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 slot matchups for week 17. To keep up with the latest 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 to the slot over the past 5 weeks.

 

Team DEF Slot PPG
Last 5
Wide PPG
Last 5
Total PPG
Last 5
Slot %
Last 5
Off Opponent
WAS 13.2 16.5 31.9 41% PHI
JAX 13.1 9.1 25.7 51% NE
NO 12.9 10.3 26.4 49% CAR
ATL 12.9 14.9 31.2 41% BUF
ARZ 12.9 22.5 38.3 34% DAL
GB 12.9 13.3 29.1 44% MIN
KC 12.7 14.1 27.7 46% CIN
CIN 12.7 15.5 28.5 45% KC
SEA 12.6 7.6 22.7 56% DET
NYG 12.5 13.6 26.7 47% CHI
DET 12.2 11.7 25.6 48% SEA
TB 12 14.8 28.6 42% NYJ
CHI 11.5 12.2 25.6 45% NYG
DEN 11.2 10.9 22.6 50% LAC
SF 11.2 23 34.7 32% HST
LA 11.1 15.2 28.4 39% BLT
CLV 10.8 13.4 25.8 42% PIT
BLT 10.7 24.6 36.3 29% LA
TEN 10.7 15 27.8 38% MIA
BUF 10.1 7.1 20.3 50% ATL
NE 9.3 12.9 22.7 41% JAX
MIN 9 19.6 29.4 31% GB
CAR 8.4 16.6 26.6 32% NO
LAC 8.3 16.8 26.2 32% DEN
DAL 7.4 19 26.9 28% ARZ
HST 7.2 14.1 22.7 32% SF
NYJ 7.2 10.8 18.5 39% TB
LV 7 12.4 20.9 33% IND
PHI 7 10 17.9 39% WAS
PIT 5.7 18.3 26.9 21% CLV
IND 5 9.8 15.5 32% LV
MIA 3.9 9.2 14.2 28% TEN
NFL AVG. 10.2 14.2 26 39%  

*Screen Passes are included in the total

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

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

 

Slot Matchup Upgrades

 

Team: New England Patriots

Opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars

Matchup Upgrade: Jakobi Meyers

 

Jakobi Meyers has been more of a PPR asset then a solid WR3 in all formats. Meyers sits inside the top 20 in WR receptions and targets so far in 2021. However, that high usage hasn’t led to much fantasy success as Meyers is outside the top 30 in WR receiving yards and only has 1 TD on the year. Recently Meyers has seen a solid uptick in usage getting at least 8 targets in 3 of 4 games. These high target counts haven’t yielded big time fantasy success, but he has averaged 5.6 receptions for 67 yards in those 3 games. This production has come vs. much tougher opponents in the Titans (19th), Bills (20th) and Colts (31st) in fantasy points allowed to the slot over the last 5.

This week the Patriots take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars have allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to the slot over the past 5 weeks. Notable WRs Russell Gage (6-62-1), Cooper Kupp (8-129-1) and Brandin Cooks (7-102-2) all had big days on the inside vs. the Jaguars. Started in just 24% of sleeper leagues, Meyers is a solid WR3 in any PPR format for Week 17.

 

Team: Buffalo Bills

Opponent: Atlanta Falcons

Matchup Upgrade: Cole Beasley

 

Now back from the COVID list Cole Beasley returns after seeing a combined 19 targets in the previous 2 games before missing Week 16. Beasley has been tough to trust this season when the Bills have had their full allotment of receiving weapons. It sounds like Emmanuel Sanders might be limited even if he plays this week which should open the door for more opportunities for Beasley. In the 5 games where one of the other weapons have missed or left the game early Beasley has averaged 10.4 targets, 7.6 receptions for 66 yards and 1 score.

Heading into Week 17 the Bills will take on the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have allowed the 4th most fantasy points to the slot over the past 5 weeks. Interior WRs Amon-Ra St. Brown (9-91-1) and Chris Godwin (15-143) had solid days on the inside vs. the Falcons. Currently ranked outside the top 48 WRs on Fantasy Pros ECR, Beasley is a solid WR3 in PPR formats for Week 17.

