Matchups Start/Sit

Week 2 WR-CB Matchups – Start/Sit WR Decisions

by Aaron Stewart, September 18, 2021

Diontae Johnson was a top-10 WR in Week 1 in Target Share (31.3-percent), Hog Rate (25.0-percent), and Target Rate (37.0-percent). However, Johnson will face stiff coverage from Casey Hayward (No. 17-ranked CB) in a game that the Steelers are projected to handle with ease. Volume is key to fantasy points scored. In 2020, Johnson averaged 19.44 fantasy points in seven games he ran 40-plus routes. In six games (excluding injuries) that he ran under 40 routes, he averaged 14.0 fantasy points.

Has Ja’Marr Chase relegated Tee Higgins to the 1B passing option in Cincinnati with Tyler Boyd as a target-stealing No. 3? Possibly. Chase more than doubled Higgins’ 48 (No. 58) Air Yards, while Chase’s 26.9-percent (No. 12) Target Share dwarfed Higgins’ 19.2-percent (No. 41). Against a lesser cornerback in Bashaud Breeland last week, Higgins secured a 10.0-percent (No. 73) Hog Rate. Joe Burrow will not force-feed targets to him if he can’t beat Jaylon Johnson (No. 20-ranked CB).


Matchup Monitor: Week 2

by Aditya Fuldeore, September 14, 2021

Behind Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen, TE Jared Cook is in line for a big game. Cook ranks 97th-percentile among qualified tight ends or higher in Speed Score, Burst Score, and Catch Radius, with a 99th-percentile arm length. He has a streak of four straight seasons with 500-plus receiving yards and caught 5 passes for 56 yards week 1. The Cowboys allowed 379 passing yards to the Buccaneers and the secondary did not look great. Cook is in for a great game this week as the Chargers’ third option in the passing game.

The Atlanta Falcons are going up against the defending Super Bowl champs in Week 2. While you may expect offense in this game, avoid Mike Davis. He measures at 5-9, with a 96.1 (48th-percentile) Speed Score. He has also averaged more than 4.0 yards per carry in just one season in his career. The Tampa Bay defensive line is imposing, led by 6-4, 347-pound Vita Vea. They held Ezekiel Elliott to just 3.0 yards per carry in Week 1.


Week 1 WR-CB Matchups – Start/Sit WR Decisions

by Aaron Stewart, September 11, 2021

The start of a new NFL season means the return of the weekly WR-CB Matchups article! This season my goal is to bring attention to receivers available in most leagues that can provide FLEX starts to fantasy teams. Also, I want to identify receivers that shouldn’t start despite starting in a vast majority of leagues. My START recommendations are ideal for FLEX spots in 1QB-2RB-2WR-1TE-1FLEX leagues. My SIT recommendations are ideal if there is an alternate candidate to play over the receiver.

Since 2019, Russell Gage has exceeded 70-percent Snap Share in 12 games. In those games, he has scored 12.8 PPG or more nine times. Last season, the Rams went 3-0 in home games where they were at least 5-point favorites. Robert Woods averaged less than 10.0 fantasy points per game in each game. Meanwhile, Parris Campbell’s Hog Rate has exceeded 13-percent in both of his NFL seasons, and his Target Rate hasn’t dipped below 26-percent in a season.


Matchup Monitor: Week 1

by Aditya Fuldeore, September 8, 2021

The Panthers boast D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, and Terrace Marshall at WR. Moore and Anderson finished top 30 among qualified wide receivers in Fantasy Points Per Game last season and possess Speed and Burst Scores in the 75th-percentile or higher. Marshall has an alpha build and will face the Jets’ third corner. All in all, the Panthers receivers are set to feast in Week 1, and they may even be able to help Sam Darnold to fantasy relevance as well.

The Los Angeles Rams boast a top-tier defense headed by Aaron Donald. The Bears, meanwhile, are still (as of this writing) rolling out Andy Dalton week 1 behind a shaky offensive line that lost rookie tackle Teven Jenkins. While David Montgomery surged at the back half of last season, he won’t be set up for success with Dalton and an iffy o-line against Donald and company.


Week 15 Usage Rates: Start Jalen Hurts And Tyler Higbee In Fantasy Football

by Joshua Kellem, December 24, 2020

Jalen Hurts is a rare high-floor, high-ceiling fantasy asset. The matchup is exploitable this week, too. Up against a Cowboys defense allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, including a three-touchdown performance by Nick Mullens last week, and ranking as the 11th-worst pass DVOA, Hurts is in what #fantasyfootball Twitter calls a smash spot. Cowboys-Eagles have the fifth-highest implied point total of the week as well.

Darnell Mooney has scored in consecutive games, totaling at least a 73.0-percent Snap Share and 27 routes run in each outing. Mooney’s Target Rate last week was 18.5-percent as well. The Bears average 40.7 (No. 8) Team Pass Plays per Game and face off against the Jaguars this week — a defense allowing the ninth-most PPR fantasy points to opposing receivers and ranking as the league’s worst pass DVOA.


