Fantasy News & Analysis

Fantasy Football: Week 13 WR/CB matchups and TE breakdown

Santa Clara, California, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) catches a ball before a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

We're on to Week 13! 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.

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.

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

Saints Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Michael Thomas 75 212 4.57 1.93 Darqueze Dennard 71 200 4.51 1.17
R Emmanuel Sanders 71 180 4.4 1.88 A.J. Terrell 73 190 4.42 1.45
S Tre'Quan Smith 74 210 4.49 1.04 Isaiah Oliver 72 210 4.5 1.7

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Taysom Hill’s target distribution in two games under center has been as follows:

Thomas is still the undisputed No. 1 option, but the overall target numbers are well below what we’ve grown used to seeing with Drew Brees under center. Check out the Wednesday episode of The PFF Fantasy Football Podcast for my full thoughts on how Hill has impacted Kamara’s fantasy value.

Thomas has posted 9-104-0 and 4-50-0 receiving lines over the past two weeks. Yet to score all season and playing with the modern version of Tim Tebow under center, Thomas is a top-20 option at the position against a Falcons defense that he has terrorized over the years. Nobody else in this passing game is worthy of fantasy consideration as long as the Saints continue to embrace life with Hill at quarterback.

TE breakdown: Please read the previous sentence again and also realize Cook lost his starting job to Trautman two weeks ago.

Falcons Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Christian Blake 73 181 4.56 1.37 Patrick Robinson 71 191 4.46 1.3
R Calvin Ridley 73 190 4.43 2.2 Janoris Jenkins 70 190 1.06
S Russell Gage 72 184 1.42 Chauncey Gardner-Johnson 72 208 4.48 1.07

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Julio Jones (hamstring) is obviously an auto-start when healthy enough to suit up. Fingers crossed he plays through the pain; Matt Ryan with Jones either sidelined or limited to fewer than 50% of the offense’s snaps has yielded poor results in 2020:

  • Week 3: 238 pass yards-1 TD-1 INT
  • Week 4: 285-0-0
  • Week 5: 226-0-1
  • Week 11: 232-0-2
  • Week 12: 185-2-1

Ryan should’ve had three scores last week, but Olamide Zaccheaus (toe, IR) dropped a potential short touchdown.

Of course, with or without Julio, Calvin Ridley is anyone’s idea of a legit WR1 in his own right.

Ridley has never finished with fewer than 14 fantasy points in 14 career games with at least eight targets. The floor is the ceiling for the Falcons’ talented third-year receiver; in five career matchups against the Saints, he’s posted 7-146-3, 8-93-1, 3-28-0, 8-91-0 and 5-90-0 receiving lines. Fire up Ridley as a top-10 wideout who is always capable of a week-winning performance.

I’m inclined to fade this offense’s complementary wide receivers considering Ryan’s aforementioned ineptitude with Jones sidelined, particularly against a Saints defense that has allowed just 28 total points over their past four games.

TE breakdown: Hayden Hurst (ankle) played through the pain in Week 12 and was rewarded with eight targets for his efforts. His 47% snap rate was concerning, but it made sense considering the Falcons blew out the Raiders, 43-6. Hurst has at least four catches in all but four games this season, solidifying him as a low-end TE1 despite squaring off against the same defense that goose-egged him back in Week 11.

Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans

Browns Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L KhaDarel Hodge 74 205 1.36 Malcolm Butler 71 190 1.37
R Rashard Higgins 73 198 4.64 1.88 Breon Borders 72 189 1.01
S Jarvis Landry 71 196 4.77 2.3 Desmond King II 70 200 0.65

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Yes, Baker Mayfield had a laughably bad miss to a wide-open Rashard Higgins on a potential short score during the Browns’ Week 12 win over the Jaguars.

Also yes, Mayfield made a number of great throws throughout the afternoon that demonstrated the sort of upside he possesses when everything is clicking. Don’t let one awful mistake take away from an otherwise great performance.

Jarvis Landry was the primary beneficiary, catching eight of 11 targets for 143 yards and his first (receiving) score of the season. The Browns’ veteran slot receiver had previously cleared 50 yards just three times all season, but constant rain and wind have made life tough on this Cleveland passing game in the post-OBJ era.

The Titans have allowed the sixth-highest passer rating to targets lined up in the slot this season; JuJu Smith-Schuster (9-85-0), Tyler Boyd (6-67-1) and Anthony Miller (5-59-0) had no trouble putting up solid performances against this unit. Landry is an upside WR3 in this potential high-scoring spot, but realize there’s a low floor for any receiver involved in the league’s single-most run-heavy offense. None of the offense’s complementary receivers are realistic fantasy options.

TE breakdown: Austin Hooper has just nine total targets in three combined games after the Browns’ Week 9 bye. There just isn’t enough consistent volume to go around for anybody with Mayfield throwing 30 or fewer passes in all but two games this season. The Browns’ high-priced free agent addition is certainly set up well enough against the league’s seventh-worst defense in PPR points per game allowed to tight ends, but the lack of confidence with Hooper’s workload leaves him as more of a touchdown-dependent TE2 moving forward. 

Titans Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L A.J. Brown 72 226 4.49 2.43 Terrance Mitchell 71 191 4.63 0.96
R Corey Davis 75 209 2.48 Kevin Johnson 72 185 4.52 1.14
S Cameron Batson 68 175 0.8 Tavierre Thomas 70 205 1.42

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: It’s always A.J. Brown WR1 szn.

The above highlight doesn’t include Brown’s ridiculous 69-yard score from Week 12, but you get the point. The WR10 in PPR points per game, Brown is locked in as a boom-or-boom WR1 against a Browns secondary that doesn’t appear to have an answer for his size or speed.

However, Brown isn’t the only fantasy-relevant wideout in Tennessee these days. We’ve seen Corey Davis emerge as a consistent threat, as he’s scored or gained at least 60 yards in every game this season other than his infamous Week 9 goose-egg. There’s no debate in regard to who is the Titans' best receiver, but Davis stands as the WR27 in PPR points per game this season and has earned weekly upside WR3 treatment.

