NFL DFS – WR/CB Matchups (Week 9) - DFS Karma
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NFL DFS – WR/CB Matchups (Week 9)

What is up Karma Nation! Welcome back to another edition of my WR/CB Matchups Article. In this article, I will be breaking down three of the best and three of the worst matchups across this weekend’s games. I can’t believe we are already through a quarter of the season; it seems like this season is flying by already. Although, the good news is that we have plenty of data to dissect going into this week to find the best edge to win you the week. On top of the free articles, we have a FREE discord where we are always bouncing ideas off each other. Outside of all the FREE content, we offer paid subscriptions. Whether you are low on time or just want to know exactly what we are playing, the premium side of discord is always active, as we have subs continuously asking questions about how to build their lineups.

Last Week’s Results:

Best Matchups:

DeVonta Smith: 3 Targets, 1 reception, 15 Yards

Marvin Jones Jr: 8 Targets, 5 Receptions, 35 Yards

Courtland Sutton: 4 Targets, 2 Receptions, 40 Yards

Worst Matchups:

Mike Evans: 4 Targets, 2 Receptions, 48 Yards, 1 TD

Jakobi Meyers: 9 Targets, 4 Receptions, 36 Yards

Adam Humphries: 3 Targets, 2 Reception, 35 Yards

Wide Receiver and Cornerback matchups are one of the staples of fantasy football. A lot of people will take a look at the overall matchup on defense. While that is important, it is also critical to take your research a step further and dive into the micro matchup between the WR and who he is lining up against the majority of the game.

This Week’s Matchups:

Best Matchups:

Brandin Cooks vs Xavien Howard

Cooks finally gets his QB1 back, Tyrod Taylor. This is huge news for the wideout who has been playing with rookie QB Davis Mills since he came in for Taylor during week two’s matchup against the Browns. Although, no matter the quarterback, Cooks was still given a massive target and air yards share. He currently leads the league with a 45% air yards share and is one of only four players with a target share of over 30%. Cooks has 3 WR1 finishes on the season already and two WR2 finishes that is five of the eight games he has played where he has returned amazing value. Weeks 4, 5, and 7 he had horrid games due to two tough defensive blowouts, and one game where he got Bellichecked. All not extremely surprising outcomes for him to finish outside the top 24 WRs.

Howard is normally known as a big-name cornerback but this season the Dolphins are giving up the second-most passing yards in the league only behind the Baltimore Ravens, another big-name defense. Howard is allowing 1.42 yards per route run and 0.38 fantasy points per route covered. Howard has dropped back in coverage 298 times in his 7 games played this season which ranks 18th most. He is allowing the 7th most targets (49), the 17th most receptions (27), the 10th most yards (403), and the most touchdowns (7). This number sticks out most when allowing fantasy points to WRs. As the second most touchdowns allowed by a cornerback this season is 4. The 1-7 Dolphins have been part of a few game scripts where they were losing by a ton of points, leading to low yardage Josh Allen games. One interesting fact, if you remove all AFC East games, the Dolphins have allowed every WR to go over their receiving prop this season, as well as allowing three 70 yard WRs in the Raider game, two 100 yard WRs in the Bucs game, and a 100 yard WR in the Jags game. The only game someone did not explode for high yardage was the Colts game where Wentz only threw for 228 in a run-heavy offensive game plan. As you have seen, if you have Jonathan Taylor in your offense, you should feature him heavily.

Stefon Diggs vs Tyson Campbell

Diggs continues to see great matchups but has not proven himself the WR1 that he was last season. There could be two main issues leading to this downtick, either the Bills are running at a much higher rate or Allen has been spreading the ball out a lot more. Last season Diggs had a 32.5% air yards share and a 27.6% target share, while this season his numbers are fairly similar 32.4% air yards share and a 25% target share. This small target share drop-off should not explain his drop-off from WR 1 last season to WR 22 this year. Surprisingly, Allen is attempting more passes than last season and giving Diggs similar air yards and target share to last season. This has to make you believe Diggs top WR numbers are right around the corner you just have to be patient.

Diggs gets another great matchup against the Johnsonville Jaguars this Sunday. He will be matched up against Tyson Campbell for a majority of the game who like the rest of the Jags corners are below average in coverage. Campbell is allowing a league-worst 2.54 yards per route run. His secondary partner Tre Herdon is second-worst in the league allowing 2.46 yards per route run. They are the only two corners in the league allowing 2 or more yards per route covered in the league; an insane stat. They have already allowed six 100-yard WRs this season, seven if you include Gesicki who lines up as a WR 92% of his snaps. This is just a smash spot in general for the Bills pass catchers and with no Dawson Knox expect a potential explosion game from Diggs who should have the highest ceiling on the slate.

