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Cooper Kupp
By the Numbers

NFL Week 10 WR/CB Matchups and TE Analysis

by Ian Hartitz
Updated On: November 7, 2019, 1:08 am ET

We're on to Week 10! I'll be breaking down the WR/CB matchups all season long with a focus on figuring out who could be facing shadow coverage as well as the best and worst overall situations. We'll also briefly touch on each team's TE group.

Physical data is courtesy of NFL.com and PlayerProfiler.com, alignment information is from Pro Football Focus while each WR's target share and air yard market share is provided by the fine folks at AirYards.com.

Chargers at Raiders

Chargers Offense

PositionWRHeightWeightSpeedTgt ShareAir Yard ShareCBHeightWeightSpeed
LeftMike Williams762184.5918%30%Daryl Worley732044.64
SlotKeenan Allen742064.7125%35%Lamarcus Joyner681844.55
RightAndre Patton742004.595%11%Trayvon Mullen731994.46

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: The entire Chargers' passing game is set up well Thursday night against the Raiders' 29th-ranked defense in pass DVOA (Football Outsiders). Only the Buccaneers have allowed more PPR per game to the WR position through nine weeks.

Philip Rivers' target distribution in his first game with QB coach Shane Steichen calling plays was as follows:

You'd like to think Rivers will get his WRs more involved in the future, but at the very least Week 9 served as a reminder that this is a crowded Chargers Offense when all of their weapons are healthy.

Allen has gone off for 6 receptions-57 yards-1 touchdown, 8-90-0, 9-133-1, 5-45-0 and 9-89-0 lines in his last five games against the Raiders. He boasts a six-inch height advantage against Lamarcus Joyner, who has allowed the third-most yards in slot coverage among all CBs this season.

Meanwhile, Williams has a league-high 54 targets without finding the end zone. This is as good of a get right spot as any against one of seven defenses that has allowed at least 12 touchdowns to the WR position this season.

Geremy Davis (hamstring, doubtful) isn't expected to suit up Thursday night, which could lead to another near full-time role for Andre Patton. Alas, Patton has played 131 snaps since Week 5 without receiving a single target.

TE breakdown: Only Evan Engram (8.5 targets per game), Zach Ertz (8.3), Travis Kelce (8.2) and Austin Hooper (7.8) have been targeted more frequently than Henry (7.6), who has gone off for 8-100-2, 8-97-0, 4-47-0 and 7-84-0 performances in four games since returning in Week 6. The overall PPR TE1 over the past four weeks, Henry is a strong FLEX option in addition to a locked-in TE1 against the league's third-worst defense in PPR per game allowed to the TE position.

Raiders Offense

PositionWRHeightWeightSpeedTgt ShareAir Yard ShareCBHeightWeightSpeed
LeftTyrell Williams752044.4818%38%Michael Davis692174.45
SlotHunter Renfrow701844.5915%13%Desmond King702014.65
RightZay Jones742014.4512%18%Casey Hayward711924.57

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: The Raiders benched Trevor Davis in favor of Zay Jones, who posted a 92% snap rate and caught 3-of-4 targets for 21 yards in Darius Slay's shadow coverage last week. The targets trailed only Hunter Renfrow (7), as Tyrell Williams (4) continues to not be fed like a normal No. 1 WR.

This isn't meant to insinuate the Raiders' offense isn't working: coach Jon Gruden and company's average of 6.2 yards per play trails only the Chiefs (6.6) and Cowboys (6.7). Rather, it's simply the reality of life within an offense that only has three players with over 20 targets in Williams (34), Renfrow (37) and primary pass-game option Darren Waller (60).

Don't expect this even target distribution to change as long as Derek Carr continues to play at a career-best level:

  • Carr in his fraudulent 2016 MVP campaign: 64% completion rate, 5.0% TD rate, 7.0 YPA, 7.5 AY/A, 96.7 QB Rating
  • In 2019: 71% completion rate, 5.2% TD rate, 7.9 YPA, 8.3 AY/A, 105.1 QB Rating

Williams' touchdown streak finally came to an end after five games. Perhaps the Raiders can scheme him into success against Michael Davis (PFF's No. 97 ranked CB) in lieu of Casey Hayward (No. 4) or Desmond King (No. 40). Still, the Chargers have allowed the eighth-fewest PPR per game to the WR position this season, and Williams has just 10 combined targets since returning in Week 8. Treat him as a boom-or-bust WR3 in this spot.

