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Fantasy Football Week 8: 5 WR/CB matchups to target and 5 to avoid

Glendale, Arizona, United States; Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) gestures towards the crowd during their 42-34 win over the New Orleans Saints at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Rondone-Arizona Republic Nfl Cardinals Saints Photos New Orleans Saints At Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins: He earned a 64.2 PFF receiving grade in his first week back and is a fantasy WR1.

Cincinnati Bengals WR Tee Higgins: He has earned a  76.7 PFF receiving grade this season and will be a target hog with Ja’Marr Chase (hip, 80.3 PFF receiving grade) sidelined for four to six weeks.

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Christian Kirk: He has earned a 70.8 PFF receiving grade this season and is a no-go versus Denver Broncos slot cornerback K’Waun Williams (65.1 PFF slot coverage grade).

Estimated Reading Time: 11 mins

Welcome to Week 8 of the 2022 NFL season. The sections below highlight five targets and players to avoid with data gleaned from PFF’s WR/CB matchup chart.



5 WR/CB MATCHUPS TO TARGET

WR DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals vs. CB Cameron Dantzler, Minnesota Vikings
  • Arizona at Minnesota brings an exciting 49.0-point over/under. The Cardinals are 3.5-point road underdogs.
  • X-wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins’ (64.2 PFF receiving grade) Week 7 season debut brought intriguing developments. Over the first two years of his Arizona tenure, Hopkins took 1,340 of his 1,658 snaps lined up wide-left (80.8% rate). 
  • He had taken just 168 snaps (10.1% rate) in the slot.
  • Last week, Hopkins played in the slot on 29-of-62 snaps (46.8% rate), lined up wide-left on 26 snaps (41.9% rate) and lined up wide-right on just six snaps (10.0% rate).
  • This newfound role provides Hopkins access to severe mismatches like never before.
  • Among NFL wide receivers with at least 10 targets in Week 7, Hopkins ranked No. 1 in targets (14), receptions (10), explosive pass plays (three), yards per route run (3.55) and targets per route run (48.3%). 
  • The table below shows the Minnesota Vikings' cornerbacks, ranked in parentheses, among NFL cornerbacks with at least 100 coverage snaps.
Vikings CBs Primary Pre-Snap Alignment on Cov. Snaps PFF Coverage Grade Rec. Yds Allowed/Cov. Snap Catch % Allowed Explosive Pass Play % Allowed
Patrick Peterson 97.0% Wide-Left 70.3 PFF Cov. Grade (No. 28)  0.76 (T-84th most) 50.0% (T-89th highest) 2.5% (T-52nd highest)
Chandon Sullivan 92.0% Slot 39.7 PFF Slot Cov. Grade (No. 27) 1.72 (14th most) 82.8% (T-6th highest) 4.5% (T-9th highest)
Cameron Dantzler 96.0% Wide-Right 70.6 PFF Cov. Grade (T-No. 23) 1.30 (T-34th most) 75.0% (T-20th highest) 4.0% (16th highest)
  • Hopkins should demolish both Sullivan and Dantzler. 

WR Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills vs. CB Jaire Alexander, Green Bay Packers
  • Among 70 NFL wide receivers with at least 25 targets, Gabriel Davis’ 11.1% targets per route run rate ranks 70th. The high-powered Buffalo Bills offense (29.3 points per game, No. 2) keeps Davis involved as a fantasy WR2 every week. Defenses that allow high-catch rates bring enhanced opportunity to him as efficiency is crucial.
  • The table below ranks Davis, in parentheses, among NFL wide receivers with at least 25 targets.
Yds After Catch/Rec. Passer Rating When Targeted Yds/Rec.
7.1 (No. 6) 123.8 (No. 8) 27.4 (No. 1)
  • PFF’s WR/CB matchup chart projects Davis (65.3 PFF receiving grade) to splits snaps somewhat evenly between Green Bay cornerbacks Jaire Alexander (67.4 PFF coverage grade), Eric Stokes (57.5 PFF coverage grade) and Rasul Douglas (80.9 PFF coverage grade). Stokes is key to Davis’ success.
  • The table below ranks Green Bay cornerbacks, shown in parentheses, among NFL cornerbacks with at least 100 coverage snaps.
Packers CBs PFF WR/CB Matchup Advantage Rating Proj. Snaps vs. Gabriel Davis Catch Rate Allowed  Passer Rating Allowed
Jaire Alexander 16.8 (Poor) 17 66.7% (T-41st highest)) 91.6 (T-52nd highest)
Eric Stokes 48.0 (Avg.) 15 87.0% (the highest) 129.7 (10th highest)
Rasul Douglas 27.9 (Below Avg.) 10 69.2% (35th highest) 78.8 (73rd highest)
  • Davis should dismantle Stokes’ flimsy coverage.
  • Green Bay edge rusher Rashan Gary, who was working through a toe injury entering Week 7 and was knocked out of the game with a concussion, is unlikely to play in Week 8. His absence would afford quarterback Josh Allen an awfully cozy pocket.
  • The table below ranks Gary among NFL edge rushers with at least 100 snaps. His positional ranking is shown in parentheses.
PFF Pass-Rush Grade Sacks Quarterback Pressure Rate
86.3 (No. 5) 6.0 (T-No. 5) 18.3% (No. 3)

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