FAVORABLE MATCHUPS (CASH/GPP)
Adam Thielen (DK – $8,900/FD – $8,900): Last week Thielen had a season-low seven targets, but he was able to catch all of his chances for 103 yards while extending his scoring streak to five games. Adam even added a 15-yard run. He has over 100 yards receiving in games with a huge step up in opportunity this year (12 targets per game). Thielen is on pace for 148 passes for 1,950 yards and 12 TDs. Last year he had 13 catches for 148 yards on 19 targets in two games against the Lions. Detroit has the seventh best defense vs. WRs (68/1027/9 on 98 targets) with only one WR gaining over 100 yards (Davante Adams – 9/140/1). CB Nevin Lawson isn’t a great corner, but he has played well so far in 2018. Star player who is on a great run.
Michael Thomas (DK – $7,600/FD – $8,600): Thomas gave away his big WR lead in Fantasy points over his last four games (4/47, 4/74, 7/69/1, and 5/81) while averaging only six targets per game over this stretch. Michael was the best WR in the game over the first three weeks (38/398/3 on 40 targets). His stats and opportunity should rebound over the next month with three of the games at home. The Rams are 13th against WRs (84/1248/11 on 131 targets) with three teams having success (MIN – 25/338/3, DEN – 13/230/2, and GB – 14/263/1). LA will try to use CB Marcus Peters against him who gives up big plays and TDs while trying to cheat on defense by looking in the backfield. Thomas should score this week with a nice rebound in targets. An excellent upside in this high scoring game.
Cooper Kupp (DK – $6,000/FD – $6,800): The Rams expect to have Kupp back in the starting lineup this week after missing the last two games with a knee injury. Over his first four and a half games, Cooper has 30 catches for 438 yards and five TDs on 41 targets. He was on pace for 96 catches for 1,402 yards and 16 TDs. This week Kupp will be matched up with CB P.J. Williams who has disaster risk in catch rate, big plays, and TDs. An excellent matchup with impact upside.
Devin Funchess (DK – $5,600/FD – $6,400): Funchess has fewer than 80 yards receiving in each game with three TDs while averaging 7.1 targets per game. Devin doesn’t have a game with over 20 Fantasy points in 2018. The Bucs allow the second-most Fantasy points to WRs (115/1379/13 on 150 targets). Five WRs have over 100 yards receiving against Tampa (Michael Thomas – 16/180/1, Taylor Gabriel – 7/104/2, Julio Jones – 10/143, and Tyler Boyd – 9/138/1). Tampa has risk in all areas in pass coverage. Like his upside in this game, but I can’t trust his explosiveness. Cam Newton is the top QB this week meaning Devin may be along for the ride.
D.J. Moore (DK – $4,300/FD – $5,300): Moore had his best game (129 combined yards with five catches) of his career last week vs. a good Ravens’ pass defense. D.J. had WR2 snaps for the first time all year. CB Brent Grimes hasn’t played well this year, which points to a possible impact game. A viable piece of a Cam Newton while offering salary cap relief.
MATCHUP RISK / AGAINST THE GRAIN (GPP)
Antonio Brown (DK – $8,400/FD – $8,800): Brown has a TD in five straight games leading to seven combined TDs. Antonio has a floor of five catches while still looking his big play ability (12.0 yards per catch and only seven catches over 20 yards). He’s on pace for 92 catches for 1,104 yards with 16 TDs on 160 targets. In Week 4, Brown caught five passes for 62 yards and one TD against the Ravens. Baltimore has the 4th best defense against WRs (93/1078/7 on 151 targets). No WR has over 100 yards receiving vs. the Ravens with their biggest failure coming against A.J. Green (5/69/3). I don’t fear CB Jimmy Smith, but Baltimore will shorten the Steelers’ passing window. When Antonio appears as an underdog in coverage, he tends to shine brightly. Possible inside the park home run.
Stefon Diggs (DK – $6,800/FD – $7,300): Diggs is on pace for a nice season (116/1,174/8 on 170 targets) while being outshined in most games by Adam Thielen. Stefon has three strong games (9/128/2, 11/123, and 10/119/1). On the year, he averages 10.6 targets per game. His matchup vs. CB Darius Slay looks to be neutral, but Slay has underperformed his previous resume so far in 2018. Volume receiver who may see more runs in this game limiting his explosiveness.
