Fantasy Football Week 16 - Notable WR/CB Matchups

by Nick Ercolano December 21, 2017

Fantasy Football Week 16 - Notable WR/CB Matchups

All grading, route position %, etc is per ProFootballFocus.com and Football Outsiders.

Golden Tate (CLV) @ KeiVarae Russell (CIN)

  • I talked about Stafford in my video and how he's one of my favorite QBs this week, so that gets transferred over to his WRs. Tate has the juiciest of the Detroit WRs as he'll go against someone named KeiVarae Russell, who's filling in for Pacman Jones (I.R.) along with Dre Kirkpatrick who missed Week 15 but is practicing on a limited basis this week.
  • Russell is expected to line up in the slot across from Tate this week, bringing along with him just 35 routes covered on the year. He's a 2016 3rd round pick that was cut by KC before signing with the Bengals.
  • In his tiny lil ass sample size, Russell ranks (of 96th) 94th with 0.48 fantasy points allowed per route covered, an NFL-high 88% completion percentage of throws in his direction and 95th in receiving yards allowed per route covered (2.56).
  • Tate has 23 receptions and 32 targets over the Lions last four games, and has graded in the top-20 for overall WR grade, YRR and catch % on the year.
  • The stars are aligning for a big day out of Tate on Sunday.

    JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT) @ Kevin Johnson (HOU)

    • With Antonio Brown out for Week 16, JJSS is a virtual top-10 lock. But since I just said that he'll likely finish outside of the top-40.
    • Even with my jinx, I can't see a situation where him (and Martavis) don't both go off with so much volume to spread around. AB has averaged nearly 12 targets a game this szn.
    • On the flip side, the Texans pass defense is str8 trash homie. Kevin Johnson is PFF's lowest graded CB out of 96 of dem. He virtually allows half a fantasy points (0.41) every time someone runs a route against him. The rookie nearly matches that, racking up 0.38 fantasy points for each of his routes. 
    • JJSC has a small height and major weight/speed/skill advantage on Johnson so look for JuJu to call Madden out again after this game. 

    Robert Woods (LAR) @ Adoree' Jackson (TEN)

    • This isn't necessarily a shot at Woods or Jackson, I just thought the matchup was interesting and wanted to break it down like some shotguns.
    • As per PFF, Jackson is expected to shadow Woods who has been the Rams number one wideout all year and returned in convincing 6-45-1 fashion last week after missing LA's previous three games due to a shoulder injury.
    • Woods has graded out as PFF's 17th best WR in 2017; Jackson the 35th best CB, but still very highly graded, twas a good year all around for CBs. Woods has a slight height (2 inches) and weight (8lbs) advantage but Jackson's 40-time (4.42) tops Woods' (4.51). 
    • Jackson defends the left side of the field 72% of the time, where Woods runs his routes 57% of the time so the two should see plenty of each other. Jackson, the highly touted 1st round pick for the Titans out of USC this year has been their top CB all season and has played well for the most part. PFF actually had Adoree' as a Pro Bowl player on their consensus team, although the accomplishment didn't translate into the real world. He did get selected as an alternate for the pro bowl game, should prolly be called the hoe bowl game at this point.
    • What's even more interesting is the two both went to the same high school (Sierra High) and were All-Americans at USC. It'll be a fun matchup to watch this weekend and I think Woods will ultimately get his for fantasy, but it won't be an easy road matchup for him, plenty of motivation for the little brother to prove who's the best out alum.

    WRs expecting Shadow Coverage

    1. Robby Anderson vs. Casey Hayward (LAC) [1st graded CB]
    2. Julio Jones vs. Marshon Lattimore (NO) [3rd graded CB]
    3. Deonte Thompson vs. Stephon Gilmore (NE) [17th graded CB]
    4. Davante Adams (or Jordy Nelson if Adams N/A) vs. Xavier Rhodes (MIN) [27th graded CB]
    5. Robert Woods vs. Adoree' Jackson (TEN) [35th graded CB]
    6. Kelvin Benjamin vs. Malcolm Butler (NE) [40st graded CB]
    7. Zay Jones vs. Jonathan Jones (NE) [45th graded CB]
    8. Alshon Jeffery vs. Sean Smith (OAK) [64th graded CB]
    9. Stefon Diggs vs. Damarious Randall (GB) [75th graded CB]
    10. Mike Evans vs. James Bradberry (CAR) [82nd graded CB]

      Other Notes

      • The top five (5) rated PFF WRs that are playing in Week 16, in order, are Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, Keenan Allen and A.J. Green... they may be onto something here with their grading system.
      • The top five (5) rated PFF CBs that are playing in Week 16, in order, are Casey Hayward, Jalen Ramsey, Marshon Lattimore, Tre'Davious White and A.J. Bouye.
      • Kamar Aiken, Rashard Higgins and Russell Shepard are the lowest graded WRs in Week 16.
      • Kevin Johnson, Dontae Johnson and Nevin Lawson are the lowest graded coverage defenders for Week 16. 


      Nick Ercolano
      Nick Ercolano

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