In a recent article for ESPN Insider, we took a look at how favorable cornerback schedules can help fantasy wide receiver candidates.
The flip side of this equation is that wideouts with tough matchup schedules can sometimes have their in-season value muted below what it would be under better circumstances.
So which wide receivers have the least favorable matchup schedules in 2013? And are they capable of beating those matchups to post points in spite of the personnel difficulties?
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 matchups one wants to avoid if possible. Yellow-rated cornerbacks rate in the middle third of the league and 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, and 18-20 points serves as the bar noting an extremely positive set of matchups.
Let's take a closer look at the candidates to see which wideouts have the toughest matchups in 2013.