Week 13 WR-CB Matchups: See the Forest for the Bobby Trees

by Aaron Stewart · Matchups Start/Sit

This is the Week 13 WR-CB Matchups! With playoffs right around the corner in fantasy football leagues, it’s important to identify the wide receivers that can potentially put up a dud this week and end your team’s playoff pursuit. This week we’ll put more of an emphasis on wide receivers to FADE based on their matchups.

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 – Brandon Aiyuk (CB Matchup: Xavien Howard – No. 6)

Over his last six games, Brandon Aiyuk has finished top-20 four times. However, in his last three games, he’s missed the top-30 WR mark twice, and in the third game, he passed the mark thanks to a 2-20-2 stat line. With an 11.2 (No. 42) Expected Fantasy Points Per Game average on the season, and a 22.5-percent (No. 29) Target Share, it’s okay to fade Aiyuk this week.

Brandon Aiyuk Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Xavien Howard is a top cornerback in the league according to Cody Carpentier’s cornerback rankings. While it’s true that cornerbacks don’t stay matched up with one wide receiver like they used to, Howard is No. 2 in the NFL in Shadow Rate (62.1-percent). Howard has a surprisingly low Coverage Rating (No. 66) but makes up for it with a 12.7-percent (No. 14) Target Rate. Simply put, offenses aren’t throwing in Howard’s direction often.

FADE – Adam Thielen (CB Matchup: D.J. Reed – No. 34)

Last week was the first game since the Minnesota Vikings acquired T.J. Hockenson that Adam Thielen scored over 10.0 fantasy points. Thielen is No. 39 in Target Share (19.5-percent) and No. 44 in Air Yards Share (24.0%). Don’t chase last week’s production! Last week was Thielen’s first top-15 performance of the season. Before that game, he had finished outside the top-20 at his position eight out of ten games.

The Seattle Seahawks’ defense has become a defense to avoid playing wide receivers against and that’s in thanks to D.J. Reed. Reed is top-12 in Yards Per Reception Allowed, Yards Per Target Allowed, and Pass Break-Ups. He’s also No. 19 in Target Separation. It’s fitting that Thielen is outside the top-60 in the equivalent stats for wide receivers.

PLAY – Robert Woods (CB Matchup: Josiah Scott – No. 86)

In his last three games, Robert Woods has had seven, seven, and six targets. During this stretch, he managed a 6-69-0 stat line against Jaire Alexander and the Packers. Woods’ season has been a disaster as a whole, but that’s why he’s still available in 60-percent of Sleeper leagues. It’s worth noting that at the time of this writing that Treylon Burks (illness) missed practice on Thursday and is questionable for Sunday.

Robert Woods Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

The Philadelphia Eagles have a pair of formidable cornerbacks in Darius Slay and James Bradberry, so Woods may not see much time matched up with Josiah Scott, but Scott has been targeted against nine times in the past two weeks as he’s stepped in for Avonte Maddox. Scott has allowed 18.5 (No. 88) Yards Per Reception Allowed and Woods and the Tennessee Titans should require more from their passing game in order to top the Eagles this weekend.

Thanks for reading the Week 13 WR-CB Matchups!