Daily Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Primer: Week 15
The injury bug hit hard in Week 14, but that's not necessarily a bad thing in DFS. We'll certainly miss having the opportunity to snag some of the stars who are no longer available, but if you can anticipate post-injury game plan shifts, there could be some great values available.
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 FanDuel Sportsbook.
Receivers to Build Around
DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans ($8,600) -- The Tennessee Titans have allowed a top-10 score to just two wide receivers this year (Mike Evans and Tyreek Hill), but their depleted secondary could be in trouble against DeAndre Hopkins on Sunday. Starting cornerbacks Malcolm Butler and Adoree' Jackson are both out, leaving Tennessee with Tye Smith and Tramaine Brock to match up with Hopkins. The 31-year-old Brock was cut by the Arizona Cardinals after Week 13 and will be making his second appearance with the Titans. Meanwhile Smith, a five-year veteran, will be making just his second career start.
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs ($7,900) -- Tyreek Hill is likely to draw veteran cornerback Chris Harris in coverage on Sunday, which used to be a dangerous matchup. However, over the last four weeks, Harris has given up 10.5 yards per target and is allowing 2.15 fantasy points per target in that span, according to Sports Info Solutions. During that four-game stretch, the Denver Broncos have allowed at least 15 fantasy points to a wide receiver in each game. Hill put up 14.9 fantasy points on the Broncos in Week 9 and should have an even higher ceiling with Harris struggling.
Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions ($7,900) -- Without Matthew Stafford, Kenny Golladay's fantasy output has only dipped from 15.2 points per game to 12.8. That's not bad considering he's also faced the Chicago Bears (twice) and Minnesota Vikings without Stafford's help. This week, Golladay draws a far easier matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have allowed 13 receivers to reach at least 15 fantasy points this season.
Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings ($7,700) -- The Vikes are expected to get Adam Thielen back from injury this week, but Stefon Diggs may still be the receiver to own based on his matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers. According to Sports Info Solutions, the Chargers play the highest rate of zone coverage in the league. During the six full games in which Thielen and Diggs were both on the field, it was actually Diggs who led the team with a 29.2 percent target share versus zone coverage, compared to Thielen's 25.8 percent. Thielen tends to separate himself from Diggs versus man coverage, where Thielen saw a 43 percent target share in those six games games.
Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns ($7,400) -- The Arizona Cardinals have allowed a top-10 score to a wide receiver in five of their last six games. Arizona is also allowing 29.3 fantasy points per game to receivers lined up in the slot, the worst mark in the league according to Sports Info Solutions. Jarvis Landry, who operates as the Cleveland Browns' primary slot receiver, has rekindled his connection with Baker Mayfield, leading the team with a 31 percent target share in seven games since their bye week.
Breshad Perriman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($6,400) -- According to Sports Info Solutions, Jameis Winston throws 15 or more yards downfield on 24 percent of his attempts, the third-highest rate in the league. Mike Evans, who will likely miss the remainder of the season, accounts for 37 percent of these downfield targets in the Bucs' offense. Evans' absence opens up a significant chunk of those valuable downfield targets, which should elevate Breshad Perriman's status in this game. 40 percent of Perriman's targets are already coming at 15 or more yards this season (compared to 39 percent for Evans), making him a logical replacement for that portion of Evans' workload.
A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans ($6,200) -- Since Ryan Tannehill took over as the Titans' starter in Week 7, A.J. Brown is averaging 12.6 fantasy points per game -- the 19th-best rate during that span. Despite his second-half success, there are 37 receivers priced above Brown on this slate. Brown does have a couple duds with Tannehill as his quarterback -- most notably his 2.2 fantasy points against the Chiefs -- but he's proven to have a tournament-worthy ceiling on multiple occasions.
D.J. Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars ($6,300) -- Due to an ankle injury, D.J. Chark hasn't practiced this week, so monitor his status closely before using him on Sunday. If he's good to go, however, Chark draws an Oakland Raiders secondary that has allowed an NFL-worst 63 pass plays of 20 or more yards this season (league average is 43 plays). Chark has been the Jacksonville Jaguars' primary big-play threat with 17 receptions of 20 or more yards. If Chark is unable to suit up, Chris Conley ($5,100) could be a good value for the same reason. Conley is second on the team with 11 plays for 20 or more yards (29 percent of his total receptions).
Terry McLaurin, Washington Redskins ($6,000) -- Terry McLaurin's production has been unreliable since Dwayne Haskins took over as the starting quarterback, but a favorable matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles may help this week. McLaurin is likely to be consistently matched up with cornerback Ronald Darby, who has been torched in recent weeks. According to Sports Info Solutions, opposing quarterbacks are 15-for-26 for 341 yards and 3 touchdowns when targeting Darby in coverage over the last five weeks. That breaks down to an average of 2.29 fantasy points per target.
Receivers to Avoid
Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears ($8,000) -- Due to his consistency, Allen Robinson might still be a cash game option, but the Green Bay Packers' defense gives him a depressed ceiling and makes him a risky tournament play. The Dallas Cowboys are the only team to have a receiver exceed 20 fantasy points against Green Bay this season (both Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup). Only one other receiver (D.J. Moore) has surpassed 15 points against the Packers.
Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals (6,100) -- Christian Kirk has been limited in practice due to an ankle injury, but even if he suits up, it's best to avoid him against Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward. Since Ward returned from injury in Week 8, he's allowing just 5.7 yards per target according to Sports Info Solutions, the ninth-lowest rate among players to face at least 25 targets in coverage during that span. The Cardinals like to spread the ball around anyway, which should make it relatively easy for them to avoid Ward.
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.