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Week 12 NFL DFS WR Breakdown: It’s Crowded at the Top

In this piece, I highlight wide receivers who stand out in our large suite of analytical fantasy tools, most specifically, our FantasyLabs Player Models. While the models are built for DFS contests, this is an all-purpose fantasy article with actionable information for all formats.

As news breaks throughout the week and we adjust our projections, player ratings in our Player Models will change. For updates, visit the models directly.

And don’t forget to check out our Lineup Builder if you like to hand build your lineups or our Lineup Optimizer for those of you that like to enter multiple lineups into tournaments.

Top Wide Receivers in the FantasyLabs Models

There are six wide receivers atop the individual Pro Models that Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon, and Ryan Hodge have constructed, as well as our proprietary Cash Game and Tournament Models.

Here’s where they place within our Week 12 Fantasy Rankings (as of Tuesday evening):

  • Davante Adams (2nd)
  • Deebo Samuel (4th)
  • Keenan Allen (5th)
  • Brandin Cooks (18th)
  • Laviska Shenault (41st)
  • Nico Collins (66th)

Editor’s note: Collins has dropped significantly in the models with projection updates after this piece was written.

We’ll discuss why these six are popping in our models, as well as take a look at some other wide receivers in potential high-scoring games.

FantasyLabs Positional Breakdowns

  • Quarterbacks on Friday
  • Tight Ends on Thursday/Friday
  • Running Backs on Friday/Saturday

For more in-depth NFL analysis, check out The Action Network.

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Top Model Wide Receivers

Davante Adams ($8,600 DraftKings, $8,700 FanDuel): Green Bay Packers (-0.5) vs. Los Angeles Rams (47.5 total)

While they aren’t technically mutually exclusive, the high salaries on Adams and Cooper Kupp in this one makes picking between them one of the key decisions of the week. The pair of them are head-and-shoulders above the field in all of our (non-price-considered) projections for Week 12.

When you do factor price into the equation, Adams stands out. He leads our Pts/Sal on both sites and is the top pick in our Cash Game Model on FanDuel. Adams has been the less consistent of the pair, falling shy of 20 DraftKings points in six games so far, compared to only twice for Kupp. However, the Packers star has just as high of a ceiling, with 33, 34, and 40 point games on his 2021 resume.

This game has a fairly moderate 47.5 total but could go way over that mark if things break the right way. If the Packers fall behind — or have an aggressive game plan — it could be another ceiling game for Adams, who leads the league in target share.

Adams is also due for some positive touchdown regression. He scored 18 times in only 14 games last season but has only five through 10 games in 2021. Adams trails only Kupp among main slate receivers in red-zone opportunities per game but has half as many touchdowns.

There are scenarios where this game is a grind-it-out affair. Still, Adams is a scary fade this week.

Deebo Samuel ($7,900 DraftKings, $8,000 FanDuel): San Francisco 49ers (-3) vs. Minnesota Vikings (49 total)

Samuel is second in the NFL in receiving yards on the season and also added over 100 yards and two touchdowns rushing over the past two weeks while serving primarily as a running back. The Niners are expected to be healthy in the backfield this week which should send Deebo back to his usual position, but he’s been excellent there as well.

Deebo is likely the odd man out this week, with ownership likely to condense around Adams and Kupp. He shouldn’t be, though. Samuel is the WR3 in PPR scoring this year, ahead of Adams and behind only Kupp and Tyreek Hill. He’s cheaper than both Adams and Kupp, though, despite having a higher team Vegas total. His target share is comparable at 30%, just behind Adams and Kupp.

He also draws a better matchup. The Vikings have a +1.5 Opponent Plus/Minus allowed (DraftKings) on the season, making Samuel the only receiver over $6,200 in a positive matchup. That’s crucial, with Deebo likely moving back to a traditional receiver role. His targets have suffered the past two weeks (seven combined), but that’s because he was playing out of the backfield. He can do more damage against the Vikings as a receiver.

Deebo leads our Tournament Models on both FanDuel and DraftKings this week. He’s a tremendous pivot off of Adams and Kupp.