We’ll see if Adam Humphries (concussion) manages to return to action for the first time since Week 8. His return wouldn’t help the target ceilings of Brown or Davis, but it also ultimately wouldn’t impact their projection all that much. Humphries isn’t a realistic fantasy option in this run-first offense.

TE breakdown: The Titans (annoyingly) get multiple tight ends involved in their passing game. Even though Jonnu Smith has played at least 70% of the offense’s snaps in every non-injury-shortened game this season, he’s shown off a brutally low floor with two or fewer receptions in six of his past seven games.

He has eight scores on the season, but understand that the No. 3 pass-game option (at best) in the league’s third-most run-heavy offense doesn’t offer any sort of high-end floor. Smith is more of an upside TE2 than a locked-in TE1 at this point, but perhaps this week’s plus matchup against one of just five defenses to allow at least 15 PPR points per game to opposing tight ends could produce a performance in the upper range of his potential outcomes.

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears

Lions Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Marvin Hall 70 190 1.55 Jaylon Johnson 72 195 4.5 1.26
R Marvin Jones Jr. 74 198 1.18 Kyle Fuller 71 190 4.49 0.7
S Jamal Agnew 70 190 0.58 Buster Skrine 69 185 1.56

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Kenny Golladay (hip) still isn’t practicing. We’ve seen Marvin Jones Jr. supply some solid production during Golladay’s absence throughout this season:

  • Week 1: 4 receptions-55 yards-0 TD (8 targets)
  • Week 2: 4-23-1 (6)
  • Week 8: 3-39-2 (7)
  • Week 9: 3-43-1 (4)
  • Week 10: 8-96-1 (10)
  • Week 11: 4-51-0 (6) — 50-yard TD on flea flicker nullified by illegal formation penalty
  • Week 12: 6-48-0 (12)

Hopefully Jones’ late-game injury scare last Thursday won’t be an issue going into Week 13. He’s an upside WR3 in this not-great matchup against the Bears’ third-ranked defense in fewest PPR points per game allowed to the position.

Matthew Stafford’s efficiency and average target depth have cratered without Golladay in the lineup this season. So, I’m inclined to fade the rest of these low-floor wide receivers in this tough spot.

TE breakdown: T.J. Hockenson has surpassed 50 yards or scored in all but one game this season. The TE5 in PPR points per game has earned weekly high-end TE1 treatment. Stafford has fed the second-year talent at least seven targets in four of his past five games, so don’t be surprised if Hockenson keeps on keeping on against a secondary that he caught all five of his targets against for 56 yards and a score back in Week 1.

Bears Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Allen Robinson II 75 211 4.6 1.89 Jeffrey Okudah 63 199 2.31
R Darnell Mooney 71 175 4.38 1.03 Amani Oruwariye 73 205 4.47 1.29
S Anthony Miller 71 190 1.16 Justin Coleman 71 190 4.53 1.26

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Allen Robinson II is so good. No consistent quarterback play, no problem: A-Rob is the WR13 in PPR points per game on the season. Obviously, his monstrous workload has been the main reason why the Bears’ No. 1 wideout has been able to overcome the team’s generally porous play under center. He’s one of just seven receivers with triple-digit targets through 12 weeks:

Throw in the reality that Robinson is anyone’s idea of a top-10 receiver on a pure talent basis, and we have a weekly borderline WR1 in fantasyland at worst. Fire him up with more confidence than that against a secondary he’s hung 6-133-2, 2-37-0, 6-86-0, 8-86-1 and 5-74-0 performances against since joining the Bears in 2018.

Darnell Mooney had nine targets last week and eats up air yards. Yet, these sort of fantasy-friendly opportunities aren’t quite the same in the Bears' offense as they would be elsewhere, even if the rookie receiver has made a habit of breaking wide open on these chances.

Anthony Miller has also flashed throughout his short NFL career, but ultimately, his snaps and targets come and go. Neither complementary receiver should be treated as more than a low-priced GPP-stacking partner alongside Mitchell Trubisky and A-Rob.

TE breakdown: Jimmy Graham posted a season-low 35% snap rate in Week 12; the Bears have gone with rookie Cole Kmet as their primary tight end during their past two games. Graham is still a candidate to lead the position in targets, but neither player is a realistic fantasy option with snaps and pass-game opportunities being divided inside of this generally awful offense.

Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins

Bengals Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L A.J. Green 76 210 4.48 0.93 Byron Jones 72 205 4.49 1.29
R Tee Higgins 76 215 1.79 Xavien Howard 73 192 4.58 1.3
S Tyler Boyd 74 203 4.58 1.67 Nik Needham 72 203 1.4

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Brandon Allen didn’t move the ball against the Giants with any level of success until New York built a multi-score lead and switched to a prevent defense late in the fourth quarter. The only reason Allen “kept” the Bengals in the game was because of a kick return touchdown and a punt return back to midfield that put the offense in position to potentially win the game at the end. Alas, Allen was immediately strip-sacked. A move to Ryan Finley would potentially be even worse for this offense — if that’s possible.

Tyler Boyd is the favorite to lead this offense in targets on a weekly basis, and Tee Higgins remains talented enough to make the most out of his limited opportunities. A.J. Green has posted three goose-eggs in his past seven games. This is a tough matchup against arguably the best cornerback duo in the league. Try to avoid playing anybody involved in this Bengals offense if you can help it. They’re presently implied to score a week-low 15.25 points.

TE breakdown: Stay away, particularly against one of just eight defenses that allow fewer than 10 PPR points per game to the position.

Dolphins Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Mack Hollins 76 221 4.53 0.83 William Jackson III 72 196 4.37 1.06
R DeVante Parker 75 216 4.45 1.87 LeShaun Sims 72 203 4.53 1.79
S Malcolm Perry 69 185 4.63 0.86 Mackensie Alexander 70 192 1.23

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: The Miami coaching staff hasn’t asked Tua Tagovailoa to throw the ball more than 28 times in any game this season. Nobody in this passing game will be a viable fantasy option if the rookie is under center due to the potential for 1) Tua to continue to function as one of the league’s least-efficient quarterbacks, 2) the Dolphins’ rookie signal-caller to be at less than 100% coming back from a thumb injury, and 3) the offense to embrace a run-first attack in a matchup that shouldn’t be overly difficult for them.

