NFL

Daily Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Primer: Week 4

If you have your eye on some high-priced quarterbacks and running backs this week, the wide receivers on this slate should help you splurge on other positions. Many of the receivers in the mid-to-low price ranges draw favorable matchups, which you can take advantage of to distribute a higher percentage of your salary cap elsewhere. Although, if you've already found some good deals in other areas, there are still a few of the usual suspects at the high end of the price range worth your consideration.

In this preview, I'll break down the wide receivers into three categories based on FanDuel's prices: players to build around, value plays, and players to avoid.

Players to build around are more expensive, but their ceiling is high enough that you should consider prioritizing them in your lineup. Value plays are cheaper options who usually come with some risk, but adding them to your lineup will help you afford the expensive stars. Players to avoid are guys you might normally consider at their price tag but who have a tough matchup this week and are unlikely to live up to their usual expectations.

All references to betting totals and spreads are from the FanDuel Sportsbook.

Receivers to Build Around

DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans ($8,700) -- DeAndre Hopkins is as matchup-proof as they come, and he's always worth considering for your lineup if you can afford him. On this particular slate, there's a good number of reasonably priced receivers with a high ceiling, which should make it easier to squeeze Hopkins into your lineup, even as the most expensive receiver available. The Carolina Panthers defense already allowed 22.1 fantasy points to Chris Godwin earlier this season, and are clearly not an intimidating matchup for arguably the best receiver in the league.

Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers ($8,100) -- Keenan Allen leads the NFL in high-yield targets (targets which produce the most fantasy value), which means his high-scoring start to the season is no fluke. As long as Allen is seeing such a high volume of targets downfield and in the red zone, he is probably worthy of your lineup every week, but especially in this matchup with the lowly Miami Dolphins. In two of their three games this season, the Dolphins have allowed a wide receiver to rack up over 20 fantasy points and Allen has an excellent chance to be the third.

T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts ($7,400) -- As of Thursday, T.Y. Hilton had not practiced, so check on his status before inserting him into your lineup. If he's active, however, this matchup against the Oakland Raiders is one of the best he'll see this season. According to Sports Info Solutions, opposing quarterbacks are 10-16 with five touchdowns and zero interceptions on throws 20 or more yards downfield against the Raiders. If healthy, the Colts will likely attempt to exploit this weakness in Oakland's secondary with Hilton.

Value Plays

Sterling Shepard, New York Giants ($6,500) -- After turning in the second-best fantasy performance of his career with 23.6 points against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3, Sterling Shepard draws another favorable matchup against the struggling Washington Redskins defense. Shepard is likely to be matched up with Josh Norman often in this game, which isn't the daunting task it used to be. According to Pro Football Reference, Norman is allowing 2.6 fantasy points per target, the worst rate among corners who have faced at least 12 targets in coverage.

Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals ($6,300 -- Monday Night Football) -- The 0-3 Pittsburgh Steelers have surrendered a staggering 43.2 fantasy points per game to opposing slot receivers, easily the worst in the league, according to Sports Info Solutions. Perhaps the recent addition of Minkah Fitzpatrick will make a difference in the long run, but he didn't help matters in Week 3, when Jimmy Garoppolo was 15-for-16 for 192 yards targeting the slot. Both Tyler Boyd and John Ross have seen action there for the Cincinnati Bengals, but Ross leads the way with 24 targets while lined up as Andy Dalton's slot receiver.

Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens ($5,700) -- Baltimore Ravens rookie Marquise Brown is tentatively on the value list, but pay close attention to the status of Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward. If Ward can't go, Brown will draw more coverage from backups Terrance Mitchell and Eric Murray -- both mismatches which would give Brown a high ceiling. If Ward does start, however, he will likely be locked in on Brown throughout the game, which might flip Brown's fantasy status to a player to avoid this week. As of Thursday, Ward still had not practiced.

Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos ($5,700) -- Among players who have yet to reach the end zone, Courtland Sutton is the third-highest scoring receiver behind only Boyd and Christian Kirk. While the Denver Broncos offense is unlikely to create a ton of scoring opportunities for Sutton this year, his touchdown drought shouldn't last long. Sutton is tied for third in the NFL with six red zone targets, so it's only a matter of time before he scores. Facing a Jacksonville Jaguars defense sans Jalen Ramsey makes Sutton a good bet to outperform his price tag and potentially notch his first touchdown of the season.

Devante Parker, Miami Dolphins ($5,000) -- Despite their struggles, under new offensive coordinator Chad O'Shea, the Dolphins have been one of the most aggressive downfield passing teams in the league, and DeVante Parker is their leading deep threat. Miami quarterbacks have attempted a league-high 34 passes at 15 or more yards downfield, with 13 of those targets directed at Parker, according to Sports Info Solutions. Seven of those throws to Parker have been at least 30 yards downfield, tied with Marquise Brown for the most such targets in the league. At the rate Parker is being used as a deep threat, it's only a matter of time before he and Josh Rosen connect a few times and he turns in a big game. At this dirt-cheap price tag, Parker is worth the risk as a tournament dart throw.

Paul Richardson, Washington Redskins ($4,700) -- Opposing quarterbacks are 11-15 for 253 yards and a touchdown when targeting Giants rookie Deandre Baker in coverage, according to Pro Football Reference. With Janoris Jenkins likely to shadow breakout star Terry McLaurin, that should leave Paul Richardson with a high percentage of snaps lining up across from Baker. Washington's offense has been funneled through McLaurin so far, but with such a favorable matchup, Richardson could prove a valuable addition to your lineup at this price.

Receivers to Avoid

Odell Beckham, Cleveland Browns ($7,900) -- The Baltimore Ravens are one of the few matchups on the Browns schedule that might cause you to avoid Odell Beckham. He's likely to draw consistent coverage from Marlon Humphrey, who has allowed six fantasy points on 13 targets in coverage this season, according to Pro Football Reference.

John Brown, Buffalo Bills ($5,600) -- John Brown has been a great fantasy value so far this season, but it's best to avoid him in Sunday's matchup with the New England Patriots. In last year's matchup with New England, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen completed just 48.8 percent of his passes and was picked off twice. It would certainly not be surprising to see Bill Belichick shut down an inexperienced Bills offense again this week.


Ryan McCrystal is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ryan McCrystal also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username cfbfilmroom. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.