Renfrow (11) has held a slight lead in targets over Williams over the past two weeks and posted strong 4-88-1 and 6-54-1 lines against the Texans and Lions, respectively. His lack of a full-time snap rate (54% in Week 9) wasn't ideal, but the rookie is certainly making the most of his opportunities in recent weeks. 

TE breakdown: Waller has underwhelmed in consecutive weeks with 2-11-1 and 2-52-0 lines on a combined 10 targets. He's had eight or fewer targets in all but one game this season, although the primary pass catcher in the Raiders' aforementioned super efficient offense is still certainly worthy of high-end fantasy consideration. Just treat Waller as more of a top-five TE as opposed to a top-three option against the league's No. 6 ranked defense in DVOA vs. the TE position.

Ravens at Bengals

Ravens Offense

PositionWRHeightWeightSpeedTgt ShareAir Yard ShareCBHeightWeightSpeed
LeftSeth Roberts741964.468%9%William Jackson721894.37
SlotWillie Snead711954.6210%11%Tony McRae691804.61
RightMarquise Brown69166 23%32%B.W. Webb701844.51

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: The Ravens haven't made a habit of throwing the ball this season, as only the 49ers have been a more run-heavy offense.

Of course, who can blame them when their QB is one of the league's premiere talents in the open field?

Lamar Jackson has fed Marquise Brown (43 targets) and Mark Andrews (42) way more than the likes of Nick Boyle (19), Willie Snead (18) and Hayden Hurst (17) in six games with the Ravens' first-round rookie, who is the only fantasy-viable WR in this offense. Hollywood caught 3-of-4 targets for 48 scoreless yards against the Patriots, but looked plenty healthy while showing off his truly elite burners. Only the Raiders (43 completions allowed of at least 20 yards), Cardinals (39), Lions (38) and Giants (38) have allowed more big plays through the air than the Bengals (36) through nine weeks.

The return of starting CBs Dre Kirkpatrick (knee) and Darqueze Dennard (hamstring) would certainly help the Bengals' chances in this tough spot. Be sure to monitor our Week 10 Injury Dashboard for daily practice participation along with estimated and official game statuses for every injury player.

TE breakdown: Mark Andrews posted season-low marks in snap rate (34%) and targets (3) last Sunday night. His three targets marked the first time all season that Jackson didn't target his favorite TE at least seven times. Nick Boyle (84%, 5) and Hayden Hurst (41%, 2) were more involved in Week 9, but don't overthink this: Continue to fire up Andrews as a locked-in TE1 despite facing the league's fourth-best defense in fewest PPR per game allowed to the position.

Bengals Offense

PositionWRHeightWeightSpeedTgt ShareAir Yard ShareCBHeightWeightSpeed
LeftAuden Tate772284.6819%30%Jimmy Smith742114.46
SlotTyler Boyd731974.5825%26%Marlon Humphrey721974.41
RightA.J. Green762114.5N/AN/AMarcus Peters721974.53

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: The Ravens showed off their fully-healthy group of CBs in their prime-time win over the Patriots. They haven't moved their CBs since adding Marcus Peters, so A.J. Green (ankle) could feasibly target the burnable new member of the Baltimore secondary if active.

Still, it remains to be seen if Green will make his long-awaited debut following the Bengals' Week 9 bye. It would make sense considering Green managed to return to practice in Week 8 and said he wants to be with the team long term. NFL Network's Omar Ruiz confirmed that the Bengals' long-time No. 1 WR is expected to return. Unfortunately, Green wasn't able to practice to start the week and is considered day to day.

Green caught 5-of-9 targets for 69 yards and scored not one, not two but THREE touchdowns in his only game against the Ravens in 2018. However, the potential for limited snaps makes him, along with slot maven Tyler Boyd, upside WR4s in this tough matchup.

Of course, the entire Bengals Offense carries a low ceiling and floor after benching Andy Dalton in favor of fourth-round rookie Ryan Finley. The former NC State QB improved in each of his three seasons as a starter, although Finley (6.3% deep-ball rate) joined an underwhelming group of QBs featuring Mike Glennon (6.6%), Ryan Griffin (6.5%) and Nathan Peterman (6%) as the only signal callers to throw the ball more than 20-plus yards downfield on fewer than seven percent of their passes during the preseason (PFF). Only the Dolphins (16.8 points) are implied to score fewer points than the Bengals (17.8) this week (FantasyLabs).