Brandin Cooks (DK – $6,700/FD – $7,500): Over the last three games, Cooks only has nine combined catches for 181 yards and one TD on 21 targets. In his first three homes games, Brandin has seven catches in each game with strength in his receiving yards (159, 90, and 116) and one TD. In his four road games, Cooks hasn’t scored over 14 Fantasy points in PPR leagues. Brandin will draw CB Marshon Lattimore on most plays which will at limit his explosiveness. On the positive side, Cooks will see more single coverage in this matchup. With only 6.5 targets per game, he’s a tough buy at this salary level.
Doug Baldwin (DK – $5,300/FD – $5,700): It’s tough getting on the Baldwin train after seeing his production over four games (14/159) while averaging less than five targets per game. Doug’s been on the field for over 80 percent of the Seahawks’ WR snaps over this span. The Chargers are league average defending WRs (84/1111/9 on 133 targets) with their biggest failure coming against the Chiefs (12/206/3) and the Rams (21/265/3). CB Desmond King will give up a high catch rate, but short yards and minimal TDs. Seattle doesn’t throw enough at this point of the season to consider Baldwin as a strong play in the daily games.
Demaryius Thomas (DK – $4,500/FD – $5,800): Over eight games with the Broncos, Thomas caught 36 passes for 402 yards and three TDs while averaging seven targets per game. This week Denver traded him to the Texans, which puts his Week 9 value in limbo. He’ll be the clear WR2 for Houston with a nice potential upgrade in chances and scoring ability. The concern this week is learning the playbook while playing his former team. A fading salary, but I only see a steady game.
Tyrell Williams (DK – $4,200/FD – $6,200): Williams played well as the WR2 for the Chargers in his last two games (3/118/2 and 4/118/1). Tyrell doesn’t have a game with more than four catches while averaging only 3.9 targets per game. He does have a good season (69/1059/7) on his four-season NFL resume, which gives him a chance for more success from week-to-week if LA is forced to throw. CB Shaquill Griffin will give up short yards per catches and minimal TDs. I don’t see a three-game winning streak.
BAD MATCHUP (AVOID)
Taylor Gabriel (DK – $5,100/FD – $5,800): Game score led to a high volume of runs by the Bears last week and a second straight short game (4/52) for Gabriel. Taylor has two strong games (7/104/2 and 5/110) while averaging 6.3 targets per game. He’s been a WR2 for Chicago in most weeks. Buffalo is 5th in the NFL defending WRs (104/1145/7 on 149 targets) with no team gaining over 200 yards from the WR position. A slippery quick player who will have minimal chances again this week in a grinder game.
David Moore (DK – $3,900/FD – $5,800): Over the last three games with WR3 snaps for the Seahawks, Moore has nine catches for 182 yards and four TDs on 11 targets. His scoring ability is intriguing, but his success in any Fantasy format is reliant on TDs with a short opportunity. His growth should lead to more chances, but David needs Seattle to attempt more passes. Possible trap while drawing a good CB in coverage this week.
NEUTRAL (ANY FORMAT)
DeAndre Hopkins (DK – $8,300/FD – $8,600): Hopkins came up short in yards in his last three games (5/63, 3/50, and 6/82), but he scored a TD in three straight games (four total). DeAndre is on pace for 106 catches for 1,578 yards and 12 TDs on 156 targets. Denver is league average against WRs (98/1268/9 on 158 targets) with four WRs gaining over 100 yards receiving (Amari Cooper – 10/116, Robby Anderson – 3/123/2, Robert Woods – 7/109, and Sammy Watkins – 8/107/2). If Deshaun Watson can have enough time to throw, Hopkins will make plenty of plays vs. underperforming Broncos’ secondary. $7,900):
Mike Evans (DK – $8,100/FD – $7,900): Evans remains on pace for a career season (105/1760/9 on 155 targets). His catch rate (67.6) is a career best by a wide margin. Mike has four impact game (7/147/1, 6/137/1, 7/107, and 6/179/1). Last year he had 11 catches for 167 yards on 18 targets in two games against the Panthers. Carolina sits 9th in the NFL against WRs (94/1131/5) with two WRs having big games (Tyler Boyd – 6/132/1 and Odell Beckham – 8/131/1). CB James Bradberry will give up TDs and some big plays. Tampa will throw a ton of pass, which keeps Evans in the mix in a chaser game.