Keenan Allen ($7,400 DraftKings, $7,000 FanDuel): Los Angeles Chargers (-2.5) at Denver Broncos (48 total)

Allen’s possession style (80 in the NFL in yards per catch) isn’t as exciting for fantasy as the top players. However, his volume makes him hard to ignore. After losing ground to Mike Williams earlier in the season, Allen is back as the Chargers’ top receiver. He has at least 11 targets in four straight games. His 33% target share since Week 8 leads the entire NFL.

The real appeal to Allen this week is his FanDuel salary. He’s appropriately priced as the fifth-most expensive receiver on DraftKings. However, he’s 11th on FanDuel. While his style suits full-PPR scoring better, that’s still far too big of a discount on FanDuel.

Allen has at least 13.8 FanDuel points in each of the last four games, and there’s no reason to believe that stops here.

He’s tied with Adams for the best Pts/Sal on FanDuel this week, where he leads two of our Pro Models.

Brandin Cooks ($5,800 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel) and Nico Collins ($3,200 DraftKings, $5,300 FanDuel): Houston Texans (-2.5) vs. New York Jets

Editor’s note: Collins has dropped significantly in the models with projection updates after this piece was written.

We have a pair of Texans atop our DraftKings Cash Game Model this week, with Collins edging out Cooks slightly. Cooks also leads one of our other Pro Models on DraftKings.

The Texans are in a great spot this week, taking on a Jets defense that ranks 32nd in both overall and passing DVOA. They also have Tyrod Taylor back under center, which has been a boost to the entire offense. With Taylor starting, the Texans average almost 23 points per game. Without him, they never scored more than 22 (averaging 10.16, not counting the game in which Tyrod started but exited early in either number.)

The downside, of course, is that Taylor is likely to score some of those points with his legs. Both Cooks and Collins have seen their targets decrease in recent weeks. Cooks led the NFL in target share over the first four games of the year but has a moderate 21% over the last four. That’s still solid for a reasonably priced receiver (with huge expected efficiency) but not the smash it could’ve been at his former workload.

Collins also has a diminished role, with his target counts decreasing every game since returning from injury in Week 6. Our projections on him this week feel a bit optimistic. He could certainly get it done on limited volume against the awful Jets secondary, but it’s not the safest bet with both Danny Amendola and Chris Conley seeing more targets over the past month.

Rostering either Texan here likely comes down to how much you think matchup matters for receivers. Personally, I don’t think it’s all that impactful since bad teams get behind early, and reduced volume balances out increased efficiency. Both players are somewhat overpriced for their recent roles — although they could see an uptick here.

Still, it’s hard to find value this week, so both are worth considering.

Editor’s note: Collins has dropped significantly in the models with projection updates after this piece was written.

Laviska Shenault ($4,400 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel): Jacksonville Jaguars (+2) vs. Atlanta Falcons (45 total)

Speaking of “bet on matchup” plays, Shenault draws a Falcons defense that ranks 29th against the pass this year. Unlike the Texans receivers, there’s room for optimism surrounding Shenault’s volume, though.

Jamal Agnew had been the Jaguars’ target leader over the past four games and is now done for the year. He was running similar routes to Shenault as well. Agnew’s 7.48 average depth of target (aDOT) was deeper only than Shenault’s among wide receivers. Agnew also saw a few schemed runs — plays designed for Laviska in the past.

We’ve heard this story before — preseason talk had Shenault filling a major role vacated by rookie running back Travis Etienne. However, it might have to be true out of necessity. Other than Marvin Jones, none of the remaining Jaguars’ receivers have more than 15 targets on the season.

Of course, the matchup is part of the appeal here as well. Atlanta has allowed the second-most points per game on the season and ranks 29th in DVOA against the pass. Jacksonville shouldn’t have too much trouble with this defense, which means plenty of opportunity for Shenault.

Laviska isn’t cheap enough on FanDuel to be in serious consideration. However, he’s tied for the lead in Pts/Sal on DraftKings, where he leads two of our Pro Models.

Other Wide Receivers with Week-Winning Upside

Cooper Kupp ($9,600 DraftKings, $9,500 FanDuel): Los Angeles Rams (+0.5) at Green Bay Packers (48 total)

We discussed Kupp a bit in the entry on Adams, but he deserves his own section. Kupp leads the league in receptions, yards, and touchdowns in his first season with Matthew Stafford. Kupp has 13 targets in each of the past two games (without Robert Woods), but it will be interesting to see how much (if any) Odell Beckham cuts into his targets with a bye week to integrate OBJ in the offense.

