Fantasy News & Analysis

Fantasy Football: Week 10 WR/CB matchups and TE breakdown

Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin (17) runs past New York Giants cornerback Logan Ryan (23), Giants cornerback Isaac Yiadom (27), and Giants outside linebacker David Mayo (55) en route to a touchdown in. The fourth quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

We're on to Week 10! I'll be breaking down the WR/CB matchups all season long with a focus on figuring out who could be facing shadow coverage as well as the best and worst overall situations. We'll also briefly touch on each team's TE group.

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The following tables denote snap rate data by alignment, target share, air yard market share, yards per route run and yards allowed per coverage snap.

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans

Colts Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L T.Y. Hilton 70 183 1.25 Malcolm Butler 71 190 1.39
R Marcus Johnson 73 204 1.77 Breon Borders 72 189 0.87
S Zach Pascal 74 219 4.55 1.24 Desmond King II 70 200 0.56

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: T.Y. Hilton (groin) practiced in full all week and is expected to suit up Thursday night. Expect rookie first-round wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. to remain involved, but the Colts’ long-time No. 1 wideout will obviously slide back into starting three-receiver sets.

The answer to which wide receiver to play out of Indianapolis is simple: No. Marcus Johnson and Zach Pascal posted 5-108-0 and 4-54-1 lines, respectively, against the Bengals in Week 6. Those are the only two instances of a Colts wide receiver reaching 15 PPR points in a game this season.

Only the Seahawks have allowed more PPR points per game to opposing wide receivers than the Titans. Granted, the artists formerly known as the Legion of Boom have allowed a full 15.2 PPR points per game more than the next closest defense, but either way, this Titans secondary isn’t a unit to fear. The problem is 1) volume is evenly distributed all over the field with Rivers under center, and 2) we could see a bit of a four-receiver rotation, limiting the opportunities for everyone involved.

For the DFS showdown stans out there: Johnson, Pascal, Pittman and Hilton would be my cost-adjusted priority from best to worst. Even then, don’t be afraid to fade this group as a whole.

TE breakdown: Jack Doyle (concussion) isn’t expected to suit up this week, while Mo Alie-Cox (knee) is tentatively expected to play through the pain. Trey Burton weirdly gets some snaps as a Wildcat quarterback near the goal line; he’s my preferred option out of this group and a viable upside TE2 option in season-long formats.

All Alie-Cox has done is ball this season. His average of 3.34 yards per route run is the highest mark among every player with at least 20 targets this season. Still, Burton has the higher target (and rush) projection, and it’s usually best to chase volume over talent in fantasy land.

Titans Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L A.J. Brown 72 226 4.49 2.47 Xavier Rhodes 73 218 4.43 1.19
R Corey Davis 75 209 2.05 Rock Ya-Sin 72 192 4.51 1.39
S Kalif Raymond 68 182 2.23 Kenny Moore II 69 190 1.11

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Death, taxes, AJB WR1 szn.

Only George Kittle (2.95), Michael Thomas (2.72) and Davante Adams (2.64) have averaged more yards per route run than Brown over the past two seasons among 79 players with at least 100 targets. Continue to treat the WR6 in PPR points per game as a top-10 option at the position against a solid, albeit mostly untested, Colts secondary.

The Colts didn’t allow a quarterback to throw for 250 yards in Weeks 1-5, but Joe Burrow (313) and Matthew Stafford (336) each accomplished the feat over the past three weeks. Lamar Jackson (170) didn’t come close, although he did manage to complete 19-of-23 pass attempts. The Colts' pass defense obviously isn’t bad; just don’t mistake it for a true top-five unit that we need to be fearful of in fantasy land.

The better question is what to make of Corey Davis in this spot. He’s posted 7-101-0, 3-36-1, 5-69-0, 6-35-1, 8-128-1 and, most recently, 0-0-0 receiving lines in six games this season. Last week’s goose-egg performance is obviously concerning, although Adam Humphries‘ (concussion) likely continued absence means that Davis should again be the undisputed No. 2 pass-game option. Treat him as an upside WR3.

Kalif Raymond is a fun DFS dart because when he does get a catch, it’s usually far downfield. Still, Raymond (14 snaps) and Cameron Batson (13) were on the field just as often in Week 9. Neither is on the season-long radar.

TE breakdown: Jonnu Smith has posted 1-13-0, 1-9-0, 2-29-0 and 2-32-1 receiving lines over the past four weeks. He simply hasn’t been featured in this passing game when each of AJB and Davis are healthy. Alas, the tight end position is a wasteland after the first few guys; continue to fire up Smith as a boom-or-bust TE1 who could lean toward the latter outcome against the league’s second-best defense in fewest PPR points allowed to the position this season.

Houston Texans at Cleveland Browns

Texans Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Will Fuller V 72 184 4.32 2.1 Terrance Mitchell 71 191 4.63 1.04
R Brandin Cooks 70 183 4.33 1.8 Denzel Ward 71 190 4.32 0.88
S Randall Cobb 70 192 4.46 1.6 Kevin Johnson 72 185 4.52 0.96

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Will Fuller V has had at least one target in all but one game this season. He’s turned in the following results:

  • Week 1: 8 receptions-112 yards-0 TDs
  • Week 3: 4-54-1
  • Week 4: 6-108-1
  • Week 5: 4-58-1
  • Week 6: 6-123-1
  • Week 7: 3-35-1
  • Week 9: 5-100-1

The WR16 in PPR points per game has been an auto-start WR2 all season; he could flirt with top-10 status this week if given ample opportunity to test Terrance Mitchell’s wheels downfield.

However, the Texans happen to basically have two viable top-24 fantasy wide receivers. Fuller and Brandin Cooks have posted the following numbers in four games since Bill O’Brien was fired:

  • Cooks: 39 targets, 27-372-3
  • Fuller: 30 targets, 18-316-4

Randall Cobb (23 targets, 20-180-1) has been the clear No. 3 option. Fire up the Texans’ top two wideouts with confidence this week and beyond, while the ex-Packers/Cowboys slot receiver is a low-ceiling WR4 at best.

TE breakdown: Darren Fells (52% snaps), Pharaoh Brown (39%) and Jordan Akins (34%) formed a three-tight end committee in Week 9. We can go with Fells or Akins if either gets hurt — otherwise, stay away from this crowded situation.

