FAVORABLE MATCHUPS (CASH/GPP)
Adam Thielen (DK – $8,600/FD – $8,700): Thielen has been one of the safest plays in each week in the daily games. Adam has over 100 yards receiving in six straight games with four TDs while averaging over 13 targets per game. He’s on pace for 155 catches for 1,898 yards and 11 TDs on 211 targets. WRs have 95 catches for 1,192 yards and seven TDs on 159 targets against the Jets with three teams beating New York at the WR position (DET – 19/253/1, JAC – 17/260/1, and DEN – 20/245/2). The Jets’ slot CB showed risk in his last two games vs. the Broncos and the Colts leading to a couple of TDs and a high completion rate. A very winnable matchup with his 2018 season adding another chapter to his resume. His only negative is his higher salary.
Jarvis Landry (DK – $7,300/FD – $6,500): Landry continues to have a great opportunity in targets (11.2 per game) with two good games (7/106 and 8/103). Over his last three games, Baker Mayfield failed to get Jarvis rolling (4/34/1, 5/69, and 2/11 on 31 targets). The Bucs struggled in four games vs. WRs (NO – 23/268/1, PIT – 20/200/2, CHI – 10/147/4, and ATL – 19/278/1) leading to the 31st ranking in WR defense. CB M.J. Stewart will allow plenty of TDs with high completion rate, which gives Landry a chance at an impact game. Excellent value at Fanduel while still being in play for me at DraftKIngs. Possible double-digit catches with over 100 yards and at least one TD.
Keelan Cole (DK – $4,600/FD – $5,500): Cole now has four straight short games (5/40, 2/15, 4/70, and 4/41) after his only impact outing (7/116/1). On the year, Keelan averages 6.5 targets per game. Last year he had a great game at home vs. the Texans (7/186/1 on nine targets). Johnathan Joseph is an older CB who will give up big plays. I expect Cole to have an impact game with the Jaguars needing a win in a big way. Excellent value in Week 7.
Willie Snead (DK – $4,000/FD – $5,400): Snead has been active the Ravens’ passing game in his last three contests (6/56, 5/55, and 7/60) with 24 targets over this stretch. His only TD came in Week 1. Over the last two games, Willie has out snapped John Brown and Michael Crabtree. CB P.J. Williams is a weak link in coverage for New Orleans, which gives Snead a chance at a TD and an active game in targets. Possible low-value hookup with Joe Flacco.
MATCHUP RISK / AGAINST THE GRAIN (GPP)
Michael Thomas (DK – $7,90/FD – $8,600): After a great start to the year over the first three games (38/398/3 on 40 targets), Drew Brees has struggled to get Thomas the ball over the last two games (4/47 on four targets and 4/74 on five targets). The Ravens have the fourth best defense in the league defending WRs (70/815/6 on 121 targets). No WR has over 100 yards against Baltimore with A.J. Green having the best game (5/69/3). CB Brandon Carr is off to a great start to the year, but his career resume points to some downside going forward. Thomas will be an against the grain play in this matchup. His direction should lead to a rebound game, but it may not be high enough to offer an edge in the daily games.
DeAndre Hopkins (DK – $6,900/FD – $8,500): Hopkins has over 13.5 Fantasy points in each game this year, which falls in line with his great 2017 season. Last week he had a season-low six targets, which led to five catches for 63 yards and one TD. DeAndre averages 10.5 target per game with a drop down in TDs (3) compared to last year (13). Last year he had 11 catches for 125 yards and two TDs on 29 targets in two games against the Jaguars in two games. Jacksonville ranks 1st in the NFL defending WRs (687/751/4 on 109 targets). Two WRs have over 100 yards receiving against the Jaguars (Odell Beckham – 11/111 and Cole Beasley – 9/101/2). HIs CB/WR matchup points to minimal explosiveness while his floor remains high due to volume. The lack of a passing Deshaun Watson is the biggest drawback for Hopkins to deliver impact TDs. Fade for me even with a drop back in salary.
T.Y. Hilton (DK – $6,200/FD – $7,300): The Colts hope to have Hilton back in the starting lineup after missing two games with chest and hamstring issues. Over the first four games, T.Y. caught 21 of his 38 targets for 294 yards and two TDs while averaging 9.5 targets per game. The Bills have the sixth best WR Fantasy defense after six games, which is a little surprising after Buffalo allowed 11 catches for 136 yards and three TDs to WRs to the Ravens’ WRs in Week 1. Overall, WRs have 81 catches for 885 yards and five TDs on 123 targets vs. the Bills with one WR gaining over 100 yards (Adam Thielen – 14/105). Tre’Davious White is one of the better CBs in the league, which a low ceiling Hilton in this matchup. Andrew Luck will get him the ball and T.Y. has the ability to score a long TD in any game. His favorable salary keeps him in my thought if shopping at this level.
