For wide receivers, volume is necessary. That’s especially true in cash games, where we sacrifice depth of target and ceiling in exchange for a lot of chances.


These are the receivers I project to see the most targets in Week 8 (Sunday/Monday main slate only):

1. DeAndre Hopkins: 13 targets – No Arian Foster and a matchup against a Titans secondary that could be without Michael Griffin (knee), Perrish Cox (hamstring) and Jason McCourty (knee). Hopkins has at least 11 targets in every game this year while playing for the fastest-paced team in the NFL.

2. Julio Jones: 12 targets – Leonard Hankerson’s hamstring injury and Roddy White’s plummet into the abyss leaves Matt Ryan with nowhere to go. Expect Jacob Tamme to get work, but Julio will be the one that gets fed. After 17 targets against the Titans, Jones is now at 12.8 per game on the season despite being limited in three games by a hamstring issue of his own.

3. Antonio Brown: 11 targets – This assumes Ben Roethlisberger (knee) is actually back. Brown is riding a streak of 35 games with at least five catches and 50 yards with Ben under center. Note that his price has fallen to $7800, way off the $9200 he was at prior to Ben’s injury.

4. Demaryius Thomas: 11 targets – Peyton Manning can’t get the ball downfield, but that hasn’t stopped him from peppering Thomas with short targets. Demaryius has seen at least 11 targets in 5-of-6 games and is averaging 12.5 total.

5. Keenan Allen: 11 targets – Allen’s hip was a non-issue in Week 7 as he played on 100 percent of the snaps and went 9-89-0 on 13 targets. Now comes another soft matchup against the Ravens. Allen will be an even stronger play if Antonio Gates (knee) is forced to sit again.

6. Odell Beckham Jr.: 10 targets – The Giants haven’t gotten into any true shootouts yet this year. There’s a good chance that changes this week as the NYG/NO game has the second-highest total on the slate (49 points). Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo should be racking his brain figuring out ways to get OBJ off double teams.

7. Mike Evans: 9 targets – With Vincent Jackson (knee) and Louis Murphy (knee) both out, the Bucs are down to the nub for Sunday’s game against the Falcons. Evans should be able to avoid Desmond Trufant, who rarely shadows.

8. Brandon Marshall: 9 targets – Marshall only could muster 4-67-0 against Logan Ryan last week. Expect a whole lot more this week with Chris Ivory still banged up and a much softer spot against an Oakland secondary that has a ton of holes.

9. Emmanuel Sanders: 9 targets – Has seen double-digit targets in 4-of-6 games and is averaging 10.8. If the Broncos fall behind against the Packers (they are 3-point home dogs), Manny will get peppered.

10. Amari Cooper: 9 targets – Cooper is going to see plenty of Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. But the Raiders are going to have to take to the air anyway as they’ll find it very difficult to run on this Jets front. Note that the Patriots attempted just five rushes with running backs last week against the Jets.


Figuring out the top-end guys (above) is relatively easy. The low-end wideouts are much harder – and more valuable. Each week this season, I’m going to discuss wide receivers under $5000 who I project for at least five targets.

Note: The Following projections are based on the Main Slate Sunday/Monday games only.

1. Stefon Diggs, Vikings — $4800

There was some doubt about Diggs’ status as the starting X receiver prior to Week 7. Not anymore. Even with Charles Johnson (ribs) healthy, Diggs played on a team-high 80.8 percent of the snaps saw a team-high nine targets. In his three career NFL games, Diggs has now gotten 10, 9 and 9 targets. And if you’ve seen the Vikings play during that span, you know he’s the No. 1 receiver now – well ahead of liability Mike Wallace. Even as his price rises, Diggs is a strong play once again this week against a Bears defense that ranks 30th against fantasy wide receivers.

Projection: Seven targets

2. Willie Snead, Saints – $4500

The final Week 7 box score was not pretty for Snead as he caught three passes for 25 yards. But the usage was still there. Snead was second on the team with seven targets, dropped a pass in the end zone and played on 80.9 percent of the snaps even though the Saints jumped out to a 20-0 lead. Note that Marques Colston was in for just 30.3 percent. Snead has another good spot this week at home against the Giants, but he’s clearly under Diggs now because of target concentration. While Teddy Bridgewater is locked onto Diggs, Brees targeted seven receivers at least twice last week. Snead has seen just 14.4 percent of his teams’ targets the last two weeks.

Projection: Six targets

3. Nate Washington, Texans — $3600

No Arian Foster (Achilles), possibly no Cecil Shorts (hamstring) and a matchup with a Titans team that is very banged up in the secondary. Nate Washington’s 16 Week 7 targets were obviously a scoreboard-induced fluke, but this game sets up for him to see a lot of work again. Note that in the four games Washington has played fully, he’s seen no fewer than eight targets and is averaging 11.0. The Texans’ rabid offensive pace has inflated all their box scores – they lead the NFL in plays per game (76) and fewest seconds per play (22.5).

Projection: Seven targets

4. Stevie Johnson, Chargers – $3200

Stevie came off his hamstring injury in Week 7 and recorded a 4-50-0 line while tying a season-high with eight targets. He played on 81.3 percent of the snaps, around where he projects to be against the Ravens’ inept secondary this week. With Antonio Gates (knee) iffy and the Chargers unable to run the ball whether Melvin Gordon (ankle) is near 100 percent or not, there are a lot of targets to go around here.

Projection: Seven targets

5. Michael Crabtree, Raiders — $4700

I’m not going to roster Crabtree this week because the Jets’ secondary is elite. But we can count on the volume as he’s seen at least eight targets in each game he’s played fully this year and is averaging 9.3 per game overall. Note that Amari Cooper is at 8.3 targets per game. The Raiders and Derek Carr love Crabtree, and he’ll be a strong play in Week 9 against the Steelers.

Projection: Eight targets

6. Marvin Jones, Bengals — $4200

The Bengals are so flush with playmakers that it’s hard to narrow down a projection for Jones. Note that he was playing poorly in Week 4 against the Chiefs and Andy Dalton just went away from him (two targets). Mohamed Sanu ended up with six targets in that game. So we know there’s danger here, but we might be able to accept it thanks to the ceiling. Jones is a playmaker, as evidenced by his 13 touchdowns in his last 24 games. Over the last two weeks, he’s rebounded from that Chiefs debacle with 5-61-0 and 9-95-1 against the tough secondaries of the Seahawks and Bills respectively.

Projection: Six targets

7. Michael Floyd, Cardinals – $3500

John Brown’s hamstring issue clearly isn’t as bad as it seemed. He looked completely fine on Monday night as he played on his usual 82.3 percent of the snaps. Still, Michael Floyd was involved again as he saw 66.1 percent of the snaps and recorded a 3-59-1 line on four targets. Floyd has now played on 71.2 percent of the snaps over the last four weeks and his target count has gone 7, 3, 8, 4. There’s risk here as there is with any No. 3 wideout, but Floyd’s natural ability gives him a higher ceiling than most guys in this role. A concern this week is a matchup with the Browns’ league-worst run defense – it’s possible Bruce Arians leans harder on CJ2K than usual.

Projection: Five targets

8. Davante Adams, Packers — $3900

It’s going to be tough to stomach Adams this week. He’s coming off an ankle injury, has a nightmare matchup at Denver and was not playing well before the injury anyway. But we’re still talking about a guy ticketed for at least 85 percent of the snaps with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, and Ty Montgomery is fighting an ankle injury of his own.

Projection: Five targets