Figuring out the top-end guys (click here) is relatively easy. The low-end wideouts are much harder — and more valuable. Each week, I’ll discuss wide receivers under $5,000 who I project for at least five targets.
Chris Godwin, TB vs. NO, $4,900 — DraftKings raised Godwin’s price by $1,000 this week and it’s still not enough — assuming DeSean Jackson (thumb) sits out for the second straight week. Godwin once again proved he’s a special NFL talent in Week 13, running a route on 38 of Jameis Winston’s 39 dropbacks and posting a 5-101-1 line. In the three games D-Jax has missed over the past two seasons, Godwin’s lines are 3-98-0, 7-111-1 and 5-101-1. He’s 24th among 108 qualifying wide receivers in yards per route run this year and was 13th in that predictive metric as a rookie last season. With the Saints’ defense operating as one of the league’s biggest pass funnels (third in DVOA against the run, 22nd against the pass), volume should not be a concern. Slot man Adam Humphries — also $4,900 — projects for a similar target share as Godwin.
Projection: 8 targets if DeSean Jackson is out
Courtland Sutton, DEN at SF, $4,500 — Sutton has been operating as the clear-cut No. 2 wideout in the four games since the Demaryius Thomas trade. During that time he’s seen 22 of Case Keenum’s 123 targets for a reasonable 17.8 percent share. But now that Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles) is done, Sutton will be asked to do a lot more. As noted by NFL.com’s Graham Barfield, Sanders led the Broncos in target share (23 percent), air yards share (28 percent) and red-zone target share (21 percent). So even if Sutton isn’t really ready to be a true No. 1 receiver and his route tree is limited, the added volume makes up for it. DaeSean Hamilton is also in play at stone minimum $3,000 as he projects to start opposite Sutton in 2-WR sets and kick inside for 3-WR sets.
Projection: 7 targets
Golden Tate, PHL at DAL, $4,800 — Tate is finally settling into a featured role in Philadelphia. Although he still is running a route on only roughly two-thirds of Carson Wentz’s dropbacks, Tate is proving to be a target magnet. He’s seen 23 targets over the past three games while running just 77 routes. It’s that reliability, YAC ability and knack for getting open that makes him a favorite of quarterbacks. Now comes the biggest game of the season for the Eagles as they travel to Dallas with the NFC East on the line. Given how well Tate played Monday, there’s at least a chance Tate pushes closer to 100 percent of Wentz’s dropbacks in Week 14. He’s clearly the Eagles’ best receiver right now behind Zach Ertz.
Projection: 7 targets
Tre’Quan Smith, NO at TB, $4,500 — Smith (foot, toe) was inactive against the Falcons on Thanksgiving and saw just one target when he returned for last week’s ugly loss at Dallas. Now in one of the best possible matchups against the Bucs, it’s time for Smith to get going again. Even though the impressive rookie’s box score was scary against the Cowboys, he did run a route on every one of Drew Brees’ dropbacks and even ducked into the slot on 10-of-44 total snaps. Brees’ preference to spread the ball around and feature running backs in the pass game leaves Smith with a low floor, but the efficiency he’s shown since preseason combined with this matchup can’t be ignored.
Projection: 5 targets
Michael Gallup, DAL vs. PHL, $3,700 — Gallup, the third-round rookie, has moved ahead of Allen Hurns for the No. 2 wideout role, which is notable with Cole Beasley (foot) banged up. Gallup ran a route on 32 of Dak Prescott’s 37 dropbacks in Week 13 and commanded a strong 25 percent target share. Over the past three games, Gallup has seen 18 of Dak’s 91 targets (19.7 percent). This week is a big chance to capitalize on that usage as the Cowboys are home to face one of the league’s worst secondaries in the Eagles. When these two teams met a month ago, Prescott had one of his best games of the season by going 26-of-36 for 270 yards.
Projection: 5 targets
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