Defense Slot vs. Wide Analysis

Key Matchups Week 11

Typically, we do 1 article each week for the slot and 1 for out wide matchups. This week we are doing 1 article for all matchups as we dive into rest of season schedules over the next few days. So without further ado here are all the buys and fades for Week 11. 

The goal of this article is to find WRs 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 matchups in the slot and out wide for week 11. To keep up with the latest defensive trends we updated the analysis to only include the last 5 weeks.

The below chart breaks down where each team allows their fantasy points to WRs and is listed from the most to the least amount of fantasy points allowed overall over the past 5 weeks.

 

Team DEF Slot PPG
Last 5
Wide PPG
Last 5
Total PPG
Last 5
Slot %
Last 5
Wide %
Last 5
OFF Opponent
NYJ 12.1 23.3 36.2 33% 64% MIA
TEN 14.4 20.3 36.1 40% 56% HST
HST 8.7 24.9 34.5 25% 72% TEN
MIN 13.9 18.5 34.4 40% 54% GB
NO 14.3 17.7 33.1 43% 53% PHI
CHI 12.5 13.2 32.1 39% 41% BLT
WAS 12.6 16.2 32 39% 50% CAR
MIA 13.3 14.6 31.2 43% 47% NYJ
CLV 11.6 15.1 29.7 39% 51% DET
JAX 7 20.1 29.5 24% 68% SF
DET 12 14.7 29.3 41% 50% CLV
IND 7.4 20 28.8 26% 70% BUF
BLT 5 22.4 28.5 18% 78% CHI
ATL 10.2 15.8 28.1 36% 56% NE
NYG 16.8 5.3 27.9 60% 19% TB
LV 6.2 20.7 27.8 22% 74% CIN
CIN 11.1 14.6 26.5 42% 55% LV
DEN 9.8 15.5 26 38% 60% BYE
KC 10.8 12.4 24.6 44% 51% DAL
ARZ 9.6 12 24.1 40% 50% SEA
SF 10.8 10.3 23.5 46% 44% JAX
NE 7.3 15 23.5 31% 64% ATL
LA 8.2 13 22.4 36% 58% BYE
PHI 6.8 13.8 22 31% 62% NO
BUF 12.4 8.7 22 57% 39% IND
CAR 8 12.5 21.8 37% 57% WAS
LAC 6.9 13.9 21.7 32% 64% PIT
DAL 7.8 12.7 21.3 37% 60% KC
GB 5.9 11.9 19.3 30% 62% MIN
TB 4.1 13.4 18.8 22% 71% NYG
PIT 10.2 5.9 18.4 55% 32% LAC
SEA 8.7 5.9 17.3 50% 34% ARZ
NFL AVG. 9.9 14.8 26.6 37% 55%  

*Total PPG includes screen passes

Slot PPG – This represents how many fantasy points a defense allowed to the slot in .5 PPR over the past 5 weeks

Wide PPG – This represents how many fantasy points a defense allowed on the outside to wide receivers in .5 PPR over the past 5 weeks

Total PPG – This represents how many total fantasy points a defense allowed to the wide receiver position in .5 PPR over the past 5 weeks

Slot %– This represents what percentage of the total fantasy points the defense allowed from the slot over the past 5 weeks

Wide % – This represents what percentage of the total fantasy points the defense allowed on the outside over the past 5 weeks

Off Opponent – This represents the team that is facing the defense outlined in the chart this week

 

Out Wide Matchup Upgrades

 

Team: Chicago Bears

Opponent: Baltimore Ravens

Matchup Upgrade: Darnell Mooney

 

Coming out of the bye the Bears look to build off a strong offensive performance vs. the Steelers in Week 9. In that contest Darnell Mooney found the end zone twice on 4 touches. The odds of that happening again are slim, but he was able to put up that performance vs. a Steelers team that has allowed the 2nd fewest points out wide over the past 5 weeks. This week Mooney plays the Ravens who over that same stretch have allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to outside WRs. This matchup along with the improved play of Justin Fields puts him on the WR3 map in Week 11.

 

Team: Cincinnati Bengals

Opponent: Las Vegas Raiders

Matchup Upgrade: Tee Higgins

 

The Tee Higgins breakout game should be coming soon, and it could be as soon as Week 11. Since his return in Week 5, Higgins has yet to find the end zone while seeing 42 targets in just 5 games. The production for Higgins overall has been on the rise as over the last 3 weeks he has averaged 5.6 reception for 79 yards. This week Higgins gets a plus matchup vs. a Raiders defense that has allowed the 4th most points to outside WRs over the past 5 weeks. This includes big games to Tyreek Hill (7-83-2) and Courtland Sutton (8-94-1) over that stretch.

 

Team: Houston Texans

Opponent: Tennessee Titans

Matchup Upgrade: Brandin Cooks

 

In Tyrod Taylor’s return back in Week 9, Brandin Cooks quietly had 14 targets on the week. Granted, the production didn’t come along with the volume as Cooks only had 6-56 on the day. The good news for Cooks fantasy owners is with Taylor at the helm he looks locked into a major target share moving forward. This volume with Taylor should help Cook’s fill up the stat sheet this week as the Texans take on the Titans. The Titans have allowed the 5th most points to outside WRs over the past 5 weeks. This should put Cooks in the WR2 conversation for Week 11.

 

Out Wide Matchup Downgrades

 

Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Opponent: New York Giants

Matchup Downgrade: Mike Evans

 

Mike Evans over the past two games has saved his fantasy day with TDs. In week 8 he secured 2-48-1 vs. the Saints and last week he caught 2-62-1 vs. the Washington Football Team. Both games were still well under expectation as both those matchups were inside the top 10 in points allowed out wide over the past 5 weeks. This week the matchup can’t get any tougher as the Buccaneers face a Giants team that has allowed the fewest points to outside WRs over that span. This matchup moves Mike Evans more into the WR3 range this week.

