Wide Receiver vs. Cornerback Matchup Analysis: Week 1

Sep 10, 2020
Wide Receiver vs. Cornerback Matchup Analysis: Week 1

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Thankfully, we're ready to kick off the 2020 season, albeit, in the middle of a global pandemic. The NFL has taken the precautions and the players followed protocols and safety procedures, so we're fortunate to have an opening week. I'm back covering the wide receivers and their cornerback matchups for 4for4.

Below is a chart detailing each wide receiver versus cornerback matchup for Week 1, target rates, cornerback yards per target and reception, catch rate allowed, yards and fantasy points per target allowed. We'll be using data from 2019 (minimum 20 targets in coverage), as well as our own knowledge of how good or bad the cornerbacks actually for the first few weeks of the season. The two most important columns are fantasy points per target and the last one (+/-), which indicates whether the matchup is an upgrade or downgrade for the receiver (N indicates a neutral matchup).

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After the chart, I also provide key notes such as veteran receivers that will square off against rookies, how a wide receiver matchup might affect the team's tight end, etc. There are some key injuries to watch throughout the rest of the week and this chart will be updated to reflect breaking news.

Week 1 Wide Receiver vs. Cornerback Matchups

Note: An asterisk (*) will indicate WR or CB plays outside in two-wide sets. A double asterisk (**) indicates a rookie receiver to potentially take advantage of. N' in the Upgrade/Downgrade (+/-) column indicates neutral matchup. Click header to sort. Outside of shadow situations, LWRs and RWRs generally match up with both outside cornerbacks over the course of a game, as almost every wide receiver moves around the offensive formation to varying degrees, and almost every defense plays zone coverage on at least half of its snaps.

M/U = aFPA ranking vs. WR. Tar % = targets per snap in coverage. C% = catch rate allowed. YPR = yards per reception allowed. YPT = yards per target allowed. FP/T = PPR fantasy points per target allowed.

