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Fantasy Football: Week 11 WR/CB matchups and TE breakdown

We're on to Week 11! 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.

Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks

Cardinals Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L DeAndre Hopkins 73 212 4.57 2.55 Tre Flowers 75 203 4.45 1.11
R Christian Kirk 71 200 4.47 1.64 Linden Stephens 72 193 1.91
S Larry Fitzgerald 75 218 4.48 0.91 Ugo Amadi 69 201 4.51 1.08

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: DeAndre Hopkins’ game-winning, Hail Mary touchdown was less realistic than Marty’s catch at the end of “Not Another Teen Movie.” Alas, the artist known as Nuk is apparently an alien, meaning we must adjust the ranks accordingly.

All jokes aside, Hopkins remains the overall WR2, behind only Davante Adams. He’s set up as well as humanly possible this week against a Seahawks secondary that has allowed full 13.2 additional PPR points per game to opposing wide receivers than the next worst secondary. Seattle has allowed 2,428 receiving yards to opposing wideouts despite already having had their bye; the next closest defense is the Falcons at 1,936 yards.

We know Hopkins is a weekly auto-start; the better question is whether Kirk can make the most out of this spot. The Cardinals’ field-stretching talent has a plenty respectable 24.5% air-yard share inside of the league’s seventh-ranked scoring offense. Kirk caught 5-of-8 targets for 37 yards and a pair of scores against this secondary in Week 7. Just realize the Cardinals’ passing game as a whole hasn’t been all that consistent in 2020. Continue to treat Kirk as a boom-or-bust WR3 that is undoubtedly in a good position to function as the former option in this dream spot.

Larry Fitzgerald hasn’t scored or reached even 65 yards in a game all season. I’d bet on at least the former cold streak ending eventually, but either way, he’s well off the fantasy grid. I’d rather take a chance on Andy Isabella on the Thursday night showdown slate. He somehow has more air yards on the season despite usually playing only 10-25 snaps per week.

TE breakdown: The Cardinals utilized each of Maxx Williams (53% snaps), Dan Arnold (48%) and Darrell Daniels (19%) in Week 10; none are realistic fantasy options. Darnold is the best DFS dart throw of the group, but even then, there’s a very real zero-point floor.

Seahawks Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L D.K. Metcalf 75 229 4.33 2.14 Patrick Peterson 73 203 4.31 1.17
R David Moore 72 215 1.95 Dre Kirkpatrick 74 196 4.5 1.67
S Tyler Lockett 70 182 4.4 1.79 Byron Murphy 71 190 4.55 1.28

Projected shadow matchups: D.K. Metcalf vs. Patrick Peterson

WR/CB breakdown: Tyler Lockett (knee) didn’t practice all week and seems like a true game-time decision for Thursday night. We all remember his nuclear 15-200-3 explosion against this defense back in Week 7; obviously, Lockett needs to be jammed into starting lineups if he’s healthy enough to give it a go this week.

The same is true for Metcalf, even in a matchup that Russell Wilson has refrained from targeting. Overall, Metcalf has posted 1-6-0, 0-0-0 and 2-23-0 receiving lines in three career matchups against the Cardinals, with the latter two performances occurring under Peterson’s watchful eye.

Here’s the thing: Peterson hasn’t shut down anyone other than arguably the league’s most talented second-year receiver over the past two seasons in shadow coverage:

Wilson is probably giving Peterson a bit too much respect due to their long history of playing against each other. The absence of Lockett could force Wilson to target this winnable matchup, and either way, we shouldn’t expect a talent like Metcalf to go quiet for much longer. This is a friendly reminder that Metcalf scored a 48-yard touchdown in overtime in Week 7 that was nullified by a holding penalty.

David Moore would be an upside WR3 if Lockett is ultimately sidelined, while Freddie Swain would be more of a boom-or-bust WR4 in this scenario. The Cardinals are hardly a secondary to fear; they’ve allowed the seventh-most PPR points per game to opposing wideouts through 10 weeks. Week 10 wasn’t pretty, but the league’s No. 1 scoring offense should still be a situation fantasy football managers target as much as possible.

TE breakdown: The snaps and targets alike between Greg Olsen, Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister have largely been fluctuating on a week-to-week basis. Ultimately, they each have just a single touchdown all season, while Olsen (5-61-0 in Week 3) and Hollister (5-60-0) have the only two instances with even 40 yards. The best dart throw of the group is probably Olsen, but try to find another option.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars

Steelers Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Diontae Johnson 70 183 4.6 1.72 Sidney Jones 72 181 4.47 2.14
R Chase Claypool 76 227 4.42 2.2 C.J. Henderson 73 191 4.39 1.58
S JuJu Smith-Schuster 73 215 4.54 1.53 Tre Herndon 71 185 1.18

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Big Ben has racked up 49, 32, 42 and 46 pass attempts over his past four games after going for 32, 41, 36, 34 and 22 throws during the Steelers’ first five games of the season. Yes, he boasts a career-low 8.3-yard average target depth. Also yes, we now have enough volume to go around for all three starting receivers in the league’s fourth-ranked scoring offense.

Diontae Johnson deserves to be treated as the lead option at this point; he’s posted 6-57-0, 8-92-1, 9-80-2, 6-77-0 and 6-116-1 lines in five injury-free games. Chase Claypool continues to see the majority of the offense’s fantasy-friendly downfield and red-zone targets, while JuJu Smith-Schuster has looked healthier in recent weeks than he has all season on his way to posting 9-85-0, 7-67-0, 6-93-1 and 9-77-1 receiving lines in his past four games.

The Jaguars rank 28th in explosive pass play rate allowed and pressure rate. They’re the league’s worst defense in yards per pass attempt allowed. There’s no reason to expect the Steelers’ trio of talented receivers to stop balling out in this prime spot — each can be fired up as a borderline WR2 at worst.

TE breakdown: Eric Ebron is pretty clearly the No. 4 pass-game option behind these wide receivers, but he’s still played at least 70% of the offense’s snaps with four-plus targets in every game since Week 1. This sort of floor is hard to come by at the tight end position these days, and Ebron’s scoring upside has always been a bit underrated. He’s deserving of TE1 treatment against a Jaguars defense that has been at least somewhat taken advantage of by Jonnu Smith (4-82-2), Darren Fells (2-57-1), Jack Doyle (3-49-0), Drew Sample (3-47-0) and Anthony Firkser (4-45-0) through 10 weeks.

