Week 8 WR Report
Matchup Risk/Against the Grain
Tough Matchup with Limited Upside
A.J. Green (DK – $8,600/FD – $8,500): Cinci struggled to get Green the ball last week against the leagues the top defense vs. WR. He caught three of his five targets for 41 yards. In two of his previous three games, A.J. had two strong games (10/111/1 and 7/189/1). Green's now averaging 9.3 targets per game. The Colts have risk against WRs (86/1415/4 on 145 targets) with four teams gaining over 200 yards from the WR position (ARI – 14/258/1, SF – 15/221, TEN – 13/218/1, and 11/237). Indy can struggle in the deep passing game while doing a better job in the red zone limiting passing TDs to WRs. He lines up on the side of the field with the weaker CB in the Colts' defense creating a winnable edge. Top shelf matchup, but he'll need follow through to reach a high level of catches.
Julio Jones (DK – $8,400/FD – $8,700): The Falcons decided to get Julio involved in the passing game vs. the Patriots, but his best value came after the game was well in hand. Jones finished with a season high 13 targets leading to nine catches for 99 yards and a TD. He's on pace for 91 catches for 1,243 yards and 3 TDs on 133 targets. WRs have 78 catches for 949 yards and eight TDs on 136 targets against the Jets. No WR has over 100 yards receiver against New York with Michael Crabtree (6/80/3) and Kenny Stills (6/85/2) having the two best games. Part of the reason for the lack of big games is the success of teams running the ball against the Jets (206/886/5). Jones or Devonta Freeman should score 25+ Fantasy points in this game. Julio is a special player who looks ready to deliver and impact game, but he needs the Jets to push the issue on the scoreboard.
Mike Evans (DK – $7,900/FD – $8,200): After seven weeks, only one WR is averaging over 20 Fantasy points in PPR leagues (Antonio Brown – 20.93). This has been the case over the last two seasons. In 2016, Mike was one of three WRs to score over 300 Fantasy points (304.10) while averaging 19.01 FPPG. After six games, Evans had four TDs while averaging 9.7 targets per game. He's yet to gain over 100 yards receiving in a game, but he's scored 17.32 FPPG (4th). Last year he had two steady games against the Panthers (6/89/1 and 5/65/1) with 23 combined targets. Carolina hasn't allowed over 100 yards receiving to an WR with Michael Thomas (7/87/1) having the best games. WRs have 74 catches for 842 yards and six TDs in 116 targets. Not the best matchup even with an edge over his defending CB, but his volume of chances leads to high floor paired with his ability offer an edge in TDs.
Dez Bryant (DK – $7,700/FD – $8,300): Dez has a TD in four of his last five games. Last week he finally had the look of being edge part of the Cowboys' passing game. He caught seven of his ten targets for 63 yards and TD. His upside in catches still leaves him in a weak area in his catch rate (48.3). Bryant averages 9.7 yards per game while lacking a 100-yard receiving game. Last season he had seven catches for 102 yards on 12 targets in his matchup in Washington with a step back in production in Week 12 (5/72). The key to Dez this week with be the status of CB Josh Norman who missed the last two games with a rib injury. WRs have short success against the Redskins (53/726/4 on 103 targets) with no WR gaining over 100 yards receiving. Nelson Agholor has the only game of value (6/86/1). Scoring ability while needing to catch more of his chances. Not ideal unless Norman misses this game.
Michael Thomas (DK – $7,600/FD – $7,500): Thomas landed on the injury report this week with a knee issue. The injury sounds minor and he's expected to play on Sunday. Michael has four games with between 82 and 89 yards receiving while catching five catches or more in five of his six starts. New Orleans played four of their first six games on the road, which points to a better finish to the year for Thomas. Despite his slow start, Mike is the 10th highest scoring WR (14.60) in PPR leagues with two TDs. WRs have 76 catches for 916 yards and six TDs on 134 targets against the Bears. Mike Evans (7/93/1), Antonio Brown (10/110/1), and Jordy Nelson (4/75/2) all have solid games vs. Chicago. Very winnable game and the Bears can get lost in coverage in rub routes at the goal line. For him to reach an elite level in this matchup, Michael needs the Bears to score as well.
