DFS Wide Receiver vs. Cornerback Matchup Analysis: Week 1

DFS Wide Receiver vs. Cornerback Matchup Analysis: Week 1

By Mike Woellert (IDP Expert), last update Sep 10, 2017

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Mike is an IDP veteran, writing about and ranking IDP for over seven seasons and playing in IDP leagues since 2007. He finished 6th in overall IDP rankings and 1st overall In LB rankings in 2014 at FantasyPros. When he's not poring over IDP depth charts, he can be found agonizing over his Cleveland sports teams.

Follow Mike Woellert on Twitter: @Mike_Woellert.

When it comes to selecting receivers in DFS, it’s important to understand who will cover them. Many times defense-versus-position stats alone don't tell the whole story or overlooked defensive injuries will have a significant effect.

Below is a chart detailing each wide receiver versus cornerback matchup, cornerback fantasy points allowed per target, catch rate allowed, and yards per target allowed.

The most important column is the last one (+/-), which indicates whether the matchup is an upgrade or downgrade for the receiver.

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.

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Week 1 Wide Receiver versus Cornerback Matchups

Note: An asterisk* indicates WR plays outside in two-wide sets. N' in the Upgrade/Downgrade (+/-) column indicates neutral matchup. Click header to sort. M/U = aFPA ranking vs. WR. FP/T = PPR fantasy points per target.

