2014 Fantasy Football Daily Fix: Week 12 Wide Receivers
Welcome to Wide Receiver Wednesday at the Daily Fix! Each Wednesday of the NFL regular season @RyNoonan will provide you with several receiving options that are strong plays that week at DraftKings. Monday through Friday the Fix writers will provide you with a Daily Fix that covers each position, with a weekly roundup on Friday.
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The Wide Receiver position is loaded with options in this new, ever-prolific passing era of the NFL, so options abound. I’ll break it up into tiers, essentially, WR1’s, 2’s, 3’s and FLEX/deep options.
Your WR1 and WR2’s are no-brainer starts in your normal fantasy leagues. I’ll highlight them if they have an exceptional matchup or price. We’re likely going to find some inexpensive plays here week in a week out as well, due to the depth at the position. We’ll need to dig a little deeper as we’re entering bye weeks, but I hope to continue picking winners for you.
Scoring and other settings can be found here.
For reference, you’ll continue to see me use both aFPA (Schedule-Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed) from 4for4.com and DVOA (Defensive-Adjusted Value Over Average) from FootballOutsiders.com. These stats become more reliable each week as have real data points to reference instead of only a hybrid of data mixed with pre-season expectations.
Jordy Nelson – GB @ MIN ($8,300)
After multiple weeks of fairly soft pricing, DraftKings has tightened things up. Despite his recent/season-long tear, this is the first time in a month that Nelson’s price has been north of $8k. If you’ve been stacking Rodgers/Jordy lately, you’ve probably cashed quite a few lineups, and unless that was your plan again I’d probably stay away from the top-dollar wideouts this week. If you aren’t using DeMarco Murray in a lineup, I could see the appeal of Dez Bryant ($8,100) against a the Giants. They’re just so bad against the run though, I think Murray is the play of the week.
T.Y. Hilton – JAX @ IND ($7,600)
Again, I think T.Y. Hilton is appropriately priced here this week. He’s in a prime spot, coming off of his weekend on Revis Island where he turned in a 3/24/0 on 7 targets, easily his worst output of the season. He faces a Jaguars team that’s middle of the pack statistically against the pass. They’re 16th in DVOA and 15th in aFPA to wide receivers (full point ppr). With that said, Jacksonville has struggled against #1’s, where their DVOA is 30th in the league. Andrew Luck threw for 370 yards and four scores during their Week 3 contest against Jacksonville. Rather than rely on Trent Richardson, I expect we’ll see Luck dropping back early and often here.
This duo will exploit Tampa Bay’s back half in a way that the Redskins couldn’t last week. I list them both because they’re so similar in price and situation. I prefer Marshall but will likely have exposure to both come Sunday as Tampa Bay’s pass defense ranks 31st overall in DVOA, and they struggle against both #1’s (32nd) and #2’s (30th). I’ll be looking to stack Jay Cutler with one of these players in a few places.
Josh Gordon – CLE @ ATL ($6,300)
I’ll lose my fantasy pundit punch card if I write a wide receiver post this week that doesn’t include Josh Gordon. Without adding to the noise, here’s my take on him this week for daily purposes: why not?
I’ll have limited exposure to him this week, but I think the price is such that it’s silly to blindly avoid him. He’d only need to produce 16 fantasy points to return value here, and he’s facing the league’s worst pass defense in Atlanta. After returning from his season-opening two game suspension last season, Gordon went off for 11/146/1 on 19 targets (37.6 points on DraftKings). I think you’re more likely to be mad that you didn’t roster him than mad that you did.
Other Options: The Patriots will throw early and often against the Lions and their league leading run defense, making both Julian Edelman ($6,000) and Brandon LaFell ($5,700) appealing this week. If you aren’t using Gronk in your TE slot, then it makes sense to get a piece of the New England receivers. Sammy Watkins ($5,600) is legit and faces a Jets secondary that he torched a few weeks ago. Jordan Matthews ($5,500) saw a significant price jump this week, but his volume is up with Sanchez under center, and he’s likely to see lots of Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Tennessee’s corner who grades as the 3rd worst corner in the league according to PFF.
Cecil Shorts III– JAX @ IND ($5,400)
There may not be a safer cash game play this week than Shorts. The upside isn’t incredibly high due to the lack of end zone targets, but the volume is real and he should see an uptick with the injury to Allen Robinson. Colts corner Vonte Davis is a top end corner no matter what metric you use, but it’s unlikely that he’ll chase Shorts all over the field. Don’t let Davis scare you away.
Percy Harvin – NYJ @ BUF ($4,700)
I had Percy Harvin in this spot back in Week 10. What I said then still applies:
Situation matters when evaluating players and now that Percy Harvin’s situation has changed I have to change how I’m evaluating him. The Jets clearly want to use their new weapon and are doing so quite differently than the Seahawks were. Harvin’s size and skill set will never lend themselves to being an elite downfield threat, but don’t look now. The sheer volume of targets alone would make me bump up Harvin in New York, but so far through two games Harvin has an average depth of target (aDOT) of 9.9. That’s nearly three times of what it was in Seattle, where is aDOT was 3.4. That’ significant, and shouldn’t be ignored.
After the Steelers game his aDOT sits a 9.7, which is still a noteworthy increase from what we saw earlier in the season. Game script went quite differently than anticipated against the Steelers, and that sets Harvin up quite well here for $4,700. The Jets will need to pass if they’re going to move the football on Buffalo, making Eric Decker ($4,600) intriguing as well.
Other Options: I like what I saw from Keenan Allen ($4,900) last week. He’s seen 25% of the targets in San Diego, good for 12th in the league, and his value is being kept down due to his lack of touchdowns. I’ll bet on some positive regression here against the Rams and their 30th ranked pass defense. It has been a tale of two halfs to this point for Steve Smith Sr. ($4,800). This represents his lowest price since Week 3, and the Saints defense is completely inept in every area.
Kenny Stills – BAL @ NO ($4,200)
Typically this section is comprised of options that are $3,500 or less, but with a plethora of mid level options this week, it pushes Stills down to the FLEX. Obviously with the news of Brandin Cooks season-ending injury, Stills is on the fantasy radar for the rest of the season. His snaps and targets have been on the rise, and the Cooks injury is likely to increase his catchable opportunities as well (Stills’ aDOT is 12.5, but that’s likely to drop with more targets).
Allen Hurns– JAX @ IND ($3,200)
If Cecil Shorts III is the cash game play, then Allen Hurns is clearly the GPP play. He’s not nearly as safe as Shorts, but his size and big play ability make him much more likely to end up in the end zone on Sunday, and clearly the anticipated game flow here is plus. If you’re punting at wide receiver or FLEX, make Hurns your guy.