Best, worst wide receiver matchups for Week 10 in fantasy football

Mike Clay
ESPN PLUS


By utilizing our play-by-play data, we're now able to identify where each wide receiver and cornerback lines up on each play. By tracking matchups between the two positions, including potential shadow situations, we can offer the best projections, rankings and fantasy advice each week.


Down below are the receivers with the best and worst Week 10 matchups, as well as the corresponding fantasy impact.


To view the primary defenders the top three wide receivers for each team will see this weekend, be sure to check out my weekly WR vs. CB Cheatsheet.


Advantageous matchups


Patriots' Josh Gordon vs. Titans' Malcolm Butler


Gordon has aligned wide to the left on 60 percent of his routes this season, which is where Butler has lined up on 79 percent of his coverage snaps. Butler has also shadowed twice, so it's possible he chases Gordon on an even larger percentage of his routes. Regardless, these two will see plenty of each other in Week 10. That is, of course, unless Butler is benched (as he was during last season's Super Bowl while a member of the Patriots).


A benching is certainly warranted for Butler, who has unquestionably been one of the league's worst cornerbacks this season. The Titans defense has allowed an NFL-low 14 touchdowns (11 passing) this season and, incredibly, Butler is responsible for seven of those scores. Butler has allowed 39 receptions for 618 yards and the seven touchdowns -- all of which are highest at his position.


Unless you believe in the Butler #RevengeGame narrative, you should be buying on a big Week 10 from Gordon.


Rams' Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks vs. Seahawks' Tre Flowersand Shaquill Griffin


Woods primarily faced Griffin in coverage when these teams met in Week 5 and rolled to five catches for 92 yards on seven targets. Cooks was shut out on 16 routes before leaving with an injury, though reserves Josh Reynolds and KhaDarel Hodge stepped in and caught 3 of 4 targets for 53 yards on 26 routes.


As I noted here last week, Seattle has been beaten up by good perimeter receivers all season long, and we saw that again last week with Keenan Allen delivering a big game and both Mike and Tyrell Williams finding the end zone. Both Flowers and Griffin grade out among the worst corners in coverage over at Pro Football Focus this season.


Cooper Kupp technically has a tough matchup against Justin Coleman, who mans the slot for a Seattle defense that has allowed the fewest fantasy points to slot receivers this season. That didn't slow Kupp in the first meeting, when he caught 6 of 8 targets for 90 yards and one touchdown on only 23 routes. All three Rams wide receivers are viable fantasy starters this week, though Cooks and Woods are the best DFS plays.


Seahawks' Tyler Lockett and David Moore vs. Rams' Marcus Petersand Troy Hill


What has happened to Peters? An absolute star during his time in Kansas City, Peters has been lit up in coverage with the Rams, including a shadow effort against Michael Thomas in Week 9 that led to a 200-yard effort from New Orleans' top receiver. That's been a theme this season for Peters, who has the fourth-worst coverage grade among 111 qualified corners at PFF.


Lockett ran nine of his 21 routes against Peters when these teams met back in Week 5. He put up 3 catches, 98 yards and 1 touchdown on 4 targets in that game. Touchdown machine Moore had a big day, as well, hauling in 3 of 4 targets for 38 yards and 2 touchdowns on only 15 routes. Peters was in coverage on all three touchdowns.


Seattle's two perimeter receivers will also see Hill in coverage. Hill is allowing a hefty 0.48 fantasy points per route this season after stepping in as Aqib Talib's replacement.


Doug Baldwin will have to deal with Rams slot CB Nickell Robey-Coleman, who has been terrific inside this season. Baldwin should be downgraded slightly.


Saints' Michael Thomas and Tre'Quan Smith vs. Bengals' William Jackson III, Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard


Jackson is one of the league's better young corners, and Kirkpatrick has settled in as a solid player, but it can't be ignored that Cincinnati has surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. That includes the third most to perimeter receivers and sixth most to slot targets. Thomas and Smith move around quite a bit, but both line up on the perimeter 70 percent of the time. The duo will see Jackson and Kirkpatrick on most of their routes but will get some run against Dennard in the slot as well. Thomas and Smith both make for strong Week 10 DFS options, and Smith is an intriguing flex play in 12-team leagues.


Cowboys' Amari Cooper vs. Eagles' Ronald Darby


Cooper found the end zone in his Dallas debut and is set up nicely for a big followup in Week 10. Philadelphia's perimeter corners have struggled all season long and are allowing 31.8 fantasy points per game to outside receivers. That's second most in the league (Saints at 35.1), and that was with both starting perimeter cornerbacks healthy. Jalen Mills had been a liability opposite Darby, but is likely out this week with a foot injury. Cooper gets most of his run on the outside, so he'll see Darby and likely Rasul Douglas on most of his routes this week. Upgrade him.


Chargers' Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, Mike Williams and Travis Benjamin vs. Raiders' Daryl Worley, Leon Hall and Gareon Conley


This matchup is so enticing that I had to list everyone. Allen (55 percent slot) will primarily face off with 33-year-old Hall (99 percent slot) this week. Hall has struggled on 129 coverage snaps this season, and Oakland has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to players aligned inside.


