DFS Wide Receiver Analysis: Week 3

DFS Wide Receiver Analysis: Week 3

By TJ Hernandez (Director of DFS), last update Sep 23, 2017

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TJ is a former full-time poker player who has been playing fantasy football for more than a decade. After online poker was outlawed, TJ ended his poker career and dedicated himself to fantasy football. His background in poker statistics and analytics translates to success in both daily and season-long fantasy football.

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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).

Chalk

For the second week in a row, Julio Jones is expected to be the most popular receiver on both FanDuel and DraftKings, with A.J. Green projected to be the chalk on FanDuel and DeAndre Hopkins likely to approach 20% ownership on DraftKings. Even though this group makes up “the chalk”, note that no receiver in Week 3 is expected to approach the 30%+ ownership that some of the most popular plays commanded last week. With unusually flat ownership at the wide receiver position, owners can be overweight on some of the more popular plays, if they choose, without having a grossly unbalanced player portfolio.

  • Despite promises of a more involved Julio Jones in the red zone this season, Jones has seen just one target inside the 20 in the Falcons’ first two games. Sure, Atlanta only has six red zone pass attempts this season, but that still means Julio has accounted for just 17% of the team’s red zone looks, which is exactly the concern when looking for upside with Julio. That being said, Jones is one of 12 receivers with at least a quarter of his team’s targets and Detroit is still a defense that will be vulnerable against the pass—remember that the Lions opened the season against an out-of-sync Cardinals team and a Giants offense that’s falling apart before our eyes.
  • Usually, the public overreacts to recent performances, but A.J. Green’s matchup against the Packers outweighs his slow start. Collectively, the Packers rank 24th in yards allowed per pass attempt so far this season and their secondary entered 2017 ranked 29th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to wide receivers, making Green the top value on FanDuel, where he’s priced just outside the top tier. The worry for Green owners is whether or not Andy Dalton will have time to get rid of the ball—Dalton has already been sacked eight times in two games and Green Bay’s defense currently boasts the sixth-highest adjusted sack rate in the league.
  • DeAndre Hopkins has commanded a staggering 29 targets in two weeks, accounting for a ridiculous 48.3% of Houston’s targets, but he’s priced as the WR18 on DraftKings this week, making him the top-projected value on DK. Not only is Nuk’s target share unsustainable, but Bill Belichick is notorious for taking away a team’s primary option—not to mention a team’s only option. In fact, on this week’s DFS MVP podcast, Chris Raybon predicted New England’s defense will post better fantasy numbers than Hopkins.

Studs

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2017