DFS Wide Receiver Analysis: Week 2
Each week I break down the wide receiver position and explain how you should think about players in terms of tiers, their overall impact on lineup construction, and potential range of outcomes.
Below is an analysis of this week’s wide receivers on the main slate, including the upside and downside of each relevant player, and how you might adjust your approach to the position depending on the game type. The chalk and any referenced ownership percentages are derived from the 4for4 DFS Ownership Projections.
Note: For early-season wide receiver matchups, history suggests previous season matchup data correlates very strongly from one year to the next, especially for teams that finished at the extremes (top or bottom five in fantasy points allowed).
Both the Falcons/Packers and Saints/Patriots games feature over/unders above 53 points, meaning players in these two games will dominate ownership in Week 2. Julio Jones and Jordy Nelson figure to lead the way in ownership on both sites, with Brandin Cooks likely in the same number of lineups on FanDuel. After torching New England in the season opener on national television, Tyreek Hill will garner similar attention with an affordable DraftKings price. Salary and matchups are set up in a such a way that paying up for receivers may be the roster construction of choice, even in cash games. There is enough flexibility and value across the board, though, for virtually any style of roster build in all formats.
- Julio Jones is the top overall and top ceiling value on FanDuel, playing at home against a Packers defense ranked 29th in wide receiver aFPA. Last season, all three Green Bay cornerbacks ranked in the bottom-11 among qualifying corners in passer rating allowed and Julio will draw the best matchup against Damarious Randall. In 2016, Randall allowed the second-most fantasy points per snap of any cornerback to play at least eight games and he was the most targeted corner on a per-route basis in Week 1, per Mike Clay. All this adds up to Julio having the best chance of hitting cash or tournament value on either site. The risk with Jones is always red zone opportunities, but 43% of passing touchdowns against the Packers came from outside the 20 last year, the fifth-highest rate in the league.
- In what seems like a dream scenario—a shootout against a defense ranked 25th against receivers—Jordy Nelson doesn’t grade out particularly well in 4for4’s value reports, barely breaking the top 10 on FanDuel and coming in much lower on DraftKings. While Desmond Trufant typically plays opposing WR1s quite well, Jordy averaged a 5/80.5/1 line on 9 targets in two games in Atlanta (including the playoffs) last season. Although a complete fade of Nelson is ill-advised in this spot, his leverage score suggests the lowest ownership relative to the field of any top-tier receiver this week.
- While playing in New Orleans, Brandin Cooks averaged 18.2 PPR points at home, compared to just 13.1 points on the road. Now, Cooks returns to the Superdome to face his former team and a defense that just got lit up by Sam Bradford to the tune of 326 yards and 3 touchdowns. Only Julio shows up as a better standard or ceiling value on FanDuel this week, where volume takes a back seat to touchdown upside. As is always the case with a high-powered offense like New England’s, though, all the mouths to feed make touchdowns difficult to predict, even in the highest-scoring games. Take a ride down narrative street to the house with reasonable ownership, but don’t go too much further.
- Tyreek Hill is hardly a traditional wide receiver, but when he does line up as such in Week 2, most of his snaps will be spent across from Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills, who was targeted at the third-highest rate of any DB in Week 1. Though he didn’t see any of Kansas City’s five red zone targets last week, Hill ranked second on the team in that category in 2016—the Chiefs threw on 6-of-7 red zone plays in Week 1 (85.7%) after throwing just 56% of the time inside the 20 last season. Travis Kelce is always a threat to steal potential touchdowns, and Kareem Hunt may kill some of the rushing cushion Hill offered last year.
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