Welcome to the NFL DFS WR Coach, where we identify the best wide receivers for our lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel!
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.
Welcome back! Hopefully you had a profitable week of DFS and are ready to continue building that bank roll here in Week 12. This week sets up for a difficult week regarding the running back position. As such, I’m going to offer a few more additional wide receiver options in this writeup to try and help those mixing and matching running backs at different price points. Let’s take a look around the league at which wide receivers we should be targeting in DFS this week on the main slate.
Julio Jones vs TB ($8,000 DK & $8,400 FD)
After watching Michael Thomas rack up an 8-114-1 stat line against this Tampa Bay secondary last week, it’s Julio’s turn to run rampant against this putrid secondary. The Bucs corners have given up second-most fantasy points to perimeter wide receivers this season including eight different performances of 25+ fantasy points. They’ve also allowed the most Air Yards and yards after the catch to the position — not a great combination of statistics to be league leaders in. It’s gotten to the point of benching and cutting ties with former defensive back starters as they try to find any combination on the back end to slow down opponents and at least keep them competitive in games. Sean Murphy-Bunting and Carlton Davis are now manning the outside and have each allowed four passing touchdowns so far this season as they’ve struggled in coverage. Julio runs nearly 80% of his routes outside against these two corners and is poised for an eruption spot this week in a game that opened with a 53-point total.
Mike Evans vs ATL ($7,300 DK & $8,000 FD)
Evans faces the Falcons secondary this week and gets a plus matchup on the outside against Isaiah Oliver and Desmond Trufant. Oliver is being targeted once every 5.6 snaps in coverage and ranks inside the top-10 among all corners in receptions, receiving yardage, and yards after catch allowed. Trufant has been in and out of the lineup due to injury, but still falls inside the top-10 in most touchdowns allowed (5). The last time he faced this squad (Week 17 of 2018), Evans went for 6-106-2. The Falcons have given up the fourth-most fantasy points to perimeter wideouts (where Evans runs ~75% of his routes) and could see that number climb even higher after facing Evans this week.
Odell Beckham vs MIA ($7,000 DK & $7,000 FD)
With an extra 10 days to prepare for this matchup, Beckham and the Browns host Miami this week. Beckham has faced a slew of tough cornerback matchups as of late but now draws a plus matchup here against the Dolphins secondary. He’s seen 12 and 10 targets his past two outings and now is anticipated to get shadow coverage from the recently promoted Nik Needham. Needham was just torched by John Brown last week for a 4-80-1 stat line in Needham’s coverage (9-137-2 overall). This secondary as a unit ranks dead last in the league in Pass DVOA defense. Gamescript is our only concern here, but assuming his double-digit targets hold stable, everything points towards Beckham having a ceiling week against Miami here.
Allen Robinson vs NYG ($6,500 DK & $7,500 FD)
Whichever quarterback the Bears trot out under center will face a plus matchup at home against the Giants secondary. Over their last four games, the Giants are giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to perimeter wideouts and seventh-most to slot receivers. Robinson has run 59% of his routes on the outside and 41% via the slot this season. Janoris Jenkins is fighting a concussion battle right now and may thin out an already terrible secondary. No matter where ARob lines up this week, he is poised for success.
Calvin Ridley ($6,500 DK & $6,700 FD)
I mentioned above that the Bucs are giving up the second-most fantasy points to perimeter wideouts. Ridley has actually run perimeter routes (89%) at a higher rate than Julio and should thrive in that same plus matchup. Ridley is coming off a 8-143-1 performance against Carolina last week. Since the Mohamed Sanu trade in Week 8, Ridley’s target share has climbed from 15% to 17% and his Air Yards have gone up from 24% to 32%. Not only is he being used more frequently in this offense, he’s being used in a far more aggressive manner with further downfield targets. He is once again in play this week in a phenomenal matchup.
DJ Chark vs TEN ($6,400 DK & $7,000 FD)
Chark just missed this article last week as a mid-tier play to pursue as I wanted to see how Nick Foles looked after such a long time off before suggesting his receivers. Foles routinely looked in Chark’s direction (15 targets) as he finished the day with an 8-104-2 stat line against the Colts. I’m all about chasing a 15-target outing, especially when it lines up with a matchup against Tennessee. The Titans already lost top corner Malcolm Butler to IR setting up Chark to run against Adoree’ Jackson and LeShaun Sims. This pairing has given up the eighth-most fantasy points over the past month to perimeter wideouts (10th-most all season). Chark bounces around the formation pretty frequently, but still runs 78% of his routes outside. Coming off a 220 Air Yard performance, he’s an absolutely terrific value play this week.
DK Metcalf vs PHI ($6,300 DK & $6,700 FD)
Over his last four games, we’ve seen Metcalf draw 10, 9, 5, and 9 targets. The volume is there. The matchup against the Eagles secondary isn’t as easy as it once was earlier in the season with several key players returning from injury, but Metcalf still draws a winnable matchup at left receiver against Ronald Darby. Over Philadelphia’s past four games, the Eagles are giving up the 12th-most fantasy points to LWR’s (Darby has manned that spot in 3-of-4). Darby has also been targeted once every 4.7 snaps in coverage this season — a top-5 rate among cornerbacks. He’s giving up 0.50 fantasy points per route (top-4 rate among starting CBs) and Metcalf has done the large majority of his damage against Darby’s side of the field with 49-of-64 targets (77%) coming with him lined up at LWR. Darby hasn’t played enough games to qualify, but his 50.0 PFF rating would rank 97th out of 113 qualifying cornerbacks. I like Metcalf as a low-owned tournament option this week in a game that opened with a 49-point total.
Jamison Crowder vs OAK ($6,200 DK & $6,500 FD)
Running 73% of his routes from the slot, Crowder is poised for a strong fantasy outing this week against backup slot cornerback Nevin Lawson. Lamarcus Joyner (hamstring) missed last week’s matchup due to injury while failing to log a single day of practice. He could be out again in Week 12, setting up Crowder for a plus matchup against Lawson. Lawson has not played much this season, but did give up five touchdowns in coverage last year with the Lions as PFF’s No. 91 graded corner. Crowder has taken over as the Jets’ top wideout averaging 7.7 targets over his last three games posting receiving stat lines of 8-83-1, 5-81-1, and 5-76-1. He’s averaging 8.4 targets per game when you look solely at games with Sam Darnold under center. The price has climbed in recent weeks, but with Oakland giving up the 8th-most fantasy points to slot receivers, it’s still a solid matchup to pursue on paper for cash games.
Tyrell Williams vs NYJ ($5,900 DK & $6,400 FD)
The Jets’ cornerback situation has made them a target of ours the last few weeks. They are currently starting a combination of Arthur Maulet and Blessuan Austin, two cornerbacks deep on the depth chart now that Trumaine Johnson (IR), Darryl Roberts (injured, calf), and Nate Hairston (benched) have all been replaced. The Jets’ pass funnel defense (21st Pass DVOA, 2nd Run DVOA) sets up Williams for plus volume against a secondary that can’t cover anything right now. Williams’ recent target volume (4, 5, 4) is worrisome, but this presents a get-right spot with the Jets ranking top-6 in most receptions and touchdowns allowed to opposing wideouts this season.
DeVante Parker vs CLE ($5,200 DK & $6,000 FD)
Parker has now drawn 10 targets in back-to-back outings since the Preston Williams injury, despite drawing some unfavorable matchups. In fact, he’s either seen double-digit targets or reached the end zone in six of his last seven games. It’s led to him finishing as a top-32 fantasy receiver in seven-straight contests. Vegas has the Dolphins as 11-point road dogs in this matchup against Cleveland. Passing in negative gamescript should be plentiful here for Parker with 50 of his 72 targets coming while the Dolphins have been trailing (69%). The matchup against Greedy Williams and Denzel Ward isn’t ideal, but Parker’s sustained target volume post-Preston Williams puts him in the player pool this week. If running back Cleveland gamestacks, Parker looks like the top option at an affordable price on both sites.
James Washington vs CIN ($5,000 DK & $6,100 FD)
The Steelers receiving corps has been decimated with injuries. Both JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson are out with concussions and should elevate Washington to WR1 status by default this week. Washington’s target volume has been far from consistent this season, but with both Smith-Schuster and Johnson potentially out, that frees up 32% of the available targets. Cincinnati has struggled with health at the cornerback position and currently look like they’ll have William Jackson and B.W. Webb manning the perimeter this week. Jackson is currently PFF’s No. 74 graded cornerback and Webb has allowed a 122.5 QB Rating when targeted this season. They’re allowing the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts over the past four weeks and with limited target competition for Washington, he could be in a position to thrive this week. Monitor the receiving corps for injury updates.
Russell Gage vs TB ($3,900 DK & $5,300 FD)
If you can’t tell, I’m all about this home Falcons matchup as they take on the struggling Buccaneers secondary and am going for the trifecta in terms of Falcons players. With Austin Hooper still not practicing (knee), I like targeting the middle of this Bucs defense with the Falcons’ primary slot receiver, Russell Gage. No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing slot receivers than the Buccaneers this season. They even let rookie safety Mike Edwards play some slot last week as they are willing to throw any able-bodied player out there hoping something good happens. He allowed 5-of-6 targets completed against him with the lone miss being a drop. Gage has posted target totals of 4, 5, and 9 in his last three outings. Playing in a 51-point game total, targeting ancillary pieces like Gage not only leads to some unique lineups, it can also save salary to help get you up to some of the heavy hitters at other positions. Risky cash play, but really like him for gamestacks.
Tim Patrick vs BUF ($3,000 DK & $5,400 FD)
This is far from an ideal matchup, but a $3K play that is coming off 8 targets has some appeal. Tre’Davious White will likely be shadowing Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant draws the toughest matchup available with the Bills allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Since the Emmanuel Sanders trade, Sutton and Fant have combined for just shy of 50% of the team’s available targets. It’d make sense for Brandon Allen to look elsewhere in this matchup and lean on Patrick again like he did last week with a surplus of targets going in his direction. The Bills have given up the eighth-most DK points above opponent’s average over their last five games to opposing WR2’s (+3.06). Sporting a healthy 14.4 aDOT, it wouldn’t take many receptions for Patrick to hit value. There’s a ton of risk here (keep tabs on his shoulder injury status), but that’s baked into Patrick’s price (stone minimum on DK) and allows you to get very creative in terms of roster construction.