Things open up far more in fantasyland for this offense with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. DeVante Parker has averaged 15.1 PPR points per game with Fitzpatrick during his career and 12.5 points or fewer with anyone else. One of the league’s premier contested-catch artists, Parker has three inches and 15 pounds on basically this entire Bengals secondary. Even a potential shadow date with William Jackson III wouldn’t change Parker’s status as a legit low-end WR2 if Fitz stays under center.

This offense’s complementary wide receivers aren’t realistic fantasy options, regardless of who winds up under center, due to the reality that none of them have full-time roles behind Parker.

TE breakdown: Mike Gesicki has gained at least 35 yards in four consecutive games and had a nice “you got mossed” touchdown against the Jets last week. The Dolphins have gone back to heavily featuring him in the slot and out wide after experimenting with more of a true inline tight end role in Weeks 8-10. The Bengals boast the league’s fifth-worst defense in PPR points per game allowed to the position, so Gesicki is an upside TE1 in this potential blowup spot.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings

Jaguars Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Laviska Shenault Jr. 73 220 4.58 1.48 Cameron Dantzler 74 185 4.64 1.73
R Collin Johnson 76 220 1.32 Kris Boyd 71 201 4.45 1.59
S Keelan Cole 73 194 1.27 Jeff Gladney 72 183 4.48 1.7

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Mike Glennon’s target distribution in his first start was as follows:

Obviously, the return of either D.J. Chark (ribs) or Chris Conley (hip) would change things. I’d also hope that Shenault receives an increased role in future weeks, as the rookie has looked like the offense’s third-best overall play-maker — behind only Chark and James Robinson — all season.

Ultimately, this is a muddled situation inside of the league’s 28th-ranked scoring offense. Glennon truly wasn’t bad last week, although expecting that to hold up in this week’s road trip against the Vikings’ underwhelming, but well-coached, defense looks like a tall task. Chark will be an upside WR2 if active. Otherwise, I’m inclined to fade everyone involved in this passing game.

TE breakdown: Eifert found the end zone in Week 12 for the first time since Week 2. He hasn’t reached 50 receiving yards in a game all season. Don’t do it.

Vikings Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Justin Jefferson 73 202 4.43 2.91 Tre Herndon 71 185 1.3
R Adam Thielen 75 200 2.23 Luq Barcoo 71 170 1.25
S Chad Beebe 70 183 0.99 Josiah Scott 69 175 4.42 4.65

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Adam Thielen (CVOID-19) returned to practice on Wednesday and is fully expected to suit up Sunday. Both of the Vikings’ top pass-game options have received legit WR1 workloads this season:

  • Adam Thielen: 25% target share (No. 9 in the NFL), 36% air yard share (No. 6)
  • Justin Jefferson: 24% target share (No. 13), 32% air yard share (No. 11)

Fire up both Thielen and Jefferson as borderline WR1s against one of the league’s worst overall defenses. Kirk Cousins has thrown multiple scores in all but three games this season despite finishing six games with fewer than 30 pass attempts. There remains a low ceiling inside of this run-first offense, although this spot is good enough for both receivers to truly make the most out of their limited opportunities.

Credit to Chad Beebe for scoring the game-winning touchdown last week, but there’s too low of a floor in terms of overall targets to mess around with the Vikings’ complementary receivers.

TE breakdown: Kyle Rudolph has posted 7-68-0 and 4-63-0 receiving lines in two games with Irv Smith Jr. (groin) sidelined. Either tight end is a legit TE1 when the other is too injured to suit up. They’re also both nothing more than low-end, touchdown-dependent TE2 options when each is healthy. The scoring potential is higher than usual against the Jaguars’ dismal secondary; just realize it’d hardly be a shocker if most of this offense runs through Dalvin Cook in Week 13.

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

Colts Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Michael Pittman Jr. 76 220 4.52 1.43 Cornell Armstrong 72 185 0.72
R T.Y. Hilton 70 183 4.34 1.37 Vernon Hargreaves III 70 204 4.5 1.58
S Zach Pascal 74 219 4.55 1.23 Eric Murray 71 199 4.49 1.11

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Pittman would be my bet to lead the Colts in receiving production for the rest of the season. The problem is that there’s just such a low floor for everyone involved in this passing game, which has consistently spread the ball around. Additionally, the rookie hasn’t exactly shown the ability to win on his own at this point. This isn't to say Pittman can’t improve, but he’s gained just 64 yards all season when not considered open or wide open. This ranks seventh on the Colts.

Sure, a Texans secondary that will be without Bradley Roby (suspension) might struggle to deal with the Colts’ never-ending barrage of crossers and suffer a back-breaking blown coverage; these just aren’t the types of plays that we should feel super confident in continuing. Truly the overwhelming majority of Pittman’s yards and big plays over the past month have come on crossers that were seemingly ignored by the opposition.

Philip Rivers is plenty capable of dicing up this Texans secondary, but realize that this passing game is just as likely to flow through its RBs and TEs as the WRs during any given week. Pittman is a borderline WR3, Hilton an “upside” WR4 and Pascal a low-ceiling WR5 against the league’s second-worst defense in passer rating allowed.

TE breakdown: Trey Burton, Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox are capable of providing TE1-level production on their own, but together they’re each better off treated as TD-dependent TE2 options. Last week Burton led the way in receiving production, although Alie-Cox played more snaps, and Doyle maintained involvement, as well. Burton deserves to be the highest-ranked TE, but much like the WR room, it’s just tough to expect consistency from anybody involved while everyone is healthy.

Texans Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Isaiah Coulter 75 190 Xavier Rhodes 73 218 4.43 0.96
R Brandin Cooks 70 183 4.33 1.84 Rock Ya-Sin 72 192 4.51 2
S Keke Coutee 70 180 4.43 0.76 Kenny Moore II 69 190 0.98

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Will Fuller V (suspension) will miss the remainder of the 2020 season. Pain.

