This is the Week 12 WR-CB Matchups! We were treated to a great slate of Thanksgiving games on Thursday, but if you started Dalvin Cook, Tony Pollard, Jakobi Meyers, or Gabriel Davis then you’re looking for upside plays to make up for these underachievers. Looking at defensive matchups, let’s identify wide receivers to play this week!
Let’s recap what I’m looking to accomplish in this series:
- First, I’m targeting players who are STARTING in over 50-percent of Sleeper Leagues to FADE. I believe that these WRs will finish outside the top-30 wide receivers for the week.
- Second, I’m targeting players ROSTERED in less than 50-percent of Sleeper Leagues to PLAY. These are your desperate WR2 and/or FLEX plays. I believe these wide receivers will finish inside the top-30 WRs for the week.
- Finally, the players I recommend playing I would play OVER players I recommend fading.
FADE – D.J. Moore (CB Matchup: Patrick Surtain – No. 4)
50-percent of Sleeper leagues are starting D.J. Moore with the Carolina Panthers getting ready to face the Denver Broncos and their tough secondary. As a unit, the Broncos have allowed the No. 2-fewest amount of fantasy points per game to the wide receiver position. Patrick Surtain is top-20 in Fantasy Points Per Coverage Snap (0.18) and No. 10 in Pass Break-Ups with 8.
Moore is top-10 in targets (82) and Air Yards (920), but his season has been hindered by the plethora of pernicious Panthers passers under center. His Catchable Target Rate is a porous 64.6-percent (No. 86) and it’s resulted in 1.39 (No. 82) Fantasy Points Per Target. Paired up with the Broncos allowing the fewest receiving yards to wide receivers per Pro Football Reference, and the result is a formula for Moore finishing outside the top-30 at his position this week (again).
FADE – Chris Olave (CB Matchup: Charvarius Ward – No. 3)
Coming off a top-10 performance, people may consider it spicy to bench Chris Olave. Here are the facts: Olave has only exceeded 25 Routes Run once in his last four games and that was NOT last week. He’s been held to 10 points or fewer twice during that time and outside the top-30. Olave is No. 49 in Fantasy Points Per Target (1.75), No. 70 in Target Separation (1.49), and No. 51 in Contested Catch Rate (41.7-percent).
Matched up with Olave is Charvarius Ward who is an underrated top corner in the NFL. He’s only allowed over 45 receiving yards once this season and is top-12 in both Target Separation and Pass Break-Ups. Paired up with a 46.7-percent (No. 6) Catch Rate Allowed has resulted in a Coverage Rating right outside the top five at his position (+24.1).
PLAY – Alec Pierce (CB Matchup: Levi Wallace – No. 80)
Since his last relevant fantasy performance back in Week 6, Alec Pierce has run 30+ routes and had a Snap Share of over 70-percent in three of five games. While it hasn’t resulted in fantasy points, he was targeted eight times last week. This is a volume play, and if Pierce can capitalize on his 11.8 (No. 32) Target Depth against a pitiful Pittsburgh secondary, a top-30 performance is attainable.
On a per-game basis, no defense is allowing more receiving yards to wide receivers than the Steelers, and they also allow an NFL-high 14 wide receiver receiving touchdowns. Levi Wallace is a primary culprit of this, allowing a Target Depth of 13.3 (No. 83) and 15.9 Yards Per Reception Allowed (15.9).