Team: Minnesota Vikings

Opponent: Green Bay Packers

WR1: Adam Thielen

Shadow Coverage Matchup: Jaire Alexander

Adam Thielen vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 26 5.4 66.4 0.6 12.8
Vs. Shadow Coverage 8 5.8 82.4 0.9 16.4
Vs. Jaire Alexander 2 7 117.5 1.5 24.3

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Adam Thielen has been one of the best WRs when facing shadow coverage throughout his career. This includes three great performances in 2020 vs. Jaire Alexander in week 1 (6-110-2), Bradley Roby in week 4 (8-114-1) and A.J. Terrell (3-51-1). Now I am not going to sit here and say this is the murderers row of cornerbacks, but even before 2020 Thielen has been very consistent when facing shadow coverage which is reflected in his 16.4 PPG.

Season Long Recommendation – Start

To say Adam Thielen has Jaire Alexander’s number is an understatement. In 2 career games in his coverage Thielen has dominated him securing 7 – 117.5 – 1.5 while averaging a robust 24.3 PPG. This game will be in Lambeau and early indication is it will be cold and windy. This will be the first time Thielen will face Alexander in shadow coverage on the road so maybe another 20 point performance is out of the question. That being said, with Green Bay 6-point favorites the expectation is the Vikings will need to throw early and often to keep up. That is why Thielen is a must start season long player.

DFS – Price FD $7,700 / DK $7,200

Adam Thielen is rated as a top 5 WR on both sites meaning he will need to have another monster game to return value for you in week 8. His historical production vs. Alexander suggests that he could do it again, but in 2/3 games in Green Bay he has been held under 100 yards and had zero touchdowns. Call it a hunch but Thielen might be a DFS fade this week on the road. Players I would pivot to include A.J Brown vs. CIN and Tyreek Hill vs. NYJ.

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The Shadow Coverage Report – Week 2

Team: Chicago Bears

Opponent: New York Giants

WR1: Allen Robinson

Shadow Coverage Match-up: James Bradberry

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Allen Robinson vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All other opponents 22 5.5 72.4 0.4 12.4
Vs. Shadow Coverage 7 4.6 44.1 0.3 8.4
Vs. James Bradberry N/A

 

When reviewing Allen Robinson’s career stats vs. shadow coverage he had 2 big games and 5 duds. His big weeks came vs. notable corners Marshon Lattimore and Darius Slay where he turned 12 targets into 80 yards plus yards and a score in both. The interesting thing about the Saints game is Lattimore shut down Robinson when he covered him on 67% of his snaps, but Robinson was able to dominate in the slot which helped him finish with a strong day. The remaining 5 games Robinson struggled, failing to get to 50 yards or score in any of them.

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The Shadow Coverage Report – Week 1

Team: Minnesota Vikings

Opponent: Green Bay Packers

WR1: Adam Thielen

Shadow Coverage Match-up: Jaire Alexander

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Adam Thielen vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents
23 5.5 69 0.5 12.8
Vs. Shadow Coverage
5 5.8 76.8 0.6 14.2
Vs. Jaire Alexander
1 8 125 1 22.5

Season long Recommendation – Start

After a lost 2019 Adam Thielen looks to bounce back quick vs. division rival Green Bay and tier 2 shadow corner Jaire Alexander. Last season the Packers used Jaire Alexander to shadow Stefon Diggs, but with Diggs now gone Thielen will most likely draw coverage from the Packers top corner. The last time Thielen squared off directly vs. Alexander was in Week 12 of 2018. Thielen got the best of Alexander torching the Packers for 8-125-1. A big key for Thielen is he plays a lot of his snaps in the slot, and even vs. notable shadow corners like Marshon Lattimore he has shown he can win in these match-ups. This is why I got a Thielen that sitting him is a bad idea. Did you see what I did there…no…ok moving on. 

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As we rapidly approach the start of the NFL season, we are being inundated with reports out of camp. Leonard Fournette released. Fred Warner with Covid. Derwin James with a knee injury. Yannick Ngakoue traded to the Vikings. My typing skills are trying to keep up.  This is the last of the rankings updates, top 50 defensive backs for 2020 IDP leagues,  with just a week or so before opening day.  

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Last season D.K. Metcalf’s rookie success started catching the eye of defensive coordinators as teams began to target him with their top corners over the final weeks of 2019. Weeks 14-16 Metcalf faced tier 1 shadow corners Jalen Ramsey (6-78), James Bradberry (2-36-1) and Patrick Peterson (0-0). Can Metcalf improve enough in his second season to overcome these tough match-ups. His early season success vs. shadow coverage will dictate whether he can be trusted vs. a tough mid-season corner-back schedule in 2020.

Please, blog, may I have some more?