Week 14 Usage Rates: Start Gus Edwards and Drew Lock in Week 15

by Joshua Kellem, December 16, 2020

Mark Ingram has totaled six carries over the past two weeks, including zero last week. Meanwhile, Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins have split the backfield carries 24-14 in that span. That’s a 36.8-percent carry share for Edwards on a Ravens team averaging 32.6 (No. 2) Team Run Plays Per Game. We’d love to see his 33.3-percent (No. 64 among qualified running backs) Snap Share expand, but it’s clear he’s likely toting the rock when he’s on the field.

Coming off his best game to date as a pro, Drew Lock rolls into a juicy matchup against Buffalo. As good as the Bills defense has been recently, they’ve allowed five passing touchdowns in their past two outings combined to Nick Mullens and Ben Roethlisberger, respectively. The game’s implied 50-point total sit at the sixth-highest of the week. For his best part, Lock has managed a 6:2 TD:INT ratio in his past two outings, establishing strong synergy with Tim Patrick and K.J. Hamler along the way.


Wide Receiver-Cornerback Matchups to Target: Fantasy Football Week 14

by Aaron Stewart, December 12, 2020

When going against top cornerbacks in the PlayerProfiler cornerback rankings, Mike Williams cannot be started. On the other side, when he goes against cornerbacks towards the bottom of the rankings, he has excellent games. A look at A.J. Terrell’s profile page shows that he has been a bad cornerback this season. It’s a guarantee that Williams and Justin Herbert connect on multiple 20-plus yard passes in this game.

Antonio Brown’s 18.6-percent (No. 4 among qualified wide receivers) Hog Rate on a team that averages 40.9 (No. 8) Team Pass Plays Per Game is a combination for fantasy points waiting for the right opposing defense to exploit. Kris Boyd’s 13.1 Yards Per Reception Allowed, when paired with his Catch Rate Allowed, is exactly what Brown needs to achieve his first breakout performance of the 2020 season.


Wide Receiver-Cornerback Matchups to Avoid: Fantasy Football Week 14

by Aaron Stewart, December 11, 2020

Ronald Darby’s combination of 13 (No. 2 among qualified cornerbacks) Pass Break-Ups, one (No. 3) TDs Allowed, and 55.6-percent (No. 11) Catch Rate Allowed has contributed to his +43.4 (No. 7) Coverage Rating this season. His 1.50 (No. 12) Fantasy Points Allowed Per Target spells trouble for Deebo Samuel this week, with Darby’s 87.3 (No. 24) Passer Rating Allowed paired up with Samuel’s 90.2 (No. 69) QB Rating When Targeted.

On top of predicted game flow not being in his favor, Amari Cooper’s 25.6-percent (No. 48) Air Yards Share is less than ideal for a player on a team expected to control the game on the ground. Cincinnati’s William Jackson is a tough matchup for the opposing team’s No. 1 options. His 54.3-percent (No. 8) Catch Rate Allowed is elite and it, along with his 7 (No. 21) Pass Break-Ups, has contributed to his +36.9 (No. 10) Coverage Rating.


Week 13 Usage Rates: Is It Time to Bench Kyler Murray in Fantasy Football?

by Joshua Kellem, December 10, 2020

While the 37.2 (No. 18) Team Pass Plays Per Game is good volume, Kyler Murray has failed to hit 6.5 Yards per Attempt in each of his last three. In two of these games, he threw for less than 175 yards. In a win or go home fantasy playoff matchup, we suggest making other plans at quarterback – or temper expectations with Murray, which can work depending on roster construction. The reign as fantasy’s QB1 is over.

In three games with Taysom Hill at quarterback, Alvin Kamara has commanded six targets – or two per game. He has managed two touchdowns in that span, but prior to last week, he posted back-to-back weekly finishes outside the top-24. Without the receptions, Kamara is more of a low-end RB2 than fantasy football’s RB1. He’s created a league-leading 220.8 Weighted Opportunities thus far, but we aren’t sure how many more he’ll create moving forward.


Wide Receiver-Cornerback Matchups to Target: Fantasy Football Week 13

by Aaron Stewart, December 6, 2020

Coming off his best game of the season, T.Y. Hilton matches up with Phillip Gaines, the third-worst ranked cornerback on PlayerProfiler’s cornerback rankings. Hilton has back-to-back games with 70-plus Air Yards after totaling 73 from Weeks 6-10. It’s easier to convert Air Yards into receiving yards when Hilton is covered by a backup thrust into the starting lineup than it is against his Week 11 primary coverage, Jaire Alexander.

With 19 (No. 7 among qualified wide receivers) Deep Targets and a +10.2 (No. 23) Production Premium, fantasy football managers can be assured that the targets Tim Patrick receives produce quality fantasy football points. Charvarius Ward, his projected primary coverage for Week 13, struggles at preventing big plays. His 14.6 Yards Per Reception Allowed, 9.0 Yards Per Target Allowed, and 112.2 Passer Rating Allowed are outside the top-55 qualified cornerbacks.