We’ve seen Deshaun Watson’s efficiency fall off a cliff without his ace field-stretching option available:

  • Watson per game with Fuller (33 games): 26.1 PPR points, 8.8 yards per attempt 
  • Without Fuller (16 games): 22 PPR points, 7.3 yards per attempt

The good news is that Watson still has an elite speedster at his disposal in Cooks, who has boosted the efficiency of every QB that he’s ever played with:

Ultimately, Cooks was already supplying upside WR2 fantasy production since coach Bill O’Brien was axed after Week 4. Continue to fire him up as the top-20 WR that he’s been over the past two months.

Coutee is also in the fold as the expected No. 2 option in this passing game. Expect plenty of two-TE sets, but we’ve seen some double-digit reception upside from Coutee in the past. Don’t get carried away, although any full-time receiver playing in an offense with Watson under center deserves strong fantasy consideration. Coutee is a top-36 option at the position this week. 

TE breakdown: Only Carson Wentz, Kirk Cousins, Derek Carr and Lamar Jackson have more dropbacks with at least two TEs on the field than Watson over the past two seasons. Expect both Jordan Akins and Darren Fells to play near full-time roles moving forward. Akins has always been the more-explosive option and deserves to be ranked higher, although Fells’ red-zone chemistry with Watson is largely unmatched in this offense. Ultimately, it’s tough to rank either as a legit top-12 option this week, but Akins, in particular, deserves upside TE2 treatment considering his potential to see even more fantasy-friendly downfield opportunities than usual in this post-Fuller offense.

Las Vegas Raiders at New York Jets

Raiders Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Henry Ruggs III 72 190 4.27 1.41 Lamar Jackson 75 215 4.58 1.74
R Nelson Agholor 72 198 4.42 1.76 Bryce Hall 73 200 1.19
S Hunter Renfrow 70 184 4.59 2.11 Arthur Maulet 70 190 4.62 1.25

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Week 12 was a disaster, but don’t let one (AWFUL) performance overshadow the reality that this passing game has provided far more good than bad throughout the 2020 season. I’m inclined to forget everything that happened last week and write the brutal performance off to 1) brutal ball security from Derek Carr (3 lost fumbles), and 2) a trap game across the country following an emotional Sunday night loss to the Chiefs.

This could be a sneaky bounce-back spot from Agholor, who has emerged as a legit boom-or-bust WR3 ever since being squeezed into the starting lineup back in Week 3 despite rookie Bryan Edwards returning to the lineup in Week 9:

  • Week 3: 2 receptions-32 yards-0 TD (3 targets)
  • Week 4: 4-44-1 (4)
  • Week 5: 2-67-1 (2)
  • Week 7: 5-107-1 (9)
  • Week 8: 0-0-0 (2)
  • Week 9: 2-55-1 (3)
  • Week 10: 1-8-0 (4)
  • Week 11: 6-88-1 (9)
  • Week 12: 5-54-0 (6)

Ruggs flashed his high-end deep-ball ability in Week 12 but ultimately has fewer than 50 receiving yards in all but three games this season. Carr's projected pecking order remains 1) Darren Waller, 2) Nelson Agholor and 3) Henry Ruggs III or Hunter Renfrow. Try to stick with the Raiders’ top-two pass-game options in this week’s prime matchup against the league’s fifth-worst defense in PPR points allowed per game to the position.

TE breakdown: Waller is the clear-cut TE2 in fantasy yet has only reached 50 receiving yards in four games this season. Sheesh. Ultimately, there’s plenty of scoring upside here, and Waller (90 targets) joins Travis Kelce (98) as the only players at the position with more than even 80 targets. Fire up Waller as the position’s second-best option against the same defense that Kelce shredded for an 8-109-1 line back on Nov. 1.

Jets Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Breshad Perriman 74 215 1.7 Damon Arnette 72 195 4.56 2.02
R Denzel Mims 75 215 4.38 2.01 Trayvon Mullen 74 199 4.46 1.16
S Jamison Crowder 69 177 4.56 1.86 Nevin Lawson 69 192 4.48 0.91

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Sam Darnold posted a career-high 12.8-yard average target depth in Week 12, essentially driving a final nail into the coffin that was Crowder WR1 Szn. The often-fed slot receiver has just 11 targets in his past three games combined after racking up double-digit pass-game opportunities in each of the team’s first four games.

Both Perriman and Mims have emerged as viable field-stretching options capable of winning against corners of all shapes and sizes. Perriman, in particular, deserves credit for turning his career around in a major way over the years.

Don’t get too excited over this matchup; this is still the league’s single worst scoring offense we’re talking about here. Still, Perriman and Mims are each viable game stack candidates for those wanting to bet on Carr and company to bounce back in DFS GPP formats in addition to being boom-or-bust WR4 options in this winnable spot.

TE breakdown: Do we think Chris Herndon will score 10 or 12 TDs next year in this post-Gase offense? Do I hear 15? Anyway, don’t play the Jets’ criminally underutilized TE for the rest of 2020. Realize that he’s the prime candidate to ball the hell out once freed from this atrocity of an offense.

New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks

Giants Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Darius Slayton 73 190 4.39 1.5 Tre Flowers 75 203 4.45 1.02
R Sterling Shepard 70 201 4.48 1.65 Shaquill Griffin 72 198 4.38 1.21
S Golden Tate 70 197 4.42 1.27 Ugo Amadi 69 201 4.51 0.86

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Daniel Jones (hamstring) is looking iffy at best to suit up in this week’s dream spot against the Seahawks’ much-maligned secondary. They’re a better unit with Griffin back in action, but c’mon, people … we’re talking about easily the league’s worst secondary in PPR points allowed per game to opposing WRs here.

Slayton’s Week 12 goose egg would’ve been far bigger had he held on to a potential 75-yard score on a … well …not perfectly thrown deep-ball from Jones. The last time Shepard didn’t receive at least six targets in a non-injury-shortened game was Week 11 of 2018. Tate tied Evan Engram with a team-high nine targets last week and could feasibly be Colt McCoy’s No. 1 option.

The matchup couldn’t be better; I’m still inclined to largely fade these WRs in fantasy formats of all shapes and sizes. This passing game hasn’t reached even 275 yards in a season, even with Jones under center. McCoy gained a painful 31 yards on 10 pass attempts against the “vaunted” Bengals secondary. OC Jason Garrett dialed up a QB sweep for McCoy on a ho-hum second-and-10 from midfield; don’t expect the schematic advantage to be on the Giants side in this one.

