The 2018 NFL season rolls on, and we’re still on pace for a record-breaking campaign with an average of 24.0 points per game per team. We could be in for another week of high scoring with a 10-game main slate that kicks off on Sunday, Oct. 28, at 1 p.m. ET.
With four teams on bye, two in London and six in prime-time games, we are without the following quarterbacks:
- Thursday Night Football: Dolphins (Albert Wilson, Kenny Stills, Jakeem Grant) at Texans (DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, Keke Coutee)
- International Series (London): Eagles (Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor) at Jaguars (Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook, Donte Moncrief)
- Sunday Night Football: Saints (Michael Thomas, Tre’Quan Smith, Cam Meredith) at Vikings (Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs)
- Monday Night Football: Patriots (Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Chris Hogan) at Bills (Kelvin Benjamin, Zay Jones)
- Byes: Falcons (Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Mohamed Sanu), Cowboys (Cole Beasley, Michael Gallup), Titans (Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor) and Chargers (Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Tyrell Williams)
For analysis on the smaller slates, consult Chris Raybon’s premium strategy guides (released throughout the week).
In writing this piece, I’ve relied primarily on the FantasyLabs Models. This breakdown is less of a comprehensive analysis of each wide receiver and more of an introduction to this week’s players via our large suite of analytic DFS Tools. We’ll start with three high-priced wide receivers, follow with six pass catchers at the top of our individual Pro Models and finish with the rest of the slate’s fantasy-relevant receivers.
For updates on Vegas spreads and over/unders, check out The Action Network Live Odds page.
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Highest-Priced Wide Receivers
This week, three wide receivers have top-five positional salaries on DraftKings and FanDuel.
- Antonio Brown: $8,500 DraftKings; $8,800 FanDuel
- A.J. Green: $8,000 DraftKings; $8,800 FanDuel
- Davante Adams: $7,900 DraftKings; $8,600 FanDuel
Antonio Brown: Pittsburgh Steelers (-8) vs. Cleveland Browns, 49 Over/Under
UPDATE (10/27): Right tackle Marcus Gilbert (knee) is out. Backup Matt Feiler is expected to start in his place.
Brown is having something of a mixed campaign. On the one hand, he’s tied for the league lead with one receiving touchdown per game and 11 end-zone targets, and he trails only Adam Thielen with his average of 12 targets. On the other hand, he’s tied for 11th and 17th with just 6.7 receptions and 79.7 yards per game.
As a four-time All-Pro from 2014-17, Brown had a catch rate of 68.3% and 9.34 adjusted yard per attempt (AY/A) when targeted by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. This season, he has a 55.6% and 5.81 AY/A. It’s hard to say that Brown is having a bad year, but through six games, it’s a bad year for him.
- 2014-17 (61 games): 24.3 DraftKings points, +2.93 Plus/Minus, 60.7% Consistency Rating, 11.3 targets, 7.7 receptions, 104.2 yards, 0.72 touchdowns
- 2018 (six games): 21.63 DraftKings points, +1.23 Plus/Minus, 50.0% Consistency Rating, 12 targets, 6.7 receptions, 79.7 yards, one touchdown
Brown’s enhanced touchdown production has compensated for his newfound receiving inefficiency. It is possible that he could reach his All-Pro averages throughout the rest of the season. But it’s also possible that, at the age of 30, he’s starting to slow down.
And that might matter this week, because Brown has a tough matchup against the Cleveland defense. Specifically, he’s likely to face first-round rookie cornerback Denzel Ward (read Week 8 CB/WR matchups here), who has elite athleticism (4.32-second 40-yard dash time) and a growing record of success as a shadow corner.
- Week 5 (vs. John Brown): 2-43-0 receiving on seven targets and 68.8% of routes
- Week 6 (vs. Keenan Allen): 1-17-0 receiving on three targets and 66.7% of routes
- Week 7 (vs. DeSean Jackson & Chris Godwin): 3-29-0 receiving on six targets and 84.4% and 60.9% of routes
In his NFL debut in Week 1, Ward was thrown at seven times while defending Brown, who had a 5-50-1 receiving line on those targets. That’s good, but Ward also got an interception on a Brown target, and on Brown’s touchdown Ward had great coverage but simply lost out on a 50/50 ball. In Week 8, he could have a better showing against Brown.
So caution is advised when it comes to AB. After all, the Browns rank first in pass defense with a -23.4% mark in Football Outsiders’ DVOA.
But who am I kidding?
You might not roster him in cash games this week, but if you knew entering this week that Brown was going to run about two-thirds of his routes in single coverage against a rookie cornerback making his eighth start, would you want exposure to him in guaranteed prize pools — especially since the Steelers are big favorites at Heinz Field?
Like Roethlisberger, Brown has severe home/away and favorite underdog splits. Since 2014:
- Home (33 games): 27.3 DraftKings points, +6.02 Plus/Minus, 66.7% Consistency Rating, 8.0 receptions, 109.2 yards, 1.0 touchdowns
- Away (34 games): 21.0 DraftKings points, -0.36 Plus/Minus, 52.9% Consistency Rating, 7.3 receptions, 95 yards, 0.5 touchdowns
- Favorite (49 games): 25.6 DraftKings points, +4.29 Plus/Minus, 63.3% Consistency Rating, 8.0 receptions, 106.2 yards, 0.84 touchdowns
- Underdog (18 games): 20.0 DraftKings points, -1.33 Plus/Minus, 50.0% Consistency Rating, 6.7 receptions, 90.8 yards, 0.5 touchdowns
As a home favorite, Brown has been sublime.