Day Tm WR Pos Opp CB M/U FP/T C % YPT Shad +/-
Thu  NE Chris Hogan LWR KC Terrance Mitchell 4 #N/A #N/A #N/A N +
Thu  NE Danny Amendola Slot KC Phillip Gaines 4 0.16 57% 10.64 N +
Thu  NE Brandin Cooks RWR KC Marcus Peters 4 0.09 54% 7.44 N +
Thu  KC Tyreek Hill RWR NE Malcolm Butler 18 0.10 54% 8.24 Y N
Thu  KC Albert Wilson Slot NE Jonathan Jones 18 0.34 43% 4.43 N N
Thu  KC Chris Conley LWR NE Stephon Gilmore 18 0.11 58% 9.09 Y -
Sun NYJ Jermaine Kearse LWR BUF E.J. Gaines 12 0.14 68% 7.93 N +
Sun NYJ Jeremy Kerley Slot BUF Leonard Johnson 12 #N/A #N/A #N/A N +
Sun NYJ Robby Anderson RWR BUF Tre'Davious White 12 #N/A #N/A #N/A N +
Sun BUF Zay Jones LWR NYJ Juston Burris 23 0.22 43% 7.62 N +
Sun BUF Jordan Matthews* Slot NYJ Buster Skrine 23 0.10 65% 6.49 N N
Sun BUF Andre Holmes RWR NYJ Morris Claiborne 23 0.14 52% 4.74 N -
Sun ATL Julio Jones LWR CHI Kyle Fuller 8 #N/A #N/A #N/A N +
Sun ATL Mohamed Sanu Slot CHI Bryce Callahan 8 0.10 52% 5.46 N N
Sun ATL Taylor Gabriel RWR CHI Marcus Cooper 8 0.13 64% 8.32 N +
Sun CHI Deonte Thompson LWR ATL Robert Alford 26 0.11 62% 7.49 N N
Sun CHI Kendall Wright Slot ATL Brian Poole 26 0.09 65% 6.41 N +
Sun CHI Kevin White RWR ATL Desmond Trufant 26 0.18 56% 7.04 Y -
Sun BAL Mike Wallace LWR CIN Darqueze Dennard 30 0.14 87% 10.3 N +
Sun BAL Jeremy Maclin* Slot CIN Josh Shaw 30 0.08 50% 7.19 N +
Sun BAL Breshad Perriman RWR CIN Dre Kirkpatrick 30 0.08 53% 5.56 N N
Sun CIN A.J. Green LWR BAL Jimmy Smith 15 0.11 51% 4.66 N +
Sun CIN Tyler Boyd Slot BAL Lardarius Webb 15 0.11 61% 6.84 N N
Sun CIN Brandon LaFell RWR BAL Brandon Carr 15 0.10 59% 7.83 N +
Sun PIT Antonio Brown LWR CLE Jason McCourty 32 0.11 57% 7.02 N +
Sun PIT Eli Rogers Slot CLE Jamar Taylor 32 0.11 57% 7.49 N N
Sun PIT Martavis Bryant RWR CLE Briean Boddy-Calhoun 32 0.16 59% 9.80 N +
Sun CLE Corey Coleman LWR PIT Artie Burns 21 0.11 56% 8.36 N +
Sun CLE Duke Johnson Slot PIT Mike Hilton 21 #N/A #N/A #N/A N N
Sun CLE Kenny Britt RWR PIT Joe Haden 21 0.12 54% 7.86 N +
Sun ARI J.J. Nelson LWR DET Nevin Lawson 28 0.10 69% 6.34 N N
Sun ARI Larry Fitzgerald* Slot DET Quandre Diggs 28 0.19 91% 9.64 N +
Sun ARI John Brown RWR DET Darius Slay 28 0.13 61% 6.44 N N
Sun DET Marvin Jones LWR ARI Justin Bethel 1 0.16 61% 6.87 N N
Sun DET T.J. Jones Slot ARI Tyrann Mathieu 1 0.19 75% 8.48 N -
Sun DET Golden Tate RWR ARI Patrick Peterson 1 0.09 58% 7.32 Y -
Sun JAX Marqise Lee LWR HOU Kevin Johnson 2 0.21 58% 6.58 N N
Sun JAX Allen Hurns Slot HOU Kareem Jackson 2 0.12 63% 7.10 N N
Sun JAX Allen Robinson RWR HOU Johnathan Joseph 2 0.10 54% 6.07 N N
Sun HOU DeAndre Hopkins LWR JAX A.J. Bouye 11 0.08 47% 5.12 N -
Sun HOU Bruce Ellington Slot JAX Aaron Colvin 11 0.11 64% 4.48 N -
Sun HOU Braxton Miller RWR JAX Jalen Ramsey 11 0.09 54% 7.31 N -
Sun OAK Amari Cooper LWR TEN Adoree Jackson 14 #N/A #N/A #N/A N +
Sun OAK Seth Roberts Slot TEN Brice McCain 14 0.10 54% 6.71 N N
Sun OAK Michael Crabtree RWR TEN Logan Ryan 14 0.09 59% 6.84 N N
