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 9. 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 wide receivers 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
*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: Las Vegas Raiders
Opponent: New York Giants
Matchup Upgrade: Hunter Renfrow
With Henry Ruggs no longer on the Raiders this receiving core will be going through a shakeup. So far in 2021 Bryan Edwards leads the team in routes while Hunter Renfrow operates as the clear #3. The most likely candidate to replace Ruggs in the starting lineup is Zay Jones. Through Week 7 Jones has a total of 7 targets but has turned them into 6-115-1.
For this week we lean Renfrow to be the biggest beneficiary as the Raiders take on the Giants. The Giants over the past 5 weeks have allowed the most points to the slot. This includes being only 1 of 2 teams to allow 50% of their overall production to the inside during that span. Also, history is on Renfrow’s side as in the three games without Ruggs in 2020, Renfrow had a couple solid games. This includes a 6-84-1 line vs. NE and 5-57 vs. BUF before leaving early with a concussion in the third game. Only started in about 34% of ESPN leagues, Renfrow makes for a solid WR3 in any PPR format this week.
Team: Cleveland Browns
Opponent: Cincinnati Bengals
Matchup Upgrade: Jarvis Landry
The news of Odell Beckham’s release should open the door for Jarvis Landry’s breakout in 2021. Last season after Odell’s injury, Landry averaged nearly 14 PPR points per game from Week 7 on. These numbers jump even higher after a tough stretch of bad weather games in Cleveland as Landry averaged 19 PPG over the last 5 games of the season. This season we already see his usage skyrocket as he has averaged 9 targets per game since he returned from injury.
This week the Browns take on a Bengals team that has been getting beat up as of late from the slot. This includes allowing solid games to Laviska Shenault (6-99) when he manned the slot for Jacksonville and Jamison Crowder who last week secured (8-84) on 9 targets. Landry usage hasn’t shown up in the box score yet after a few bad drops last week but expect a nice bounce back from him in Week 9.
Team: Cincinnati Bengals
Opponent: Cleveland Browns
Matchup Upgrade: Tyler Boyd
The roller coaster that has been Tyler Boyd’s fantasy season. After three straight games where Boyd had at least 10 .5 PPR fantasy points, he followed it up with three straight duds where he failed to hit 6 points in that format. A lot of these issues have to do with the lack of pass volume as the Bengals sit outside the top 20 in pass attempts per game. This coupled with all the explosive plays going mostly to Ja’Marr Chase this season has left very little to go around. The good news for Boyd owners is he bounced back in a big way last week vs. the Jets posting a solid (5-69-1) receiving line.
This week the Bengals take on the Browns who Boyd has dominated over the years. In 2020 Boyd had two big games vs. Cleveland going for (11-101-1) and (7-72-1). Boyd should be able to build on those strong games as the Browns once again have struggled in the inside. Over the past 5 week they allowed the 10th most points to the slot including solid games to Christian Kirk (5-75-1) and Keenan Allen (6-75).
Slot Matchup Downgrades
Team: Miami Dolphins
Opponent: Houston Texans
Matchup Downgrade: Jaylen Waddle
Jaylen Waddle has stepped up this season as top WR Devante Parker continues to deal with injuries. This includes solid fantasy day as the defacto #1 vs. the Jaguars (10-70-2) and Falcons (7-83). Last week in Parker’s return, Waddle did take a backseat from a production standpoint, but still saw 10 targets vs. at tough Bills defense. This should keep Waddle as a viable WR3 in better matchups moving forward.
This week the Dolphins take on the Texans who have allowed the 5th fewest points to the slot over the last 5 weeks. This includes holding down Cole Beasley (2-16) and Jakobi Meyers (4-56). Waddle is still a borderline WR3 as the Dolphins have moved to mostly 2 TE sets. This allows plenty of opportunities on the outside for Waddle vs. a Texans team that has been exposed on the perimeter as of late. However, due to his split inside and out, we favor Parker this week as he took the lead role in Week 8.
Breaking News! Devante Parker is listed as doubtful. This makes Waddle a stronger WR3 play in Week 9.
Team: Denver Broncos
Opponent: Dallas Cowboys
Matchup Downgrade: Jerry Jeudy
Jerry Jeudy finally returned to action last week after being out since Week 1 due to injury. Jeudy didn’t have the big return like we hoped only catching 4-39 on the week. What is notable for fantasy managers is Jeudy ran behind both Tim Patrick and Courtland Sutton. Jeudy was essentially regulated to just the slot as he ran 21 of 24 snaps from the inside. It will be interesting to see if that trend continues as Jeudy gets healthy as he was locked into the lead role Week 1 vs. the Giants.
This week it might be best to take a wait and see approach as the Broncos take on the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys over the past 5 weeks have allowed the 5th fewest points to the slot. This includes holding down slot WRs well below expectation with Jakobi Meyers (5-44), K.J. Osborn (2-10) and Terrace Marshall (1-2). Jeudy is a hold as his talent is undeniable, but starting him this week might be premature.
Team: New York Giants
Opponent: Las Vegas Raiders
Matchup Downgrade: Kadarius Toney
The Giants WR core has been once again a disaster. Sterling Shepard got hurt again and looks doubtful for Week 8. Kenny Golladay has been out for most of the season. Darius Slayton has missed time due to a hamstring as well. With those 3 WRs all missing significant time it has allowed us to see glimpses of the upside of Kadarius Toney. Toney put together some solid games vs. the Saints (6-78) and Cowboys (10-189) before going down with an injury of his own vs. the Rams in Week 6. Toney returned in Week 8, but only played 57% of the snaps as he left the game briefly with a hand injury.
This week it looks like Toney is on track to play in Week 9 after back to back limited practices. It will be interesting to see which WRs will be on the field, but either way it will be a tough day for him. The Raiders have allowed the second fewest points to WRs overall and 3rd fewest to the slot over the past 5 weeks. This includes shutting down Keenan Allen (7-36) on the inside back in Week 4.
Top 10 Rest of Season Slot Schedule
*Team column represents the Offense with the best rest of season slot schedules
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Sources: Razzball, Pro Football Focus, FantasyPros Pro Football Reference, FFToday, and Football Outsiders