Week 15 WR-CB Matchups: Bad JuJu This Week

by Aaron Stewart · Matchups Start/Sit

Last week was a PERFECT 3-0 week for the WR-CB Matchups series. We faded Mike Evans (WR50) and Josh Palmer (WR45). D.J. Chark (WR9) was available in a majority of Sleeper leagues, and he outscored Evans and Palmer COMBINED. Let’s keep the momentum going! This is the Week 15 WR-CB Matchups!

With playoffs starting 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. As a result, this week we’ll put more of an emphasis on wide receivers to FADE based on their matchups.

  • First, I’m targeting players who are STARTING in over 50-percent of Sleeper Leagues to FADE. I believe 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 – JuJu Smith-Schuster  (CB Matchup: Desmond King – No. 10)

JuJu Smith-Schuster is coming off a huge game (22.4 points – WR6) thanks to his second-highest targets and receptions on the season and running more routes than he did in his previous two weeks combined. Smith-Schuster is No. 8 in Yards After Catch and No. 12 in Red Zone Targets this season. Fading a Patrick Mahomes‘ weapon feels wrong, but this matchup isn’t favorable to him.

The spread for the Chiefs-Texans game is 14 points. The best team in the NFL is facing the worst. The projected game script would say that the Chiefs will be more likely to run more in this game, and the Texans are the WORST defense against running backs.

The Texans have allowed the FEWEST wide receiver touchdowns this season, (4) and only four defenses allow fewer YAC. In his last four games, Desmond King has played over 80-percent of the snaps for Houston and has not allowed more than three receptions and 44 receiving yards while covering Terry McLaurin and Jaylen Waddle. His 0.17 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Cover Snap ranks No. 7 among all cornerbacks.

FADE – Adam Thielen  (CB Matchup: Isaiah Rodgers – No. 32)

Adam Thielen has played his two best games in his last three games. However, the trend this season remains. When Thielen plays a bad pass defense, he does well. When he plays strong pass defenses, he’s not even a flex option. Thielen is No. 24 in Air Yards (907), No. 18 in receptions (63), and No. 7 in Red Zone Targets (17). How does he match up with the Indianapolis Colts?

Not good. The Colts allow the FEWEST Air Yards according to Pro Football Reference. Only three NFL defenses allow fewer receptions to wide receivers and only four allow fewer receiving touchdowns.

Rodgers is far from a shutdown corner, but his 10.6 Yards Per Reception Allowed and 9.5 Yards Per Target Allowed reflect the Colts’ strength in the secondary. Additionally, the Colts have struggled to stop the run lately. It would not be surprising for Dalvin Cook to have a monster performance in a game the Vikings are expected to win.

PLAY – Alec Pierce (CB Matchup: Cameron Dantzler – No. 123)

On the other side of the Vikings-Colts matchup, the Colts will need to expose the Vikings’ weakness in their secondary. No defense has allowed more receiving yards than the Vikings. Pierce has 28 or more Routes Run in four of his last five games and seen eight targets and 90+ Air Yards in two of his last three games. Need a desperate FLEX play? Pierce is available in over 65-percent of Sleeper leagues.

Alec Pierce Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Cameron Dantzler is not a good cornerback. This is evidenced by his -7.7 (No. 79) Coverage Rating this season. His 71.7-percent Catch Rate Allowed is No. 78 among cornerbacks and his 1.73 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Target is No. 59.

The total for the Vikings-Colts game is 47.5 points in a dome game where the Vikings are favored by 3.5 points. Matt Ryan‘s noodle arm is a concern, but the game script should give Pierce enough opportunities to replicate what D.J. Chark did against the Vikings last week.