DeSean Jackson (DK – $5,800/FD – $6,700): Jackson had a season-high nine targets against the Falcons, which led to four catches for 77 yards. DeSean has over 100 yards receiving in three of five games while averaging an impressive 23.9 yards per catch. He scored all three of his TDs over the first two games. Overall, he averages 6.2 targets per game. CB E.J. Gaines (may not play) has outplayed his career resume in his three games played, which may get corrected in this matchup. Gaines will be challenged by Jackson’s speed and quickness. I’d love DeSean if his salary came in at about $4,500, but winning a million dollars is never easy. Don’t overlook his short opportunity as a couple of long catches and a TD will set up a nice day at this level.
John Brown (DK – $5,700/FD – $6,500): Brown went from must start in the season-long games to head-scratcher over his last two starts. He scored a TD in three of his first four contests with one game with over 100 yards receiving. The Ravens gave him 14 targets in Week 4, but he only caught four balls for 58 yards with a minimal opportunity last week (2/28 on three targets). On the year, John has 21 catches for 424 yards on 47 targets with a short catch rate (44.7). The Saints allowed the most Fantasy points to WRs (78/1147/10 on 107 targets) with two offenses deliver impact game at WR (TB – 18/361/4 and ATL – 17/285/4). CB Ken Crawley will give up long TDs. Viable at this level.
Michael Crabtree (DK – $5,100/FD – $6,600): Crabtree climbed back on the Fantasy map last week when he caught six of his nine targets for 93 yards with a TD. He continues to get solid targets (9.2 per game). Over the previous three years, Michael scored 25 TDs putting him behind pace from his previous resume in scoring. This week Crabtree will draw CB Marshon Lattimore in coverage who played better over the last four games after getting lit by the Bucs WRs in Week 1. Not ideal this week.
Chester Rogers (DK – $4,700/FD – $6,000): Over the last three games, Rogers has double-digit targets in each game (11, 11, and 10). Over this span, Chester has 20 catches for 206 yards and one TD. This week his opportunity will take a step back with T.Y. Hilton expected to play. Ryan Grant suffered an ankle issue, which gives Rogers WR2 targets for Indy going forward. Rookie CB Taron Johnson played well in most games with his biggest struggles coming vs. the Vikings’ CB. His step back in targets points to an avoid in Week 7.
Chris Hogan (DK – $3,800/FD – $5,500): Hogan only has 15 catches for 221 yards and two TDs on 23 targets after six games. Chris doesn’t have a game with more than five targets. His best game (3/42/2) came against the top pass defense in the league (Jacksonville). Last week Hogan was on the field for 60 percent of the Patriots’ plays, which was a season low. When overlooked, Chris can surprise. Fading playing time makes him a tough start in the daily games unless he’s tied to Tom Brady.
BAD MATCHUP (AVOID)
Will Fuller (DK – $5,500/FD – $6,200): Fuller struggled to make plays in the last two games (2/15 and 2/33) while receiving only six combined targets. Will has two impact games (8/113/1 and 5/101/1) with a reasonable game in Week 4 (4/49/1). Last year in his only game against the Jaguars, Fuller caught all five of his targets for 44 yards. CB A.J. Bouye doesn’t give up many big plays while minimizing the damage in TDs. I don’t expect much from Will in this matchup.
Kenny Stills (DK – $4,400/FD – $5,500): Stills played great in Week 1 (4/106/2), but he’s lost his way over his last five games (11/170/1 on 21 targets). Kenny has the most WR snaps on Miami. Stills will lineup on the same side of the field as CB Darius Slay on many plays. Tough CB/WR matchup while lacking opportunity. Fade.
Cole Beasley (DK – $3,900/FD – $6,200): Over his previous four games, Beasley caught ten of his 21 targets for 120 yards. Last week he beat the Jaguars for nine catches for 101 yards and two TDs on 11 targets. On the year, Cole has been on the field for 61 percent of the plays run by the Cowboys. Last year he had four catches for 22 yards on six targets in two games against the Redskins. CB Fabian Moreau should have no problem keeping him in check.
