WATCH: WR TARGET AMARI COOPER


For wide receivers, volume is necessary. These are the wide receivers I project to see the most targets in Week 12 (Sunday main slate only):

TOP-10 WR Target Projections

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1. Julian Edelman: 11 targets – With Rob Gronkowski (chest) and Chris Hogan (back) out last week, Edelman piled up an absurd 17 targets. This is another plus spot for Edelman against a funneling Jets defense which is 2nd DVOA vs. the run and 30th DVOA vs. the pass.

2. Mike Evans: 10 targets – The Seahawks will be without starting CB DeShawn Shead, which isn’t a good thing for Mike Evans. It makes it more likely they’ll use Richard Sherman in shadow coverage. Still, Jameis Winston won’t stop throwing at Evans, who is averaging 12.2 targets per game. FS Earl Thomas (hamstring) is also out.

3. Odell Beckham: 10 targets – Beckham only has two games over 100 yards all season, but he has seen at least seven targets in every single game. The Browns rank 22nd in pass yards allowed, 30th in YPA, dead last in pass TDs allowed and 31st in sacks.

4. Larry Fitzgerald: 10 targets – Michael Floyd, J.J. Nelson and John Brown are all dealing with issues ranging from illness to poor play to size limitations. Rapidly declining Carson Palmer’s best play right now is to dump the ball off short to slot man Fitz, who is averaging 10.6 targets per game on the year.

5. Amari Cooper: 9 targets – The only way the Panthers can hide their woefully inexperienced secondary is to rush the passer. That won’t happen against a dominant Raiders offensive line which ranks 4th in PFF’s pass-block grades. It’s a home run spot for Cooper and a fine spot for Michael Crabtree as well.

6. Julio Jones: 9 targets – Expect Julio to be shadowed by dominant Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson. It’s about the worst possible matchup for a wideout, but we know he’s at least capable of winning it. Julio went 7-139-1 in Seattle earlier this year and beat Josh Norman for 9-178-1 last year when Norman was on the Panthers.

7. Terrelle Pryor: 9 targets – Getting Josh McCown back under center is huge for Pryor, who had 6-101-0 when McGod was last under center in Week 8. Note that McCown has averaged 295.6 pass yards and 1.77 pass TDs in his last nine full games – obviously good news for Pryor, Corey Coleman and Gary Barnidge.

8. Brandon Marshall: 9 targets  – Getting Ryan Fitzpatrick back under center is big for Marshall, whose last two lines against New England are 8-115-2, 4-67-0. The Patriots are quietly a pathetic 27th in pass defense DVOA.

9. Allen Robinson: 9 targets – Robinson continues to struggle mightily with a poor 50 percent catch rate and a low 11.1 YPC. But he keeps getting volume and now gets a scuffling Bills’ secondary playing musical chairs.

10. Demaryius Thomas: 9 targets – It’s tough to be excited about anyone catching balls from Trevor Siemian, but Demaryius should see a lot of weak CB Phillip Gaines and does have at least 10 targets in five straight games.


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Figuring out the top-end guys (above) is relatively easy. The low-end wideouts are much harder – and more valuable. Each week, I’ll discuss five wide receivers under $5,000 who I project for at least five targets.

1. DeVante Parker, Dolphins: $4,700

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As noted in this exact space last week, DeVante Parker has appeared to turn the corner. Hopefully you got on him when he was roughly 2 percent owned on DraftKings in Week 11 because he’s going to be very popular in Week 12. Not only is Parker coming off a 8-79-1 game (along with 18 targets across the last two weeks), but he’s facing the 49ers. This Chip Kelly team allows opponents to run the most plays per game against them and they’re 21st in pass defense DVOA. With Jarvis Landry (shoulder) and Kenny Stills (calf) on the injury report again, the 6’3/212 former first-round pick Parker is shining.

Projection: 7 targets


2. Tyler Boyd, Bengals: $4,000

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Boyd has been an exclusive slot man this year, running 91.9 percent of his routes from there while playing on 66.7 percent of the snaps overall. Now that A.J. Green (hamstring) and Gio Bernard (knee) are out, there’s a lot more for the rookie to chew on. It’s likely we’ll see his snap count rise toward the 80 percent range and we’ll also see his target share rise from it’s current 5.0 average. Green and Gio were combining to see 15.1 targets per game.

Projection: 7 targets


3. Brandon LaFell, Bengals: $4,600

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A.J. Green’s serious hamstring pull coupled with Gio Bernard’s ACL tear leaves this Bengals offense barren. That duo combined for 15.1 targets per game. Tyler Eifert will also see a boost, but the player most likely to step into Green’s outside role is LaFell. He was already playing 92.9 percent of the snaps, so the difference will come in volume. Expect a boost from the 5.5 targets per game he was seeing to the 6-8 range.

Projection: 7 targets


4. Corey Coleman, Browns: $4,200

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The return of Josh McCown to the saddle is great news for the entire Browns offense. In his last nine full games for the Browns, he’s averaged 295.6 passing yards and 1.77 TDs. So Corey Coleman gets a big boost – note that went he 5-104-2 in Week 2 against the Ravens with McCown under center.

Projection: 7 targets


5. Marqise Lee, Jaguars: $4,000

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Lee continues to outplay Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns on a weekly basis. He’s seen at least six targets in eight of his last nine games and caught at least four balls in every one of them. Of course, Lee hasn’t shown much of a ceiling as he has one 100-yard game and one touchdown. But his weekly floor of eight points is reasonable for a player at $4,000.

Projection: 6 targets

 


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is AdamLevitan) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.