TE breakdown: Engram turned in his best performance of the season in Week 12, catching six of his nine targets for 129 scoreless yards. The Giants seemed to make a concerted effort to feature their talented TE downfield: Engram’s average target depth of 12.6 yards was easily his highest mark of the season. The likely absence of Jones doesn’t help matters, although Engram would be my pick to lead the way in this McCoy-led offense. Don’t freak out, but we can at least get back to treating the fourth-year TE as a top-10 fantasy option at the position.

Seahawks Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L D.K. Metcalf 75 229 4.33 2.32 James Bradberry 73 212 4.5 0.81
R David Moore 72 215 1.61 Isaac Yiadom 73 190 4.52 1.52
S Tyler Lockett 70 182 4.4 1.72 Darnay Holmes 70 198 4.48 1.54

Projected shadow matchups: D.K. Metcalf vs. James Bradberry

WR/CB breakdown: Bradberry is the sort of big-bodied CB that has given Metcalf “problems” in the past, although he’s largely only “lost” shadow matchups due to a lack of overall target volume:

  • Week 14, 2019 vs. Jalen Ramsey: 6 receptions-78 yards-0 TD (6 targets)
  • Week 15, 2019 vs. Bradberry: 2-36-1 (4)
  • Week 16, 2019 vs. Patrick Peterson: 0-0-0 (1)
  • Week 2, 2020 vs. Stephon Gilmore: 4-92-1 (6)
  • Week 4, 2020 vs. Xavien Howard: 4-106-0 (6)
  • Week 7, 2020 vs. Peterson: 2-23-0 (5)
  • Week 9, 2020 vs. Tre’Davious White: 7-108-1 (9)
  • Week 10, 2020 vs. Ramsey: 2-28-0 (4)
  • Week 11, 2020 vs. Peterson: 3-46-1 (5)
  • Week 12, 2020 vs. Darius Slay: 10-177-0 (13)

Perhaps Russell Wilson again refrains from targeting Metcalf all that often when he’s being tracked by a more plus-sized corner like Bradberry. It’s worth mentioning Lockett has posted 4-43-0, 8-120-1, 1-12-0, 7-67-1, 2-39-0, 15-200-3, 4-40-0, 5-66-0, 9-67-1 and 3-23-0 receiving lines in these contests. I unfortunately haven’t cracked the Lockett-week code just yet.

Ultimately, Metcalf (PPR WR3) and Lockett (WR7) have been two of the league’s most productive receivers all season long. Continue to fire them up as the upside WR1s they've functioned as for basically the entirety of 2020.

TE breakdown: Jacob Hollister (5 targets) led the way in passing game opportunities ahead of Will Dissly (0) last week, although Dissly (72% snaps) was on the field more often than Hollister (55%). Don’t expect that target disparity to stick, but this is a pretty pure two-TE committee either way. Neither should be considered more than an upside TE2 at best with Wilson cooking a bit less frequently in recent weeks; this passing game (understandably) largely flows through its dope WRs.

Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals

Rams Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Josh Reynolds 75 196 4.52 1.39 Dre Kirkpatrick 74 196 4.5 1.51
R Robert Woods 72 195 4.51 1.71 Patrick Peterson 73 203 4.31 1.17
S Cooper Kupp 74 208 4.62 2 Byron Murphy 71 190 4.55 1.28

Projected shadow matchups: Robert Woods vs. Patrick Peterson

WR/CB breakdown: Shiftier receivers like Woods have largely dominated Peterson over the past two years; I maintain the only reason PP has had so much success against D.K. Metcalf is because Russell Wilson has continued to treat the longtime Cardinals CB like the baller that he used to be instead of the borderline-washed defensive back that we’ve seen for the better part of the last two seasons.

Anyway, Woods (WR13) and Kupp (WR21) have each functioned as upside WR2 options all season. Jared Goff’s efficiency and volume alike tend to come and go, but coach Sean McVay remains a good enough playcaller to typically scheme both of his top-two WRs into success more weeks than not. Target expectations are virtually identical, although Woods probably deserves the overall nod thanks to his 20-115-2 rushing line on the season.

Reynolds is a sneaky-fine WR3 with at least six targets in five consecutive games. He’s not the same caliber field-stretching WR as Brandin Cooks used to be in this offense, but targets are targets in fantasyland.

The matchup is less fearful than potential for Goff to render the upside of the passing game obsolete like he’s done in two of the past four weeks. Still, even these occasions of brutal efficiency and bone-headed plays usually just wind up leading to negative game script; continue to fire up both Woods and Kupp as top-20 options at the position.

TE breakdown: Last week, a banged-up version of Tyler Higbee (61% snaps) split reps with Gerald Everett (47%). Similar to Minnesota and Houston: either TE would be firmly in the TE1 discussion if the other is injured, otherwise they’re tough to treat as more than TD-dependent TE2 darts. This is twice as true against one of just eight defenses to allow fewer than 10 PPR points per game to the position.

Cardinals Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L DeAndre Hopkins 73 212 4.57 2.3 Jalen Ramsey 73 208 4.41 0.5
R Christian Kirk 71 200 4.47 1.45 Darious Williams 69 187 0.84
S Andy Isabella 69 188 4.31 1.23 Troy Hill 71 183 4.55 1.09

Projected shadow matchups: DeAndre Hopkins vs. Jalen Ramsey

WR/CB breakdown: Nuk hasn’t been getting fed quite as much as we’re used to seeing. Yes, only Keenan Allen (122 targets), Stefon Diggs (110) and Allen Robinson (108) have more targets than Hopkins (103) this season. Also yes, his 150-target pace would tie for his lowest mark since 2014.

There have been some boom performances, but generally, we haven’t seen Kyler Murray force-feed Hopkins in the same manner that the Texans did over the past half-decade:

  • 2015: 3 games with fewer than 10 targets
  • 2016: 9
  • 2017: 4
  • 2018: 5
  • 2019: 8
  • 2020: 7

These are first-world problems for Hopkins; just realize we probably shouldn’t expect a performance on the higher end of his projected range of outcomes with a true baller like Ramsey following him around. The two have squared off on numerous occasions over the years, and while Hopkins has won plenty of times, he’s usually needed plenty of targets to do so.