Tre’Quan Smith (DK – $3,700/FD – $5,100): Smith hit on two long TDs (62 and 35 yards) in Week 5 leading to an impactful day (3/111/2). In that game, Tre’Quan had the best opportunity of the year in snaps (67 percent). Smith profiles as a big-play speed WR with questionable value in targets. The Ravens get back their top CB Jimmy Smith plus they have a talented Marlon Humphrey on the roster. I didn’t expect a big game even with WR2 snaps and a favorable salary.
NEUTRAL (ANY FORMAT)
Mike Evans (DK – $7,700/FD – $7,800): Evans remains on a great path as far as catch rate (75 percent), which is well above his career resume (53.4) heading into 2018. Mike has three strong games (7/147/1, 10/83/1, and 6/137/1) with regression in his last two starts on the road (6/59 and 4/58). The Browns slipped to 24th in WR defense (84/1141/7 on 151 targets) with Michael Thomas (12/89/2), Amari Cooper (8/128/1, and Tyrell Williams (3/118/2) having the best games. CB Denzel Ward played well over his first six NFL games while facing two top WR (Antonio Brown and Michael Thomas). Ward will have the edge in speed, but the size of Evans may be an issue. I’ll put Mike in the neutral column in Week 7.
Stefon Diggs (DK – $7,200/FD – $7,600): So far this season, Diggs has one impact game (9/128/2), two good games (11/123 and 10/91), one steady game (3/43/1), and two poor showings (4/17 and 3/33). He remains on pace to set career highs in catches (107), yards (1,160), and targets (157). His last TD came in Week 2. The Jets played the last two games without their top CB Trumaine Johnson. If he’s out again this week, Diggs will have an even bigger edge in this matchup. New York has to be game planning to slow down Adam Thielen, which could be a big win for Stefon in this matchup. Top player who is due to score. Playing a WR2 behind an elite WR tends to be a winning plan in multiple weeks in the daily games.
Brandin Cooks (DK – $7,100/FD – $7,500): Over the last two games, Cooks only has two catches for 53 yards while leaving Week 5 early with a concussion. Over the first four games, Brandin had 26 catches for 452 yards with one TD on 33 targets. In his five full games, he averaged 7.8 targets, which is well below the top WRs above him on this list. WRs have 72 catches for 1,067 yards and eight TDs on 127 targets against the 49ers with two teams having a high level of success at WR (DET – 17/252/2 and GB – 15/264/2). CB Ahkello Witherspoon will give up TDs while trying to keep WRs in front of him. Three WRs have over 100 yards receiving against San Fran (Adam Thielen – 8/135/1, Stefon Diggs – 11/123, and Emmanuel Sanders – 7/115/1). Boom or bust type swing who needs to hit a long TD to post an impact game. More of a GPP play than an option in cash games.
Robert Woods (DK – $7,000/FD – $7,700): Wood is the clear top receiving option for the Rams with Cooper Kupp out this week. Over the last four games, Robert has 27 catches for 406 yards and three TDs with 33 targets. He’s well on his way to a career season (96/1397/8). Last year In his only game against the 49ers on the road, Woods caught six of seven targets for 108 yards. He should be the Rams’ top receiving option in the red zone, which set up a solid floor in this winnable matchup. One of LA’s WR should come in this week.
Julian Edelman (DK – $6,600/FD – $7,100): In his first two games in 2018, Edelman has 11 catches for 111 yards and one TD on 16 targets. Last week New England had him on the field for 91 percent of the Patriots’ plays compared 70 percent in Week 5. The structure of the receiving core in New England points to Julian having a 20 percent drop off in targets from 2017 (about ten per game). WRs have 78 catches for 1,056 yards and six TDs on 110 targets vs. the Bears with failure in three games against the WR position (GB – 19/299/3, TB – 19/229, and MIA – 18/281/2). His matchup with CB Bryce Callahan looks to be neutral. Pretty much an eight target guy per week now, so Edelman can’t pay off at this level without a high volume target game and a TD. Chicago will attack the QB, which points to short quick passes for Tom Brady with Julian being a two option in New England this week.
Golden Tate (DK – $6,400/FD – $7,400): After six weeks, Tate is the 10th highest scoring WR per week in PPR leagues. His targets have declined in each game (15, 13, 8, 8, and 7) while delivering 20+ Fantasy points in three outings (7/79/1, 7/109, and 8/132/2) in DK scoring. Golden is well on his way to 100+ catches with another 1,000-yard season. Miami sits eighth in WR Fantasy defense (68/1068/5 on 112 targets) with three WRs gaining over 100 yards receiving (Jordy Nelson – 6/173/1, A.J. Green – 112, and Taylor Gabriel – 5/110). Slot CB Minkah Fitzpatrick hasn’t allowed a TD in 2018 while keeping WRs to short yards per catch, but he will make mistakes when asked to tackle in the open field. Not ideal for the daily games.