- Home Favorite (28 games): 29.3 DraftKings points, +8.08 Plus/Minus, 71.4% Consistency Rating, 8.5 receptions, 118.6 yards, 1.12 touchdowns
On top of that, the Steelers will once again be without running back Le’Veon Bell (contract dispute). In Bell’s absence, Brown has enjoyed elevated point-per-reception (PPR) production since Bell’s 2013 rookie season.
- Brown with Bell (61 games): 20.4 PPR points, 10.6 targets, 7.2 receptions, 93.8 yards, 0.64 touchdowns
- Brown without Bell (22 games): 25.4 PPR points, 12.7 targets, 8.5 receptions, 116.3 yards, 0.86 touchdowns
Even with his 2018 slump and tough matchup, Brown leads all wide receivers with his median projections on DraftKings and FanDuel.
Also on the Steelers:
- JuJu Smith-Schuster: $7,400 DraftKings; $8,000 FanDuel
- James Washington: $3,400 DraftKings; $4,700 FanDuel
No player in NFL history has more than Smith-Schuster’s 100 receptions and 1,478 yards receiving before turning 22 years old. JuJu leads the team with 42 receptions and 561 yards receiving. Washington is a talented second-round rookie, but he trails Brown, Smith-Schuster, tight end Vance McDonald and running back James Conner in target priority with just three opportunities over the past two games.
A.J. Green: Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 54.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Running back Giovani Bernard (knee), wide receiver John Ross (groin) and tight end Tyler Kroft (foot) are all out. Center Billy Price (ankle) is doubtful.
Given that the spread opened at -6 and they have gotten 60% of the tickets so far, the Bengals are on the wrong side of reverse line movement: There’s significant sharp money betting against them. Even so, Green is in a smash spot.
Since Week 5, the Bengals have been without tight end Tyler Eifert (ankle, IR) and running back Giovani Bernard (knee, doubtful). Wide receiver John Ross (groin, doubtful) also missed Weeks 5-6 and exited Week 7 after seeing just one target. All of them will miss Week 8, which should push extra targets, receptions and yards to Green.
- Weeks 1-4: 8.3 targets, five receptions, 74.3 yards
- Weeks 5-7: 12 targets, 6.7 receptions, 104.7 yards
On top of that, he has a great matchup against the Bucs, who have a receiver-friendly funnel defense ranked 10th against the run (-11.5% DVOA) but 32nd against the pass (44.1% DVOA). As a team, the Bucs are dead last in the league with a Pro Football Focus (PFF) coverage grade of 55.9 and have allowed a league-high 49.5 DraftKings points per game to wide receivers.
And the Bucs defense has suffered a rash of injuries. Tampa Bay will be certainly be without cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (shoulder), strong safety Chris Conte (knee) and linebacker Kwon Alexander (knee), all of whom are on injured reserve. Additionally, Pro-Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (calf) and starting edge rusher Vinny Curry (ankle) sat out last week and are yet to practice this week. They are technically questionable, but they seem unlikely to play.
Without Hargreaves, it’s possible that the Bucs have the league’s worst trio of starting cornerbacks. Brent Grimes was a Pro Bowler with the Dolphins in the 2013-15 seasons, and in 2016-17 he had above-average PFF grades of 87.4 and 75.2. This season, though, in the four games he’s played, Grimes has been a massive liability, allowing a 15-222-1 passing line on 21 targets.
As for Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart, both are second-round rookies with potential, but right now they have poor PFF coverage grades of 60.2 and 62.4. One day they might be good. But so far they’ve combined to surrender 44-511-6 receiving on 59 targets.
Green should be able to dominate this trio of cornerbacks. He’s tied with Brown for first with 11 end-zone targets.
On Sunday morning, I might look to bet the over on Green’s yardage prop. With his enhanced target share, he has gone over his total in each of the past three weeks. To find the best bets in the props market, use our Player Props Tool, which is powered by our industry-leading projections. Since Week 1, the props with a bet quality of 10 have gone 150-71-5, good for a 66% win rate.
Without question, you should supplement your DFS action with player props.
Also on the Bengals:
- Tyler Boyd: $6,700 DraftKings; $6,800 FanDuel
In a breakout third-year campaign, Boyd is tied for the team lead with 40 receptions and is second with 482 yards and four touchdowns receiving. Running 70.5% of his routes in the slot, Boyd will match up most with Stewart, who has allowed an 85.3% catch rate.
Davante Adams: Green Bay Packers (+9.5) at Los Angeles Rams, 56.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Wide receiver Randall Cobb (hamstring) is questionable and should be considered a game-time decision. Wide receiver Geronimo Allison (hamstring) will play.
Never before has Aaron Rodgers been this big of an underdog. The Rams are the only undefeated team left in the league at 7-0, but the spread for this game is way off. The sample is small, but Rodgers is 7-1-1 (87.5%) against the spread coming off the bye, good for a 61.9% return on investment (per Bet Labs).
Adams trails only Thielen among wide receivers with his 24.1 DraftKings points per game, and he’s provided excellent value this season with his 83.3% Consistency Rating and 2.6% ownership rate. It’s not luck that’s enabled Adams to average a league-high touchdown per game this season: He leads the league with 28 receiving touchdowns and 61 red-zone targets since 2016, ranking top five in red-zone targets each season.
Lining up wide to the left on 53.2% of his snaps, Adams is expected to run the majority of his routes against right cornerback Marcus Peters, who has been a shell of himself since a calf injury in Week 3. Peters has been targeted just twice in the past two games, but in Weeks 3-5 he gave up 255 yards and five touchdowns while allowing an 82.4% catch rate.
