Daily Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Primer: Week 6
Week 6 brings us a slightly smaller slate than past weeks due to four teams hitting their bye. Additionally, if you're playing the main slate, you'll miss out on Sunday morning's game in London between the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is one of the reasons there appears to be fewer cheap options on the slate, which means you may have to be a little more strategic with you how spend your money at the wide receiver position.
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 ceilings are 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 have tough matchups 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
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons ($8,500) -- Julio Jones has been held to single-digit fantasy performances the past two weeks, but he's in an ideal situation for a bounce-back game against the Arizona Cardinals. The cornerbacks Arizona will primarily be using on the outside against Jones are rookie Byron Murphy (five career starts) and journeyman Kevin Peterson (one career start). Murphy has already been burned for four touchdowns this season, according to Pro Football Reference. Meanwhile, Peterson has only recently earned more playing time and has been on the field for just 48 snaps in coverage over the last two seasons combined, according to Sports Info Solutions.
DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans ($8,400) -- If you've inserted DeAndre Hopkins into your lineup in recent weeks, you've been disappointed by four straight games with 12 or fewer FanDuel points -- but don't let that bias scare you away from using him again. Instead, take advantage of the discounted price. Despite the surprisingly modest numbers, Hopkins still commands a 28.8 percent target share, and the Houston Texans will likely need a high volume of pass attempts from Deshaun Watson to keep pace with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams ($7,800) -- Cooper Kupp has ranked among the top 10 receivers for three consecutive weeks while seeing 44 combined targets in that span. His price has climbed significantly -- up $1,000 from last week -- but he's still reasonably priced considering he now ranks third overall in fantasy scoring among receivers. The Los Angeles Rams seem intent on feeding him the ball, and until his usage rate drops off or his price rises even higher, he needs to be considered a weekly option regardless of his opponent.
Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers ($7,300) -- The Pittsburgh Steelers are giving up 40.6 fantasy points per game to wide receivers lined up in the slot, according to Sports info Solutions, which ranks dead last in the NFL. Keenan Allen doesn't line up exclusively in the slot, but 33 of his 54 targets (61 percent) have come while lined up there. Given the Steelers' obvious issues defending that area of the field, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Allen's slot usage increase in this matchup, and it could lead a monster game.
Demarcus Robinson, Kansas City Chiefs ($6,700) -- Demarcus Robinson will likely draw coverage from Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph for at least a portion of this game, which will create a mismatch Patrick Mahomes can exploit. According to Pro Football Reference, Joseph has allowed an NFL-worst 67.6 fantasy points (13.5 points per game). Joseph has particularly struggled downfield, as he's allowed 14 receptions on 16 catchable targets at 10 or more yards downfield, according to Sports Info Solutions. Robinson has been somewhat quiet since his breakout 172-yard, two-touchdown game in Week 2, but the opportunities are still there. Mahomes has targeted Robinson 15 times over the last two weeks.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers ($6,000) -- Marquez Valdes-Scantling has been limited in practice by multiple injuries this week, so be sure to monitor his status before playing him on Monday night. If he's active, however, the Detroit Lions look like a favorable matchup. According to Sports Info Solutions, Detroit plays the highest rate of man coverage in the league at 60.7 percent, which could lead to increased usage for MVS. Valdes-Scantling has an 18.9 percent target share overall, but that number rises to 25 percent when Aaron Rodgers is throwing into man coverage.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals ($5,600) -- Due to Kliff Kingsbury's pass-heavy offense, Larry Fitzgerald has consistently been one of the safety value plays. Fitzgerald is one of just three receivers, along with Amari Cooper and Michael Thomas, who have ranked inside the top 40 receivers every week. The Atlanta Falcons have already allowed three receivers to eclipse the 20-point mark this season, and they are coming off a came in which they allowed 46.7 points to Houston's Will Fuller.
Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons ($5,500) -- For all the same notes previously mentioned as reasons to like Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley also stands out as an elite value against a severely overmatched Cardinals secondary. Ridley only ranks fourth on the team in targets this season, but 42 percent of his targets have come at least 15 yards downfield, according to Sports Info Solutions. That type of usage increases his chances for a big play, which means he's capable of producing significant fantasy value on fewer targets.
Devante Parker, Miami Dolphins ($5,400) -- DeVante Parker is a boom-or-bust option, but his role in the Miami Dolphins' offense gives him a high ceiling, and the Washington defense should make that ceiling more attainable. Opposing quarterbacks are 5-for-12 throwing 20 or more yards downfield against Washington's defense, according to Sports Info Solutions, and all five receptions have resulted in touchdowns. Parker has been the Dolphins' deep threat this year, with 10 of his 24 targets coming at least 20 yards downfield.
Receivers to Avoid
Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns ($7,600) -- Five weeks into the season, Odell Beckham still only has one reception on targets 20 or more yards downfield, according to Sports Info Solutions. Obviously, Beckham can earn fantasy points in other ways, but that stat sums up the Cleveland Browns' issues getting the ball downfield to their best playmaker. Serving as a deep threat is arguably Beckham's best asset, but the Browns' offensive line has struggled to block for Mayfield, making it difficult for Baker to find receivers downfield. The Seattle Seahawks have allowed just four receptions on throws 20 yards downfield, so this probably isn't the matchup where Beckham breaks out of his slump. Beckham is still the seventh-highest priced receiver despite just one game in which he's finished among the top 40.
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.