DeAndre Hopkins (DK – $7,500/FD – $8,000): Game score led to Hopkins having minimal chances in his last games (2/19/1 on four targets). Over his first five games, DeAndre averaged 12.2 targets per game. He scored five TDs in his last three games and six TDs on the year with all of his scoring at home. Seattle continues to play well vs. WRs (64/676/3 on 119 targets) with no WR gaining over 100 yards. Two WRs posted strong games (Jordy Nelson – 7/79/1 and Rishard Matthews (6/87/1) vs. Seahawks. I don't expect Hopkins to see a lot of Richard Sherman so he'll have an edge over CB Shaquill Griffin. The difference in Deshaun Watson than most QBs is that he'll challenge a defense deep. Hopkins will get plenty of chances, but a short field does favor the Seahawks pass coverage. If he scores, it will come from long range.
Keenan Allen (DK – $7,300/FD – $7,800): Allen entered last week with a shoulder issue. He struggled to get open against the Broncos (3/41 on seven targets). This extends his short production to four out of his last five games (5/61, 4/67, 5/45, and 3/41). His best two games came in Week 2 (9/100) and Week 4 (5/138). Keenan scored his only TD in Week 1. He averages 9.7 targets per game. WRs have 96 catches for 1,400 yards and seven TDs on 148 targets against New England. Three WRs have over 100 yards receiving vs. the Patriots (Tyreek Hill – 7/133/1, Kelvin Bryant – 4/104, and DeSean Jackson – 5/106) plus two other WRs have strong games (Devin Funchess – 7/70/2) and (Julio Jones – 9/99/1). Allen will have a huge edge over CB Eric Rowe. I expect a double catch game with over 100 yards and a TD. One of the better plays of the week with a high floor and explosive ceiling.
Doug Baldwin (DK – $6,900/FD – $7,700): After Jimmy Graham dropped an easy TD and a wide open long pass in Week 7, Russell Wilson turned his attention back to his most trusted receiving option. Doug finished with nine catches for 92 yards and a TD on 12 targets, which was his second-best game of the year (Week 3 – 10/105/1). He averages 8.5 targets per game. Houston sits 10th in the league vs. WRs (56/807/5 on 96 targets) with one WR delivering an impact game (Brandin Cook – 5/131/2). Baldwin has a huge edge over CB Kareem Jackson. Favorable matchup plus the Seahawks continue to struggle to run the ball.
Brandin Cooks (DK – $6,800/FD – $7,900): Cooks has developed into a different type receiving option in the Patriots' offense. He's gaining 19.2 yards per catch, but he only has 46 targets through seven games (6.6 per game). His only game of value in the daily games came in Week 3 (5/131/2). The Chargers rank highly vs. QBs (7th), but they can have risk vs. WRs (21st – 80/859/9 on 125 targets). Brandin will draw LA's top CB Casey Heyward. This isn't great matchup making Cooks an against the grain type play with his success tied to his ability to hit on a long TD.
Alshon Jeffery (DK – $6,700/FD – $6,600): The Eagles' passing game has been electric over the last three weeks, but Alshon has been boring piece of their offense over the last five weeks (4/56, 3/29/1, 3/31, 4/71, and 2/37). He's averaging 7.7 targets per game with one game of value (Week 2 – 7/92/1). The 49ers rank 24th in the league vs. WRs (84/1102/7 on 133 targets). Three teams gained over 200 yards from the WR position (LAR – 15/235/2, ARI – 18/218/1, and IND – 12/231). Four WRs have over 100 yards receiving (Robert Woods – 6/108, Sammy Watkins – 6/106/2, Jaron Brown – 8/105, and T.Y. Hilton – 7/177). Favorable matchup with a chance to deliver his best game of the year. Jeffery needs San Fran to show up offensively in this game.
