Breaking down the WR targets for the upcoming Wild Card weekend.
Looking for a different position? Check out the rest of the positional targets:
Cream of the Crop
DeSean Jackson, Washington (vs GB) – $4500
DeSean isn’t the type of wide receiver I generally want to roster: small and doesn’t see many short targets. He’s volatile with upside that’s probably overrated because he can’t consistently score in the red zone. However, he’s simply too cheap in this matchup with how Kirk Cousins is throwing the ball. I actually like the idea of fading Jackson in GPPs because he’s clearly underpriced, but again, I think the upside is actually more capped than what others probably believe. He’s ironically a cash-game play for me, despite the volatility, because the price is so attractive.
DeAndre Hopkins, Houston (vs KC) – $8400
Everyone is going to be on Antonio Brown this week, which is understandable since he’s a freak and probably not human. But Hopkins is a really talented player on a team that’s probably going to need to throw a bunch, and probably in a better matchup. The Chiefs have allowed 4.7 points per game above expected to opposing receivers this year—the worst mark for any defense playing this weekend. Oh, Hopkins is also $1,200 cheaper than Brown.
A.J. Green, Cincinnati (vs PIT) – $7500
There hasn’t been great chemistry between Green and AJ McCarron, but this is still one of the game’s elite receivers at $7,500 against a very weak secondary; the Steelers have allowed 3.9 points per game above expected to receivers.
Middle of the Pack
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (at CIN) – $9600
It’s pretty crazy to have a receiver who costs $9,600 ranked this highly, especially when he’s not even in that great of a matchup. We’ve seen that Brown is more matchup-independent than probably any player in the NFL, though, and this game is probably first or second to GB-WAS in terms of the potential for a shootout.
James Jones, Green Bay (at WAS) – $4100
Jones has seen at least nine targets in three straight games, including 24 targets over the past two. For that alone, he’s worth a look at $4,100. I don’t like Jones in cash games, but his touchdown upside is appealing in GPPs.
Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh (at CIN) – $5600
Bryant isn’t in play in cash games, especially given since his price is up $300 from last week, when he saw only three targets. This isn’t a buy-low situation in terms of cost, but it is a buy-low scenario in terms of ownership. With most off of Bryant because of his recent performance and the salary, this is probably a sharp short-slate tournament play.
Rest of the Field
Pierre Garcon, Washington (vs GB) – $4200
The Redskins are airing the crap out of the ball, but their receivers cost only $8,700 combined—$900 cheaper than Antonio Brown. I’m sort of contemplating a Cousins/Jackson/Garcon trio since almost everyone who uses Cousins will stack him with Reed, but I’ll probably chicken out since Reed is a beast and possesses the scoring upside.
Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City (at HOU) – $6400
I’m really not a huge Maclin fan this week. The matchup is bad and this could easily end up being a low-scoring, slow-paced game. I’m also confident Maclin is going to see touchdown regression in the near future.
Marvin Jones, Cincinnati (vs PIT) – $3700
Did you know Jones hasn’t seen fewer than five targets in a game since October 4th? That’s 12 straight games with at least five looks. He doesn’t have a high ceiling, but he’s perhaps an option if you’re going big elsewhere and need the cap relief.
Jonathan Bales is the author of the Fantasy Sports for Smart People book series, and most recently Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Win at Daily Fantasy Sports.
Follow him @BalesFootball.