Browns Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L KhaDarel Hodge 74 205 0.76 Vernon Hargreaves III 70 204 4.5 1.85
R Rashard Higgins 73 198 4.64 1.67 Phillip Gaines 72 193 4.38 1.42
S Jarvis Landry 71 196 4.77 2 Eric Murray 71 199 4.49 1.03

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: The Browns have (understandably) gone out of their way to feature Jarvis Landry as their No. 1 wide receiver without Odell Beckham Jr.(ACL, IR) on the field ever since the ex-Dolphins star made his way to Cleveland in 2018. Overall, Landry has averaged 7.7 targets per game with OBJ compared to 9.4 without over the past three seasons.

He’s set up brilliantly this week against a Texans defense that has struggled mightily to slow down opposing No. 1 receivers all season:

Landry is a legit fantasy WR2 against one of just seven defenses to allow at least 43 PPR points per game to the position this season.

Higgins produced a dud in the Browns’ weather-induced loss to the Raiders back in Week 8, but don’t be afraid to treat him as a boom-or-bust WR3 in this better spot. He’s shown off far more chemistry with Baker Mayfield than KhaDarel Hodge over the years; the latter receiver isn’t on the fantasy radar.

The Texans-Browns have the third-highest game total of the week (53), behind only Seahawks-Rams (55.5) and Bills-Cardinals (56). Don’t be afraid to expose your fantasy lineups to the top two wide receivers on both squads.

TE breakdown: Austin Hooper (appendix) is back, meaning we can again treat him as a borderline TE1 more weeks than not. Sporadic early-season usage was tied up by October, as Hooper caught at least five passes in three consecutive games before missing Weeks 7-8 due to injury.

Harrison Bryant and David Njoku are both talented enough to make the most of their few opportunities, but targeting No. 2 tight ends in a run-first offense usually isn’t good for fantasy business.

Washington Football Team at Detroit Lions

Football Team Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Terry McLaurin 72 208 4.35 2.25 Desmond Trufant 72 190 4.38 1.41
R Cam Sims 77 214 2.59 Jeffrey Okudah 73 199 4.48 2
S Isaiah Wright 74 220 0.72 Justin Coleman 71 190 4.53 1

Projected shadow matchups: Terry McLaurin vs. Desmond Trufant

WR/CB breakdown: McLaurin caught 7-of-8 targets for 115 yards and a score against the Giants, most notably turning a potential interception and hospital ball into a spectacular 68-yard touchdown:

Only Alvin Kamara (544) has more yards after the catch than the artist known as F1 (367). He’s the engine of this offense and has the sort of low-depth-of-target role to easily defeat Trufant, who deserves credit for limiting Adam Thielen to a 2-38-0 receiving line last week.

Isaiah Wright and (especially) Cam Sims each showed off some after-the-catch goodness last week, as well. They’re going to need to continue to do so for this offense to have any chance at sustaining success. Alex Smith is a fantastic story and deserves Comeback Player of the Year, but his performance this season has been mediocre to be nice and pathetic to be mean.

Only Josh Allen (57%) and Cam Newton (56%) have thrown to their first read less often than Smith (59%). I won't pretend to know exactly what goes into a professional quarterback's decision to throw to their first read or not, but it seems pretty clear that the former two options are probably exercising their dual-threat ability more than the latter quarterback, who has seemed happy to simply get the ball out of his hands as quickly as possible more times than not in 2020.

Smith has checked the ball down on nine of 50 throws, good for an 18% rate — double that of any signal-caller with at least 100 pass attempts this season. He threw three ill-advised interceptions in 30 minutes last week; Dwayne Haskins had three total interceptions in Weeks 1-4.

Smith's rate (76%) of passing yards courtesy of post-catch goodness is 11 percentage points higher than Jimmy Garoppolo (65%), who ranks second to last in the metric.

Clearly, Smith is prioritizing getting the ball out of his hands as quickly as possible. The Football Team’s solution to this problem is seemingly to get J.D. McKissic more involved. Only Kamara (41) has more targets at the position than McKissic (38) since Week 4. Note that both teams have had a bye week; they’re that far ahead of the rest of the pack.

Washington has consistently gone out of its way to feature the journeyman scat back as a receiver, feeding McKissic 24 targets when lined up in the slot or out wide. No other running back has more than 16 such targets.

Many have pointed out that McKissic is in the game to “protect” Smith. The 5-foot-10, 195-pound back hasn’t been asked to pass block on more than five snaps in a game this season. If the Football Team is punishing Antonio Gibson for his inability to pass protect, they’re doing so by having McKissic run routes.

McLaurin remains a weekly top-15 option at the position, but it’s tough to expect much from anybody else involved as long as so much of the offense flows through the team’s pint-sized, journeyman scat back.

TE breakdown: Logan Thomas played every single snap in Week 9, and his six targets were his most since Week 3. The problem is that this version of the Washington offense lacks consistent red-zone trips and downfield opportunities. Thomas is a lower-end TE2 than normal with Smith under center, even against the Lions’ 31st-ranked defense in explosive pass-play rate allowed.

Lions Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Marvin Hall 70 190 1.91 Kendall Fuller 71 198 0.56
R Marvin Jones Jr. 74 198 0.98 Ronald Darby 71 193 4.38 1.59
S Danny Amendola 71 190 4.58 1.97 Jimmy Moreland 70 179 1.41

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Matthew Stafford is in the concussion protocol at the moment. He’s not in a good spot if active; the Football Team has allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season. We’ve also seen a significantly less fantasy-friendly version of Stafford without No. 1 wideout Kenny Golladay (hip) in action:

  • Week 1 (no Golladay): 9.2-yard average target depth
  • Week 2 (no Golladay): 8.8
  • Week 3 (yes Golladay): 10.2
  • Week 4 (yes Golladay): 13.3
  • Week 6 (yes Golladay): 11.3
  • Week 7 (yes Golladay): 10.5
  • Week 8 (yes Golladay): 10.5
  • Week 9 (no Golladay): 6.0

Marvin Jones Jr. has historically demonstrated a boost in both efficiency and usage with Golladay sidelined, but he’s a touchdown-dependent WR3 against the league’s best defense in limiting PPR points to opposing wide receivers.

I’m inclined to fade all wide receivers involved in this passing game in this spot. No, the Football Team’s secondary isn’t exactly made up of world-beating talent, but their beastly pass-rush could cause Stafford and/or Chase Daniel to be even more skittish than usual without Golladay to help clear things out.

Fun fact: Four different NFL teams have agreed to pay Daniel at least $10 million. He’s thrown eight touchdowns and six interceptions since entering the league in 2010.