Amari Cooper (DK – $6,600/FD – $7,200): Cooper more than doubled his output over the first six weeks in Week 7. He caught 11 of his 19 targets for 210 yards and two TDs (44.00 Fantasy points in PPR leagues) pushing his season total to 82.60 Fantasy points (27th). WRs have 83 catches for 970 yards and three TDs on 140 targets vs. the Bills with two teams gaining over 200 yards receiving (DEN – 17/228 and CIN – 15/239/1). A.J. Green beat Buffalo for 189 yards on seven catches with a TD with Mike Evans (7/88/1) having the second-best game. Amari has size and speed, but he does most of his damage downfield while his catch rate (50.0) remains in a weak area. Only a mid-tier matchup even withe edge in talent over his expect CB (E.J. Gaines).
Chris Hogan (DK – $6,500/FD – $7,400): After scoring five TDs over a nice four games stretch (5/78/1, 4/68/2, 5/60/1, and 8/74/1), Chris has been quiet over his last two games (1/19 and 4/71) on ten combined targets. He averages 6.7 targets per game with a below par catch rate (59.6). CB Trevor Williams ranks highly in coverage in his second year in the league after being undrafted free agent in 2016. This will be Williams toughest test and Brady will try to beat him in the deep passing game. Overpriced for his career resume and expected targets.
Kelvin Benjamin (DK – $6,400/FD – $6,600): Benjamin is the 31st highest scoring WR after seven games with a shorter opportunity than expected (6.3) while scoring only one TD. Kelvin has 20 catches for 326 yards and a TD on 29 targets over his last four games. Last week he battled some swelling in his right knee, which was tied to his Week 3 injury. The Bucs allow the most Fantasy points to WRs (96/1288/7 on 141 targets). Four teams gained over 200 yards from the WR position (CHI – 17/204/1, MIN – 16/282/3, NE – 21/236/1, and ARI – 14/231/2) with two player having elite games (Larry Fitzgerald – 10/138/1 and Stefon Diggs – 8/173/2). In addition, six WRs have eight catches or more against Tampa. Benjamin should be very active in this matchup while drawing the weaker outside CB (Robert McClain). A possible wide-open game also works in his favor.
Michael Crabtree (DK – $6,300/FD – $7,200): Crabtree has a TD in three straight game and six TDs over his last four full games played. In his four best games, Michael caught six passes in each game while delivering 80 yards receiving in three games (83, 80, and 82). He averages 7.6 targets in his five full starts. The Bills tend to lineup their CBs on the same side of the field on most plays, which will help Oakland get their best matchups in the red zone. He won't beat CB Tre'Davious White deep while having the edge in scoring if the Raiders match him up with E.J. Gaines at the goal line. More steady than explosive with a TD being a reasonable outcome in this matchup.
Pierre Garcon (DK – $6,100/FD – $6,700): Garcon gets plenty of chances (nine targets per game) each week, but he's hasn't scored a TD in 2017. Pierre has five catches or more in five of his seven games while delivering one playable game (7/142). WRs have 101 catches for 1.280 yards and five TDs on 171 targets against the Eagles. Most of their failure came in two games (NYG – 25/284/3 and LAC – 13/281/1). Philly can be beat deep at CB, but C.J. Beathard may not have enough time to make the winning throws. His matchup over CB Jalen Mills looks favorable. A chaser game works in his favor, but he needs a TD to reach a playable number.
Devin Funchess (DK – $5,900/FD – $6,500): Funchess is battling knee and hamstring issues. He practiced on Wednesday, which is a positive sign for Sunday. After two uptick games (7/70/2 and 7/53/1), Devin struggled in his last two games (3/36 and 4/41) while receiving 17 combined targets. Over his last five games, he has 44 targets (8.8 per game). Greg Olsen is getting closer to returning so Funchess will lose looks in the near future. His matchup with CB Brent Grimes may offer upside based on the poor results by Tampa's secondary in 2017. Cam Newton is projected for good game so one of his WRs will deliver a strong game.
