News & Analysis

XFL fantasy football WR/CB matchup chart for Week 1

Mar 3, 2019; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona Hotshots wide receiver Rashad Ross (15) against the Atlanta Legends during an AAF football game at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The WR/CB matchup chart is one of the most popular fantasy football tools we have here at PFF. It’s an invaluable tool that allows you to see matchups at a more granular level. In the past, we’ve only offered this tool for the NFL, but that all changes today. Introducing the brand new XFL fantasy football WR/CB Matchup Chart.

If you’re new to this chart, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, the chart displays primary coverage and not all coverage. We are not suggesting Receiver X will be covered by Corner Y all game. Receivers move around the formation and the percentage of routes they run from each spot is displayed on the chart. The only exception here is if we expect shadow coverage. In that case, the receiver’s name would appear in ALL CAPS.

Since we’re entering new territory with the XFL, we are not going to project any shadow coverage situations in Week 1. You may also be asking what data we’re using here. Since the goal is to compare these players on an even playing field, the data below comes from PFF NFL preseason data. Of the 48 players listed, 37 of them have seen action at some point in an NFL preseason game. For the remaining 11 players, we assigned the average data for each category. This is far from a perfect methodology, but it at least gives us a starting spot heading into the XFL season.

The most important column is the matchup advantage column in the middle. The higher the number, the better. Green is good. Red is bad. This column takes a few things into account, but the major piece of data here is PFF grades. We also show targets per route (T/R), fantasy points per route (F/R), catch rate (C%), and yards per route run/covered (YPRR/YPRC).

(click to enlarge)

Upgrades

We aren’t going to draw too many conclusions at this point, but it’s fairly clear that Rashad Ross is the top play on the board this week. Ross is widely regarded as the No. 1 XFL fantasy football wideout following his impressive campaign in the AAF last year. Nelson Spruce also had a good showing in the AAF and draws a favorable matchup against Houston. It’s also worth keeping an eye on Jazz Ferguson in the pass-friendly Dallas offense.

Downgrades

Again, we shouldn’t get carried away here, but there are some corners who graded out well in their NFL preseason appearances. Take that for what it is, but former AAF wide receivers Reece Horn and L’Damian Washington get some of the biggest downgrades on the week.

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