TE breakdown: T.J. Hockenson is my overall TE2 this week with Travis Kelce on a bye. He’s scored or surpassed 50 yards in each and every game this season, functioning as the TE4 in PPR points per game along the way. The Football Team has been dominant against the wide receiver position, but rank as the fifth-worst defense in PPR points allowed to the tight end position. Start Hockenson with confidence regardless of who winds up under center. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers

Buccaneers Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Mike Evans 77 231 4.53 1.33 Donte Jackson 70 180 4.32 1.24
R Antonio Brown 70 181 4.56 0.94 Rasul Douglas 74 209 4.59 0.92
S Chris Godwin 73 209 4.42 1.83 Corn Elder 70 185 4.55 0.73

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: TB12 and company’s breakout party was supposed to be last Sunday night, but the Saints apparently didn’t get the memo. It was an awful performance all around, and we saw Brady willingly distribute the ball evenly to this plethora of talented pass-catchers:

When asked why Evans didn’t receive more targets, coach Bruce Arians said, “He didn’t get targeted. That’s all. Mike was open.” When asked the same question in September, Arians said he feels bad anytime Evans gets fewer than 10 targets in a game. Note that Evans has had fewer than double-digit targets in all but one game this season.

And then we have Godwin, who simply hasn’t been the same player in 2020 that we saw in the past:

  • 2020: 74.8 PFF grade, 11.4 YPR, 4.1 YAC/REC, 1.74 YPRR
  • 2019: 90.4 PFF grade, 15.3 YPR, 6.7 YAC/REC, 2.12 YPRR
  • 2018: 79.6 PFF grade, 14 YPR, 4 YAC/REC, 1.8 YPRR
  • 2017: 80.4 PFF grade, 15.4 YPR, 5.1 YAC/REC, 1.92 YPRR

The reality that Godwin’s 8.4-yard average target depth is easily a career-low mark makes his mundane after-the-catch numbers even more concerning.

Both Evans and Godwin have been playing at less than 100% throughout the season, but we’ve also seen Tom Brady consistently treat the former as a glorified field-stretcher as well as a primary red-zone target, and the latter as a low-depth-of-target slot option.

Enter Antonio Brown, who is still my pick to lead this passing game more weeks than not moving forward. He looked as explosive as ever last Sunday night; don’t expect one targeted interception to dissuade Brady from feeding his roommate even more moving forward. I’m treating Brown as a top-20 option at the position this week, while Evans and Godwin are more on the WR2 borderline.

Patrick Mahomes and company proved plenty capable of throwing the rock around against this Panthers secondary last week, but they rank seventh in fewest PPR points per game allowed to opposing wide receivers this season. The Buccaneers' passing game should get better and better as it continues to build chemistry; just don’t be surprised if it’s another week or two until we see a true ceiling game.

TE breakdown: Rob Gronkowski had a potential touchdown go off his hands in Week 9 that would’ve greatly improved his performance. The addition of AB might lower the ceiling and floor alike of every other pass-catcher in the offense, but let’s not make the same mistake twice in one season and give up on Gronk after a poor performance. He continues to be anyone’s idea of a top-10 option at a position that is truly in a sad overall state at the moment.

Panthers Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L D.J. Moore 71 215 4.42 1.96 Jamel Dean 73 206 4.3 0.84
R Robby Anderson 75 190 2.39 Carlton Davis 73 206 4.53 0.85
S Curtis Samuel 71 195 4.31 1.63 Sean Murphy-Bunting 72 195 4.42 1.5

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) isn’t expected to suit up Sunday. Hopefully, his absence gets Teddy Bridgewater to open up the passing game a bit more; his average target depth of 4.4 yards in Week 9 was easily a season-low mark, and he accordingly also set season-worst marks in yards per attempt (5.8).

Bridgewater did rack up a season-high 49 pass attempts, and the reduced average target depth helped Curtis Samuel post a stellar 9-105-1 receiving line. He’s had at least four targets in all but one game this season and is also good for a few carries per week. Still, we have seven weeks of evidence of D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson working as the fairly clear-cut top two options in this passing game; don’t expect to see this sort of ceiling much in the future with Samuel functioning as this offense’s No. 3 target for more games than not.

Only five players in the NFL have at least 80 targets through nine weeks:

The Panthers’ No. 1 wideout has still found the end zone only once, but this sort of high-volume role will continue to keep him firmly inside the position’s top 20 options moving forward. This is true even in tough matchups, such as a Buccaneers defense that is one of just 11 units to allow fewer than 35 PPR points per game to opposing wide receivers.

And then we have Moore, who would’ve had five targets last week if not for penalties. Either way, he’s posted 2-55-0 and 2-18-0 receiving lines over the past two weeks after ripping off three straight games with (exactly) 93 yards in Weeks 5-7. Moore is the offense’s primary field-stretching receiver; these sort of boom-or-bust outcomes are natural with this sort of volatile role.

Anderson will continue to be the 1A in terms of targets, but don’t be surprised if Moore manages to get back on track sooner rather than later. Anderson and Moore rank sixth and seventh, respectively, in percentage of their team’s air yards. Both Anderson (9-109-0) and Moore (8-120-0) performed just fine against this vaunted secondary all the way back in Week 2.

TE breakdown: Ian Thomas is the Panthers’ No. 1 tight end, but Chris Manhertz prevents him from playing a full-time role. Either way, the Panthers haven’t fed Thomas more than three targets in a game since Week 4. He’s finished with under 30 yards in every game this season. Pass.

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

Eagles Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Travis Fulgham 75 215 4.58 2.49 James Bradberry 73 212 4.50 0.89
R Jalen Reagor 71 195 4.47 1.24 Isaac Yiadom 73 190 4.52 1.85
S Greg Ward 71 186 0.98 Darnay Holmes 70 198 4.48 1.68

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: James Bradberry didn’t shadow Travis Fulgham in their last matchup, but perhaps that will change considering the damage the breakout WR has inflicted across the league. Only Davante Adams, D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Tyreek Hill have averaged more PPR points per game than Fulgham this season.

The million-dollar question is whether or not Fulgham will keep his job. Reminder: The Eagles signed the 2019 sixth-round pick to a one-year, $142,800 contract on Oct. 3. Alshon Jeffery might very well be washed, but the Super Bowl champion has been with the team since 2017 and rarely left the field last season when healthy. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports Jeffery (foot) is expected to be a full participant in practice this week and is on track to make his season debut.

It also wouldn’t make much sense to use Fulgham over Jalen Reagor; the Eagles’ first-round rookie provides much-needed field-stretching ability to this offense.

That leaves us with Greg Ward, who has maximized his ability and provided some truly solid moments over the past two seasons. With that said: c’mon, man. Using Fulgham as the offense’s big slot makes the most sense. He’s not a complete stranger to the position; the Eagles have lined him up inside on 22% of his snaps this season. Still, Fulgham doesn’t fit the small-shifty archetype of the position that the Eagles have leaned on over the years.

