Welcome to the NFL DFS WR Coach, where we identify the best wide receivers for our lineups on DraftKings, FanDuel, and SuperDraft!
Week 4 is in the books, and we saw a ton of green screens coming in from the #EliteMafia. Big congrats to the winners, and let’s keep the momentum going into Week 5! Before we dive into the meat and potatoes of this article, let’s do a quick recap for accountability reasons of how my receiver calls panned out. Remember, this position is highly volatile, but the primary focus in NFL DFS is finding high target volume in plus matchups.
Kenny Golladay (4-62-1, 8 tgts) ✅
D.K. Metcalf (4-106-0, 6 tgts) ✅
Tyler Lockett (2-30-0, 4 tgts) 🟥
Stefon Diggs (6-115-0, 7 tgts) ✅
Keenan Allen (8-62-0, 11 tgts) ✅
Tyler Boyd (7-90-0, 8 tgts) ✅
Will Fuller (6-108-1, 7 tgts) ✅
Odell Beckham (5-81-2, 8 tgts; 2-73-1 rushing) ✅
DeVante Parker (10-110-0, 12 tgts) ✅
D.J. Moore (4-49-0, 6 tgts) 🟥
Justin Jefferson (4-103-0, 5 tgts) ✅
GPP Yolo Call: Marquise Brown (4-86-0, 8 tgts) 🆗
We had another solid week at the receiver position and were lucky to avoid any injuries. The Seahawks offense faltered relative to what they had been producing. Tyler Lockett was the biggest bust call of the week, but the process — high scoring environment, high target share, and plus matchup against an inexperienced special teamer at slot corner — was spot-on. #NoRagrets. Will Fuller should’ve had another touchdown added to his stat line, but poor officiating took that off the board. Tyler Boyd also had a score nullified by penalty. D.J. Moore was the other “bust” but has a chance at redemption this week against ATL’s secondary; however, this looks like a legit 1A/1B in Carolina with Robby Anderson taking on an expanded role.
The most tilting for me was zeroing in on a sub-5% GPP call — Marquise Brown at 2.7% Milly Maker ownership — only to see him get routinely overthrown on deep passes (20+ yds). Brown led all players with six deep targets against Washington’s secondary, culminating in the most Air Yards on the week (219). I have zero regrets with that call, as he could have been a legitimate slate-breaker had he and Lamar Jackson connected more frequently. Overall, really proud of the receiver calls and ready to run it back for another profitable week here in Week 5!
It’s important to note this article is posted mid-week, so injuries and other news can change our reads as we get closer to Sunday. This article is specifically for Sunday’s “Main” slate, so WRs from Thursday, Sunday, and Monday Night Football are not considered.
DeAndre Hopkins (AZ) @ NYJ
The Jets corners remain a weak spot for us to target for DFS purposes. If you need any evidence, we just saw Tim Patrick sport a 6-113-1 stat line against this unit on TNF with a third-string QB under center. I expect we see the combination of DeAndre Hopkins and Kyler Murray also find quite a bit of success here. The Jets keep their corners to their respective sides, and with Hopkins running over 80% of his routes from the left side of the formation, he’ll square off against Blessuan Austin for much of this matchup. Austin was forced to leave last week’s outing with a calf injury and may enter this matchup questionable. He sports a 35.8 coverage grade by PFF and is currently their No. 98 ranked cornerback (out of 112).
The Cardinals and Jets are both surprisingly top-10 in neutral gamescript pace, so we could see slightly elevated play volume here benefiting Hopkins further. This is a terrific spot for Hopkins to build on his early-season success.
Calvin Ridley (ATL) vs. CAR
After leaving a goose egg on a primetime MNF game, don’t let recency bias impact your decision making when it comes to Calvin Ridley. Ridley has run over 90% of his routes on the perimeter of the formation to date this season, matching him up against the Panthers’ Donte Jackson and Rasul Douglas. The outside corners haven’t been tested a ton this season — the Panthers’ run defense is an open-invite to all running backs not named Kenyan Drake to have big fantasy outings — but we have seen alpha wideouts like Mike Evans (7-104-1), Keenan Allen (13-132-1), and DeAndre Hopkins (7-41-0) rack up receptions and fantasy points here.
Despite not hauling in a catch in Week 4, Ridley still sports a top-5 target number (40) while leading the league in Air Yards (576) and Red Zone targets (14). Adding fuel to the Ridley fire, Julio Jones re-aggravated his hamstring injury during Week 4’s matchup and likely won’t enter this week’s game anywhere near 100% (he has yet to practice this week). It sets up well for Ridley to have a major bounce-back outing here in Week 5 with a likely NFC South shootout.
Stefon Diggs (BUF) @ TEN
Through the first four weeks of the season, Stefon Diggs has torn it up for the Bills, producing a combined 26-403-2 receiving stat line. There are some legitimate questions as to whether or not this game is played, but if it goes as scheduled, Diggs should tear up this Titans secondary with ease.
