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 17:

1. Antonio Brown $9300 at Browns: 13 targets – One of the problems for the Steelers offense last week was Ben Roethlisberger locking on to Antonio Brown. But that’s what makes Brown so appealing in PPR fantasy. Although the home/road splits are bad here, expect a bounce-back performance against a talent-devoid Cleveland secondary.

2. Julio Jones $8500 vs. Saints: 12 targets – Julio’s price only went up $200 even though he destroyed the Panthers’ elite secondary last week. And although the Saints have been better against No. 1 wideouts since Dennis Allen replaced Rob Ryan, Allen Robinson got loose for 6-151-1 last week.

3. Odell Beckham Jr. $9000 vs. Eagles: 12 targets – We have an #AngryOdell narrative as he comes off suspension and a dream matchup against an Eagles secondary that has struggled badly against outside receivers for at least three years. Eli Manning saw what happens when he throws at other guys last week and it wasn’t pretty.

4. DeAndre Hopkins $8400 vs. Jaguars: 11 targets – Brian Hoyer is back from his concussion and the Jaguars set up well for opposing wideouts thanks to their funneling defense (described below under Nate Washington). Hopkins absolutely destroyed Jags top corner Davon House in their first meeting, going 10-148-2.

5. Jarvis Landry $6600 vs. Patriots: 11 targets – The matchup against Malcolm Butler is difficult, but Landry gets volume no matter what. He’s seen at least 10 targets 10 times this year and is averaging 12.0 over the last five weeks. There’s also a good chance the Dolphins will be trailing often in this spot.

6. Brandon Marshall $7900 at Bills: 10 targets – The Jets have to win to get into the playoffs. They’ll do it with the guys they’ve been relying on all year in their high-concentration offense. Marshall has seen at least 10 targets in six of his last seven games.

7. Jeremy Maclin $6400 vs. Raiders: 9 targets – Although Alex Smith will ideally attempt under 30 passes, Maclin is going to see around 40 percent of them. Most encouragingly, the risk-averse Smith is willing to give Maclin chances over the top as well as on screens. He’s at 9.4 targets per day over his last five games, scoring five TDs during that span.

8. Kamar Aiken $5400 at Bengals: 9 targets – Expect the Ravens to be trailing big in this letdown spot off their Steelers upset. No matter who is at quarterback, the top target is Aiken. He’s at 10.1 targets per day over the last seven games.

9. Eric Decker $6500 at Bills: 9 targets – Decker needed overtime to get there last week, but he now has either 100 yards or a touchdown in five straight games. Expect him to be featured at the goal-line once again – it’s been that way all year.

10. A.J. Green $7500 vs. Ravens: 9 targets – Coming off the hardest matchup (DEN), Green now gets one of the softest (BAL). A.J. McCarron’s injury shouldn’t be an issue as it’s to his non-throwing wrist.


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.

1. Nate Washington $3600 vs. Jaguars

Cecil Shorts (groin) has already been ruled out for Week 17. In the three games Nate Washington has played and Shorts hasn’t this year, Nate’s lines have been 9-127-2, 4-74-1 and 3-42-1. He’s also has one of the best possible matchups, a home game against a funneling Jaguars defense that ranks 14th DVOA against the run and 31st against the pass. Washington got a nice boost Wednesday as Brian Hoyer (concussion) was cleared to start.

Projection: Seven targets

2. Travis Benjamin $4100 vs. Steelers

I love using wide receivers against the Steelers. Since their offense is so potent, they force opposing offenses to play aggressively. They also have a funneling defense of their own as they’re 5th DVOA against the run and 17th against the pass. So whether it’s Johnny Manziel or Austin Davis, I’d expect Travis Benjamin to be involved plenty. He went 7-113-0 in the first meeting with Pittsburgh and is at 5.6 targets per day over the last three despite brutal matchups with Seattle and Kansas City in the last two.

Projection: Seven targets

3. Rashad Ross $3000 and Ryan Grant $3000 at Cowboys (if DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon are rested)

The Redskins are the only team in the NFL that has locked up their playoff seed. So they are strong candidates to rest players, especially those nursing any kind of injury. DeSean Jackson has battled leg issues for much of the year, making him a prime candidate to sit. And if LT Trent Williams rests some of his injuries, it would be a little crazy to put Kirk Cousins out there. That would set up a situation that was extremely profitable in the preseason – Colt McCoy to Rashad Ross. McCoy was spectacular in the preseason, going 41-of-57 (71.9 percent) for 416 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. His main man was Ross, who went off for 25-266-4 in the preseason.

4. Jordan Matthews $4700 at Giants

Just about all of Jordan Matthews’ production has come in garbage time this year. Now he gets a garbage game with a lame duck coach on one sideline and a fired Chip Kelly watching from home. Matthews, who is averaging 7.5 targets per game over the last month, also has the best matchup among the Eagles wideouts. He won’t see much of competent outside corners Prince Amukamura and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, instead matching up often with Giants slot man Trevin Wade.

Projection: Seven targets

5. Marvin Jones $3700 vs. Ravens

Despite last week’s Ben Roethlisberger debacle, the Ravens are still exploitable in the secondary. Another funnel defense, they rank 9th DVOA against the run and 26th against the pass. So even with A.J. McCarron under center, we should see a reasonably pass-centric gameplan out of the Bengals until they get a big lead. Jones has averaged 7.0 targets in the three games since McCarron took over.

Projection: Six targets

6. James Jones $3800 vs. Vikings

The hoodied Jones is back in the mix in a big way as Davante Adams’ struggles continue. Starting five games ago, Jones has seen his targets go from 6 to 3 to 7 to 9 to 11. He hasn’t produced much as the Packers offense has sputtered badly, but he’s still a red-zone threat seeing volume from Aaron Rodgers at sub-$4k.

Projection: Six targets

Honorable mention: Ted Ginn (six targets), Stephon Diggs (seven targets), Willie Snead (seven targets), Donte Moncrief (six targets), Dorial Green-Beckham (six targets), Rueben Randle (six targets), Anquan Boldin (eight targets)