 

Team: Cincinnati Bengals

Opponent: Kansas City Chiefs

Matchup Upgrade: Tyler Boyd

 

Tyler Boyd’s season has been marred by a lot of ups and downs. Weeks 1-4 Boyd was averaging a solid 10.4 PPG in .5 PPR. Then once Tee Higgins returned to the lineup, Boyd saw a tough stretch for fantasy. In Weeks 5-12, Boyd only had 1 game of over 50 yards receiving and 1 score. Now over the past month, Boyd has had his best stretch of the season averaging 13.2 PPG and topping 85 yards receiving in 3 of 4 games. This stretch has allowed Boyd to be the WR8 in .5 PPR in fantasy over the past month.

This week Boyd has a chance to build on his solid stretch run as the Bengals take on the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have allowed the 7th most fantasy points to the slot over the past 5 weeks. This includes solid performances to Hunter Renfrow (13-117-1), Keenan Allen (6-78-1) and Jerry Jeudy (4-77). Currently started in just 31% of sleeper leagues, Boyd can be viewed as a WR3/flex in Week 17.

 

Team: Seattle Seahawks

Opponent: Detroit Lions

Matchup Upgrade: Tyler Lockett

 

Since the return of Russell Wilson back in Week 10, Tyler Lockett has been the WR16 for fantasy. This production includes Lockett hitting at least 11 points in .5 PPR in 4 of 6 games. Prior to Week 10, Lockett only hit that mark in 3 of 9 games. A key factor for Lockett’s more consistent play has been the emphasis on getting him more target in the slot. After Week 10’s 2 reception performance on 8 targets, Lockett has seen 50% of his targets on the inside. This is up from 34% which has resulted in Lockett finding more consistency for fantasy as he has dominated the slot throughout his career.

This newfound usage should be on display in Week 17 as the Seahawks take on the Detroit Lions. The Lions have allowed the 11th most fantasy points to the slot. Notable WRs who play significant snaps in the slot Christian Kirk (9-94-1) and Darnell Mooney (5-123) both a big day vs. the Lions. Only started in 60% of sleeper leagues, Lockett is a solid WR2 with WR1 upside in Week 17.

 

Team: Detroit Lions

Opponent: Seattle Seahawks

Matchup Upgrade: Amon-Ra St. Brown

 

Rookie WR Amon-Ra St. Brown has emerged over the past month. In the last 4 weeks, St. Brown is 3rd in the NFL in targets (43), 4th in yards (340) and has found the end zone 3 times. This production has made him the WR4 in fantasy over this stretch. Anytime a WR is averaging 10 targets a game it shouldn’t go unnoticed which is exactly what St. Brown is doing right now. Even more impressive is St. Brown did it again in Week 16 without his starting QB securing (9-91-1).

Heading into Week 17, St. Brown will have an opportunity to build on his hot steak as the Lions take on the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks have allowed a league high 56% of their WR receiving production to the slot. This matchup along with the potential losses of Josh Reynolds and Khalif Raymond to the COVID list should make St. Brown a solid WR2/3 in Week 17.

 

Team: New York Jets

Opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Matchup Upgrade: Braxton Berrios

 

If you are looking for a deep sleeper in Week 17 look no further than Braxton Berrios. First, Jamison Crowder is looking doubtful which means Berrios will be the main slot WR this week. Last week Berrios’ numbers don’t jump out at you 5-37, but Berrios saw 6 targets on a day where Zach Wilson only attempted 22 passes. Plus Berrios showed his playmaking chops saving his fantasy day with a special teams TD.

That 27% target share should see much more production in Week 17 as the Jets take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers are top 12 in fantasy points allowed and the percentage of fantasy points allowed to the slot over the past 5 weeks. This coupled with the fact that the Buccaneers should put up a lot more points than the Jaguars in Week 16 should boost the pass volume for the Jets and Berrios. Currently ranked outside the top 50 WRs according to Fantasy Pros ECR, Berrios can be used as a borderline WR 3/4 in Week 17.

 

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

 

4 Comments
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packers2018
packers2018
20 days ago

No questions, just thank you for the very helpful posts. HNY.

Mike
Mike
20 days ago

Ty for the article!

So based on the chart, would you go Berrios over Gabriel Davis thinking Cole gets way more targets?