Alshon Jeffery (DK – $6,300/FD – $7,600): Jeffery looked sharp in two of his three games (8/105/1 and 8/74/2) while receiving 29 targets. Alshon has WR2 snaps for the Eagles over the last three games. So far this season, the Panthers have done a good job defending WRs (68/891/4 on 108 targets) despite failing in Week 5 against the Giants’ WRs (17/285/1). The only WR with over 100 yards receiving against Carolina was Odell Beckham (8/131/1). CB James Bradberry is on path for an improved season, but he will be tested in this game. I like the direction of Carson Wentz, which puts Jeffery in the mix for me in this game even with a below-par matchup against as far as CB.
Allen Robinson (DK – j$6,100/FD – $6,500): Robinson landed on the injury report this week due to a groin issue. He turned a full game of snaps last week, which suggests that Allen will play on Sunday. He has a TD in each of his last two games, but Mitchell Trubisky struggled to get him the ball (four and six targets). On the year, Robinson has 24 catches for 281 yards and two TDs while averaging 7.6 targets per game. In his best year with the Jaguars, Allen averaged 17.5 yards per catch. The Bears haven’t found a way to get him the ball in the deep passing game leading to only 11.7 yards per catch. WRs have 83 catches for 994 yards, and nine TDs on 131 targets vs. the Patriots with two WRs have impact games (Keelan Cole – 7/116/1 and Tyreek Hill – 7/142/3). CB Stephon Gilmore will give up some TDs, but he does hold WRs to a low catch rate. I need to see more big plays to take Robinson for a ride in this matchup. Game score may lead to double-digit targets.
Kenny Golladay (DK – $6,000/FD – $7,000): Golladay has a TD in three of his last four games while continuing to get WR2 snaps for the Lions. In his last game, Kenny caught four of his nine targets for 98 yards and one TD. He had a long TD called back from a penalty plus falling short of the goal line on another long catch. He’s on pace for 80+ catches for 1,300+ yards and ten TDs. Golladay will see CB Xavien Howard on most plays who has risk in the deep passing game at times. Developing talent with the game to score any point on the field. Not the best matchup, but his salary is favorable considering his explosiveness.
Josh Gordon (DK – $5,600/FD – $6,700): Gordon progressed to 81 percent of the WR snaps last week for the Patriots. He’s caught nine of 15 targets for 124 yards and one TD in his three games with New England. Last week he had two shots at TDs. One play resulted in a long pass interference call. On the other play, Tom Brady threw the ball behind him at the back of the end zone. CB Prince Amukamara handled himself well on his four games played this year while only being an average league corner for most of his NFL career. Explosive player who is gaining more looks in a high profile scoring offense.
Devin Funchess (DK – $5,300/FD – $6,400): Over the last four games, Funchess has 20 catches for 271 yards and two TDs on 31 targets. Devin tends to fall into the steady category while offering mid-level value in TDs. The Eagles struggled in three games against WRs (TB – 20/276/3, TEN – 19/271/2, and MIN – 20/228/1). Philly currently ranked 26th defending WRs with four WRs gaining over 100 yards (Julio Jones – 10/169, DeSean Jackson – 4/129/1, Corey Davis – 9/161/1, and Adam Thielen – 7/161/1). CB Ronald Darby gives up short yards per catch with some TDs. Cam Newton will extend the passing window unlike Eli Manning last week, which gives Funchess more chances to make plays. I’ll set his floor at 5/50/1, which gives him a chance to reach his salary bucket if he hits on a long play or two.
Nelson Agholor (DK – $5,000/FD – $6,000): In three of his last four games, Agholor has five targets or fewer. His only game of value came in Week 2 (8/88/1). The Eagles gave him double-digit targets in three of his six games, but two of them came when Alshon Jeffery wasn’t in the starting up. His yards per catch (9.5) remains behind his 2017 season (12.4). CB Caption Munnerlyn won’t pose a big problem, but he remains the third option in the passing game for the Eagles. Reasonable price and Carson Wentz is one of the top QB options this week in the daily games.
Marvin Jones (DK – $4,900/FD – $6,400): Jones still has WR1 snaps for the Lions, but he ranks third on the team in WR production (16/241/3 on 33 targets). Marvin has three TDs with no games with over 70 yards receiving or four catches. CB Bobby McCain will give long plays, which is exactly what Jones brings to the table. Decent flier, but he won’t have an elite opportunity.
