The Shadow Coverage Report – Week 5

Shadow Coverage Tracker
WR Finish Total
1 5
2 3
3 3
4+ 11
Grand Total 22

Team: Jacksonville Jaguars

Opponent: Houston Texans

WR1: D.J. Chark

Shadow Coverage Match-up: Bradley Roby

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

D.J. Chark vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 13 5 70.7 0.7 13.7
Vs. Shadow Coverage 2 4 40.5 0 6.1
Vs. Houston Texans 2 5.5 43.5 0.5 10.1

D.J. Chark caught the eye of DCs last season as both the Saints and Titans used their top CBs to shadow Chark. Chark struggled vs. Marshon Lattimore and Adoree’ Jackson failing to hit over 50 yards in either matchup. This week he will square off vs. Bradley Roby who is one of the biggest surprises as the Texans haven’t used a lot of shadow coverage in prior seasons. According to PFF Roby has faced Marquise Brown (5-42), Chase Claypool (1-24) and Adam Thielen (8-114-1) in shadow coverage so far in 2020.

Season Long Recommendation – WR3/Flex

Chark under performed last year vs. Houston as his 10.1 PPG was over 3 point less than what he averaged in all other matchups. Bradley Roby didn’t shadow Chark in either matchup in 2019, but it looks like this season Houston has taken a new approach with their top cornerback. Granted last week Adam Thielen didn’t flinch vs. Roby so calling Chark a full sit would be ….well…stupid.

A big factor in evaluating Chark’s upside is the health of the Jaguars secondary on the other side. Currently the Jaguars will be without slot CB D.J Hayden and stud rookie C.J. Henderson is limited due to a shoulder injury. If Henderson is out or limited this could boost the scoring for the Texans which would make Chark a much stronger play in week 5.

DFS – Price FD $7,000 / DK $6,500

D.J. Chark is priced as a top 10 option on both sites which means he would need to have a big day to return value this week. Based on his historical production vs shadow coverage and his stats vs. the Texans in 2019 it might be best to pivot in DFS. Players in much better matchups include Robby Anderson vs. ATL and Marquise Brown vs. CIN.


Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Opponent: Philadelphia Eagles

WR1: Diontae Johnson

Shadow Coverage Match-up: Darius Slay

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Diontae Johnson has yet to face shadow coverage in his career as his first matchup will come vs. Darius Slay and the Philadelphia Eagles. In 2020 Slay has been credited with shadowing Terry McLaurin (5-61) and A.J. Green (5-36) holding each WR outside the top 36 on the week.

Season Long Recommendation – Sit

Diontae Johnson did look good early receiving double digit targets in back to back games before leaving early in week 3. This target volume should keep Johnson from falling flat on his face, but Slay should be able to contain Johnson making him hard to trust as nothing more than a WR4 this week.

Another key factor for this matchup is so far in 2020 players like Cooper Kupp (5-81) and Tyler Boyd (10-125) have been the ones who dominated the Eagles while Robert Woods (2-14) and A.J. Green (5-36) had slower games. This points to Juju having a much bigger day than Johnson as he will have a much easier matchup.

DFS – Price FD $5,800 / DK $5,600

Currently on FanDuel Diontae Johnson is priced as WR3 which doesn’t completely leave him off as an option on the DFS slate. However, similarly priced players like Darius Slayton vs. DAL and T.Y. Hilton vs. CLE (I swear this is the last time ill recommend him if it doesn’t work out) have much better matchups in week 5. On DraftKings Johnson’s price tag is much richer as his low end WR2 price point makes him completely hands off. For just $300 dollars more you can buy-up to Robby Anderson in a potential shootout vs ATL.


