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.
TOP-10 WR TARGET PROJECTIONS
These are the receivers I project to see the most targets in Week 6 (Sunday/Monday slate only):
1. Odell Beckham Jr.: 12 targets – As long as hamstring is near 100 percent, it’s a potent spot for Beckham as the Giants are up in pace and will struggle to run against the Eagles. Stay tuned to the injury news.
2. DeAndre Hopkins: 11 targets – Even if Cecil Shorts and Nate Washington return from injury, Hopkins will get fed. He’s seen at least 11 targets in all five games.
3. Julian Edelman: 11 targets – After going down in pace against Dallas, the Patriots will be way up in pace against a Colts defense that needs to be attacked via the slot.
4. A.J. Green: 10 targets – Expect a pass-heavy gameplan from the Bengals as they won’t be able to run in the Ralph. Per ESPN’s Mike Clay, Bills opponents call pass 70% of the time (most in NFL).
5. Calvin Johnson: 10 targets – The Lions are coming off games against the Broncos, Seahawks and Cardinals. Every pass game would look bad against that trio. Now they’re home against Bears.
6. Demaryius Thomas: 10 targets – Demaryius is going to get targets, but he’s priced as if Peyton Manning is mediocre. Peyton is not – especially on the road. The Broncos should also be able to get their run-game going against a defense that gives up 5.04 YPC (31st in the league).
6. Jeremy Maclin: 9 targets – No Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs are four-point dogs at Minnesota. Maclin’s target count the previous three games: 11, 13, 12. Just realize he’ll see a lot of Xavier Rhodes.
7. Keenan Allen: 9 targets – Don’t expect Antonio Gates to match last week’s production. Keenan is still the man here – averaging 11.2 targets per game and in a spot where the Chargers will almost certainly be trailing.
8. Jarvis Landry: 9 targets – It’s never exciting rostering Landry, but he’s seen at least 10 targets in all four of his games. He fits so well with Ryan Tannehill’s skill set.
9. Antonio Brown: 8 targets – I’ll say the same thing I said last week: Brown is virtually unrosterable with Michael Vick until his price comes way down. Especially considering the level Patrick Peterson is playing at right now.
10. Randall Cobb: 8 targets – Two straight slow weeks have dropped Cobb’s price down to $7300 – grossly low for Aaron Rodgers’ No. 1 target.
CHEAP PRICE, HIGH VOLUME
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 $5000 and under who I project for at least five targets. Last week, all the value at WR allowed as allowed us to go stars and scrubs with roster construction. This week, there aren’t very many cheapies to get excited about:
Note: The Following projections are based on Sunday/Monday games only.
1. Donte Moncrief, Patriots — $5000
The Patriots are famous for singling out the opponent’s biggest weapon and eliminating him. In the past, they used Darrelle Revis on the No. 2 WR and double-teamed T.Y. Hilton. It’s very possible they’ll employ the same strategy Sunday night, except with Malcolm Butler in the Revis role. This is still a matchup Moncrief can win and he will see volume. The Colts are at home, underdogs and have a team total of 24 points – ideal conditions for fantasy production.
Projection: Seven targets
2. Eric Decker, Jets — $4900
The Jets come out of their bye in a beautiful spot – home against the Redskins’ bad/injured secondary. DeAngelo Hall remains sidelined and Chris Culliver is questionable, leaving Decker to work against Will Blackmon and Kyshoen Jarrett. Decker cost $6000 in Week 1, somehow sinking all the way to $4900 in this spot even though his lines are 2-37-1, 8-97-1, injured, 4-46-1, bye.
Projection: Six targets
3. Mike Wallace, Vikings — $4500
Yes, the Chiefs have gotten Sean Smith back. But that doesn’t mean their secondary issues are solved, as evidenced by the shredding Andy Dalton put on them in Week 4 and the comeback Jay Cutler mounted in Week 5. The Chiefs are giving up a whopping league-high 35.0 fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts (86 catches, 1,143 yards, 11 touchdowns). That’s an incredible 5.8 more ppg than the 31st-place Ravens.
Projection: Six targets
4. Anquan Boldin, 49ers — $4300
Speaking of the Ravens’ atrocious pass defense, the 49ers find themselves in a very good spot Sunday. One week after finally gaining some confidence against the Giants on national television, they come home to face the league’s No. 23 defense in opponent completion percentage, No. T-22 in TDs allowed, No. 22 in passer rating against and No. 25 in yards allowed per game. I think Boldin is still slightly overpriced relative to his production this year, but he has seen 19 targets the last two weeks and put 8-107-1 on the Giants. I can make a case for both Naked Kaep and Kaep-Boldin stack.
Projection: Seven targets
5. Marquess Wilson, Bears — $4000
Alshon Jeffery (calf) appears to be on track to finally return after getting a limited practice in Wednesday. Obviously, that takes a big bite out of Wilson’s projection. But Eddie Royal’s status (hip) is also unknown and Wilson is proving that he deserves looks even when Royal is healthy anyway. Over the last two weeks, the bulked-up Wilson has 12-165-1 on 17 targets – looking every bit the part of the big-time prospect who lit the Pac-12 on fire as a sophomore at Washington State in 2011. I’d only feel comfortable using Wilson if one of Jeffery or Royal sits. But if they do, Wilson has proven he’s a playmaker for Jay Cutler.
Projection: Seven targets (if Alshon Jeffery or Eddie Royal sit again)