10 Wide Receivers With Great Cornerback Matchups in Week 5
Year in and year out, smart fantasy footballers target cornerbacks who have no reason starting on an NFL team. Last year, I assume Bradley Fletcher received a lot of Christmas fruit baskets and edible arrangements from the fantasy and daily fantasy community community. If you had targeted Fletcher weekly, you probably had a decent fantasy season.
Each week, I'll be writing an article that identifies these cornerbacks who are playing poorly, and which wide receivers we should be using to target them.
These are the high-talent wide receivers that we should absolutely be targeting for our FanDuel lineups. They're all very good football players who will be mostly lining up against cornerbacks who are much less talented than they are.
Julio Jones ($9200) vs. Chris Culliver: Culliver is going to be one of our best friends this season. Fresh off of a game in which he was covering the
elite Riley Cooper, Culliver allowed him to end the game with two catches on three targets for 72 yards and a 5.57 Target Net Expected Points (NEP) total. The Target NEP stat shows us the expected points above expectation the receiver had on all targets. This means that Cooper was very positively contributing toward Philadelphia’s chances for scoring while in Culliver’s coverage. You know, the same Riley Cooper who had 1.35 and -1.46 totals in Weeks 1 and 2, and didn’t even log a single target in Week 3 (probably because he didn’t get open). Julio should eat this weekend.
Odell Beckham ($9000) vs. Kenneth Acker and Tramaine Brock: This weekend, Beckham will be lining up on the outside against Kenneth Acker and Tramaine Brock. Both of these guys are struggling heavily. This cornerback pair allowed a 16.73 Target NEP to Antonio Brown in Week 2, which we all remember as his 9-catch, 195-yard, 1-touchdown explosion. Beckham has a very similar playing style to Brown, and he will be giving these guys fits. While I prefer Julio Jones against an ailing Culliver, Beckham is not far off.
Demaryius Thomas ($8600) vs. Neiko Thorpe: Thomas will be running the majority of his routes against Neiko Thorpe this Sunday. Full disclosure: I knew the Raiders right cornerback was bad, but I actually had to look up his name. While it's mostly the tight end show against Oakland, don't forget that Steve Smith posted his best game of the season against them, while Kamar Aiken also posted 5 catches for 89 yards against the Oakland corners. I wouldn't be targeting DT for cash games given the players above, but he's a great tournament option, while others will be using Owen Daniels to exploit the tight end matchup.
Larry Fitzgerald ($7400) vs. Josh Wilson: As long as Fitzgerald is mostly manning the slot for Arizona, he's going to be a mismatch nightmare. It will be especially true in Week 5 against Josh Wilson, who hasn't performed well this season. While many are overlooking Fitzgerald this week, he's drawing one of his best matchups of the season. While his price has risen weekly, he's in a better spot than earlier weeks. In Week 1, Steve Johnson ran most of his routes against Wilson in the slot, and ended with a 10.22 Target NEP total, one of the best of the week. Fitzgerald should eat him alive.
Jordan Matthews ($6800) vs. Damian Swann: It's no secret that the New Orleans secondary has been absolutely putrid this season, and their worst player is Swann. Remember when we all rolled out the Saints defense against Tampa Bay? Well, in that game, while running the majority of his routes from the slot, Louis Murphy posted a 3.80 Target NEP total with Jameis Winston -- the second worst quarterback in the league, per NEP -- attempting to throw him the ball. Swann also surrendered a 6.36 Target NEP to Larry Fitzgerald in the slot in Week 1. I know it is scary to fire up your Eagles, but Matthews should give Swann fits this week. He is a faster Fitzgerald, and he is young enough that his bones aren't yet made of dust.
Allen Robinson ($6300) vs. Mike Jenkins and Tim Jennings: While in the coverage of Mike Jenkins and Tim Jennings, another young and talented wide receiver who has a terrible quarterback, DeAndre Hopkins, went for 101 yards and a touchdown and ended the game with 9.27 Reception Net Expected Points, an average only four wide receivers have accumulated this season. While he didn’t perform as well in Target NEP, we have to remember who's throwing him the ball. Look for Robinson to have a big bounce back game, while others chase Allen Hurns points from last week.
Willie Snead ($5300) (Available in 69% of Yahoo Leagues) vs. Byron Maxwell: Snead has been quietly taking over the number-two role in New Orleans, and this week he draws a premium matchup. Last week against Dallas, Snead hauled in six of six targets, and this week he will mostly draw the struggling Byron Maxwell, who is also battling an injury. In Week 2, Terrance Williams, who we know is not especially talented, posted 6.49 Target Net Expected Points while mostly in Maxwell’s coverage, including a 42-yard touchdown on a busted coverage.
Rueben Randle ($5900) (Available in 56% of Yahoo Leagues) vs. Kenneth Acker and Tramaine Brock: While Randle has been a really frustrating fantasy player to roster, this weekend he will be lining up on the outside against Kenneth Acker and Tramaine Brock, while the Niners attempt to stop Beckham. Outside of the 49ers' Week 1 anomaly, San Francisco has allowed healthy numbers to second wide receivers who play outside: Darrius Heyward-Bey, John Brown and James Jones all found success against them.
Kamar Aiken ($5800) (Available in 84% of Yahoo Leagues) vs. Pierre Desir: Aiken runs the majority of his routes from the left side of the field, which is where Desir plays the most. There's always a chance that the Browns use Joe Haden to shadow Aiken, though, with Steve Smith on the sideline. On the other hand, Haden is hurt, and may not even play on Sunday. This secondary, sans Haden, allowed Philip Rivers to throw for 358 yards, posting a over 15 Passing Net Expected Points. If Haden is not active, Aiken will be in an awesome spot. If Haden is limited, then we can hope that he plays his normal role on the left side of the field, thus limiting his coverage on Aiken.
Danny Amendola ($4600) (Available in 94% of Yahoo Leagues) vs. Tyler Patmon: While playing in relief of the injured Orlando Scandrick, Patmon has essentially been awful. Remember in Week 2 when all of our DFS lineups were completely dead because Jordan Matthews was laying an egg against Dallas? Remember when he then caught like 200 passes on his way down the field, and finally ending up with a touchdown? Yeah, that was in the coverage of Patmon. So, essentially, Matthews went from a negative Target NEP (after a few terrible drops), all the way to a 6.65 Target NEP total on a single drive. I doubt Amendola gets a lot of work on Sunday, but the targets that he does receive will be of the highest quality against one of the worst slot corners in the NFL. He will be a great tournament pivot off of Julian Edelman this weekend, who is also in a good spot.