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This article attempts to highlight some of the best and worst matchups for wide receivers and tight ends each week. Using player tracking data from various sources (NFL.com, Pro Football Focus, ESPN, etc.) as well as reviews of recent trends, I look for situations to exploit or avoid when setting your weekly lineups. Given that this article is intended to help across all sites (both DFS and season-long), variations in pricing and scoring systems are not taken into account so obviously, the values could shift depending on where you are playing. The main intent of this article is simply to call out some players who could be significantly helped or hurt by their situations each week.
We will continue to pick on the Seattle secondary just as much as opposing offenses have all season. It would be hard to go wrong with just about any receiver for the Rams this week, as long as Jared Goff can get them the ball in a timely manner. Seattle has allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to slot receivers and that bodes well for Kupp who will either get third-string corner Reed or Amadi if he can return from injury this week. Kupp finished last season with a 12 reception, 162-yards, and 2 touchdowns on 20 targets against this unit last season. Look for big numbers in what should be a shootout this week against Seattle.
Normally we mention receivers from the same team on the same line, but the individual matchups are just too good this week to not give individual shoutouts. Normally it is a guessing game between which receiver will have the better day, Woods or Kupp. However, this week they have similar great matchups as Woods will line up outside against either Flowers or Griffin if he comes back from injury. This unit is currently allowing the most fantasy points to both left and right perimeter receivers and Woods gashed them for a total of 12 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown on 20 targets across both meetings last season. Seattle allowed 72 fantasy points to Buffalo receivers last week and that is only their 3rd highest total of the season. Josh Reynolds also becomes relevant this week as a sleeper pick on the outside as well.
We all remember the game Tyler Lockett had against Kirkpatrick a few weeks ago and this week it will be Brown’s shot at him in coverage. Patrick Peterson is likely to follow Stefon Diggs across the field and Josh Allen may then funnel targets towards Brown and Cole Beasley. Outside of Peterson, the Cardinals secondary has struggled in coverage this season and the Bills are coming off a signature win against Seattle. Diggs may be leading the league in receptions and yards, but Brown has the better matchup this week and could come away with the better overall line in this game.
Another week and another huge question mark at corner for the Vikings. They continue to be without Mike Hughes, Holton Hill, and Dantzler missed last week with injury but is not much of an upgrade right now. Even without Kenny Golladay, the Lions receivers scored over 30 fantasy points against this unit. Robinson should be targeted early and often by Nick Foles with Robinson having a similar performance to what he did last season against the Vikings. In 2 games he had 16 catches for 148 yards on 19 targets. It has been a down season for Robinson and the Bears offense, look for this to be a get right game against a secondary that is really struggling right now and has turned to plucking players off opposing teams practice squads to try and make it through the year.
It has been a tough year for the Lions secondary. Trufant is currently allowing the most fantasy points per coverage snap this season and Okudah is not far behind him. Detroit has allowed the 7th most fantasy points to outside receivers so far this season and McLaurin lines up there on more than 70% of his snaps. Kyle Allen is done for the year and while Alex Smith may be king of the check down, there should be enough targets and shots down the field for McLaurin to have a big day. Look for a healthy number of targets this week and a big game overall for McLaurin.
Herndon had a better showing than expected last week against Randall Cobb, but Lazard is a totally different player. He is coming back from injury but has Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball. Herndon is top 5 in points allowed to opposing slot receivers and will be largely left on an island as the Texans try and contain Davante Adams. Look for Lazard to get right back to work this week and add a big boost to the Packers receiving group.
TE T.J. Hockenson (DET vs WFT)
This is a name that has been written here several times this season and continues to produce. He is averaging 12.3 fantasy points per week and has not scored less than 9.8. He caught 5 of his 8 targets last week and found the end zone against the Vikings. He has a solid matchup with a Washington defense that is allowing the 6th most fantasy points to opposing tight ends and the streak of starting Hockenson continues.