Still, Kupp has broken numerous slate’s this season and could easily do so again. He leads all non-quarterbacks with his 32.6-point (DraftKings) ceiling projection this week. He’s also (relatively) cheap on FanDuel, where he’s sure to be chalky this week.

Justin Jefferson ($8,300 DraftKings, $8,100 FanDuel): Minnesota Vikings (+3) at San Francisco 49ers (49 total)

Speaking of slate-breaking, Jefferson has one of his trademark two-touchdown games, going for over 40 DraftKings points against the Packers. His production is somewhat inconsistent, with Minnesota being happy to control games on the ground when playing with a lead (ninth lowest pass rate vs. expectation on the season). However, he’s massively productive when given the opportunities.

This week the Vikings are slight (3-point) underdogs to the 49ers. With San Francisco’s explosive offense, the Vikings could find themselves playing catch-up. That would be huge for Jefferson against the Niners’ pass-funnel defense.

Ja’Marr Chase ($7,300 DraftKings, $7,700 FanDuel): Cincinnati Bengals (-5) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (45 total)

Chase has seen a bit of a role reversal lately. Through the first six games of the season, he was seeing his average target more than 15 yards downfield. However, he averaged less than seven targets per game in that span. Since then, he’s seeing nine per game, with an aDOT of 11.66. This obviously helps his floor but limits his ceiling more than many fantasy players realize. Still, that amount of volume puts him in position to break a big play or two against the Steelers’ 26th-ranked passing defense.

Diontae Johnson ($6,600 DraftKings, $7,100 FanDuel): Pittsburgh Steelers (+5) at Cincinnati Bengals (45 total)

Even with the return of Chase Claypool last week, Johnson had another 13 target game against the Chargers. That’s the fourth (out of five) game with exactly 13 targets since JuJu Smith-Schuster was lost for the year. At his current salary, Johnson has one of the best price-to-volume ratios on this (or any) slate. He’s near the top in Pts/Sal on DraftKings and has the highest Ceiling Projection of any sub-$7,000 receiver.

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In this piece, I highlight wide receivers who stand out in our large suite of analytical fantasy tools, most specifically, our FantasyLabs Player Models. While the models are built for DFS contests, this is an all-purpose fantasy article with actionable information for all formats.

As news breaks throughout the week and we adjust our projections, player ratings in our Player Models will change. For updates, visit the models directly.

And don’t forget to check out our Lineup Builder if you like to hand build your lineups or our Lineup Optimizer for those of you that like to enter multiple lineups into tournaments.

Top Wide Receivers in the FantasyLabs Models

There are six wide receivers atop the individual Pro Models that Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon, and Ryan Hodge have constructed, as well as our proprietary Cash Game and Tournament Models.

Here’s where they place within our Week 12 Fantasy Rankings (as of Tuesday evening):

  • Davante Adams (2nd)
  • Deebo Samuel (4th)
  • Keenan Allen (5th)
  • Brandin Cooks (18th)
  • Laviska Shenault (41st)
  • Nico Collins (66th)

Editor’s note: Collins has dropped significantly in the models with projection updates after this piece was written.

We’ll discuss why these six are popping in our models, as well as take a look at some other wide receivers in potential high-scoring games.

FantasyLabs Positional Breakdowns

  • Quarterbacks on Friday
  • Tight Ends on Thursday/Friday
  • Running Backs on Friday/Saturday

For more in-depth NFL analysis, check out The Action Network.

Get 85% OFF FantasyLabs PRO

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

Top Model Wide Receivers

Davante Adams ($8,600 DraftKings, $8,700 FanDuel): Green Bay Packers (-0.5) vs. Los Angeles Rams (47.5 total)

While they aren’t technically mutually exclusive, the high salaries on Adams and Cooper Kupp in this one makes picking between them one of the key decisions of the week. The pair of them are head-and-shoulders above the field in all of our (non-price-considered) projections for Week 12.

When you do factor price into the equation, Adams stands out. He leads our Pts/Sal on both sites and is the top pick in our Cash Game Model on FanDuel. Adams has been the less consistent of the pair, falling shy of 20 DraftKings points in six games so far, compared to only twice for Kupp. However, the Packers star has just as high of a ceiling, with 33, 34, and 40 point games on his 2021 resume.