The most likely scenario seems to be that the Eagles deploy a bit of a four-WR rotation, similar to what the Steelers have done with all four of their top options when healthy this season. The reality that Dallas Goedert and Miles Sanders are now healthy further condenses the target share in this offense.

Fulgham has truly looked #Good this season and deserves more future opportunities by virtue of being the passing game’s most-productive option all year. And yet, I’m forced to believe the Eagles will at least somewhat lower his snaps with Jeffery back in action.

Treat Fulgham as an upside WR3 that carries more risk than usual, Reagor as a boom-or-bust WR4 and wait at least a week before considering Jeffery as a realistic fantasy option (my money is on no).

TE breakdown: Goedert caught just one pass for 15 yards against the Cowboys in Week 8, but the talented third-year TE immediately got a full-time role and played 84% of the offense’s snaps. The only players at the position that I have ranked higher this week are Darren Waller, T.J. Hockenson and Mark Andrews. Start Goedert and don’t sweat the matchup against the league’s ninth-ranked defense in fewest PPR points per game allowed to the position.

Giants Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Darius Slayton 73 190 4.39 1.48 Darius Slay 72 190 4.36 1.08
R Austin Mack 74 215 4.59 1.82 Avonte Maddox 69 180 4.39 1.45
S Sterling Shepard 70 201 4.48 1.70 Nickell Robey-Coleman 68 180 1.17

Projected shadow matchups: Darius Slayton vs. Darius Slay

WR/CB breakdown: The nickname “Big Play Slay” officially belongs to Slay after holding Slayton to a 2-23-0 performance on just three targets back in Week 7. Lions and Eagles fans were offended I even brought up the competition back then. I get it, you won, chill out.

Anyway, Slayton hasn’t been making too many big plays recently in part because 1) Daniel Jones has been pressured relentlessly, and 2) Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram have been dominating target share recently. Jones has fed the following players at least five targets since Shepard returned in Week 7:

Slayton is the team’s field-stretching threat and accordingly carries a fantasy-friendly 13.4-yard average target depth, but this sort of limited target ceiling makes him more of a boom-or-bust WR4 than someone that should be started with any level of confidence.

And then we have Shepard, who has been able to return to the friendly confines of the slot with the Giants deciding to hold out Tate. The fifth-year receiver has finished as the PPR WR18, WR19 and WR31 over the past three weeks; he’s a borderline WR2 thanks to volume and a winnable matchup against the league’s sixth-worst defense in passer rating allowed to slot targets.

TE breakdown: Engram has racked up at least eight targets in five games this season while playing at least 75% of the offense’s snaps in nine-of-nine contests; the volume has been there all season. Signs of improvement have been clear with 6-46-0, 5-61-0 and 5-48-1 receiving lines over the past few weeks. Let’s not freak out and immediately crown him as a top-five option again, but he’s a recommended start with this sort of high usage against the league’s fourth-worst defense in PPR points per game allowed to opposing TEs.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Green Bay Packers

Jaguars Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L D.J. Chark 76 198 4.34 1.71 Jaire Alexander 70 196 4.38 0.57
R Laviska Shenault Jr. 74 220 4.58 1.57 Josh Jackson 72 196 4.56 0.60
S Keelan Cole 73 194 1.32 Chandon Sullivan 71 194 4.60 1.41

Projected shadow matchups: D.J. Chark vs. Jaire Alexander

WR/CB breakdown: It’s unclear if Alexander (concussion) will be good to go by Sunday. Either way, Chark needs to be prioritized as a start with the sort of downfield-heavy role he’s been receiving lately.

  • Week 6: 14 targets, 7 receptions-45 yards-0 TD
  • Week 7: 7 targets, 1-26-0
  • Week 9: 12 targets, 7-146-1

Sure, he has produced middling numbers until last week, but Chark’s 488 air yards led the league over the past four weeks despite him having a bye squeezed in there. Overall, Chark’s average of 162.7 air yards per game is “challenged” by only Lockett (139.7) and A.J. Green (130.7) during this span.

Credit to Alexander for shutting down everybody that hasn’t worn a purple uniform this season. Still, this sort of volume is impossible to ignore in fantasy land regardless of the matchup. Fire up Chark as an upside WR2.

Laviska Shenault Jr. (hamstring) is banged up, while Keelan Cole has just four total targets in his past two games. Chris Conley racked up a 7-52-0 line on eight targets with Shenault sidelined for most of last week. Ultimately, Chark is the only viable fantasy option for now with Jake Luton under center. The rookie impressed in his NFL debut; just realize there’s a low floor for anybody other than James Robinson inside of the league’s 26th-ranked scoring offense.

TE breakdown: Tyler Eifert caught four-of-five targets for 48 scoreless yards last week, although his 55% snap rate barely beat out James O’Shaughnessy (48%) and Ben Ellefson (38%) alike. Eifert has found the end zone once this season and has yet to reach 50 receiving yards in a game. Find a better option.

Packers Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Davante Adams 73 215 4.56 3.26 Sidney Jones 72 181 4.47 1.83
R Marquez Valdes-Scantling 76 206 4.37 1.25 C.J. Henderson 73 191 4.39 1.62
S Darrius Shepherd 71 188 0.55 Tre Herndon 71 185 1.12

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Adams’ destruction tour continues. He’s been nothing short of unstoppable over the past calendar year; his last 10 healthy games are as follows (including playoffs):

  • 7 receptions-103 yards-1 TD
  • 13-116-0
  • 7-93-1
  • 8-160-2
  • 9-138-0
  • 14-156-2
  • 6-61-0
  • 13-196-2
  • 7-53-3
  • 10-173-1

The best WR in the league award, at least for 2020, should go to Adams. He’s averaging 7.1 more PPR points per game than the next-closest WR, and doing so in style.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling posted a 2-53-2 line last week after one of the uglier drops you’ll ever see. Still, the return of Allen Lazard (abdominal, IR) is near. I like the idea of rostering Lazard to keep on the bench, but let’s wait a week on testing these complementary options before seeing what the snaps look like. With that said: Both MVS and Lazard are solid GPP stacking partners with Aaron Rodgers in this dream spot.

The Jaguars rank among the league’s very worst defenses in yards per attempt (No. 31), explosive pass-play rate allowed (No. 27) and passer rating allowed (No. 30) alike. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Adams’ total yards start with a two this week.