TE Dallas Goedert (PHI vs NYG)
His return to the lineup before their Bye week was very disappointing, but the numbers this week are too good to ignore. Carson Wentz targets his tight ends 10.3 times per game and only trails Derek Carr in that department. Richard Rogers had 14.5 points against the Giants when he was filling in for injured Goedert and this defense has allowed 13 or more points to tight ends in 4 of their past 5 games. Look for Goedert to bounce back and start producing again this week.
It is not a foregone conclusion that Diggs will be followed by Peterson, but it is certainly something worth watching. Peterson was dominant against DK Metcalf and held the big receiver in check earlier this year. Diggs is currently leading the league in targets, receptions, and yards. Josh Allen is still going to look his way, but as noted above, John Brown has the better matchup in this one. Diggs is too good a talent to outright bench, but we should temper expectations if Peterson follows him across the field.
IT is hard to keep this big receiver down for long and it has been nearly impossible to predict what the Rams are going to do with Ramsey on a weekly basis. Ramsey traveled with Metcalf last season and allowed 5 catches for 69 yards. He did not shadow Terry McLaurin or Allen Robinson earlier this year, but that does not mean he will not in this game. The Rams as a whole are allowing the 2nd fewest fantasy points to perimeter receivers and Metcalf has lined up on the outside over 80% of the time. Russell Wilson has been special this year and Metcalf will still get his looks, but it is a tougher matchup than recent weeks and we could see a down game for Metcalf if he is covered by Ramsey.
WR D.J. Chark, (JAX vs GB) vs Jaire Alexander
Chark was able to doge a bullet last week when Bradley Roby was ruled out and he blew up to the tune of 7 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown. He finds himself with a tough matchup again this week with projected coverage from Alexander. His luck could extend as Alexander was knocked out of the game last week with a concussion and is a situation that needs monitoring throughout the week. The Packers have allowed the 6th fewest points to opposing receivers and the 2nd fewest to players in the slot. Chark moves all over the field but will likely face tough coverage everywhere. Jake Luton will also have to face a much tougher defense this week and it is not looking like a recipe for success for Chark.
Slay is one of the few players in the Philadelphia secondary that you can trust. He has already shadowed Terry McLaurin and A.J. Green so far this year and held them to a combined 7 catches for 62 yards. These 2 squared off back in week 7 and Slay held Slayton to just 2 catches for 23 yards. Sterling Shepard has been the top option in this offense right now and it was Golden Tate who scored a touchdown in their last meeting. Just like in week 7 we will give the advantage to Slay.
WR Robby Anderson, (CAR vs TB) vs Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean
It was a tough week for the Buccaneers defense against the Saints and they will look to get back on track against Carolina this week. The offense saw a boost with the return of Christian McCaffery, but he is now doubtful with a shoulder injury. Jamel Dean has been one of the best cover corners on the outside and Anderson has cooled significantly after his hot start to the season. Look for other options this week if you have them available.
Just when the Patriots seem to have found a receiver for Cam Newton, they run into the buzz saw defense that is Baltimore. Meyers will see a lot of Humphrey on the outside and will have a hard time making plays. Newton is also questionable after taking a hard hit at the end of the Jets game. The New England offense is going to try and run the ball and control the clock to contend with Baltimore’s explosive offense. Meyers may see some garbage time work, but the scale is tipped in Baltimore’s favor this week.
TE Hunter Henry (LAC vs MIA)
It may seem like a tough thing to do, but Henry belongs on the bench this week. He has a tough matchup against a Miami defense that has allowed the 7th fewest fantasy points to tight ends and just 3 touchdowns this season. Henry also has not produced more than 4 catches in his past 5 contests and has barely eclipses 7 fantasy points in 4 of his past 5 contests. Tight end has been a very thin position this year, but Henry has not been able to produce for several weeks now.
TE Jared Cook (NO vs SF)
The 49ers have allowed the 3rd fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends with only 1 tight end (Mike Gesicki) scoring more than 8.5 points. Cook also scored his fewest points since week 3 against Tampa last week and saw his target share dip with the return of Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. The big tight end is always a threat in the red zone, but he will have a tough path to points this week.