The Shadow Coverage Report – Week 4

Shadow Coverage Tracker
WR Finish Total
1 4
2 3
3 3
4+ 7
Grand Total 17

 

Team: Detroit Lions

Opponent: New Orleans Saints

WR1: Kenny Golladay

Shadow Coverage Match-up: Marshon Lattimore

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 8 5.8 77.4 0.5 13.6
Vs. Marshon Lattimore N/A

Kenny Golladay continues to impress even in tough matchups as last week he once again delivered vs. Patrick Peterson securing 6-57-1 on 7 targets. Golladay hasn’t been phased by shadow coverage as his PPG is higher in these matchups. The key driver is the nearly 3 more targets per game which is just a testament to Golladay’s unique talent to win in multiple areas of the field.

Season Long Recommendation – Start

Kenny Golladay doesn’t have elite upside in this one as he’s still getting back into shape. Last week he didn’t run a full number of routes as he ran 6 less than Marvin Jones. The matchup won’t be easy either vs. Marshon Lattimore as he already shut down Mike Evans earlier this year. Still Golladay’s usage in the deep passing game and red zone should allow him to still produce top 30 numbers making him a start in week 4.

DFS – Price FD $7,300 / DK $6,000

Kenny Golladay’s success even vs. shadow coverage doesn’t justify his top 7 price tag on FanDuel as top players including Amari Cooper vs. CLE and Cooper Kupp vs. NYG are in much better matchups and cost less. On DraftKings he’s priced more reasonably as his 6k price tag is just inside the top 20. I am still avoiding him as similar priced players like D.J. Chark vs. CIN and Will Fuller vs. MIN have much better matchups and offer a higher ceiling this week.

* Marshon Lattimore has been ruled out. Kenny Golladay is a solid DFS Play.

 

Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Opponent: Los Angeles Chargers

WR1: Mike Evans

Shadow Coverage Match-up: Casey Hayward

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Mike Evans vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 20 5.7 97.9 0.8 17.1
Vs. Shadow Coverage 12 4.1 69.3 0.4 11.6
Vs. Casey Hayward N/A

This week is a perfect storm as Chris Godwin looks to be out for Tampa Bay and the Chargers just place #2 corner Chris Harris, Jr. on IR. This leaves a clear shadow coverage matchup between Mike Evans and Casey Hayward in week 4. Evans numbers vs. notable shadow corners are still average at 11 PPG, but when you factor in that 1 game vs. Janoris Jenkins makes up nearly 30% of his production it doesn’t look as great. In the remaining 11 games Evans averages just 9 PPG in .5 PPR.

Season Long Recommendation – WR3/Flex

What has been keeping Evans’ fantasy value afloat is his nose for the endzone has he has 4 TDs on 10 receptions this season. It is clear that Evans is Brady’s go to weapon in the red zone so Evans isn’t a must sit. However, due to his 3.3 receptions and 36 yards per game, Evans isn’t a must start either. Players that were drafted in the mid rounds I would consider over him this week include Jarvis Landry vs. DAL and Will Fuller vs. MIN.

DFS – Price FD $7,400 / DK $6,400

FanDuel doesn’t seem to care much about matchups as Mike Evans is priced as a top 6 option. It is clear from his early season stat lines that this price tag doesn’t make him a play this week. As for DraftKings they have Evans ranked just outside the top 12, but even with Godwin’s injury it will be tough to trust him as more than a WR3. Players I like that are cheaper than Evans include Will Fuller vs. MIN, Odell Beckham vs. DAL and DeVante Parker vs. SEA.

Team: Carolina Panthers

Opponent: Arizona Cardinals

WR1: D.J. Moore

Shadow Coverage Match-up: Patrick Peterson

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

D.J Moore vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All other opponents 16 5.7 76.8 0.3 12
Vs. Shadow Coverage 2 5 92.5 0 11.8
Vs. Patrick Peterson N/A

D.J. Moore has seen his first 2 games vs. shadow coverage in 2020 vs. TB and LAC. This led to mixed results as Moore’s production vs. the Buccaneers didn’t carry over to the Chargers The big reason for Moore’s success was game flow in week 2 as he secured 4 receptions for 50 yards down a few scores in the fourth quarter. In week 3 game flow wasn’t on his side which resulted in a slower game vs. Casey Hayward only catching to 2 receptions for 65 yards.

Season Long Recommendation – WR3/Flex

This week the Panthers are 3-point underdogs at home vs. the Arizona Cardinals so It’s a coin flip which direction this game could go. We should expect Kyler Murray to put up points vs. Carolina, but that wasn’t the case last week vs. a struggling Detroit defense. Overall, the 51 point over/under suggests that points should be scored so Moore is still on the WR3 map.

DFS – Price FD $6,800 / DK $5,600

On Fan Duel D.J. Moore is currently priced as a top 15 WR which pretty much eliminates his value. Even in his solid week 2 performance vs. Tampa Bay Moore finished as the WR 14 which seems to be his ceiling. This week’s opponent Patrick Peterson and the Arizona Cardinals allows the 2nd fewest points to WRs. It’s best to pivot to players like Odell Beckham, Jr. Vs. DAL and DeVante Parker vs. SEA who both are cheaper in better matchups. On Draft Kings Moore is priced as the WR 26 which isn’t terrible, but with players like Beckham and Parker priced similarly, I won’t have a lot of Moore in my lineups.

