The Shadow Coverage Report – Week 8

Shadow Coverage Tracker
WR Finish Total
1 9
2 4
3 6
4+ 19
Grand Total 38

 

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.

 

Team: Buffalo Bills

Opponent: New England Patriots

WR1: Stefon Diggs

Shadow Coverage Matchup: Stephon Gilmore

Stefon Diggs vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 33 6.2 80 0.5 14
Vs. Shadow Coverage 8 3.8 53.8 0.5 10.3
Vs. Stephon Gilmore 1 5 49 0 7.4

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

I will be the first one to admit that I was wrong about Stefon Diggs as he has been dominate in 2020. Josh Allen has peppered the man with targets averaging 10 per game this season. Diggs even has gotten it done vs. tougher opponents including the Rams and the Chiefs securing a TD in both of those games.  However, this will be his first shadow coverage matchup of the season and it comes vs. one of the best in Stephon Gilmore and the New England Patriots. So far in 2020 Gilmore hasn’t shadow many elite WRs, but in the only game he did, D.K. Metcalf got loose for a 54 yard TD. Outside of that big catch D.K Metcalf only secured 3-38 the rest of the day.

Season Long Recommendation – WR3/Flex

Stefon Diggs high target counts and Gilmore dealing with a knee injury make him tough to sit in season-long, but to say he’s a must start isn’t true either. The Patriots are reeling after two back to back loses, and just allowed two 100 yards games to Tim Patrick and Brandon Aiyuk. Neither player drew shadow coverage from Gilmore but Diggs most likely will in week 8. Belichick has a history of taking away team’s top options which includes a matchup vs. Diggs back in 2018 where Gilmore held him to 5-49. This is why Diggs should be viewed as more of a WR3 this week instead of a top 12 option.  

DFS – Price FD $7,100 / DK $6,800

Stefon Digg’s dominate season has him priced as a top 10 option on both sites which means he is hands off from a DFS perspective. In his career vs. Shadow coverage Diggs has been good for season long, but his 10.3 PPG will not get it done at his high price point in DFS. Players I would pivot too include Tyreek Hill vs. NYJ and Tyler Boyd vs. TEN.

 

Team: Dallas Cowboys

Opponent: Philadelphia Eagles

WR1: Amari Cooper

Shadow Coverage Matchup: Darius Slay

Amari Cooper vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 24 6 81.9 0.5 14.2
Vs. Shadow Coverage 14 4.4 57.9 0.4 10.2
vs. Darius Slay 1 3 38 0 5.3

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Amari Cooper has seen a lot of shadow coverage over the past two seasons, and has been as inconsistent as they come. Cooper’s 10 PPG is misleading as he has only hit double digit fantasy points in 6 of 14 games when facing shadow coverage. This includes a matchup vs. James Bradberry in week 5 of 2020 where he only caught 2-23. Dak Prescott played most of that game so the performance was another reminder of Cooper’s floor when facing elite corners.

Season Long Recommendation – Sit

This week Cooper will square off vs. Darius Slay and the Philadelphia Eagles. Slay has shadowed 3 players this season holding all three to under 10 points in .5 PPR including Terry McLaurin (5-61), A.J. Green (5-36) and Darius Slayton (2-23). Cooper has faced Slay in the past and only caught 3-38 in that game. To make matters worse is the Cowboys could be trotting out third string QB Ben DiNucci which makes Cooper a sit in week 8.

DFS – Price FD $7,500 / DK $6,500

Cooper is playing on Sunday night so he is off the main slate. If you decide to include all games, you’re not getting the DiNucci discount this week. On both sites he will cost you well over 10% of your budget. Playing in a tough matchup with a 3rd string QB this week I don’t believe you need me to tell you Cooper is a DFS fade. However, just in case you need it in writing “COOPER IS A DFS FADE IN WEEK 8 VS. DARIUS SLAY AND THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES”….. sorry for yelling. Players I would pivot to include A.J. Brown vs. CIN and Tyler Boyd vs. TEN.