The Titans are giving up the 12th-most fantasy points to outside receivers — which is where Diggs runs ~65% of his routes — and that is with them having a bye week already! They allowed downfield threats like D.J. Chark (4-84-0) and Justin Jefferson (7-175-1) to put up points against them with little difficulty, as they’ve been highly susceptible to big plays.
Diggs currently ranks top-8 among all wideouts in both Air Yards and Red Zone targets and faces a Titans secondary that’s less than 100%. Adoree’ Jackson (knee) remains out, setting up Diggs to run most of his routes against cornerbacks Malcolm Butler (quad) and Johnathan Joseph (calf). Both have been ailing due to injuries themselves and the primary backup behind them — rookie Kristian Fulton — is one of 12 players on the Titans (as of this morning) who have tested positive for Coronavirus. Assuming this game goes on as currently scheduled, Diggs should dominate against the Titans’ heavy man scheme.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT) vs. PHI
While we didn’t exactly see it unfold through a wide receiver, last week was the third-straight week the Eagles have been ripped apart by their opponents over the middle. George Kittle (44% slot rate in his Week 4 return) posted a 6-87-0 outing against PHI solely when lined up in the slot (15-183-1 overall). The two weeks prior, both Tyler Boyd (10-125-0) and Cooper Kupp (5-81-0) also exploited the Eagles’ slot defense, as free agent acquisition, Nickell Robey-Coleman has been slow to adjust to DC Jim Schwartz’ scheme.
Coming out of their coerced bye week, JuJu Smith-Schuster has a chance to go nuclear in this plus matchup. Running 84% of his routes from the inside, Smith-Schuster will run most of his routes against Robey-Coleman, who is allowing a 92% catch rate and 137.5 QB Rating when targeted in the slot. He’s PFF’s No. 91 graded cornerback (out of 112) for a reason. With Darius Slay anticipated to shadow Diontae Johnson, now may be a good week to return to JuJu, who stands to benefit from potentially increased target volume that would have gone Diontae’s way.
Will Fuller (HOU) vs. JAX
Will Fuller rewarded fantasy owners who started him last week against the Vikings by putting up a 6-108-1 stat line (7 tgts) and narrowly missing out on a second score. We have routinely picked on the Vikings secondary in this column, but we also shouldn’t fear what the Jaguars have assembled, either. Jacksonville’s secondary is allowing a league-high completion rate (77%) and the fourth-highest QB Rating to opposing passers.
Now that Bill O’Brien is out of the picture, look for the Texans offense to make a statement this week in front of their home crowd. Big plays to Fuller feel inevitable against the cornerback tandem of Tre Herndon and C.J. Henderson on the outside (Fuller 75% perimeter) and D.J. Hayden in the slot. The cornerback trio has been highly volatile to start the year, and the Jaguars have allowed the seventh-most pass plays of 15+ yards this year — perfect for HOU’s primary downfield threat.
Marquise Brown (BAL) vs. CIN
Marquise Brown’s volatility is something fantasy owners need to embrace. The high ceiling is there for Hollywood — he led all receivers in Air Yards last week (219) — but we won’t see it click every single week whenever Lamar Jackson’s deep throws are off the mark. This matchup against Cincy does present a chance for them to get things on track.
The Bengals are giving up the eighth-most fantasy points to outside receivers, which is where Brown runs ~70% of his routes. Perimeter corner William Jackson has allowed a 65% completion rate against and at least one touchdown in two of the past three weeks. LeShaun Sims (filling in for the injured Mackensie Alexander) was torched by the Jaguars last week (8-107-1, 10 tgts faced) and also presents a plus matchup for Hollywood to exploit. Playing at home against a pass-happy offense that can put up points, perhaps this is the ideal matchup we’ve been waiting for to see Hollywood go nuclear. He has been routinely underperforming (relative to expectation) and continues to make a strong GPP option here in Week 5 at suppressed ownership.
CeeDee Lamb (DAL) vs. NYG
The Giants defense possesses few credible threats to opponents scoring fantasy points, but the one cornerback who does merit our attention is James Bradberry. Bradberry continues to be used to shadow opposing big-bodied No. 1 receivers, meaning we should anticipate him shadowing Amari Cooper for much of the day. With Cooper’s targets potentially being suppressed, look for rookie CeeDee Lamb to flourish with additional volume in a plus matchup in the slot.
Running 92% of his routes from the slot, Lamb will square off against Darnay Holmes for much of this outing. Through the first four weeks of the season, Holmes comes in as one of PFF’s bottom-5 graded corners (No. 108). Averaging 7.0 targets/game, Lamb could see additional looks if Cooper’s typical heavy volume (12.8 targets/game) shifts to Lamb in the far superior matchup. Top-12 in both routes run and receiving yards among all wideouts, look for Lamb to continue building on his strong rookie season in this plus matchup.
Robby Anderson (CAR) @ ATL
Through the first month of the season, one of the bigger fantasy surprises has been the consistency of Robby Anderson. Currently leading the Panthers in targets, receptions and receiving yards, Anderson has forced himself into a 1A/1B situation with D.J. Moore (and currently the “A” there). Joe Brady is utilizing Anderson beyond just a vertical field stretcher, getting him involved in crossing patterns and showcasing his speed in an east/west fashion and not solely north/south.
