Matchups to Attack
Randall Cobb vs Fabian Moreau
Randall Cobb dominated the first week of the season for Green Bay, specifically after Aaron Rodgers returned from injury in the second half. He posted another efficient line last week, but wasn’t nearly as successful in terms of fantasy. Through two games, Cobb has needed only 16 targets to record 13 catches for 172 yards and one touchdown. He ranks second on Green Bay’s team in targets behind only Davante Adams, although he leads the team in receptions and receiving yards. After a week against one of the toughest defenses in the NFL, Cobb gets a significantly easier matchup this weekend.
Cobb has played 78% of his snaps in the slot, meaning he’ll face off against Fabian Moreau, who has played 63% of his snaps as Washington’s slot corner. Moreau is a player that teams are attacking, as he is targeted on 20% of his routes covered, while allowing a 60% catch rate. He has also graded out as Pro Football Focus’ fourth worst cornerback in the NFL this season. Cobb has already proven that he comes with tremendous upside in Green Bay’s offense, and this matchup will allow that upside to shien.
Emmanuel Sanders vs Tavon Young
Emmanuel Sanders has taken over the slot role for the Denver Broncos, and he has found plenty of success through two games. He leads the team in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Most impressively, he has totaled 41.9% of Denver’s receiving yards, nearly tripling Demaryius Thomas’ total on the season. He wasn’t targeted nearly as much in the second week, but still caught each of his four targets for 96 yards, displaying a high floor and making him a safe option, especially in plus matchups.
In his new slot role, Sanders will face off against Tavon Young, who has exclusively played slot corner for the Baltimore Ravens this season. Young has struggled quite a bit, grading out as the seventh worst cornerback in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus. He has also allowed a ridiculous 70% catch rate, while being targeted on 17% of his routes covered. Furthermore, he ranks second last in the NFL in fantasy points allowed per route covered at 0.5. He has also struggled with the deep ball, allowing his opponents to record 1.87 yards per route covered this season.
A.J. Green vs James Bradberry
A.J. Green only owns a 24.6% target share through two games, failing to record double digit targets in any game. He has been heavily involved in Cincinnati’s red zone offense, though, as he leads the NFL with four receiving touchdowns through two weeks. Overall, Green is averaging a healthy 5.5/80.5/2.0 line per week this season on only 8.5 targets per game. It’d be far from surprising if sees an uptick in targets in this matchup this week, as well.
Green tends to move around the Bengals formation quite a bit, but that won’t truly matter this week. James Bradberry is expected to shadow Green, although he will not be nearly as comfortable as Green when playing other positions. Bradberry has graded out as a bottom-10 cornerback in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. He has been targeted at a high rate, as his opponents are throwing at him on 21% of his routes covered. He has given up a 61% catch rate, as well. Most importantly, Green will have a few inch advantage, meaning he could continue to see plenty of red zone usage again this week.
Matchups to Avoid
Devin Funchess vs William Jackson
Devin Funchess has been a beneficiary of injuries to Greg Olsen in the past, and that was the case again last week. He caught seven of nine targets for 77 yards, but failed to find the end zone. He’s ranks second on the team in targets, but has given way to Christian McCaffrey, who is arguably the clear top receiving option on the team. Jarius Wright and Torrey Smith are also only slightly behind Funchess in targets this season, and it’s a bit discouraging to see that he has yet to separate himself from that ground early on.
Funchess has played the majority of his snaps (42%) as the Panthers left outside receiver. He’ll play the majority of his snaps against William Jackson, who has played 84% of his snaps as the Bengals right outside corner. Jackson has looked unstoppable at times, allowing only a 45% catch rate, while being targeted on only 15% of his routes covered. He has graded out as Pro Football Focus’ third best cornerback in the NFL, and he currently ranks in the top-seven of the NFL in fantasy points per route covered, catch rate, and yards allowed per route covered. Funchess gets the worst matchup on his team, and he’ll be battling for targets once again.
Robert Woods vs Casey Hayward
Woods has seen nine targets in each of his first two games, but he hasn’t been an overly impressive player in those games. Overall, he owns nine receptions for 118 yards on 18 targets. While his numbers may be the least impressive of the three top receivers - Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp - Woods is still leading the group in targets, showing he’s a major part of the offense. While consistency is a plus in fantasy, Woods could struggle with efficiency again this week.
Woods has played 56% of his snaps as the right outside receiver for the Rams. He’ll face off against Casey Hayward, who has played 64% of his snaps as the Chargers left outside corner. He has graded out as the best cornerback in the NFL, per PFF. He has allowed only a 51% catch rate, while being targeted on only 17% of his routes covered. If Woods is not lined up against Hayward, he will face off against Desmond King and Trevor Williams, who both graded out as well above average cornerbacks in the league. This is a bad matchup overall for Woods, regardless of who he lines up against.
Corey Davis vs A.J. Bouye
Corey Davis has been the focal point of the Titans passing attack, leading the team with 20 targets through two games. He has twice as many targets as the next player on the team - Dion Lewis - who has recorded nine. Davis hasn’t looked overly impressive, though, turning those targets into only 11 receptions for 117 yards. His inconsistencies may be caused by an injured Marcus Mariota and Blaine Gabbert throwing him the ball, but that simply won’t change this week.
Davis has played 87% of his snaps as an outside receiver, meaning he’ll play the majority of the game against A.J. Bouye or Jalen Ramsey. Both have graded out as well above average cornerbacks, according to Pro Football Focus, and we’ll outline Bouye, who is expected to see slightly more time against Davis this week. Bouye has held his opponents to a 49% catch rate, while being targeted on only 16% of his routes covered. He has also graded out as the 11th best cornerback in the NFL. Davis could potentially avoid Bouye at times in this game, but even if he does, he should struggle with this matchup.
By: Justin Bales (Twitter)