 

Team: Los Angeles Chargers

Opponent: Pittsburgh Steelers

Matchup Downgrade: Mike Williams

 

We can’t recall a player who started off as hot as Mike Williams did to then become unusable for fantasy this quickly. Over the past 5 weeks Williams is the WR91 in PPG in .5 PPR. The bad news is things aren’t looking up for Williams this week as the Chargers take on the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers defense over the past 5 weeks has allowed just 5.9 PPG out wide to WRs. One key caveat for Williams is if top outside CB Joe Haden is out for Week 11, Williams could slip back onto the WR3 map this week.  

 

Team: Indianapolis Colts

Opponent: Buffalo Bills

Matchup Downgrade: Michael Pittman

 

Michael Pittman has been a fantasy dynamo over the past 5 weeks. Pittman currently sits as a top 10 WR in .5 PPR PPG since week 6. This has been helped by a very nice schedule for outside WRs. During this stretch Pittman has faced the Texans (1st), Jets (2nd), Titans (5th) and the Jaguars (6th) in fantasy points allowed to outside WRs. This week that will change as he squares off vs. the Bills who have allowed the 4th fewest points on the outside over the past 5 weeks. This moves Pittman into the WR3/4 range for Week 11.

 

Slot Matchup Upgrades

 

Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Opponent: New Orleans Saints

Matchup Upgrade: Quez Watkins

 

Quez Waktins has clearly emerged as the #2 WR behind Devonta Smith. Smith should see a lot of Saints top CB Marshon Lattimore which means Watkins could be asked to step up. Last week Watkins box score wasn’t impressive (4-33), but he did drop what would have been a 34 yard TD right before the half. This week’s matchup vs the Saints can’t get much better for Watkins as the New Orleans Saints give up the 3rd most points to the slot. The Saints will be down top slot CB CJ Gardner-Johnson which should put Watkins on the WR3/4 map this week.

 

Team: New York Jets

Opponent: Miami Dolphins

Matchup Upgrade: Jamison Crowder

 

The news that the Jets will be starting Joe Flacco this week should be good news for the Jets offense. Yes, we said it GOOD NEWS! In the 4 starts with Flacco in 2020, Jamison Crowder offered a nice baseline averaging 4.5 receptions, 51 yards and .5 TDs per game. This week Crowder gets a plus draw vs. a Dolphins DST that has allowed the 5th most points to the slot over the past 5 weeks. This should put Crowder on the WR3 map in PPR formats.

 

Team: Miami Dolphins

Opponent: New York Jets

Matchup Upgrade: Jaylen Waddle

 

The injury to top WR DeVante Parker has opened the door for rookie Jaylen Waddle to emerge as a borderline every week start. Waddle has been a bit up and down as of late as he has failed to hit double digits in .5 PPR in 2 of his last 3. However, the two bad games came against the Ravens who have been dominate vs. slot WRs and the Bills who are one of the toughest pass defenses in football. This week the Dolphins get a struggling Jets secondary that has allowed the 9th most points to the slot over the past 5 weeks. This should put Waddle on the WR3 map for Week 11.

 

Slot Matchup Downgrades

 

Team: New York Giants

Opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Matchup Downgrade: Kadarius Toney/Sterling Shepard

 

The Giants WR core is finally getting healthy as it looks like they will have all four of their top WRs in the same game for the first time in months. Granted, this is great news for the Giants as a whole, but it could lead to a shortage of targets to go around. This could be a problem as the matchup vs. the Tamp Bay Buccaneers has become a lot tougher over the past 5 weeks. Since week 6, the Bucs have allowed the 3rd fewest points to the slot and the 3rd fewest points overall to WRs. This lack of volume along with the matchup makes all Giants WRs fringe WR3s at best.

 

Team: Cincinnati Bengals

Opponent: Las Vegas Raiders

Matchup Downgrade: Tyler Boyd

 

Since the return of Tee Higgins in Week 6, targets behind Ja’Marr Chase have been hard to come by for Tyler Boyd. Boyd has only topped 6 points in .5 PPR once during that timeframe. This lack of production has probably made Tyler Boyd droppable in 10 and 12 team leagues. This week things don’t look much better for Boyd as the faces a Raiders DST that has allowed the 4 fewest points to the slot over the past 5 weeks. Notable interior WRs to struggle vs. the Raiders include Keenan Allen (7-36), Juju Smith-Schuster (6-41) and Kadarius Toney (1-9). Boyd can be dropped in most leagues, but if you do have him, keep him on your benches for Week 11.

 

Team: Buffalo Bills

Opponent: Indianapolis Colts

Matchup Downgrade: Cole Beasley

 

Cole Beasley was clearly limited last week as he continues to deal with a rib injury. It doesn’t help that this injury coincided with the return of TE Dawson Knox. Before Knox’s hand injury in week 6, Beasley was very up and down. In the first 5 games he had 3 games of 6 points or less and 2 games of 10 or more .5 PPR. This week the matchup isn’t great for Beasley either as the Bills take on the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts over the past 5 weeks have allowed the 9th fewest points to the slot. This matchup along with the return of Knox makes it best to take a wait and see approach with Beasley in Week 11.  

 

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Sources: Razzball, Pro Football Focus, FantasyPros, Pro Football Reference, FFToday, and Football Outsiders

  1. FrankGrimes says:
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    Corey Davis Mike Williams Callaway or Toney… start 2?

  2. Bobby LaMarco

    Bobby LaMarco says:
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    Honestly none of these players are starts IMO. Davis with Flacco is a crapshoot with the Dolphins playing better. Mike Williams might be ok now that Joe Haden is out so I guess Williams and Davis.

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