Defense Slot vs. Wide Analysis

Rest of Season Buys and Fades

In today’s article we will review the best and worst rest of season strength of schedules in the slot and out wide to help us find players to target and trade away. The article will be broken out into 4 sections with a chart highlighting the notable teams with the best and worst slot and out wide rest of season schedules. 


Best Rest of Season Out Wide Schedules


Team Offense ROS Wide SOS
JAC 17.5
SF 17.2
MIA 17
NYJ 17
GB 16.8
PIT 16.7
CLE 16.3
HOU 16.3
NFL AVG. 14.8


Team: New York Jets

Rest of Season Rank: 4th

Matchup Upgrade: Corey Davis


Corey Davis has quietly been solid for fantasy when in the lineup over his past few games. In week 7 vs. the Patriots he found the end zone and in week 10 vs. a tough Bills DST he secured 5-93 on 7 targets. Davis’ rest of season schedule doesn’t jump out too much, but it is a mixture of great matchups and solid ones as well. This schedule includes Dolphins (2), Texans, Eagles, Saints, Jaguars and Buccaneers. None of these matchups fall outside the top 20 in fantasy points allowed to out wide WRs. This puts Davis on the WR3 map rest of season.


Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Rest of Season Rank: 6th

Matchup Upgrade: Diontae Johnson


Diontae Johnson has been as consistent as they come as he continues to see over 10 targets a game. Johnson has produced double digit fantasy points in 7 of 8 games and has been between 11.8 and 15 points in .5 PPR in 6 of 8. This high floor has not been met with much of a ceiling as he’s only been a top 12 WR once all season. This could change over the final 7 weeks as Johnson has the 6th best rest of season out wide schedule. This includes 3 games in a row (weeks 13-15) vs. top 10 opponents in fantasy points allowed to outside WRs. Johnson’s high target volume and softer schedule could push him into the WR1 category rest of season.


Team: Houston Texans

Rest of Season Rank: Tied 7th

Matchup Upgrade: Brandin Cooks


We could make an argument that Brandin Cooks’ 2021 season is his most impressive. Cooks currently sits as the WR26 on a 1-8 Texans team that has started a third-round rookie for most of the season. Cooks has been a bit up and down as of late, but the return of Tyrod Taylor should provide him a boost rest of season. In the two full games with Tyrod, Cooks has averaged 10 targets per game. The Texans rest of season schedule includes 4 games vs. top 10 opponents in fantasy points allowed to outside WRs. 3 of these 4 come over the next few weeks. If you’re looking for a WR2 to help you get into the playoffs, Cooks could be a solid trade target.


Worst Rest of Season Out Wide Schedules


Team Offense ROS Wide SOS
NYG 13.6
ATL 13.5
LAC 13.4
ARI 13.3
WAS 13.1
CHI 12.9
BAL 12.7
MIN 11.6
NFL AVG. 14.8


Team: Baltimore Ravens

Rest of Season Rank: 31st

Matchup Downgrade: Marquise Brown


Marquise Brown has bounce back nicely for fantasy managers after a disappointing season in 2020. Brown currently sits as the WR10 in .5 PPR. Some of this production can be contributed to a very good early season schedule as Brown faced the 7th best schedule weeks 1-10. Moving forward this will change as the Ravens face the second toughest out wide schedule rest of season. One big caveat to this will be once all three WRs (Brown, Rashod Bateman and Sammy Watkins) are on the field can Brown see more time in the slot. If not, it could be time to try to trade him as he might struggle to return top 10 value ROS.


Team: Los Angeles Chargers

Rest of Season Rank: 27th

Matchup Downgrade: Mike Williams


A month and half ago fading Mike Williams at all was taboo in fantasy. Williams began the season on par with Cooper Kupp as the top WR value in fantasy. That has since done a 180 as Williams has failed to hit 7 fantasy points in .5 PPR in the last 4 games. Things might not improve for Williams as he faces the 6th toughest schedule for outside WRs rest of season. This includes only two matchups in weeks 16 and 17 where Williams faces a defense that has allowed more points than the league average on the outside. If you’re fighting for a playoffs spot in your league, it is time to trade Williams for someone who can help you get into the fantasy playoffs.


Team: Minnesota Vikings

Rest of Season Rank: 32nd

Matchup Downgrade: Adam Thielen


Adam Thielen is putting together another solid season as he currently sits as the WR17 in fantasy. Thielen has been a bit up and down this year as he has 4 games with 14 points or more and 4 games with 9 or less points in .5 PPR. These up and down performances should put Thielen fantasy owners on notice as he now has the toughest out wide WR schedule rest of season. The main reason why Thielen is featured over Justin Jefferson as Jefferson plays a bit more in the slot. Thielen has only seen 18% of his total targets on the inside this season. If you have Thielen and you’re looking to make a playoff push it might be time to trade him for a player with a bit more upside down the stretch.  


