There were many surprises in Week 2. There were also a lot of injuries. And among all that, there were also many incredible performances by wide receivers. After a slow start in Week 1, offenses really stepped it up in Week 2. Teams started to show off a lot more with their vertical arsenals. However, there were also some amazing defensive performances.
The picture is starting to become a little more clear about which matchups between wide receivers and cornerbacks are going to be more fruitful. On the other hand, there is also some more clarity surrounding teams that fantasy managers might not want to risk putting their players up against.
With that in mind, here are three WR/CB matchups to target this week, as well as three matchups to be cautious about.
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WR/CB Matchups: Week 3 (Fantasy Football 2023)
Advantageous Wide Receiver Matchups
Keenan Allen finished Week 2 as the WR1 in PPR scoring. He has shown that in this Kellen Moore offense, he is going to score fantasy managers some serious fantasy points. According to FantasyPoints Data Suite, Allen is currently scoring 0.51 fantasy points per route run. This ranks him 12th amongst all wide receivers so far in 2023. However, three of the players currently ranked above him have not run routes on 70% of snaps, indicating they are more specialist players.
Allen is up against Josh Metellus, who has been part of a pretty poor Minnesota Vikings secondary this season. In fact, in the slot, Metallus is giving up 0.52 fantasy points per route run, which is the second-worst among all cornerbacks in the NFL this season (only Tyrique Stevenson is worse with 0.60 fantasy points per route run). Metellus is also being targeted on 22.6% of routes run against him. Once again, this is the second-most in the NFL. It shows offensive coordinators want to target Metellus because he is giving up big plays.
This is a great matchup for Allen and you should expect a sizeable return this week.
Although Mike Evans has a contract dispute going on, he has been exceptional so far this season. He is currently the WR4 in PPR scoring, which is a shock to all NFL fans and fantasy managers. Evans has been posting a remarkable 0.44 fantasy points per route run and has easily been the number one target for Baker Mayfield this season.
On Monday Night Football, Evans will match up against Josh Jobe, who has played a mix of left and right corner so far this season. However, it is expected he will spend most of his time covering Evans in Week 3. Jobe comes into this giving up 0.40 fantasy points per route run, which ranks him tied 7th in the NFL . He is also being targeted on 19.3% of routes run at him, which is 9th in the NFL among qualifying cornerbacks.
Evans has made light work of the cornerbacks he has faced this season. And in a game where it is expected Tampa Bay will be chasing Philadelphia (they are currently 5-point underdogs according to DraftKings), it will be even more likely that Evans receives a healthy amount of targets.
Addison has acclimated well to the NFL in his rookie season. He is currently averaging 0.52 fantasy points per route run, which ranks him inside the top-10 of all wide receivers run more than 50% of routes. The sportsbooks have this game as the highest-scoring contest of the weekend, setting the over/under at 54 points.
Michael Davis has been conceding 0.36 fantasy points per route run. However, he has been targeted on 20.8% of routes run against him, which is the 4th most in the NFL so far this season.
Fantasy managers will want to fire up all the wide receivers they can in this game.
Challenging Wide Receiver Matchups
It’s fair to say JuJu Smith-Schuster has been disappointing so far this season. He’s been averaging 0.36 fantasy points per route run, however he is only running routes 59.9% of the time. This week, Smith-Schuster is up against Michael Carter, who is only being targeted on 12.9% of routes run against him. Also, Carter is only conceding 0.17 fantasy points per route run, which is the 9th lowest in the NFL this season.
This matchup looks really bad on paper, and there isn’t the volume to protect Smith-Schuster this week either.
Collins has been extremely good this season in a passing attack I didn’t expect to see so much volume. He has been seeing a high volume of targets, with a 23.3% target share on an offense throwing the ball over 45 times a game on average in the first two weeks of the season. Collins is also amassing a healthy 0.47 fantasy points per route run.
However, Tyson Campbell has been exceptional this year. Campbell is only being targeted 10.4% of the time, and only giving up 0.14 fantasy points per route run. This is the third-lowest so far this season. The Jaguars did let Anthony Richardson get his maiden passing touchdown in the NFL in Week 1, however they also kept the reigning Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs to just 17 points in Week 2.
In a PPR league, Collins might hold enough volume to be a start consideration. However, in a standard or half-point PPR league, fantasy managers should consider sitting him this week if they have other options.
Gabe Davis had a bounce-back in Week 2, finishing WR14 in PPR scoring. However, that was coming off the back of a WR69 performance Week 1. The boom-or-bust nature of Davis means this should be a week where fantasy managers should consider their options carefully. Although Davis has been averaging 0.30 fantasy points per route run, this is not a matchup where you would expect him to outperform that number.
That is because Kendall Fuller has been brilliant this season. Fuller is only seeing 9.5% of targets being thrown at him per route run, which is the second-lowest in the NFL. On top of that, Fuller is only giving up 0.15 fantasy points per route run, which is tied for the fifth-lowest in the NFL.
Fuller might line up against Stefon Diggs some of the time. However, it is expected he will be up against Davis for the majority of the game. Consider sitting Davis this week and look at other starting options. There are only three matchups on this week’s slate that the sportsbooks are predicting to have a lower score than this one.