Despite the importance of obtaining a good running back in order to get deep into the playoffs, getting into the next round could largely depend on managing your WR matchups between your starting lineup and bench.
Too often it is forgotten that a single decision, good or bad, can decide your fantasy fate for the rest of this short season. With the heightened pressure of the playoff atmosphere upon us, it's do or die as owners.
Fantasy football is all about the matchups and understanding the matchups. In order to be a fantasy champion, you must look beyond the simple note of "team X gives up the 5th most points against WRs" and instead look towards the matchups faced by the individual players at times.
With the first week of playoffs underway for many leagues, it's time to look at troubling matchups facing WRs that would normally find themselves in your lineup.
Davante Adams vs. Cleveland
Before last week's game, Adams was on a roll of three straight double digit fantasy point games. While some would attribute the last performance of four catches for 42 yards as just a fluke and move on, there should be further concern with his next matchup against Jason McCourty. With Adams emerging as the Bret Hundley's number 1 target (27% of his targets during his six starts), coverage is floating away from Jordy Nelson and toward him. Aside from recent poor showings against the likes of A.J Green and Keenan Allen, McCourty has been a tough matchup for opposing players during the course of the season.
Devin Funchess vs Minnesota
I honestly believe all I need to do for this one is mention Xavier Rhodes. After a stellar performance against Julio Jones, all opposing WRs should fear Rhodes. Including the recent shutdown of Jones, keep in mind the his outings versus some of the NFL's other top WRs: Michael Thomas (2 catches for 22 yards), (Antonio Brown 3 catches for 28 yards), (Mike Evans 4 catches for 36 yards). Despite the emergence of Funchess as a WR2 since the Kelvin Benjamin trade, it's a tough matchup to roll him out against this week.
Doug Baldwin vs. Jacksonville
With the regular season playoff hunt in full strides right now for the NFL, Seattle is playing December football which means Doug Baldin is venturing back into low end WR1 status. This week's matchup is a trickery one though due to the stout defense of the Jaguars and thier shutdown corner Jalen Ramsey. While Baldwin does his work primarily from the slot, that has not stopped Ramsey in the past from shadowing the team's best WR. The continued emergence of Jimmy Graham is also a factor for consideration as he has usurped Baldwin's position as the redzone target these past few weeks.
Jarvis Landry vs. New England
It is a well documented fact within the football world that head coach Bill Belichick likes to and will normally take away the opposing team's best offensive weapon during the course of the game. While New England does have two good corners to worry about, the matchup every week when playing New England is more so vs. the Belichick scheme. With Miami heavily leaning on Landry to move the chains and score, look for Belichick to exert a good deal of maneuvers to limit Miami's best offensive weapon.
If you have specific lineup or roster questions feel free to submit a question via the "Submit a Question" button on our home page and we'll be sure to share our opinion. Also don't forget to check out our weekly position rankings! (Rankings are up by Wednesdays)