TE breakdown: Robert Tonyan hasn’t found the end zone in four games since doing so five times during Weeks 2-4. His 62% snap rate in Week 9 wasn’t too far removed from Marcedes Lewis (48%), and Jace Sternberger (27%) remains annoyingly involved as well. Ultimately, Rodgers isn’t going out of his way to get anybody other than Adams the ball. Tonyan is a TD-dependent TE2 with a low floor.

Buffalo Bills at Arizona Cardinals

Bills Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L John Brown 71 178 4.34 1.38 Dre Kirkpatrick 74 196 4.50 1.70
R Stefon Diggs 72 191 4.46 2.39 Patrick Peterson 73 203 4.31 1.14
S Cole Beasley 68 174 2.06 Kevin Peterson 71 185 4.66 1.88

Projected shadow matchups: Stefon Diggs vs. Patrick Peterson

WR/CB breakdown: Peterson has posted the following performances in shadow coverage over the past two seasons:

Notice the trend? The 30-year-old plus-sized CB is still plenty capable of getting physical on the outside, but the more-agile talents have given the post-PED version of Peterson some problems. Actually, there’s a decent chance that Peterson is more or less washed and Russell Wilson has simply been unstoppable in enabling Lockett to huge games.

Either way, nobody has more targets than Diggs this season. He’s my overall WR6 this week and that feels low.

John Brown is in a #RevengeGame and looked healthier than ever on his way to catching 8-of-11 targets for 99 scoreless yards against the Seahawks in Week 9. Yes, it was the Seahawks. Also yes, the Cardinals don’t exactly boast the league’s most quick-footed corners these days. Fire up Brown as a boom-or-bust WR3 that is trending toward the former outcome this week.

Cole Beasley has just five total targets over the past two weeks and fewer than eight in all but one game this season. A better real-life player than fantasy asset, Beasley is a low-ceiling WR4 that always has a chance to find the end zone in this high-flying passing attack.

TE breakdown: None of Tyler Kroft (40% snaps), Dawson Knox (37%) nor Reggie Gilliam (21%) played even half of the offense’s snaps last week. Don’t start any of them.

Cardinals Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L DeAndre Hopkins 73 212 4.57 2.45 Tre'Davious White 71 192 4.47 1.00
R Christian Kirk 71 200 4.47 1.76 Levi Wallace 72 179 4.63 0.93
S Larry Fitzgerald 75 218 4.48 0.99 Taron Johnson 71 192 4.50 1.75

Projected shadow matchups: DeAndre Hopkins vs. Tre’Davious White

WR/CB breakdown: Nuk had a season-low three targets in Week 9; he’s more of a top-five volume-hog than the consensus No. 1 target leader he looked like through three weeks of the season. Still, Hopkins is clearly Kyler Murray’s top target, and it’d make sense if the Cardinals go out of their way to get him more involved this week. Nuk has won this matchup to the tune of 5-63-1 and 6-90-0 performances over the past two seasons; don’t expect White to make it easy, but continue to fire up Hopkins as the No. 2 overall fantasy WR.

Christian Kirk has ripped off 2-86-2, 5-37-2 and 5-123-1 receiving lines over the past three weeks. His 29% air yard share is tied for the 29th-highest mark in the league, and the talented third-year receiver is also a candidate for an extra touch or two per week via a rush attempt or punt return. Treat Kirk as an upside WR3 in the week’s most-likely shootout.

Larry Fitzgerald hasn’t found the end zone all season. That will probably change at some point, but the yardage ceiling/floor combo is too low here for serious fantasy consideration. #FreeAndyIsabella.

TE breakdown: None of Maxx Williams (49% snaps), Darrell Daniels (42%) nor Dan Arnold (26%) played even half of their offense’s snaps last week. Don’t use any of them in your lineups.

Los Angeles Chargers at Miami Dolphins

Chargers Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Mike Williams 76 220 1.62 Byron Jones 72 205 1.24
R Jalen Guyton 73 202 0.99 Xavien Howard 73 192 4.58 1.23
S Keenan Allen 74 211 4.58 2.28 Nik Needham 72 203 1.31

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Justin Herbert has thrown for at least 300 yards and/or three scores in every start this season. The rookie has been nothing short of phenomenal all season.

And yet, I’m worried we’re about to see the inevitable rookie floor game. Traveling across the country isn’t a great start, and we’ve only really seen this defense struggle with true dual-threat QBs. Cam Newton (21 points), Josh Allen (31), Russell Wilson (31) and Murray (31) all managed to lead their offense to good-to-great success against this defense, but the Dolphins managed to hold the Jaguars, 49ers, Jets and Rams to 13, 17, 0 and 17 points, respectively.

Herbert is far from a statue; he’s averaged a respectable 23.7 rush yards per game and has made some off-script goodness happen all season. Still, the Dolphins present a  well-coached defense with arguably the best pair of outside corners in the league when healthy.

Keenan Allen should never be benched. Not even if there’s a fire. Only Diggs (29% targets share), Adam Thielen (29%) and Hopkins (29%) have a higher target share than Allen (28%) this season.

I’d be more willing to pick the other option in start/sit questions surrounding Mike Williams, who always boasts boom-or-bust WR3 appeal, but appeared to get banged up at the end of Week 9 and won’t have as big of a size advantage as usual on the outside in this spot.

Jalen Guyton continues to get open downfield seemingly at will but has three or fewer targets in seven-of-eight games. He’s not a realistic fantasy option.

TE breakdown: Hunter Henry has posted maddening 4-23-1, 3-23-0, 4-33-0 and 4-33-0 receiving lines over the past four weeks. The talented fifth-year TE has posted 97% and 99% snap rates during the last two games. Top-five expectations should probably be halted at this point; realize the volume and usage are largely there, we just need some positive scoring regression to get here already.

Dolphins Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Preston Williams 76 210 1.38 Michael Davis 74 196 0.99
R DeVante Parker 75 216 4.45 1.85 Casey Hayward Jr. 71 192 1.21
S Jakeem Grant 67 169 1.90 Tevaughn Campbell 72 195 1.48

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Tua Tagovailoa has fed the following players at least five targets over the past two weeks:

Williams (foot) is banged up. His absence could lead to a noticeable boost for Parker, although this run-first offense clearly isn’t looking to put too much on Tua’s plate if they don’t have to. Parker is the only realistic fantasy option of the group, and he’s more of a borderline WR3 against the league’s ninth-ranked defense in fewest PPR points per game allowed to the position.

TE breakdown: Gesicki has seen his snaps rise with fellow slot WR Isaiah Ford now in New England, but targets have simply been tough to come by. The Chargers have been worst against the TE position; just realize volume is a concern, and Gesicki has only played 17% of his snaps as a true inline TE this season.

