WR vs. CB Matchups & Advice: Week 4 (2022 Fantasy Football)

WR vs. CB Matchups & Advice: Week 4 (2022 Fantasy Football)

With 3 weeks under our belt, this NFL season has been as whacky as ever. Beyond teams like the Jaguars sitting at #2 by DVOA, we’re having countless priors challenged, particularly in the passing game. Things like: 

  • The Chiefs will be fine with whatever WRs you put out there
  • Russell Wilson is the missing piece to an extremley talented offense in Denver otherwise
  • A Goff-led offense simply can not be empirically good

All of this is happening within the shadow of a league-wide offensive downturn. In fact, ESPN did a piece last week, citing 

Not since 1996 have we seen unders cash at a 68% clip over the first two weeks. Rarely is the market that far off, even in a small size of 32 games. But that’s the ripple effect of a scoring dip to 21.4 points per team, which would rank as the lowest since 2006, if it held for the entire season.”

To wit, even those in the analytics community can’t seem to come to an agreement as to why this dip in offensive production is happening. One half seems to think it has to do with the increase in 2-High Safety Shells (with the pendulum swinging back from when the “Legion of Boom” days when they made Single-High looks so popular) decreasing explosive pass plays, the other is calling out that analysis to be flawed with correlated, but not causal variables.

And with this backdrop, were left trying to figure out what WR to start this week in our fantasy lineups. Either way, we will continue to focus on the process and not the outcome, and lean on a sound model to help glean some information, in hopes of gaining an advantage.

NOTE: As we mentioned in weeks prior, like in the WR vs. CB Matchups & Advice: Week 2 (2022 Fantasy Football, and have hammered home to you by now:  “Coverage Predicting Models” are barely causal, and should not be taken as gospel. Instead, use this data as a tie-breaking system when you have 50/50 decisions. With all the self-loathing out of the way, I will say the model will only get better throughout the year, as the sample sizes of the relevant data points increase

Week 3 Results:

6-3 last week, with 4 solid winners, highlighted by the Zay Jones pick (16.5 above expected), but were hurt by Tyler Boyd’s big game. While Boyd 2x-ed his expectation, it seemed that we simply had the “wrong” Bengal WR to fade on the week, as Higgins performed up to snub, while Jamar Chase had his second “below par” outing in a row.

NameFP SelectionProjectedActualNet
Equanimeous St BrownSTART5.57.3+2.1 (W)
Nelson AgholorSTART8.94.1-4.8 (L)
Tee HigginsSTART15.614.3+1.3 (W)
*Marvin JonesSTART6.813.3+6.5 (W)
*Zay JonesSTART8.024.5+16.5 (W)
Tyler BoydSIT10.220.5+10.3 (L)
Jahan DotsonSIT9.53.0-6.5 (W)
Diontae JohnsonSIT13.816.4+2.6 (L)
*DJ MooreSIT12.12.5-7.6 (W)

*Supplemental pick

Season Scored Card

Season Record: 17-10
Total Net Points: 73.3
Net Points/Selection: +2.82

*All stats based on Yahoo Fantasy Football ½ PPR

*Note, based on feedback we made a few changes to the table:

  1. We aggregated all data into one spot (likely so you can copy and paste in to your own spreadsheet, you rascals, you)
  2. We made an executive decision to STILL track our “coverage bonuses” (who a QB targets more/less when blitzed/not blitzed and when facing zone/man), but not display and/or add to the model until we can incorporate 2022 data (after week 4)
  3. To standardize all variables we are tracking (and make it easier to read) we included a RANK Display, respective of each data point to the right AND sorted by the average rank across variables.