Wide Receiver vs. Cornerback Matchups Week 1
Day Tm WR Pos Opp CB POS M/U Tar % C % YPR YPT FP/T Shad (+/-)
Sun ARI DeAndre Hopkins LWR SF Emmanuel Moseley Right Corner 8 13.7% 44.7% 14.14 6.32 1.46 N N
Sun ARI Larry Fitzgerald SWR SF K'Waun Williams Slot Corner 8 10.0% 62.9% 11.09 6.97 1.33 N -
Sun ARI Christian Kirk RWR SF Richard Sherman Left Corner 8 9.5% 59.2% 9.38 5.55 1.27 N -
Sun ATL Julio Jones LWR SEA Quinton Dunbar Right Corner 19 15.6% 51.9% 12.86 6.67 1.41 N N
Sun ATL Russell Gage SWR SEA Marquise Blair Slot Corner 19 8.6% 71.4% 8.90 6.36 1.78 N +
Sun ATL Calvin Ridley RWR SEA Shaquill Griffin Left Corner 19 13.1% 52.7% 12.10 6.38 1.41 N N
Sun BAL Miles Boykin LWR CLE Terrance Mitchell Right Corner 11 13.2% 58.3% 13.93 8.13 1.40 N N
Sun BAL Willie Snead SWR CLE Kevin Johnson Slot Corner 11 13.3% 43.3% 10.08 4.37 0.87 N -
Sun BAL Marquise Brown RWR CLE Denzel Ward Left Corner 11 16.9% 44.3% 14.94 6.61 1.19 Y -
Sun BUF John Brown LWR NYJ Blessuan Austin Right Corner 29 10.2% 54.2% 12.31 6.67 1.46 N N
Sun BUF Cole Beasley SWR NYJ Brian Poole Slot Corner 29 10.8% 50.0% 9.68 4.84 1.10 N -
Sun BUF Stefon Diggs RWR NYJ Pierre Desir Left Corner 29 14.1% 60.0% 16.25 9.75 1.98 N +
Sun CAR D.J. Moore LWR LV Damon Arnette** Right Corner 26 - - - - - N +
Sun CAR Curtis Samuel SWR LV Lamarcus Joyner Slot Corner 26 11.2% 63.0% 10.59 6.67 1.69 N +
Sun CAR Robby Anderson RWR LV Trayvon Mullen Left Corner 26 14.8% 50.9% 13.86 7.05 1.42 N N
Sun CHI Allen Robinson LWR DET Jeffrey Okudah** Right Corner 32 - - - - - N +
Sun CHI Anthony Miller SWR DET Justin Coleman Slot Corner 32 15.1% 59.3% 13.73 8.14 1.76 N +
Sun CHI Ted Ginn RWR DET Desmond Trufant Left Corner 32 10.9% 61.3% 16.84 10.32 2.42 N +
Sun CIN A.J. Green LWR LAC Casey Hayward Jr Right Corner 5 8.7% 59.1% 11.42 6.75 1.81 Y +
Sun CIN Tyler Boyd SWR LAC Chris Harris Jr Slot Corner 5 9.7% 63.8% 17.05 10.88 2.14 N +
Sun CIN John Ross RWR LAC Michael Davis Left Corner 5 12.2% 54.8% 13.09 7.17 1.26 N -
Sun CLE Odell Beckham LWR BAL Jimmy Smith Right Corner 13 16.9% 50.0% 11.59 5.80 1.22 N -
Sun CLE Jarvis Landry SWR BAL Marlon Humphrey Slot Corner 13 14.3% 48.7% 10.26 5.00 1.22 N -
Sun CLE Rashard Higgins RWR BAL Marcus Peters Left Corner 13 13.7% 53.2% 13.48 7.16 1.55 N +
Sun DAL Michael Gallup LWR LAR Troy Hill Right Corner 10 16.2% 40.0% 13.15 5.26 1.17 N -
Sun DAL CeeDee Lamb SWR LAR Darious Williams Slot Corner 10 14.7% 64.7% 14.82 9.59 1.96 N +
Sun DAL Amari Cooper RWR LAR Jalen Ramsey Left Corner 10 12.7% 62.1% 13.33 8.28 1.55 N +
Mon DEN Courtland Sutton LWR TEN Malcolm Butler Right Corner 16 11.4% 55.0% 14.41 7.93 1.79 N +
Mon DEN Jerry Jeudy SWR TEN Kristian Fulton** Slot Corner 16 - - - - - N +
Mon DEN Tim Patrick RWR TEN Adoree' Jackson Left Corner 16 11.3% 58.5% 12.42 7.27 1.46 Y N
Sun DET Marvin Hall LWR CHI Jaylon Johnson** Right Corner 2 - - - - - N +