Denver Broncos at Las Vegas Raiders

Broncos Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Tim Patrick 77 210 1.70 Nevin Lawson 69 192 4.48 1.02
R Jerry Jeudy 73 192 4.45 1.82 Trayvon Mullen 74 199 4.46 1.11
S K.J. Hamler 69 173 1.06 Lamarcus Joyner 68 191 4.55 1.25

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Jeudy has turned heads with his route-running ability all season. The rookie truly is special to watch despite turning only 21 years of age last April.

Drew Lock has fed his No. 1 wideout 24 combined targets over the past two weeks. Jeudy is my PPR WR21 on the week. Both Hamler and Patrick are also viable WR4 options considering the Broncos’ willingness to let Lock air the ball out to his heart’s desire when they fall behind. This matchup might just be a sneaky shootout, but we should be careful about expecting the ever-erratic Lock to consistently enable multiple fantasy-relevant receivers.

TE breakdown: Fant (ankle) aggravated the issue last week. Even if active in Week 10, expectations should be limited for the hobbled talent. Albert Okwuegbunam (torn ACL, IR) is done for the season. Nick Vannett is the next man up; don’t be surprised if the Broncos simply lean more on their WRs and RBs in the passing game while their TE room is so banged up.

Raiders Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Henry Ruggs III 72 190 4.27 1.49 Michael Ojemudia 73 199 4.45 1.41
R Nelson Agholor 72 198 4.42 1.68 Davontae Harris 71 200 4.43 3.90
S Hunter Renfrow 70 184 4.59 2.11 Essang Bassey 70 190 4.46 1.15

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Derek Carr has only thrown the ball 24 and 23 times over the past two weeks. He deserves credit for making arguably the single best throw of Week 9, but Darren Waller (10 targets) was the only guy with more than three pass-game opportunities.

Somehow, training camp sensation and third-round pick Bryan Edwards has lost his job to Agholor. I fully expected Edwards to at least split snaps in his Week 9 return, but he ultimately found the field for just a single play.

Ultimately, Agholor (17-347-5 on 25 targets) has been the superior option to Ruggs (10-220-1 on 21 targets) and Renfrow (27-369-2 on 37 targets) this season. He’s at risk of low volume just like the rest of the crew, but the man best known for his stone hands has emerged as a legit boom-or-bust WR3.

The Broncos are so banged up and have allowed at least 30 points in three consecutive weeks to the Chiefs (43), Chargers (30) and Falcons (34). Carr and company could very well join that group; it’s just tough to have much confidence with any of these receivers while they remain so clustered in terms of overall targets.

TE breakdown: Waller is the week’s No. 1 overall TE because Travis Kelce is on bye and George Kittle (foot, IR) is hurt. Don’t be afraid to ride with high exposure to Waller in cash and tournament DFS games alike; he caught 6-of-10 targets for 107 scoreless yards against a better version of this defense the last time they met — Week 17 of the 2019 season.

Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams

Seahawks Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L D.K. Metcalf 75 229 4.33 2.37 Darious Williams 73 208 4.41 0.57
R David Moore 72 215 2.24 David Long Jr. 71 196 0.58
S Tyler Lockett 70 182 4.40 1.84 Troy Hill 71 183 4.55 1.27

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Lockett was inches away from completing arguably the best connection in his and Russell Wilson’s storied history of absolutely beserk hookups. The stud slot receiver was also stopped just short of the goal line on another reception.

If you’re reading this on Thursday, realize that Lockett caught 15 passes for 200 yards and three scores 18 days ago. The man trails Davante Adams and D.K. Metcalf for most PPR points per game among all WRs on the season. Is it really even better to get a consistent 20 points out of a WR? I’d argue that having a player with true week-winning explosions in their range of outcomes is superior to having a more consistent floor. Take your “remove these TDs and big play” argument straight to hell. Continue to fire up Lockett as a weekly upside WR1 regardless of the matchup.

There’s also been an idea floated around that it’s either Metcalf or Lockett week. Stop this nonsense, as well. Metcalf went 2-23-0 on five targets against the Cardinals in Week 7; he finished with 90-plus yards while scoring eight touchdowns in his other seven games.

The Seahawks boast the league’s No. 1 scoring offense and No. 30 scoring defense. This has resulted in pretty much every one of their matchups turning into a shootout. A Wilson-Metcalf-Lockett stack is going to boom again sooner rather than later. Perhaps Jalen Ramsey (illness) can come back in and provide a spark, but either way, he hasn’t been asked to shadow all season. Credit to the Rams for their stellar play on defense all season — there isn’t a secondary in the league that Metcalf and Lockett fantasy managers should fear.

Moore has made the most of his opportunities all season despite seldom playing even 50% of the offense’s snaps. He’s potentially the league’s single best handcuff WR, but weekly standalone value will continue to be volatile with his sort of field-stretching and boom-or-bust role.

TE breakdown: None of Jacob Hollister (48% snaps), Greg Olsen (40%) nor Will Dissly (32%) played even half of their offense’s snaps last week. Find a better fantasy option.

Rams Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Josh Reynolds 75 196 4.52 1.4 Tre Flowers 75 203 4.45 1.11
R Robert Woods 72 195 4.51 1.58 Quinton Dunbar 74 197 1.46
S Cooper Kupp 74 208 4.62 1.9 D.J. Reed Jr. 69 188 4.51 2.64

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: There truly hasn’t been an offense that has failed to put up big-time yards through the air against this Seahawks:

  • Week 1: 25 points allowed, 434 passing yards
  • Week 2: 30, 397
  • Week 3: 31, 461
  • Week 4: 23, 312
  • Week 5: 26, 248
  • Week 7: 37, 360
  • Week 8: 27, 299
  • Week 9: 44, 386

Jamal Adams is a difference-making talent around the line of scrimmage, but he’s allowed 11-of-14 targets into his coverage to be caught for 178 yards and a score this season — good for a 142.6 passer rating when targeted.

The Seahawks have already had a bye week, yet they’ve allowed 300 more receiving yards to opposing WRs than any other defense in the league. Usually, the chief concern with Kupp and Woods is simple: volume. However, Russ and company should be able to cook enough to force Jared Goff to keep his foot on the gas for a change against the league’s single worst pass defense. Fire up this entire passing game with confidence; even Reynolds deserves upside WR4 treatment at worse.

