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 out wide matchups for week 15. 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 out wide over the past 5 weeks.
|Team DEF||Slot PPG
*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
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: Dallas Cowboys
Opponent: New York Giants
Matchup Upgrade: Amari Cooper
In his first full game in well over a month Amari Cooper didn’t disappoint. Cooper caught 5-51-1 vs. a Washington Football Team that has really turned a corner on defense over the past 5 weeks. Cooper played 88% of the snaps and lead the team in routes for the first time since Week 8. Testing positive for COVID did not help Cooper’s cause, but even prior to COVID the Cowboys played in back-to-back games where Cooper failed to crack 70% of the snaps in 2 blowouts. Granted fantasy managers don’t want to hear it as Cooper’s absence hasn’t helped them get into the fantasy playoffs. The good news is if you did make it in, Cooper should be fresh and ready to go.
In Week 15 the Cowboys take on a banged-up New York Giants secondary. The Giants have allowed the 6th most fantasy points to out wide WRs over the past 5 weeks. A lot of this has to do with the latest injuries to their CBs as Adoree Jackson and Darnay Holmes have been out. Neither of these CBs are expected to return which means James Bradberry will be undermanned trying to slow down the Cowboys passing attack. This matchup makes Cooper a solid WR2 in Week 15.
Team: San Francisco 49ers
Opponent: Atlanta Falcons
Matchup Upgrade: Brandon Aiyuk
Even in Deebo Samuel’s return in Week 14, Brandon Aiyuk still was featured in the San Francisco offense. As the 49ers continue to use Samuel as a defacto RB it leaves a lot of targets to go to George Kittle and Aiyuk. This was on display last week as Kittle (15) and Aiyuk (10) way out paced Samuel (1) in passing game targets. This led to a solid day for Aiyuk securing 6-62-1. More importantly for Aiyuk is he paced the team in routes which will continue to cement his role on offense as Kittle is tasked to pass block from time to time.
Heading into Week 15 the arrow continues to point up for Aiyuk as the 49ers take on the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have allowed the 7th most fantasy points to out wide WRs over the past 5 weeks. Notable WRs D.J. Moore (6-84) and Mike Evans (7-99) both had solid receiving days vs. Atlanta the past 2 weeks. Only started 62% of sleeper leagues, Aiyuk is a solid WR2 in Week 15.
Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
Opponent: Houston Texans
Matchup Upgrade: Marvin Jones
The Urban Meyer era comes to end in Jacksonville, and it should be a welcome sign for the Jaguars as a whole. New interim HC Darrell Bevell has experience taking over a team late in the season as he did it in 2020 with the Lions. In those final 5 games Marvin Jones was featured under Bevell. Jones was 6th in the NFL in receptions, 4th in the NFL in receiving yards and tied for 3rd in TD receptions with 4. This production made Jones the WR3 during the fantasy playoffs in 2020. Of course, those numbers are probably not in the range of outcomes for Jones in 2021 as we are dealing with a rookie QB and not Matthew Stafford. However, it is good to know Bevell will feature Jones if he needs to as the interim HC.
This week the Jaguars take on the reeling Houston Texans. The Texans have allowed the 8th most fantasy points to outside WRs over the past 5 weeks. The Texans will be down a few key contributors in the secondary this week as CB Terrance Mitchell and Justin Reid have been ruled out for Week 15. This should open things up for Marvin Jones on the outside making him a solid WR3 this week.
Out Wide Matchup Downgrades
Team: Carolina Panthers
Opponent: Buffalo Bills
Matchup Downgrade: D.J. Moore
What a roller coaster season it has been for D.J. Moore. The first four weeks Moore starts off white hot averaging 7.5 receptions for 99.5 yards and 3 TDs. Then the wheels fall off for the entire Panthers offense and Moore’s numbers suffered greatly. From Weeks 5-10 Moore saw his numbers drop to 4.5 receptions for just 50.5 yards and no scores over that timeframe. Just when fantasy managers lost hope we finally saw a slight spark back into the passing attack. Over the past 3 weeks Moore has seen his number rebound a bit averaging 5 receptions for 79 yards and a score. This includes 3 straight games of at least 11 .5 PPR fantasy points.
This week the Panthers and D.J. Moore will have their toughest test of the season as they take on the Buffalo Bills. It is hard to tell how the Bills will fair without top CB Tre’Davious White. In their first game without White they faced the Patriots who threw just 3 times. Then the Bills faced the elite passing attack in Tampa. Still, the Bills are one of the toughest matchup for outside WRs. This matchup should make Moore nothing more than a WR3/flex in Week 15.
Team: Indianapolis Colts
Opponent: New England Patriots
Matchup Downgrade: Michael Pittman
Michael Pittman has proven this season that he can be a #1 in the NFL. In 2021, Pittman is inside the top 20 in pretty much every WR category. This production has positioned Pittman to be just outside the top 24 in .5 PPR PPG through Week 14. Pittman has been consistent this season but has struggled vs. tougher opponents. Back in Week 11 vs. the Buffalo Bills, Pittman only caught 2-23 as the Colts stream rolled the Bills on the ground.
Heading into Week 15 Pittman will have his toughest test of the season as he takes on the New England Patriots. The Patriots have been dominate vs. outside WRs this season allowing the 4th fewest fantasy points on the perimeter over the past 5 weeks. Notable WRs Stefon Diggs (4-51), D.J. Moore (3-32) and Jarvis Landry (4-26) all struggled vs. the Patriots. Currently ranked as the WR24 according to Fantasy Pros ECR, Pittman is best viewed as a fringe WR3 in Week 15.
Team: Washington Football Team
Opponent: Philadelphia Eagles
Matchup Downgrade: Terry McLaurin
There are a lot of moving parts for the Washington Football Team this week. Taylor Heinicke looks doubtful as he landed on the COIVD list late in the week. Now backup QB Kyle Allen is up against the clock to get cleared from COVID himself. This doesn’t leave a lot of time for this offense to gel before their game on Tuesday. More importantly Terry McLaurin has been limited all week with a concussion but since the game has been moved to Tuesday it is likely that he will play.
The question comes do you play McLaurin with all these moving parts. The smart money is to fade McLaurin as the matchup isn’t easy in general vs. the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have allowed the 7th fewest fantasy points to outside WRs over the past 5 weeks. Outside of Elijah Moore’s 6-77-1 line in garbage time in Week 13 you need to go back to Week 7 to find a primary outside WR that has double digit fantasy points vs. the Eagles. This matchup and the uncertainty at QB makes McLaurin a low end WR3 for Week 15.
Top Rest of Season Out Wide Schedules
|Team||ROS Wide PPG Allowed|
ROS Wide PPG Allowed – Average Points Per Game Allowed out wide by the remaining opponents that offense will face rest of season
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Sources: Razzball, Pro Football Focus, FantasyPros, Pro Football Reference, FFToday, Sleeper, and Football Outsiders