2014 Fantasy Football Daily Fix: Week 14 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.
Calvin Johnson – TB @ DET ($9,500)
Whoa. That escalated quickly, huh? After going off the board for $7,000 last week, Calvin Johnson makes the leap to the top spot at the position this week after his Thanksgiving Day performance against the Chicago Bears. The matchup is even tastier this week against a Buccaneers secondary that grades out poorly against top wide receivers in every metric imaginable. I don’t anticipate using Megatron often due to his price point, but it’s not hard to envision him returning value in this contest.
Josh Gordon – CLE @ IND ($8,100)
This could go from a recommendation of Gordon to a must-play later in the week as we learn the fate of Colts corner Vontae Davis. Davis, a top-3 cornerback this season according to Pro Football Focus, suffered a concussion on Sunday during the Colts/Redskins contest. If he sits this out I’ll be all over Gordon in both GPP’s and cash games due to the high volume of targets he’ll receive (29 through two games). If it’s ‘Jonathan Football’ under center I like him even more, as he’s more likely to lock on to his first read.
Other Options: I mentioned his consistency here last week, and Demaryius Thomas ($8,800) delivered again on Sunday night. It wasn’t a high-end DT game, so he’s come down to a much more tolerable price point this week. Expect Denver to throw often instead of trying to crack the strong Bills run defense. I think we’ll see a lot of Rodgers/Jordy stacks this weekend, but for me the play is Randall Cobb ($7,400). Desmond Trufant has been one of the lone bright spots on the Falcons defense and he’ll has his hands full with Jordy Nelson on Monday night. Randall Cobb should be able to get open at will from the slot, and costs $700 less than his teammate.
Dez Bryant – DAL @ CHI ($7,100)
It’s rare to find a player of Dez Bryant’s caliber at a price this low, and that alone should lead to high ownership percentage for the Cowboys playmaker. After a solid start to the season, Bears rookie Kyle Fuller has fallen back down to earth quite a bit, and we saw that last week when facing Calvin Johnson. The 99th (out of 117) rated cornerback should have a difficult time slowing down Bryant on Thursday night.
Kenny Stills – CAR @ NO ($6,000)
I’m hoping that the recent surge in price will keep Kenny Stills ownership in check this week but I’m not sure it will. The recent performance paired with a juicy matchup against one of the leagues worst groups of corners is delicious. The loss of Brandin Cooks has shown us that Stills has the ability to run the entire route tree, and still mix in the deep ball that makes him so dangerous. Stills needs less than 20 points here to return value, and I like his chances to do just that in the divisional home game.
Other Options: The low average depth of target limits the upside of Jarvis Landry ($5,600), but his floor seems fairly safe here in a full PPR setting. It’s going to be difficult for most to roster a wide receiver against the Seattle defense, but that makes Jordan Matthews ($5,700) even more appealing in tournaments. Taking 93% of his snaps from the slot, Matthews will avoid Richard Sherman and is likely to see a lot of Jeremy Lane. That shouldn’t scare us away from a player that Sanchez clearly likes to get involved each week.
Charles Johnson– NYJ @ MIN ($4,300)
Charles Johnson became a sexy pick as the week went on last week, and he disappointed for the most part. I’m going back this week for a few reasons. For the second consecutive week, Johnson led Vikings receivers in snap percentage last week (98%), clearly taking over as the top option. The game script flipped last weekend after two early blocked punts, limiting Johnson’s opportunities. Despite the dumpster fire season for the Jets, they’re great against the run, meaning the Vikings will need to pass to win on Sunday. The good news for Johnson is that each Jets cornerback grades out negatively against the pass through 13 weeks, coming in at 23rd in DVOA as a team.
Other Options: Stedman Bailey ($4,300) was a lot more fun at minimum price last week, but he’s another guy that’s benefiting from unusual game flow circumstances last week. Thirty minutes into Sunday’s action, Bailey had already blown past expectations, catching five balls for 100 yards. This game continued to get uglier as the day went on, capping Bailey’s upside but I’m excited to go back to the well this weekend. Since Allen Robinson was lost for the year, Marqise Lee ($3,900) has really stepped up. He hauled in six of seven targets, while seeing 51 of 71 snaps, his highest totals since he was health back in Week 1. If I felt better about Cam Newton perhaps Philly Brown ($3,000) would be my lottery ticket this week but I don’t trust Cam. I’ll still mention Brown though because he’s an intriguing minimum priced option this week. After cutting ties with Jason Avant, the Ohio State rookie has an opportunity to step up and the Panthers are likely facing a come-from-behind game script early in this one, and the Saints defense ranks 27th against the pass.
Jermaine Kearse – SEA @ PHI ($3,400)
Since the trade of Percy Harvin, Jermaine Kearse and the Seahawks have faced some of the stingiest defenses in the league (last three: Kansas City, Arizona and San Francisco). That changes this weekend against the Eagles. The Eagles aren’t terrible against the pass, but the high volume of plays makes them one of the friendliest teams for opposing wide receivers. According to Mike Clay of PFF, Kearse has seen at least one quarter of the Seahawks targets in 3 of the past 4 weeks, and he’s likely to face Bradley Fletcher often. Fletcher struggles in coverage, ranking 104th out of 117 corners at PFF.