Tyreek Hill (DK – $8,000/FD – $7,800): Hill left last week’s game with a hamstring issue, but the injury appears to be minor after turning in a full practice on Wednesday. Tyreek has 70 yards receiving or fewer in five games while delivering two impact games (7/169/3 and 7/142/3). He’s on pace for 1,500 yards with 16 TDs and 88 catches. The Browns are 24th in the league against WRs (114/1491/9 on 199 targets). Four WRs have over 100 yards receiving against Cleveland (JuJu Smith-Schuster – 5/119, Amari Cooper – 8/128/1, Tyrell Williams – 3/118/2, and Mike Evans – 7/107). Rookie CB Denzel Ward has the speed to match Hill while showing growth as the season moves on, but one missed tackle could lead to a long scoring play. Tyreek can’t match the elite WRs in the NFL in targets (8.1 per game) while remaining an explosive option with the ball in his hands. Torn.
Julio Jones (DK – $7,900/FD – $8,500): Jones has over 100 yards receiving in three of his last four games (9/173, 10/144, and 9/104) while averaging 12.7 targets in those games. Julio doesn’t have a TD through eight games with his only other game of value coming in Week 1 (10/169). He’s on pace for 121 catches for 1,856 yards on 185 targets, which is his best opportunity since 2015 (136/1871/8 on 203 targets). The Redskins are 8th in the NFL vs. QBs (93/1252/8 on 136 targets) with two WRs gaining over 100 yards (Tre’Quan Smith – 3/111/2 and Odell Beckham – 8/136). Jones will get his catches and targets, but big plays and TDs may be a problem on the road. Remember, Atlanta padded some of their passing stats by playing five of seven games at home.
Keenan Allen (DK – $7,300/FD – $7,400): With the Chargers relying heavily on their RBs over the first seven games, Allen failed to perform up to his expected value in 2018. His only game of value came in Week 1 (8/108/1). Keenan doesn’t have a TD in his last six games. He’s on pace for 94 catches for 1,157 yards and two TDs on 128 targets. Seattle moved to 12th in WR Fantasy defense (94/1041/8 on 142 targets. The Seahawks struggled in two games against WRs (DEN – 18/243/2 and LAR – 14/235/1). Two WRs have over 100 yards receiving against Seattle (Emmanuel Sanders – 10/135/1 and Marvin Jones – 7/117/2). Allen will have an edge in this matchup while being under-owned due to his path in 2018. Keenan tends to a better play at home, so I’ll wait another week to see an impact game.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (DK – $7,300/FD – $7,200): Smith-Schuster struggled to make plays in three of his last four games (4/60, 4/34/1, and 4/33) while plays at a high level in every other game (5/119, 13/121/1, 9/116, and 7/111). JuJu averages 9.9 targets per game while being on a path for 105 catches for 1,358 yards and four TDs. Smith-Schuster had four catches for 60 yards vs. the Ravens in Week 4. CB Tavon Young looks to a weak link in the Baltimore’s secondary giving JuJu a chance to post a more productive game. Smith-Schuster seems overpriced for his matchup even with a rebound in chances expected.
Robert Woods (DK – $7,000/FD – $7,600): After eight weeks, Woods is the 14th highest scoring WR with one impact game (10/104/2). Robert is on pace for 92 catches for 1,344 yards and six TDs on 130 targets. New Orleans allows the most Fantasy points to WRs (115/1630/13 on 157 targets) with three disaster games (TB – 18/361/4, ATL – 17/285/4, and MIN – 21/246/2). Eli Apple is a league average CB who will help New Orleans, but he tends to hold. The Rams will get Woods the ball, but his targets won’t be elite with Cooper Kupp back in the starting lineup. Too rich for me at his salary.