Danny Amendola (DK – $5,700/FD – $5,700): Danny looks overpriced based on his play over the last two weeks (3/40 and 3/17 on nine combined targets). In those two games, Amendola was on the field for 67 of 142 plays run by New England as the WR3. He's battling a knee issue while expecting to play this week. Slot WRs can have success against the Chargers (Tyreek Hill – 5/77/1 and Jarvis Landry – 13/78) and Tom Brady will need to get the ball out quickly against an improving pass rush. Not my type of play.
T.Y. Hilton (DK – $5,600/FD – $7,200): Hilton has three down games (3/30, 1/19, and 2/27) over his last five games. In his other two games, T.Y. had two impact games (7/153/1 and 7/177) against two poor defenses (CLE and SF). After seven games, he's the 26th highest scoring WR while being on pace for 1,170 yards with 62 catches and three TDs on 112 targets. Cinci ranks fifth in the league vs. WRs (48/697/6 on 1901 targets), which has been helped by a favorable schedule against QBs (Flacco, Watson – first start on short practice, Kizer, and Taylor). Hilton has big play ability, but he needs improvement in QB play. Avoid again this week.
Nelson Agholor (DK – $5,500/FD – $6,000): Agholor has a TD in three straight games and five TDs on the year. Even with an uptick in scoring, Nelson only averages five targets per game. Over his last three games, he averaged 16.43 Fantasy points in PPR leagues. Slot CB K'Waun Williams hasn't played well in 2017 giving Agholor the best matchup in this game. His low targets invites failure risk if game score gets out of line early. Only in play for me in a Carson Wentz stack.
Terrelle Pryor (DK – $5,400/FD – $6,300): Pryor appears to be a lost cause over his last five games. Over this stretch, Terrelle has three catches or fewer in each game while averaging only 4.4 targets per game. Last week he lost playing time to Josh Doctson for the first time this year. Fading opportunity with questionable playing time looks like losing combination in the daily games. The Redskins just spread the ball around too much.
Will Fuller (DK – $5,300/FD – $6,500): Over his first three games in 2017, Will has eight catches for 154 yards on 14 targets. This doesn't look like an option for the daily games, but his five TDs gives him the needed points to deliver playable value. Houston will move their WRs around. Fuller should see a fair share of CB Richard Sherman. Will has the speed to beat Sherman deep if Richard doesn't get away with holding. His high salary and low targets points to a player to avoid this week.
DeSean Jackson ($5,100/FD – $6,100): Jackson remains a dangerous option in the Bucs' passing game. Over six games, he has 22 catches for 360 yards and two TDs on 43 targets. DeSean has yet to deliver an impact games while producing two games of value (4/84/1 and 5/106). His matchup vs. CB James Bradberry looks neutral while ranking third on Tampa in targets behind Mike Evans (58) and the TE position (57). I don't see enough chances to deliver a playable game unless he hits on a long TD. Fade.
Mohamed Sanu (DK – $4,900/FD – $5,600): After a short game (1/3 on three targets) due to an injury and a missed game, Sanu has six catches for 65 yards on a season high ten targets last week. Over his best four games, Mohamed has 21 catches for 225 yards and a TD on 31 targets (7.8 per game). His matchup with CB Darryl Roberts looks neutral plus the Falcons should try to win this game on the ground. Not in play.
Jermaine Kearse (DK – $4,800/FD – $6,400): Kearse had only one catch on four targets last week, but he did score a 29-yard TD. He has four catches or fewer in his last six games while averaging 5.1 targets per game on the year. Jermaine does have four TDs to help raise his value. Atlanta is league average defending WRs (70/750/6 on 111 targets) with only one WR having a good game (8/99/1). The Falcons need a win in a bad way and their defense has to be motivated in this matchup. Avoid due to short chances.
Tyrell Williams (DK – $4,800/FD – $6,200): Over the last three games, Williams has five combined catches for 60 yards on only six targets. This came after his best game of the year (5/115/1) in Week 4. Tyrell averages only 4.3 targets per game. He's expected to draw the Patriots' top CB Malcolm Butler in coverage. Tough CB matchup with failure risk in his targets.