Kirk is always a viable boom-or-bust WR3 candidate that has been doing a lot of the latter in recent weeks. A spot against the Rams’ second-ranked defense in fewest PPR points per game allowed to opposing WRs probably isn’t the week to expect too much of a bounce-back performance. The same is true for either Andy Isabella or Larry Fitzgerald (Covid) if he’s back. 

TE breakdown: Each of Maxx Williams (72% snaps in Week 12), Dan Arnold (36%) and Evan Baylis (30%) see their fair share of snaps, with Arnold typically working as the preferred receiving option. Still, this role isn’t large enough to warrant anything more than dart-throw TE3 treatment. Try to find a better option.

New England Patriots at Los Angeles Chargers

Patriots Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Damiere Byrd 69 180 1.49 Michael Davis 74 196 1.1
R N'Keal Harry 74 228 4.53 1.04 Brandon Facyson 74 197 4.53 1.58
S Jakobi Meyers 74 203 4.63 2.46 Chris Harris Jr. 69 199 1.25

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Only the Titans (63%) have a higher rate of catchable deep balls (20-plus yards downfield) than the Patriots (62%); this passing game’s up and (mostly) down performance throughout the season isn’t fully on the arm of Cam Newton. Obviously the play from the ex-Panthers QB hasn’t always been positive (particularly in Week 12), but these receivers also haven’t exactly been breaking wide open all season either.

Newton has been willing to spread the ball around to each of Meyers, Byrd and Harry since the latter receiver returned to the lineup in Week 10. Meyers remains the preferred fantasy option, but even he’s more of a borderline WR3 at this point. There’s nothing wrong with fielding a fantasy football roster without a single Patriots receiver involved.

TE breakdown: Ryan Izzo rarely leaves the field yet has just 19 targets all season. He’s not a realistic fantasy option with this low-volume role.

Chargers Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Mike Williams 76 220 1.47 Jonathan Jones 70 190 4.33 1.6
R Jalen Guyton 73 202 0.84 J.C. Jackson 73 198 4.46 1.17
S Keenan Allen 74 211 4.58 2.08 Stephon Gilmore 73 202 4.38 1.11

Projected shadow matchups: Keenan Allen vs. Stephon Gilmore

WR/CB breakdown: Allen twisted up Gilmore like a pretzel for a 43-yard score the last time these two talents faced off in the 2019 playoffs. The Patriots’ No. 1 CB played 31 snaps in the slot in that matchup; he joins Jalen Ramsey and Darius Slay as the only full-time shadow corners that have made a habit of chasing their assignment into the slot over the years.

Whatever. Volume is volume in fantasyland, and nobody has more of it than Allen this season. Perhaps the matchup warrants bumping Allen out of the position’s top-five options this week, but please don’t let a tough assignment lead you to treat the Chargers’ undisputed No. 1 receiver option as anything other than an upside WR1 in fantasy.

Perhaps the Patriots reverse course and instead ask Gilmore to track Williams to better combat the contested-catch artist’s usually monstrous size advantage. The larger issue is probably volume; Williams has just 10 total targets in three games with both Justin Herbert and Austin Ekeler active. This probably isn’t the spot to expect a big game from this boom-or-bust WR4.

TE breakdown: Hunter Henry has posted 4-30-1, 4-48-1 and 7-67-0 lines over the past three weeks. The overall PPR TE6 on the season, continue to fire up the Chargers’ talented TE as a top-six option at the position even in a tough matchup against the league’s fifth-stingiest defense in PPR points per game allowed to opposing TEs.

Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers

Eagles Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Travis Fulgham 75 215 4.58 1.7 Kevin King 75 200 4.43 0.85
R Jalen Reagor 71 195 4.47 1.12 Jaire Alexander 70 196 4.38 0.73
S Greg Ward 71 186 0.87 Chandon Sullivan 71 194 4.6 1.2

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: There are two main problems with trusting any Eagles WR: 1) Carson Wentz is presently playing the worst football of his career, and 2) the likes of Ward (68% snaps in Week 12), Reagor (61%), Fulgham (52%), Alshon Jeffery (48%) and John Hightower (27%) are basically forming a five-man WR committee in a passing game that also leans heavily on its RBs and WRs. Gun to my head, give me Reagor as the best fantasy option here, but I might just say pull the trigger in this theoretical scenario. Try to avoid this passing game as a whole if you can; a run-first offense with Jalen Hurts under center is growing more and more possible by the week.

TE breakdown: Goedert has posted 1-15-0, 4-33-0, 5-77-1 and 7-75-1 receiving lines in four games with Zach Ertz (ankle, IR) sidelined. The team has designated Ertz for return, although it remains to be seen if he’ll be healthy enough to suit up in Week 13. Goedert is a legit top-six option at the position if Ertz remains sidelined, while they’re each better off treated as a borderline TE1 if both are available. Note that Ertz was absolutely awful to start the year, posting career-worst marks in every imaginable metric; it’s probably best to wait a week before expecting much out of this (maybe?) healthy version of the Eagles’ long-time TE.

Packers Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Marquez Valdes-Scantling 76 206 4.37 1.48 Avonte Maddox 69 180 4.39 1.45
R Davante Adams 73 215 4.56 2.96 Darius Slay 72 190 4.36 1.49
S Allen Lazard 77 227 4.55 2.08 Nickell Robey-Coleman 68 180 1.25

Projected shadow matchups: Davante Adams vs. Darius Slay

WR/CB breakdown: Carlton Davis held Adams to a 6-61-0 line in Week 6. He’s otherwise scored in all seven of his non-injury-shortened games this year; keep locking in the game’s premiere route-running talent as the top overall option at the position. Refusing to give Slay any sort of safety help against D.K. Metcalf was a bold strategy (Cotton); expect similar results this week in another brutal assignment for the ex-Lions CB.

Lazard is a realistic upside WR3 with at least four targets in every game this season; just realize everything past Adams is far from guaranteed in this offense. MVS remains nothing more than a boom-or-bust WR4 that has been doing more of the latter with Lazard active this season.

