Welcome to Going Deep! This weekly article will make use of charting data, advanced metrics, and other RotoViz tools — specifically the newly released Passing Game Matchup Rater — to help readers better understand the challenges facing wide receivers and tight ends in the coming week. As my process makes heavy use of the Matchup Rater, I’d highly recommend that you set aside half an hour to watch the tutorial/walkthrough and take a spin through the tool.
Please note that we only touch upon players with 6.0 or more PPG in this article.
Patriots at Steelers
The Steelers have allowed TEs to beat PPG and present an average matchup for Hunter Henry. Of course, with Demario Douglas and Rhamondre Stevenson sidelined for the game, he should play a larger role than normal. This puts Henry, despite New England’s offensive woes, into starting consideration.
The Patriots have been a tough matchup for WRs holding the position to just 85 % of PPG. However, the team has surrendered significant overall PPG to WRs lined up out wide. This factors into the solid matchup ratings for Diontae Johnson and George Pickens, who will spend over 60% of the game out wide. Overall, this is a matchup where the duo shouldn’t be expected to outplay PPG, but doesn’t need to be avoided.
Texans at Jets
Every week this season we’ve stressed just how tough of a matchup the Jets have been for WRs and for good reason. The team is holding WRs to 78% of PPG/
With Tank Dell sidelined, Nico Collins could see a slight uptick in targets, as well as Noah Brown. However, neither WR matches up nicely with the Jets. Collins has been awesome and should likely be started by a very high percentage of redraft teams. Just know that his range of outcomes is flatter and more evenly spread than a typical week, as evidenced by the GLSP.
Houston hasn’t been an easy matchup for WRs either, but Garrett Wilson scores an average matchup with the team’s defense given that it has been forgiving to WRs lined up in the slot. Keep in mind that only three WRs have managed WR1 weeks against Houston. As a result, and when coupled with the Jets’ struggles at quarterback, Wilson likely has limited upside in this contest.