Figuring out the top-end guys (read 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.
Keke Coutee, HOU vs. IND, $4,000 — Coutee hasn’t played since Week 11 as he’s battled recurring hamstring pulls. But he’s practicing fully this week and is expected to play Saturday. Note that Coutee also came off a hamstring pull to make his season debut in Week 4 against these Colts and racked up an 11-109-0 line on 15 targets. That was with Will Fuller on the field. Now both Fuller (ACL) and Demaryius Thomas (Achilles) are done, leaving the Texans desperately thin at wideout. Coutee comes with risk due to the recurring nature of his soft-tissue injury, but it’s encouraging he saw 15 targets in his first game after the initial pull and then nine targets in his first game back after the aggravation. If Coutee can’t go or is limited, 5’8/190 DeAndre Carter ($3,300) will man the slot again. He’s seen 12 targets over the past two weeks.
Projection: 7 targets if healthy
Taylor Gabriel, CHI vs. PHI, $4,500 — Gabriel has seen only 10 targets in his past three games, but Mitchell Trubisky hasn’t topped 29 attempts in any of those. Expect a bit more volume from Trubisky on Sunday against an Eagles defense that is best attacked through the air. Gabriel still holds an 18 percent target share on the season and has seen at least five targets in 11-of-16 games. Used in an extremely poor man’s version of the Tyreek Hill role for ex-Chiefs OC Matt Nagy, Gabriel’s targets come both short in the screen game and on deep shots.
Projection: 6 targets
Dontrelle Inman, IND at HOU, $4,300 — Inman has settled in as the No. 2 wideout for the Colts. He ran a route on 34 of Luck’s 40 dropbacks in Week 17 and has a strong 71.7 percent catch rate on the season. Perhaps most importantly, Ryan Grant (toe) is questionable at best and Zach Pascal (knee) appears to be less than 100 percent. Inman, who has three red-zone targets over the past two weeks, has a great chance to be in on a majority of passing plays against the Texans’ funneling defense. He’s certainly behind T.Y. Hilton, Eric Ebron and maybe even Nyheim Hines on the target totem pole. But Inman has appeal as part of the slate’s most likely shootout.
Projection: 5 targets
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