The Packers are one of just five teams implied to score at least 28 points in Week 13; there are worse dart throws than a complementary WR involved in this passing game. Still, both Lazard and MVS are potential No. 4 options during any given week depending on the usage of the offense’s RBs and TEs.

TE breakdown: Robert Tonyan loses snaps and targets to Marcedes Lewis and Jace Sternberger basically every week, but the PPR TE4 on the season has ripped off 5-44-1 and 5-67-1 receiving lines on 10 combined targets over the past two weeks. Incredibly, Tonyan has caught 37 of 42 targets this season for 458 yards and seven scores. Continue to fire him up as a TD-dependent TE1 that sure does have some great scoring upside this week against the Eagles’ flimsy TE defense.

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs

Broncos Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Tim Patrick 77 210 1.95 Bashaud Breeland 71 195 4.62 0.57
R Jerry Jeudy 73 192 4.45 1.7 Charvarius Ward 73 200 0.98
S K.J. Hamler 69 173 1.09 L'Jarius Sneed 73 193 4.37 0.73

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Drew Lock plays an entertaining brand of football that mixes ill-advised mistakes with fantastic throws that only a handful of players have the arm strength to even think about attempting, let alone completing. Unfortunately, this hasn’t usually lent itself kindly to much fantasy production: Lock has surpassed 250 passing yards with multiple scores in just two of his 13 career starts. The Chiefs will force Lock and company to keep their foot on the gas in an effort to keep up, although his average of 5.8 yards per attempt in eight previous quarters against the defending champs doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence in his bounce-back potential.

Both Patrick and Jeudy have flashed throughout the 2020 season, while Hamler has also cemented himself in three-WR sets. Just realize there’s an excruciatingly low floor for anybody involved in the league’s 31st-ranked scoring offense. Try to find a better option in season-long formats, while Jeudy would be my preferred game-stack partner/showdown dart in DFS contests.

TE breakdown: Noah Fant has played banged up all season. He could theoretically lead the offense in targets during any given week, but, again, this just isn’t the situation we should be expecting many fantasy-friendly opportunities. The Broncos’ implied total of 18.25 points is the third-lowest mark in Week 13. Fant is still firmly in TE1 territory; it’s just hard to feel too confident in his boom potential in this largely brutal offense.

Chiefs Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Demarcus Robinson 73 203 4.59 0.88 Michael Ojemudia 73 199 4.45 1.44
R Sammy Watkins 73 211 4.43 1.35 A.J. Bouye 72 191 1.01
S Tyreek Hill 70 185 2.35 Essang Bassey 70 190 4.46 1.11

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Hill has posted 6-55-1, 4-95-2, 9-113-2, 11-102-1 and most-recently 13-269-3 (!!!) receiving lines over his past five games. Patrick Mahomes’ No. 1 WR has largely been a fantasy football cheat code over the past three seasons. Just six WRs have averaged at least 18 PPR points per game since 2018:

Adams is the only player I feel comfortable ranking above Hill this week against a Broncos defense that has yielded 3-74-1, 5-67-2 and 6-55-1 performances in their past three matchups against the Chiefs’ No. 1 WR.

Watkins’ return pushed Mecole Hardman back into a pure backup role. Treat the Chiefs’ veteran WR as a top-45 option this week, while Robinson isn’t a preferred start due to his demonstrated lack of a ceiling.

TE breakdown: Kelce TE1 szn never ends. The Broncos held Kelce to a season-worst 3-31-0 line back in Week 7, although the lack of production was probably more due to a putrid three-target workload than anything. Continue to fire up Kelce as the top overall player at the position; he’s averaging 6 PPR points more per game on the season than the slate’s consensus TE2 (Waller).

Washington Football Team at Pittsburgh Steelers

Football Team Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Terry McLaurin 72 208 4.35 2.29 Steven Nelson 71 194 4.49 0.88
R Cam Sims 77 214 1.45 Joe Haden 71 195 4.52 1.1
S Isaiah Wright 74 220 0.92 Cameron Sutton 71 188 4.52 0.93

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: McLaurin joins Kelce and D.J. Moore as the only players with at least 50 receiving yards in at least 10 games this season. The Football Team’s No. 1 WR has a league-high 46% air yard share, but the real reason for this consistency has been McLaurin’s performance with the ball in his hands. Through 12 weeks, only Alvin Kamara (618) has more yards after the catch than McLaurin (445). The Steelers’ pass-rush has a very real chance of suffocating this Washington offense, but the league’s WR12 in PPR points per game should continue to be treated as the fantasy WR1 that he’s been all season.

Avoid any other WR in this passing game. Both Sims and Wright have flashed some after-the-catch goodness at different points in 2020; it’s just impossible to have any level of confidence in Alex Smith putting up big numbers behind this offensive line in this worst-case spot.

TE breakdown: Logan Thomas has been used creatively all season, although he enters Week 13 as just the TE21 in PPR points per game. Don’t get too excited and treat him as more than a TD-dependent TE2 against the league’s second-stiffest defense in PPR points per game allowed to the position.

Steelers Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Diontae Johnson 70 183 4.6 1.84 Kendall Fuller 71 198 0.95
R Chase Claypool 76 227 4.42 2.16 Ronald Darby 71 193 4.38 1.54
S JuJu Smith-Schuster 73 215 4.54 1.42 Jimmy Moreland 70 179 1.23

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: We’ve seen this Steelers offense largely shift from a run-first attack that didn’t ask Big Ben to carry them to a pass-first unit happy to attack defenses of all shapes and sizes with their trio of talented wide receivers. The result has been plenty of volume for Roethlisberger: He threw 49, 32, 42, 46 and 46 times in Weeks 7-11, with the latter two performances coming in blowout wins.

This matchup isn’t ideal against the Football Team’s beastly pass-rush, but ultimately we have a QB that’s a near lock for multiple scores and 250 passing yards on a weekly basis. Johnson has earned weekly upside WR2 treatment with his steady dosage of underneath YAC-friendly targets, while Claypool’s downfield and red-zone opportunities make him a borderline WR2. Still, manage expectations against the league’s single-best defense in fewest PPR points per game allowed to opposing WRs.

