Welcome to the Week 16 WR-CB Matchups article! With playoffs ongoing 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 emphasize FOUR wide receivers to FADE based on their matchups in Week 16 of fantasy football.
- These will be players who are STARTING in over 50-percent of Sleeper Leagues that should be FADED. I believe these WRs will finish outside the top-30 wide receivers for the week.
FADE – Michael Gallup (CB Matchup: Darius Slay – No. 1)
On the season, Michael Gallup ranks outside the top-80 in both Fantasy Points Per Route Run and Fantasy Points Per Target. Gallup was expected to struggle in his first season back from tearing his ACL, but it’s shocking to see that Gallup has ONE top-30 performance this season: a game where he finished with 23 yards but caught two touchdowns. Despite this, over 50-percent of Sleeper leagues are starting him against the best secondary.
Gallup projects to see most of Darius Slay‘s coverage, but James Bradberry and Avonte Maddox are far from slouches at their positions. Bradberry ranks inside the top-20 in Coverage Rating (+16.1), Catch Rate Allowed (52.5-percent), Yards Per Target Allowed (6.2), and Passer Rating Allowed (82.2).
Only the Denver Broncos allow fewer wide receiver Yards Per Target, and nobody allows a lower Catch Rate to wide receivers per Pro Football Reference. Gallup and his 17.2-percent (No. 51) Target Share is unlikely to test those elite secondary numbers and, if he is targeted, isn’t likely to succeed based on his efficiency metrics this season.
FADE – Terry McLaurin (CB Matchup: Charvarius Ward – No. 5)
When Taylor Heinicke first took over at quarterback, Terry McLaurin responded with four straight games finishing inside the top-30 at his position. Since then, he’s finished top-30 once in his last four games. The total for the 49ers-Commanders game is currently set at 38 points. In the past four weeks, the total for Commanders’ games hasn’t surpassed 41 points, which lines up with McLaurin’s struggles. Additionally, the last time the total was under 40 points (Week 6 @CHI), he finished with 8.2 fantasy points.
What’s scarier than Terry? Charvarius Ward lining up against your favorite team’s No. 1 WR. If you haven’t read my article series before, just know that Ward is a menace. He’s No. 10 in Fantasy Points Allowed Per Target (1.26) with a +15.9 (No. 14) Coverage Rating. Good luck completing passes against him and his 1.5 (No. 19) Target Separation and 52.9-percent (No. 14) Catch Rate Allowed. Since Week 8, he hasn’t allowed more than 50 receiving yards.
FADE – Adam Thielen (CB Matchup: Darnay Holmes – No. 11)
Adam Thielen was bailed out by a touchdown last week (13.1 points). Thielen finished as WR30 for the week. Unfortunately for him, the Vikings are unlikely to be in a 33-0 hole that forces the Vikings to be in a negative game script all game. His abysmal 30.2-percent (No. 84) Win Rate Vs. Man was on display last week as he only commanded four targets on 53 routes run.
In recent divisional matchups, Darnay Holmes held his own against CeeDee Lamb and Devonta Smith. He’s netted a +22.1 Coverage Rating, 48.9-percent Catch Rate Allowed, and 7.8 Yards Per Target Allowed. These numbers reflect the strength of the Giants’ secondary. Only the Eagles have allowed a lower Catch Rate to wide receivers and only six defenses allow fewer Yards Per Target.
FADE – Jerry Jeudy (CB Matchup: Jalen Ramsey – No. 16)
Jerry Jeudy‘s recent success is going to make his fantasy football fans insufferable, but remember this one important fact: Jerry Jeudy has NEVER been good. His one saving grace that his supporters held onto last season (Target Separation: 2.45 – No. 1 in 2021) has plummeted to No. 97 this year (1.32). His 36.8-percent (No. 74) Route Win Rate and 19.5-percent (No. 37) Target Share should concern his biggest supporters.
Jalen Ramsey has been an enigma this season. Sometimes he looks like the Ramsey of old such as last week when he didn’t allow a single reception. Other times, he goes through stretches of allowing big plays and over 70 receiving yards.
Over the past three weeks, he’s been shadowing wide receivers more, and he’s still capable of making plays which is evidenced by his 11 (No. 12) Pass Break-Ups. Also in his favor, is the fact that the Broncos-Rams game total is set at a measly 36.5 points, and the Broncos are favored to win and more likely to lean on the run.