WATCH: CLEAN SLATE WEEK 9
For wide receivers, volume is necessary. These are the wide receivers I project to see the most targets in Week 9 (Sunday main slate only):
TOP-10 WR Target Projections
1. Antonio Brown: 11 targets – When Ben Roethlisberger (knee) went down in Week 6, Brown was $10,000 on DraftKings. Now he’s $8,900 and Big Ben is tentatively expected to play at Baltimore on Sunday.
2. Jarvis Landry: 9 targets – We know how teams attack this Jets defense which is 3rd DVOA vs. the run and 31st against the pass. In two games against the Jets last season, Landry turned 28 targets into a 17-205-1 line.
3. Jordy Nelson: 9 targets – With the Packers run game literally MIA, Aaron Rodgers has attempted 45.2 passes per game over the last four. Nelson could catch a big break as top Colts CB Vontae Davis is in the concussion protocol.
4. Allen Robinson: 9 targets – Is this the spot A-Rob finally breaks out? He’s seen double-digit targets in four games this year, but is yet to go over 72 yards. The Jags remain among the most pass-happy teams in the red-zone and Robinson will mostly avoid top Chiefs CB Marcus Peterson, who doesn’t shadow.
5. Odell Beckham: 9 targets – OBJ says the hip/abdominal injury that was bothering him is now 85-90 percent as the Giants come out of their bye. The vastly improved Eagles secondary led by the strong safety pairing of Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod is currently No. 1 in pass defense DVOA.
6. Donte Moncrief: 9 targets – T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) said he’s unsure if he’ll play Sunday. Either way, it’s an excellent spot for Moncrief against the Sam Shields-less Packers secondary which is 24th in YPA allowed and 20th in pass TDs allowed. Moncrief has seven TDs in his last 10 games with Andrew Luck.
7. Packers RB/WR hybrid: 9 targets – We don’t know the status of Randall Cobb (hamstring) or Ty Montgomery (illness). If both are out again, Davante Adams will fill the RB/WR hybrid role. If Montgomery is a full go, it’ll likely be him. Following this situation is one of the keys to Week 9.
8. Brandon Marshall: 9 targets – The Dolphins talent-deficient secondary has no answer for Marshall, who watched Quincy Enunwa rack up 11 targets last week. Expect Marshall to the focal point this time.
9. Mike Wallace: 8 targets (if Steve Smith is out) – Smith missed practice again Wednesday/Thursday due to his ankle. In the last three games without Smith, Wallace is averaging 7.0 catches for 93.3 yards on 11.0 targets.
10. Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas: 8 targets each – The Raiders defense has stiffened against weaker competition lately. The Broncos low-caliber pass offense is next up, but the volume has been there for Sanders all year. He has just one game with fewer than eight targets. DT has seen 10 targets in three straight. Both would get a boost if starting Raiders CB Sean Smith (shoulder) sits.
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. Corey Coleman, Browns: $4,500
There’s little reason to expect Corey Coleman to be limited as he returns from a broken hand. He should be in shape, should know the playbook and should have an every-down role. It will come against a Dallas defense which plays above its talent level weekly, but will be without starting SS Barry Church and starting CB Mo Claiborne due to injuries. Coleman’s projection will rise if the aggressive, fantasy-friendly Josh McCown starts instead of Cody Kessler. But either way, Coleman is set up to hit the ground running.
Projection: 7 targets
2. Sammie Coates, Steelers: $4,300
Coates was ascending toward fantasy stardom just a month ago as he hit the Chiefs for 6-79-0 in Week 4 and the Jets for 6-139-2 in Week 5. Then Coates broke a finger plus suffered a nasty gash and Ben Roethlisberger got hurt. Fast forward to this week and it appears both members of this battery are healthy – Coates isn’t even listed on the injury report. That means he should resume his high-upside vertical role in the Steelers’ vertical offense.
Projection: 6 targets
3. Kenny Britt, Rams: $4,400
Britt has quietly averaged 6.8 targets per game on the year and recorded eight in back-to-back games before the bye. Now he gets a spot against a Carolina defense which is extremely stout up front (5th DVOA vs. the run) but very bad in the back end thanks to their woefully inexperienced secondary (27th DVOA vs. the pass). Britt had a terrible game before the bye and the coaches called him out for it, so there’s some risk here. But if he plays his normal role, we should expect 5-8 targets against this bad Panthers secondary.
Projection: 7 targets
4. Kenny Stills, Dolphins: $3,900
Stills showed up big in the Dolphins’ final game before the bye, playing on 68-of-73 snaps and recording a 5-100-1 line on eight targets. His best attribute is getting behind the last level of defense, as evidenced by his 19.8 YPC (5th-best in NFL) and 18.6 average depth of target (3rd-deepest in NFL). That’s perfect for this spot, as the Jets rank 25th in YPC allowed and 31st in pass defense DVOA.
Projection: 6 targets
5. Dontrelle Inman, Chargers: $3,100
Travis Benjamin has a Grade 2 PCL sprain, leaving him very questionable for Sunday’s game against the Titans. We already know Inman is going to play a ton – he’s been on the field for 92.3 percent of the snaps over the last three weeks. But Benjamin’s potential absence would narrow the target tree even further. In the three games Inman has seen at least five targets this season, he’s gone 7-120-1, 3-58-0 and 4-72-0.
Projection: 7 targets (if Travis Benjamin is out)
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.