Week 3 WR vs CB Model Scorecard

Raw NumbersWeekly Rank
SnapsWt.ed Net pprr40 Adv.HT Adv.nPFFwted TotalWt.ed Net pprr40 Adv.HT Adv.nPFFwted TotalAvg. Rk.
Michael Pittman Jr.60.626.
Cooper Kupp61.929.20.003.3411.862524716
Drake London53.525.
Tee Higgins54.
D.K. Metcalf54.517.30.162.335.8285362223
Romeo Doubs42.
Amon-Ra St. Brown50.629.30.00-0.3327.552571126
Julio Jones43.315.40.142.524.6427323028
Keenan Allen58.530.1-0.013.415.5464232429
Tyler Lockett57.323.30.10-2.1313.9121090429
Amari Cooper55.525.10.001.384.0925493530
Curtis Samuel43.914.80.170.448.1453601230
Mike Williams55.513.90.004.823.6532543830
Robbie Anderson57.
Jaylen Waddle77.438.60.00-1.237.0125821631
Richie James Jr.46.421.50.03-2.9516.2151892232
KhaDarel Hodge37.421.20.00-1.4012.1162584633
Mike Evans53.623.2-0.064.695.1138662633
Chris Olave54.817.
Noah Brown34.
Garrett Wilson37.414.
Devin Duvernay35.915.90.10-0.427.2409741434
A.J. Brown56.823.4-0.041.688.21177431136
Randall Cobb36.711.10.130.6112.571859536
Tyreek Hill69.830.70.00-1.033.7325793636
Stefon Diggs55.534.6-0.01-0.3611.526172836
Allen Lazard47.316.2-0.026.913.2366614337
DeVonta Smith62.022.00.00-0.043.31425664237
Rashod Bateman48.
Michael Thomas51.220.0-0.041.956.61975401938
Terry McLaurin56.616.80.04-0.214.23316703438
Alec Pierce35.311.40.164.00-2.3664127239
Nico Collins43.511.40.004.751.2682555739
Ja’Marr Chase62.320.50.00-0.383.31825734139
Courtland Sutton57.417.2-
Corey Davis47.
CeeDee Lamb75.727.2-
Nelson Agholor67.920.80.05-0.03-2.11715647142
Equanimeous St. Brown38.511.4-0.025.784.6677222943
Jerry Jeudy50.
Tyler Boyd59.316.50.003.66-10.03525189343
Allen Robinson II53.
Quez Watkins46.612.0-0.022.1110.5636738944
D.J. Moore56.710.20.04-1.1914.4771781345
Chase Claypool53.711.20.034.25-3.17020107945
Bennett Skowronek52.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling47.
Dante Pettis45.812.00.001.771.46225425446
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine39.
Robert Woods56.017.8-0.050.955.22578552546
Marquise Brown60.517.50.00-2.062.92625894647
Olamide Zaccheaus39.715.60.00-4.595.04125962747
D.J. Chark Jr.52.411.80.031.500.56419485948
Adam Thielen58.
Josh Palmer36.
Marvin Jones Jr.56.612.30.002.49-4.86025338551
Chris Moore30.
Russell Gage48.718.30.00-0.82-3.02425777851
Gabriel Davis37.714.4-0.102.623.54890313952
Davante Adams59.317.2-0.051.651.42979455552
Justin Jefferson60.016.1-
Parris Campbell47.610.80.221.00-4.4732548353
Marquise Goodwin30.47.20.22-3.734.3891933254
Zay Jones48.014.3-0.042.670.45176306054
Jauan Jennings40.711.7-0.283.463.76596213755
Brandin Cooks54.514.40.00-1.10-1.84725807056
Darnell Mooney60.410.60.06-0.03-1.27514656856
K.J. Osborn48.39.70.00-0.693.48225764056
Brandon Aiyuk54.218.7-0.06-0.071.82183685256
Jahan Dotson57.616.7-0.02-0.561.93465755156
Donovan Peoples-Jones54.414.3-0.022.23-1.35071376957
DeVante Parker52.19.4-0.013.60-0.78363206558
Jarvis Landry49.416.0-0.22-0.846.23895782058
Kendrick Bourne39.912.9-0.090.644.55689583159
Mack Hollins36.09.3-0.063.941.58482155359
Christian Kirk52.219.6-0.071.23-3.02087517759
Josh Reynolds50.814.7-0.130.693.14694574460
Deebo Samuel52.917.1-0.06-0.06-1.23180676761
Greg Dortch48.514.90.00-4.07-5.04325948662
Mecole Hardman50.612.30.07-1.87-6.65912888962
Kenny Golladay46.98.3-0.024.35-5.5886898863
Diontae Johnson61.316.8-0.13-1.783.03293874564
Elijah Moore44.210.20.00-2.32-0.87825916665
David Sills31.06.2-0.094.43-2.3918887365
Treylon Burks38.311.2-0.061.66-0.26984446365
Cedrick Wilson40.45.8-0.024.53-16.6936979466
Michael Gallup51.
Isaiah McKenzie27.19.70.00-4.12-2.78024957669
Andy Isabella19.73.40.01-1.48-2.69622857570
JuJu Smith-Schuster48.712.8-0.102.06-8.25791399270
George Pickens59.29.1-0.022.49-7.78670349170
Shi Smith30.45.80.00-1.31-4.39225838271
Demarcus Robinson40.09.1-
K.J. Hamler31.93.40.00-1.77-6.99525869074
Hunter Renfrow51.411.1-0.04-0.13-4.77273698475
David Bell31.45.2-0.061.52-17.19485469580

*Again thanks to our friends at PFF for the data


  • Snaps: estimated total drop back snaps a WR will play in the coming matchup
  • Wt.ed Net PPRR: “Weighted Net Fantasy Points/Route Run”. Simply this is the net value of a WR’s PPRR average  vs the DB’s PPRR given up, weighted according to the DB each WR is expected to play. 