Sun DET Danny Amendola SWR CHI Buster Skrine Slot Corner 2 12.6% 60.3% 10.26 6.19 1.64 N +
Sun DET Marvin Jones RWR CHI Kyle Fuller Left Corner 2 13.4% 62.7% 14.08 8.82 1.73 N +
Sun GB Davante Adams LWR MIN Holton Hill Right Corner 27 8.3% 62.5% 13.00 8.13 1.44 Y N
Sun GB Allen Lazard SWR MIN Mike Hughes Slot Corner 27 19.8% 57.8% 12.49 7.22 1.58 N +
Sun GB Marquez Valdes-Scantling RWR MIN Jeff Gladney Left Corner 27 - - - - - N +
Thu HOU Brandin Cooks LWR KC Charvarius Ward Right Corner 4 12.7% 43.8% 15.71 6.88 1.20 N -
Thu HOU Randall Cobb SWR KC Tyrann Mathieu Slot Corner 4 8.9% 53.8% 9.86 5.31 1.30 N -
Thu HOU Will Fuller RWR KC Rashad Fenton Left Corner 4 12.4% 40.0% 11.50 4.60 1.26 N -
Sun IND T.Y. Hilton LWR JAX C.J. Henderson** Right Corner 9 - - - - - Y +
Sun IND Parris Campbell SWR JAX D.J. Hayden Slot Corner 9 8.0% 44.8% 9.85 4.41 0.89 N -
Sun IND Michael Pittman RWR JAX Tre Herndon Left Corner 9 13.8% 47.8% 17.24 8.25 1.56 Y +
Sun JAX Chris Conley LWR IND Rock Ya-Sin Right Corner 17 9.6% 68.0% 15.59 10.60 1.98 N +
Sun JAX Dede Westbrook SWR IND Kenny Moore II Slot Corner 17 12.3% 66.7% 11.21 7.48 1.56 N +
Sun JAX D.J. Chark RWR IND Xavier Rhodes Left Corner 17 13.0% 77.0% 12.74 9.82 2.15 N +
Thu KC Sammy Watkins LWR HOU Lonnie Johnson Jr. Right Corner 21 14.4% 60.9% 14.32 8.72 2.00 N +
Thu KC Mecole Hardman SWR HOU Vernon Hargreaves Slot Corner 21 16.2% 66.7% 10.00 6.67 1.33 N -
Thu KC Tyreek Hill RWR HOU Bradley Roby Left Corner 21 14.0% 55.2% 13.75 7.59 1.52 N N
Sun LAC Joe Reed LWR CIN William Jackson Right Corner 23 11.8% 45.1% 14.74 6.65 1.23 N -
Sun LAC Keenan Allen SWR CIN Mackensie Alexander Slot Corner 23 11.4% 59.5% 10.08 6.00 1.48 N N
Sun LAC Jalen Guyton RWR CIN Darius Phillips Left Corner 23 16.4% 33.3% 27.00 9.00 2.23 N +
Sun LAR Van Jefferson LWR DAL Trevon Diggs** Right Corner 6 - - - - - N +
Sun LAR Cooper Kupp SWR DAL Jourdan Lewis Slot Corner 6 11.0% 56.1% 16.43 9.22 1.63 N +
Sun LAR Robert Woods RWR DAL Chidobe Awuzie Left Corner 6 14.2% 58.1% 13.88 8.07 1.60 N +
Sun LV Bryan Edwards LWR CAR Donte Jackson Right Corner 15 13.4% 56.6% 18.47 10.45 2.18 N +
Sun LV Hunter Renfrow SWR CAR Troy Pride Jr. Slot Corner 15 - - - - - N +
Sun LV Henry Ruggs RWR CAR Rasul Douglas Left Corner 15 13.9% 44.2% 19.74 8.73 1.89 N +
Sun MIA DeVante Parker LWR NE Stephon Gilmore Right Corner 1 14.9% 45.3% 14.05 6.37 1.16 Y -
Sun MIA Jakeem Grant SWR NE Jonathan Jones Slot Corner 1 15.0% 55.6% 12.83 7.13 1.74 Y +
Sun MIA Preston Williams RWR NE J.C. Jackson Left Corner 1 13.4% 43.1% 9.20 3.97 0.83 Y -
Sun MIN Olabisi Johnson LWR GB Kevin King Right Corner 14 14.9% 54.8% 17.93 9.82 1.78 N +
Sun MIN Justin Jefferson SWR GB Chandon Sullivan Slot Corner 14 9.1% 28.6% 12.33 3.52 0.64 N -
Sun MIN Adam Thielen RWR GB Jaire Alexander Left Corner 14 16.0% 48.5% 14.87 7.21 1.51 Y N
Sun NE N'Keal Harry LWR MIA Byron Jones Right Corner 31 10.1% 53.7% 11.34 6.09 1.48 N N
