2015 Daily Fantasy Football Strategy: Week 5 Wide Recievers
Welcome to Wide Receiver Wednesday at the Daily Fix! Each Wednesday of the NFL regular season I’ll 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. Hit me up on Twitter, @RyNoonan.
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. We won’t get too legalistic on the tiers. The goal is to highlight players in each pricing tier, highlighting the plays and matchups in each spot.
Your WR1 and WR2’s are no-brainer starts in your normal season-long 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. When applicable, I’ll note if the player is more of a cash game play versus a tournament option. Cash games (where roughly 40-50% of the player pool wins money) and the players that you want to use in those contests can vary drastically from a tournament option (tournaments or GPP’s where 10-15% of the pool wins money).
Scoring and other settings can be found here.
Julio Jones – ATL vs. WAS ($9,200)
We’re coming off of a rare low production game from Julio Jones, but I don’t think we’ll see a repeat of the ground attack that propelled the Falcons to victory in Week 4. The Redskins are one of the league’s better run defenses, making it likely that the Falcons will need to funnel their offense to the passing game. Enter Julio. The combination of Chris Culliver and Bashaud Breeland stands no chance in slowing down the league’s most dynamic wideout.
Demaryius Thomas – DEN @ OAK ($8,100)
Demaryius Thomas has double digit targets in every game this season, and that trend should continue against the Raiders and their 26th ranked pass defense (DVOA). The Raiders have been surprisingly competent in defending the run this season, making it likely that the Broncos lean heavily on their passing game to pull away. Getting one of the game’s best for $1,100 less than the most expensive option at the position is something that shouldn’t be ignored.
Odell Beckham Jr. – NYG vs. SF ($9,000)
Out of all the top end wide receivers I think Odell Beckham Jr. will have the lowest ownership totals, making him a strong tournament play. The matchup against the 49ers is outstanding as San Fran has struggled mightily against WR1’s this season. They’re ranked 28th in DVOA against their opponent’s top option and OBJ should convert his 10-12 targets into a 20+ point fantasy day.
The one upper echelon wide receiver that I’m stay away from this week is DeAndre Hopkins ($7,400). His 61 targets are leading the league, but he’s often victimized by bad QB play and has been dependant on garbage time to rack up his stats. He’s caught just 31 of those 61 targets, and that’ll be even more challenging against one of the league’s best cover corners, Vontae Davis. Add to the fact that this game is on Thursday night, and it’s an easy fade.
I have to acknowledge Antonio Brown ($7,800), but it’s difficult to roster him with Mike Vick under center. The matchup against the porous Chargers defense is excellent, but I expect the Steelers to ride Le’Veon Bell in this one.
Keenan Allen –SD vs. PIT ($7,200)
Attack bad players with good players. I’m not reinventing the wheel here, but I think it’s important to not get too cute with Fancy Lineup Syndrome. The Chargers wide receivers are beat up, with both Malcolm Floyd and Stevie Johnson questionable for this one, and target monster Keenan Allen should eat. They’ll move him all over so he’ll see an equal share of Antwon Blake and William Gay, both who’ll offer little resistance to what Allen and the Chargers want to do offensively.
Julian Edelman – NE @ DAL ($7,000)
With the highest implied total on the slate (28.75) you’ll want to have some exposure to the Patriots. Julian Edelman is second in the league in targets per game at 14, and he’s PPR gold at $7,000. New England moves Edelman all over, rarely giving the defense the same look, but Edelman will be in the slot enough to give Tyler Patmon (-5 coverage grade according to PFF) nightmares. Of all New England’s playmaking options, I think Edelman has the highest floor.
Larry Fitzgerald – AZ @ DET ($6,800)
Larry Fitzgerald continues to see his price climb week after week, but he’s also earning it with outstanding play. This week will be no different. The 6’3” Fitz does most of his work (67%) out of the slot in three wide sets, and the Lions use 5’9” Josh Wilson there. Not only is the size difference and issue, but Wilson’s coverage grade so far this season is -5, one of the worst in the league. He’s getting expensive but he’s worth it.
Rostering an underperforming stud, or in this case injured stud, when their price is depressed is a solid way to get under owned value. I’d like to see some positive practice reports before using Alshon Jeffery ($6,100) but the price and expected game script are both extremely favorable. Kansas City’s secondary is improved with the return of Sean Smith, but they aren’t world beaters.
T.Y. Hilton ($6,800) owning the Texans is the football equivalent of BvP in baseball. I’m not sure it’s actionable data, but it is what it is. With Andrew Luck back this week Hilton’s prospects have improved, but I’m worried about Luck’s ability to throw the deep ball time and again to connect with what Hilton does best. After getting targeting 14 times last week, it’s safe to assume he’s nearing 100% health wise.
Jeremy Maclin – K.C. vs. CHI ($6,000)
I like what we’ve seen from Kansas City’s offense of late, utilizing Jeremy Maclin more (24 targets the past 2 weeks) and moving him around to get him in situations that he’ll win. He’s on the outside on 78% of his snaps so far, flipping from side to side, but that’ll mean he’ll see both Alan Ball (-2) and Kyle Fuller (-4) often on Sunday. Vegas has installed the Chiefs as 9.5-point favorites, but I’m of the mindset that Maclin will be a key cog in getting them a lead.
Jordan Matthews – PHI vs. NO ($6,400)
Through the first 4 games of the season the Saints have the league’s worst pass defense according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. That’s good news for the Eagles and their passing game this week, bring Jordan Matthews back in to the discussion this week. The second-year wideout works exclusively out of the slot, and his big 6’4” frame is often a mismatch for team’s smaller slot corners. The Saints typically use Damian Swann in the slot, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them try and match JMatt’s size with Brandon Browner. The move south has been terrible for Browner so far, as the penalties have continued and his -10 (!) coverage grade sticks out like a sore thumb.
Jacksonville has been really stout against the run (4th in DVOA) but they’ve continued to struggle against the pass (25th). Even though we saw Vincent Jackson ($5,000) targeted 15 times last week, a healthy Mike Evans ($6,100) is this team’s best weapon. He’s severely under priced given his talent level and his 9.3 targets per game are still outpacing his Vincent Jackson’s 8.8.
Buffalo’s pass defense is strong on the outside, but they’ve been beat by strong slot receivers this season. Nickell Robey works the slot and will have his hands full with Kendall Wright ($5,400).
Jamison Crowder – WAS @ ATL ($3,500)
Injuries have given Jamison Crowder a chance to prove himself, and he’s taking advantage. He’s working out of the slot, and the diminutive Duke rookie is seeing his snaps and targets rise each week. He’s in a strong spot to continue that trend this week as the Redskins are sizable road favorites and will need to continue to be a high volume passing offense to keep up here. Phillip Adams (-2) shouldn’t offer much resistance covering the slot.
Willie Snead – NO @ PHI ($3,000)
Willie Snead has slowly solidified himself as the #2 pass catcher in the Saints offense, and he’s been consistently outperforming the team’s top option Brandin Cooks. Snead’s snaps have gone from the low 20% range up to 61% last week, the inverse of supposed #2 Brandon Coleman’s. He’s been extremely efficient too, catching 80% of his targets while averaging 0.46 points per opportunity. We’ll benefit from Week 5’s prices being set before Snead’s strong Sunday night performance against the Cowboys, and he’s nearly a must-play playing up in pace against the Eagles.