When asked if Patrick Peterson of the Cardinals is the league’s best cover man ahead of Sunday’s matchup with Arizona, Maxwell told Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald, ““Man, listen, if he wants to say that, he can say that. I’m pretty sure he believes that,” Maxwell said. “Just like I believe I’m the best.
OK – stop laughing.
For most of the last two years, Maxwell was considered one of the league’s most overpaid players at the position. But in 2016 the 28-year-old has quietly been earning his salary. In fact, through 13 weeks Maxwell ranks sixth in pass coverage among corners at Pro Football Focus.
“It’s not even close of how he’s playing right now compared to before,” Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said. “I’ve been impressed with the guy. He’s putting the work in after practice, during practice, watching film, doing extra sprints. He has put the work in. I’m impressed by the guy.”
Maxwell has also been performing well enough statistically of late to get himself on the streaming radar, logging five-plus solos and/or an interception in three of his last four games. With the Cardinals allowing the most fantasy points to cornerbacks and Maxwell likely to be seeing a lot of Larry Fitzgerald Sunday, he’s a good bet to put up at least that handful of stops – if not more.
If you can’t buy on Byron in Week 14 (or just don’t want to) here are a few other streaming options to consider.
Delvin Breaux, New Orleans Saints (at TB)
Breaux has had the occasional struggles that often earmark the career of young cornerbacks, but all in all Ty Anania of FanSided has been impressed by what he’s seen from Breaux since he returned from injury. “He continues to show outstanding lateral quickness,” Anania wrote, “which allows him to both play with the field in front of him and still mirror his receiver. And Dennis Allen clearly felt comfortable leaving the CFL star in single coverage without safety help.”
Breaux should have plenty on his plate this week in Tampa, where the Saints face a surging Buccaneers team that’s fifth in the league in fantasy points allowed to cornerbacks in 2016. It will fall to Breaux to try to contain the NFL’s most targeted receiver in Mike Evans. Evans has been thrown at a staggering 133 times this season, and any time a receiver is averaging double-digit targets it’s good IDP news for the players who cover him.
Xavier Rhodes, Minnesota Vikings (at JAX)
As Lindsey Young of the Vikings’ website reported, Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles admitted he’ll have to be wary of Rhodes Sunday while speaking to reporters. “I think he’s an extremely good player,” Bortles said. “He’s bigger, he’s a rangy corner, and he runs extremely well. He’s going to be tough. He’s an unbelievable athlete that has now been in the NFL a couple of years and played some good ball, so he’s going to be a challenge. I think it will be cool for us, back-to-back weeks going up against some good corners, so I’m excited for Allen [Hurns] and Marquise [Lee] and these guys to play against Xavier, [Terence] Newman and some more good corners.”
Normally, Rhodes is a bit too good a cornerback for the tastes of IDP owners. But this is not a normal week. Bortles has thrown 15 interceptions this season, the Jaguars rank second in fantasy points allowed to the position, and Rhodes will probably spend the afternoon shadowing Allen Robinson – who ranks seventh in the league with 110 targets this season. The table’s set. All Rhodes has to do is sit down and eat.
DeShawn Shead, Seattle Seahawks (at GB)
As John Boyle of the team’s website reported, Shead is well aware that lining up opposite Richard Sherman plants a target on his back. “When you have one of the best to ever play the game on one side of the field, I anticipate teams coming at me a lot, so I try to do my best job of eliminating some of those passes,” said Shead. “In this league, you have to have that short memory as a corner. They game-plan for us as well, they know some of our tendencies and we know theirs, so sometimes they’re going to catch the ball, but you’ve got to have that short-term memory, because there’s going to be another play. There’s always that next play you’ve got to worry about. Whether you make a great play, an interception, a forced fumble, it’s the same thing, you’ve got to go out there and line up and do it again. That’s the life of a DB.”
Shead missed time recently with a hamstring injury, which may have caused some short-bench and/or impatient IDP owners to cut bait. Still, Shead still ranks inside the top 10 fantasy cornerbacks this year in fantasy points and inside the top 20 in targets. In other words, Shead has both had ample opportunities to produce in 2016 and made the most of those opportunities. That’s good to know heading into a top-five fantasy matchup with the Packers.