There are a number of statistics and data-based tools to help us decipher which matchups to exploit and which to avoid, one of which is the NFL's Next Gen Stats package.
Here we'll look where cornerbacks and wide receivers line up, which defenses are particularly susceptible to which player packages and so much more. As the season goes along we'll have even more data to use and a better understanding of the Next Gen Stats. Here are the top matchups that could bring value in Week 16.
Tyler Lockett vs. Cardinals
Arizona was absolutely ripped up by the Saints speed receiver Brandin Cooks. Whatever the reason may be, the Cardinals did not dictate Patrick Peterson to shadow Cooks across the field. Cooks only saw coverage from Peterson on 16 of the Saints 48 passing plays (33.3 percent). He registered just one catch for 10 yards against Peterson. He scored his first touchdown in a Cover 2 alignment where safety D.J. Swearinger was the nearest defender and his second with Tyrann Mathieu in coverage.
The Cardinals draw another speed receiver in Week 16 when they travel to Seattle to take on Tyler Lockett and the Seahawks offense. Lockett was not healthy for the majority of this season, but is now a feature part of the offensive attack. He's out-targeted Jimmy Graham 35 to 31 over the last six weeks.
Lockett showed the full range of his powers in Week 15 as he and the Seahawks demolished the Rams. He owned a team-high 36.9 percent share of Russell Wilson's intended air yards on Thursday night and averaged 4.4 yards of separation on his eight targets. That was the second-highest mark of Week 15, showing his ability to get wide open. Lockett earned 3.94 yards of separation on his 57-yard deep touchdown over the Rams' best corner, Trumaine Johnson.
Lockett is in a great position to sustain the momentum he's been building over the last month. As Josh Hornsby of TwoQBs.com noted, the Cardinals have been vulnerable to wide receivers on the right side of the field more than any other spot. So far this season 46 percent of Lockett's targets have come when he lines up at right wide receiver.