WR vs. CB Matchup Analysis: Week 14
One of the keys to NFL DFS success is locating the highest upside at the wide receiver position. Which wideouts have the easiest matchups against the opposing secondaries? Which receivers will fly under the radar and make the difference in large-field tournaments? Each week this NFL season, ChrisGimino will explore his favorite WR plays on the slate, with the sort of insight and knowledge that only he can provide!
Chris Godwin has metrics on PlayerProfiler.com that should get you excited about his talent. 90th percentile speed score. Great burst and agility. 95th percentile SPARQ-x score. He is finally getting a chance to show what he can do as a full time player, and is simply not priced accordingly with his upside on DFS sites. His most likely opponent in coverage is Eli Apple, who struggled during his time with the Giants and has since been the victim of repeated targets in New Orleans thanks to their heavy pass funnel defense. He isn’t a bad player by any stretch, but does lead the Saints in yards allowed (632) and targets allowed (76, and the next closest player has 54). Godwin figures to be busy and your only concern here in DFS is the wind, which would limit the deep ball but not impact what Godwin does best: score TDs. Godwin has 8 end zone targets on the season in limited playing time.
Humphries has been seeing a large increase in role lately, and faces off against P.J. Williams in the slot. Williams leads the Saints starters with a 130.38 passer rating allowed in coverage, and shouldn’t be capable of slowing down the types of routes Humphries will run. Humphries should be in play yet again in Week 14 for DFS.
Keenan Allen vs. Bengals
When you get 19 targets on a Week, people are going to take notice and likely roster you the next week. This is particularly true for Allen, who has one of the best possible matchups against the deflated and hopelessly injured Bengals. Darqueze Dennard has been a major disappointment for the Bengals when available, though William Jackson has been a bigger bust allowing 6 TDs on 51 targets. Still, Dennard has allowed 23 of 25 catchable balls to be completed in his coverage, and Rivers is pretty damn capable of on-target throws. The bottom line is that the swiss-cheese defense of the Bengals is likely to keep Chargers drives alive, and in the absence of Melvin Gordon we can consider Keenan Allen option #1 here. That’s great news for his DFS cash game prospects, but potentially bad news for his GPP upside if the Chargers smash early and Allen hasn’t reached the end zone yet. The sum total is that he remains a top option overall with reason to debate how much you use of him in GPP at high ownership.
Davante Adams vs. Falcons
Adams has a receiver rating of 122.4 on his targets this season on a jaw dropping number of targets. He’s been on the receiving end of 128 looks from his QB, which makes his effectiveness even more astounding. He’s already eclipsed 1100 yards and has 11TDs, and now his QB will have a bigger say in how this offense operates. It’s all good news against the 32nd ranked DVOA defense with the 3rd highest pass success rate allowed and 31st ranked pass DVOA. He’ll often be aligned across from Robert Alford, who per PlayerProfiler.com has allowed a 131.6 rating in coverage on 5.5 targets per game. The Falcons play 41.53% man coverage concepts, and I love the matchup of Adams vs. anyone on this team in man. Per SIS, he has 593 yards on 67 targets vs. man, and an even better 137.7 rating on the passes he’ll see vs. zone coverage. The Falcons execute 46.37% coverage types classified as primarily zone. At the end of the day, it’s not going to matter what coverage they line up in to start the play. Rodgers is likely to find his main man Adams on both designed plays early in downs and on plays out of structure late in the down on Sunday. It should be a big day for Adams in the cold.
With Sanders done for the year, we now have even more reason to target this rookie led offense in Denver. At least, we do this week while the prices are still depressed. Sanders controlled 31.8% share of team air yards and 27.1% share of team targets. That has to go someplace on this team, and Sutton is going to see some of it. The 49ers will not be able to offer up DBs that we should be avoiding, and thus we can feel comfortable taking advantage of the soft tags. Witherspoon has allowed 7 TDs this season and 68 targets, which is more than double any CB on the team. K’waun Williams doesn’t get nearly as many targets thanks to all the love going in Witherspoon’s direction, but I have a feeling that’s not because his guy is never open. He could just as easily give up some production to a minimum salary DaeSean Hamilton, who is a possession type receiver capable of noteworthy volume if given the chance. I have a feeling the Broncos would prefer to run it this week, but the 49ers do play much better run defense than pass defense. That could lead to some chances here for this passing game, and these two cheap rookies are easily on the map for DFS.