Cooper Kupp vs Elijah Molden

Part of the success of Cooper Kupp’s season has been in part the fantastic matchups he continues to see week in and week out. This week is another targetable matchup in the slot against the Tennessee Titans. Cooper Kupp has been a fantasy darling this season after flashing success last season as the overall WR26 and three WR1 weeks, Kupp is currently the overall WR1 with 6 out of 8 weeks being WR1 weeks and four weeks finishing as a top 3 WR. He is averaging 115.5 yards per game, this would rank 5th all time of players who played at least 10 games in a season. Interestingly enough, Deebo Samuel is actually on pace to average 117 receiving yards per game this season but will be dealing with a calf injury moving forward so he is most likely to fall off. Kupp’s amazing season should continue again this Sunday. It is crazy to see his prop on Prizepicks all the way up at 99.5 yards, that is the highest receiving yards total I have ever seen. Even at this high number, there is no way I am taking the under in a plus matchup 15 yards below his average.

Molden is a safety turned cornerback this season with all the injuries that the Titans have had in their secondary. He had a nicer time last week against the Colts but played the Chiefs before that now goes up against Cooper Kupp and the LA Rams. Since switching to corner two games ago, Molden has allowed a team high 114 yards, all other corners on the team do not even combine for that much. He is also covering 10-15 fewer routes than the other two starting corners. During these two games, the Titans have held Mahomes and Wentz to 206 and 231 yards but a majority of those yards are from targeting Molden. Now going back up against an elite offense, expect Tennessee to go back to allowing consistent 300 yard passers and Kupp to potentially find his way to 100 yards passing.

Worst Matchups:

Keenan Allen/Mike Williams vs Avonte Maddox/Darius Slay

Allen is one of the best slot WRs and route runners in the league over the course of the last couple of years but finds himself in a tough matchup, the Chargers passing offense in general finds themselves in a tough matchup. This is a game I expect heavy usage out of Austin Ekeler. Coming into the season, we all expected Allen to be the true number one WR in this offense, but it really hasn’t been the case. Outside of the last two weeks, it has been the Mike Williams show in LA with Allen, not being an afterthought, but more of the classic slot WR high volume low yardage guy. Although, Allen is seeing more yards per route run and more yards per reception this season compared to last, the main difference, is his targets have dropped from 12.2 in full games down to 9.9 this season. Even though his target share is similar, 26% in those games compared to Williams’ 17%. This season it is an even 25% to 22% split and before the bye week, they were basically dead even at 24% and 23%.

The Eagles’ defense in general is just like the Chargers as they funnel teams to the run. The Chargers ranked third only allowing 51.77% of the opposing teams’ plays to be passing while the Eagles rank fourth at 53.77%. For comparison, first and second are the Houston Texans and the Detroit Lions, both having such low numbers because they are losing the majority of the game so teams are more likely to be running the clock out. A similar notion with the Eagles who just notched their third win of the season against the Lions where they only passed the ball 25% of the time. A lot of the Eagles’ success has come against subpar offenses so we shall see how it holds up against one of the better offenses in the league who has struggled the last two games. Surprisingly, both Maddox and Slay are allowing the exact same 0.65 yards per route covered, ranking 7th best in the league among corners who have covered at least 100 routes. This similar yards per route covered has led to similar fantasy points per route covered allowing the 15th least amount of fantasy points per route covered at 0.2. Expect this Philly pass defense to slow down the Chargers and lead to heavy usage out of Austin Ekeler and Jared Cook as the Eagles have some of the worst cover linebackers in the league.

Jamal Agnew vs Taron Johnson

Agnew is a popular add this week as he has been the main guy since DJ Chark has been out. Since week 5, Agnew is leading the team in targets and receptions. Jones, Arnold, and Agnew are all basically tied for yards during this time; they all have 157-160 yards. The former cornerback turned WR is only 5’10 but is leading the team with 3 redzone receptions over this time for one touchdown. Last week against Seattle he saw a team-high 12 targets only leading to 6 receptions and 38 yards.

The Jaguars are going to be going up against the number one defense in the league, the Buffalo Bills. The one thing going for him is that he can see some potential garbage-time work as the Bills probably will have a 4-touchdown lead in the second half and lay off the Jags. One fun fact, no QB has gone over his passing prop against the Bills. Outside of Mahomes’ 272 passing yards, the second-highest passing yards was 216 against them and only 50% of the games have a QB passed for more than 200 yards. Even with the Bills having consistent two-touchdown leads against teams, they haven’t let QBs accumulate garbage time yardage. After a couple of bad weeks from Bryce Callahan, Taron Johnson has seemingly surpassed him as the best slot corner in the league. He is leading the league in snaps per reception with 13.3. Meaning he has only allowed a reception every 13.3 snaps. This has led to the third-best 0.72 yards per snap. Covering the slot the third-most in the league in a negative game script environment and only 6 games played. He is allowing the 5th least amount of yards in the slot with 153 yards and no touchdowns on the season.


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