Team: Dallas Cowboys

Opponent: New York Giants

WR1: Amari Cooper

Shadow Coverage Match-up: James Bradberry

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Amari Cooper vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All other opponents 22 6 82.1 0.5 14.2
Vs. Shadow Coverage 13 4.6 60.6 0.4 10.7
vs. James Bradberry 1 1 19 0 2.4

Season Long Recommendation – WR3/Flex

Amari Cooper’s success vs. shadow coverage is well documented as he has faced it 13 times over the past two seasons. However, Cooper’s success is still a coin flip as he has only hit double digit fantasy points in .5 PPR in 6 of the 13 games. Still his career average of over 10.7 PPG is still useful for season long fantasy. However, his drop in points from 14.2 to 10.7 takes him from his usual WR 1 self to just another flex guy when facing notable shadow corners.

The last time Cooper faced James Bradberry was way back in 2016 when he was in Oakland (yes I can say that since they weren’t Las Vegas at the time). That game wasn’t pretty as Cooper finished the day with just 4 receptions for 22 yards. Now that won’t get it done for fantasy but Cooper is a new man in Dallas. Since 2019 Cooper has been dominate at home including going over 100 yards in both home games in 2020. This is why Cooper is more of a WR3/flex instead of a full sit vs. Bradberry.

DFS – Price FD $7,800 / DK $7,400

Currently priced as a top 5 option on both sites it’s best to fade Cooper in DFS as his career stats vs. shadow coverage will mean even if he has a nice day he wont return value for DFS. If you’re looking to spend up at WR Juju Smith-Schuster vs. PHI and Calvin Ridley vs. CAR have very strong matchups vs. far weaker corners.


Team: Denver Broncos

Opponent: New England Patriots

WR1: Tim Patrick

Shadow Coverage Match-up: J.C. Jackson

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Patrick last week had his first 100-yard game while securing 6 receptions for 113 yards and a TD. This had led to a double digit jump in his ownership heading into week 5. Patrick has become the primary weapon on the outside with Jerry Jeudy now running most of his routes out of the slot. This means that Patrick will be tasked with the much tougher matchups the rest of the season. This includes this week as the Broncos travel to New England to face the Patriots.

Season Long Recommendation – Sit

With Stephon Gilmore out it looks like a big opportunity on the outside is opening up for Tim Patrick. However, J.C. Jackson is no smuck (like if I was in that movie dinner for smucks I wouldn’t bring him as my guest) as this season he has allowed less receptions, yards and TDs than Gilmore. Granted Gilmore is always tasked with shadowing top WRs, but Jackson not Gilmore was assigned to Sammy Watkins last week holding him to 4-43 on 7 targets. If you’re the Kenny Golladay or Devante Adams owner and you snagged Patrick as a bye week filer, low owned guys I would start over him include Randall Cobb vs. JAX and Zach Pascal vs. CLE.

DFS – Price FD $5,200 / DK $4,400

With the Patriots and Denver game now postponed, Patrick is off the main Sunday slate; however, if you want to include all games it’s best to look else where if you want a DFS dart throw. Like the season long starts over Patrick both Randall Cobb and Zach Pascal are in the same price range and are recommended DFS dart throws in week 5.


Team: Tennessee Titans

Opponent: Buffalo Bills

WR1: A.J. Brown

Shadow Coverage Match-up: Tre’Davious White

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

A.J. Brown vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 2 3.3 62 0.4 10.5
Vs. Shadow Coverage* 18 1 19 0 2.4
Vs. Buffalo Bills 1 2 27 0 3.7
*Scored a rushing TD vs. NOR in Shadow Coverage


Last year it wasn’t until later in the season that A.J. Brown became a full-time player so once he started dominating the league it wasn’t until week 16 where he saw his first matchup vs. shadow coverage. In that game vs. Marshon Lattimore, Brown was held to 1 catch for 34 yards. However, Brown was able to take a 50-yard end around to the house for a TD saving his fantasy day. Then in the playoffs Brown faced Stephon Gilmore and once again was held to 1 catch.

Season Long Recommendation – Sit

In 2019 the Titans did face the Bills in week 5 and in that game, Brown played nearly 2/3 of snaps catching 2 receptions for just 27 yards. Granted expecting him to go off when he wasn’t a full-time player is hard enough on it’s own, but the Bills had one of the top secondaries in 2019. Flash forward to now the Bills haven’t been as formattable vs. WRs but White held Preston Williams (2-41) …(And yes for some reason White was on Williams not Parker and I don’t know why but it was a thing) and Zay Jones (4-32) so far in 2020.