Sun NE Julian Edelman SWR MIA Noah Igbinoghene** Slot Corner 31 - - - - - N +
Sun NE Damiere Byrd RWR MIA Xavien Howard Left Corner 31 15.8% 56.5% 12.46 7.04 1.79 N +
Sun NO Michael Thomas LWR TB Carlton Davis Right Corner 28 16.5% 47.5% 12.81 6.09 1.44 N N
Sun NO Tre'Quan Smith SWR TB Sean Murphy-Bunting Slot Corner 28 11.9% 66.0% 11.77 7.77 1.89 N +
Sun NO Emmanuel Sanders RWR TB Jamel Dean Left Corner 28 16.2% 44.2% 13.79 6.09 1.47 N N
Mon NYG Darius Slayton LWR PIT Steven Nelson Right Corner 7 11.5% 46.8% 14.17 6.63 1.13 N -
Mon NYG Golden Tate SWR PIT Mike Hilton Slot Corner 7 12.9% 60.9% 14.25 8.67 1.87 N +
Mon NYG Sterling Shepard RWR PIT Joe Haden Left Corner 7 13.4% 51.3% 11.03 5.66 1.47 N N
Sun NYJ Chris Hogan LWR BUF Josh Norman Right Corner 3 12.8% 65.0% 17.08 11.10 2.66 N +
Sun NYJ Jamison Crowder SWR BUF Taron Johnson Slot Corner 3 9.7% 51.6% 11.69 6.03 1.31 N -
Sun NYJ Breshad Perriman RWR BUF Tre'Davious White Left Corner 3 13.8% 51.3% 11.43 5.86 1.10 N -
Sun PHI Jalen Reagor LWR WAS Ronald Darby Right Corner 25 17.8% 60.3% 17.91 10.81 2.20 N +
Sun PHI Greg Ward SWR WAS Kendall Fuller Slot Corner 25 7.4% 73.9% 12.12 8.96 2.42 N +
Sun PHI DeSean Jackson RWR WAS Fabian Moreau Left Corner 25 10.7% 73.2% 12.67 9.27 2.10 N +
Mon PIT Diontae Johnson LWR NYG Corey Ballentine Right Corner 30 19.4% 68.6% 14.63 10.03 2.37 N +
Mon PIT JuJu Smith-Schuster SWR NYG Logan Ryan Slot Corner 30 13.2% 58.5% 13.67 8.00 1.82 N +
Mon PIT James Washington RWR NYG James Bradberry Left Corner 30 13.1% 54.7% 12.68 6.93 1.32 N -
Sun SF Kendrick Bourne LWR ARI Dre Kirkpatrick Right Corner 24 15.3% 64.0% 12.56 8.04 1.92 N +
Sun SF Trent Taylor SWR ARI Byron Murphy Slot Corner 24 14.2% 65.6% 10.48 6.87 1.92 N +
Sun SF Brandon Aiyuk RWR ARI Patrick Peterson Left Corner 24 13.7% 56.9% 13.91 7.91 1.77 N +
Sun SEA DK Metcalf LWR ATL Isaiah Oliver Right Corner 20 14.9% 60.5% 15.73 9.52 1.85 N +
Sun SEA Tyler Lockett SWR ATL Darqueze Dennard Slot Corner 20 10.5% 41.4% 10.50 4.34 1.06 N -
Sun SEA Phillip Dorsett RWR ATL A.J. Terrell** Left Corner 20 - - - - - N +
Sun TB Justin Watson LWR NO Marshon Lattimore Right Corner 18 15.9% 48.8% 15.13 7.38 1.52 Y N
Sun TB Chris Godwin SWR NO Chauncey Gardner-Johnson Slot Corner 18 7.9% 60.7% 10.24 6.21 1.44 N N
Sun TB Scott Miller RWR NO Janoris Jenkins Left Corner 18 12.4% 50.0% 14.24 7.12 1.48 N N
Mon TEN A.J. Brown LWR DEN A.J. Bouye Right Corner 12 15.9% 66.3% 14.65 9.71 1.85 N +
Mon TEN Adam Humphries SWR DEN Bryce Callahan Slot Corner 12 - - - - - N +
Mon TEN Corey Davis RWR DEN Michael Ojemudia** Left Corner 12 - - - - - N +
Sun WAS Terry McLaurin LWR PHI Darius Slay Right Corner 22 15.5% 52.6% 14.88 7.83 1.55 N +
Sun WAS Steven Sims SWR PHI Nickell Robey-Coleman Slot Corner 22 8.5% 52.4% 12.50 6.55 1.32 N -
Sun WAS Antonio Gandy-Golden RWR PHI Avonte Maddox Left Corner 22 14.0% 53.8% 12.75 6.87 1.34 Y -