Jarvis Landry (DK – $6,500/FD – $6,600): After eight games, Landry is the 20th ranked WR while being on pace for 98 catches for 1,056 yards and four TDs on a career-high 188 targets. Jarvis has fade in his catch rate (52.1) while gaining only 10.8 yards per catch. His salary appears to over his output at DraftKings. Landry has three games of value (7/106, 8/103, and 10/97/1). The Chiefs climbed to 20th in WR defense (114/1444/7 on 198 targets) while playing better defending WRs in five of their last six games (8/92/1, 12/120, 14/187/1, 14/173, and 11/189/1). CB Kendell Fuller will allow a high completion rate with some failure in big plays and TDs. Landry should get double-digit targets in this chaser, but he needs a TD to reach a playable number.
Emmanuel Sanders (DK – $6,400/FD – $7,100): Sanders played well over the first eight games (50/660/3) with three strong games (10/135/1, 7/115/1, and 6/102/1). He averages 8.1 targets per game with a career-high 10.2 yards per target. With Demaryius Thomas traded, Emmanuel can’t help but be the number one target in the Broncos’ passing game. Houston is 13th in the NFL defending WRs (107/1286/6 on 171 targets) with one disaster game (IND – 25/344/1). CB Tyrann Mathieu will allow short yards per catch with some mistakes in TDs. Mixed emotions here.
John Brown (DK – $5,800/FD – $6,400): Brown struggled to find open field last week against the Panthers (3/28 on seven targets). After eight games, he has two impact games (3/116/1 and 7/134/1) with the first coming against the Steelers. John averages 7.6 targets per game with four TDs. Pittsburgh ranks 26th in the NFL defending WRs (100/1356/11 on 166 targets). The Steelers struggled against WRs in two games (TB – 17/278/2 and BAL – 14/234/1). In their first matchup with Pittsburgh, Brown was close to hitting on multiple long plays. A tricky player as he does have boom or bust value.
Calvin Ridley (DK – $5,700/FD – $6,500): Despite a zero score in Week 1, Ridley is the 17th highest scoring WR in PPR leagues highlighted by his three-game run (4/64/1, 7/146/3, and 4/54/2) at home earlier in the year. Over his last three games, Calvin delivered three short games (4/38, 3/47, and 5/43) as the WR3 for the Falcons. Ridley averaged 5.5 targets over his last six games. He tends to line up on CB Josh Norman’s side of the field on most plays. Mohammed Sanu may miss this week’s game with a hip issue. The Redskins will like to neutralize Julio Jones, but Norman tends to stay on one side of the field. Not ideal due to low targets, but he may surprise as the WR2 for the Falcons.
Kenny Golladay (DK – $5,500/FD – $6,200): Golladay was projected high in each of his last two games, but he failed miserably (2/37 and 1/12) while receiving only three combined targets. Over his first five games, Kenny scored three TDs with two games of value (7/114 and 6/89/1) while averaging 8.1 targets. With Golden Tate shipped out of town, the Lions will have no choice but to get Golladay more involved in the passing game. The Vikings rank third in the NFL defending WRs (89/1170/6 on 143 targets) with three WRs gaining over 100 yards (Cooper Kupp – 9/162/2, Brandon Cooks – 7/116/1, and Robert Woods – 5/101/1). I expect more, and his targets should be much improved in a chaser game. Explosive player who just needs more chances to prove his worth.
Marvin Jones (DK – $5,300/FD – $6,500): Jones went from 2018 bum to Week 8 hero after posting an electric game (7/117/2) while sitting on the bench for many Fantasy owners. His success now puts him on pace for 59 catches for 884 yards and 11 TDs, which is still behind his 2017 season (61/1101/9). Last year he had one impact game (6/109/2) against the Vikings at home. Minnesota should try to match speed for speed this week leading to Marvin drawing CB Trae Waynes in coverage. Over the first seven games, Jones averaged 6.7 targets per game. Between him and Kenny Golladay, they will pick up a big portion of Golden Tate’s 9.9 targets per game. Homerun hitter with scoring ability. The Lions should need to chase on the scoreboard helping his floor and ceiling.
Tyler Lockett (DK – $5,200/FD – $6,700): Lockett has a TD in six of his seven games, but he only has ten combined targets over his last three games. On the year, Tyler averages only 4.7 targets per game with short production in catches and yards in his last two games (3/13 and 2/34). Casey Hayward was one of the better CBs in the league in 2017 with some struggles so far this year. His path points to a TD with only mid-teen upside unless he returns a kick.