Dede Westbrook (DK – $4,800/FD – $6,000): Westbrook has six targets or fewer in five of his last six games. His best success came in Week 5 (9/130) with a good showing in Week 2 (4/82/1). Last week The Jaguars had him on the field for a season-high 92 percent of their plays, which should be a good sign for his value going forward. The Texans’ pass coverage can get beat by deep speed while having a few injuries at CB. Possible double stack piece of Blake Bortes.
Taylor Gabriel (DK – $4,700/FD – $5,900): Over the last two games, Gabriel caught all 12 of his targets for 214 yards and two TDs. His game was no Fantasy value in the first three games (5/25, 4/30, and 6/34). On the year, Taylor averages 6.8 targets per game. CB Jason McCourty is a veteran player who is holding his own so far in the Patriots’ system. Tough to believe Gabriel’s ticket comes in three straight games.
Chris Godwin (DK – $4,600/FD – $6,400): Godwin has four TDs in his six games while receiving six targets inside the ten yards line over his last three games. Chris has five catches or more in three of his last four games with solid targets in two of those games (nine and ten). He remains the WR3 in Tampa as far as snaps while ranking behind Adam Humphries. CB/S Briean Boddy-Calhoun has disaster risk in coverage, which means Tampa will pick on him in coverage. Godwin has to be in play based on his salary and potential scoring ability at this level.
Marquise Goodwin (DK – $4,600/FD – $5,500): Goodwin broke through was an impact game in Week 6 (4/126/2), but he only had five targets. In his last three starts, Marquise has nine catches for 180 yards and one TD on 17 targets. Last year he had four catches for 90 yards and one TD on nine targets in two games against the Rams. WRs have 66 catches for 950 yards and ten TDs on 101 targets against LA with three WRs gaining over 100 yards (Adam Thielen – 8/135/1, Stefon Diggs – 11/123, and Emmanuel Sanders – 7/115/1). CB Marcus Peters continues to give up long TDs while peaking in the backfield. Top WR on the 49ers with the wheels to hit on a long TD. Ride him while he’s hot.
Robby Anderson (DK – $4,500/FD – $5,400): Anderson failed to have follow through last week after his big games against the Broncos (3/123/2). Two other Jets’ WRs had success (Jermaine Kearse – 9/94 and Terrelle Pryor – 5/57/1) while starting WR Quincy Enunwa suffered an injury. The Vikings sit 12th in WR Fantasy defense (75/997/6 on 112 targets) with the only WRs to gain over 100 yards coming from the Rams (Cooper Kupp – 9/162/2, Brandon Cooks – 7/116/1, and Robert Woods – 5/101/1). A date with CB Xavier Rhodes doesn’t point to impact upside, but his winning score doesn’t require that big of a game.
Jermaine Kearse (DK – $4,100/FD – $5,000): Kearse had his best game (9/94) of this season in Week 6 after gaining starting looks when Quincy Enunwa went down with an injury. Jermaine was on the field for 83 percent of the WR snaps for New York. CB Mackensie Alexander looks like the weak link in coverage for the Vikings, which gives Kearse a chance at repeated targets. Possible playable game.
Albert Wilson (DK – $4,000/FD – $5,600): Wilson saw his catches rise in each of his last four games (2, 4, 5, and 6) capped by his massive outing in Week 6 (6/155/2 on nine targets). Albert now has four TDs and three catches over 40 yards. The Dolphins gave him 21 targets in his last three starts. The Lions will be wheeling out CB Teez Tabor who lacks speed with a minimal resume in the NFL. The Dolphins have to get Wilson the ball in open space. I’d double down here if you are shopping at this level for a flex option.
Cameron Meredith (DK – $3,800/FD – $4,900): Meredith improved in each of his first three games (1/11/1, 3/32, and 5/71) with the Saints. In his last game, New Orleans had him on the field for 45 percent of their plays compared to 67 percent by Tre’Quan Smith. With Ted Ginn out for the season, Cameron should emerge as the number two WR for the Saints. Not a great matchup, but his salary is low enough to be considered as backend filler. I view him as an attractive option in is next home game.
Anthony Miller (DK – $3,400/FD – $5,400): Over four games, Miller has nine catches for 89 yards and two TDs on 15 targets. He missed Week 4 with a shoulder injury while also having the bye to help him get healthy. When on the field, Anthony had WR3 snaps in each game for the Bears. Chicago tends to line him out of the slot, which gives him the best WR/CB matchup vs. New England. Also, if Allen Robinson can’t go, Miller gets a huge bump in playing time and chances. May emerge as a value play on Sunday.