Jaguars Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Chris Conley 75 205 4.35 1.7 Steven Nelson 71 194 4.49 0.88
R D.J. Chark Jr. 76 198 4.34 1.68 Joe Haden 71 195 4.52 1.12
S Keelan Cole 73 194 1.33 Cameron Sutton 71 188 4.52 0.94

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: D.J. Chark Jr. is one of 17 players with at least 800 air yards this season. The Jaguars’ undisputed No. 1 wideout has been the apple of quarterbacl Jake Luton’s eye through two weeks:

Yes, the Steelers’ ferocious pass rush has the potential to essentially render the Jaguars’ passing game useless for the better part of 60 minutes come Sunday. Also yes, the likes of A.J. Brown (6-153-1), Travis Fulgham (10-152-1), Tee Higgins (7-115-1), Willie Snead IV (5-106-0) and Darius Slayton (6-102-2) have all proven capable of putting together more-than-solid performances against this secondary.

Chark is my PPR WR20 on the week and should be started in more fantasy football lineups than not. I’m inclined to fade the rest of the offense other than James Robinson due to the low floor involved with Luton under center in this impossible matchup.

Conley is perhaps worthy of some exposure as a low-priced DFS dart, although he’s struggled to make the most out of his fantasy-friendly downfield opportunities all season. He’d be off the fantasy radar if Laviska Shenault Jr. (hamstring) manages to return to action.

TE breakdown: Credit to Eifert for largely staying healthy over the past two seasons. He’s still not a realistic fantasy option, as the 30-year-old veteran has yet to reach even 50 yards in a game this season.

Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers

Lions Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Marvin Hall 70 190 2.06 Donte Jackson 70 180 4.32 1.31
R Marvin Jones Jr. 74 198 1.17 Rasul Douglas 74 209 4.59 1.05
S Danny Amendola 71 190 4.58 1.85 Corn Elder 70 185 4.55 0.77

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: There’s a chance Rasul Douglas shadows Marvin Jones Jr., but it’s not really a matchup worth worrying about. This offense remains a lesser version of itself without Kenny Golladay (hip) in action:

  • Week 1 (no Golladay): Matthew Stafford 9.2-yard average target depth
  • Week 2 (no): 8.8
  • Week 3 (yes): 10.2
  • Week 4 (yes): 13.3
  • Week 6 (yes): 11.3
  • Week 7 (yes): 10.5
  • Week 8 (yes): 10.5
  • Week 9 (no): 6.0
  • Week 10 (no): 7.9

Jones has posted 4-55-0, 4-23-1, 3-39-2, 3-43-1 and 8-96-1 receiving lines in five games where Golladay has either missed entirely or left early due to injury. He’s deserving of top-30 treatment at the position due to his potential to keep finding the end zone; just realize the 2020 version of Jones isn’t quite the same monster as what we saw in past years, and the general ceiling of this offense is simply lower for everyone involved without their No. 1 wide receiver in action.

Marvin Hall receives a deep shot or two per game; his average target depth of 21.8 yards is the second-highest mark among all receivers with at least 10 targets. Still, we’ve never seen the offense make a truly concerted effort to utilize him as anything more than a one-trick pony, field-stretching wide receiver.

Quintez Cephus (51% snaps in Week 10) is every bit as involved as Danny Amendola (39%). Nobody behind Jones is worthy of true fantasy consideration — give the Panthers credit for functioning as the league’s 10th-best defense in contested target percentage this season. 

TE breakdown: T.J. Hockenson (toe) still played 66% of the offense’s snaps in Week 10, although Jesse James (56%) and, to a lesser extent, Isaac Nauta (22%) were also plenty involved. The tight end position remains a disaster in fantasy land. There’s no reason not to go back to Hockenson as a mid-tier TE1 in this winnable spot. Before Week 10, Hockenson had reached 50 yards or scored in every game.

Panthers Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L D.J. Moore 71 215 4.42 2.06 Desmond Trufant 72 190 4.38 1.48
R Robby Anderson 75 190 2.28 Amani Oruwariye 73 205 4.47 1.08
S Curtis Samuel 71 195 4.31 1.5 Justin Coleman 71 190 4.53 1.25

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: The Lions have asked Desmond Trufant to shadow Adam Thielen (2-38-0) and Terry McLaurin (7-95-0) over the past two weeks with mixed results. It’s unclear if the Lions consider D.J. Moore or Robby Anderson as the Panthers’ No. 1 wide receiver. I’d guess Anderson will draw the matchup if Trufant sticks to a single receiver, but either way, it’s not a matchup worth altering projections for.

Anderson has caught at least four passes in every game this season, although the ex-Jets wideout hasn’t scored since Week 1. The WR24 in PPR points per game, Anderson has settled in as more of a high-floor WR2 than an elite WR1 option.

We’ve seen far less consistency out of Moore, although the booms have largely been worth the busts. All in all, only Justin Jefferson (24.7 yards per target) has been more efficient on passes thrown 20-plus yards downfield than Moore (22.1) this season.

The Lions rank 31st and 24th in explosive pass-play rate and yards per attempt allowed, respectively. Moore has settled in as more of a boom-or-bust WR3 this season, but he should be prioritized in this winnable matchup regardless of whether Teddy Bridgewater (knee) is able to suit up.

I wrote the following about Curtis Samuel last week following his Week 9 explosion:

“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.”

Again: Samuel is a perfectly fine bench stash who gives you a handful of opportunities per game if you badly need someone to fill in on a bye week. But keep expectations in check for the clear-cut third option in this passing attack.

TE breakdown: Ian Thomas has a fantastic first name but owns a season-long 12-93-1 receiving line. For this reason, I’m out.

New England Patriots at Houston Texans

Patriots Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Damiere Byrd 69 180 1.21 Vernon Hargreaves III 70 204 4.5 1.84
R Jakobi Meyers 74 203 4.63 2.99 Bradley Roby 71 194 4.39 0.77
S N'Keal Harry 74 228 4.53 1.09 Eric Murray 71 199 4.49 1.03

Projected shadow matchups: Jakobi Meyers vs. Bradley Roby

WR/CB breakdown: The following players have received at least five targets from Cam Newton since Week 7:

Meyers is the only pass-catcher worthy of our attention from this offense. He’s shown solid chemistry with Newton over the past four weeks, putting up 4-60-0, 6-58-0, 12-169-0 and 5-59-0 receiving lines. Roby’s shadow dates this season have been more bad than good:

The Texans boast the sort of run defense that Newton and company should be able to move the ball against all game long. Pass attempts might be even more scarce than usual, but Meyers has such a dominant grasp on this offense’s target share that we can live with a continued run-first approach. Meyers is my 24th-ranked option at the position this week — ahead of Jerry Jeudy, JuJu Smith-Schuster and D.J. Moore, among others.

TE breakdown: Izzo plays nearly every snap but hasn’t had more than three targets in a game all season. He’s off the fantasy radar.