TE breakdown: Eifert came alive in Week 8 with a season-high 71% snap rate and caught 6-of-9 targets for 74 scoreless yards. It's unclear if the robust role was an effort to showcase the 29-year-old TE just two days before the trade deadline. I'm wary of chasing those points against the league's sixth-stiffest defense in PPR per game allowed to the TE position, but hey, bye weeks suck sometimes.

Bills at Browns

Bills Offense

PositionWRHeightWeightSpeedTgt ShareAir Yard ShareCBHeightWeightSpeed
LeftJohn Brown701794.3423%37%Greedy Williams741854.37
SlotCole Beasley681774.5421%17%T.J. Carrie722064.48
RightIsaiah McKenzie671734.418%2%Denzel Ward711834.32

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Smokey Brown joins Michael Thomas as the league's only two players with at least 50 receiving yards in every game this season. The Bills' No. 1 WR won't boast his usual speed advantage against the Browns' quick-footed CBs, but a matchup against the league's 25th-ranked defense in fewest receptions allowed to opposing No. 1 WRs is hardly a spot to shy away from. Continue to treat the PPR WR18 as an every-week WR2.

Cole Beasley has found the end zone in three consecutive games, but the slot WR posted season-low marks in both snap rate (45%) as well as targets (2) in Week 9. Isaiah McKenzie (68% snap rate in Week 9) took over for Duke Williams (0%) in 3-WR sets last week, although both Andre Roberts (29%) and Robert Foster (11%) were somewhat involved as well.

It'll be tough for Josh Allen to enable multiple fantasy WRs on a weekly basis. Still, each of Greedy Williams (PFF's No. 45 ranked CB), Denzel Ward (No. 76) and T.J. Carrie (No. 93) have been average to mediocre this season. Consider having some cheap exposure to Cole Beasley ($4,100) on DraftKings in addition to plenty of Smokey in this potential smash spot.

TE breakdown: Dawson Knox has just three targets over the past two weeks, but his 76% snap rate in Week 9 was a step in the right direction after the rookie TE posted pedestrian 53% and 45% rates in Weeks 7 and 8, respectively. Tyler Kroft accordingly posted a season-low 26% snap rate last week, making Knox a near every-down TE once again. Treat him as an upside TE2 against a Browns Defense that has allowed big days to Delanie Walker (5-55-2), Mark Andrews (4-31-1), George Kittle (6-70-1) and Noah Fant (3-115-1) this season.

Browns Offense

PositionWRHeightWeightSpeedTgt ShareAir Yard ShareCBHeightWeightSpeed
LeftOdell Beckham711984.4324%34%Tre'Davious White711924.47
SlotJarvis Landry712054.6524%27%Taron Johnson711924.5
RightAntonio Callaway712004.4111%13%Levi Wallace721794.63

Projected shadow matchups: Odell Beckham vs. Tre'Davious White

WR/CB breakdown: The Bills didn't ask White to shadow in Weeks 1-8 despite facing the likes of Robby Anderson, Tyler Boyd, Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman, Corey Davis, A.J. Brown, DeVante Parker, Preston Williams and Alshon Jeffery.

This changed in Week 9 against stud Redskins rookie WR Terry McLaurin. Expect the Bills' No. 1 CB to again travel with his opponent's top pass-game option this week. White ranks among the league's top-10 CBs in Burn Rate, QB rating allowed as well as fantasy points allowed per cover snap and target (Player Profiler).

OBJ remains plenty capable of winning any matchup, but workload has been an issue all season.

Overall, Beckham already has more games without at least eight targets (4) in 2019 than he did in any single season with the Giants from 2014-2018. With that said: I'll have plenty of exposure to OBJ in DraftKings tournaments, where he hasn't been this cheap ($6,100) since 2014.

Jarvis Landry and OBJ each have 67 targets this season. Landry's total might be a bit inflated after getting 23 pass-game opportunities over the past two weeks, but he's at least seeing the type of volume to warrant WR3 consideration. Still, this is hardly a spot to target against the league's No. 4 and No. 5 ranked defense in DVOA against No. 1 and No. 2 WRs, respectively.

Antonio Callaway doesn't have more than five targets in a game this season and isn't on the fantasy radar against a Bills Defense that has allowed the third-fewest PPR per game to the WR position through nine weeks.

TE breakdown: Ricky Seals-Jones (knee) left last week's game early, enabling Demetrius Harris to see a season-high four targets on a strong 68% snap rate. Still, Stephen Carlson was involved as well, and Harris likely won't work as anything more than the No. 4 option in this pass game more weeks than not. Treat him as a low-end TE2 in this tough spot.

