The goal of this article is to find wide receivers to fade and buy based on how many fantasy points their opponent allows in the slot vs. out wide. In today’s article we will review the key slot matchups for week 5.
The below chart breaks down where each team allows their fantasy points to wide receivers and is listed from the most to the least amount of fantasy points allowed to the slot this season.
|Team||Slot PPG||Wide PPG||Total PPG||% Slot|
Wide PPG – This represents how many fantasy points a defense allowed on the outside to wide receivers in .5 PPR in 2021
Slot PPG – This represents how many fantasy points a defense allowed to the slot in .5 PPR in 2021
Total PPG – This represents how many total fantasy points a defense allowed to the wide receiver position in .5 PPR in 2021
% Slot – This represents what percentage of the total fantasy points the defense allowed from the slot in 2021
Slot Matchup Upgrades
Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
Opponent: Tennessee Titans
Matchup Upgrade: Laviska Shenault
In the week 4 loss the Jaguars lost one of their top weapons D.J. Chark to a fractured ankle. The loss of Chark opened the door for Laviska Shenault to have his best game of the season. Shenault in week 4 topped 100 total yards and finished as a top 24 WR for the first time this season. More importantly than the production was his usage from last week. In weeks 1-3 Shenault had an ADOT of 5 yards while in week 4 that jumped to 13.4. This increase in air yards was a big driver in Shenault’s success from last week and could continue with Chark out.
This week Shenualt will have his best matchup of the season as he faces the Tennessee Titans. The Titans have allowed the most fantasy points to the slot this season. This includes great performances from primary inside WRs Christian Kirk (5-70-2), Freddie Swain (5-95-1) and Jamison Crowder (7-61-1). Currently ranked outside the top 30 for WRs in Fantasy Pros ECR, Shenault should be on the WR2 map in week 5.
Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Opponent: Miami Dolphins
Matchup Upgrade: Chris Godwin
The time to buy Chris Godwin is now after failing to hit top 24 WR numbers in 2 of the last 3 weeks. In week 3 Godwin saved his fantasy day with a rushing TD, but overall Godwin sits as the WR17 through 4 weeks. This is quite impressive when reviewing Godwin’s schedule. Through week 4 Godwin has yet to face a defense that allows over the league average in slot PPG. The Cowboys (8.7), Falcons (11), Rams (11.1) and Patriots (10.5) are all under the league average of 11.5. This is key for Godwin as he sees 68% of his targets from the inside.
This week that is going to change as the Buccaneers take on the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins have given up the 6th most points to inside WRs at 14.8 slot PPG. This includes allowing at least 4 receptions in every game to the primary slot WR on the team this season. Chris Godwin should be consider an auto-start in season long leagues, but currently priced outside the top 12 on Draft Kings, Godwin is a great DFS play in week 5.
Team: Baltimore Ravens
Opponent: Indianapolis Colts
Matchup Upgrade: Marquise Brown
Marquise Brown is a few drops away from being a WR1 on the season. Currently sitting as the WR16 in PPR, Brown is having his best season as a pro. Brown isn’t viewed as a inside WR, but when you dive into his numbers it is clear that is where his production is coming from. So far in 2021 57% of his targets, 63% of receptions and 71% of his yards have come from the slot. This role has helped Brown tremendously as he has seen his routes in the slot nearly double from prior seasons.
This week the Ravens take on the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts this season have allowed the 7th most points on the inside to WRs. This includes allowing a slot TD in 3 of 4 games this season. Notable WRs Tyler Lockett and Cooper Kupp had big days vs. the Colts playing a similar role to Brown. Only started in 40% of ESPN leagues last week, start Brown with confidence in week 5.
Slot Matchup Downgrades
Team: Cincinnati Bengals
Opponent: Green Bay Packers
Matchup Downgrade: Tyler Boyd
After a slow week 1 Tyler Boyd has really turned it on over the past few weeks. Boyd since week 2 is the WR14 in fantasy football and WR26 on the full season. Some of this has to do with the injury to Tee Higgins, but a lot of this has to do with Boyd’s great early season slot schedule. The Bengals have faced the 2nd easiest schedule for slot WRs so far in 2021. This includes facing four opponents who allow over the league average in fantasy points to the slot.
This week that changes drastically as the Bengals take on the Green Bay Packers. The Packers have allowed the least number of points to the slot in 2021. This includes holding inside WRs Juju Smith-Schuster and Amon-Ra St. Brown to under 20 yards receiving. Plus the injury to Packers top CB Jaire Alexander and the return of Tee Higgins should open things up on the outside for the Bengals. This makes Boyd a low-end flex/WR4 this week.
Team: New England Patriots
Opponent: Houston Texans
Matchup Downgrade: Jakobi Meyers
After a relatively slow start to the season, Jakobi Meyers has turned it on over the past two weeks. Meyers has back-to-back games of 15 plus fantasy points in PPR. Even though Meyers is the primary slot WR for the Patriots he is clearly the #1 on the team. Through the first month of the season Meyers leads the Patriots in nearly every receiving category and it is not close. Meyers 27-246-0 receiving line on 40 targets has put him at 3 more PPG than the next WR on the team without him scoring a TD yet this season.
This week the Patriots passing attack might not need to do much as they take on the Texans. The Texans have struggled to put up points the past few weeks with rookie Davis Mills. The Texans have limited primary slot WRs Cole Beasley (2-16), Terrace Marshall (4-48) and Laviska Shenault (7-50). Overall, the as the #1 on the team Meyers can still have a solid PPR day, but with the Patriots expected to keep this game low scoring it makes sense to pivot to a higher upside player in week 5.
Team: Buffalo Bills
Opponent: Kansas City Chiefs
Matchup Downgrade: Cole Beasley
When looking into Cole Beasley’s production vs. the Chiefs, fading him doesn’t make a lot of sense. In 2020, Beasley secured (4-45-1) and (7-88) in the two games vs. the Chiefs. Those number would put Beasley on the WR3 map. However, when you take a deeper dive on where some of the notable interior WRs got their production this season vs. KC, it makes Beasley tougher to trust. Keenan Allen for example had a nice day vs. the Chiefs with (8-50-1), but only 4-25 came from the slot. Jarvis Landry had a big day scoring 19 PPR points vs. the Chiefs, but he scored a rushing TD and only produced 3-51 from the slot in that game.
This context is important when evaluating Beasley potential upside. Beasley of course is always a threat to score, but even with a TD we could be looking at WR3 numbers at best. Beasley this season has seen 26 of 31 targets from the slot and has yet to receive a carry on the year. This will make it hard for Beasley to manufacture other opportunities similar to Landry and Allen. Currently ranked as a fringe WR3, Beasley isn’t a terrible play in PPR leagues, but we suggest taking the shot elsewhere in week 5.
Check out our Premium Fantasy Football Tools — only $19 for the best aggressive rankings in the business!
Sources: Razzball, Pro Football Focus, FantasyPros Pro Football Reference, FFToday, and Football Outsiders