Texans Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Will Fuller V 72 184 4.32 1.99 Jason McCourty 71 195 0.9
R Brandin Cooks 70 183 4.33 1.73 J.C. Jackson 73 198 4.46 1.42
S Randall Cobb 70 192 4.46 1.64 Jonathan Jones 70 190 4.33 1.54

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: There’s a chance that Stephon Gilmore (knee) could shadow either Will Fuller V or Brandin Cooks if active. His presence would warrant a slight downgrade for the entire Texans' offense, although it’s tough to fade either outside wide receiver at this point.

I wrote a feature last week on Deshaun Watson playing better than ever despite the absence of DeAndre Hopkins. Last week’s weather-induced nightmare against the Browns didn’t go well, but the Patriots surprisingly represent a prime bounce-back spot. New England was once the model of the league of taking away its opponent’s No. 1 weapon, but nobody has allowed a higher explosive pass-play rate than the Patriots (19.1%) through 10 weeks.

Week 10 marked the first time all season that Fuller didn’t either score or surpass 100 receiving yards when receiving at least one target. Still, he’s surprisingly worked as the offense’s No. 2 wide receiver since Bill O’Brien was sent packing after Week 4:

  • Cooks Weeks 5-10: 45 targets, 33 receptions, 411 yards, 3 TDs
  • Fuller: 38 targets, 23 receptions, 354 yards, 4 TD

Watson is incredible; it makes sense that he can enable multiple high-end fantasy receivers. Fire up both Fuller and Cooks with confidence in fantasy leagues of all shapes and sizes. Cobb has six or fewer targets in all but one game this season; he’s a low-ceiling WR4 in this spot.

TE breakdown: We could at least slightly trust Darren Fells and Jordan Akins as touchdown-dependent TE2 options when both were healthy, but now Pharaoh Brown is truly making this a three-tight end committee. Similar to Seattle, we could theoretically fire up any of these players as legit top-12 options if they were featured as the lead talent at the position, but when fully healthy, it’s simply impossible to have any level of trust in these tight ends.

Tennessee Titans at Baltimore Ravens

Titans Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L A.J. Brown 72 226 4.49 2.27 Marlon Humphrey 72 197 4.41 1.05
R Corey Davis 75 209 2.16 Marcus Peters 72 195 4.53 1.04
S Cameron Batson 68 175 0.75 Terrell Bonds 69 175 1.61

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: AJB WR1 Szn took a week off last Thursday night, although the talented second-year receiver should’ve reeled in a picture-perfect 70-yard score, courtesy of QB Ryan Tannehill.

The 1-21-0 performance snapped Brown’s streak of five consecutive games with at least one score. He’s still the WR14 in PPR points per game despite the dud, so continue to fire up the Titans’ No. 1 WR as a top-10 fantasy option with confidence, despite the meh matchup.

This Ravens' secondary has generally been incredibly tough on opposing WRs over the past two seasons, although we’ve seen a few more cracks emerge than usual in 2020. Overall, nine receivers have already cleared 60 receiving yards against this unit through 10 weeks:

It’s not an easy matchup, but don’t sit a stud like AJB because of a perceived tough spot. Good offense beats good defense in today’s NFL, and the Titans possess anyone’s idea of the former.

Davis has (naturally) turned in underwhelming 0-0-0 and 5-67-0 performances in two games since seemingly solidifying himself as a legit WR2 option. He’s better treated as more of a low-ceiling WR3 than as the No. 2 pass-game option in this run-first offense.

It remains to be seen when Adam Humphries (concussion) will return. Either way, none of the offense’s complementary receivers are worthy of fantasy consideration due to their general lack of volume.

TE breakdown: Jonnu Smith scored five times in the first four weeks of the season, clearing 35 receiving yards in every game. Since then, he’s limped to 1-13-0, 1-9-0, 2-29-0, 2-32-1 and 2-14-0 performances. The Titans’ talented TE1 should continue to be started in most fantasy football leagues; just realize Smith isn’t immune to the sort of dips that most players outside of Travis Kelce, George Kittle and Darren Waller have experienced at the position this season.

Ravens Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Miles Boykin 76 220 4.42 0.97 Breon Borders 72 189 0.91
R Marquise Brown 69 170 1.59 Malcolm Butler 71 190 1.45
S Willie Snead IV 71 205 4.62 1.74 Desmond King II 70 200 0.68

Projected shadow matchups: Marquise Brown vs. Malcolm Butler

WR/CB breakdown: The artist known as Hollywood has posted a combined 6-55-1 receiving line on 13 targets in three games since the Ravens’ Week 7 bye. Somehow, Mark Andrews (25%) *and* Snead (21%) have a higher target share than Brown over the past three weeks.

The Ravens continue to make an effort to get Brown going downfield, but the connection simply hasn’t worked out. Lack of separation has seemingly been the issue lately, while overthrows were common during the earlier parts of the year.

Ultimately, this Ravens passing attack is fairly broken at the moment. This remains a run-first offense that simply hasn’t managed to get anybody consistently involved through the air all season. Brown is a boom-or-bust WR3 due for a big game at some point, but he’s not somebody who needs to be started at this point. Please don’t go chasing points with Snead.

TE breakdown: Andrews tied a season-high with nine targets in Week 10, ultimately posting a solid 7-61-0 line. He should be leaned on more than ever with Nick Boyle (knee, IR) done for the season. Andrews is the PPR TE5 this season, despite the disappointing campaign. Don’t be surprised if he finishes 2020 in style with winnable matchups on the horizon against the Titans (No. 20 in PPR points per game allowed to TEs), Steelers (No. 3), Cowboys (No. 17), Browns (No. 22), Jaguars (No. 25) and Giants (No. 11).

Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns

Eagles Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Travis Fulgham 75 215 4.58 2.12 Terrance Mitchell 71 191 4.63 1.05
R Jalen Reagor 71 195 4.47 1.24 Denzel Ward 71 190 4.32 0.87
S Greg Ward 71 186 1.04 Kevin Johnson 72 185 4.52 1.06

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Thankfully the Eagles didn’t reduce Fulgham’s playing time in Week 10 when Alshon Jeffery made his season debut. Overall, Reagor (88% snaps) and Fulgham (88%) were the offense’s full-time receivers, while Ward (63%) and Jeffery (27%) were the complementary options.

QB Carson Wentz has been erratic for the better part of 2020 and has yet to throw for three scores in a single game. His average of 232 passing yards per game is lower than what the fifth-year QB posted as a rookie back in 2016 (236).

Both Fulgham and Reagor have flashed at different points this season, but it’s tough to rank either as more than a boom-or-bust WR3 at best, considering 1) the lack of fantasy-friendly opportunities inside of the league’s 24th-ranked scoring offense, and 2) the rainy matchup against the Browns’ average pass defense.

