Defense Slot vs. Wide Analysis – Key Matchups Week 16

The goal of this article is to find WRs to 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 16. 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 to WRs in the receiving game only 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
GB 16 17.1 36.8 43% 46% CLV
MIN 13.9 20.4 34.6 40% 59% LA
ARZ 12.5 19.5 33.9 37% 57% IND
SF 9.7 21.8 32.5 30% 67% TEN
CAR 13.1 16.9 30.9 42% 55% TB
BLT 7.9 19.5 30.6 26% 64% CIN
ATL 10.9 15.6 30.2 36% 52% DET
NYG 10.8 15.6 29.1 37% 54% PHI
JAX 14.3 10.3 28 51% 37% NYJ
DAL 8.4 18.8 27.9 30% 67% WAS
PIT 4.7 20.4 26.9 18% 76% KC
LA 10.9 13.1 26.4 41% 50% MIN
TB 10.7 14 26.1 41% 54% CAR
LAC 7.4 18.2 25.9 29% 70% HST
SEA 12.8 10.2 25.8 50% 39% CHI
WAS 12.3 11.1 25.8 48% 43% DAL
DET 11.7 12.2 25.5 46% 48% ATL
HST 9.3 14.7 25.3 37% 58% LAC
CHI 12.7 10.7 25 51% 43% SEA
KC 12.2 11.9 25 49% 47% PIT
CIN 8.5 15.1 23.8 36% 63% BLT
NO 9.7 12 23.5 41% 51% MIA
LV 7.8 12.9 22.5 35% 57% DEN
TEN 9.6 11 22.1 43% 50% SF
PHI 9.3 11.9 22 42% 54% NYG
DEN 13 8.2 21.8 60% 37% LV
MIA 6.9 12.6 20.8 33% 60% NO
BUF 8.2 7.5 18.5 44% 40% NE
NYJ 9.3 8.4 18.4 50% 46% JAX
IND 3.7 13.1 16.9 22% 78% ARZ
CLV 5.5 10.3 16.8 33% 61% GB
NE 3.6 11 14.6 24% 75% BUF
NFL AVG. 9.9 13.9 25.4 39% 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

 

Team: Baltimore Ravens

Opponent: Cincinnati Bengals

Matchup Upgrade: Marquise Brown

 

Even with backup QB Tyler Huntley, Marquise Brown has been a target hog this season. In the 2 games Brown played with Huntley he has averaged 11 targets per game. Granted, it hasn’t resulted in a big game yet, but from a PPR perspective Brown has racked up 15 catches combined in those two games. This week Brown takes on the Cincinnati Bengals who allow the 8th highest percentage of their fantasy points to outside WRs. This includes allowing a big day to Brown (5-80-1) back in Week 7. Started in just 67% of leagues, Brown is a solid start as a WR2/3 in Week 16.

 

Team: Los Angeles Rams

Opponent: Minnesota Vikings

Matchup Upgrade: Van Jefferson

 

Since the Week 11 bye Van Jefferson and Odell Beckham Jr. have been neck and neck when it comes to receiving production. Jefferson doesn’t have the sizzle of Odell, but his 13-215-3 TDs over the last 4 games has put him in the WR3 conversation week in and week out. This week the Rams take on the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings have allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to outside WRs over the past 5 weeks. This matchup along with Jefferson’s usage in this offense makes him a solid WR3 in Week 16.

 

Team: Cincinnati Bengals

Opponent: Baltimore Ravens

Matchup Upgrade: Tee Higgins

 

The last time the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals faced off rookie WR Ja’Marr Chase went nuclear going for 8-201-1. This big game from Chase completely overshaded the fact that Tee Higgins saw a season high 15 targets in that contest. This rematch comes around right when Higgins has hit his stride. Over past month Higgins has averaged 5.5 receptions for 97 yards and .5 TDs. The Ravens meanwhile on defense have struggled to contain outside WRs allowing the 4th most points on the perimeter over the past 5 weeks. This makes Higgins a solid WR2/3 in Week 16.