Ted Ginn (DK – $4,700/FD – $5,900): The Saints have done a nice job getting Ginn involved in the game plan over the last two games (4/66/1 and 7/141). He caught all 11 of his targets over this span with growth in his catch rate (81.5). Seven of his 22 catches have done for over 20 yards. On the year, Ted has WR3 snaps in New Orleans while averaging 4.5 targets per game. Trending in the right direction, but the Saints may play from the lead leading to another short game in targets. Possible long TD.
Jamison Crowder (DK – $4,300/FD – $5,100): With each game that passes, Crowder continues to lose value. Over his last three games, he has six catches for 36 yards on 12 targets. Jamison has starting snaps over each game in 2017. He just needs more chances to produce value in any Fantasy format. Last season Crowder had 14 catches for 127 yards and a TD on 18 targets in two games against Dallas. The Cowboys can be beat in the slot so Jamison could surprise while still having failure risk.
Robby Anderson (DK – $4,200/FD – $5,800): Just like Jermaine Kearse last week, Anderson started off with a TD in the first half. He finished the game with only three catches for 35 yards on five targets. Robby averages 6.6 targets per game with a short catch rate (45.7). He'll draw CB Desmond Trufant on most plays, which is poor matchup. No real upside even with a low salary.
Willie Snead (DK – $4,000/FD – $5,400): After missing his sixth game last week, Snead may finally be healthy. He turned in a full practice on Wednesday pointing to bump in playing time on Sunday. Even with more snaps, he'll still behind Ted Ginn and Brandon Coleman on the depth chart until he proves he can handle a full workload. Need to see him play well before even thinking about him in the daily games.
Paul Richardson (DK – $4,000/FD – $4,700): Richardson out snapped Tyler Lockett in the last two games, but he finished with only five combined catches for 96 yards and a TD on seven targets. Paul averages 4.8 targets per game with a short catch rate (55.2). Weak option with his best chance for success coming in a chaser game. CB Kevin Johnson should return to the field this week, which is a tough matchup for Richardson.
Josh Doctson (DK – $3,900/FD – $5,200): While Jamison Crowder and Terrelle Pryor are losing momentum, Doctson is gaining playing time. Last week he had WR2 snaps in the Redskins over Pryor leading to a season and career high five targets. He caught three of his chances for 39 yards. Over the last four games, Josh has seven catches for 129 yards and two TDs on 13 targets. The Redskins will give him a chance to shine this week making Doctson a possible value play in the daily games. Kirk Cousins will spread the ball around, which limits his overall targets. Right kind of flier with big play and scoring ability.
Jordan Matthews (DK – $3,900/FD – $5,700): After missing one game with thumb injury, Matthews tied Zay Jones for the most WR snaps (55) on the Bills in Week 7. He finished with two catches for ten yards on three targets. Jordan now has three catches or fewer in each game while averaging only 3.2 targets per game. Tough to believe in his opportunity or upside in this offense, but Buffalo will need to throw the ball to someone.
Marquise Goodwin (DK – $3,900/FD – $4,900): Goodwin may not play this week due to a back issue. He missed practice on Thursday after turning in a limited session on Wednesday. Marquise has two serviceable games (5/116 and 4/80) in the season long formats over his last three games. He doesn't have a TD in 2017 with a short catch rate (46.5). The Eagles can be beat by speed in the deep passing game, but he still needs rookie QB C.J. Beathard to deliver the ball on time. Too many negatives in this profile play in this matchup.
Deonte Thompson (DK – $3,700/FD – $4,900): Thompson caught all four of his targets last week for 107 yards while receiving WR4 snaps (21 of 68) for the Bills. His success should lead to more playing time. Even with a jump to WR3, his targets and chances shouldn’t be high enough to trust in the daily games. Deonte did have one decent game in 2017 with the Bears (4/57/1). On the positive side, Thompson has a pulse over some of these deadbeats at the backend of the player pool.