Overall, Reagor and Fulgham rank as my 39th and 40th WRs this week, respectively. We need to see a serious turnaround in general passing efficiency before putting too much trust into anybody involved in this passing game.

TE breakdown: The latter point holds for Dallas Goedert, who has posted disappointing 1-15-0 and 4-33-0 receiving lines as the offense’s primary TE over the past two games. The reality that Richard Rodgers (4-60-0) was more productive on one less target last week was particularly wild. Ultimately, Goedert is the one player in this aerial “attack” that I’m willing to start with any level of confidence, but that’s more of an indictment on the TE position as a whole than a major vote of support for the Eagles’ third-year TE.

Browns Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L KhaDarel Hodge 74 205 0.62 Avonte Maddox 69 180 4.39 1.56
R Rashard Higgins 73 198 4.64 1.83 Darius Slay 72 190 4.36 1.2
S Jarvis Landry 71 196 4.77 1.97 Cre'Von LeBlanc 71 190 1.54

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: OBJ (knee, IR) played just two snaps in Week 7 before being injured. Mayfield has fed the following players at least five targets since:

The Browns’ veteran slot receiver has been playing through hip pain all season and still hasn’t caught a TD through 10 weeks. Things won’t be easy against the league’s third-ranked defense in fewest yards per attempt when targeting the slot, but Landry is worthy of WR3 treatment at a minimum as the undisputed No. 1 option in this passing game.

Higgins has posted 6-110-0, 1-14-0 and 3-48-0 receiving lines in his past three games; he’s a boom-or-bust WR4 who is basically being used as a poor man’s version of OBJ in this offense. Don’t take the chance this week on the former outcome occurring, with Higgins expected to run most of his routes against the artist known as Big Play Slay. None of the offense’s additional complementary receivers are worthy of fantasy consideration.

TE breakdown: Austin Hooper (85% snaps) had a full-time role in his return to action in Week 10, although Bryant (55%) and Njoku (35%) stayed somewhat involved, as well. Ultimately, Hooper’s two-target workload was likely a weather-induced anomaly. Be comfortable going back to the well with Hooper as a legit TE1 against the league’s fourth-worst defense in PPR points allowed per game.

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints

Falcons Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Julio Jones 75 220 4.34 2.65 Marshon Lattimore 72 192 4.36 1.46
R Olamide Zaccheaus 68 190 1.57 Janoris Jenkins 70 190 0.99
S Russell Gage 72 184 1.49 Chauncey Gardner-Johnson 72 208 4.48 1.18

Projected shadow matchups: Julio Jones vs. Marshon Lattimore

WR/CB breakdown: Calvin Ridley (foot) seems to have a chance to return this week, although it’s not a sure thing at the time of this writing. He’s earned every-week WR1 treatment when healthy, as only Davante Adams (26.7 PPR points per game), Tyreek Hill (19.5), DeAndre Hopkins (19.5), D.K. Metcalf (19.2), Stefon Diggs (18.8) and Tyler Lockett (18.7) have been more productive on a per-game basis this season.

Jones enters a potential shadow matchup with Lattimore coming off 8-137-2, 8-97-0, 7-137-0 and 5-54-1 performances. He continues to rank among the league’s best talents in yards per route run:

1. Justin Jefferson (3.23 yards per route run)
2.
Davante Adams (3.11)
3. Jakobi Meyers (2.99)
4. Alvin Kamara (2.78)
5. Julio Jones (2.65)

The Saints have changed their coverage assignments on multiple occasions against the Falcons in recent years, but it hasn’t really made much of a difference in limiting these stud receivers. Continue to fire up both Julio and Ridley as top-10 options at the position.

Gage hasn’t found the end zone or received more than seven targets in a game since Week 2. Zaccheaus has demonstrated a sneaky-solid ceiling with either Ridley or Jones sidelined over the past two seasons; treat him as a boom-or-bust WR4 if the former talent is sidelined once again.

TE breakdown: Hurst is the TE9 in PPR points per game and has racked up at least six targets in all but three games this season. The 27-year-old TE has more targets on passes thrown at least 20 yards downfield (7) than everyone at his position other than Rob Gronkowski (10). Hurst is my ninth-ranked player at the position against one of six defenses to allow at least 15 PPR points per game to opposing TEs through 10 weeks.

Saints Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Michael Thomas 75 212 4.57 1.12 Kendall Sheffield 72 193 2.79
R Emmanuel Sanders 71 180 4.4 1.84 A.J. Terrell 73 190 4.42 1.4
S Tre'Quan Smith 74 210 4.49 1.1 Isaiah Oliver 72 210 4.5 1.7

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Drew Brees (ribs) is expected to miss at least two games. Coach Sean Payton declined to name a starting QB, although Jameis Winston was the position’s primary thrower during the second half of their Week 10 win over the 49ers. Overall, Winston played 32-of-35 second-half snaps, while Taysom Hill was in for 15 reps during the game’s final 30 minutes.

The larger potential concern for Winston is the reality that he looked like a neutered version of the DGAF gunslinger we saw in Tampa Bay for the better part of the last half-decade. Winston’s average target depth in Week 10 was a pedestrian 5.1 yards; he’s never finished below 10.8 in a season, and his previous career-low mark in a single game was 7.6.

This is an incredibly small sample, and we should expect Winston to throw more downfield moving forward due to the reality that the former first-overall pick has far more arm talent than Brees at this point in their respective careers. Still, we shouldn’t expect to see the same YOLO-ball attitude that led to all sorts of fantasy success over the years, and the Saints seemed to go out of their way to feed Hill rush attempts in the second half of Week 10.

The Saints surprisingly cut back on their usage of Hill with Teddy Bridgewater under center last season, but they now have $16.3 million reasons why their Swiss Army knife should stay plenty involved during Brees’ absence.

It’s not wise to trust anybody behind Thomas at the moment. The fifth-year receiver has struggled while playing through the pain with 3-17-0, 5-51-0 and 2-27-0 lines out of the gate. It’s worth mentioning that the first two performances came in tough shadow dates against Carlton Davis, while the latter came in a game that featured just 23 total pass attempts from the Saints. Thomas is my 12th-ranked WR this week and far overdue for a bounce-back performance; only realize 1) it’s not a given that Jameis gets this Saints offense humming, and 2) there will likely be a smaller overall pie of passing volume to go around.

TE breakdown: Jared Cook hasn’t played even 50% of the offense’s snaps in three out of the last four weeks. This is because third-round rookie Adam Trautman has been getting more and more involved. Neither is a recommended fantasy option with this sort of usage in a passing game that almost exclusively flows through Alvin Kamara and Thomas more weeks than not.

Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Football Team

Bengals Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L A.J. Green 76 210 4.48 1 Kendall Fuller 71 198 1.02
R Tee Higgins 76 215 2 Ronald Darby 71 193 4.38 1.49
S Tyler Boyd 74 203 4.58 1.73 Jimmy Moreland 70 179 1.3

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: AJG still hasn’t found the end zone this season and has 51 or fewer yards in all but two games. It’s unclear why he’s playing over Auden Tate at this point; the latter receiver leads the Bengals with 2.1 yards per route run. Usually, the complaints about Tate surround his lack of ability to separate, but it’s not like this has been a strength of Green’s game in 2020.

Ultimately, Boyd and Higgins are the only viable fantasy WRs in this offense. Credit to the Football Team for ranking as the single-toughest defense in PPR points allowed per game to the position, but both Bengals receivers should have enough targets to win their respective middling matchups.

Boyd joins Robby Anderson, Stefon Diggs and Allen Robinson II as the only players with at least four receptions in nine or more games this season. Higgins is presently averaging a robust 67 receiving yards per game; only Chase Claypool (139) and Justin Jefferson (138) have more PPR points than Higgins (125) among all rookie WRs.

The Football Team’s never-ending supply of monsters across the defensive line is another matchup that could theoretically cause some problems for Burrow and company. Overall, the Football Team ranks ninth in pressure rate and has allowed 300 or fewer passing yards in every game this season. Ultimately, Burrow has a league-high 418 dropbacks through 10 weeks. Even reduced efficiency can be overcome through sheer volume. Boyd is locked in as a lower-end WR2, while Higgins is an upside WR3 at worst.

TE breakdown: It's a small sample size, but Drew Sample has more games with fewer than 10 receiving yards (5) than he does with more (4). The Bengals’ scoreless TE isn’t a recommended fantasy option as the typical No. 5 (at best) pass-game option in this offense.

Football Team Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Terry McLaurin 72 208 4.35 2.16 William Jackson III 72 196 4.37 1.04
R Cam Sims 77 214 1.86 Tony Brown 72 199 4.35 1.7
S Isaiah Wright 74 220 1 Mackensie Alexander 70 192 1.45

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: It’s Terry McLaurin’s world; we’re all just living in it.

The Football Team’s No. 1 pass-game option has proven capable of putting up big performances with Case Keenum, Dwayne Haskins, Kyle Allen and Alex Smith under center. He stands as the WR12 in PPR points per game through 10 weeks; treat him as such against the league’s eighth-worst defense in fantasy production allowed to the position.

Sims has flashed some tantalizing YAC ability in recent weeks, while Wright has also made the most out of his few opportunities. The problem is that J.D. McKissic quite literally leads the entire league in targets over the past two weeks.

Smith isn’t going to throw the ball 55 times every game, but the Football Team at least resembled a functioning offense during their ill-fated comeback attempt last week. Give the comeback player of the year credit for turning in his finest performance of the season; just don’t expect oodles of fantasy production from the league’s only QB with a checkdown rate above 10% through 10 weeks. McLaurin is the only recommended start out of this WR room.

TE breakdown: Logan Thomas plays a near every-down role and has seen at least four targets in every game. However, he doesn’t have more than six targets in a game since Week 3, and he is the No. 3 (at best) pass-game option in this offense more weeks than not. Continue to fire up the 29-year-old talent as a TD-dependent TE2, although Thomas deserves a mild boost in the ranks thanks to this matchup against the league’s second-worst defense in PPR points allowed per game to the position.

New York Jets at Los Angeles Chargers

Jets Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Breshad Perriman 74 215 1.51 Michael Davis 74 196 1.18
R Denzel Mims 75 215 4.38 1.76 Casey Hayward Jr. 71 192 1.19
S Jamison Crowder 69 177 4.56 2.2 Tevaughn Campbell 72 195 1.23

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Joe Flacco will start for another week and truly looked great against the Patriots for the first 45-plus minutes of the Jets’ narrow Week 9 loss. Alas, coach Adam Gase ultimately had Flacco throw just 25 passes because feeding Frank Gore and La’Mical Perine low-efficiency carries is apparently more important. Mims, Perriman and Crowder form a surprisingly-solid trio at WR; just realize nothing is guaranteed inside of the league’s single-worst scoring offense. The Jets have cleared 13 points in just three of nine games this season.

Perriman is probably most worthy of a dart throw with Flacco under center considering the former Ravens teammates have shown the most consistent chemistry to this point. He’s truly been one of the league’s most deadly big-play receivers over the past three seasons with the Browns, Buccaneers and Jets alike. The only receivers to average at least 17 yards per reception since 2018 are as follows (min. 100 targets):

Perhaps Hayward decides to track one of the Jets’ outside receivers, although his shadow coverage was plenty beatable throughout the 2019 season. Ultimately, both Perriman and Mims are boom-or-bust WR4s that are playing well enough that the offense is no longer force feeding Crowder targets in the slot. Try to avoid playing anyone from this offense if you can, but I’d rank the WRs as 1) Crowder, 2) Perriman, and 3) Mims in terms of pure fantasy projections.

TE breakdown: Every time I even think about Chris Herndon I get emotional. Let’s hope he’s the next player to ball the hell out immediately upon cutting ties with Adam Gase. Unfortunately, that scenario doesn’t appear to be on the table ahead of Sunday. Both Herndon and Ryan Griffin are well off the fantasy radar.

Chargers Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Mike Williams 76 220 1.59 Blessuan Austin 73 195 1.01
R Jalen Guyton 73 202 0.98 Pierre Desir 73 198 4.59 1.77
S Keenan Allen 74 211 4.58 2.17 Brian Poole 69 213 0.99

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: We saw the worst version of Justin Herbert yet against the Dolphins in Week 10, yet the rookie QB still managed to account for three scores and functioned as the week’s fantasy QB8. Through 10 weeks, his average of 23.9 fantasy points per game trails only 2017 Deshaun Watson as the highest mark among all rookie QBs in NFL history.

This Jets defense has hardly been a model of consistency when it comes to limiting opposing WRs:

Williams was wide open in the end zone for a score in Week 10 but was badly overthrown. The next play Herbert found Allen for a score. Don’t be surprised if both receivers get back on track in a major way against the league’s 28th-ranked defense in passer rating allowed.

Guyton remains off the fantasy radar due primarily to the fact that Week 10 was the first time all season he had more than even four targets in a game. We’ll need to see another week or two of consistent volume before trusting him as anything more than a boom-or-bust WR5.

