2014 Fantasy Football Daily Fix: Week 16 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.
Antonio Brown – KC @ PIT ($8,800)
Death, taxes and 20+ DraftKings points for Antonio Brown. These things I know to be true. There’s almost nothing else to say here about Antonio Brown. He’s the best way to start any cash game lineup because he doesn’t need to catch a touchdown to return value. He’s matchup proof, having caught eight or more balls in seven straight games. Get some exposure this week to the best full point PPR receiver in the game.
Calvin Johnson – DET @ CHI ($8,700)
This is a great chance to capitalize on a discounted Calvin Johnson this week against a Bears team that’s just…they’re bad. Matthew ‘Meatsweats’ Stafford wasn’t sharp last week, but the Bears are a sight for sore eyes. Megatron exploited this Bears secondary on Thanksgiving Day, to the tune of 40.6 DK points. He costs $700 less than he did last week, and this is a game that the Lions need. Look for Calvin to go off against the Bears and their 29th-ranked coverage unit according to Pro Football Focus.
Other Options: These are the top pass catchers in the league so they’re all worth consideration, but I don’t anticipate owning Dez Bryant ($8,600) this week. A combination of recency bias and Vontae Davis makes ‘X’ a stay-away for me. This is a great bounce back spot for Jordy Nelson ($7,700) and Aaron Rodgers. Coming off a tough loss, the Buccaneers offer little resistance defensively, especially in the back half. We’re still in a holding pattern on Julio Jones ($7,700), but if he’s a go he’s worth a look against the Saints.
Jeremy Maclin– PHI @ WAS ($6,500)
There’s nothing like a legit WR1 who’s facing the Redskins. This week, it’s Jeremy Maclin’s turn to run wild against the league’s worst coverage unit. Maclin is likely to see a lot of Bashaud Breeland, who was embarrassed by Odell Beckham Jr. on Sunday. As is typically the case, Jordan Matthews ($5,100) is intriguing as well, but Maclin is safer and presents just as much, if not more upside.
Vincent Jackson – GB @ TB ($5,600)
No, I didn’t misspell Mike Evans ($6,700). I like Evans in this spot as well, but I’ll be targeting Jackson at this price. The presumed game script sets up nicely for the Bucs passing game, and the Packers aren’t a team we should fear defensively. With Josh McCown back in the starting lineup, Jackson has been the target of 40.9% of McCown’s passes over the past two weeks. 40.9%! That’s more than Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr. and Demaryius Thomas. Sure, that’s an itty bitty sample size, but this is a bet on positive touchdown regression.
Other Options: We can play off of recency bias again because I can’t imagine Josh Gordon ($6,400) will have very high ownership numbers this week after a certain rookie quarterback shat down his leg on Sunday. He faces the Panthers who’ve been burned regularly by WR1’s this season. I want to like DeAndre Hopkins ($6,300) at that price. Add to the fact that he gets the Ravens secondary and he’s extremely appealing, but who’s throwing him the ball? Is Andre Johnson back? Watch this situation as the week unfolds. The revenge narrative, if you’re into that sort of thing, is taking place in Washington again with DeSean Jackson ($5,500) and the Eagles. My interest is piqued here because of the likely matchup against Bradley Fletcher (96th of 110 in coverage at PFF) more so than the revenge factor.
Jarvis Landry– MIN @ MIA ($5,300)
Landry can play. I know, that’s neither a hot take nor sound analysis but it sums him up nicely. He’s not asked to stretch the field in the current state of Miami’s offense, but he’s doing what’s asked of him and doing it well. A possession receiver with the skills to turn a five yard catch into a big play, Landry is an incredibly safe cash game play at this price. His teammate, Mike Wallace ($5,200) is a great value as well, but seems more fit for GPP’s.
Steve Smith Sr.– BAL @ HOU ($4,100)
Targeting top receivers when they’re facing Houston has been a sound strategy this season, and that’s the play here. The early season exploits of Smith are a distant memory by now, and that’s evident when you look at Smith’s price tag. He’s less expensive than Devin Hester this week. Don’t look now but Joe Flacco is playing good football. Early rankings at FantasyPros has Steve Smith just inside the top-30 this week, yet he’s priced as the 47th best wide receiver according to DraftKings.
Dwayne Bowe – KC @ PIT ($3,200)
This is another bet on positive touchdown regression. As it’s been widely noted, the Kansas City Chiefs wide receivers have yet to find the end zone via the air this year, something that’s truly hard to wrap my brain around. The Steelers can hang with anyone offensively, but their secondary is terrible. It’s more terrible than the Chiefs passing game and that’s a strong statement. The Steelers offense will force the Chiefs to open things up a bit to keep up, so look for the ominous streak to come to an end this weekend.