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Fantasy Football: Five Worst Wide Receiver Playoff Matchups


December 7, 2016

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We have already explored the best and worst matchups for quarterbacks and running backs in the fantasy football playoffs. Now we turn to the wide receivers with the best and worst schedules from weeks fourteen through sixteen. Like the previous articles, the ranking next to the team will represent the average rank of the teams at allowing fantasy points per game, so the higher, the better. You will find below the bottom five matchups for wide receivers for the rest of the season.

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Cincinnati (Brandon LaFell/Tyler Boyd/A.J. Green—maybe)
at Cleveland, versus Pittsburgh, at Houston (average rank: 22)

The loss of A.J. Green had us all scratching our heads whether it would be Brandon LaFell or Tyler Boyd who would be picking up the slack. Green still isn’t back (and I don’t think he will be), but neither LaFell nor Boyd has taken a definitive lead.

Both of those guys are worth a flex play against a hapless Browns squad, but then they get two of the top four defenses in the NFL at stopping the wide receiver. This is probably the last week to start your Bengals WRs, even if Green comes back in Week 15.

Green Bay (Davante Adams/Randall Cobb/Jordy Nelson)
versus Seattle, at Chicago, versus Minnesota (average rank: 23)

The good vibes may or may not be over in Green Bay, as the Pack take on the fourth-hardest WR schedule in the league’s playoff stretch. While it shouldn’t matter to Rodgers (he’ll find whoever is open), it might be tough to figure out who to start week-to-week, especially given that the Seahawks are #7 at stopping the wide receiver and the Vikings #2.

The rank is deceiving, as no Earl Thomas changes the Seahawks’ complexion greatly, but Chicago is surprisingly solid. Don’t bench Jordy, but maybe break ties away from Randall Cobb and put a hold on your Davante Adams hype.

Cleveland (Terrelle Pryor)
versus Cincinnati, at Buffalo, versus San Diego (average rank 23.33)

Poor Pryor faces one of the worst possible matchups in the first week of the fantasy playoffs, as the Bengals are #28 against WRs. After that, he gets #20 and #22. It’s going to be tough sledding for Pryor, and he’s probably closer to WR3 territory.

The first-time WR might have a rough go of it, but he has enough talent that it may not matter, you just have to temper expectations.

Houston (DeAndre Hopkins/Will Fuller)
at Indianapolis, versus Jacksonville, versus Cincinnati (average rank: 23.67)

If you still have Fuller, drop him after week fourteen. If you still have Hopkins, bench him (or maybe drop him) at the same time. After the Colts, who are a neutral matchup, you have to expect Brock Osweiler to defeat the #27 and #28 pass defenses against wide receivers this season.

He can barely play a competent quarterback, so don’t expect big things from his pass catchers down the stretch in bottom six matchups in weeks fifteen and sixteen.

Indianapolis (T.Y. Hilton/Donte Moncrief/Phillip Dorsett)
versus Houston, at Minnesota, at Oakland (average rank 25)

This one is going to be a tough pill to swallow, with an average rank as the worst down the stretch for wide receivers.

We just watched Andrew Luck body slam the Jets on Monday Night Football. You can’t bench T.Y. Hilton and Moncrief’s touchdowns are approaching that territory. You may have just to roll with Hilton and break ties away from Moncrief. If you still held out hopes for Dorsett, you can stop now.

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