TE breakdown: Henry found the end zone for the second time this season in Week 10. Still, we’ve seen a startling lack of a ceiling since September ended, with Henry posting 2-39-0, 4-23-1, 3-23-0, 4-33-0, 4-33-0 and 4-30-1 receiving lines since Week 4. This isn’t awful: Henry is the TE11 in PPR points per game on the season. However, it’s hardly the sort of high-end production we would’ve hoped for from Henry considering how well Herbert has played. Obviously this is a winnable matchup, but continue to treat Henry as the low-end TE1 that he’s been all season.

Miami Dolphins at Denver Broncos

Dolphins Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Mack Hollins 76 221 4.53 0.75 Bryce Callahan 69 188 0.58
R DeVante Parker 75 216 4.45 1.79 A.J. Bouye 72 191 1.31
S Jakeem Grant 67 169 1.94 Essang Bassey 70 190 4.46 1.16

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Tua Tagovailoa is 3-0 as a starter and has played solid, turnover-free football in back-to-back weeks. The only “problem” is that he’s thrown just 22, 28 and 25 passes while posting a relatively modest 15-34-0 rushing line on the season. The Dolphins are winning games with the help of Tagovailoa, but the rookie hasn’t exactly been forced to carry the team on his back.

This lack of volume has carried over and impacted the ceilings and floors alike of the team’s receivers. Parker and Grant have received solid-enough target shares, but the overall volume is so low that it really hasn’t mattered in fantasy land. Overall, Tagovailoa hasn’t fed a single player eight targets in a game through three starts, and nobody has gained even 65 receiving yards in a game.

These thresholds will be met at some point; just realize a cross-country trip to Mile High Stadium isn’t exactly the most fantasy-friendly spot to expect much from this passing game. The banged-up Broncos defense hasn’t been the same monster we’ve seen in past years. Still, Vic Fangio remains one of the brighter defensive minds in the game, and his defense ranks eighth and seventh in explosive pass-play rate and yards per attempt allowed, respectively.

Parker is my WR36 on the week; Grant comes in as the WR58. Neither should be forced into fantasy lineups by any stretch of the imagination as long as this passing game continues to largely be an afterthought.

TE breakdown: Mike Gesicki played just 26 snaps as a true inline TE in Weeks 1-6 with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center compared to 39 such snaps with Tua in Weeks 8-10. Overall, Gesicki has played 16 or fewer snaps in the slot in three straight games after averaging 25.8 such snaps per game during the first six weeks of the season. This comes even after slot WR Isaiah Ford was shipped off to the Patriots. Gesicki has five or fewer targets in all but two games this season; he’s an upside TE2 only because of his innate talent, not because of this workload.

Broncos Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Tim Patrick 77 210 1.75 Byron Jones 72 205 4.49 1.28
R Jerry Jeudy 73 192 4.45 1.77 Xavien Howard 73 192 4.58 1.18
S K.J. Hamler 69 173 1.07 Nik Needham 72 203 1.28

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Drew Lock (ribs) will be operating at less than 100% if active in Week 10. He’s been unable to consistently get this passing game moving in a positive direction throughout most of the season except for in the fourth quarter in both Week 8 and 9.

This erratic play under center has truly been a shame for Jeudy, who already looks like one of the league’s better pure route-running talents at the position.

Jeudy is averaging 10.7 targets per game over the past three weeks, while Patrick has posted plenty solid 4-29-1 and 4-61-0 receiving lines since returning from injury in Week 9. The problem is that both should run the majority of their routes against Jones and Howard, who form arguably the league’s best CB duo at this point.

We’ve seen the Dolphins basically shut down the likes of the Patriots (140 pass yards), Jaguars (246), 49ers (128), Jets (148) and most recently the Chargers (174) through the air this season. I’m fine trusting Jeudy’s talent to guide him to borderline WR2 territory more weeks than not, but otherwise it’s best to stay away from this offense in this tough spot.

Hamler has posted 6-75-0 and 4-50-0 receiving lines over the past two weeks. He was targeted 10 times in each game; there are worse low-priced GPP dart throws, although it’s clear that Lock prefers to feed the offense’s fantasy-friendly downfield targets to Jeudy (15.3-yard average target depth) and Patrick (15.1) as opposed to Hamler (10.1).

TE breakdown: Week 10 marked the first time all season that Noah Fant (3-18-0) failed to reach 35 receiving yards in a game. The good news was the talented second-year TE played 85% of the offense’s snaps and seems to be getting closer to full health. There’s a fairly low floor for everyone associated with this boom-or-bust offense, but Fant continues to warrant TE1 treatment thanks to his status as one of the position’s most explosive threats with the ball in his hands.

Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings

Cowboys Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Michael Gallup 73 198 4.51 1.2 Kris Boyd 71 201 4.45 1.39
R Amari Cooper 73 210 4.42 1.77 Chris Jones 72 200 4.57 1.41
S CeeDee Lamb 74 191 4.5 1.9 Jeff Gladney 72 183 4.48 1.62

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Andy Dalton (covid) is back under center. His target distribution in roughly eight quarters of football has been as follows:

Don’t confuse Dalton’s presence with a return to form for this Cowboys offense; they scored 13 combined points against the Cardinals and Football Team with Dalton under center for more than six quarters of action.

Cooper and, to a lesser extent, Lamb can be started with some confidence for however long the Red Rocket can stay upright. The Vikings have hardly been a secondary to fear throughout the season, although they do deserve credit for holding their opponents to 22, 20 and 13 points following their Week 7 bye.

This Cowboys offensive line remains an injury-riddled trainwreck. The only reason why Cooper and Lamb remain viable starting options is thanks to high-end talent and projected volume. Even then, treat them as a low-end WR2 and WR3, respectively. Only the Jaguars (18.25) and Jets (19.25) are implied to score fewer points than the Cowboys (20.5) this week.

TE breakdown: Dalton Schultz hasn’t scored without Dak Prescott under center. He’s the TE14 in PPR points per game despite having the sixth-most targets at the position. There just isn’t a good reason to invest heavily in this Cowboys offense unless you have to; Schultz is a low-end TE2 against Harrison Smith and company.

Vikings Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Justin Jefferson 73 202 4.43 3.23 Chidobe Awuzie 72 202 4.43 0.86
R Adam Thielen 74 200 2.01 Anthony Brown 71 196 4.33 1.16
S Chad Beebe 70 183 0.75 Jourdan Lewis 70 195 4.54 0.79

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Thielen *and* Jefferson are anybody’s idea of high-end receiving options:

  • Thielen: 28.2% target share (No. 3 in the NFL); 40% air yard share (No. 3)
  • Jefferson: 23.8% target share (No. 13); 30.9% air yard share (No. 16)

The PPR WR13 and WR21, respectively, Thielen and Jefferson’s only weekly hurdle is getting enough volume to make the most out of their ever-efficient ways. Kirk Cousins has finished with fewer than 30 pass attempts in all but three games this season, and we’ve seen a painfully low floor in games like Week 4 (22 pass attempts), Week 8 (14) and Week 9 (20) when the Vikings have been able to run the ball to their heart’s desire.