With Peters hobbled and cornerback Aqib Talib (ankle, IR) out for the Rams, Adams has a position-high ceiling projection in our DraftKings Models. On the Wednesday edition of The Action Network NFL Podcast, guest Pat Mayo mentioned Adams as a potential cash-game receiver for the week.
If you want to roster him in GPPs, use our Lineup Builder to stack Adams with Rodgers. Since 2014, No. 1 wide receivers on average have a 0.51 correlation with their quarterbacks. With Rodgers, Adams has a robust 0.80 correlation. Best of all, when the Packers were last in the main slate in Week 5, Rodgers and Adams were stacked together in just 1.09% of Millionaire Maker Lineups. This week, they could have lower stacked ownership than we anticipate.
Also on the Packers:
- Geronimo Allison: $5,000 DraftKings; $5,700 FanDuel
- Randall Cobb: $4,900 DraftKings; $6,100 FanDuel
- Marquez Valdes-Scantling: $4,600 DraftKings; $5,200 FanDuel
Allison (hamstring) has missed the past two games, and Cobb (hamstring) has missed the past three, but both are practicing (albeit in limited fashion) and tentatively expected to play after the Week 7 bye. Allison has 12.3 DraftKings points in his 12 career games with at least four targets (including playoffs). In his 21 healthy games with quarterback Aaron Rodgers since 2016 (including playoffs), Cobb has 15.2 DraftKings points per game.
If either Allison or Cobb misses Week 8, Valdes-Scantling will serve as the No. 3 receiver: He has played at least 70% of the offensive snaps in each of the past three games.
Model Wide Receivers
There are six wide receivers at the top of the individual Pro Models that Jonathan Bales, Peter Jennings (CSURAM88), Adam Levitan, Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon, Kevin McClelland (SportsGeek) and I have constructed.
- Tyreek Hill: $8,600 DraftKings; $7,800 FanDuel
- Jarvis Landry: $7,200 DraftKings; $6,700 FanDuel
- Robert Woods: $6,800 DraftKings; $7,600 FanDuel
- Golden Tate: $6,000 DraftKings; $7,100 FanDuel
- Sammy Watkins: $4,600 DraftKings; $6,400 FanDuel
- Chris Godwin: $4,500 DraftKings; $6,300 FanDuel
Tyreek Hill & Sammy Watkins: Kansas City Chiefs (-10) vs. Denver Broncos, 53.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Center Mitch Morse (concussion) will miss his second consecutive game. The interior depth of the Chiefs offensive line will be tested with backup center Jordan Devey (pectoral) and starting right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (fibula) both on injured reserve. With backups Austin Reiter and Andrew Wylie tentatively expected to start at center and right guard, the efficacy of the Chiefs offense could be diminished.
With his nine-touch, 76-yard, one-touchdown performance last week, Hill added another top-10 fantasy game to his record, moving to sole possession of first place among wide receivers with seven touchdowns receiving and eight touchdowns total.
Even though head coach Andy Reid screwed over bettors with his end-of-game decision not to kick a field goal inside the 10-yard line, the Chiefs helped public bettors crush sportsbooks in Week 7. With Hill leading the team in targets (61), receptions (41), yards receiving (635) and air yards (878), the Chiefs are 7-0 (ATS) this season, the league’s only remaining undefeated ATS team.
On a per-game basis, they have …
- Outscored their implied totals by 10.1 points (No. 1 in NFL)
- Surpassed their game total by 10.2 points (No. 1)
- Covered their spreads by 10.1 points (No. 1)
The Chiefs lead the league in scoring at 37.1 points per game and are nearly unstoppable on offense.
Throughout his career, Hill has had notable reverse home/away and favorite underdog splits.
- Home (19 games): 11.7 PPR points, 5.6 targets, 3.6 receptions, 1.3 carries, 58.6 yards, 0.37 scrimmage touchdowns
- Away (19 games): 19.6 PPR points, 7.5 targets, 5.7 receptions, 1.4 carries, 88.1 yards, 0.84 scrimmage touchdowns
- Favorite (27 games): 13.4 PPR points, 6.2 targets, 4.2 receptions, 1.3 carries, 67.7 yards, 0.40 scrimmage touchdowns
- Underdog (11 games): 21.1 PPR points, 7.5 targets, 5.8 receptions, 1.4 carries, 87.4 yards, 1.09 scrimmage touchdowns
As a result, it’s probably not advantageous for Hill that the Chiefs are big home favorites, especially since under head coach Andy Reid, Arrowhead Stadium has a league-worst 15-28-0 over/under record. No home team since 2013 has lost over bettors more money (-31.2% ROI) than the Chiefs (per Bet Labs). But most of those games were with a different quarterback. With Patrick Mahomes leading the offense, the Chiefs should put up points. He might not have a TyFreak game, but Hill should still be productive. Plus, this is the only game on the slate with two top-10 teams in situation-neutral pace.
Hill has 2,503 scrimmage yards and 24 all-purpose touchdowns since stealing the No. 1 job from an injured Jeremy Maclin in Week 10 of the 2016 season. Since last season, Hill has been a top-five receiver with 19.2 DraftKings points per game. For all the talk of Hill’s volatility and unreliability as a potential cash-game play, his 65.7% DraftKings Consistency Rating since 2016 is an elite mark for a receiver with such high salary-adjusted expectations.
