By utilizing our play-by-play data, we're 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 this NFL season.
Below are the matchups you can expect to see during this weekend's two conference championship playoff games.
To view the primary defenders and the top three wide receivers that each team will see this weekend, be sure to check out our weekly WR vs. CB cheat sheet.
Because of the size of the chart in the PDF, here is a key to help you get the most out of it each week:
Rt = Number of routes run by each player during the 2017 season
LWR/Slot/RWR = Percentage of the player's routes run from left wide receiver, the slot and right wide receiver, respectively
T/R = Percentage of a player's pass routes on which he's targeted
F/R = Fantasy points per pass route
Green suggests an advantage for the offensive player, while red indicates an advantage for the defender
An "S" indicates projected shadow coverage
The Patriots shadowed in eight consecutive games to close out the regular season, but did not against Tennessee last week. Lee and Westbrook move around quite a bit and are fairly equal in terms of target share and ability, so the best bet is for Gilmore and Butler to again stay at home. Of course, neither has a defined side of the field, so even when they do stay at home, it's impossible to guess which side that is. Though that makes it tough to determine who will be covering Lee and Westbrook most often, it doesn't necessarily matter. Both Gilmore and Butler have played well this season, though Butler is coming off a poor outing against Tennessee. Based on last week's usage, Butler will be on Westbrook more than Lee, but only by a slight margin. Rowe is handling slot duties and New England allowed the most fantasy points to that spot during the regular season. That's good news for Hurns.
The Jaguars have shadowed several times this season, with Ramsey chasing Jermaine Kearse, A.J. Green, Larry Fitzgerald, T.Y. Hilton, DeAndre Hopkins and Kelvin Benjamin. Bouye traveled with Robby Anderson, Donte Moncrief (twice), Brandon LaFell, Will Fuller V and Deonte Thompson. Last week, Ramsey covered Antonio Brown on 28 of 50 routes (occasionally traveling to the other side of the field to do so), but Bouye also covered Brown on 22 plays. I expect a similar game plan against Cooks. Don't be shocked if Ramsey travels with him a few times, but for Bouye and Ramsey to primarily stay at home at right and left corner, respectively. Both are outstanding and present Cooks (84 percent perimeter) and Hogan (54 percent) with one of their toughest challenges of the season. The Jaguars allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to the slot during the regular season thanks, in part, to terrific play by the rarely targeted Colvin. That means Amendola (83 percent) will have a rare tough matchup.
The Eagles allowed an NFL-high 28.3 fantasy points per game to players lined up on the perimeter during the regular season. That bodes well for both Diggs (76 percent perimeter) and Thielen (50 percent). In fact, with Jarius Wright taking on a larger role last week, Thielen actually lined up outside on 71 percent of his routes. That meant more coverage from Marshon Lattimore (not ideal), but this week means more of struggling Darby and Mills (good news for his prospects). The Eagles don't shadow and Minnesota moves its receivers around enough that Thielen and Diggs will see plenty of both Darby and Mills, both of whom have struggled in coverage this season. Robinson has been the team's best corner (the Eagles allowed the fewest fantasy points to the slot during the regular season) and he'll primarily see Wright in the slot.
This week's only clear-cut shadow situation places Rhodes on Jeffery. Rhodes shadowed Michael Thomas on 29 of his 43 routes last week and even followed him to the slot on eight of those 21 plays. Jeffery has lined up on the perimeter 84 percent of the time, so expect Rhodes to travel with him on each of those plays. That's bad news for Jeffery, as Rhodes has had a successful season while shadowing the likes of Antonio Brown, Mike Evans, Marvin Jones (twice), Davante Adams, Julio Jones, Devin Funchess and A.J. Green. Rhodes on Jeffery means that Smith will work primarily against Waynes, who presents a much lighter matchup, although he has improved as the season has progressed. Newman and Alexander are sharing slot duties and those two will be asked to contain the explosive Agholor. Minnesota allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to the slot during the regular season.