 

Team: Indianapolis Colts

Opponent: Arizona Cardinals

Matchup Upgrade: Michael Pittman

 

After a solid stretch in the middle of the season where Michael Pittman caught a TD in 4 of 5 games, Pittman has failed to find the end zone since Week 10. This has resulted in Pittman only exceeding 10 points in .5 PPR once during this timeframe. A lot of this has to do with some tougher opponents (Bills and Patriots) and bad game flow (Texans). This week the Colts take on the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals have allowed the 5th most fantasy points to outside WRs over the past 5 weeks. This along with the Cardinals offense ability to put up point should put Pittman back on the WR2 map for Week 16.

 

Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Opponent: Carolina Panthers

Matchup Upgrade: Antonio Brown

 

The long-waited return of Antonio Brown couldn’t have come at a better time as the Buccaneers will be without both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin for Week 16. The silver lining of Brown’s suspension is he was able to fully recover from his ankle injury that sidelined him for well over a month. According to Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians, Brown looks like he did prior to the injury. If that is the case fantasy managers could be looking at a borderline WR1 as Brown averaged 5.8 receptions for 84 yards and .8 TDs prior to his injury. This week Brown will face a Panthers secondary that has allowed the 9th most points to outside WRs over the past 5 weeks. This makes Brown a must start WR2 in Week 16. 

 

Team: Carolina Panthers

Opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Matchup Upgrade: D.J. Moore

 

D.J. Moore season has been extremely up and down. After starting off the season red-hot Moore cooled off a bit failing to be a top 24 WRs in 6 straight weeks. Insert Cam Newton which has been a surprising spark to Moore’s fantasy value. Since Newton has taken over as the primary QB, Moore has averaged 9.5 targets per game including 3 of 4 games with at least 10 targets. This increase in volume should help Moore as he has a solid fantasy matchup vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs have allowed the 13th most points to WRs over the past 5 weeks. This should put Moore back on the WR2 radar in Week 16.

 

Team: Cleveland Browns

Opponent: Green Bay Packers

Matchup Upgrade: Jarvis Landry

 

It is expected that the Browns should have most of their starters back in time for their Saturday game vs. the Packers. This should include top WR Jarvis Landry. Prior to going on the COIVD-19 list Landry had 3 straight games of 12 or more fantasy points in .5 PPR. In those contests Landry had at least 8 targets in every game. This volume should result in solid output for Landry as the Browns take on the Green Bay Packers. The Packers have allowed the most fantasy points to WRs over the past 5 weeks. This matchup along with his usage should make Landry as WR3 in Week 16.

 

Team: New York Jets

Opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars

Matchup Upgrade: Braxton Berrios

 

If you’re looking for a deep sleeper this week, take a look at Braxton Berrios. With Jamison Crowder doubtful, Berrios would slide into the lead slot role. This season when Crowder missed the first 3 weeks, Berrios averaged 7 targets per game. Berrios can capitalize as soon as this week vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars have allowed the 2nd most points to the slot over the past 5 weeks. With Crowder, Corey Davis and Elijah Moore out, Berrios could be find himself on the WR3 map in Week 16.

 

Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Opponent: Carolina Panthers

Matchup Upgrade: Tyler Johnson

 

The losses of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are huge as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look to replace their star WRs. The return of Antonio Brown has completely overshadowed the potential of Tyler Johnson. Of course, Brown will be stepping into the WR1 role, but Johnson will be the clear #2. Even when the Tampa bay Buccaneers go with 2 TE sets, Johnson has the ability to kick outside. This should make Johnson an every down player in Week 16. The slot matchup is key for Johnson this week as the Buccaneers take on the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have allowed the 4th most fantasy points to the slot over the past 5 weeks and just lost top slot CB A.J. Bouye. This matchup along with his new role should make Johnson a WR3/4 in Week 16.

 

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