Sun TEN Corey Davis LWR OAK Sean Smith 19 0.14 62% 9.97 N +
Sun TEN Eric Decker* Slot OAK Gareon Conley 19 #N/A #N/A #N/A N +
Sun TEN Rishard Matthews RWR OAK David Amerson 19 0.10 57% 7.30 N +
Sun PHI Alshon Jeffery LWR WAS Josh Norman 25 0.09 50% 6.94 Y -
Sun PHI Nelson Agholor Slot WAS Kendall Fuller 25 0.17 71% 10.69 N +
Sun PHI Torrey Smith RWR WAS Bashaud Breeland 25 0.12 60% 6.95 Y +
Sun WAS Ryan Grant LWR PHI Jalen Mills 3 0.10 56% 9.28 N N
Sun WAS Jamison Crowder Slot PHI Patrick Robinson 3 0.24 51% 7.54 N N
Sun WAS Terrelle Pryor RWR PHI Ronald Darby 3 0.11 54% 9.22 N +
Sun IND Donte Moncrief LWR LAR Kayvon Webster 9 0.12 40% 6.20 N N
Sun IND T.Y. Hilton* Slot LAR Nickell Robey-Coleman 9 0.08 52% 6.74 N N
Sun IND Kamar Aiken RWR LAR Trumaine Johnson 9 0.10 57% 5.84 N N
Sun LAR Robert Woods LWR IND Rashaan Melvin 24 0.11 55% 7.61 N +
Sun LAR Cooper Kupp Slot IND Darius Butler 24 0.13 58% 6.06 N N
Sun LAR Sammy Watkins RWR IND Quincy Wilson 24 #N/A #N/A #N/A N +
Sun SEA Paul Richardson LWR GB Davon House 17 0.23 78% 9.83 N +
Sun SEA Doug Baldwin* Slot GB Damarious Randall 17 0.23 61% 9.78 N +
Sun SEA Tyler Lockett RWR GB Quinten Rollins 17 0.16 65% 10.14 N +
Sun GB Davante Adams LWR SEA Shaquill Griffin 6 #N/A #N/A #N/A N +
Sun GB Randall Cobb Slot SEA Jeremy Lane 6 0.12 68% 8.51 N +
Sun GB Jordy Nelson RWR SEA Richard Sherman 6 0.09 52% 7.47 N N
Sun CAR Kelvin Benjamin LWR SF Rashard Robinson 22 0.14 47% 6.29 N +
Sun CAR Curtis Samuel Slot SF K'Waun Williams 22 #N/A #N/A #N/A N N
Sun CAR Devin Funchess RWR SF Keith Reaser 22 0.14 67% 10.17 N +
Sun SF Pierre Garcon LWR CAR Daryl Worley 29 0.09 60% 7.39 N +
Sun SF Trent Taylor Slot CAR Captain Munnerlyn 29 0.10 65% 6.89 N N
Sun SF Marquise Goodwin RWR CAR James Bradberry 29 0.10 58% 5.95 N -
Sun NYG Roger Lewis LWR DAL Nolan Carroll 31 0.11 61% 8.46 N N
Sun NYG Sterling Shepard Slot DAL Orlando Scandrick 31 0.12 67% 7.68 N N
Sun NYG Brandon Marshall RWR DAL Chidobe Awuzie 31 #N/A #N/A #N/A N +
Sun DAL Dez Bryant LWR NYG Janoris Jenkins 20 0.08 46% 5.60 Y -
Sun DAL Cole Beasley Slot NYG Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie 20 0.08 50% 6.61 N -
Sun DAL Terrance Williams RWR NYG Eli Apple 20 0.12 59% 8.52 N +
Mon NOS Michael Thomas LWR MIN Xavier Rhodes 16 0.08 46% 4.83 Y -
Mon NOS Brandon Coleman Slot MIN Terence Newman 16 0.07 51% 4.20 N -
Mon NOS Ted Ginn RWR MIN Trae Waynes 16 0.10 56% 6.38 N N
Mon MIN Laquon Treadwell LWR NO P.J. Williams 13 0.77 50% 10.40 N +
Mon MIN Adam Thielen* Slot NO Sterling Moore 13 0.12 65% 7.72 N +
Mon MIN Stefon Diggs RWR NO Marshaon Lattimore 13 #N/A #N/A #N/A N +
Mon LAC Tyrell Williams LWR DEN Bradley Roby 5 0.09 52% 6.89 N -
Mon LAC Keenan Allen* Slot DEN Chris Lewis-Harris 5 0.35 64% 12.82 N +
Mon LAC Travis Benjamin RWR DEN Aqib Talib 5 0.08 51% 5.11 N -
Mon DEN Demaryius Thomas LWR LAC Casey Hayward 10 0.08 51% 6.24 Y -
Mon DEN Bennie Fowler Slot LAC Trevor Williams 10 0.20 60% 7.67 N N
Mon DEN Emmanuel Sanders RWR LAC Jason Verrett 10 0.48 62% 10.69 Y -

