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. If you read my quarterback and running back articles so far this week, and honestly I’m not sure why wouldn’t be, you will notice a theme. I like the Pittsburgh offense this week. This is also a benefit of coming off a strong performance the prior week and having it come on Monday night, as the pricing hasn’t quite caught up. With six catches for 69 yards and two touchdowns last week, JuJu Smith-Schuster ($6,500 DK, $7,100 FD) is off to a strong start as he looks to make up for last season’s struggles. Both Smith-Schuster and Ben Roethlisberger are healthy and once they got going last week their chemistry was on full display. At this point his salary will only continue to increase so enjoy the relative bargain on Smith-Schuster this week as the Steelers are favored at home against the Broncos.
Behind the paywall, we will continue to take a closer look at some more wide receivers who deserve our attention this week along with a few from whom we should keep our distance. And not all will break the bank 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.
Darius Slayton ($5,000 DK, $5,300 FD) was across the field from Smith-Schuster on Monday and the same pricing logic applies. After a strong rookie season Slayton is looking to show that a sophomore slump isn’t on its way and last week’s performance starts him off in the right direction. Tied for the lead on the Giants with nine targets we saw Slayton catch six passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns. The first of those touchdowns was a 41-yard connection from Daniel Jones with whom Slayton clearly has chemistry with. His second score came in the fourth quarter when the outcome of the game was no longer in real doubt but it is clear that Slayton is becoming Jones’ favorite downfield target.
T.Y. Hilton ($5,700 DK, $6,300 FD) didn’t exactly get off to the best start in Week 1 but it’s not something that warrants an overreaction. As we look forward to this week the most important thing is that Philip Rivers targeted Hilton nine times. Of course we would have wanted to see Hilton do more with those targets than just four receptions for 53 yards but it is just one game. Had Hilton converted on the two consecutive drops he had late in the game then his stat line would have been more appealing. The most important things to note here is that Hilton is healthy and Rivers is looking his way. Facing Minnesota and their leaky secondary should be just what Hilton needs.
With the Vikings defense unable to stop anybody, the natural result is that their offense will be playing from behind. Kirk Cousins and his 259 passing yards doesn’t exactly reflect that last week but Adam Thielen’s ($7,200 DK, $7,300 FD) 102 yards on six receptions sure does. Despite the fact that Cousins could have looked better it didn’t negatively impact Thielen’s overall production and from a fantasy perspective it doesn’t matter that both of his touchdowns came in the fourth quarter. What does matter is that Thielen is clearly the go to go receiver for Cousins and both the volume and production will be there each week. And in facing the Colts on Sunday, the match-up is more favorable for Thielen than it was last week against Green Bay.
Now let’s save some money. Following the emergence of A.J. Brown, Corey Davis ($4,000 DK, $4,900 FD) suddenly became a forgotten man. His performance and lack of production didn’t help his cause though. Last week we saw a different Davis than we were previously accustomed to as he caught seven passes for 101 yards but it shouldn’t be entirely surprising based on his pedigree. Davis is nursing a hamstring injury but it appears to be minor and he did practice on Thursday. Things aren’t looking nearly as favorable for Brown as he deals with a bone bruise on his knee and that means even more targets for Davis.
The recommendation on Mike Evans was to fade him last week, and that holds again. Evans was on the field for 65 of 70 offensive snaps but he caught just one pass for two yards and he is still dealing with a hamstring injury. With Chris Godwin now in concussion protocol and unlikely to take the field on Sunday the Tampa Bay receiver corps is a mess. But out of that mess comes Scotty Miller($4,100 DK, $5,200 FD) as someone has to catch the ball from Tom Brady. With five receptions for 73 yards last week Miller has proven to be up to the task. In fact Miller looks like he is straight out of central casting for Brady’s usual assortment of slot receivers who have had success and you have to like the price.
Let’s give it another week (at minimum) before buying into DeVante Parker ($5,900 DK, $6,500 FD). Last week Parker was limited by both a hamstring injury and Stephon Gilmore as he caught just four passes for 47 yards with the Dolphins struggling to do much on offense. This week things don’t get much easier against a tough Buffalo defense.
Cooper Kupp ($6,700 DK, $7,200 FD) is generally a receiver that doesn’t excite me. I know he caught 90 passes for 1,090 yards and eight touchdowns last season, but Kupp really isn’t a big play threat. Instead he is touchdown dependent and lacks upside while competing with Robert Woods. Last week Kupp caught just four passes for 40 yards as the Rams focused more on the running game but at his price I don’t feel comfortable betting on a rebound. With Kupp and Woods being pretty similar in the Rams hierarchy we also have to note that Kupp is the more expensive receiver on both sites.
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