Brown is much better than either of those players, but the main reason he is a sit is due to his knee injury and with this being his first game back (if he actually plays) I wouldn’t wait until Tuesday to roll the dice on him as the game has been postponed.

DFS – Price FD $6,500 / DK $5,400

With this game being postponed until Tuesday, Brown is now off the main slate. If you decided to incorporate all games personally, I am fading him in both formats. If you want to take the shot DraftKings offers a much bigger discount then FanDuel. On FanDuel players like D.J. Moore vs. ATL and Terry McLaurin vs. LAR offer just as much upside at a similar price point. On DraftKings low cost players I would prefer to pivot too include T.Y. Hilton vs. CLE and Darius Slayton vs DAL.


Team: Los Angeles Chargers

Opponent: New Orleans Saints

WR1: Keenan Allen

Shadow Coverage Match-up: Marshon Lattimore

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Keenan Allen vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 28 6.1 72.6 0.4 12.5
Vs. Shadow Coverage 4 7.3 90.3 0.5 15.7

In 2020 Keenan Allen plays over 40% of his snaps on the inside, but only about 1/3 of his targets come from that position since Justin Herbert took over. This is a big change from his days with Philip Rivers as 47% of his targets came from the slot in 2018 and 2019. This will be notable when Allen faces shadow coverage as his big-time usage in the slot made him matchup proof even in games vs. tougher corners.  

Season Long Recommendation – Start

This week Keenan Allen will face Marshon Lattimore who so far in 2020 shut down Mike Evans for 1-1-1.. yes you read that correctly 1 catch 1 yard 1 TD. However, Lattimore is dealing with a hamstring injury and with Allen kicking inside he should win enough matchups vs. an injured Lattimore to provide value in fantasy in week 5. The biggest reason for Allen being a start is the Chargers are big road underdogs. This should lead to plenty of pass volume for LA giving Allen a solid target projection this week.  

DFS – Price FD $6,800 / DK $6,400

Keenan Allen plays Monday night, so he is off the main slate, but if you want to incorporate him into your lineups, I wont be here to stop you. With the Chargers expected to trail vs. the Saints on the road, Allen is a near lock for double digit targets and if Lattimore is limited in anyway, he could be in for a big day on Monday night.

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

Byron Jones vs. Deebo Samuel

Byron Jones should be back this week and will see a lot of Deebo Samuel. The Dolphins have been using Noah Igbinoghene to shadow players like Stefon Diggs and Tyler Lockett so its clear Jones will be tasked to follow top WRs once he returns.

Casey Hayward vs. Michael Thomas

For some strange reason Casey Hayward wasn’t assigned to shadow Mike Evans last week which led to a 7-122-1 day for Evans. It would be insane for the Chargers to once again not assign Hayward to the other team’s opposing #1, but until we see it consistently Hayward doesn’t need to be viewed as a shadow corner.

C.J. Henderson vs. Will Fuller

C.J. Henderson has only shadowed Corey Davis on the young season and has spent 77% of his snaps on one side of the field. This should be music to the ears of Will Fuller fantasy owners as he will most likely avoid the stud rookie most of the day. We will keep an eye on this moving forward, but as of right now Fuller is a go.  

Jalen Ramsey vs. Terry McLaurin

Jalen Ramsey hasn’t been assigned to shadow any top WRs so far in 2020. This has led to opposing #1s Amari Cooper (10-81), DeSean Jackson (6-64) and Stefon Diggs (4-49-1) to finish with solid fantasy days. This coupled with the Redskins being huge home underdogs means Terry McLaurin should see plenty of volume to make him a start in week 5.

  1. Ross says:

    * Schmuck.

    That is all.

  2. The Harrow says:

    BUF probably watched the game film on p-will from last year is why. doesn’t appear MIA remembers that stuff though.

Comments are closed.