Friday - Feb 22, 2019

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CORNERING THE MARKET: Week 5 Streaming CB Plays

Last week in this column, I advised IDP owners to buck the conventional wisdom in CB-required IDP leagues that “shutdown” cornerbacks don’t make for solid options and roll out Aqib Talib of the Denver Broncos against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. To say it didn’t take Talib long to make me look good is an understatement — he literally intercepted Jameis Winston‘s first pass attempt of the game.

The veteran corner told Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post it was a simple matter of identifying the pass route. “I knew they were going to run a follow — it’s a route concept called ‘follow.’ I knew they were going to run follow,” Talib said, “so I waited for Chris (Harris) to run it and I jumped it. Good call by coach, man. We had a good idea what they were going to run. Good call by coach and we capitalized on it.”

Talib went on to have a second interception in the game, finishing Week 4 as the fifth-ranked fantasy cornerback. But I don’t bring this up because I want a pat on the back. Don’t want a cookie either.

I mention it because Talib’s worth another shot in Week 5, when Julio Jones and the Atlanta Falcons come to town. Granted, Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan isn’t as turnover prone as Winston, and he isn’t as apt to force targets in to Jones either — at least not until the Falcons get behind.

But it’s a certainty Jones will be targeted at least 10 times. Atlanta getting behind is a real possibility. And that sets up well for Talib to retain his status as a top-five fantasy option at his position for at least more week.

Here’s some other streaming CB options who should join Talib in the Land of Fat Stat lines in Week 5.

 

Damarious Randall, Green Bay Packers (vs. NYG)

As ESPN’s Anita Marks reported, after yet another Giants loss where wide receiver Odell Beckham wasn’t a factor he made it clear he wasn’t a happy camper. “Football is my sanctuary,” Beckham said. “It’s where I go to escape. It’s where I’m most happy. I’m not having fun anymore.” The G-Men may not appreciate Beckham’s whining, but they’re realists — OBJ is their best offensive weapon, and a player they need to get more involved.

This week, that likely means trying to get Beckham involved early and often in a plus matchup against Randall and the Green Bay Packers. Through four games, the second-year pro ranks seventh in passing yardage allowed at his position, Over 60 percent of the passes thrown in his direction have been completed, and quarterbacks have a passer rating of well over 100 when throwing in his direction.

It’s numbers like that, and favorable matchup after favorable matchup, that have Randall receiving his mail here as a regular fixture in this article early this season. So far, he’s beem OK — but not much more. Sunday night he breaks out.

 

Jamar Taylor, Cleveland Browns (vs. NE)

Last week, Taylor had his best statistical outing of the season, logging seven tackles and intercepting a pass. That outing was enough to buoy the fourth-year pro into the top 20 at his position for the season. However, just as there’s no denying that Taylor’s been productive this season there’s also no denying he’s the weak link in the Cleveland secondary.

The New England Patriots haven’t been an especially kind matchup for cornerbacks in 2016, ranking 31st in the league in fantasy points allowed to the position through four weeks. That was without a certain well-coiffed quarterback leading the team though. This week, Tom Brady returns. An angry Tom Brady. A Brady who wants everyone to pay for the humiliation of his “Deflategate” suspension.

How long do you think it will take that Brady to sniff out the slowest gazelle in the herd, chase it down, kill it and eat it?

Exactly — not long at all.

 

Daryl Worley, Carolina Panthers (at TB)

The Carolina secondary is in complete disarray after getting abused by the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4. The Panthers bid adieu to veteran corner Bene Benwikere on Friday, and head coach Ron Rivera told the Charlotte Observer no spot is safe in the Carolina defensive backfield. “We’re working them this week and we’ll see how it pans out,” Rivera said. “But either way guys are going to play because of the nickel position.”

With James Bradberry injured and Benwikere now on the street, Worley appears the last man standing to be the Panthers new No. 1 cornerback. If that does turn out to be the case, Worley’s going to be seeing a lot of Mike Evans Monday night. The same Mike Evans who has been thrown at more time than any wide receiver in the National Football League this season.

Get where I’m going with this?

About Gary Davenport

A member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and Pro Football Writers of America who resides in Columbus, Ohio, Gary has been featured on a number of fantasy websites and in nationally circulated publications. These publications include the USA Today Fantasy Football Preview and the magazines distributed by Fantasy Sports Publications Inc., for whom Gary is a both a contributing author and associate editor. Gary is a seven-time FSWA Award finalist and two-time winner who was named the organization's Fantasy Football Writer of the Year for 2017. Gary also appears regularly on Sirius XM Radio (including live from Radio Row at Super Bowl XLIX) and over-the-air stations across the country. Gary was one of the co-founders of, and Head Writer at, Fantasy Football Oasis before joining Fantasy Sharks as an IDP Senior Staff Writer in 2011. He knows football. Or so he's heard.