Unfortunately for this passing game, the latter scenario seems more likely than ever this week against the Cowboys’ league-worst defense in yards before contact per rush allowed. It’s pretty tough to bench either guy in season-long formats; they’re both ballers who are capable of making the most out of even five or six targets. Still, keep expectations in check against a secondary that allowed fewer than 225 yards in five consecutive games before facing Big Ben and company in Week 9. This is not an endorsement of the Cowboys’ secondary; they’re awful. Just realize teams have often been able to take the path of least resistance against them by running the ball, and the Vikings are one of the league’s better-suited offenses to do just that.

PSA to all broadcasters out there: We don’t need to hear about Chad being Don Beebe’s kid every week. We get it. If you didn’t know, now you know. You’re welcome. Moving on.

TE breakdown: As I said last week: If one of Kyle Rudolph or Irv Smith get injured, the other will be a TE1. Rudolph (4-63-0) lost a fumble last Monday night but still managed to work as the PPR TE7 on the week. Fire him up as a legit top-10 option if Smith (groin) remains sidelined.

Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis Colts

Packers Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Davante Adams 73 215 4.56 3.11 Xavier Rhodes 73 218 4.43 1.08
R Marquez Valdes-Scantling 76 206 4.37 1.61 Rock Ya-Sin 72 192 4.51 1.65
S Equanimeous St. Brown 77 214 4.48 0.27 Kenny Moore II 69 190 1.05

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Rodgers underwhelmed in Week 10… and still threw for 325 and two scores while also finding the end zone once on the ground. He’s been on an absolute tear after looking human against the Buccaneers, throwing for at least 270 yards and accounting for three-plus total scores in each of the past four weeks.

Up next is a Colts pass defense that has allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing WRs in the league. They’re a solid unit; fraudulent isn’t the right word. Still, a closer look at their schedule reveals a unit that perhaps hasn’t been tested all that much through 10 weeks:

Again: This pass defense is more than solid. The Colts are the only defense in the league to contest at least 20% of their targets against. I’m just not willing to fade a passing game with anyone’s idea of a top-three MVP candidate because of a tough matchup, particularly when we’ve seen the likes of Minshew, Mayfield, Burrow, Stafford and Jackson all have varying degrees of success.

You don’t need me to tell you that Adams is fantasy’s overall WR1 this week. MVS remains a boom-or-bust WR3 even with Allen Lazard (abdominal) expected to return to action. I don’t mind the idea of rostering Lazard, but I’d wait a week before starting with confidence due to the potential for Equanimeous St. Brown and/or Malik Taylor to steal snaps.  

TE breakdown: Robert Tonyan hasn’t scored since his 6-98-3 explosion all the way back in Week 4. And yet, he’s the PPR TE10, because the TE position is absolutely fooked if you haven’t noticed that by now. Nobody has been stingier against the TE position than the Colts this season when it comes to fantasy points allowed per game. Tonyan is a TD-dependent TE2 as long as he continues to lose snaps and a target or two per week to Marcedes Lewis and Jace Sternberger alike.

Colts Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Michael Pittman Jr. 76 220 4.52 1.48 Josh Jackson 72 196 4.56 0.63
R T.Y. Hilton 70 183 4.34 1.24 Ka'Dar Hollman 72 196 1.41
S Zach Pascal 74 219 4.55 1.21 Chandon Sullivan 71 194 4.6 1.36

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Perhaps Jaire Alexander (concussion) will shadow Hilton if healthy. Either way, don’t do it.

Mo Alie Cox (5-111-0 in Week 2), Johnson (5-108-0 in Week 6) and Pittman (7-101-0) represent the only three instances that anybody in this passing game gained more than 75 receiving yards in a game. Philip Rivers has been incredibly content to spread the ball around the lean on the run game; their 56.6% pass-play rate is the ninth-lowest mark in the league.

Credit to Pittman for balling out against the Titans last Thursday night, but it’s worth nothing his marquee play was largely the result of the defense curiously deciding not to guard him.

Expecting another big game from Pittman seems awful point chase-y, while neither Hilton nor Pascal have shown anything to warrant even WR3 treatment. Throw in a matchup against the league’s sixth-best defense in fewest yards allowed to opposing WRs, and this entire passing game is going to be a no from me, dog.

TE breakdown: Mo Alie-Cox and (to a lesser extent) Trey Burton are viable fantasy options when Jack Doyle (concussion) is sidelined. Things get too messy when all three players are active. Alie-Cox worked ahead of Burton in Week 10 in terms of both snaps (46 vs. 37) and targets (4 vs. 3); just realize this is still an annoying committee even with Doyle sidelined. Both are TD-dependent TE2 options against one of just four defenses allowing eight or fewer PPR points per game to the position.

Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders

Chiefs Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Demarcus Robinson 73 203 4.59 0.85 Damon Arnette 72 195 4.56 1.75
R Sammy Watkins 73 211 4.43 1.47 Trayvon Mullen 74 199 4.46 1.29
S Tyreek Hill 70 185 1.92 Lamarcus Joyner 68 191 4.55 1.22

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: The 2020 version of Mahomes looks an awful lot like the same guy that won league MVP honors back in 2018:

  • 2018: 92.8 PFF Passing Grade, 8.5 YPA, 77.5 adjusted cmp rate, 110.3 QB Rating 
  • 2019: 82.3 PFF Passing Grade, 8.0 YPA, 73.5% adjusted cmp rate, 96.5 QB Rating 
  • 2020: 89.6 PFF Passing Grade, 8.2 YPA, 74.2% adjusted cmp rate, 111.0 QB Rating

Through nine weeks, Mahomes has thrown 25 TDs and just one interception. The best QB alive has done so in style, as he’s checked down on just 3% of his attempts this season — the fifth-lowest mark among 35 QBs with at least 100 pass attempts.

Up next is a Raiders defense that “limited” the Chiefs to 32 points back in Week 5. Virtually every defensive starter is on the close-contact covid list. The Chiefs’ week-high implied total of 31.75 points feels low.

Hill has a league-high nine receiving scores through 10 weeks; he trails only Stefon Diggs and Davante Adams in raw PPR points. Continue to fire him up as a top-three option at the position against the Raiders’ slow-footed secondary.

