Shadow Coverage Tracker
WR Finish Total
1 18
2 9
3 11
4+ 28
Grand Total 66

 

Team: Arizona Cardinals

Opponent: New York Giants

WR1: DeAndre Hopkins

Shadow Coverage Matchup: James Bradberry

 

DeAndre Hopkins vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 27 7.4 96.3 0.4 16
Vs. Shadow Coverage 19 6.5 73.8 0.6 14.1
vs. James Bradberry 1 5 41 0 6.6

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

We have caught a glimpse over the past two weeks of how Hopkins will fair vs. shadow coverage as a Cardinal and the results are mixed. In both games Hopkins has failed to top 60 yards but saved his day with a TD in week 13 vs. the Rams. The major issue for Hopkins is he is not used inside only running 8% of his routes in the slot. This allows opposing DCs to use their top cornerback on Hopkins all game.  

Week 14 Recommendation – WR3/Flex

This week Hopkins will take on James Bradberry who just held D.K. Metcalf to 5-80 in week 13. Bradberry this season has been credited with shadowing 8 WRs holding them to 8.4 PPG in .5 PPR. The only player to dominate the matchup was Terry McLaurin back in week 9. What is notable about that performance is most of his production from the slot. This won’t be the case for Hopkins as he plays over 90% of his snaps on the outside. This is why Hopkins is more of a WR3/flex than his usual WR1 self in week 14.

DFS Recommendation – Price FD $8,200 / DK $7,600

On both sites Hopkins is priced as a top 5 option. This price point makes Hopkins a fade as his production this season vs. shadow coverage doesn’t justify his top 5 price tag. Players I would pivot to include D.K. Metcalf vs. NYJ and Adam Thielen vs. TB

 

Team: Dallas Cowboys

Opponent: Cincinnati Bengals

WR1: Amari Cooper

Shadow Coverage Matchup: William Jackson

 

Amari Cooper vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 29 5.8 78.4 0.5 13.6
Vs. Shadow Coverage 14 4.4 57.9 0.4 10.2

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

This season Amari Cooper has only seen 1 shadow coverage matchup which came in week 5 vs. James Bradberry. In that game Cooper only produced 2-23 on 4 targets in a game where the Cowboys put up 37 points. Flash forward to week 14 and now the Cowboys are without QB Dak Prescott in a game that has the lowest over/under on the week. Cooper has been playing better as of late with Andy Dalton securing at least 5 receptions and hitting double digit fantasy points in each of the last 3 games. However, with neither team expected to score much, pass volume could be hard to come by in this one.

Week 14 Recommendation – WR3/Flex

This week Cooper takes on a solid shadow corner in William Jackson. Jackson has been assigned to the top WR in three straight games holding Terry McLaurin (5-84), A.J Green (0-0) and Devante Parker (4-35) well below there season averages. Over the past 3 games for Dallas Michael Gallup and Ceedee Lamb are seeing roughly the same amount of targets from Dalton as Cooper. This could lead to him looking to them vs. much easier assignments this week. The cornerback matchup along with the limited scoring upside in this game puts Cooper outside the top 24 for WRs in week 14.

DFS Recommendation – Price FD $6,800 / DK $6,500

Amari Cooper is priced as a top 20 option on each site which based on the low projected point total for this game it seems like his ceiling. The Bengals are middle of the pack vs. WRs and with much better options around him it might be best for you to find another DFS wide receiver. Players I would pivot to include Mike Evans vs. MIN and Brandon Aiyuk vs. WAS.

 

Team: Atlanta Falcons

Opponent: Los Angeles Chargers

WR1: Calvin Ridley

Shadow Coverage Matchup: Casey Hayward

 

Calvin Ridley vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 33 4.6 65.2 0.7 12.8
Vs. Shadow Coverage 7 4.7 63.1 0.3 10.4

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

In 2020 Ridley has seen two shadow coverage matchups. The first came in week 4 vs. Jaire Alexander where Ridley was limited by injury and failed to register a catch on 5 targets. The second performance came last week vs. Marshon Lattimore. In that game Ridley performed well securing 5-108. In his 7 career starts vs. shadow coverage 4 of them have come vs. the Saints. In the other 3 contests Ridley has averaged 7.6 PPG with one big game and two duds.

Week 14 Recommendation – WR3/Flex

The news broke that Julio Jones won’t play this week which gives top CB Casey Hayward an opportunity to shadow Calvin Ridley. This season Hayward hasn’t been tasked with shadowing a lot of top WRs only following DeVante Parker in week 10 on over 60% of the snaps. However, even if Hayward doesn’t shadow Ridley the Chargers secondary is back to full strength with Chris Harris, Jr so it could be a tough day for Ridley either way. All that being said, what puts Ridley on the flex radar is his performances without Julio. In Week 3 vs. CHI (5-110), Week 5 vs. CAR (8-136), Week 12 vs. LVR (6-50-1), Ridley had at least 13 points in .5 PPR so he’s should still be a top 36 WR in week 14 even in a tough matchup.

