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.
Odell Beckham Jr. – NYG @ PHI ($8,900)
I’m not overly concerned with Odell Beckham Jr.’s hamstring right now, but obviously it’s something that we’ll need to keep an eye on as the week progresses. If he goes, I’m not sure there’s anything that Philadelphia can do to slow him down. The duo of Nolan Carroll and Byron Maxwell will have their hands full, and as a team the Eagles are ranked 28th in pass DVOA against WR1’s and overall are 31st in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to the wide receiver position. No other pass catcher has the upside that OBJ has this week.
DeAndre Hopkins – HOU @ JAX ($7,700)
I was off DeAndre Hopkins last week because I believed that Vontae Davis was healthy and likely to shadowed Hopkins all over the field. Neither of those things appeared to be true. Regardless of who’s under center for the Texans, Hopkins has been a target monster, raising his floor in a PPR scoring format like DraftKings. The Jaguars come in to play ranked 28th overall against the pass so far, with no real chance to slow down Nuke here.
It’s clear that Julio Jones ($9,200) enters play on Thursday night less than 100%. Last week he fought through the hamstring issue that has been plaguing him, but that ware and tear has clearly impacted his status for this quick turn around against NFC South foe New Orleans. The risk of aggravating the issue along with inflated Thursday night ownership makes this a rare week where it’s easy for me to fade Juilo.
I have to acknowledge Antonio Brown ($8,300) again but it’s difficult to roster him with Mike Vick under center. The good news is that he’s recent less than elite outputs are driving his price down, making him a must-play once Roethlisberger returns.
What do we make of Calvin Johnson ($7,300)? He’s clearly not the no-doubt best wideout in the game any longer, but he doesn’t have to be in order to be viable. The Bears do not have a strong secondary (24th in DVOA) and Johnson is coming off of a bad Week 5 performance that saw both Golden Tate and Lance Moore receiver a higher percent of Matt ‘Meat Sweats’ Stafford’s targets. That can’t continue, unless Detroit is trying to replicate it’s 0-16 season.
Julian Edelman – NE @ DAL ($7,600)
Based solely on price, Julian Edelman falls under my arbitrary line and in to WR2 territory, but there’s nothing about Edelman’s game that says he’s less than elite. His floor is perhaps the highest in the game. The way that he’s utilized in the best passing offense in the league allows him to pile up targets and catches each week, making him a must-start in cash games in my opinion. Let’s layer on the fact that the Colts are much improved against the run, yet are ranked 25th in pass DVOA so far this season. We also have a game that Tom Brady and company have to be looking forward to, and I can’t envision a scenerio where the Patriots take their foot off the gas in this one. Start some Pats and pray for the Colts.
Larry Fitzgerald – AZ @ PIT ($7,000)
Even last week when it appeared the game script was out of Larry Fitzgerald‘s favor in the first quarter, Fitz and Carson Palmer hooked up on a few big plays, including a score, and salvaged what could have been a quite day. This week Larry Fitzgerald returns home to take on William Gay and the Steelers. Fitz does most of his damage out of the slot, and you could say the same for Gay. He’s going to have his hands full in this one. Pittsburgh continues to be strong against the run, making them a great team for funnel offenses’ like Arizona.
Randall Cobb –GB vs. SD ($7,300)
When you consider the fact that Randall Cobb is the primary target in one of the leagues’ top passing attacks, he’ll always feel underpriced at $7,300. His work out of the slot and in the short passing game raises his PPR floor, but I think I’d rather spend up to get Edelman or drop down a bit and grab Fitzgerald this week. First is the expected second half game script as the Packers are 10-point favorites at home against the Chargers. Also, the Chargers have been decent against the pass, and slot corner Patrick Robinson has been one of the bright spots on San Diego’s defense this season.
Another top receiving option taking the field in Green Bay this weekend is Keenan Allen ($7,600). Allen’s appeal last week was driven by injuries to other Chargers’ receivers, but I underestimated the impact that a svelte Antonio Gates would have. In the red zone esspecially, Gates was the first read for Phillip Rivers and that should limit the top shelf upside that Allen has moving forward. Green Bay has been excellent against the pass so far, as well.
Allen Robinson – JAX vs. HOU ($5,900)
This feels a lot like last week. Allen Robinson is just too talented to be under $6,000. He’ll continue to be a viable option every week if he’s in this price range, but he’ll likely grow out of it with his continued spike in production. Outside of his matchup against Josh Norman (CAR) and Vontae Davis (IND), Robinson has produced like a WR1. The Jaguars move him all over and he’ll be able to exploit Houston’s 27th rank pass defense.
Jarvis Landry– MIA @ TEN ($6,200)
Notice a trend? Almost all of these receivers are high volume target receivers, particularly designed to be used in cash games. Don’t overthink things and avoid these guys in tournaments, but one of my favorite writers Johnathan Bales mentioned recently that there’s a ton of value in high variance big-play wide receivers that have their viability tied to touchdowns, events that are fragile and difficult to predict. In cash games, we want predictability and a bit more safety. Landry is safe, with a 5.5 average depth of target, but he’s seeing more red zone targets this season (4) than he did all last year (2). There’s more upside here than he’s given credit for.
Washington is another funnel style defense, one that’s strong against the run but susceptible to being picked apart in the air. That sets up well for both of the Jets top pass catchers, Brandon Marshall ($7,100) and Eric Decker ($4,900). The clear value here is with slot man Decker, who’s had an extra week to get his legs under him after getting hurt in the Monday night game against the Colts. He’s a proven red zone machine, and his 6’4″ frame will be an issue for 5’10” Kyshoen Jarrett. I like them both, but give me Decker and the extra $2,200.
Willie Snead – NO vs. ATL ($3,300)
Willie Snead is the real deal and the definition of a must-play this week in cash games. I felt the same last week when he was min-sal playing up in pace against the Eagles, but Snead wasn’t owned nearly as much as I thought he’d be, both in cash and tournaments. This week will likely be a bit different, with more touts pumping him up as he continues to out-produce every other Saints receiver, Brandon Cooks included. He also delivered on the hype last week and the Saints are in a prime spot, as underdogs at home against a beatable secondary in the Falcons.