The two Williams and Benjamin share perimeter snaps and will see Worley and Conley in coverage. Worley has been absolutely brutalized in coverage since being promoted to a full-time gig in Week 5. Receivers aligned against him have been targeted on 25 percent of their routes and are averaging 0.53 fantasy points per route, both of which rank among the worst at the position. Conley is a promising second-year corner, but he's been in and out of the lineup throughout the season. It's all systems go for the Chargers' passing game after third-stringer Nick Mullens lit this defense up in Week 9.


Other notables:


Bengals' Tyler Boyd vs. Saints' P.J. Williams
Browns' Jarvis Landry vs. Falcons' Brian Poole
Bills' Zay Jones vs. Jets' Buster Skrine
49ers' Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garcon vs. Giants' Janoris Jenkins and B.W. Webb


The Browns' Denzel Ward went down with a hip injury during Sunday's game against Kansas City. If he plays this week, expect him to shadow Julio Jones. Ward has played well, but Jones has shown to be fairly matchup proof. If Ward is out, it will be all systems go for Jones and Calvin Ridley against the likes of T.J. Carrie and Denzel Rice on the perimeter (E.J. Gaines is out after suffering yet another concussion).


Expect Panthers top corner James Bradberry to shadow Antonio Brown, and rookie corner Donte Jackson to shadow James Washington this week. Neither corner has been exceptional in coverage this season, and Carolina has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to perimeter receivers. Brown doesn't need to be downgraded, and Washington isn't seeing enough work to warrant fantasy consideration.


If Redskins slot WR Jamison Crowder returns this week, he'll be positioned for a great matchup against the Buccaneers' messy slot situation. Vernon Hargreaves is already on injured reserve, and M.J. Stewart missed Week 9 with an injury. Javien Elliott is the next man up. Tampa Bay has been fleeced for the most fantasy points to slot receivers this season.


Tough matchups

Colts' T.Y. Hilton vs. Jaguars' Jalen Ramsey (shadow)


Since entering the league back in 2016, Ramsey has shadowed Hilton at least part time each of the four times these teams have met. Hilton has lined up against Ramsey on 104 of his 168 routes during that span, totaling 25 targets, 12 catches for 154 yards and one touchdown on those plays. Hilton totaled a 34-18-215-2 line in those four games. The Jaguars have struggled this season, but the defense has still allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers, and Ramsey remains one of the league's best corners. He'll be on Hilton during most of Sunday's game, so Andrew Luck's top target should be downgraded.


Titans' Corey Davis vs. Patriots' Stephon Gilmore (shadow)


Davis has been a staple in this piece for all the wrong reasons. The second-year corner has faced a brutal slate of cornerbacks this season, and that will again be the case with Gilmore on the docket in Week 10. Gilmore has already shadowed DeAndre Hopkins, Donte Moncrief, Sammy Watkins, Allen Robinson, Kelvin Benjamin and Davante Adams this season. Davis has run more than 70 percent of his routes against Xavien Howard, Casey Hayward, Tre'Davious White, A.J. Bouye, Ramsey, Byron Jones and Marlon Humphrey.


Davis lines up in the slot 28 percent of the time, so he'll dodge Gilmore on a handful of plays and could take advantage of Jonathan Jones' struggles, but he certainly needs to be downgraded with most of his routes set to come against Gilmore. Receivers facing Gilmore are averaging a weak 0.23 fantasy points per game this season.


Packers' Davante Adams vs. Dolphins' Xavien Howard (shadow)


Howard has shadowed the likes of Cooper, A.J. Green, Marvin Jones Jr. and Hopkins this season, so we can expect him to travel with Adams on Sunday. Howard is a decent young corner, but far from a dominant presence. Receivers facing him have been targeted on 20 percent of their routes and are averaging 0.41 fantasy points per route -- both of which are higher than average. That said, Miami has, in general, been pretty good against perimeter receivers, allowing 20.2 fantasy points per game (11th best). Adams doesn't need to be downgraded much, but maybe you pivot to someone else in DFS this week.


Bears' Allen Robinson vs. Lions' Darius Slay (shadow)


Robinson has missed back-to-back games due to a groin injury, but he'll have his hands full if he returns to action in Week 10. Slay has shadowed Garcon, Adams, Kenny Stills, Lockett and Aldrick Robinson already this season. Robinson has aligned outside on 65 percent of his routes this season and will see Slay on those plays. Slay will travel inside occasionally, but not full time, so Robinson figures to see some Nevin Lawson in this game. Lawson did well against Adam Thielen last week but wasn't nearly as good earlier this season. Nonetheless, Robinson should be downgraded with most of his routes set to come against Slay.


If Robinson returns, upgrade Taylor Gabriel, who will face off with so-far-so-bust Teez Tabor and/or DeShawn Shead.


Other notables:

Dolphins' Danny Amendola vs. Packers' Jaire Alexander
Raiders' Seth Roberts vs. Chargers' Desmond King