The Shadow Coverage Report – Week 3

Shadow Coverage Tracker
WR Finish Total
1 4
2 2
3 2
4+ 6
Grand Total 14

Team: Cincinnati Bengals

Opponent: Philadelphia Eagles

WR1: A.J. Green

Shadow Coverage Match-up: Darius Slay

Historical Production vs. shadow coverage

A.J. Green vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All other opponents 8 4.9 74.5 0.4 12.1
Vs. Shadow Coverage 3 5 59.3 1 14.4
Vs. Darius Slay 1 6 81 0 11.1

Back in 2017 A.J. Green squared off vs. Darius Slay. That day Green got his, securing 6-81 on 10 targets. Granted that was a different time for Green as injuries didn’t begin to slow him down.

Green’s numbers look good vs. shadow coverage overall, but outside of a 3 TD performance vs. Baltimore he hasn’t been a must start player.  Earlier this season he finished outside the top 36 WRs in week 1 vs. Casey Hayward and the Chargers.

Season Long Recommendation – Sit

The target volume has been there for Green, but the chemistry with Joe Burrow has not. This week he is sure to see a lot of Darius Slay. Slay did hold his own vs. Terry McLaurin in week 1 limiting him to 5-61 on 7 targets. Green’s targets and opportunities suggest that he is a buy this season as the Bengals lead the NFL in attempts, but until he proves it on a consistent basis it’s best to fade him in tougher matchups.

DFS – Price FD $5,900 / DK $6,000

A.J. Green hasn’t been discounted on Draft Kings yet as he is still being valued as a top 20 wide receiver. At that price you’re getting no ROI based on his current performance. As for FanDuel Green is priced as a top 30 guy which makes him a little more appealing. However, it’s hard to recommend a player who has caught just 8 of 22 targets this season. Players who cost less than Green that I would prefer over him include Tyler Boyd vs. PHI and Terry McLaurin vs. CLE.

Team: Buffalo Bills

Opponent: Los Angeles Rams

WR1: Stefon Diggs

Shadow Coverage Match-up: Jalen Ramsey

Historical Production vs. shadow coverage

Stefon Diggs vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All other opponents 24 6 78.3 0.5 13.8
Vs. Shadow Coverage 8 3.8 53.8 0.5 10.3
Vs. Jalen Ramsey N/A

Last week Stefon Diggs made the shadow coverage report as a match-up vs. Byron Jones and Miami Dolphins looked to be his first shadow coverage game of the season. That ended on the 3rd snap of the game when Jones left with an injury. This resulted in Diggs going off for 8-153-1. At this point it’s safe to say that the switch to Buffalo hasn’t hurt Diggs as his talent continues to shine.

Season Long Recommendation – WR3/Flex

Ok…let’s try this again and yes I get it, Diggs went off but Jones left the early so I get a do over. The reason why Diggs isn’t a full sit for me this week isn’t about his performance, but his usage. Last week over 70% of Josh Allen’s targets went to Diggs, Brown and Beasley. This focus of targets will keep each player fantasy relevant week in and week out. The lack of targets Diggs received in Minnesota hurt him in tougher match-ups, but as long as he can continues to get this volume he should have a nice floor even when facing shadow coverage.

DFS – Price FD $6,900 / DK $7,000

Stefon Diggs monster week 2 has vaulted him up the ranks as his price point on DK is top 5. This is clearly a fade as the match-up vs. Jalen Ramsey is much tougher than the Jets and Dolphins without Jones. As for FanDuel Diggs still has a top 12 price point so he will need a monster performance to not only return value but help you win big this week. Players I would pivot to include Adam Thielen vs. TEN and D.K. Metcalf vs. DAL.


Team: Oakland Raiders

Opponent: New England Patriots

WR1: Henry Ruggs

Shadow Coverage Match-up: Stephon Gilmore

Historical Production vs. shadow coverage – N/A

Season Long Recommendation – Sit

This is more of a PSA that the young talented Ruggs is about to face another tough test vs. Stephon Gilmore and the Patriots. So far in 2020 the Patriots DST hasn’t looked strong as both Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf got loose for solid games. Gilmore did allow a 54-yard TD to Metcalf, but outside of that big play Metcalf only caught 3-38 on 5 targets. Last week in another tough match-up vs. Marshon Lattimore and the Saints, Ruggs went 1-4 on 3 targets. It will be a lot to ask the rookie to replicate what Metcalf did so even in deeper leagues he’s probably a fade.

DFS – Price FD $5,400 / DK $5,000

Henry Ruggs doesn’t offer much of a discount on either site to make him a dart throw. Currently only seeing 4 targets a game it will be impossible to predict if he can turn one of them into a big play. If you are looking for lower cost options at WR, Russell Gage and Corey Davis are similarly priced on each site.


Team: Carolina Panthers

Opponent: Los Angeles Chargers

WR1: D.J. Moore

Shadow Coverage Match-up: Casey Hayward

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Last week D.J. Moore was a fade as it looked like he had a tough match-up vs. the young Buccaneers secondary. Through 3 and half quarters D.J. Moore was having a solid day with 4-70, but it wasn’t until late in the fourth were he took off. In those final two drives, Moore got 4 more receptions for 50 yards to finish with an strong 8-120.

