John Ross

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 five wide receivers under $5,000 who I project for at least five targets.

1. John Ross, CIN vs. SF, $4,600
Ross’ Week 1 was eye-opening and not just because he went off for 7-158-2 in Seattle. New coach Zac Taylor injected a breath of fresh air into this Bengals offense, which was constantly in the mud under defensive-minded head coach Marvin Lewis. Ross played 61-of-75 snaps and was in the slot for 19 of those. With AJ Green (ankle surgery) out, Ross’ 23.5% target share is in the range of outcomes weekly. And this week the 4.22 speedster will see a lot of 31-year-old Richard Sherman, who ran a 4.56 at his Combine back in 2011.
Projection: 7 targets

2. Tyrell Williams, OAK vs. KC, $4,400
Antonio Brown was dumped after the Week 1 salaries came out, and then the Week 2 salaries were released before Tyrell the Gazelle put 6-105-1 on the Broncos. So he’s severely underpriced relative to his role as the No. 1 wideout heading into a plump home spot against the Chiefs. Ryan Grant, JJ Nelson and Hunter Renfrow are not going to hog targets. Derek Carr’s past three home games against KC have resulted in 285 yards plus three TDs, 417 yards plus three TDs and 225 yards plus one TD.
Projection: 7 targets

3. Christian Kirk, ARZ at BAL, $4,500
The Cardinals indeed played a two-slot, four-WR formation as their base in Week 1. Some of that had to do with them in full-blown comeback mode for 3.5 quarters, but it was an encouraging sign for both Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald. The Ravens’ defense in Baltimore is certainly no picnic, but note that top CBs Jimmy Smith (knee) and Tavon Young (neck) are out. Kirk was 11th among all wideouts in Week 1 Air Yards.
Projection: 7 targets

4. Mecole Hardman, KC at OAK, $4,800
It remains to be seen exactly how the Chiefs will replace Tyreek Hill (shoulder). Hardman was electric during the preseason, flashing his 4.33 speed while catching two TDs with the backups. He did play on 53-of-59 targets in Week 1, but saw just one target. Now the Chiefs have gotten De’Anthony Thomas off suspension and still have Demarcus Robinson. All that said, we can expect Andy Reid to scheme the ball to Hardman specifically at least a few times Sunday. They drafted him in the second round to be Tyreek’s replacement in the event of a suspension.
Projection: 6 targets

5. Terry McLaurin, WAS vs. DAL, $3,800
The Redskins are so barren at wide receiver and tight end (Jordan Reed remains in concussion protocol) that it’s been easy for McLaurin to assume top dog status as a third-round rookie. He played on 59-of-64 snaps in Week 1, held a reasonable 16% target share and was 10th among all wideouts in average depth of target. Of course, the matchup this week gets far more difficult as the Eagles are annually one of the biggest pass funnels in the league. The Cowboys, on the other hand, are loaded on every level of their defense.
Projection: 6 targets

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is adamlevitan) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.