Favorable matchups for WRs

Why Dez Bryant and others could have big fantasy seasons

Originally Published: July 24, 2013
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider

Dez BryantRon T. Ennis/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty ImagesThe Cowboys' schedule should help boost the production of Dez Bryant and Miles Austin.

When it comes to the formula for football success, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier often quotes an adage passed down to him by Pepper Rodgers, who said coaches are only as good as their players and their schedule.

The same rule applies in fantasy football. It's great to stock a team with quality players, but it is better to stock a team with quality players who have schedules that bode well for their success.

This is especially true at the wide receiver position, as the one-on-one nature of wideout-cornerback matchups can make the difference between a game-winning-caliber performance and one that will bring about a depressing loss.

So which fantasy wide receivers have the most favorable schedules in 2013? And are they capable of taking advantage of those matchups?

As we start, it helps to take a quick look at how schedule strengths are measured. In my 2013 Fantasy Football Draft Guide, cornerbacks are graded with a color-coded matchup rating system. Red-rated cornerbacks are among the top third at their position and thus tend to be the matchups one wants to avoid if possible. Yellow-rated cornerbacks rate in the middle third of the league and thus are solid positional battles for wideouts. Green-rated cornerbacks are those in the bottom third of the league and therefore are the most favorable matchups from a wide receiver's perspective.

The guide then reviews which cornerback a wide receiver is slated to face each week and assigns a point total based on the color grade. Red-rated matchups give zero points, yellow-rated matchups award one point and green-rated matchups provide two points. This means the higher the wide receiver's matchup total, the more favorable his schedule is likely to be. Anything close to 10 points is considered a very difficult schedule, while 18-20 points serves as the bar noting an extremely positive set of matchups.

Let's take a closer look at the top candidates to find out which ones have the best matchups this season.

Dez Bryant (17 matchup points)/Miles Austin (18 matchup points)


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