Watkins (hamstring) is tentatively expected to be back in action. This should put Mecole Hardman (covid) szn to bed if the Chiefs’ talented second-year WR is even healthy enough to suit up this week. It’s fine to fire up Watkins as a boom-or-bust WR3, although I’d rather wait a week to make sure the Chiefs don’t ease him back into the swing of things. Robinson is a low-floor WR5.

TE breakdown: Death, taxes, Travis Kelce TE1. He’s been particularly harsh against the Chiefs’ divisional rival over the years, hanging 5-101-0, 4-33-1, 7-74-0, 12-168-2, 5-62-0, 7-107-1, 5-90-0 and most-recently 8-108-1 performances against the Raiders. Credit to Kelce for truly looking better than ever after the catch despite turning 31 in October.

Raiders Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Henry Ruggs III 72 190 4.27 1.47 Bashaud Breeland 71 195 4.62 0.44
R Nelson Agholor 72 198 4.42 1.56 Charvarius Ward 73 200 1.05
S Hunter Renfrow 70 184 4.59 2.04 Tyrann Mathieu 69 185 4.5 1.05

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Derek Carr threw for 154 scoreless yards in Week 10, but the performance should’ve been far bigger.

Carr shredded this Chiefs defense for 347 yards and a trio of scores back in Week 5. This coincided with Ruggs’ return from injury. Adding the speedy rookie to this offense has seemingly flipped a switch for the Raiders’ longtime starting QB. Overall, Carr has posted an average target depth of 9.2 yards since Ruggs returned in Week 5 — tied for ninth among 39 QBs with at least 25 dropbacks in that sample.

The problem is that this offense loves to run the ball, and Carr usually tends to hone in on Waller more than anyone. Ruggs hasn’t had even five targets in a game since Week 1, while Agholor and Renfrow haven’t reached that threshold since Week 7. This is truly a good-to-great real-life passing game, but there’s not enough volume to go around for any single WR to be a recommended start this week. Pass.

TE breakdown: Waller dropped a 55-yard TD in Week 10 that would’ve spruced up his 3-37-0 performance just a bit. Alas, he’s still the TE3 in PPR points per game behind only Kelce and George Kittle. The Raiders’ No. 1 pass-game target has posted 6-63-0, 7-100-0 and 5-48-1 receiving lines in his last three appearances against the Chiefs; Waller is the week’s overall TE2.

Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rams Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Josh Reynolds 75 196 4.52 1.56 Jamel Dean 73 206 4.3 0.82
R Robert Woods 72 195 4.51 1.51 Carlton Davis 73 206 4.53 0.96
S Cooper Kupp 74 208 4.62 1.88 Sean Murphy-Bunting 72 195 4.42 1.46

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Second-round rookie Van Jefferson played at least 25 snaps in Weeks 1 and 2 before largely being relegated to the bench behind Josh Reynolds. We’ve seen Jared Goff feed the following players at least five targets in eight games since:

Woods has an additional 13 rushing attempts during this span; he’s still clearly the No. 1.B option at worst in this offense. Still, Reynolds has emerged as a true No. 3 WR that has limited the upside of Woods and Kupp alike in recent weeks.

Further complicating matters has been the reality that Reynolds (12 deep-ball targets) has far and away been featured more than Kupp (7) and Woods (4) on attempts thrown at least 20 yards downfield.

This is the league’s seventh-most run-heavy offense in terms of run-play rate. Kupp randomly popped off for 20 targets in Week 8, but he’s ultimately finished with fewer than double-digit targets in all but two games. For Woods and Reynolds that total is just one.

Jared Goff *should* have to keep his foot on the gas more than usual this week against TB12 and company, although the suddenly crowded nature of this passing game makes it tough to fire up any of these receivers as real top-20 options with any level of confidence. Ultimately, I gave Kupp (WR19) that honor, but Woods (WR32) and Reynolds (WR44) are better approached with caution against the league’s sixth-ranked defense in passer rating allowed.

TE breakdown: Higbee’s six targets in Week 10 were his most in a game since he had five during his 5-54-3 explosion back in Week 2. Still, Everett has been just as likely to lead the way in targets during recent weeks. Neither is a realistic TE1 option while both are healthy, particularly against a defense that has only allowed Evan Engram (5-61-0) and Jared Cook (5-80-0) to clear 50 receiving yards this season.

Buccaneers Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Mike Evans 77 231 4.53 1.4 Jalen Ramsey 73 208 4.41 0.56
R Antonio Brown 70 181 4.56 1.69 Darious Williams 69 187 0.79
S Chris Godwin 73 209 4.42 1.93 Troy Hill 71 183 4.55 1.14

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Jalen Ramsey shadowed D.K. Metcalf in Week 10; it was the first time all season the Rams asked their stud outside CB to travel with a single WR. I’d bet on them not focusing Ramsey on a specific player this week considering his services could come in handy against each of Evans, AB and Godwin.

Tom Brady utilized the following target distribution in Week 9-10:

AB was open for an easy 50-yard score last week, but Brady misfired. The same was true on a deep ball to Gronk as well as on an end-zone target or two intended for Evans.

Basically, the Buccaneers put up 46 points in Week 10 despite not coming close to firing on all cylinders. This passing game is absolutely loaded at full health and a handful for any defense to deal with.

Of course, this Rams defense has made a habit of making life tough on opposing QBs all season. Pick a metric any metric and they’re probably a top-five defense in it:

  • Explosive pass-play rate: 9.9% (No. 1)
  • Passing yards per attempt: 6.4 (No. 1)
  • Passing TD percentage: 2.9% (No. 1)
  • Passer rating: 85.1 (No. 2)
  • Pressure rate: 39.3% (No. 4)

Josh Allen (311 yards-4 TD-1 INT) and Jimmy Garoppolo (268-3-0) found success against this defense; every other QB has finished without multiple scores and under 270 yards. It’d make sense if Brady joins the former two QBs; just realize this is anybody’s idea of a tough matchup.

Ultimately, I'm trusting great offense to beat great defense. AB (WR14), Evans (WR18) and Godwin (WR23) are all recommended starts inside of arguably the NFC’s most-explosive passing offense. While no single receiver will probably get the sort of high-end volume that we’d hope for, there should continue to be more than enough scoring opportunities to go around. 

TE breakdown: Gronk rebounded from his 1-2-0 dud in Week 9 with a 2-51-1 performance in Week 10. The three targets were his fewest since Week 4, but clearly TB12 still enjoys featuring his long-time BFF in the red zone. Overall, Gronk is one of just 10 players with at least seven targets inside the 10-yard line this season. He’s a bit more of a TD-dependent TE1 than usual with all these WRs healthy, but the scores figure to keep on flowing in as long as Brady stays upright.

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