As the No. 3 receiving option in the Chiefs offense, Watkins is a hard-to-trust boom-bust option with just one touchdown on the season, but he’s in a good spot this week. Although his worst performance of the season came in Week 4 against these same Broncos (zero catches, one target), his stat line is deceiving, as he exited that game early with a hamstring injury and played only 12 snaps. In his six healthy games, he’s averaged 12.4 DraftKings points per game with a +2.33 Plus/Minus and 66.7% Consistency Rating. That’s not bad.
For the first four seasons of his career, Watkins had a target-based touchdown rate of 7.2%. This season, that number is 2.5% on 40 targets. Watkins will likely experience touchdown progression at some point, and this could be the spot.
Although Denver ranks second against the pass with a -17.9% DVOA entering Week 8, its defense isn’t the intimidating unit from past seasons. Other than All-Pro slot cornerback Chris Harris, the Broncos don’t have one defensive back or linebacker in their dime personnel with a PFF coverage grade of even 70.0.
Plus, Hill and Watkins should be able to avoid Harris for much of the game since they run most of their routes out wide. On top of that, while the Chiefs offense is entirely healthy, the Broncos secondary is dealing with injuries, as free safety Darian Stewart (neck) and cornerback Adam Jones (leg) are both questionable.
Hill has a position-high 10 Pro Trends on FanDuel, where he leads all wide receivers with his 99% Bargain Rating and ceiling projection and is the top-rated receiver in the Levitan, Koerner, Raybon and SportsGeek Models.
Watkins is the No. 1 DraftKings wide receiver in the Koerner and Freedman Models.
Jarvis Landry: Cleveland Browns (+8) at Pittsburgh Steelers, 49 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Wide receiver Rashard Higgins (knee) is out.
The only player in the league with more targets than Landry’s 89 is Thielen. Landry is actually running more of his routes out of the slot this season (72.3%) than last season (64.8%), but with No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield at quarterback, Landry is being used much more aggressively. For instance, this season 24.7% of Landry’s targets have come more than 15 yards down the field; in 2014-17 with Miami, he saw such targets at only an 11.0% rate.
While Landry is yet to have a blowup game with Mayfield, their connection is improving. Landry has a weak 51.9% catch rate on the quarterback’s passes, but he is coming off a 10-97-1 performance on 15 targets and is locked in as Mayfield’s No. 1 option. Mayfield has targeted Landry a personal-high 54 times and given him at least 10 targets in each of his four starts. With his consistent and top-end target volume, Landry predictably has a position-high floor projection on DraftKings.
In Week 1 against the Steelers, Landry had a 7-106-0 performance on 15 targets with quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Facing cornerback Mike Hilton for most of the game, Landry had four receptions and 60 yards in Hilton’s coverage. Hilton is a fine player — last season he had an 81.9 PFF coverage grade, and he’s surrendered just one touchdown in 529 coverage snaps in his career — but if the Browns give Landry his usual complement of targets, Hilton won’t be much of a defensive deterrent.
Landry is the highest-rated FanDuel receiver in the Bales, CSURAM88 and Freedman Models.
Also on the Browns:
- Antonio Callaway: $3,800 DraftKings; $4,700 FanDuel
- Rashard Higgins: $3,800 DraftKings; $4,600 FanDuel
Since being elevated to the No. 2 role in Week 2, Callaway is 12th in the league with 597 air yards, but he has struggled mightily (especially with Mayfield, turning his 28 targets from the passer into an underwhelming 12-117-0 stat line). Just last week in a great spot against the Bucs, Callaway had just two targets, and that was without Higgins (knee), who is yet to practice this week and is fully expected to miss his third consecutive game.
Robert Woods: Los Angeles Rams (-9.5) vs. Green Bay Packers, 56.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Wide receiver Cooper Kupp (knee) is officially doubtful and fully expected not to play.
The Rams have hit their implied Vegas totals in an NFL-high 17-of-23 games under beard model and head coach Sean McVay since last season. Even though the Patriots are surging, the undefeated Rams are entrenched as the No. 1 team in The Action Network’s NFL Power Rankings, and Woods is a big part of the team’s success. He leads the team with his 58 targets, 41 receptions, 602 yards receiving and 653 air yards. The Rams had a league-high 29.9 points per game last season and this season they have improved to an average of 33.6. That will almost certainly regress, but this offense is as good as any unit in the league.
With slot receiver Cooper Kupp (knee) out last week, Woods ran 61.5% of his routes out of the slot, and he’s likely to see most of his action there again, which puts him in an advantageous spot. While cornerbacks Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson are talented players selected with top-50 picks, they’re both rookies who could easily be exploited by a smooth route runner and wily offensive play-caller. Alexander (groin) has missed the past two games with an injury, but he’s tentatively expected to play as the primary slot defender this week. If he can’t play, Jackson will continue to play in his place. Either way, Woods has the edge.
Last week, Woods led all wide receivers with his 35.47% ownership rate in DraftKings tournaments, and he was rostered at an even higher rate of 45.52% in the high-stakes Luxury Box GPP, suggesting that he was a sharp play. The Rams lead all teams with their 33-point implied Vegas total, and this game has the slate’s highest over/under. We’re projecting Woods once again to be one of the most popular receivers on the slate.
Woods has a position-high floor projection on FanDuel and is the No. 1 wide receiver in the Levitan Model for DraftKings.