This game has a fairly moderate 47.5 total but could go way over that mark if things break the right way. If the Packers fall behind — or have an aggressive game plan — it could be another ceiling game for Adams, who leads the league in target share.

Adams is also due for some positive touchdown regression. He scored 18 times in only 14 games last season but has only five through 10 games in 2021. Adams trails only Kupp among main slate receivers in red-zone opportunities per game but has half as many touchdowns.

There are scenarios where this game is a grind-it-out affair. Still, Adams is a scary fade this week.

Deebo Samuel ($7,900 DraftKings, $8,000 FanDuel): San Francisco 49ers (-3) vs. Minnesota Vikings (49 total)

Samuel is second in the NFL in receiving yards on the season and also added over 100 yards and two touchdowns rushing over the past two weeks while serving primarily as a running back. The Niners are expected to be healthy in the backfield this week which should send Deebo back to his usual position, but he’s been excellent there as well.

Deebo is likely the odd man out this week, with ownership likely to condense around Adams and Kupp. He shouldn’t be, though. Samuel is the WR3 in PPR scoring this year, ahead of Adams and behind only Kupp and Tyreek Hill. He’s cheaper than both Adams and Kupp, though, despite having a higher team Vegas total. His target share is comparable at 30%, just behind Adams and Kupp.

He also draws a better matchup. The Vikings have a +1.5 Opponent Plus/Minus allowed (DraftKings) on the season, making Samuel the only receiver over $6,200 in a positive matchup. That’s crucial, with Deebo likely moving back to a traditional receiver role. His targets have suffered the past two weeks (seven combined), but that’s because he was playing out of the backfield. He can do more damage against the Vikings as a receiver.

Deebo leads our Tournament Models on both FanDuel and DraftKings this week. He’s a tremendous pivot off of Adams and Kupp.

Keenan Allen ($7,400 DraftKings, $7,000 FanDuel): Los Angeles Chargers (-2.5) at Denver Broncos (48 total)

Allen’s possession style (80 in the NFL in yards per catch) isn’t as exciting for fantasy as the top players. However, his volume makes him hard to ignore. After losing ground to Mike Williams earlier in the season, Allen is back as the Chargers’ top receiver. He has at least 11 targets in four straight games. His 33% target share since Week 8 leads the entire NFL.

The real appeal to Allen this week is his FanDuel salary. He’s appropriately priced as the fifth-most expensive receiver on DraftKings. However, he’s 11th on FanDuel. While his style suits full-PPR scoring better, that’s still far too big of a discount on FanDuel.

Allen has at least 13.8 FanDuel points in each of the last four games, and there’s no reason to believe that stops here.

He’s tied with Adams for the best Pts/Sal on FanDuel this week, where he leads two of our Pro Models.

Brandin Cooks ($5,800 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel) and Nico Collins ($3,200 DraftKings, $5,300 FanDuel): Houston Texans (-2.5) vs. New York Jets

Editor’s note: Collins has dropped significantly in the models with projection updates after this piece was written.

We have a pair of Texans atop our DraftKings Cash Game Model this week, with Collins edging out Cooks slightly. Cooks also leads one of our other Pro Models on DraftKings.

The Texans are in a great spot this week, taking on a Jets defense that ranks 32nd in both overall and passing DVOA. They also have Tyrod Taylor back under center, which has been a boost to the entire offense. With Taylor starting, the Texans average almost 23 points per game. Without him, they never scored more than 22 (averaging 10.16, not counting the game in which Tyrod started but exited early in either number.)

The downside, of course, is that Taylor is likely to score some of those points with his legs. Both Cooks and Collins have seen their targets decrease in recent weeks. Cooks led the NFL in target share over the first four games of the year but has a moderate 21% over the last four. That’s still solid for a reasonably priced receiver (with huge expected efficiency) but not the smash it could’ve been at his former workload.

Collins also has a diminished role, with his target counts decreasing every game since returning from injury in Week 6. Our projections on him this week feel a bit optimistic. He could certainly get it done on limited volume against the awful Jets secondary, but it’s not the safest bet with both Danny Amendola and Chris Conley seeing more targets over the past month.

