Cornerbacks Games in Shadow Coverage PPG Allowed Games Under 10 PPG Top 24 WRs Faced Y/SNP
James Bradberry 9 8.6 5 5 0.75
Carlton Davis 8 9.4 5 4 1.37
Darius Slay 7 13.6 3 4 1.53
Jalen Ramsey 5 13.5 2 5 0.53
Bradley Roby 5 10.9 3 2 0.72
Patrick Peterson 5 13.4 2 4 1.05
William Jackson 5 6.2 3 2 1.07
Isaac Yiadom 5 8.2 3 0 1.2
Malcolm Butler 5 7.9 3 3 1.36
Jaire Alexander 4 9.6 2 3 0.64
Tre’Davious White 4 9.5 2 1 0.94
Stephon Gilmore 4 8.2 2 2 1.01
Janoris Jenkins 4 9.1 3 1 1.17
J.C. Jackson 4 21.8 2 1 1.23
Xavien Howard 4 11.3 1 2 1.25
Marshon Lattimore 4 10 2 4 1.27

Chart Key

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Using the shadow coverage matrix from Pro Football Focus we took a deep dive into all the shadow coverage matchups in 2020. The first step was to make some eliminations in the data to get a more accurate representation of the notable shadow corners in 2020. In the analysis we did this by using the following criteria:

  1. The shadow coverage matchup must be for at least 50% of snaps
  2. AND the opposing shadow corner must have shadowed in at least 4 games in 2020

By using this criteria, it allowed us to eliminate a lot of corners who were either not consistently used as a shadow corner or who weren’t the best cornerbacks on their team. The importance of this is it allows us to better predict impactful shadow coverage matchups in the future by highlighting teams who consistently use shadow coverage week in and week out.

After factoring in these criteria only 11 wide receivers faced at least three notable shadow corners in 2020.

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Like a prophecy coming true, Carson Wentz was shipped out of Philadelphia on February 18, 2021, going to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2021 third round pick and a conditional 2022 pick. With January bringing football fans a trade of Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff, the Wentz trade marks the third major movement of a quarterback in 2021. Let’s take a look at both the real-life and fantasy implications of the Carson Wentz trade. 

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Does Shadow Coverage matter…..I mean I hope so I just spent the whole year writing about it, but instead of just hoping it does let’s take a look at 2020. Just an FYI if we find out it doesn’t, I just want to say I can’t wait to try something new here at the great company of Razzball in 2021.

The first thing we should do is review the data of all the wide receivers we wrote about in are articles weeks 1- 17 weeks. Granted not all these players ended up seeing shadow coverage, but it is important to look at the players who we typically think will see shadow coverage week in and week out. Later on we will review PFF’s shadow coverage matchups to see the overall impact shadow coverage had in 2020, but for now let’s dive into the weekly finishes of the players we tracked this season.

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Can you believe it’s Donkey Teeth’s last week at Ghostbusters Fantasy Camp? Pretty soon he’ll be back from the upside-down, completely normal and unchanged from battling demons in the abyss. He even sent me a message on the Ouija board yesterday! It said, “Listen to the podcasts backwards.” So I took the ol’ pod, played it backwards and slowed it down a bunch to match the slow jam vibe I was feeling. And wouldn’t you know? There were secret messages hidden within! The first message was, “Mitch Trubisky sold his soul to get drafted before Mahomes.” Now we know! The second message? Well, it’s that Curtis Samuel is a sleeper for 2021 fantasy football! 

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Donkey Teeth is off at Ghostbusters Fantasy Camp, and he sent me this letter to read off to our regular readers. 

Dear Ghouls and Girls,

Its my first day at Ghostbusters Fantasy Camp! So far it’s just Rick Moranis here with the 6 campers, but I hear that Ernie Hudson will be here by the end of the week. Today, we spent time fixing old infrared cameras for sale on something called the Dark Web. Spooky! I think I even had my first paranormal encounter while I was cleaning the camp’s septic tank. There were some supernatural smells down there! If you need me, here’s my mailing address: Donkey Teeth, 123 Elm Street, Amityville, NY 66642. Counselor Rick says you can send cash and it’ll go to my commissary account! 