DeSean Jackson (DK – $5,000/FD – $6,600): Jackson hit on another long TD (60 yards) last week leading to a mid-teen game (3/68/1). DeSean is on pace for 59 catches for 1,358 yards and nine TDs on 98 targets while receiving WR4 snaps for Tampa. The Panthers lacks depth at the CB position, but they do limit the damage in TDs at the WR position. Big play WR whose done the best damage with Ryan Fitzpatrick behind center.
Sammy Watkins (DK – $4,900/FD – $6,700): Last week Watkins regained that special player feel, which led to his best game (8/107/2) of the year. His other two games of value came in Week 2 (6/100) and Week 3 (5/55/1). In his seven full games played, Sammy has 34 catches for 453 yards and three TDs while averaging seven targets per game. The Browns have risk at CB2 and CB3 pointing to Watkins possible having follow through while Tyreek Hill may work as a decoy due to his hamstring issue.
Michael Crabtree (DK – $4,800/FD – $6,300): Crabtree has two TDs in eight games while failing to gain over 100 yards in any game. Michael averages 8.6 targets per game. He came up short in Week 4 vs. the Steelers (3/29 on eight targets). CB Cody Sensabaugh isn’t an edge at CB, but he does try to hold on many plays. If Pittsburgh scores the solve the Ravens’ defense, Crabtree could be active in the passing game. More of a turtle than an impact player.
Danny Amendola (DK – $4,700/FD – $5,400): Amendola has been steady in his last three games (8/59, 6/84/1, and 5/43 with a passing TD) while averaging eight targets per game over this span. Danny has WR1 snaps for the Dolphins over each of the last three games. The Jets are 27th against WRs (128/1535/10 on 211 targets) with four teams gaining over 200 passing yards (DET – 19/253/1, JAC – 17/260/1, DEN – 20/245/2, and MIN – 22/221/2). Possession type WR with a rising opportunity due to injuries at WR for Miami.
DeVante Parker (DK – $4,600/FD – $5,800): Parker looked the WR1 part last week vs. the Bengals leading to six catches for 134 yards on nine targets. Brock Osweiler missed him on a wide open 60-yard TD as well. Devante was on the field for every play for Miami last week, which is a good sign for his value and opportunity going forward. CB Morris Claiborne is a neutral CB while done a good job limiting opponents catch rate. Worth a flier with the Dolphins having some injuries at WR.
Chris Godwin (DK – $4,400/FD – $5,900): Godwin struggled last week (2/32 on seven targets). Chris continues to get WR3 snaps for the Bucs while they work in four WRs. Godwin has four TDs with mid-teen value in four games (3/41/1, 5/56/1, 5/74/1, and 6/56/1). A decent complementary piece to a Carolina/Tampa game stack.
Tre’Quan Smith (DK – $4,200/FD – $5,100): Over the last three games with starting snaps for the Saints, Smith had nine catches for 173 yards and two TDs on 13 targets. Most of his success came in his home game (3/111/2). CB Troy Hill will give up big plays, which fits into Tre’Quan skill set. I expect better at home while his opportunity for targets remains a huge question make from week-to-week.
Courtland Sutton (DK – $4,200/FD – $5,500): Sutton is going to be an attractive low-end WR this week after being awarded the WR2 job for the Broncos after Demaryius Thomas was traded to the Texans. Over eight games as the WR3 for Denver, Courtland caught only 17 of his 37 targets for 324 yards and two TDs. Big play WR with scoring ability, but the Broncos need to get him into more favorable situations to catch the ball. Not quite a lock at this level for the daily games.
Anthony White (DK – $3,700/FD – $5,400): Over six games played in 2018 with short snaps, Miller has three TDs while averaging only 5.8 targets per game. He has a short catch rate (48.3) while coming off his best game (3/37/1) of his young career. With Allen Robinson out last week, Anthony had WR2 snaps for the Bears. Miller lines up in the slot on most plays, which will keep him away from the Bills’ top CB Tre’Davious White. Buffalo will struggle to score points, which will keep Miller’s targets short again this week. More of a play in the season-long games than a daily home run.