DFS Recommendation – Price FD $8,100 / DK $7,500

With Julio out the top 6 price point on both sites seems reasonable for Ridley. However, over the past few weeks the Chargers have slowed down top WRs DeVante Parker (2-31) and Stefon Diggs (7-39) to well under there season averages. With the Falcons on the road I would pivot to other options including the Vikings WRs vs. TB or Allen Robinson vs. HOU.

 

Team: New Orleans Saints

Opponent: Philadelphia Eagles

WR1: Michael Thomas

Shadow Coverage Matchup: Darius Slay

 

Michael Thomas vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 26 8.3 96.4 0.5 16.8
Vs. Shadow Coverage 12 7.4 81.4 0.4 14.4

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Michael Thomas hasn’t played much in 2020 but that doesn’t mean teams haven’t tried taking him away. This year Tampa Bay (twice) and Atlanta have employed shadow coverage vs. him. The Buccaneers had a lot of success holding him to just 8-68 over two games. Meanwhile rookie A.J Terrell didn’t have as much luck as Thomas dropped 9-105 vs him in week 13. Overall Thomas looks to be fully recovered from his injury so he should be solid start moving forward.

Week 14 Recommendation – Start

Poor Darius Slay after back to back beat downs from Davante Adams and D.K. Metcalf his gift is another terrible matchup in Michael Thomas. To make matters worse Slay is dealing with a knee injury which won’t help him much in his pursuit to redeem himself. With Thomas getting 29 targets over the past 3 weeks, he should easily finish inside the top 24 in week 14.  

DFS Recommendation – Price FD $7,300 / DK $7,100

Michael Thomas is priced as a top 10-14 WR on each site making him a borderline WR1. Even though Thomas has been a target machine he hasn’t found the end zone in 2020 and with Hill set to make another start the pass volume might not be there for him to provide value at his lofty price point. Players I would pivot to include Mike Evans vs. MIN and Allen Robinson vs. HOU.

 

Team: Detroit Lions

Opponent: Green Bay Packers

WR1: Marvin Jones

Shadow Coverage Matchup: Jaire Alexander

 

Marvin Jones vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All other opponents 30 4.4 57 0.6 11.7
Vs. Shadow Coverage 4 4.3 48.8 0.3 8.5
Vs. Jaire Alexander 1 2 17 0 2.7

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Technically Marvin Jones has only faced Jaire Alexander once in shadow coverage. In that game Alexander completely shut down Jones. The reason why Jones was able to avoid Alexander include injuries and Kenny Golladay in every other matchup. That will not be the case in week 14 as Golladay has been ruled out and Jones and Alexander are both healthy this week.

Week 14 Recommendation – Sit

Earlier this season Jones saved his fantasy day vs. the Packers by scoring a TD. However, here are his receptions and yards vs. GB over the last 3 games (4-23), (2-17) and (1-8). Now with the fantasy playoffs on the line do you really want to roll the dice that he will score again? Even if he does his 10 points won’t win you the week. This is why it’s best to sit Jones in week 14.

DFS Recommendation – Price FD $6,200 / DK $5,800

Marvin Jones is white hot scoring a TD in 3 of the last 4 games so his top 24 price tag makes sense.  Plus with no Kenny G I am sure right now you’re thinking why not a little Marvin Jones in my lineup, it won’t hurt….just don’t. Pivot to Corey Davis vs. Jax, Brandon Aiyuk vs. WSH or Mike Williams vs. ATL.

 

What’s the Best Way to Beat Shadow Coverage…….. A Quick Slant

Diontate Johnson vs. Tre’Davious White

The reason why this matchup isn’t a true shadow coverage matchup is White hasn’t been assigned to cover top WRs most of the season. In only 1 game he shadowed a team’s top WR on over 52% of the team’s snaps which came in week 2 vs. Preston Williams. Johnson should see enough of Levi Wallace to be a solid WR2.

Sterling Shepard vs. Patrick Peterson

The Cardinals have sprung a leak vs. WRs over the last few weeks allowing multiple WRs to score double digit fantasy points in 3 of the last 4 games. Peterson himself hasn’t been at his best allowing a TD to Stefon Diggs and D.K. Metcalf the last two times in shadow coverage.  Shepard has clearly separated himself over the past 3 games leading all Giants WRS in every category making him a solid flex play in week 14.

Carlton Davis vs. Adam Thielen

With James Dean doubtful, Davis will be all alone to track down both Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. We shouldn’t expect Davis to follow either player with both playing at a high level and his running mate out for this game. This make Jefferson and Thielen solid plays in week 14 in what should be a shootout.

  1. Chet says:
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    Good stuff, Bobby! Thanks.

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