Also on the Rams:
- Brandin Cooks: $6,900 DraftKings; $7,500 FanDuel
- Cooper Kupp: $6,000 DraftKings; $6,800 FanDuel
- Josh Reynolds: $3,600 DraftKings; $5,200 FanDuel
Cooks is tied with Woods for the team lead with 2.63 yards per route and is first among the regular starters with his 12.9-yard average depth of target (aDOT). With 592 scrimmage yards, he’s pacing to smash his previous high of 1,203, which he set with the Saints in 2016. Cooks has a position-high nine Pro Trends on DraftKings.
Kupp (knee) is doubtful to play in Week 8. Reynolds has played more than 50% of the offensive snaps in each of the past three weeks in relief of Kupp, but he has just two targets per game in that span. Kupp’s target share and red-zone work will likely be distributed to players other than Reynolds.
Golden Tate: Detroit Lions (-3) vs. Seattle Seahawks, 49 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Pass-catching running back Theo Riddick (knee) is out.
Oh, baby. It’s time for a #RevengeGame! Tate is facing the Seahawks franchise that feloniously underused him for four seasons and then made little effort to re-sign him amidst unsubstantiated rumors that he was somehow responsible for the end of quarterback Russell Wilson’s marriage.
Tate has said that he has nothing but respect for Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and is focused more on the game plan than his former team — but in the past he’s also said that he and Wilson no longer speak and that Wilson should’ve put an end to the rumors years ago. Tate can say whatever he wants about what this game means to him and where his focus is: Tate wants to have a big performance.
In his only other game against the Seahawks, a 13-10 Week 4 loss in 2015, Tate had just 3-29-0 receiving on four targets, adding a 6-yard rush. You can bet he wants to improve on that this time around.
Even though the Legion of Boom is no more, the Seahawks are third against the pass with a -16.7% DVOA. Tate doesn’t have a particularly great matchup. Even so, he’s intriguing. Tate has run 71.7% of his routes from the slot this season, so he should see plenty of action against interior cornerback Justin Coleman, who has given up a 66.7% catch rate and an outrageous 96.1% yards after the catch-to-receiving yardage ratio. Tate leads the team with 57 targets, 37 receptions, 467 yards receiving and 244 yards after the catch. If he’s able to get even just one reception with significant separation from Coleman, he could have a big day thanks to a long touchdown.
Tate is the No. 1 DraftKings wide receiver in the Bales and Raybon Models.
- Kenny Golladay: $5,700 DraftKings; $6,600 FanDuel
- Marvin Jones: $4,800 DraftKings; $6,000 FanDuel
Babytron is second on the team in every major receiving category with 43 targets, 29 receptions, 465 yards receiving, 533 air yards and 184 yards after the catch. On the cusp of a soul-eclipsing breakout, Golladay is tied with Tate and Jones with three receiving touchdowns — and he’s had touchdowns of 46 and 13 yards called back because of offensive-line penalties over the past two weeks.
Jones is yet to have 10 targets, five receptions or 70 yards in any game this season, but he’s still every bit the speedy, big-play specialist he was in 2017. He’s first on the team with 543 air yards and a 14.7 aDOT, and he’s top five in the league with his 10 end-zone targets. Still, it’s concerning that he has averaged just 17.5 PPR points in five games without Golladay but just 11.9 PPR points in 17 games with him.
Both Golladay and Jones have great matchups on the outside against cornerbacks Tre Flowers and Shaquill Griffin (46.1 and 48.4 PFF coverage grades).
Chris Godwin: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5) at Cincinnati Bengals, 54.5 O/U
Sacred Victorious is a key contributor to a wide receiver unit that leads the league with 274.2 yards and 56.9 PPR points per game. A second-year breakout-in-process, Godwin is yet to play 70% of the snaps in any game, but there’s little fluky about his 26-308-4 receiving line through six games. An integrated part of the passing attack, Godwin is top five in the league with eight targets inside the 10-yard line, while no other Bucs receiver has more than one such target.
For the season, Godwin is averaging 13.3 DraftKings points per game with a +4.60 Plus/Minus. He’s failed to hit salary-based expectations in just one game. A touchdown threat in a game with a high total, Godwin has significant upside against outside cornerbacks William Jackson and Dre Kirkpatrick, who have collectively given up five touchdowns in their coverage.
Godwin is the No. 1 DraftKings wide receiver in the CSURAM88 and SportsGeek Models.
Also on the Bucs:
- Mike Evans: $7,800 DraftKings; $7,800 FanDuel
- DeSean Jackson: $5,300 DraftKings; $6,400 FanDuel
- Adam Humphries: $3,400 DraftKings; $4,800 FanDuel
Evans is on pace to become only the third player in NFL history (along with Randy Moss and Green) to open his career with five straight 1,000-yard receiving campaigns. He’s cooled off a bit from his hot start, failing to score a touchdown in three straight games, but for the season he’s still averaging 98.5 yards per game and is a no-doubt top-10 fantasy receiver with 20.9 DraftKings points per game. But Evans has had significant quarterback-based splits over the past two seasons. In Ryan Fitzpatrick’s complete games, he’s averaged 22.1 DraftKings points per game. In Jameis Winston’s complete games, 14.5.
Jackson is first in the league with 3.31 yards per route and 0.47 PPR points per snap, but like Evans, he also has significant pro-Fitzgerald splits. With Beard, he’s averaged 17.7 DraftKings points per game. With Babyface, 9.8.
As for Humphries, of course the low-upside slot operator has pro-Winston splits (9.4 DraftKings points per game with him; 4.8 with Fitz).
Wide Receiver Rundown
Here’s a quick look at the remaining fantasy-relevant receivers on the slate.
