The Green Bay Packers have the NFL’s 14th-ranked pass defense through six weeks (231.2 yards per game), and their other pass defense metrics are across the board from good to middling to bad. But cornerback Jaire Alexander has become a star in 2020.
Alexander’s raw numbers are not great (1 INT, 21 total tackles, two pass breakups). Pro Football Focus and Pro Football Reference differ a bit on the number of receptions he has allowed (14 vs. 17). But Alexander is allowing a 72.2 passer rating in his coverage, and just 5.4 yards per target.
Jaire Alexander has become a shutdown corner
Alexander has been asked to shadow Falcons’ wide receiver Calvin Ridley and Buccaneers’ wide receiver Mike Evans in the Packers’ last two games. Ridley notably finished without a catch on five targets in Week 4, letting down his fantasy owners (and DFS players) who expected a nice game with Julio Jones out. Evans caught one of two targets for 10 yards against Green Bay in Week 6.
According to Next Gen Stats, on a combined 42 routes against Alexander, of 51 total routes (82.4 percent combined shadow), Ridley and Evans totaled zero catches. They also only combined for just six targets when lined up against him. That points to Matt Ryan and Tom Brady simply avoiding throwing at Alexander, with better profit to be had elsewhere.
Fantasy football managers should be aware of Alexander’s matchup on a weekly basis at this point, and at least temper expectations for that wide receiver going up against the Packers. Will Fuller (Week 7), Adam Thielen (Week 8), D.J. Chark (Week 10), T.Y. Hilton (Week 11) and Allen Robinson (Week 12) are likely to draw plenty of Alexander’s coverage in the coming weeks.