowed by Falcons standout Desmond Trufant, who yielded just 0.18 fantasy points per route last season. That tied for fifth-lowest at the position. A.J. Green also gets a tough matchup against Darrelle Revis. Though the veteran corner isn’t as scary as he was a few seasons ago, it’s still enough to slide Green back just a tick in this week’s rankings.

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