Odell Beckham & Sterling Shepard: New York Giants (PK) vs. Washington Redskins, 42.5 O/U
- Beckham: $7,500 DraftKings; $8,500 FanDuel
- Shepard: $5,200 DraftKings; $6,500 FanDuel
OBJ has just two touchdowns on the season, but he’s still balling out with 21.1 DraftKings points per game. The touchdowns will come. Beckham is top five in the league with his 0.30 market share of targets and 0.40 share of air yards. Cornerback Quinton Dunbar (shin) missed Week 7, is yet to practice this week and seems unlikely to play this weekend. Filling in for him at right corner will probably be backup Greg Stroman, a seventh-round rookie who has allowed a 6-122-2 receiving line on just nine targets and 58 coverage snaps. With his 43.3 Pro Football Focus coverage grade, Stroman will be one of the lowest-graded defensive backs playing regular snaps this week.
In his three starts without No. 3 wide receiver Cody Latimer (hamstring, IR), Shepard has averaged 20.6 DraftKings points, 8.3 targets, 6.3 receptions, 106.3 yards and 0.33 touchdowns per game.
Emmanuel Sanders, Demaryius Thomas & Courtland Sutton: Denver Broncos (+10) at Kansas City Chiefs, 53.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Right tackle Jared Veldheer (knee) will miss his fourth game in a row. Running back Royce Freeman (ankle) is also out.
- Sanders: $6,500 DraftKings; $7,200 FanDuel
- Thomas: $4,900 DraftKings; $6,300 FanDuel
- Sutton: $3,800 DraftKings; $5,300 FanDuel
Sanders leads the Broncos with 61 targets, 46 receptions, 656 scrimmage yards, 549 air yards, 218 yards after the catch, four all-purpose touchdowns (tied with Royce Freeman) and a perfect 158.3 passer rating (just sayin’). Sanders is the best receiver on the Broncos at this point. In his three post-Peyton Manning games against the Chiefs, Sanders has averaged 15.7 DraftKings points per game.
I’m a staunch modern-day Demaryius anti-truther. He has declined from 15.5 yards per reception in 2013 to a career-low 11.3 this season. A low-upside player, he’s averaging 53.1 yards receiving per game. Not since Tim Tebow was shot-putting passes to him has Thomas had a mark that low.
Sutton is the future No. 1 receiver, and that future is approaching fast. He actually has more routes run (215) than Thomas (214) and has scored twice in the past three games.
T.Y. Hilton, Chester Rogers, Ryan Grant & Zach Pascal: Indianapolis Colts (-3) at Oakland Raiders, 50.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Grant (ankle) is out. Pascal (head) is questionable. Tight end Jack Doyle (hip) will play after missing five games.
- Hilton: $6,300 DraftKings; $7,400 FanDuel
- Rogers: $4,200 DraftKings; $5,600 FanDuel
- Grant: $3,900 DraftKings; $4,700 FanDuel
- Pascal: $3,300 DraftKings; $4,600 FanDuel
Hilton scored two touchdowns in his return to action last week and now has 15 or more DraftKings points in four of his five games. He has tremendous upside against a Raiders defense that ranks 31st against the pass with a 36.3% DVOA.
With Hilton’s Week 7 return, Rogers managed just four targets after getting at least 10 in each of the three previous games. No. 3 wide receiver Ryan Grant (ankle) missed last week, is yet to practice this week and seems unlikely to play this weekend. In his place, Pascal will once again see playing time with the first unit. In Weeks 4-6 he averaged eight targets per game, but last week he saw zero targets despite playing on 62.1% of the offensive snaps.
John Brown, Michael Crabtree & Willie Snead: Baltimore Ravens (-3) at Carolina Panthers, 44 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Left guard Alex Lewis (neck) is out. Rookie backup Bradley Bozeman is expected to start in his place.
- Brown: $5,900 DraftKings; $6,700 FanDuel
- Crabtree: $4,800 DraftKings; $6,300 FanDuel
- Snead: $4,200 DraftKings; $5,400 FanDuel
JoBro is in full-blown Renaissance mode: He’s first in the league with 21 targets of at least 20 yards and third with 1,014 air yards. Fresh off a 7-134-1 Week 7 exhibition on seven targets, Brown is on pace for a career-best campaign. His speed complements quarterback Joe Flacco’s arm strength perfectly. Brown has 16.3 DraftKings points per game with a robust +6.06 Plus/Minus, and he leads the Ravens with 558 yards receiving, seven end-zone targets and four touchdown catches.
Crabby leads the team with 64 targets, 35 receptions and 279 routes. In every game except for the non-representative run-heavy 47-3 Week 1 win over the Bills, Crabtree has eight-plus targets. For the season, he has 12.6 DraftKings points per game and 10 or more points in six of his seven starts. Crabtree isn’t likely to have a big game, but he has a high target floor for his salary.
Running 82.0% of his routes from the slot, Snead is second on the team with 33 receptions and has a decent matchup against slot cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, who has allowed a 70.8% catch rate in his coverage.
Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel & Anthony Miller: Chicago Bears (-8) vs. New York Jets, 45 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Robinson (groin) is officially questionable but reportedly expected not to play.
- Robinson: $5,600 DraftKings; $6,300 FanDuel
- Gabriel: $5,100 DraftKings; $5,500 FanDuel
- Miller: $3,400 DraftKings; $5,200 FanDuel
Robinson (groin) struggled through an injury in Week 7, turning his five targets into just a 4-yard reception, and he’s yet to practice this week. He’s legitimately questionable to play, and even if active he will likely have a reduced role in the offense.
