Week 1 WR vs CB matchup Analysis
Well, we’re finally back to real, meaningful football. The hardest part about adjusting from preseason to regular season for fantasy players is making lineup decisions. Each week this season, I will attempt to make some of those decisions easier for you. Throughout the year I will be highlighting some of the matchups that particularly benefit receivers, as well as ones you should avoid. In my week 1 WR vs CB matchup analysis, I’ll be dividing these into three categories:
- Must starts: top players with an exploitable matchup.
- High Upside: average players with an exploitable matchup
- Bad matchups: players who have poor matchups
These should get easier to predict as we get more data from where teams are starting corners and receivers along the formation throughout the year. Week 1, however, will be about using what we know to be very likely using 2016 statistics to guide us.
Let’s begin the Week 1 WR vs CB matchup analysis.
- Kelvin Benjamin
- Benjamin receives a lot of hate, but he’s still the WR1 and has great matchups against 2nd-year corner Rashard Robinson, and Dontae Johnson. His TD upside alone makes him worthy of at least a flex play.
- Jamison Crowder
- Going up against slot corner Patrick Robinson should be a fun experience for the ascending Crowder. Before season’s end, he may be universally viewed as a top-3 slot receiver in the NFL, and he’ll prove it against one of 2016’s worst slot corners.
- Torrey Smith
- This is a desperation flex play at best. However, Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland are two of the slower moving corners in the league, so Smith could sneak by for a long score making him fantasy relevant. He’s an interesting contrarian play in GPP tournaments.
- All Kansas City Chiefs
- Adding Stephon Gilmore to a secondary that already includes stud Malcolm Butler and underrated slot man Eric Rowe means that you should be cautious about starting any Chiefs involved in the passing game.
- All Los Angeles Chargers
- If you have Keenan Allen in a PPR league, you are probably starting him regardless, but don’t expect a huge performance as he will likely be followed all day by either Chris Harris Jr. or Aquib Talib. Even Bradley Roby is more than capable of shutting down any receiver in his path and would be the top corner on most teams in the NFL. Avoid Tyrell Williams in all formats.
- Michael Thomas
- Thomas will likely be followed by top corner Xavier Rhodes for most of the matchup vs. the Vikings. If you have Thomas, you likely drafted him as a starter, and without much in terms of other options to throw to, he’s still startable. Just don’t expect a top-5 finish this week.
- Dez Bryant
- Janoris Jenkins is one of the toughest corners to beat in the NFL. In 2 games last year, the Giants held Dez to 2 catches for 18 yards. He’s an easy player to avoid altogether if you aren’t forced to start him out this week.
- DeAndre Hopkins
- Whether he lines up against former teammate A.J. Bouye or 2nd year rising star Jalen Ramsey, Hopkins is going to have a rough time finding the open field.
I hope you found the week 1 WR/CB matchup analysis useful. Be sure to check out The Fantasy Authority’s weekly rankings which will feature my rankings as well this year.
*Please note that stats such as fantasy points per route were taken from Pro Football Focus. (subscription required)