Season Long Recommendation – WR3/Flex

This week it will be hard to bank on the same type of game flow that benefited Moore vs. Tampa Bay. The Chargers will be playing rookie Justin Herbert in just his second start so this game could be a lot more competitive for Carolina.

Also, Casey Hayward did shut down A.J. Green in week 1 and limited outside WRs Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson to 39 yards in week 2. It is notable that Tyreek Hill shook loose for 99 yards last week, but 70 of his yards came from the slot. Moore only plays 18% of his snaps on the inside so expect him to see a lot of Hayward this week.

DFS – Price FD $6,700 / DK $6,100

Last week D.J. Moore did return value on both sites, but it will be tough to repeat it again with this game projected to be more competitive.  Currently being valued as a top 20 player, Moore will need to have a repeat performance and then some to help you cash big in week 3. Players I like who are similar price include D.K. Metcalf vs. DAL and T.Y. Hilton vs. NYJ.

Team: Detroit Lions

Opponent: Arizona Cardinals

WR1: Kenny Golladay

Shadow Coverage Match-up: Patrick Peterson

Historical Production vs. shadow coverage

Kenny Golladay vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All other opponents 24 4 70.5 0.5 12.3
Vs. Shadow Coverage 7 5.7 80.3 0.4 13.5
Vs. Patrick Peterson 1 2 5 0 1.5

Kenny Golladay spent most of last season dominating even in tougher matchups. As discussed this offseason Golladay had double digit fantasy points in nearly every performance he faced shadow coverage. This includes games vs. James Bradberry, Tre’Davious White and Chris Harris. If Golladay returns this week the next two games will be tough vs. Patrick Peterson and Marshon Lattimore. This could provide a buy low window if Golladay fails to have a strong performance in back to back weeks.

Season Long Recommendation – Sit

Kenny Golladay was limited on Thursday and looks questionable to face the Cardinals. Even if he returns he will have a tough time vs. Patrick Peterson in week 3. The last time these two squared off it didn’t go well for Golladay as he only secured 2 receptions for 5 yards. Like we said above Golladay did prove last season he can overcome these match-ups, but nursing a hamstring complicates whether or not he will be able to do it right away. If you have alternatives including T.Y. Hilton, Corey Davis or Ceedee Lamb I would consider pivoting to them even if he suites up.

DFS – Price FD $7,500 / DK $6,200

No injury discount has been applied to Golladay as he is priced as a top 16 option on DK and top 10 on FanDuel. Since he is dealing with the hamstring injury, Golladay is purely hands off. On both sites you can get major value at the same price including Amari Cooper vs. SEA, Juju Smith-Schuster vs. HOU and Allen Robinson vs. ATL.


Team: Green Bay Packers

Opponent: New Orleans Saints

WR1: Davante Adams

Shadow Coverage Match-up: Marshon Lattimore

Historical Production vs. shadow coverage

Davante Adams vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All other opponents 17 7.5 88.7 0.7 16.8
Vs. Shadow Coverage 10 6.7 87.5 0.6 15.7
Vs. Marshon Lattimore N/A

Over the past two seasons Adams has seen a lot of shadow coverage.  In these games he has proven to be nearly matchup proof. Adams has hit double digit fantasy points in 9 of 10 games when facing these tough opponents. Granted his ceiling isn’t as high, but with such a high floor it will be impossible to fade him when healthy moving forward.

Season Long Recommendation – Sit

Davante Adams is doubtful to play in week 3, but even if he can suit up it’s going to be tough sledding vs. Marshon Lattimore. This situation could be similar to how the Buccaneers used Mike Evans in week 1 forcing the Saints to use their top corner on Adams even at less than 100 percent. Unless we see Adams practice in full on Friday, I believe that the Packers will have to find other ways to beat the Saints on the road.

DFS – Price FD $8,600 / DK $7,800

The Packers and Saints play on Sunday night, so Adams isn’t even on the main slate. However, if you decide to incorporate the Sunday night game, the injury and match-up didn’t provided any savings. On both sites Adams is priced as the #2 WR on the week.  Even though Adams has been super consistent vs. shadow coverage, he’s only been over 16 points in .5 PPR twice which means he wouldn’t offer much value even at full strength for DFS. At this price point you can easily pay up for DeAndre Hopkins vs. DET or a premier running back like Dalvin Cook vs. TEN.

What is the best way to beat shadow coverage? Quick Slants

Emmanuel Sanders vs. Jaire Alexander

With Michael Thomas out look for Sanders to see a lot of Alexander in week 3. Sanders flopped in his first game, but this game could be a shootout in NOR.

Jerry Jeudy vs. Carlton Davis

Last week D.J. Moore benefited from the Panthers trailing by two scores in the fourth quarter as he secured 4-50 late in that game. Even though I expect Davis and company to slow down Jeudy the Broncos could have a similar game script.