After a disappointing Week 1 (5-25-0), Gabriel played as a Tyreek Hill-esque weapon in Weeks 2-6, turning his 29 targets and five carries into 314 yards and two touchdowns, but last week he regressed to the mean with a 3-26-0 performance on four targets. Ever since his Kyle Shanahan-induced 2016 breakout, Gabriel has been a touchdown-driven producer. In his eight games with a touchdown, he’s averaged 20.0 DraftKings points; in his 27 games without one, 5.4 DraftKings points.
Miller is playing like the rookie he is with no more than four receptions or 35 yards in a game. He’s subsisting on the good fortune of two touchdowns, but he could see more action if Robinson is inactive or limited. He saw a career-high seven targets last week.
The Jets rank first in pass defense with an 86.0 PFF coverage grade, but they seem certain to be without outside cornerback Trumaine Johnson (quad), who missed Weeks 4-7 and is yet to practice. And they also might be without outside cornerback Morris Claiborne (shoulder, foot), slot cornerback Buster Skrine (concussion) and free safety Marcus Maye (hand), all of whom are questionable and have been limited in practice.
Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, David Moore & Brandon Marshall: Seattle Seahawks (+3) at Detroit Lions, 49 O/U
- Baldwin: $5,500 DraftKings; $6,400 FanDuel
- Lockett: $5,200 DraftKings; $6,700 FanDuel
- Moore: $3,600 DraftKings; $5,400 FanDuel
- Marshall: $3,500 DraftKings; $4,700 FanDuel
Coming off their bye, the Seahawks have a league-low 50.55% pass rate — quarterback Russell Wilson is yet to attempt even 40 passes or hit 300 yards passing in any game — but at least they’re facing a defense with the league’s third-lowest PFF coverage grade (53.4) and third-worst overall DVOA (18.2%).
Baldwin had an anomalous one-target performance in Week 5, but he’s had seven and eight targets in his two other games since returning from injury. He has just two red-zone targets on the season, but he’s rounding into form. Lockett has 50-plus yards or a touchdown in each game since his return this season. He is the team’s primary deep threat with his 12.1 aDOT.
Over the past three weeks, we’ve seen the emergence of the small-school second-year seventh-rounder Moore. Blessed with a high-upside physical profile (6-foot-1, 219 pounds, 4.42-second 40 time), Moore averaged 1,024.5 yards and 12 touchdowns from scrimmage in his two final seasons at East Oklahoma. He’s not seeing heavy target volume, but in his past three games he has a 7-124-3 receiving line on nine targets. He’s almost entirely supplanted Marshall, who has failed to hit a 40% snap rate in any game since Week 4.
All the Seahawks receivers should get the opportunity to run routes against cornerback Teez Tabor. Of any corner seeing playing time, Tabor has an NFL-low 37.3 PFF coverage grade. In his three games this season as a starter, he’s allowed 9-134-2 receiving on 12 targets. He should be exposed by whichever Seahawks receiver he’s pretending to cover on any given snap.
Devin Funchess, D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, Torrey Smith & Jarius Wright: Carolina Panthers (+3) vs. Baltimore Ravens, 44 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Smith (knee) is out.
- Funchess: $5,400 DraftKings; $6,400 FanDuel
- Moore: $3,600 DraftKings; $4,900 FanDuel
- Samuel: $3,600 DraftKings; $4,700 FanDuel
- Smith: $3,500 DraftKings; $5,300 FanDuel
- Wright: $3,400 DraftKings; $4,700 FanDuel
Last season, Funchess had drastic Greg Olsen-based splits, averaging 14.1 PPR points per game without him and just 9.6 with him. But since the tight end’s return two weeks ago, Funchess has averaged 18.2 PPR points with 9.5 targets, 5.5 receptions, 68 yards and one touchdown per game. Perhaps Funchess is truly coming into his own.
Moore is an upside 21-year-old first-rounder who since the Week 4 bye has 11-137-0 receiving on 14 targets and 55 routes (as well as 2-36-0 rushing). For the season, he leads the team with 2.49 yards per route. A Percy Harvin clone, Samuel missed the second half of his rookie campaign with an ankle injury. He has just five touches from scrimmage since making his 2018 debut in Week 5, but two of those went for touchdowns. Both Moore and Samuel will battle inconsistency, but they should be regular contributors within a year.
Wright has run 83.6% of his routes from the slot and has a low 7.8 aDOT indicative of high-percentage targets. Smith (knee) is second on the team with 180 routes, but he’s a distant third with 27 targets and questionable to play this weekend after missing practice this week.
The Ravens have held opposing wide receivers to a bottom-three mark of 31.4 DraftKings points per game.
Jordy Nelson & Martavis Bryant: Oakland Raiders (+3) vs. Indianapolis Colts, 50.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Left guard Kelechi Osemele (knee) is questionable.
- Nelson: $4,700 DraftKings; $5,300 FanDuel
- Bryant: $3,700 DraftKings; $5,300 FanDuel
Coming off the Week 7 bye, the offense is now without running back Marshawn Lynch (groin, IR) and wide receiver Amari Cooper (trade). The departure of Cooper has moved this spread from a pick ’em, and the Raiders’ implied total has dropped a full two points to 23.5. With Cooper gone, Nelson and Bryant will presumably see increased target shares.
