Sometimes, the schedule presents us with a game that shapes up as a fantasy goldmine.
Such is the case in Week 6, when 2-2 Tampa Bay travels to face 1-4 Atlanta. These are two teams that are loaded with offensive skill-position talent and struggling in a big way on defense. No team in the NFL is allowing more passing yards a game than the staggering 358 yards a game Tampa Bay gives up, and Atlanta isn’t much better — 28th in the league in total defense.
It’s a game that sets up as a good old-fashioned NFC South shootout — a passing-game bonanza. And the flip side of that bonanza is that the cornerbacks for both teams are going to be very busy.
In news that should surprise approximately zero people, Atlanta (ninth in the NFL in passing, at 304.2 yards per game) and Tampa Bay (who lead the league at a jaw-dropping 363.2 yards per game) are also two of the most generous teams in football to opposing cornerbacks. Through five weeks, Tampa Bay ranks sixth in the NFL in fantasy points per game (FPPG) surrendered to the position. Atlanta is one spot (and just under one FPPG per game) behind Tampa Bay.
In other words, there are going to be plenty of points to go around at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday.
Given that Atlanta slot corner Brian Poole is third in fantasy points at the position (trailing only two players who have already played in Week 6), he’s likely not available in too many cornerback-required leagues.
If he somehow is, he shouldn’t be — scoop him up.
However, even if Poole’s rostered there’s value to be had here. Atlanta’s Desmond Trufant is a Top 20 fantasy option over the last three weeks and will spend much of Sunday in coverage on Tampa Bay wideout Mike Evans.
Tampa Bay rookie Carlton Davis leads Tampa Bay corners in snaps and is going to get thrown at a lot. If ever there was a week for veteran Brent Grimes to be Individual Defensive Player (IDP) league relevant, it’s this week in Atlanta.
Even he’s a decent deeper-league option.
And huge games for wide receivers usually translates to good stat lines from the players charged with covering them.
If you get frozen out of the bonanza at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, here are some other streaming cornerback options for Week 6.
Bene Benwikere, Arizona (at Minnesota)
“Having him in the secondary in our room has been great for us,” Peterson said. “Obviously he has played in the defense, he knows the ins and outs and he’s been a tremendous help for Budda [Baker] and also for a lot of guys in the secondary as well. [Bene helps with] understanding calls and kind of getting a feel for how [defensive coordinator Al Holcomb] wants to call certain things and certain techniques. He’s been nothing but great for us and hopefully he can continue making plays for the defense and also help us continue to grow into the system as well.”
Benwikere has made quite the impression on IDP owners of late as well. Over the past two weeks, the 27-year-old has posted 10 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble — numbers that slot Benwikere inside the Top 10 fantasy cornerbacks over that span. A matchup with a Minnesota team giving up the eighth-most fantasy points to cornerbacks this year should help him make it three nice outings in a row.
Troy Hill, Los Angeles Rams (at Denver)
According to Joe Curley of the Ventura County Star, Rams cornerback coach Aubrey Pleasant thinks Hill has the starter-level talent.
“He solidified himself as having the ability to be a legitimate starter in this league,” Pleasant said. “I think one thing that you can do as a player is to start focusing on things that you can’t control. The game, at defensive back, is so fickle and there’s such a small room for error, if you’re worried about everything else, you’re never going to be your best self.”
With Aqib Talib on the shelf with an ankle injury, it’s Hill who has emerged as the corner playing the most snaps opposite Marcus Peters in the Rams secondary. The 27-year-old’s five total tackles with a pass defensed last week against Seattle didn’t cause a waiver stampede for his services, but if Hill’s on the field for more than 80 percent of the Rams snaps again Sunday in Denver he should do better — the Rams are fifth in fantasy points given up to cornerbacks.