Best Rest of Season Slot Schedules


Team Offense ROS Slot SOS
PHI 14.2
MIA 12.9
DAL 11.8
TB 11.6
CAR 11.1
LAC 11
DET 10.9
GB 10.8
NFL Avg. 9.9

Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Rest of Season Rank: 1st

Matchup Upgrade: Quez Watkins


Quez Watkins has slowly emerged as a full-time player over the past few weeks. Watkins has run only 1 less route than DeVonta Smith over that span. Unfortunately for Watkins is this increased usage has coincided with the 4th toughest slot schedule over the past 5 weeks. Things should open up for Watkins as he now has the best rest of season slot schedule. Currently rostered in only 1% of Yahoo leagues, Watkins can probably be scooped up in your leagues to see if he could flirt with WR3 value ROS.


Team: Los Angeles Chargers

Rest of Season Rank: 6th

Matchup Upgrade: Keenan Allen


Keenan Allen has turned it on over the past 3 weeks scoring between 13-16 .5 PPR fantasy points in each contest. Granted, Allen hasn’t returned WR1 value all season as he currently sits as the WR20 on the years. Allen plays roughly 50% of his snaps in the slot and with the Chargers facing the 6th worst early season slot schedule it was hard for Allen to reach his upside. Flash forward to weeks 11-17, Allen now faces the 6th best slot schedule rest of season. This softer schedule on the inside should help Allen return to his WR1 ways over the second half of 2021.


Team: Miami Dolphins

Rest of Season Rank: 2nd

Matchup Upgrade: Jaylen Waddle


With top WR Davante Parker in and out of the lineup, Jaylen Waddle has performed well as the defacto #1 WR. Waddle currently sits as the W35 on the season in .5 PPR PPG. However, over the last 5 weeks, Waddle has taken another step in Parker’s absence, jumping into the top 24 as the WR22. Waddle has been a reception machine over the stretch as he has 3rd most receptions (33) during that time frame. Waddle should be a good position to capitalize on this soft slot schedule has 56% of his targets have come from the slot on the year. Waddle is rostered in 90% of yahoo leagues, but he could be had relatively cheap as his high floor has not met his ceiling just yet.


Worst Rest of Season Slot Schedules


Team Offense ROS Slot SOS
ATL 8.8
KC 8.7
CIN 8.5
BUF 8.4
LA 8.3
NYG 8.3
WAS 7.5
CLE 7.4
NFL Avg. 9.9


Team: Denver Broncos

Rest of Season Rank: 23rd

Matchup Downgrade: Jerry Jeudy


Jerry Jeudy has returned from his long absence and has immediately inserted himself as the WR1 for the Broncos. In his last two games Jeudy has seen on average 8.5 targets, 6 receptions and 58.5 yards receiving. The target volume hasn’t resulted in much production yet as Jeudy has failed to hit double digit fantasy points in any of those games. The bad news is his schedule doesn’t open up much as he does have the 10th toughest slot schedule rest of season. The lone bright spot for Jeudy owners is in weeks 13-15 as he does face 3 straight slot funnel defenses in Chiefs, Lions and Bengals. This could help him be a factor for fantasy managers making a push for the playoffs as a WR3.


Team: Cincinnati Bengals

Rest of Season Rank: 26th

Matchup Downgrade: Tyler Boyd


It has been very disappointing season for Tyler Boyd as he currently sits as the WR47 on the year. A couple things are killing Boyd’s fantasy value. The first issue is the Bengals low pass volume as they currently have the 8th fewest drop-backs per game. The second is the emergence of Ja’Marr Chase. Chase has become a true alpha in this offense which has led to very underperforming seasons for both Tee Higgins and Boyd. Boyd can be considered as a drop candidate as Cincinnati has the 7th toughest rest of season slot schedule. This includes 2 very bad matchups over the next 3 games vs. Raiders and Chargers making Boyd a candidate for waivers.


Team: Buffalo Bills

Rest of Season Rank: 27th

Matchup Downgrade: Cole Beasley


Cole Beasley has seen a nice boost in value over the past few weeks. Since Week 3, Beasley has been the WR21 over that span. A lot of this production has been the product of the injury to Dawson Knox. Beasley dominated in those two games securing 17 receptions for 198 yards and a score. Now Beasley is dealing with an injury of his own and with Knox back in the fold we saw his production dip to 2-15 vs. the Jets. Moving forward, Beasley has 6th toughest slot schedule rest of season. This includes only 1 plus matchup over the next 6 weeks vs. the Saints in Week 12. Currently rostered in 72% of leagues, Beasley might be hard to trade, but adding him in to get a deal done might not be a bad option.


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

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