 

Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Opponent: New York Giants

WR1: Mike Evans

Shadow Coverage Matchup: James Bradberry

Mike Evans vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 25 5.5 90.5 0.8 16.6
Vs. Shadow Coverage 13 3.8 64.8 0.4 10.9
vs. James Bradberry 4 4.5 55.3 0 8.3

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

To say 2020 hasn’t been a great year for Mike Evans is an understatement as he has only cleared 50 yards in a game twice. The good thing for Evans is he has scored in 5 of 7 games.  Over the last two weeks he has failed to do both which has frustrated fantasy owners. This season alone Evans has faced shadow coverage twice including two duds vs. Marshon Lattimore (1-2-1) and Jaire Alexander (1-10). Maybe a trip down memory lane with old pal James Bradberry could help….or maybe not. Bradberry is no longer in the division but that didn’t stop these two from seeing each other in 2020. Over the past two seasons Bradberry has held Evans to under 10 points in .5 PPR 3 times which is reflected in his 8.3 PPG vs. him.

Season Long Recommendation – Sit

James Bradberry is playing at a high level this season holding notable WRs Allen Robinson (3-33) and Amari Cooper (2-23) to well under their season averages. Overall Bradberry has been credited with 4 shadow coverage matchups this season holding each player under 10 points with an average of 5.3 PPG. Evans meanwhile hasn’t cracked 10 points when facing shadow coverage so far in 2020. This coupled with the fact that Bradberry has had his number in 3 of 4 games means Evans is a season-long sit in week 8.

DFS – Price FD $7,100 / DK $5,700

On FanDuel Mike Evans is completely hands off as he still has an insane price point of over 7k. Meanwhile on DK he did get a slight bump down the rankings as his price has him outside the top 24. I am personally avoiding him as the Buccaneers are heavy favorites on the road meaning Evans wont have garbage time to help him in a tough matchup. Players I would pivot to are Brandon Aiyuk vs. SEA on DK and Tyler Boyd on FD.

 

Team: New York Giants

Opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

WR1: Darius Slayton

Shadow Coverage Matchup: Carlton Davis

Darius Slayton vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 19 3.7 58.8 0.6 11.2
Vs. Shadow Coverage 2 2 25.5 0 3.6

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Darius Slayton is starting to get the respect he deserves as last week he got the Slay treatment over Sterling Shepard. Congrats Darius the card is in the mail but unfortunately for fantasy owners this what we don’t want. Last week Slayton had his worst performance of the season only securing 2-23 on 3 targets vs. Slay. This marked only the second time in his young career where he faced shadow coverage and so far it hasn’t looked pretty. This is reflected in his 3.6 PPG vs. Slay and Arizona cornerback Byron Murphy back in 2019.

Season Long Recommendation – WR3/Flex

The Giants are major underdogs at home so there is a high probability of garbage time in this one. This has helped outside WRs like Robby Anderson, D.J. Moore, Tim Patrick and Nelson Agholor all hit double digit fantasy points vs. a very tough TB defense in loses this season. This should be the case once again for the Giants as they will most likely be trailing vs. a red-hot Tom Brady and the Buccaneers offense.

DFS – Price FD $6,200 / DK $4,800

On FanDuel Slayton doesn’t offer much of a discount as he is still flirting with top 24 value. Even with some garbage time on the horizon I wouldn’t trust Slayton in my FD lineup. On DK Slayton could be an interesting dart throw as his price point puts him outside the top 36 WRs. This could give you enough value to get him into your lineups for multipliers or 50/50 games.

What’s the best way to beat shadow coverage….a quick slant

Allen Robinson vs. Marshon Lattimore

Allen Robinson is in the league concussion protocol after taking a big hit on Monday night. It is hard enough for players to get cleared in 7 days so the likelihood of Robinson playing on a short week is slim. If Allen Robinson plays, he sees enough production in the slot to get away from Lattimore on the outside making him a season long WR3.

DeVante Parker vs. Jalen Ramsey

Ramsey has yet to shadow any top WRs this season, but the Rams as a whole are one of the toughest opponents vs. WRS this season. Also, with rookie Tua Tagovailoa set to make his first start it is best to take a wait and see approach on Parker in week 8.

 

 

 

  1. Louis says:
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    Please help me choose two for WR &Flex: Evans, Swift, Fulgman or Agholor? THANKS!

  2. Major says:
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    Gilmore is out tomorrow. He hurt his knee in practice.

  3. Harris says:
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    This is an excellent weekly article. Helped me win a few bucks two weeks ago.

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