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Fantasy Football: Week 5 Wide Receiver Matchup Report

We’re back with our wide receiver matchups this week after a solid week. This week, we once again revisit a few familiar names and secondaries. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me on Twitter @JonSauber.

Favorable Matchups

Randall Cobb @ Dallas Cowboys

This game should be a shootout thanks to two really bad secondaries. Randall Cobb has seen 25 targets in three games this year. That number would’ve been higher if the Packers threw the ball more than 26 times last week. This week, it’s far less likely that Green Bay is way ahead of Dallas, so the Packers should be passing 40-50 times on Sunday. Cobb will continue to see a large number of targets, and the Cowboys’ secondary will not be getting in his way anytime soon. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him find the end zone either in what will be a really fun game for fantasy owners.

Larry Fitzgerald @ Philadelphia Eagles

It doesn’t seem fair how often I pick on the Eagles’ secondary, but until Ronald Darby gets back, here we are. Larry Fitzgerald is the undisputed No. 1 wide receiver in Arizona, and he’ll get the chance to go off this week in Philadelphia. His main opposition will be Jalen Mills and Jaylen Watkins, who appears to be healthy and will see some playing time on Sunday. Fitzgerald is very reliable and a threat in the red zone. This week, I’ll be paying whatever I have to so I can get him in DFS and will be starting him in all leagues as a high-end WR1.

TY Hilton vs. San Francisco 49ers

Hilton, as always, is a high upside play this week. He also looks to have a safe floor against the 49ers. The Colts are likely to struggle to run against a good front seven. It doesn’t help that the Colts haven’t run very well this year and have been reliant on Jacoby Brissett in the ground game. Hilton should be fed on plenty of crossing routes and get his fair share of downfield shots. Hilton should once again get between seven and nine targets on Sunday.

DeVante Parker vs. Tennessee Titans

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the Titans’ defense has been very bad. They were dominated last week by Houston and gave up 27 to an underwhelming Seahawks offense. This is a nice opportunity for the Dolphins’ offense to rebound after an atrocious performance in London last week, and DeVante Parker has shined no matter how bad the Miami offense has been. He’s set to get around 10 targets this week and should be Jay Cutler’s main red zone weapon.

Unfavorable Matchups

Alshon Jeffery vs. Arizona Cardinals

Our weekly Patrick Peterson recognition lands us in Philadelphia. Peterson is very likely to shadow Alshon Jeffery. To combat this, the Eagles apparently plan to play Jeffery in the slot, but I don’t know if he’ll do it enough to make a difference. Peterson is the best shadow corner in the NFL, and every week he’s going to find a mention in my wide receiver report. He’s far too good to go after, and his balls skills play a big role in that. Jeffery will need a touchdown for any sort of fantasy relevance this week.

Sammy Watkins vs. Seattle Seahawks

Sammy Watkins has been off and on all season, and I’d expect this week to be an off week. The Rams are probably going to feed Todd Gurley, then feed Todd Gurley, and if that goes badly, they’ll end up feeding Todd Gurley. Watkins could always make an explosive play and score, making him fantasy relevant, but I’ll take the chance that he doesn’t against this stingy Seahawks defense. He’ll probably get four to six targets and won’t see much red zone work. Avoid him in DFS and only start him in season-long if you’re desperate during the first bye week.

Kelvin Benjamin @ Detroit Lions

Kelvin Benjamin has struggled somewhat this year, and Darius Slay isn’t the matchup he needs to recover. I expect Slay to shadow Benjamin, which should open the door for Devin Funchess, but that doesn’t help Benjamin owners. The Panthers should be looking to run more to avoid a dominant Detroit pass rush, further depleting Benjamin’s chances for a solid fantasy day. I wouldn’t start Benjamin under any circumstances this weekend.

Amari Cooper vs. Baltimore Ravens

Amari Cooper looks like he has a severe case of the yips that won’t be going away anytime soon. Cooper has always had issues with drops, but they’ve been incredibly prevalent this year. Now, Derek Carr is out and will be replaced by EJ Manuel. While there isn’t an arm strength drop-off, a change in quarterback isn’t going to help Cooper. As long as he’s not catching anything, he’s not worth starting. His value is so low that owners are forced to hang on to him until he recuperates some of it. Until then, let him sit until he proves that he can catch passes at a consistent rate.

Sleeper of the Week

Will Fuller vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Fuller had a big week last week coming back from injury. He hauled in two touchdown passes as the Texans took apart the Tennessee defense. This week, he faces a stingy Chiefs defense that would normally scare away most fantasy owners. Not this time. Fuller is a deep threat that won’t see much of Marcus Peters this week. With Eric Berry out, the Chiefs have been vulnerable deep, and there aren’t many deep threats better than Fuller. Buy Fuller in DFS and safely deploy him as a high-upside flex play in season-long.

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