Team: Kansas City Chiefs

Opponent: New England Patriots

WR1?: Sammy Watkins

Shadow Coverage Match-up: Stephon Gilmore

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Sammy Watkins vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 24 4.2 52.8 0.3 9.2
Vs. Shadow Coverage 3 3.7 44 0 6.2
vs. Stephon Gilmore 2 3 34 0 4.9

The last two times the Chiefs and Patriots have faced each other Gilmore has been assigned to Watkins as he clearly is the best matchup for him on paper. This has led to very below average performances for Watkins as is (2-18) and (4-50) haven’t gotten it done for fantasy.  Meanwhile Travis Kelce (5-61) and (7-66) and Tyreek Hill (7-142-3) and (6-62) have out-produced Watkins in these matchups. It seems that Bill Belichick believes that taking away Watkins with Gilmore gives them more flexibility vs. Hill and Kelce and well…..I am not going to question him so.

Season Long Recommendation – Sammy Watkins: Sit

                                                                  Tyreek Hill: Start            

Sammy Watkins is a fringe starter on a normal week, but it is clear when he faces any form of shadow coverage he is completely hands off. Even with Patrick Mahomes playing once again at an MVP level, Watkins should be avoided in week 4.

As for Tyreek Hill his monster performance back in 2018 gives hope that he can once again shake loose for a big game. Hill should be in lineups as a WR2 even in a tough matchup.

DFS –     Sammy Watkins: Price FD $5,600 / DK $4,400

                Tyreek Hill: FD $8,000 / DK $6,900

Sammy Watkins on Fan Duel is a joke as he is priced similarly to Ceedee Lamb vs. CLE and Preston Williams vs. SEA who both have fantastic matchups in week 4. As for DraftKings Watkins is priced outside the top 50 for WRs, but if you’re looking for a Hail Mary dart throw Scotty Miller vs. LAC and Isaiah Ford vs. SEA are intriguing low-cost options this week.

Now with Tyreek Hill even though he wasn’t shadowed in the last matchup the Patriots did a much better job containing him. This is why his top 5 price tag on each site is probably not worth it as Tyler Lockett vs MIA and Amari Cooper vs. CLE have much easier matchups at a similar price point in week 4.

Team: Los Angeles Rams

Opponent: New York Giants

WR1: Darius Slayton

Shadow Coverage Match-up: Jalen Ramsey

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Last season Darius Slayton only faced one notable shadow coverage matchup vs. Arizona and Byron Murphy. In that game Slayton was held to 2-28-0. The Giants did face the Patriots last year, but Gilmore wasn’t assigned to any Giants WR. This week with no Sterling Shepard it makes a lot of sense for the Rams to use Ramsey on Slayton as Golden Tate plays nearly 80% of his snaps on the inside.

Season Long Recommendation – WR3/Flex

With the Giants 12.5 underdogs on the road it’s almost irrelevant how tough this matchup might be for Slayton as he can easily rack up fantasy points down big in the 4th quarter. Granted this might not sound like great advice, but we have seen it multiple times this season where garbage time has elevated players from fantasy duds to solid weekly starts.  This includes Terry McLaurin in week 2 when he secured 3-60-1 down 3 scores vs. Arizona going from a bust through 3 and half quarters to a WR1 finish.

DFS – Price FD $5,500 / DK $5,000

Darius Slayton is priced as a WR4 on each site which makes him kind of interesting as the Giants will probably be throwing a lot in this game. However, with notable players like Ceedee Lamb vs. CLE and Preston Williams vs. SEA in much easier matchups it might make sense to pivot to one of them as they are priced the same.

Team: San Francisco 49ers

Opponent: Philadelphia Eagles

WR1: Deebo Samuel

Shadow Coverage Match-up: Darius Slay

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Below is a note on Deebo Samuel’s history vs. shadow coverage from my off-season article.

Deebo Samuel has yet to draw shadow coverage in his career as last season some teams elected to take away Emmanuel Sanders. The luxury of having a great play caller like Kyle Shanahan is he gives Samuel multiple ways to produce.  Shanahan does this by using Samuel in the run game which helps raise his floor even in tougher matchups. Samuel was utilized in the slot as well seeing 25% of his routes on the inside and roughly 35% of his targets from that position. These factors will be notable when evaluating Samuel throughout the season.

Season Long Recommendation – Sit

The 49ers are big home favorites vs. the Eagles even with Nick Mullens expected to start. Last week Mullens did throw for 343 yards and 1 score, but he did it while having no WR over 70 yards. Now with Brandon Aiyuk healthy and George Kittle set to return there might not be enough of pass volume in this game for Deebo Samuel to become more than a WR3/4.

DFS – Price FD $6,000 / DK $5,300

Deebo Samuel plays on Sunday night so he is not on the main slate so you would need to include Sunday night to get him in. On DraftKings he is outside the top 36 WRs so taking a shot on him won’t kill you if he flops. However, players at a similar price tag I like this week include Jarvis Landry vs. DAL and Justin Jefferson vs. HOU. On FanDuel Samuel is just inside the top 36, but players like Landry and Jefferson are priced lower and offer higher upside in week 4 making him a player I am fading in week 4.

The best way to beat shadow coverage ….. a quick slant

Julio Jones vs. Jaire Alexander

Last time these two faced off Julio hung 8-106-2. If Julio plays, he is in your lineup as the Falcons are getting 7 points on the road so Matt Ryan should have to throw a lot in this one.

D.K. Metcalf vs. Byron Jones

The Seahawks are big road favorites vs. MIA so this game could get out of hand early. However, with Jones banged up it’s hard to image him keeping up with Metcalf even if he is back this week.

James Bradberry vs. Robert Woods

Robert Woods’ slot usage this season has been right around 45% which allows him to kick inside enough to avoid tougher matchups. The bigger issue for Woods is the Rams are huge home favorites which means that the Rams could be done throwing early in this one. Overall Woods is still a must start, but maybe a fade in DFS.   

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