Week 8 WR-CB Matchups: I’ve Got a Thielen – Fade Adam

by Aaron Stewart · Matchups Start/Sit

This is Week 8 WR-CB Matchups! Last week was trending towards our biggest week to date with WR-CB Matchups. Drake London was locked down by Arthur Smith’s playcalling Chidobe Awuzie. And Terry McLaurin was held to six first-half yards before scoring a touchdown in the second half. Meanwhile, Donovan Peoples-Jones barely missed the top-30 with 11.1 fantasy points. Let’s dive into Week 8 to find our FADES and PLAYS at the wide receiver position.

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

  • Firstly, 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.
  • Secondly, 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 – Amari Cooper (CB Matchup: Chidobe Awuzie – No. 15)

Amari Cooper Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Amari Cooper has faced two top-10 cornerbacks this season, and he’s finished under 5.0 fantasy points in both games this season. Chidobe Awuzie is swiftly approaching the top-10 in the cornerback rankings. Awuzie has a +30.8 (No. 4) Coverage Rating and a 41.5-percent (No. 4) Catch Rate Allowed.

Cooper is No. 52 in Contested Catch Rate, No. 75 in True Catch Rate, and No. 60 in Target Separation. That’s a recipe for disaster when facing a tough coverage matchup. Awuzie is No. 6 in Pass Break-Ups and No. 17 in Target Separation. Along with the tough matchup, only four NFL teams allow more fantasy points per game to wide receivers than the Cincinnati Bengals.

FADE – Adam Thielen (CB Matchup: Byron Murphy – No. 16)

Adam Thielen Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

This season, Adam Thielen has either been a mid- to low-WR2 or outside the top-50 WRs on a week-to-week basis. With hindsight, he’s been easy to project. His three “good” games came against three defenses in the top third of the NFL in points allowed to WRs. His three “bad” games came against defenses in the bottom third of the NFL in points allowed to WRs.

According to Pro Football Reference, the Cardinals have allowed 18.9 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers, the No. 9-fewest in the NFL. Thielen’s Target Share, Air Yards Share, and Yards Per Route Run are outside the top-35. Similar to last week against Drake London, Byron Murphy and the Cardinals’ defense allow league-leading Yards After Catch, but Thielen (No. 86) is not equipped to capitalize on their glaring weakness.

PLAY – Mack Hollins (CB Matchup: Paulson Adebo – No. 110)

Mack Hollins Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Mack Hollins is discount Gabriel Davis. Low Target Share wide receivers with high Snap Shares and Route Participation plus top-10 Average Target Distance. And “Discount Gabriel Davis” is facing a defense that is allowing the No. 5-most yards AND fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers according to Pro Football Reference.

Paulson Adebo, a second-year cornerback, has been a disaster this season. He’s outside the top-80 in most cornerback metrics. Instead of listing his bad metrics, I’ll leave you with one: his Passer Rating Allowed is 158.3, which is a perfect QB rating. Hollins is available in 90-percent of leagues. If you are desperate for a wide receiver this week, he’s a STRONG play this week.