All of the elite WRs are in play, but these are some of the less than obvious situations to key in on:

DeAndre Hopkins, HOU vs. AJ Bouye/Jalen Ramsey, JAC

Hopkins moves around, but on each side he’ll face a shutdown corner in either AJ Bouye or Jalen Ramsey. When opposing QBs threw in Bouye’s direction last season, he allowed a 48.5 passer rating while Ramsey allowed a 76.1 passer rating. Combined, they allowed just 4 total TDs on 180 targets. This might be a situation to take advantage of Jacksonville’s linebackers, who are below average in pass coverage, with C.J. Fiedorowicz, who could see more targets.

Martavis Bryant, PIT vs. Beian Boddy-Calhoun, CLE

While gravitates towards AB, Bryant has a favorable matchup with Boddy-Calhoun. He's an up and coming corner, but could struggle with Bryant this week. Last season, Calhoun allowed a QB rating of 106.2 on balls thrown his way and was resonsible for 6 scores on 54 targets. 

Larry Fitzgerald, ARI vs. Quandre Diggs, DET

Fitz is going to be highly-owned, but it's a great matchup for him. Fitz is a catch machine and Diggs allows a 91 percent catch rate and a 129.5 QB rating when targeted.

Kelvin Benjamin, CAR vs. Rashard Robinson, SF

Benjamin will draw Rishard Robinson, who struggled in coverage last season, allowing 5 TDs on his 21 receptions allowed and opposing QBs had a passer rating of 95 throwing in his direction. He's also liable to miss tackles.

Paul Richardson, SEA vs. Davon House, GB

The Packers let Micah Hyde walk in free agency, so House is going to be filling in. House allowed QB rating of 122.1 when targeted and nearly 0.20 fantasy points per snap.

Randall Cobb, GBP vs. Jeremy Lane, SEA

Lane had a 26% slot rate and should move there in three-wide sets. Lane allowed over 480 yards in coverage and a 112.1 QB rating last season.

Stefon Diggs, MIN vs. Marshon Lattimore, NO

The OSU rookie, Lattimore, will have a trial by fire against one of the league's up and coming receivers, Diggs.

Amari Cooper, OAK vs. Adoree Jackson, TEN

Take advantage of Cooper going against a rookie corner in what is shaping up to be a high-scoring game.

Doug Baldwin, SEA vs. Damarious Randall, GB

Randall was consistently torched last season, allowing 8 TDs on 61 targets and a QB rating of 114.7.

Rishard Matthews, TEN vs. David Amerson, OAK

Amerson allowed 766 yards receiving to opposing receivers last season on a 57% catch rate.

Sammy Watkins, LA vs. Quincy Wilson, IND

The Colts secondary is depleted, especially with the loss of Vontae Davis, and this is another veteran rookie-matchup to exploit. Watkins seems underpriced on FanDuel.

Alshon Jeffery, PHI vs. Josh Norman, WAS

This is a shadow situation I'm staying away from. Norman allowed a QB rating of just 50 when targeted last season. This is going to open the door for Zach Ertz to receive more targets, as Washington's linebackers are average in coverage. Washington's ILB duo of Mason Foster and Zach Brown were targeted a combined 128 times, allowing a combined 102 catches for 952 yards in 2016.

Michael Thomas, NO vs. Xavier Rhodes, MIN

Slot receiver Willie Snead is suspended for the first three games of the season, leaving the defense to focus on Thomas. Rhodes allowed a 46.9 QB rating and fewer than 46% of passes thrown his way to be caught. The Vikings linebackers are average coverage and Ingram is a threat out of the backfield. Anthony Barr was reponsible for four TDs and allowed over 500 yards when targeted, so Coby Fleener is in play at tight end.

Demaryius Thomas/Emmanuel Sanders, DEN vs. Jason Verrett/Casey Hayward, LAC

This is a matchup I might consider staying away from. Verrett allowed a 62.7 QB rating when he was targeted last season, and Hayward was even better once Verrett went down, allowing a 52.4 QB rating and one TD on 96 targets.

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2017