Allen Robinson, Bears (FD $7,200/DK $6,500) vs. Jeff Okudah, Lions

Mitchell Trubisky was named the Week 1 starter, so I'm hoping the chemistry he's built with Allen Robinson will continue this season. Robinson was targeted 153 times last season, a 9.56 per-game average. The Lions secondary is going to miss Darius Slay, and it appears Robinson will find himself lined up on rookie, Jeff Okudah—talk about being thrown to the wolves in Week 1. Robinson ran 50% of his routes in 2019 on the left side, so he should see the rookie on most of his routes. If he does move around, he'll match up with Desmond Trufant. Trufant has battled various foot injuries that have zapped some of his speed. Trufant is coming off a 2019 season in which he was responsible for four scores and yielded 2.4 fantasy points per target. No matter where Robinson lines up, he'll have a favorable matchup.

D.J. Moore, Panthers (FD $7,100/DK $6,600) vs. Damon Arnette, Raiders

We're taking advantage of another rookie corner in this matchup. Moore played most of the 2019 season with Kyle Allen at the helm and was still targeted 135 times. In 2020, he gets an upgrade at QB and a favorable matchup opposite rookie CB, Damon Arnette. Arnette is dealing with a fractured thumb, so he could be playing in a cast, which puts him at an even further disadvantage. Even if the Raiders slide Trayvon Mullen over, I still like Moore's upside this week.

DeSean Jackson, Eagles (FD $5,700/DK $4,900) vs. Fabian Moreau, Washington Football Team

You might as well take advantage of Mr. Week 1. Over his last two opening weeks, Jackson has received 14 targets, converting 13 to receptions for 300 yards and four touchdowns. Jackson appears fully healthy and Philadelphia will be without Alshon Jeffrey. Jackson and Zach Ertz should be the primary pass catchers with some John Hightower and Greg Ward mixed in. I like Jackson's matchup on Fabian Moreau the most. Moreau allowed 73% of his targets to be caught while yielding 2.1 fantasy points per target.

Update 09/12/2020: Apparently, Jalen Reagor has made a miraculous recovery. Philly reporters were noting Reagor could be out a week or two, but he practiced in full, and could be active this week. I still think this helps Jackson, as another receiver option will be lined up opposite.

Stefon Diggs, Bills ($6,600/DK $6,400) vs. Pierre Desir, Jets

John Brown will likely draw more ownership in this one, but I really like Stefon Diggs's favorable matchup opposite Pierre Desir this week. Diggs produced an aDOT (average depth of target) of 14.8 and Desir yielded 9.8 yards per target, so I'm not sure he's going to be able to run well with Diggs this week. Desir allowed 16.3 yards per reception and just under two fantasy points per target.

D.J. Chark, Jaguars (FD $6,600/DK $7,700) vs. Xavier Rhodes, Colts

Targeting Rhodes last season typically produced good results. Chark enjoyed a breakout year with Gardner Minshew at the helm, receiving 117 targets, including 20 targets in two games against Indy last season. Rhodes had a rough 2019 season, allowing 77% of his targets to be caught and four scores while failing to produce an INT. He yielded 2.2 fantasy points per target. Even if Chark moves around, he'll find himself on Rock Ya-Sin, who has a great name but allowed just under two fantasy points per game at 1.98. Chark is a nice spot to produce. Especially with Leonard Fournette out of the picture, there might be more emphasis on the passing game.

DK Metcalf, Seahawks (FD $6,400/DK $5,800) vs. Isaiah Oliver, Falcons

Metcalf looks like his matchup will be working in his favor this week. Oliver was targeted by opposing QBs on nearly 15% of their throws while giving up 15.7 yards per reception. Metcalf can stretch the field, so Oliver is susceptible to big plays. Oliver was responsible for the most yardage allowed among Atlanta corners last season (794) and 1.85 fantasy points per target.

Kenny Golladay, Lions (FD $7,300/DK $6,200) vs. Jaylon Johnson, Bears

Golladay and Marvin Jones could be playing a weekly game of ping pong to decide whose turn it is to have the big week. In Week 1, it's Golladay. Golladay should run the majority of his routes on a rookie corner, Jaylon Johnson. In 2019, Golladay ran 51% from the left side, so that should have him matched up on Johnson for most of the game. Golladay ran 33% of his routes on the right, which would match him up on Kyle Fuller, who yielded 1.78 points per target last season.

Update 09/10/2020: Kenny Golladay was at practice, but not doing any individual drills. Keep an eye on his status throughout the rest of the week into Sunday. Marvin Jones would soak up Golladay's targets in a favorable matchup.

Update 09/11/2020: Golladay is now DOUBTFUL. Marvin Jones's primary matchup should still be Kyle Fuller - but should move around and run routes on Jaylon Johnson. Danny Amendola has a good slot matchup opposite Buster Skrine, as well. I think Marvin Hall will get the majority of snaps in Week 1 and will lineup opposite Johnson for most of his routes.

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