Exposed (WR/TE matchups): Week 11

Breaks down some of the best and worst WR/TE matchups this week from a defensive perspective.

The goal of this article is to break down some of the WR and TE matchups from a defensive perspective to help identify some of the most favorable or unfavorable matchups this week. I will try to project WR vs CB matchups, and also look at defensive units as a whole to hopefully assist you in building your weekly DFS lineups by targeting some matchups to avoid or exploit. Best of luck and feel free to reach out with any questions via email (rudnicki@footballguys.com) or twitter (@a_rudnicki).

 

GOOD MATCHUPS

WR Corey Coleman, CLE (vs PIT)
Coleman returned to the lineup two weeks ago and has been pretty quiet with just 6/58/0 on 12 targets in his last 2 games. He figures to match up primarily with fellow rookie Artie Burns this week, and that is a matchup that the Browns should be able to exploit regardless of who is under center.

WR Golden Tate, DET (vs JAX)
The Lions are coming off their bye, but have one of the most productive passing attacks in the league. Tate has emerged as the clear #1 target for Matthew Stafford in recent weeks, and he should once again see a heavy share of targets here. The Jaguars are expected to let rookie Jalen Ramsey shadow Tate this week, which is impressive for such a young player but likely a matchup that Stafford will look to take advantage of.

WR Davante Adams, GB (vs WAS)
Adams is one of the hottest WRs in the league as the Packers have shifted away from a balanced offense and put everything on the shoulder of Aaron Rodgers. With Josh Norman expected to lock up Jordy Nelson this week, that should leave Adams with the much easier matchup against Bashaud Breeland. Randall Cobb is also worth considering as he’ll see a lot of time in the slot working against Kendall Fuller.

WR T.Y. Hilton, IND (vs TEN)
The Titans have been involved in a lot of high scoring games, as their offense continues to pile up points while their secondary has some clear weak spots. Back in week 7, the Colts beat them 34-26 and Hilton posted 7/133/1 on 12 targets. Look for him to pick on slot corner Brice McCain the most, but he should also see some time against Perrish Cox who rates as one of the worst corners in the league this year.

WR Allen Hurns, JAX (vs DET)
Hurns has been practically invisible the past two weeks as he posted just 2 catches for 13 yards on 11 targets. He faced some tough matchups against the Texans and Chiefs, however, so he should find things much easier this week against the Lions. As the Jaguars primary slot WR, he figures to go against Lions nickel corner Quandre Diggs, who gets beat by just about everybody.

WR Julian Edelman, NE (vs SF)
With Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan out with injuries, there should be more targets available for Edelman this week as he takes on Jimmie Ward and the 49ers. Ward has been targeted very often when he’s in the lineup this year, and most of Larry Fitzgerald’s 12 catches last week came against him. Edelman has been relatively quiet this year, but has a great shot at a huge game this week.

WR Eli Rogers, PIT (vs CLE)
With Antonio Brown expected to draw shadow coverage from Joe Haden this week with some safety help at times, that should free up a player like Rogers to work the middle of the field. He’s been productive of late, and that figures to continue here as he matches up primarily with Tramon Williams, who has struggled all year while playing inside.

WR Mike Evans, TB (vs KC)
Last week, Jameis Winston made a conscious effort to use the other weapons at his disposal so Evans only received a season-low 5 targets. He leads the league with 108 targets on the year, so you can expect a rebound performance and he figures to match up against the generous Phillip Gaines more than Marcus Peters.

WR Rishard Matthews, TEN (vs IND)
Matthews has been heating up along with Marcus Mariota and has found the end zone 4 times in the last 3 games. What’s remarkable is that he’s done that on just 13 catches, so he isn’t a high volume player but makes up for it with efficiency. With Patrick Robinson unlikely to play, Matthews figures to match up against journeyman Rashaan Melvin or Darius Butler while Tajae Sharpe has the much tougher matchup against Vontae Davis.

TE Julius Thomas, JAX (vs DET)
The Lions have had trouble defending tight ends all year with 9 TDs allowed. Even though Thomas hasn’t even cracked 30 yards since week 2, he has picked up 3 TDs in his last 4 games so this looks like a matchup that he should certainly be able to exploit.

TE Charles Clay, BUF (vs CIN)
Clay’s role in the Bills offense has been greatly reduced, as he’s served primarily as a blocker in most weeks. He’s been playing through minor injuries all year though, and it’s likely the bye week helped get him healthy. Meanwhile, the Bengals have been getting torched by opposing tight ends in recent weeks as they’ve allowed an average of 10 catches, 140 yards, and .75 TDs to the position over the last 4 games.


BAD MATCHUPS

WR Jordy Nelson, GB (vs WAS)
While Nelson is good enough to produce against tough matchups, he should see plenty of Josh Norman this week. That may be enough for Aaron Rodgers to pay a lot more attention to his other wideouts, who should have much more favorable matchups.

WR Stefon Diggs, MIN (vs ARI)
Diggs has posted back to back 13-catch games as he’s clearly established himself as the team’s go-to WR. With Patrick Peterson likely to shadow him all over the field this week, however, it’s likely he’s due for some regression. Apart from some surprising success by Jeremy Kerley, you won’t find many opposing #1 WRs who had good games against the Cardinals.

WR Amari Cooper, OAK (vs HOU)
Cooper is an exceptional talent, but he’s picked up just 2 TDs all year so it appears something isn’t working with him and Carr inside the red zone. This week, he’s expected to face off primarily against A.J. Bouye who is enjoying a breakout year and grades out as one of the elite corners in the league. He missed last week’s game after suffering a minor ankle sprain in practice on Friday, but should be 100% to face off against Cooper.

TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN (vs ARI)
The Cardinals have always been a very tough matchup for opposing tight ends, so you may want to steer clear of Rudolph this week. They have yet to give up a TD to a tight end they faced this year, and recently shut down Greg Olsen and Jimmy Graham in back to back weeks.

TE Jimmy Graham, SEA (vs PHI)
The Eagles may not have faced a tight end as talented as Graham this year, but they rank among the absolute best defenses at defending the position. They have some solid underrated linebackers and some of the best cover safeties in the league, which should help them limit the damage that Graham can do.

The goal of this article is to break down some of the WR and TE matchups from a defensive perspective to help identify some of the most favorable or unfavorable matchups this week. I will try to project WR vs CB matchups, and also look at defensive units as a whole to hopefully assist you in building your weekly DFS lineups by targeting some matchups to avoid or exploit. Best of luck and feel free to reach out with any questions via email (rudnicki@footballguys.com) or twitter (@a_rudnicki).

 


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