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Cover the Field: WR vs. CB | NFL DFS Matchups for Week 15 | Allen Robinson

Sam Smith

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WEek9 NFL DFS showdown picks today tonight DraftKings FanDuel optimal optimizer lineup picks Bears vs. Steelers Monday night football advice tips strategy best bets betting picks player props free

Receiver plays are a week-to-week thought process in NFL DFS due to a variety of outside factors impacting receiver performance. One way to predict who will break out is by examining their secondary opponents for that individual game. Every week of the season, Sam Smith will take a look at advantageous matchups for receivers against vulnerable secondaries, whether it be schematic advantage or merely a weaker cornerback head up on a star receiver. Let’s get into some NFL Matchups and give out some Week 15 NFL DFS picks for your daily fantasy football lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel.

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Week 15 DraftKings NFL DFS Picks: WR-CB Matchups

NFL DFS Pick: Cooper Kupp & Robert Woods vs. New York Jets (FanDuel Only)

Obviously, a big part of this play is the opponent given that the Jets rank last in the NFL in both pass DVOA and PFF coverage. Despite being the worst team in the NFL, they have seen the sixth-most pass attempts and allowed bottom-four marks in touchdowns, net yards per attempt and yards passing. Nearly all of their defensive back rotation rates among the lowest-graded players at their position according to Pro Football Focus, and the lone exceptions, Brian Poole and Marcus Maye, are both injured. Maye may play, but Poole is on injured reserve and has not played more than a few snaps since Week 8. In those five games without Poole, the Jets have allowed an average of 293.2 yards passing and 2.4 touchdowns, and only once (against the hapless Patriots) did they prevent at least one opposing receiver from going off.

The massive volume New York is seeing is a bit surprising considering their offense is every bit as bad as their defense, resulting in a point differential on track to join some of the worst marks in history. That means that teams are getting up on them with exorbitant passing outputs, and blowouts are not leading to run-heavy game scripts. And when playing Rams receivers, we are always stuck in the quandary of them being a run-first team that relies more on passing efficiency than passing volume. So knowing the Jets are seeing pass-heavy attacks lends credence to Rams pass catchers being viable, even if they get up big and stick to the run late. It is also worth noting that the Jets defend the run fairly well, so much of the success for Los Angeles may come down to the passing game down the stretch anyway.


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As always when stacking Rams passing games, the decision comes down to who of their primary receivers to have more of. Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods are essentially neck in neck in every sense, with Kupp owning a slight lead in targets, receptions and yards, but Woods leading in touchdowns and truly splashy games. Kupp is steadier with the safer floor, but Woods converts more in the end zone — though he and Kupp have identical targets and reception in the red zone, Woods is 3-for-3 on end zone targets and Kupp is 1-for-4. Also, Woods is on a hot streak, with three double-digit-target games in the last four (though two resulted in fewer than 90 yards and no touchdowns). Kupp has been a bit more pedestrian of late, but it is also unlike him to go a handful of weeks without seeing 10-plus targets.

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Neither are overtly targetable on DraftKings, where there is some betting value up the pricing range, but on FanDuel Awesemo likes both about equally. Kupp has a very slightly higher value rating and is also projecting for less ownership. Since he is a little cheaper and less owned, my leaning is slightly to Kupp, but both are perfectly viable in this matchup.

NFL DFS Pick: Allen Robinson vs. Minnesota Vikings

We see it every year, but it bears repeating: Allen Robinson is quarterback-proof. No matter who is throwing the ball, he finds ways to produce to the level of a legitimate WR1. With much-maligned Mitchell Trubisky delivering him passes the last three weeks, Robinson has target counts of 12, seven and 13, resulting in an average of 7.7 catches, 90.7 yards and a touchdown per game. He is up to seventh in PFF receiving grade, third in targets, fifth in catches and eighth in yards. He is also one of the 15 most targeted receivers in both the red zone and end zone. Say what you want about Trubisky, but Robinson has actually connected reasonably well with him dating back to last year. Even in classic Trubisky stinkers Robinson has put up solid numbers, and when Trubisky is playing well, Robinson almost always pops off.

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That is why the matchup may be more important here than in most cases. Trubisky is only as good as his internal clock (and his decision making and accuracy), and the more time he has to process the defense, the more he tends to resemble on NFL quarterback. When kept clean, Trubisky has a passer rating just over 100 this year, and last year he was an unimpressive (but not catastrophic) 93.0. When under pressure in 2020, his rating drops to 71.6 and in 2019 it was 55.2. So Trubisky is basically a mediocre-to-OK quarterback when he has time to throw, but he becomes truly abysmal when he has to think quickly. Fortunately, the Vikings have one of the worst pass rushes in the NFL, as only one player on their team — Ifeadi Odenigbo — ranks in the top 100 pass rushers in total pressures. And Odenigbo only ranks 74th in PFF pass-rush productivity, so even his decent numbers are more counting stats than per-play effectiveness.

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So yes, I am altering the subject of this column a bit by targeting less the receiver-secondary matchup and more the quarterback-defense matchup. Trubisky can pick apart the Vikings (as much as he can “pick apart” any defense) due to the reduced pressure he projects to face. And Robinson is almost always the beneficiary of that. Quickly, to point to the Viking secondary, they are right around league average in PFF grade and pass DVOA. Their rookie corners, who struggled mightily early on, have come around a little, and they still have Harrison Smith playing at a high level. That said, Robinson is a tough matchup for even experienced corners, and rookies Cameron Dantzler and Jeff Gladney have allowed a combined 1,112 yards and 11 touchdowns this year in coverage. In any one-on-one battle with either of them, Robinson should be able to feast.

This week, Awesemo projects Robinson to be the fifth-highest-scoring receiver on the slate, and his ownership is projecting slightly below that. As such, Robinson makes for a good play without much risk that can still allow you to maintain differential from the field.


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Sam Smith is a writer and editor with Awesemo.com. He has been immersed in the world of professional sports data since 2015, while also writing extensively on the NFL for a multitude of blogs and websites. With Awesemo, Sam looks to blend his sports and editorial expertise with Awesemo's data to bring you the best fantasy information possible. You can follow Sam on Twitter @samc_smith.

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