Lions at Bears

Lions Offense

PositionWRHeightWeightSpeedTgt ShareAir Yard ShareCBHeightWeightSpeed
LeftKenny Golladay762184.521%32%Prince Amukamara722064.48
SlotDanny Amendola701864.6817%15%Buster Skrine701864.48
RightMarvin Jones742004.4620%25%Kyle Fuller721904.49

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: The Bears obviously haven't been quite the same world beaters on defense in 2019 compared to what we saw last season.

A more in-depth look reveals that not all that much has changed in terms of their per-play efficiency:

  • Yards per play: 2019 (4.9); 2018 (4.8)
  • Net yards per pass attempt: 2019 (5.8); 2018 (5.3)
  • Yards allowed per rush attempt: 2019 (3.7); 2018 (3.8)
  • Yards per game allowed to No. 1 WRs: 2019 (56.4); 2018 (53.6)
  • Yards per game allowed to No. 2 WRs: 2019 (56.9); 2018 (59.2)
  • Fantasy PPR per game allowed to WRs: 2019 (28.2); 2018 (38.8)

The Bears have faced slightly more plays per game on defense in 2019 (65.5) compared to 2018 (62.8), but the true difference has been turnovers. Overall, Chicago is tied for 16th this season with 11 takeaways after finishing 2018 as the clear-cut No. 1 defense in this metric with 36 combined interceptions and fumble recoveries.

Make no mistake about it: This is still a tough matchup for the entire Lions passing game. Still, Kenny Golladay (WR9 in PPR per game) and Marvin Jones (WR13) have each earned auto-start treatment in fantasy formats of all shapes and sizes thanks to Matthew Stafford's resurgence under new OC Darrell Bevell.

This probably isn't the spot to target Danny Amendola, although he boasts an underrated floor with 11, 8 and 5 targets in three games since Kerryon Johnson (knee, IR) was injured.

TE breakdown: T.J. Hockenson posted a 3-56-0 line on seven targets in Week 9, marking the first time since Week 1 that he managed to clear even 40 yards. The Lions' stud rookie TE is still unfortunately the clear-cut No. 4 pass-game option in this offense. Hockenson (65% snaps in Week 9) will continue to boast a low weekly floor as long as high-priced free agent addition Jesse James (28%) along with career journeyman Logan Thomas (27%) continue to steal plenty of reps.

Bears Offense

PositionWRHeightWeightSpeedTgt ShareAir Yard ShareCBHeightWeightSpeed
LeftAllen Robinson742204.5626%39%Darius Slay721924.36
SlotAnthony Miller712014.5510%17%Justin Coleman711854.53
RightTaylor Gabriel681674.4512%19%Rashaan Melvin741924.47

Projected shadow matchups: Allen Robinson vs. Darius Slay, Anthony Miller vs. Justin Coleman, Taylor Gabriel vs. Rashaan Melvin

WR/CB breakdown: Coach Matt Patricia has taken a page out of Bill Belichick's book and turned his secondary into one of the league's tougher units to figure out when it comes to projecting shadow assignments. Coleman has consistently tracked the opponent's slot WR, but it wouldn't be shocking if Melvin winds up on Robinson after drawing the assignment against Tyrell Williams in Week 9. Slay held A-Rob to a 2-37-0 line on four targets in their shadow date last season.

A-Rob is the only member of this passing game that can be fired up with any sort of confidence. Even so, his 1-6-0 performance in a potential smash spot against the Eagles last week demonstrated the low floor for anyone involved in this offense.

Mitchell Trubisky has unequivocally been one of the league's very worst QBs this season:

  • Completion rate: 63% (No. 22 among 34 QBs with at least 100 pass attempts)
  • TD rate: 2.3% (No. 33)
  • QB rating: 80 (No. 30)
  • Yards per attempt: 5.6 (No. 33)
  • Adjusted yards per attempt: 5.5 (No. 32)

While Gabriel continues to gets a deep target or two per game, Miller played just 40% of the offense's snaps in Week 9 with TEs Adam Shaheen (42%) and Trey Burton (60%) getting more involved. Overall, Burton and Miller each played 12 snaps from the slot.

To reiterate: Avoid all pass catchers in this offense other than Robinson.

TE breakdown: Burton and Shaheen were each plenty involved in Week 9 as far as snaps are concerned, but neither managed to record a catch. Avoid this timeshare, even in a great matchup against the league's No. 30 ranked defense in DVOA against the TE position.

Ian Hartitz

All things NFL. Great day to be great. You can follow Ian on Twitter @Ihartitz.