Anderson now finds himself in a matchup against an Atlanta secondary that cannot defend the pass whatsoever (No. 31 Pass DVOA defense). They rank bottom-3 in both fantasy points to outside and slot receivers, setting up Anderson to flourish no matter where his routes take him this week. Moore is also in this same great matchup, but it’s difficult to ignore the production Anderson has done to date with his team-leading 25% target share. Depending on the type of competition you’re entering, you can mix-and-match as you’d like based on ownership leverage with the two being very close in pricing.
Darius Slayton (NYG) @ DAL
After seeing the Browns offense put up points at will against the Cowboys, there is a flicker of hope to see Daniel Jones turn things around against their NFC East rival. New York has scored a league-low 11.8 points per game, but an upcoming matchup against a terrible Dallas defense — 25th in Pass DVOA defense — could be just what they need to get back on track. The Cowboys secondary has been plagued by both injuries and ineffectiveness, resulting in them giving up the third-most fantasy points to receivers. They’re specifically giving up the second-most to outside receivers, which is where Darius Slayton runs over 85% of his routes. Neither Trevon Diggs nor Daryl Worley are cornerbacks to fear in coverage. Diggs has allowed the third-most receiving yards among all corners, while Worley is giving up a 139.8 QB Rating whenever targeted.
Entering this matchup as 9.5-point road dogs, the Giants will be passing frequently due to their nonexistent run game and due to a trailing gamescript. Slayton looks far underpriced across the DFS sites this week and is a rock-solid SuperDraft Multiplier (1.7) to target.
Jeff Smith (NYJ) vs. AZ
I listed quite a few expensive receivers, and if you’re planning on playing a few of those in addition to workhorse backs, a $3K punt (DK) with Jeff Smith may be a viable path to jamming everyone in this week.
The New York Jets have already ruled out Sam Darnold, elevating Joe Flacco under center to their primary passer. It should subsequently raise the fantasy floor of all Jets pass-catchers. We have heard the Jets are not expecting Breshad Perriman to play this week, and they still have Denzel Mims on IR. This same situation played out last week, and we saw Smith lead all Jets receivers in snaps (73), routes run (54), and tie for the team lead in targets (9).
Patrick Peterson is a shell of the former lockdown corner he used to be (PFF’s No. 90 CB), and Dre Kirkpatrick is also struggling in coverage (No. 105 CB). We’ve seen outside receivers like Terry McLaurin (7-125-1, 10 tgts), Kenny Golladay (6-57-1, 7 tgts) and Robby Anderson (8-99-0, 11 tgts) all find success here, as the fast-paced offense often leaves the defense tired and playing a ton of snaps. I wouldn’t consider Smith a core play, but if you’re looking to jam in expensive playmakers, Smith’s salary relief on DK is a viable path to doing so.
Other WRs of Note: Tyreek Hill, D.J. Chark, DeVante Parker
Yolo Sub-5% GPP Play
Tyler Boyd (CIN) @ BAL
Coming in at a projected 4.6% ownership on DK, Tyler Boyd is a player that is going under the radar this week. His matchup against the Baltimore secondary is what’s likely scaring away production, but upon closer inspection, this is one where he could thrive. The Ravens’ offense continues to fire on all cylinders forcing teams into negative gamescript and to pass against them at a 64% clip — third-highest rate in the league. That’s no problems at all for the Bengals, who typically pass at a 65% rate but will accelerate that up to 76% when trailing by 7+ points (current spread is CIN +13).
That increased passing rate will only benefit Boyd, who has evolved into the team’s receiving leader following A.J. Green’s slow start. Over Boyd’s last three games specifically, he’s averaged 9.7 targets and hit the 70+ receiving mark in each outing. Boyd possesses an 83% slot rate, meaning he’ll run most of his routes against Marlon Humphrey in this matchup. Humphrey has yielded a 70.3% catch rate when targeted, giving up the second-most receptions among all slot corners. We’ve recently seen Tyreek Hill (55% slot rate) go for 5-77-1, Mecole Hardman (55% slot rate) reach 4-81-1, and Terry McLaurin (30% slot rate) hit 10-118-0 against this squad over the past two weeks. The Ravens’ heavy man scheme is something that Joe Burrow has thrived against dating back to his college days. The Ravens also sport PFF’s 32nd-ranked pass rush grade, which should lead to fewer sacks by Burrow (7.8% sack rate) and more completions — namely high-percentage ones to Tyler Boyd — downfield in this outing.
Boyd may not break the slate like last week’s call (Hollywood), but a high reception total — especially on a full PPR site like DraftKings — makes him an appealing bring-back option for Ravens gamestacks or as a potential one-off and a great way to pivot off some chalky $6K receivers.
Reminder: Tyler will be hosting his WR Coaching Session at 4pm ET!