TE breakdown: Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett are essentially splitting snaps at this point. They join the Vikings and Texans, among other offenses, that possess talents that could post top-12 production at the position with a feature role but otherwise don’t get enough opportunity to produce any sort of high-end consistency. I have Higbee as my TE17 this week, and that feels generous. Although, hey, it is the Seahawks we’re talking about here.

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers

Bengals Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L A.J. Green 76 210 4.48 1.13 Steven Nelson 71 194 4.49 0.97
R Tee Higgins 76 215 1.85 Joe Haden 71 195 4.52 0.95
S Tyler Boyd 74 203 4.58 1.80 Cameron Sutton 71 188 4.52 0.90

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Joe Burrow has been an average to above-average QB when he has time this season. The results haven’t been quite so great when he doesn’t. The following ranks are among 41 QBs with at least 50 dropbacks this season:

  • Kept clean: No. 23 in yards per attempt, No. 21 in passer rating, No. 23 in adjusted completion rate.
  • Under pressure: No. 31 in yards per attempt, No. 24 in passer rating, No. 33 in adjusted completion rate.

Usually, pressure is more of an indictment on a team’s QB than the offensive line, but Burrow sure seems like an exception. Overall, his 33.2% pressure rate ranks 18th despite operating inside the top-13 signal-callers in average time to throw.

We saw this passing game sputter to essentially a complete halt against the Ravens in Week 5, and the Steelers’ league-best pass rush presents an eve more intimidating issue. I’m inclined to fade AJG and Higgins in this worst-case-scenario spot. Boyd deserves volume-based WR2 treatment pretty much regardless of the matchup, although expectations should also probably be limited.

We’ve seen the likes of Travis Fulgham (10-152-1), Darius Slayton (6-102-2) and A.J. Brown (6-153-1) have their way with this secondary; it’s not an impossible endeavor for Burrow and company. Still, this is clearly anyone’s idea of an absolutely brutal matchup, so fantasy managers should adjust accordingly.

TE breakdown: It's a small sample size, but Drew Sample has gone without a catch in two of his last three games, and seemingly his only purpose these days is to allow losers like myself to make the same joke over and over again. Good times. Don’t play him in any form of fantasy if you enjoy winning.

Steelers Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Diontae Johnson 70 183 4.6 1.52 William Jackson III 72 196 4.37 0.97
R Chase Claypool 76 227 4.42 2.24 Darius Phillips 70 190 4.54 1.11
S JuJu Smith-Schuster 73 215 4.54 1.5 LeShaun Sims 72 203 4.53 2.07

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Big Ben was surprisingly forced into comeback mode against the Cowboys in Week 9 and wound up throwing for 306 yards and a trio of scores. Now Roethlisberger (knee, COVID) has other issues to deal with ahead of Sunday. Another pass-happy approach seems unlikely. Note that the Steelers’ longtime franchise QB has finished with fewer than 250 passing yards in all but three games this season.

Johnson has 10, 13, 15, three and 10 targets in the five games in which he’s played at least 75% of the offense’s snaps. Still, Claypool (13) led the way in Week 9 and received the bulk of the air yards. JuJu (6-93-1) deserves credit for looking as healthy as he’s looked all season against the Cowboys.

Ultimately, all three of these receivers can put up big performances with James Washington (19% snaps in Week 9) basically out of the picture. It’s just tough to fire up any of them as locked-in WR2s considering the lack of clarity in the pecking order. Throw in the reality that this passing game hasn’t been as prolific as past editions, and we’re basically working with a poor man’s version of Tampa Bay.

The matchup isn’t anything to fear, but a banged-up version of Roethlisberger could produce even less volume than normal. My ranks: Claypool (No. 25), Johnson (No. 26) and JuJu (No. 27). Good, not great, options this week.

TE breakdown: Eric Ebron continues to play a near every-down role. He’s posted 6-50-0, 4-48-1 and 3-22-1 receiving lines over the past three weeks, cementing himself as a weekly TE1. Perhaps a ceiling game is on the horizon against a Bengals defense that has been shafted by the likes of Zach Ertz (7-70-0), Mark Andrews (6-56-1), Hunter Henry (5-73-0), Harrison Bryant (4-56-2) and Trey Burton (4-58-1).

San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints

49ers Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Brandon Aiyuk 73 206 4.5 1.54 Marshon Lattimore 72 192 4.36 1.53
R Deebo Samuel 71 214 4.48 1.85 Janoris Jenkins 70 190 1.03
S Trent Taylor 68 180 4.63 0.61 Chauncey Gardner-Johnson 72 208 4.48 1.11

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: It looks like Aiyuk and Samuel will be back in action this week after being activated from the covid list on Nov. 6. Expect coach Kyle Shanahan to feed his pair of talented outside receivers as many designed touches as possible; this offense is hurting for playmakers at the moment.

The problem is that Samuel is still dealing with a hamstring injury. It seems like a possibility that Aiyuk could ultimately be the No. 1 option this week. He ripped off 6-115-0 and 8-91-1 receiving lines before missing Week 9 and has flashed great ability with the ball in his hands all season.

Both Aiyuk and Samuel are plenty talented enough to win in this matchup; just realize Nick Mullens has struggled mightily over the past few weeks. This didn’t stop Richie James (9-184-1) from going absolutely bonkers against the Packers last week, but either way there’s a low floor involved with pretty much everyone in this offense at the moment.

Treat Aiyuk and Samuel as upside WR3s in this spot. Aiyuk would be more of a borderline WR2 if Samuel is ruled out. Perhaps James earned himself some additional weekly snaps, but I wouldn’t count on a fantasy-viable role unless the 49ers lose all three of their starters days before kickoff again.

TE breakdown: Jordan Reed played just 13 snaps in Week 9, as Ross Dwelley (42) worked as the lead TE. Expect this to shrink in upcoming weeks. Either way, this two-TE system is no bueno in fantasy land. Dwelley is my TE15 this week and that feels generous.

Saints Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Michael Thomas 75 212 4.57 1.15 Jason Verrett 70 188 4.38 0.62
R Emmanuel Sanders 71 180 4.4 2.06 Emmanuel Moseley 71 184 1.56
S Tre'Quan Smith 74 210 4.49 1.14 K'Waun Williams 69 185 1.1

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Drew Brees took the idea of spreading the ball around to a new level in Week 9, feeding Alvin Kamara and Thomas a pedestrian team-high six targets each. More evenly distributing things to the likes of Sanders and Jared Cook among others would make this offense a bit more unpredictable, albeit hurting the fantasy stock of Kamara and Thomas in the process.

