2015 Daily Fantasy Football Strategy: Week 8 Wide Receivers
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 by Brett on Thursday or Friday. Any questions? Find me on Twitter, @RyNoonan. We’ve has some very intriguing options this week, with some of the game’s best in great spots to produce.
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. TB ($9,200)
We’re in a very similar predicament as we were in Week 7 where we have Julio Jones in a tasty matchup, yet he’s priced $500 more than the target-machine that is DeAndre Hopkins. I’ll likely play it the same way as I did last week, rostering Julio in all of my tournament lineups and limiting my Hopkins exposure to cash games. Jones finally appears to be 100% healthy, and he’s facing a Tampa secondary that’s ranked 29th against the pass and dead-last against WR1’s according to Pro Football Outsiders’ defensive-adjusted value over average (DVOA) metric. This is a great spot to spend up while being slightly contrarian in tournaments.
Antonio Brown – PIT vs. CIN ($7,800)
This all hinges on the status of Ben Roethlisberger, but if he’s good to go on Sunday then I’ll want a bunch of Antonio Brown. The last time that Ben was under center Bryant was $9,200, so we’re able to roster him at a huge discount solely because Mike Vick and Landry Jones have been at quarterback for the Steelers over the past month. He’s the #1 cash game wide receiver this week if Roethlisberger suits up.
DeAndre Hopkins – HOU vs. TEN ($8,700)
The loss of Arian Foster will impact DeAndre Hopkins, but I’m not quite sure yet if the overall impact will be negative or positive. No Foster means that Hopkins will get more attention from the defense, but that didn’t seem to slow him down during the first few games while Foster was dealing with his groin injury. I do think this negatively impacts the Texans implied team totals though, making it less likely for them to score 20+ points per game, but Hopkins can still put up great numbers despite a bit less touchdown upside moving forward. The Titans might be without the majority of their secondary in this one, as Michael Griffin, Perrish Cox, and Jason McCourty are all battling injuries this week.
Keenan Allen – SD @ BAL ($7,700)
DeAndre Hopkins and Julio Jones lead the league in targets, but Keenan Allen leads the league in catches due in part to his 77% catch rate. He’s the focal point of the highest volume passing game in the league, and he’s facing a Ravens team that’s 25th in pass DVOA heading in to this weekend’s contest. The Chargers are also 4-point underdogs here and have had all sorts of issues running the ball, so look for Rivers streak of 50+ pass attempts to continue here. According to Mike Clay of Pro Football Focus, Rivers is averaging 52.5 attempts over his past four games, 11 more than the next quarterback (Drew Brees) over that same time frame. If Antonio Gates sits out again, I’ll want Allen in my lineups.
A.J. Green–CIN @ PIT ($7,600)
It’s a great week for expensive receivers, clearly. A.J. Green feels like the forgotten man when you think about the top tier wideouts, and that’s a mistake. His 8.3 targets per game is a solid number for a player with a 12.5 aDOT (average depth of target) and the fact that Cincinnati has a multitude of weapons makes it more difficult for the defense to game plan for Green. The Steelers secondary is going to have their hands full with Cincinnati’s passing attack, and with Antonio Brown and Keenan Allen in the same pricing tier, I think you can get A.J. Green at suppressed ownership levels here.
Mike Evans–TB @ ATL ($6,800)
We’ve all been waiting for Mike Evans to have a game, and that finally happened last week in Washington. He’s in another favorable spot this week, on the road as a 6-point underdog against the Falcons. Atlanta’s pass defense is a mid-pack unit statistically and they don’t use their top corner, Desmond Trufant, to shadow their opponent’s top option. That bodes well for Evans, who’ll be moved around a lot this week with both Vincent Jackson and Louis Murphy likely out due to injury. If you’re using Evans this week it’s not a matter of chasing points as much as chasing targets (12 last week) and chasing touchdown upside.
Alshon Jeffery–CHI vs. MIN ($6,400)
My hope is that ‘out of sight, out of mind’ comes in to play with Alshon Jeffery this week. The Bears are coming off of a much needed bye week, which gave Alshon Jeffery some time to rest his legs and come out fresh in the second half of the season. Prior to the by week, Jeffery looked healthy as he hauled in eight of his 11 targets for 147 yards and a score against Detroit. A healthy Jeffery with 11 targets per game would be a $7,500 wide receiver if he had been healthy earlier this season. I’m looking to take full advantage of his depressed price until it’s corrected.
Eric Decker – NYJ @ OAK ($5,300)
I like Eric Decker‘s teammate Brandon Marshall ($7,600) too, but I don’t think he’s $2,300 better than Decker. That makes choosing a Jets wide receiver a pretty easy choice in my opinion. The added perk for Decker is his matchup in the slot against Raiders corner D.J. Hayden. Decker will see a lot of Hayden when he lines up in the slot, and Decker’s size and athleticism will be an issue for Hayden. We’ll need to track Decker’s status this week as he’s dealing with knee soreness, but he missed practice time last week for the same reason and then went out and played in 94% of the snaps against New England on Sunday.
Stefon Diggs – MIN @ CHI ($4,800)
I’d be careful with Stefon Diggs in tournaments because I think he’ll be very popular. That’s not always a bad thing but I think Diggs has a lower floor than we think. He did play 81% of the snaps last week, and led the Vikings with nine targets, but the Vikings are a low volume passing offense and 11 Vikings (ELEVEN) caught a pass last week. I believe that Diggs can continue his recent output, mostly because the matchup against Tracy Porter and the Bears’ secondary is a good one, but I won’t be going all-in.
Martavis Bryant–PIT vs. CIN ($5,300)
If you want exposure to the Steelers passing game I think Martavis Bryant is a great way to get it. Just like Antonio Brown, he’s severely under-priced because of who his quarterbacks have been. I really like Bryant because he’s being used differently than he was last season. Last year Bryant was converting a crazy-high amount of his limited targets in to big plays, rarely seeing more than 50% of the snaps in a given start. This season he’s seeing more than 70% of the snaps and has been targeted eight times in each game so far. His big play ability is only heightened if Roethlisberger is back.
Stevie Johnson – SD @ BAL ($3,200)
Stevie Johnson is a great play this week if Antonio Gates sits out again. He’s near min-sal and faces a Ravens team that is very vulnerable to the pass, as noted above in Keenan Allen‘s blurb. I think Stevie is viable regardless of Gates status, but obviously no Gates means there’s one less mouth to feed.