Mike Evans has 8 shadow corner match-ups heading into this season with 7 of them coming against tier 1 cornerbacks. This includes a daunting early season schedule that includes 3 shadow coverage match-ups which could lead Evans to a less desirable start for your fantasy team. That being said things do open up for Evans after week 4 including a very favorable fantasy playoff schedule. All this being said, does this make Evans a fade in drafts, and more of a mid-season trade target? Find out our thoughts 2020 Shadow Coverage Report – Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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2020 Shadow Coverage Report – San Francisco 49ers

Team: San Francisco 49ers

Division: NFC West

WR1: Deebo Samuel

Number of Potential Shadow Coverage Match-ups: 11

Historical Production

Deebo Samuel has yet to draw shadow coverage in his career as last season some teams elected to take away Emmanuel Sanders. The luxury of having a great play caller like Kyle Shanahan is he gives Samuel multiple ways to produce.  Shanahan does this by using Samuel in the run game which helps raise his floor even in tougher match-ups. Samuel was utilized in the slot as well seeing 25% of his routes on the inside and roughly 35% of his targets from that position. These factors will be notable when evaluating Samuel throughout the season.

2020 Schedule

Samuel’s schedule is nothing short of a gauntlet. Already behind the eight-ball dealing with an off-season foot injury Samuel is returning to the toughest shadow cornerback schedule of any wide receiver in 2020. This season he won’t have another wide receiver like Sanders to draw attention away, so Samuel will be the player that defensive coordinators target for shadow coverage. Heading into 2020 Samuel has 9 tier 1 cornerback match-ups and 11 total for the season.  In his own division he will see match-ups vs. top shadow cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and Patrick Peterson. The NFC West will be facing off vs. AFC and NFC East that hosts some top shadow cornerbacks including Bryon Jones (Dolphins), Stephon Gilmore (Patriots), Tre’Davious White (Bills) and James Bradberry (Giants). If this wasn’t tough enough the other NFC teams they face are the Saints (Marshon Lattimore) and the Packers (Jaire Alexander).

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Team: Buffalo Bills

Division: AFC EAST

WR1: Stefon Diggs

Number of Potential Shadow Coverage Match-ups: 8

Historical Production

Stefon Diggs vs Shadow Coverage 2018-2019

Stefon Diggs vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games PPG
Vs. Shadow Coverage 6 11
All other opponents 24 13.4

*Point per game based on receiving stats only

Diggs has seen some mixed results vs. shadow corners. Top cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore, Patrick Peterson and Darius Slay held him under 50 yards over the past two seasons. However, Diggs did have one dominate performance vs. Chris Harris and the Denver Broncos. In five of six games he was held under the 13.4 points per game average he has in all other match-ups while failing to reach double digit fantasy points in 50% of those games in .5 PPR. Overall Diggs only produced one WR1 week in the games he saw shadow coverage from a tier 1 cornerback.

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