Rostering either Texan here likely comes down to how much you think matchup matters for receivers. Personally, I don’t think it’s all that impactful since bad teams get behind early, and reduced volume balances out increased efficiency. Both players are somewhat overpriced for their recent roles — although they could see an uptick here.

Still, it’s hard to find value this week, so both are worth considering.

Editor’s note: Collins has dropped significantly in the models with projection updates after this piece was written.

Laviska Shenault ($4,400 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel): Jacksonville Jaguars (+2) vs. Atlanta Falcons (45 total)

Speaking of “bet on matchup” plays, Shenault draws a Falcons defense that ranks 29th against the pass this year. Unlike the Texans receivers, there’s room for optimism surrounding Shenault’s volume, though.

Jamal Agnew had been the Jaguars’ target leader over the past four games and is now done for the year. He was running similar routes to Shenault as well. Agnew’s 7.48 average depth of target (aDOT) was deeper only than Shenault’s among wide receivers. Agnew also saw a few schemed runs — plays designed for Laviska in the past.

We’ve heard this story before — preseason talk had Shenault filling a major role vacated by rookie running back Travis Etienne. However, it might have to be true out of necessity. Other than Marvin Jones, none of the remaining Jaguars’ receivers have more than 15 targets on the season.

Of course, the matchup is part of the appeal here as well. Atlanta has allowed the second-most points per game on the season and ranks 29th in DVOA against the pass. Jacksonville shouldn’t have too much trouble with this defense, which means plenty of opportunity for Shenault.

Laviska isn’t cheap enough on FanDuel to be in serious consideration. However, he’s tied for the lead in Pts/Sal on DraftKings, where he leads two of our Pro Models.

Other Wide Receivers with Week-Winning Upside

Cooper Kupp ($9,600 DraftKings, $9,500 FanDuel): Los Angeles Rams (+0.5) at Green Bay Packers (48 total)

We discussed Kupp a bit in the entry on Adams, but he deserves his own section. Kupp leads the league in receptions, yards, and touchdowns in his first season with Matthew Stafford. Kupp has 13 targets in each of the past two games (without Robert Woods), but it will be interesting to see how much (if any) Odell Beckham cuts into his targets with a bye week to integrate OBJ in the offense.

Still, Kupp has broken numerous slate’s this season and could easily do so again. He leads all non-quarterbacks with his 32.6-point (DraftKings) ceiling projection this week. He’s also (relatively) cheap on FanDuel, where he’s sure to be chalky this week.

Justin Jefferson ($8,300 DraftKings, $8,100 FanDuel): Minnesota Vikings (+3) at San Francisco 49ers (49 total)

Speaking of slate-breaking, Jefferson has one of his trademark two-touchdown games, going for over 40 DraftKings points against the Packers. His production is somewhat inconsistent, with Minnesota being happy to control games on the ground when playing with a lead (ninth lowest pass rate vs. expectation on the season). However, he’s massively productive when given the opportunities.

This week the Vikings are slight (3-point) underdogs to the 49ers. With San Francisco’s explosive offense, the Vikings could find themselves playing catch-up. That would be huge for Jefferson against the Niners’ pass-funnel defense.

Ja’Marr Chase ($7,300 DraftKings, $7,700 FanDuel): Cincinnati Bengals (-5) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (45 total)

Chase has seen a bit of a role reversal lately. Through the first six games of the season, he was seeing his average target more than 15 yards downfield. However, he averaged less than seven targets per game in that span. Since then, he’s seeing nine per game, with an aDOT of 11.66. This obviously helps his floor but limits his ceiling more than many fantasy players realize. Still, that amount of volume puts him in position to break a big play or two against the Steelers’ 26th-ranked passing defense.

Diontae Johnson ($6,600 DraftKings, $7,100 FanDuel): Pittsburgh Steelers (+5) at Cincinnati Bengals (45 total)

Even with the return of Chase Claypool last week, Johnson had another 13 target game against the Chargers. That’s the fourth (out of five) game with exactly 13 targets since JuJu Smith-Schuster was lost for the year. At his current salary, Johnson has one of the best price-to-volume ratios on this (or any) slate. He’s near the top in Pts/Sal on DraftKings and has the highest Ceiling Projection of any sub-$7,000 receiver.

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