DeAndre Hopkins vs. Colts
Most people probably don’t spend much time reading about the Colts secondary, but the production they’ve allowed this season has been empty calories. They rank just 23rd in explosive plays allowed and 26th in fantasy points allowed to the WR position. Per Sports Info Solutions charting Desir (86.72), Wilson (78.24), and Moore (68.83) have allowed very low passer ratings when targeted. Of course, they only have to face Deandre Hopkins twice, and he’s one of the rare matchup proof players that is going to get his numbers almost in spite of the matchup. Hopkins has a team share of air yards over 40 percent in five straight games and over 50 percent in three straight games. Even with a relatively stingy scheme deployed by the Colts that has limited the target volume and production by WRs, it’s hard to look at the target volume (114) of Hopkins and shy away in a game script that will include the most passing the Texans have seen in Weeks. Hopkins is likely good chalk.
Michael Thomas vs. Tampa Bay
When I started the week I figured Michael Thomas would be the high owned stud of choice, but somehow the weather forecast may be taking players off this absolutely pristine matchup for Thomas. Roth has this game labeled as Orange for sustained 15 MPH winds, but let me tell you why that does not matter for Thomas. A ton of the targets that Thomas would see come close to the line. According to our Target Depth tool on the SIS advanced player stats pages, Thomas gets 58.1% of his targets within 10 yards and 7.62% behind the line of scrimmage. That’s roughly two-thirds of his existing targets that would be largely without impact from wind. In fact, only 5.71% if his targets come deep downfield at 20+ yards. Thomas is going to lose some ownership thanks to the weather report, and we can benefit if we hang on tight. It’s a fantastic spot for him if you can make the build work.
The Steelers are going to have all day to throw. Only Brady and Brees have been pressured less often than Ben Roethlisberger this season, and the Raiders have the nut-low pressure% applied to their opponents at 26.5%. That means they can dial up all the down field passing they want against something called Nick Nelson and Daryl Worley. Worley is one of the top potential defenders of JuJu, and he has allowed 5 TDs on 34 targets. On targets 15 yards or more downfield, it is Gareon Conley who struggles the most. His opponent? That would be Antonio Brown on many occasions. While Mr. Freedman of Fantasy Labs makes some excellent points about his overall productivity compared to years past and seems to correct in many ways, rumors of Brown’s demise have been greatly exaggerated for now. He can absolutely destroy any of these corners in his current state, and the Steelers double stack may be very very viable for the first time in a while… if you can find a way to afford it. Otherwise, either WR has huge upside by themselves.
Odell Beckham vs. Redskins
UPDATE: BECKHAM IS SUDDENLY RULED OUT.
A 5% owned Odell Beckham should get your interest peaked, and we could see a number that low in Week 14 if everything falls just right. Even if he’s a bit higher, he’s not likely to be chalky and almost no pass catcher gets more end zone targets than he does. Beckham has 18 on the season, which should immediately perk you interest averaging more than one per game considering he can catch anything that touches his finger tips. One handed. He’ll likely have to deal with Josh Norman, who is still ok but nowhere near his old self. Norman has allowed a team high 426 yards and 3 TDs on 55 targets (also most on the team). The matchup isn’t the thing here, it’s the leverage. It’s rare to find a player that can end your day if you don’t own him like Beckham at under 10%, and I expect we’ll see that Week 14.
Kenny Golladay vs. Cardinals
Golladay has an insane share of the passing offense here, but the concerns this week are 2 fold. First, I expect the Lions to focus on the running game. They have the players to go run heavy, and I expect them to do it. Secondly, we should be expecting shadow coverage from the annoying Patrick Peterson all day long. Peterson isn’t fully unbeatable, but he is certainly a downgrade to anyone he covers as compared to the rest of the league. The combination of a tough defender and game plan has me avoiding Golladay. The counter-argument is that many people will join me, and Golladay will have the best opportunity share in the league at an ownership under 10%. Good luck if you think defense doesn’t matter here, but I’ll side with playing other guys.
Tyler Boyd vs. Chargers
Desmond King has been outstanding this season. He has a 0% burn rate and has allowed just 1 TD on 355 cover snaps. He has 3 INT and just 279 yards allowed, which equates to a rating allowed of 66.23. That is a tough assignment for Tyler Boyd, who will have some issues shaking him no doubt. Boyd has the benefit of being the only good player left in this passing game, so I doubt he goes completely scoreless in a game in which they project to trail. I’d bet against a slate changing performance though, and I’ll be following the field when I fade him Week 14.