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Week 10 WR/CB mismatches and shadow coverages to leverage in DFS & fantasy football leagues

Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf (14) catches a touchdown pass against Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Shaquill Griffin (26) during the second quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Week 10 is here! 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 tight end group.

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The following tables denote every player’s: most frequent alignment, height (inches), weight (pounds), 40-yard dash (seconds) and yards per route run/coverage snap. Note that wide receivers regularly move all around the formation; these are just their primary alignments. Additionally, shadow matchups almost never feature a true 100% matchup rate; general practice in fantasy land is to start your studs as opposed to overweighting a perceived tough matchup.

BAL @ MIA | DET @ PIT | JAX @ IND | CLE @ NE | ATL @ DAL |
NO @ TEN | BUF @ NYJ | TB @ WFT | CAR @ ARZ | MIN @ LAC |
SEA @ GB | PHI @ DEN | KC @ LV | LAR @ SF

Baltimore RavensMiami Dolphins 

Ravens Offense
WR Player H + W 40 YPRR CB H + W 40 YPRR
L Rashod Bateman 74 + 210 N/A 1.61 Byron Jones 72 + 205 4.49 1.06
R Marquise Brown 69 + 170 N/A 2.3 Xavien Howard 73 + 192 4.58 1.29
S Devin Duvernay 71 + 210 4.39 0.7 Nik Needham 72 + 203 N/A 1.55

Projected shadow matchups: Rashod Bateman vs. Byron Jones, Marquise Brown vs. Xavien Howard

WR/CB breakdown: Lamar Jackson has fed the following players at least five targets in three games with Bateman active:

This isn’t your older brother’s Ravens offense; Jackson had 401 and 376 pass attempts in 15-game campaigns in 2019 and 2020 but is on pace to reach 499 attempts in that same span this season.

The artist known as Hollywood has posted an 83-1,216-12 receiving line in his last 16 games. The 24-year-old talent sure looks to still be getting better after racking up an impressive season-high 79 yards after the catch in Week 9. The presence of Bateman would be far larger an issue if the Ravens hadn’t picked up their passing-game volume so much; Brown is my overall WR9 this week against the Dolphins’ 30th-ranked defense in fewest PPR points per game allowed to opposing wide receivers.

Try to refrain from trusting Bateman as more than a high-end WR4 this week if Sammy Watkins (hamstring) is healthy enough to return. This isn’t a knock on the rookie; his 5-52-0 performance in Week 9 could have included a chunk touchdown with a better ball from Jackson. They ultimately drew a long pass interference on the play. Rather, it’s not a guarantee that Bateman will keep his same full-time role; a rotation of sorts would severely depress the fantasy upside of both complementary receivers.

Credit to Duvernay on maybe the single-best catch of Week 9, but he’s not a realistic fantasy option averaging just 2.6 targets per game.

TE breakdown: Andrews is the fantasy TE3 on the season in both actual and expected PPR points per game. Only the Chiefs, Eagles and Ravens have allowed more receiving yards to opposing tight ends this season. You don’t need me to tell you to fire up Andrews with confidence; he’d also be my captain pick in DFS showdown slates. Nobody at the position has more multi-touchdown games than Andrews (5) since 2019.

Dolphins Offense
WR Player H + W 40 YPRR CB H + W 40 YPRR
L Mack Hollins 76 + 221 4.53 0.72 Marlon Humphrey 72 + 197 4.41 1.35
R Albert Wilson 69 + 186 4.43 0.49 Anthony Averett 71 + 178 4.36 1.53
S Jaylen Waddle 70 + 182 N/A 1.42 Tavon Young 69 + 185 4.46 1.19

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Will Fuller (finger, IR) and DeVante Parker (hamstring) remain sidelined.

This leaves Jaylen Waddle to again assume the role as the passing game’s No. 1 target. Yes, his absurdly low marks in average target depth (6.5) and yards per reception (8.9) aren’t exactly what most had in mind for the electric speedster. Also yes, the constant dose of easy completions has helped Waddle become a PPR godsend of sorts. The rookie is in some great company when it comes to most receptions per game in 2021:

  1. Cooper Kupp (8.2 receptions per game)
  2. Tyreek Hill (7.6)
  3. Davante Adams (7.3)
  4. Keenan Allen (7.1)
  5. Diontae Johnson (6.4)
  6. Sterling Shepard (6.4)
  7. Cole Beasley (6.4)
  8. Brandin Cooks (6.3)
  9. Chris Godwin (6.3)
  10. Waddle (6.2)

Waddle has turned in PPR WR4, WR16, WR60 and WR16 performances over the past four weeks; fire him up as a low-ceiling WR2 even if the Ravens go out of their way to get Marlon Humphrey lined up against him. This sort of receiving floor is rare in fantasy land; Waddle is my WR24 on the week.

TE breakdown: Mike Gesicki should be able to win his fair share of jump balls against the Ravens’ under-sized group of corners. Note that Gesicki is a tight end in name only; he’s lined up in the slot or out wide on 92% of his snaps this season. Gesicki (37 snaps in nine games) has barely played more as a true inline tight end than Taysom Hill (29 in six games). And yet, fantasy football let’s us play the talented fourth-year receiver as a tight end, so continue to fire up Gesicki as a top-10 option at the position as long as Parker and Fuller remain out of the picture.