Thanks, DT! 

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Shadow Coverage Tracker
WR Finish Total
1 23
2 13
3 14
4+ 31
Grand Total 81
Shadow Coverage Tracker
WR Finish Total
1 23
2 13
3 13
4+ 29
Grand Total 78

Team: Dallas Cowboys

Opponent: New York Giants

WR1: Amari Cooper

Shadow Coverage Matchup: James Bradberry

Amari Cooper vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 31 5.6 77.6 0.5 13.3
Vs. Shadow Coverage 15 4.4 57.5 0.4 10.3
vs. James Bradberry 1 2 23 0 3.3

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Amari Cooper’s performance vs. shadow coverage has been ok vs. shadow coverage posting 10 PPG in .5 PPR since 2018. However, it is important to point out he has failed to hit double digits in 8 games while failing to hit 6 points in 7 of those contests. This low floor tends to make Cooper more of a boom or bust prospect when facing notable shadow corners.

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To top off a nice 2020 fantasy football season, I won the DataForceFF Charity League against some world-class competition including John Paulsen, Jake Ciely, Sean Koerner, and Pat Fitzmaurice. Me, the guy that Grey picked off the streets in June with 100 Twitter followers, won an industry best ball competition against the elite rankers and players — guys with full-time jobs in fantasy sports and a combined 300,000 Twitter followers. 

How did I do it? 

I studied the game, and I followed a strategy. 

I’m aiming this article to the hundreds of thousands — nay, millions — of players out there who are always wondering, “Can I really take the next step in my hobby?” I’ve talked to so many of you who are passionate about the game, but lack either the confidence to compete against “pros” or simply don’t know what to do. In the spirit of “a rising tide lifts all ships,” I want to teach you what I learned this year in the hopes that next year you’ll have a great season with your own underdog story of winning against stout competition. 

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The fantasy regular season is in the books and I already laid out rankings for the playoffs. So what else is there to do but look ahead into the crystal ball and see what 2021 could have in store. As always, this is not format specific but a general ranking based simply on who I’d rather see on my roster in 2021. I am happy to talk specifics in the comments, as the note section is not meant to be a thesis explaining the position of each ranking. 

I have included some choice rookies for 2021, although in all likelihood there will be more that make their way into the top 80 by season’s end. This year there are currently 5 rookies in the top 50 WR in fantasy points per game. With offenses using more 3 and 4 wide formations, rookies can get on the field early and often. Earning snaps is the biggest hurdle for most rookies but that is not as hard as it used to be when only 2 WRs were featured. Rookie receivers should continue to be assets even in redraft leagues, so I have been generous in my rankings with 2 rookies already in the top 36. 

Read all of the QB, RB and TE Razzball Rest of Season Positional Rankings now!

And without further ado… 

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I woke up this morning, ice rain falling on my car. Three different densities of fog developed from my exhaling breath: one the usual, everyday fog representing my life force; a second the worried fog that danced a little more, caused by 2020 itself; the third, the devastated fog of living in the northern midwest that fell straight to the ground, caused by having Kirk Cousins stuck as the Vikings quarterback for the next three years. 

But if I’m wearing my fantasy forecaster hat, I really should be dancing in the ice rain: Kirk Cousins is bringing some teams to fantasy playoff glory. 

That’s the funny thing about fantasy sports compared to real life sports: there are inadequate real-life signal callers who are fantasy gold, and there are great real life quarterbacks who are absolute sleepers in fantasy. The midwest writers for The Athletic point out that Cousins is rigid in following his reads — he doesn’t innovate and he doesn’t deviate from his play call. He’s won less than 10 games against teams with winning records in nearly 80 career starts. He went 0-9 on Monday Night Football before finally grabbing his first career win this year. From a real-life standpoint, Cousins is about as exciting as owning a Toyota Camry: yes, you know he’s ready to go every week, but once you start going, you can’t help but look at every other “car” you could have had. And yes, I did avoid the Derek Carr pun there. 

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