Fantasy Football is a game of matchups. Whether it is deciding on a waiver claim to add or who starts and sits for you each week, you are digging through defensive schemes and coverage patterns, hoping to find an Achilles heel to exploit.
This week, with wide receivers such as Tee Higgins, Ja’Marr Chase, Nico Collins and DK Metcalf all in danger of sitting out, it becomes even more important, as you may need a late addition to your roster. Fortunately, a quick trip to the Big Easy should help.
You don’t even need to take a deep dive into the coverage metrics or defensive scheme of the Saints to learn that Alontae Taylor is one of the worst cover-corners in the game, and has been routinely burned by slot receivers for both yards and touchdowns this season. But if you weren’t directly looking for it, you may have missed it. That is because few of the players he has faced have been marquee names.
In Week 1, the Titans used Nick Westbrook-Ikhine out of the slot against Taylor, and he finished with five catches for 58 yards. The numbers weren’t eye-popping, but if you were desperate enough to need him, he produced some decent value.
In Week 2 it was Adam Thielen with seven catches for 54 yards and a touchdown. The week after that, Romeo Doubs and Jayden Reed split slot snaps and totaled 136 yards and a touchdown.
All in all, through nine weeks of football, Taylor has given up 52 catches for 686 yards and three touchdowns. In the immortal words of Pete Campbell, “Not great, Bob.”
Now that you have this tidbit of under-the-radar information, it is your duty to take advantage and exploit it. Sunday is the perfect opportunity.
The Saints take on Minnesota, and Joshua Dobbs is making his first official start with the team. While Marshon Lattimore covers Jordan Addison, Dobbs will have to look at alternative targets, and Brandon Powell will be staring him right in the face.
Powell plays 67 percent of his snaps out of the slot and will be matched up with Taylor throughout this game. If you are in dire need of some wide receiver help, there is a strong chance Powell is still on your waiver wire.
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Powell is just the tip of the iceberg. The Saints have a bye in Week 11, but after that, they face Atlanta then Detroit. That should put players like Kyle Pitts, who plays a ton of snaps out of the slot for the Falcons, and Josh Reynolds on your radar for the coming weeks.
Beyond that, just keep tracking the Saints schedule and keep looking at those slot receivers. Alontae Taylor could end up for fantasy MVP without even being on your roster.
Howard Bender is the head of content at FantasyAlarm.com. Follow him on X @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8 p.m. Go to Fantasy-Alarm.com for all your fantasy football advice.