New Orleans Saints @ Tennessee Titans 

Saints Offense
WR Player H + W 40 YPRR CB H + W 40 YPRR
L Marquez Callaway 74 + 204 4.55 1.4 Chris Jackson 72 + 186 N/A 0.79
R Deonte Harris 66 + 170 N/A 3.05 Jackrabbit Jenkins 70 + 190 N/A 1.1
S Tre'Quan Smith 74 + 210 4.49 1.07 Elijah Molden 70 + 190 N/A 1.46

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Trevor Siemian has fed the following players at least three targets since the Saints lost Jameis Winston (ACL, IR) for the season:

It’s painful to have an offense facing the league's single-worst defense in PPR points per game allowed to wide receivers and not have a single viable fantasy option at the position, but alas: Here we are. Callaway, Harris and Smith alike are nothing more than desperate WR4 options at best. A quarterback change to Taysom Hill could be even worse for everyone involved. Sigh.

Related Content for you: Fantasy Football: Week 10 Snaps & Efficiency Report for all 32 NFL backfields via ian hartitz

TE breakdown: Juwan Johnson was rather oddly a healthy scratch last week, leading to Trautman playing over 80% of the offense’s snaps for the fourth week in a row. Siemian’s muddled pecking order still makes him tough to trust as anything more than a touchdown-dependent TE2, but at least he might be freed from the brutal early-season committee situation. Either way, try to find a better option until this passing game shows some semblance of upside.

Titans Offense
WR Player H + W 40 YPRR CB H + W 40 YPRR
L Julio Jones 75 + 220 4.34 2.18 Paulson Adebo 73 + 190 N/A 1.49
R A.J. Brown 72 + 226 4.49 2.48 Marshon Lattimore 72 + 192 4.36 1.79
S Chester Rogers 72 + 184 N/A 1.02 Chauncey Gardner-Johnson 72 + 208 4.48 1.5

Projected shadow matchups: A.J. Brown vs. Marshon Lattimore

WR/CB breakdown: Six of AJB’s 10 career regular season games with more than eight targets have come in 2021. The Titans have done a far better job feeding their alpha No. 1 receiver an appropriate target share this season, and he’s responded with WR20, WR4, WR1 and WR37 finishes over the last four weeks.

With that said: Lattimore deserves a lot of credit for making life tough on his four shadow dates this season:

It’s not a given that Lattimore will track AJB; he could ride with Julio Jones or simply stay put on the right side of the field like he does when not traveling with a specific man.

Either way: Start Brown in fantasy, even if there’s a fire. The Saints have allowed the fifth-most PPR points per game to opposing wide receivers this season. Just realize things could be a bit tougher than usual if he does wind up getting shadow treatment. Jones is more of a middling WR3 until we see more evidence of consistent involvement; somehow Julio has six or fewer targets in all but one game this season.

TE breakdown: The Titans regularly rotate at least three tight ends, rendering each as non-viable fantasy assets.

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets 

Bills Offense
WR Player H + W 40 YPRR CB H + W 40 YPRR
L Emmanuel Sanders 71 + 180 4.4 1.49 Brandin Echols 71 + 178 N/A 1.27
R Stefon Diggs 72 + 191 4.46 1.91 Bryce Hall 73 + 200 N/A 0.99
S Cole Beasley 68 + 174 N/A 1.62 Michael Carter II 71 + 190 N/A 1.15

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Nobody is saying the Bills shouldn’t have agreed to pay Allen all sorts of money to be their franchise quarterback for years to come, but that doesn’t make his erratic performance through the first eight games of 2021 any less concerning:

  • Week 1: 72.6 PFF passing grade (No. 16 among quarterbacks with 10-plus dropbacks)
  • Week 2: 45.4 (No. 30)
  • Week 3: 85.5 (No. 3)
  • Week 4: 62.5 (No. 24)
  • Week 5: 92.8 (No. 1)
  • Week 6: 81.3 (No. 7)
  • Week 7: Bye
  • Week 8: 72.3 (No. 10)
  • Week 9: 50.8 (No. 24)

The Bills’ success in terms of wins and losses has made Allen’s up-and-down first half of the season less of a talking point compared to someone like Patrick Mahomes; just realize the Bills will need their franchise quarterback to be at his best if they hope to achieve their goal of representing the AFC come February.

Ultimately, Stefon Diggs (WR21 in PPR points per game), Cole Beasley (WR34) and Emmanuel Sanders (WR36) have all been solid enough fantasy assets for most of the season; it’s just been surprising to see the lack of ceiling for the former 2020 world-beater.

Perhaps the breakout comes this week against a Jets defense that has allowed middling marks in both yards per attempt (8.81, No. 24) and contested target rate (21.1%, No. 20) to receivers aligned out wide. Diggs remains a WR1 who should be started in fantasy lineups of all shapes and sizes, while Beasley and Sanders have settled in as more than solid WR3 types who should have more consistent performances during the second half if Allen can get his stuff together.

TE breakdown: Dawson Knox ripped off TE12, TE9, TE2 and TE4 performances before breaking his hand in Week 6. A return to the lineup would vault him right back into the top-10 conversation, particularly against the Jets’ 25th-ranked defense in PPR points per game allowed to the position. Tommy Sweeney has posted underwhelming 3-30-0 and 2-10-0 receiving lines over the past two weeks despite having an every-down role; he’s not a recommended fantasy option even if Knox remains sidelined.

Jets Offense
WR Player H + W 40 YPRR CB H + W 40 YPRR
L Elijah Moore 69 + 185 N/A 1.24 Levi Wallace 72 + 179 4.63 0.88
R Denzel Mims 75 + 215 4.38 1.26 Tre'Davious White 71 + 192 4.47 0.88
S Jamison Crowder 69 + 177 4.56 1.38 Taron Johnson 71 + 192 4.5 0.67

Projected shadow matchups: None

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