The wide receiver position is where things could begin to get crazy. Unlike the running back position where there is a clear leader in each backfield, some teams could have three or four viable candidates each week. Of course there are other teams that barely have any useful options at the position but you can go in multiple directions here. Do you spend up and take the true number one receiver? Or do you go for reliability in volume or touchdown and big play upside?
Ideally you would look for a balance of each of those characteristics but how you chose to construct your roster at the other positions will play a role in what direction you ultimately go in. Looking for values, and you will see that some are available, is key here. This is in addition to the standard practices of reviewing past performance, looking at game script, and digging into the opposing defense among other things. With respect to the opposing defense and one on one matchups against opposing cornerbacks, this is something that will come into clearer focus as the season progresses.
For those who have yet to subscribe, what are you waiting for? Until then you will get one free pick to whet your appetite. I know we are talking about wide receivers here but who among us isn’t excited to see Patrick Mahomes face off with Tom Brady this week? This isn’t their first match-up but we can expect to see a shootout and there will be beneficiaries across both offenses. Tampa Bay has struggled to contain opposing wide receivers from a fantasy perspective and all signs point to a big day for Tyreek Hill ($7,800 DK, $8,600 FD). Hill is coming off an 11 reception, 102-yard performance last week against the Raiders in which he caught his 11th touchdown of the season. We aren’t used to seeing that kind of quantity from Hill but he proved to be up to the task and Tampa Bay’s defense should lead to some big plays this week. Hill is two yards shy of three consecutive 100-yard games in which he has scored five touchdowns as he is finding his groove.
Subscribers can now expect to get six more picks as we take a closer look at some more wide receivers at varying price points who deserve our attention this week along with a few from whom we should keep our distance. And not all will break the back either which will leave plenty of room for help at other positions. So, keep on going and take a look at what we have to offer.
A week after being targeted eight times (catching seven passes for 101 yards) things were a little quieter for Michael Pittman ($5,000 DK, $5,700 FD) last week against the Packers. Pittman was targeted just three times but he did catch all three passes for 66 yards while more importantly he caught the first touchdown of his career. Pittman is fast becoming an integral part of Indianapolis’ offense and the good news is that his breakout performance from two weeks ago came against this week’s opponent; the Tennessee Titans.
I’m not sure how exactly to refer to Nelson Agholor ($4,900 DK, $5,200 FD) although for the majority of his career, bust has been the operative word. However it does appear that things have improved for him in his new home in Las Vegas. Agholor has led the Raiders’ wide receivers in snaps so far this season although a closer inspection shows that isn’t as impressive as it may have sounded. Consistency hasn’t been Agholor’s friend this season and his price certainly reflects that. For this week we are banking on him stringing together two strong efforts in a row as he should benefit from facing the Falcons who are up there for most points allowed to opposing receivers. In what was a shootout with the Chiefs last week, Agholor caught six of his nine targets for 88 yards and a touchdown. Despite his weeks of alternating success he does have six touchdowns on the season which is a plus as well.
It almost seemed like we were seeing a different Patriots team last week as all of a sudden Cam Newton was passing the ball down field with a greater frequency than we had seen all season. One of the beneficiaries of this offensive outburst was Damiere Byrd ($4,100 DK, $5,400 FD) who still remains a reasonably priced option for those looking for some salary relief. Byrd hauled in six of his seven targets for 132 yards and his first touchdown of the season. Now that we have seen what he is capable of, why not look for a repeat in what is a favorable match-up against Arizona?
The Jets actually have a deep threat and legit potential at the wide receiver position. I know I’m talking crazy right now but Denzel Mims ($3,500 DK, $5,600 FD) is that player and now that he is healthy there is some real value to be found. It was Joe Flacco at quarterback last week not Sam Darnold but the veteran took multiple shots down the field and looked Mims’ way eight times. The rookie only came down with three catches for 71 yards but he also drew two pass interference penalties. In Mims’ four games he has been targeted 25 times so he has a role in the Jets’ offense, for whatever that is worth, with 13 receptions for 217 yards. There is some concern of what New York’s offense will look like with Darnold’s return, but if his shoulder can’t handle the stress then we know there isn’t much downside for Mims if they go back to Flacco. Regardless of who the quarterback is, Mims role is going to increase over the remainder of the season as the Jets look to the future.
Julio Jones ($6,500 DK, $8,000 FD) was limited by a hamstring injury last week (what else is new) as he caught just two passes for 39 yards. Entering this week Jones is practicing but with a limited designation. Even if he does take the field as planned, you have to have some level of concern about that hamstring and his ability to make it through the entire game. What truly pushes things over the edge for me in fading Jones is the fact that he has just three touchdowns on the season. Each of these factors are enough for me to look elsewhere at the wide receiver position this week.
My concern with A.J. Brown ($6,700 DK, $ FD) has nothing to do with the fact that he didn’t practice on Thursday due to a knee injury. This has been a trend for each of the last seven weeks and he has still been on the field which week to varying degrees of success. Instead my concern is linked directly to Brown’s opponents; the Indianapolis Colts. When Brown faced the Colts two weeks ago he was targeted four times which he turned into just one catch for 21 yards. With touchdowns in three of his last four games and seven on the season, finding the end zone hasn’t been a problem for Brown. That is good news though because with just 36 receptions, volume isn’t exactly an asset for the Tennessee receiver.
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