Since coming alive in Week 3, Jordy has 16.8 DraftKings points per game. The sample is obviously skewed by the presence of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but it’s worth keeping mind that since his 2011 breakout, Jordy has averaged 16.8 PPR points per game with every starting quarterback he’s played with not named “Brett Hundley.” In Week 3, Nelson had two separate plays of 60-plus yards, and he hit more than 20 mph on both of them (Next Gen Stats). He can still move.
Martavis leads the team in aDOT (13.3) and dropped wide-open 53-yard touchdowns (1.0). Even with Cooper gone, Bryant is hard to trust as anything more than a GPP play despite his cheap salary.
Marquise Goodwin, Trent Taylor & Dante Pettis: San Francisco 49ers (-1) at Arizona Cardinals, 42.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Garcon (shoulder, knee) is out for Week 8. Running back Matt Breida (ankle) is questionable.
- Goodwin: $5,000 DraftKings; $5,200 FanDuel
- Taylor: $4,100 DraftKings; $4,500 FanDuel
- Pettis: $3,500 DraftKings; $4,600 FanDuel
Wide receiver Pierre Garcon (shoulder, knee) has missed practice this week and is doubtful to play this weekend.
Finally healthy after battling quad and hamstring injuries, Goodwin has shown the full extent of his boom-bust nature over the past two weeks, following up his 4-126-2 onslaught with a 2-24-0 letdown. In his four 49ers games with a touchdown, he’s averaged 17.5 PPR points. In his 17 games without a score, he’s averaged 8.8.
In Week 5, I said that Taylor is a would-be Julian Edelman without a Tom Brady. Nothing has happened since then to make me change my mind.
Pettis (knee) saw no targets in Week 3 and then exited Week 4 with an injury that has sidelined him for the past three games. He’s practiced in limited fashion this week and has a real chance to return to action. A dynamic collegiate return man and underrated receiver, Pettis is a high-upside second-round rookie who could earn a significant portion of Garcon’s vacated target share at a discounted salary.
Jamison Crowder, Paul Richardson, Josh Doctson, Michael Floyd & Maurice Harris: Washington Redskins (PK) at New York Giants, 42.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Crowder (ankle) is out for Week 8. Richardson (shoulder, knee) and pass-catching running back Chris Thompson (ribs) are questionable but tentatively expected to play.
- Crowder: $4,400 DraftKings; $5,700 FanDuel
- Richardson: $4,000 DraftKings; $5,900 FanDuel
- Doctson: $3,700 DraftKings; $4,900 FanDuel
- Harris: $3,300 DraftKings; $4,900 FanDuel
Crowder (ankle) missed Weeks 6-7 and is yet to practice this week. He seems unlikely to play this weekend. Richardson (knee, shoulder) missed Week 7 but has gotten in some limited practice this week and seems much likelier to play. Richardson has a position-high 97% Bargain Rating on DraftKings.
Even though Crowder and pass-catching running back Chris Thompson (ribs) missed the past two weeks and Richardson joined them on the sideline last week, Doctson has averaged just 5.5 targets and three receptions per game in their absence.
If Crowder or Richardson is unable to play, Harris will once again play as an injury fill-in. He’s averaged five targets per game over the past three weeks, playing at least 60% of the snaps in each game.
Christian Kirk, Larry Fitzgerald & Chad Williams: Arizona Cardinals (+1) vs. San Francisco 49ers, 42.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Left guard Mike Iupati (head) and right guard Justin Pugh (hand) are questionable but tentatively expected to play after practicing on a limited basis all week. Backup guard Jeremy Vujnovich (hamstring) is out, so the Cardinals will be thin at the position if either Iupati or Pugh misses the game.
- Kirk: $4,500 DraftKings; $5,400 FanDuel
- Fitzgerald: $4,400 DraftKings; $5,800 FanDuel
- Williams: $3,000 DraftKings; $4,500 FanDuel
With Fitzgerald (hamstring) hampered by a lingering soft-tissue problem, Kirk is the team’s de facto No. 1 receiver. Since Week 2, when Fitz suffered his injury, Kirk has led the team with 37 targets, 27 receptions, 364 yards receiving, 343 air yards and 124 yards after the catch, as well as 11.8 DraftKings points per game with a +4.75 Plus/Minus and 83.3% Consistency Rating.
Fitz has yet to miss a game this season, but he’s been extremely limited with his injury, failing to surpass 40 yards dating back to Week 2. Williams has just nine receptions on 29 targets. His 31.0% catch rate is literally the worst in the league among qualified receivers.
Jermaine Kearse & Robby Anderson: New York Jets (+8) at Chicago Bears, 45 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Running back Bilal Powell (neck) has been placed on injured reserve. Wide receivers Quincy Enunwa (ankle) and Terrelle Pryor (groin, released) are out. Anderson (ankle) is doubtful and fully expected not to play. Left tackle Kelvin Beachum (back) is questionable but tentatively expected to play.
- Kearse: $4,300 DraftKings; $4,700 FanDuel
- Anderson: $4,100 DraftKings; $5,200 FanDuel
Wide receivers Quincy Enunwa (ankle, out) and Terrelle Pryor (groin, released) are unavailable, and Anderson (ankle) has yet to practice this week. He’s truly questionable. That leaves Kearse as the lone established wide receiver for quarterback Sam Darnold. He could have an outsized target share in Week 8, but he’s also facing a defense that has a league-best DVOA (-15.8%) and is looking for redemption after allowing 30 or more points in each of the past two games.
Positional Breakdowns & News
Be sure to read the other Week 8 positional breakdowns.
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Pictured above: Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84)
Photo credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports