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 opening week of NFL DFS and are ready to continue building that bank roll here in Week 2. For those less fortunate, it’s still just one week, we’ve got plenty of time to turn things around and I’ll give you a hint … you’re at the right place to do it at EliteFantasy! Without further ado, let’s take a look around the league at which wide receivers we should be targeting in DFS this week on the main slate.
Michael Thomas vs LAR ($8,000 DK & $8,500 FD)
Thomas has had mixed results over the past calendar year in two matchups with the Rams. He shredded them during a Week 9 matchup for a 12-211-1 stat line and then put up a pedestrian 4-36-0 line in the playoffs. Given his high-percentage looks and sheer volume (30% target share in Week 1), Thomas should certainly be in our player pool this week in what Vegas projects as one of the highest scoring games of the week (52-point total currently). Thomas had 13 targets last week en route to a 10-123-0 game on MNF. Had that performance been on the main slate, he’d easily be the highest-priced wideout this week. Thomas moves around the formation so often that he’ll see plenty of time against each of the different Rams’ corners. He’s the perfect complement to a Jared Goff-led Rams stacks and makes for a strong one-off play.
JuJu Smith-Schuster vs SEA ($7,500 DK & $8,100 FD)
The entire Pittsburgh offense got off on the wrong foot Week 1 against a tough New England secondary. Week 2 presents a strong opportunity to bounce back with a home matchup against the visiting Seattle Seahawks. The “Legion of Boom” days are well in the rearview mirror. Smith-Schuster ran 62% of his routes from the slot last year (69% in Week 1). If he continues that tendency, he’ll see a lot of rookie CB Ugo Amadi. The Bengals exploited slot coverage last week culminating a stat line of 8-93-1 on 14 targets. Smith-Schuster looks like a great play this week provided a toe injury doesn’t slow him down (limited participant Wednesday).
Sammy Watkins vs OAK ($7,200 DK & $7,400 FD)
The Chiefs’ new No. 1 receiver by default went off last week to the tune of 9-198-3. His 49.8 DK points were almost half of what he put up during the entire 2018 season (121.1). Watkins travels to Oakland facing what should be a soft secondary if top cornerback Gareon Conley misses time. Conley was carted off the field in last week’s matchup with the Broncos and was limited in practice Wednesday. If he’s less than 100% or sits out, that could lead to another big day for Watkins. Watkins moves all over the formation and will also get some run against the other mediocre corners of Oakland. Denver receivers Courtland Sutton (7-120-0) and Emmanuel Sanders (5-86-1) both found success last week against this soft secondary that also lost safety Johnathan Abram for the season. Patrick Mahomes and Watkins should be able to exploit this secondary routinely in Week 2.
Tyler Boyd vs SF ($6,500 DK & $6,300 FD)
Boyd and the Bengals take on a travelling 49ers squad in a game Vegas projects to be a close one (-2 CIN). San Francisco slot cornerback K’Waun Williams was a routine target of DFS players last year with him giving up a 109.1 QB Rating when targeted against, 74.4% completion rating, and ranking as PFF’s No. 72 CB. The 49ers were top-10 in most FPs allowed to opposing slot receivers in 2018. Boyd has five inches of height on Williams and saw 11 targets last week in Seattle. The 49ers were a pass-funnel defense last season — 27th in Pass DVOA, 12th in Run DVOA. Boyd’s a primary focal point of the Bengals passing attack and finds himself in a plus matchup here at home this week.
Rams WRs vs NO
Given how often the Rams move their wideouts around, they all look like they can be in play here in a high-scoring home game with the Saints. Deshaun Watson showed us last week that the secondary of the Saints isn’t one to fear after he posted 268 passing yards and three passing touchdowns. Robert Woods led the squad in targets last week (13) and always provides a very high floor. He looks like the safest from a cash game perspective, but is also the most expensive of the trio on both DK & FD. In the two games Brandin Cooks played his former team last year, Cooks went 6-114-1 and 7-107-0. After a slow start in Week 1, Cooks is a player primed for positive regression with #RevengeGame narrative on his side. Primary slot receiver Cooper Kupp saw 10 targets last week and his injury looks well behind him. Kupp draws perhaps the best matchup on the interior with slot corner P.J. Williams. On paper, all three receivers make plenty of sense. Given their heavy rotation, it won’t be just one receiver left on an island with Marshon Lattimore. They all should also carry sizeable ownership with this being a popular game to gamestack.