JuJu is the receiver I’ve most worried about in this spot; Washington has allowed the third-fewest yards per attempt to receivers lined up in the slot this season, and nobody has been better at limited explosive pass plays against inside receivers.

TE breakdown: Eric Ebron has earned weekly TE1 appeal as a full-time receiver in the Steelers’ pass-happy offense. There’s potential for dud weeks in this crowded passing game, but the reality that Ebron has seen at least five targets in all but two games this season solidifies him as a top-10 option at the position regardless of the matchup.

Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers

Bills Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Gabriel Davis 74 212 4.54 1.26 Jason Verrett 70 188 4.38 0.69
R Stefon Diggs 72 191 4.46 2.26 Richard Sherman 75 195 4.54 0.21
S Cole Beasley 68 174 2.05 Emmanuel Moseley 71 184 1.49

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: We’ve always seen Josh Allen actively push the ball deep, but this is the first year that he’s pumped the brakes a bit. We’ve accordingly seen some newfound efficiency when looking deep (20-plus yards downfield):

  • 2018: 63 attempts, 580 yards, 9.2 YPA
  • 2019: 68 attempts, 589 yards, 8.7 YPA
  • 2020: 43 attempts, 584 yards, 13.6 YPA

Some have wondered if Allen’s up-and-down performances this season have been correlated with John Brown missing Weeks 5, 7 and 12. He was admittedly not great in these performances, but he posted similar-to-worse efficiency numbers in Weeks 1, 6, 8 and 10. How about Week 3 when Brown played just 29 snaps and had two catchless targets, yet Allen threw for 311 yards and four scores against the fooking Rams?

The 49ers are certainly a better secondary with Sherman back in action, but Diggs has given the longtime stud corner problems in the past.

Continue to treat Diggs as the upside WR1 he’s been all season, Beasley is a high-floor WR3 with Brown sidelined, and Davis offers boom-or-bust WR4 potential as a full-time replacement in three-WR sets.

TE breakdown: Dawson Knox caught a 2-yard TD last week, but he still hasn’t reached even three receptions, five targets or 40 receiving yards in a game this season. The Bills love to feed random TEs the ball near the goal line; none are reliable fantasy options due to the low ceiling despite the potential for the occasional score.

49ers Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Brandon Aiyuk 73 206 1.58 Levi Wallace 72 179 4.63 0.78
R Kendrick Bourne 73 203 4.68 1.37 Tre'Davious White 71 192 4.47 1.06
S Deebo Samuel 71 214 4.48 2.37 Taron Johnson 71 192 4.5 1.48

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Samuel was back in action last week and quickly reminded everybody that he’s one of the position’s premiere talents with the ball in his hands.

  • Yards after the catch per reception: 9.9 (No. 1 among all WRs with 100 targets 2019-2020)
  • Yards after the catch: 833 (No. 3)
  • Total forced missed tackles: 35 (No. 1)
  • Missed forced tackles per touch: 0.34 (No. 1)

The 49ers’ talented second-year WR has both racked up more broken tackles than any other player at his position and done so at a higher rate on a per-touch basis over the past two seasons. Madness.

Samuel deserves upside WR3 treatment at worst down the stretch. The addition of Aiyuk back into the offense hurts Samuel’s target ceiling, but coach Kyle Shanahan is enough of a play-calling wizard to figure it out. Treat the 49ers’ rookie receiver as more of an upside WR4 with Samuel active. Bourne has never shown anything resembling a fantasy-friendly ceiling regardless of who is active around him.

TE breakdown: Jordan Reed is the 49ers’ No. 1 TE, but he’s probably the No. 3 overall option in this passing game during more weeks than not. TD-dependent TE2 is the fair ranking for the ex-Washington TE, at least as long as Ross Dwelley continues to play more snaps and steals a target or two away per game.

Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens

Cowboys Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Michael Gallup 73 198 4.51 1.21 Jimmy Smith 74 210 4.42 0.37
R Amari Cooper 73 210 4.42 1.97 Marcus Peters 72 195 4.53 1.16
S CeeDee Lamb 74 191 4.5 1.76 Marlon Humphrey 72 197 4.41 1.1

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Andy Dalton ranks 40th in passer rate when kept clean and 25th under pressure this season. The ex-Bengals QB has largely been awful outside of four good quarters against the Vikings’ mostly-miserable defense. This isn’t all on the red rocket; the Cowboys’ banged-up offensive line has largely sunk the team’s run and pass game alike since losing Dak Prescott (ankle, IR). Still, there’s no reason to expect improvement this week due to 1) Zack Martin (calf) now also being sidelined, and 2) the Ravens’ blitz-happy defense that ranks 12th in total pressures generated this season.

Amari Cooper has been the Cowboys’ undisputed No. 1 WR with Dalton under center and has earned weekly top-24 treatment at the position. I’m inclined to fade everyone else. Both Lamb and Gallup have fewer than 50 yards in four of their past five games.

TE breakdown: Dalton Schultz has one score and one game with more than 50 receiving yards since Dak was lost for the season. Try to avoid this passing game in a spot that could highlight just how quickly a bad offensive line can doom the entire unit.

Ravens Offense
WR Player Height Weight Speed YPRR CB Height Weight Speed YPRR
L Dez Bryant 74 220 4.52 1.33 Chidobe Awuzie 72 202 4.43 1.55
R Miles Boykin 76 220 4.42 0.94 Anthony Brown 71 196 4.33 1.57
S Marquise Brown 69 170 1.44 Jourdan Lewis 70 195 4.54 0.9

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: No WR in this offense is worthy of true season-long fantasy consideration with or without Lamar Jackson under center. I’ve decided to strip Brown of his “Hollywood” nickname until further notice. The Cowboys have surprisingly boasted an average pass defense more weeks than not this season; usually their opponents are content to run the ball to their heart’s desire against this sad front-seven. Don’t expect Week 13 to be any different against one of the league’s most run-first offenses. Thank you for the time.

TE breakdown: Best wishes to Mark Andrews (covid) in his recovery. He’ll be back to being an upside TE1 if active. Backup TE Luke Willson is nothing more than a dart throw. Please try to find a better option.

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