Brees has thrown multiple touchdowns and/or cleared 300 passing yards in every game this season. Obviously Thomas can be fired up as a weekly WR1 whenever he’s healthy, and Sanders looks to have his clamps on the No. 3 pass-game role in this offense ahead of Cook. The 49ers’ banged-up defense is well coached enough to limit bad or one-dimensional offenses, but they’ve been railroaded to the tune of 34 and 37 points against the Seahawks and Packers over the past two weeks, respectively.

Verrett allowed two scores to MVS in shadow coverage last week. His coverage isn’t something that fantasy football managers should be overly concerned with. Thomas is my WR3 this week, while Sanders looks a lot like an upside WR3 in this #RevengeGame.

TE breakdown: Cook fumbled and dropped a pass in Week 9. He’s played fewer than 60% of the offense’s snaps in five consecutive weeks, as rookie Adam Trautman has steadily gotten more involved. Cook is more of a TD-dependent TE2 than top-10 option with this sort of usage, particularly against the league’s third-stingiest defense in fantasy points allowed to the position.

Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

Ravens Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Miles Boykin 76 220 4.42 1.02 Jason McCourty 71 195 1.04
R Marquise Brown 69 170 1.8 J.C. Jackson 73 198 4.46 1.64
S Willie Snead IV 71 205 4.62 1.68 Jonathan Jones 70 190 4.33 1.62

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Stephon Gilmore (knee) would likely shadow Hollywood if active. The Ravens’ pint-sized speedster hasn’t cleared 100 yards since Week 1 and has just two scores all season. This is truly wild; Brown one of just nine players with at least 35% of their team’s air yard share through nine weeks:

Alas, the Ravens haven’t hit their deep balls as often as they would’ve liked. I’d be shocked if Brown doesn’t boom before the end of 2020, but this probably isn’t the spot to expect a major bounce back. Hollywood is the only fantasy-viable option in this WR room; unfortunately we have to treat him as a boom-or-bust WR3 at best.

TE breakdown: Mark Andrews has posted 2-21-0, 3-22-0 and 3-22-0 receiving lines over his past three games. Sheesh. Things get weirder when we realize he went for 2-21-0 against the Patriots last season. We might need to call the FBI if Andrews finishes with between 21-and-22 receiving yards again, but I’m cautiously optimistic that he’ll be able to clear that mark against a banged-up version of the Patriots’ typically-sound defense. I’m going back to the well with Andrews as a top-five option at the position for another week.

Patriots Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Damiere Byrd 69 180 1.28 Jimmy Smith 74 210 4.42 0.35
R Jakobi Meyers 74 203 4.63 2.91 Marcus Peters 72 195 4.53 0.97
S Gunner Olszewski 72 170 0.21 Marlon Humphrey 72 197 4.41 1.12

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Over the past three weeks, Meyers has hung 4-60-0, 6-58-0 and 12-169-0 performances on the 49ers, Bills and Jets, respectively. The Patriots’ undisputed No. 1 WR could’ve had an even bigger Monday night had Cam Newton managed to hit him deep on a potential walk-in 70-yard score.

This matchup is objectively awful. There’s nowhere to hide against the Ravens’ trio of elite corners, and Newton will undoubtedly face heavy pressure throughout the evening. Meyers has enough volume to still warrant upside WR3 treatment in this spot and should be a WR2 more weeks than not moving forward; just realize this Patriots passing game has been unwatchable at times, and this is their toughest test of the season.

TE breakdown: TE1 Ryan Izzo didn’t see a target in Week 9 despite playing 94% of the offense’s snaps. Sheesh. Pass.

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears

Vikings Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Justin Jefferson 73 202 4.43 3.12 Jaylon Johnson 72 195 4.5 1.13
R Adam Thielen 74 200 2.15 Kyle Fuller 71 190 4.49 0.7
S Chad Beebe 70 183 0.68 Buster Skrine 69 185 1.36

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Kirk Cousins has set season-high marks in yards per attempt in back-to-back weeks. He’s also been nothing short of remarkable at existing between the 1 to 2 seconds of getting the snap and handing the ball to Dalvin Cook. The Vikings have won two straight games and have racked up 62 combined points in these two games since their Week 7 bye.

And yet, this passing game has had just 34 combined pass attempts to work with. Don’t panic: This is still as condensed of a passing game as you’ll find around the league. Thielen and Jefferson have consistently received WR1 and WR2-caliber workloads, respectively, all season.

  • Thielen: 29% target share (No. 2 in the NFL), 41% air yard share (No. 2)
  • Jefferson: 23% targets hare (No. 16), 29% air yard share (No. 19)

Credit to the Bears for allowing the third-fewest PPR points per game to opposing WRs, but both Thielen and Jefferson have enough talent to win their respective matchups. Continue to find a way to squeeze both into starting lineups in fantasy leagues of all shapes and sizes.

TE breakdown: If one of Kyle Rudolph or Irv Smith get injured, the other will be a TE1. We’ll have weeks like last where one of them (Irv) really makes the most out of their limited opportunities; just realize there’s not enough volume here to enable either player to anything resembling consistent top-12 production.

Bears Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Allen Robinson II 75 211 4.6 1.99 Kris Boyd 71 201 4.45 1.75
R Darnell Mooney 71 175 4.38 1.16 Chris Jones 72 200 4.57 1.73
S Anthony Miller 71 190 1.2 Jeff Gladney 72 183 4.48 1.72

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: This could be a get-right spot for this Bears’ passing game against the Vikings’ already-mediocre and currently banged-up secondary. A-Rob hasn’t had a boom game in awhile, but has finished with at least four-plus receptions and over 50 yards in seven consecutive weeks. Mooney and Nick Foles continue to show on-and-off chemistry, although the rookie deserves credit for repeatedly getting open deep downfield. Miller has struggled to play consistent snaps throughout his career, generally making the most out of his opportunities when he’s out there.

Ultimately, Foles has thrown for multiple scores in consecutive games, although the majority of his production this season has come in comeback mode and/or garbage time. It wouldn’t be shocking to see coach Matt Nagy turn back to Mitch Trubisky sooner rather than later. The Vikings might not have the most talented defense, but they’ve still managed to make life difficult for Aaron Rodgers and (especially) Matthew Stafford since their Week 7 bye. A well-coached defense with average talent should be more than enough to stifle the league’s 31st-ranked offense in yards per play.

Start A-Rob with confidence; Mooney and Miller are more low-ceiling WR4 options.

TE breakdown: Jimmy Graham posted a 6-55-1 receiving line last week and went for 6-60-2 back in Week 3. Otherwise he hasn’t reached even 35 yards in a game. The soon to be 34-year-old ex-baller remains a TD-dependent TE2.

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