Tyler Lockett vs PIT ($6,200 DK & $6,700 FD)
In Week 1, Pittsburgh gave up 51.4 FPs to receivers running routes of the slot, most in the league (per PFF’s Scott Barrett). Pittsburgh allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing slot receivers last year. I think we see this trend continue in Week 2 with Lockett (52% slot routes) finding success. Lockett was targeted just twice last week while being double covered for much of the game. That likely won’t happen in Pittsburgh this week given their scheme. Instead, Lockett will run most of his routes against Mike Hilton. Hilton allowed 3-of-4 targets against him last week for 64 yards and a score. That was against New England, who did not need to throw much in their blowout. Seattle, on the other hand, enters as 4-point dogs and should be passing frequently in the second half. Ignore the “noise” of just two targets last week and turn to Lockett if he suits up — DNP on Wednesday practice (back).
Michael Gallup vs WAS ($5,600 DK & $6,200 FD)
The Giants were torched by Dak Prescott last week on the deep ball. On throws of 20-plus yards downfield, Prescott completed 5-of-6 for 155 yards and three scores. Gallup hauled in one of those big gains for a 36-yard pick up. He also posted another 62-yarder, finishing the day catching all seven of his targets for 158 receiving yards. Gallup now draws a Washington secondary that DeSean Jackson burnt repeatedly on the deep ball, posting a final stat line of 8-154-2. The balanced play calling of Kellen Moore was surprising, with him keeping the Giants’ defense on their toes all game with a 48/52 pass/run split. I think we see that balanced playcalling continue in Week 2 with Gallup posting a quality fantasy outing and reaching the end zone on a deep target.
Dede Westbrook vs HOU ($5,400 DK & $5,900 FD)
After just one week, the Texans cut their starting slot corner, Aaron Colvin. Colvin was burned by Drew Brees on MNF, with Next Gen Stats crediting him allowing 7-of-8 pass attempts to be completed for 106 yards and a touchdown. It was the most slot receiving yardage allowed on the week. Houston has three other cornerbacks on the roster, but they have combined for a total of 27 slot snaps defended in their respective careers (two rookies, one second-year player). Whatever inexperienced player they put there, Westbrook should have an immense advantage. Even with the downgrade at quarterback, Gardner Minshew should keep Westbrook’s fantasy value afloat. Westbrook’s 9.1 aDOT last year (2.8 in Week 1!) lines up well with Minshew’s short, accurate passing. Minshew sported a 100% Adjusted Completion rate (factoring out drops, batted passes, spikes, throw aways, etc.) per PFF in Week 1. Short, high-percentage throws to the slot could be Minshew’s go-to as he fills in for Nick Foles.
John Brown vs NYG ($5,200 DK & $6,300 FD)
As noted above, the Giants were torched by deep passes last week by Prescott. That is Josh Allen’s bread and butter. Allen led the league in percentage of passes that went 20-plus yard last year (19.7%), and we saw that keep pace in Week 1 with deep shots to Brown, including a 38-yard score. Brown finished the day with a 7-123-1 stat line on nine targets against the Jets’ secondary. Brown saw 133 air yards last week, 13th-most in the league and had a 27% target share. He should continue to play an integral role in this offense in Week 2.
Mecole Hardman vs OAK ($4,800 DK & $4,700 FD)
Rookie Mecole Hardman looked like he was a direct replacement following Tyreek Hill’s injury, sliding in and taking over his role. Hardman saw just one target, but he ran a route on 79% of Mahomes’ dropbacks. He’s on the field, which is the first step towards accruing fantasy points. Aiding him in accruing fantasy points is a matchup with Oakland’s secondary. I already noted above that RCB Conley could miss this game or be limited, but the other corners also remain a target of ours. Daryl Worley allowed five touchdowns in coverage last year (111.9 QB Rating) and Lamarcus Joyner doesn’t have the wheels (4.55 speed) to keep up with Hardman in the slot (4.33). The only question here is volume, but everything on paper indicates this to be a strong matchup for Hardman.
Tyrell Williams vs KC ($4,400 DK & $5,900FD)
The Raiders are 7.5-point home dogs in a matchup with the Chiefs. With a game total currently projected for 52.5, we can anticipate quite a bit of passing from the Oakland side as they try to keep pace. Tyrell Williams had a 27% target share in their opener against Denver, and if that stays consistent in a game that we can uptick in pace and pass percentage, he could be in line for a quality outing. Williams draws a matchup on the perimeter with Charvarius Ward and Bashaud Breeland. Both were outside PFF’s top-100 cornerbacks last year and we just Gardner Minshew — a sixth-round rookie — tear apart this secondary (85% completion rate). “The Gazelle” is a candidate to put up back-to-back 100-yard outings and is far too cheap on DK.