Week 5 shadow report: A.J. Brown, Terry McLaurin set for breakout games

  • Fantasy football, NFL analyst for ESPN.com
  • Member of Pro Football Writers of America
  • Founding director of Pro Football Focus Fantasy
  • 2013 FSTA award winner for most accurate preseason rankings

Fantasy football is a weekly game, so knowing the matchups can help you make the best lineup decisions. By utilizing our play-by-play data, we’re able to identify defensive schemes and where each wide receiver and cornerback lines up on each play. By tracking these WR/CB matchups, including potential shadow situations, we can offer the best projections, rankings, sit/start decisions and fantasy advice each week. Fantasy football is a weekly game, so knowing the matchups can also help you make the best waiver-wire pickups.

Down below are the receivers with the best and worst matchups this week, 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 our weekly WR vs. CB cheat sheet.

Unless otherwise noted, references to where teams rank in statistical categories adjusts to a per-game basis in order to avoid distortion due to bye weeks.

Advantageous matchups

Bills’ Stefon Diggs, Isaiah McKenzie and Gabriel Davis vs. Steelers’ Levi Wallace, Cameron Sutton and Ahkello Witherspoon

The Steelers’ cornerback situation hasn’t been good for quite a while, and it’s showing up in the box score this season. Pittsburgh has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers, including the sixth most to perimeter wide receivers and eighth most to slot wide receivers. Sutton, who plays inside and out depending on who is healthy, has been solid, but he doesn’t have much help. Wallace and Witherspoon are the team’s perimeter corners in nickel, but both have struggled. Witherspoon missed Week 4 with an injury, leaving Arthur Maulet to handle the slot. Diggs (64% perimeter) and Davis (91%) get a boost in this matchup, and the same will go for McKenzie (76% slot) if he’s cleared to play.

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