  • Say Davante Adams averages 2.0 points/route run
    • DB1 (expected to face 50% of snaps) gives up 3.0 points/route run
    • DB2 (expected to face 30% of snaps) gives up 4.0 points/route run
    • DB3 (expected to face 20% of snaps) gives up 1.0 points/route run

This first model would predict Adams to produce 2.45 points/route run (Adams 2.0 vs. aggregate defenders averages weighted to 2.9)

  • *40 Adv: “40 Yard Dash Advantage” (weighted difference between WR 40 time and DB’s)
  • *HT Adv: “Height Advantage” (same as above, but with height)
  • nPFFwted Total: “Net PFF weighted Total Advantage”. Our core model, similar to the Wt.ed Net PPRR above, it compares the PFF grade between WR and likely DB, weighted by expected snaps he’ll see each respective DB

*Not all WRs and DBs have 40 times, and/or height measurements. When this occurs with ONE party, the model ignores the other (i.e. you need a WR and DB with a 40 time for this datapoint to populate)


Most frequently targetted Rookie CBs

Although not officially worked into our model, we do like to use the info above (thanks again to PFF) to support some of our decisions.

WR Matchups to Target in Week 4

*For the matchup sections below, we refrain from “obvious recommendations” and/or players you are starting no matter what (and the opposite for players recommended to sit)

  • Richie James Jr.

Deep dive on this one. James has been one of the bigger beneficiaries of all the Giants WR injury woes, but at least has done SOMETHING with the opportunity, posting 5/59, 5/51 and 4/36 (very consistent) receiving lines to start the season. Beyond the anecdotal love for a WR who has consistently provided 8+ point fantasy weeks, WITHOUT a TD, week 4 looks ripe for a breakout.

James comes in this week within the top 19 percentile of WRs available based on our core model. This is mainly propped up by the 2nd best “Net PFF grade” on the week. Take his 69.3 grade on the season, vs. Kyler Gordon’s (85% expected pass snaps) 46.6 and you see a very clear performance advantage.

Besides the core model liking his chances this week, as the bonus chart shows above, opposing CB Kyler Gordon has been consistently picked on by OCs (see picture above), more than any other rookie CB, seeing 24 targets in 3 games (and that’s with almost 20% less pass coverage snaps than #2 on the list). Clearly, OCs are scheming to go after this rookie, who is not fairing that well to start his career, so we recommend you smash this play in DFF/or if you are really in need of some WR help this week.

  • Romeo Doubs

Doubs has already come a long way from his first snap in the NFL, dropping an almost sure TD from Aaron Rodgers (which I believe is still influencing opinions of him out there). Particularly, blowing up last week for a 8/73/1 receiving line. More importantly, as we’ve seen in the past, earning Rodger’s praise after the game is usually worth a couple of points on its own.

In addition, he comes in as this week’s “checks all boxes” matchup play. That is, he’s ranked 7th on our weekly chart, and that’s mainly due to “not being too low” in any marker. His best indicator is his net PFF grade, mainly due to his 73.7 grade going up against most likely matchup (41% expected pass snaps) Jalen Mills from the Patriots and his abysmal 29.2 grade this early in the season.

  • Drake London

We’ll admit, this one is cheating a bit, as pretty much everyone is starting London at this point if he’s on your roster. However, we think he’s a strong play for DFSers out there as well. He is currently priced at $6100 on Fan Duel, cheaper than guys like Allen Lazard and Christian Kirk. 

Drake is another one of the plays that gets both a great matchup grade according to our model, 3rd highest on the week behind only Cooper Kupp and Michael Pittman, AND will face a heavily targetted rookie CB (see Bonus Chart above). According to the estimates, London will go up against Martin Emerson of the Browns on 55% of snaps. This is significant as Emerson has seen 18 targets on 105 pass snaps, or 17% target rate.

Drake may put up 30 on this guy.  

Others to consider bumping up this week:

  • KhaDarel Hodge
  • Noah Brown

WR Matchups to Avoid in Week 4

  • Mack Hollins

I have to be honest, a big part of this selection is “the likely swing back to a normal target share” we would expect from a team that: 

  1. Is getting Hunter Renfrow back
  2. Is looking at their 0-3 record, lack of draft capital and their prized addition from the offseason, along with his 2nd most expensive WR in the league price tag, and thinking: we need to get the ball to Davante Adams

That is, it’s always good to be on the RIGHT side of regression. Hollins has to come back to earth after already beating his career-best season in yardage, through only 3 games. 

On top of this, Hollins comes into the week with one of the worst matchups. In just about every matchup point he’s at a disadvantage, but the one that really sticks out is his net YPRR. He’s most likely to see the majority of his snaps vs. young up-and-comer Patrick Surtain II, whose .57 YPRR significantly pulls down Hollins’ average of 1.98.

  • Christian Kirk

This is the first time a WR has been put on this list twice, on different sides of the prediction spectrum. Kirk, who we mentioned before is somehow going for a higher salary than Drake London this week in DFS, has an awful matchup Sunday. He is set to face off vs. Avonte Maddox for 78% of the pass snaps. Beyond Maddox having the speed advantage (over a guy that wins with speed mind you) at 4.39 vs Kirk’s 4.47, he brings a 78.5 defensive grade against the Jaguar, compared to Kirk’s 73.6. 

Others to consider sitting:

  • Deebo Samuel
  • Devante Parker

We really like this week’s picks, so hopefully they help you towards a winning week. Stay tuned next week when we add back the coverage data to tighten up the model!

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