Week 5 WR-CB Matchups: Warding off Williams

by Aaron Stewart · Matchups Start/Sit

It’s time for Week 5 WR-CB Matchups! First, let’s review last week’s results. The big miss was Marquise Brown. He found the endzone for the first time in three games and finished with 20.8 (No. 11) fantasy points last week. Nico Collins had his best game of the season as he turned three receptions into 82 receiving yards. His 11.2 fantasy points (No. 34) barely missed the top-30 WR mark that I try to hit with my recommendations.

The big win was FADING Terry McLaurin. After scoring 12+ fantasy points in each game, he ended up with 3.5 fantasy points in Week 4. With that out of the way, it’s time to look forward to Week 5 and WR-CB Matchups to PLAY and FADE.

Let’s recap what I’m looking to accomplish in this series:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Players I recommend playing I would play OVER players I recommend fading.

FADE – Mike Williams (CB Matchup: Denzel Ward – No. 8)

Mike Williams Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Mike Williams, as usual, has been boom or bust this season. He scored under nine fantasy points in two games and over 18 in the other two. Williams has not faced a cornerback ranked inside the top-30 though. Last season, Williams played against six top-30 CBs. He failed to finish inside the top-40 WRs in each of those six weeks.

Denzel Ward is coming off a game where he did not allow a completed pass on three targets and had two Pass Break-Ups. He’s top-15 in Coverage Rating (+18.2) and Catch Rate Allowed (50.0-percent). On top of that, his 56.7-percent Shadow Rate ranks No. 20 and he’s No. 4 in Pass Break-Ups with 5.

PLAY – Noah Brown (CB Matchup: Grant Haley – No. 86)

Noah Brown Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Noah Brown has been sneaky good this season. He’s top-25 in Yards Per Route Run, Yards Per Target, and Yards Per Reception. Because of injuries, he’s seen a 21.3-percent (No. 32) Target Share. Last week, Dalton Schultz and Michael Gallup returned to action, and Brown still saw six targets (one in the red zone) and finished with over 70 Air Yards. On the season, Brown is top-10 in Red Zone Targets.

The Rams’ defense has allowed the most receptions to WRs (69), the second-most yards (847), the second-most touchdowns (6), and the third-most fantasy points per game. His matchup is Grant Haley, a cornerback with 12 starts in five seasons. Meanwhile, Brown’s teammate CeeDee Lamb draws the tougher matchup against No. 5-ranked CB, Jalen Ramsey. If Ramsey locks down Lamb, then someone will have to step up for Dallas. Why not Brown?

FADE – Marquise Brown (CB Matchup: Darius Slay – No. 1)

Marquise Brown Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Fading Marquise Brown last week was not a good call, but it’s hard to bet against Darius Slay this season. Slay is No. 3 in Coverage Rating (+45.8) and No. 3 in Catch Rate Allowed (28.6-percent). He has 25 Yards Allowed total in his last three weeks, which includes games in which he covered Justin Jefferson and Terry McLaurin.

Brown has 28(!) targets in his last two games, but only one was in the red zone. Slay is No. 2 in Pass Break-Ups (7). If Brown and his 50.0-percent (No. 31) Contested Catch Rate can’t secure catches over Slay, he’ll disappoint fantasy managers in Week 5.