The Week 6 NFL main slate kicks off on Sunday, Oct. 13, at 1 p.m. ET. In this piece, I highlight the wide receivers who stand out in our large suite of analytical DFS Tools, most specifically the industry-leading FantasyLabs Models.
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Top Wide Receivers in the FantasyLabs Models
There are nine wide receivers atop the individual Pro Models that Jonathan Bales, Peter Jennings (CSURAM88), Adam Levitan, Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon, Kevin McClelland (SportsGeek) and I have constructed.
- DeAndre Hopkins: $7,400 DraftKings; $8,400 FanDuel
- Tyler Lockett: $6,400 DraftKings; $6,300 FanDuel
- Tyler Boyd: $6,300 DraftKings; $6,400 FanDuel
- Larry Fitzgerald: $6,100 DraftKings; $5,600 FanDuel
- Stefon Diggs: $5,900 DraftKings; $5,800 FanDuel
- Calvin Ridley: $5,700 DraftKings; $5,500 FanDuel
- Mohamed Sanu: $4,500 DraftKings; $6,000 FanDuel
- Preston Williams: $4,100 DraftKings; $5,600 FanDuel
- Robby Anderson: $4,000 DraftKings; $5,300 FanDuel
DeAndre Hopkins: Houston Texans (-4.5) at Kansas City Chiefs, 55 Over/Under
There’s no way to spin this: With the exception of his Week 1 onslaught on Monday Night Football, Hopkins has magnificently disappointed this year. He’s yet to go off on the main slate, and Nuk investors are feeling the pain.
- Week 1 (at Saints): 34.1 DraftKings points, 8-111-2 receiving on 13 targets
- Week 2 (vs. Jaguars): 9.0 DraftKings points, 5-40-0 receiving on eight targets
- Week 3 (at Chargers): 12.7 DraftKings points, 6-67-0 receiving on seven targets
- Week 4 (vs. Panthers): 8.1 DraftKings points, 5-41-0 receiving on eight targets, 0-of-1 passing for one interception
- Week 5 (vs. Falcons): 15.8 DraftKings points, 7-88-0 receiving on eight targets
It’s not bad enough that he has dropped from his 2015-18 average of 10.8 targets per game to 8.8 this year. He’s now throwing interceptions.
And to add insult to injury, he should have gone off last week: He was in the perfect spot. And he didn’t have a bad game. But teammate Will Fuller was the one who capitalized with a slate-best 14-217-3 receiving smackdown on 16 targets.
The football life isn’t currently as bad for Hopkins as it was in his Brock Osweiler-tainted 2016 hellscape, but it ain’t good. The past four weeks have easily made up the worst stretch of games Nuk has had at any point in the Deshaun Watson era (excluding playoffs, per the RotoViz NFL Stat Explorer).
In only one week this year has Hopkins been a top-12 fantasy receiver. He’s No. 27 at the position with 15.9 DraftKings points per game. At 12.7% ownership on the main slate, Hopkins has a painful -2.06 Plus/Minus and 20% Consistency Rating.
But let’s not get carried away by Nuk’s short-term production. If you peruse the FantasyLabs Trends tool, you’ll see that no other player currently in the league has averaged more than Hopkins’ 20.8 DraftKings points per game since 2017, when Watson joined the team at quarterback.
So we’re stuck with Nuk as probably the best receiver in football, and although his recent struggles aren’t ideal, they are at least explainable. In Weeks 2-4, he had three tough matchups in a row (per Pro Football Focus).
- Week 2 (vs. Jaguars): Shadow coverage from Jalen Ramsey, 81.8% of routes, 4-27-0 receiving on seven targets
- Week 3 (at Chargers): Shadow coverage from Casey Hayward Jr., 75.0% of routes, 0-0-0 receiving on one target
- Week 4 (vs. Panthers): Shadow coverage from James Bradberry, 68.2% of routes, 3-27-0 receiving on six targets
Ramsey, Hayward and Bradberry are three of the top shadow men in the league.
And then in Week 5, Fuller got a lot of production that otherwise could have gone to Hopkins — and that made sense. Fuller had the far easier matchup of the two: He primarily faced cornerback Isaiah Oliver (who?), whereas Hopkins ran routes at Desmond Trufant.
So here we are in Week 6. What ought you to do with Hopkins? You should play him, roster construction permitting.
The Texans-Chiefs game has a slate-high 55-point over/under. It could be a shootout of magnificent proportions.
It’s unfortunate that this game is at Arrowhead Stadium. Since head coach Andy Reid joined the franchise in 2013, no home team has made under bettors more money than the Chiefs have with their 34-20-1 under record (including playoffs), good for an A-graded 26.1% return on investment (per Bet Labs).
In the Reid era, Chiefs home games have averaged a mediocre 42.9 points while their road games have blown out with with a league-high 51.8 points. That home/road disparity of -8.9 points is easily the league’s widest margin.
Arrowhead Stadium is a tough place to score.
Even so, Hopkins has a good matchup. The Chiefs are better at pass defense this year than they were last year, but they are still a middle-of-the-road No. 14 with a 67.1 coverage grade (per Pro Football Focus), and they have struggled against the three big-bodied No. 1 wide receivers they have faced this year.
- D.J. Chark Jr. (Week 1): 27.6 DraftKings points, 4-146-1 receiving on four targets
- Tyrell Williams (Week 2): 15.6 DraftKings points, 5-46-1 receiving on seven targets
- Kenny Golladay (Week 4): 23.7 DraftKings points, 5-67-2 receiving on nine targets
I expect that Hopkins will face cornerback Charvarius Ward the most, but regardless of whoever he runs routes against, Hopkins should be able to win. Ward is a second-yard undrafted small-school corner with just eight NFL starts to his name. Teammate Bashaud Breeland has a 47.5 Pro Football Focus coverage grade this year. Both are beatable on the outside.
And when Hopkins shifts into the slot, he should be able to get open in the middle against cornerback Kendall Fuller, who has allowed a 73.7% catch rate this year.
This isn’t the nuclear spot that Week 5 was, but Hopkins still has the potential to go off. Fair warning: He’s likely to be one of the slate’s most popular players, especially in Texans-Chiefs game stacks.
Nuk is the No. 1 wide receiver in the Bales and CSURAM88 Model for DraftKings.
Tyler Lockett: Seattle Seahawks (-1.5) at Cleveland Browns, 46.5 O/U
Last year, Lockett had a magically efficient season. He turned 57 receptions and 13 carries into 1,034 yards and 10 touchdowns. He produced a perfect QB rating of 158.3 for Russell Wilson on his 70 targets. He had a league-high 77.8% catch rate on passes of at least 20 yards.
This year, he’s had something of a mixed campaign.
- Week 1 (vs. Bengals): 10.9 FanDuel points, 1-44-1 receiving on two targets
- Week 2 (at Steelers): 12.9 FanDuel points, 10-79-0 receiving on 12 targets
- Week 3 (vs. Saints): 26.9 FanDuel points, 11-154-1 receiving on 14 targets
- Week 4 (at Cardinals): 7.1 FanDuel points, 4-51-0 receiving on four targets
- Week 5 (vs. Rams): 12.3 FanDuel points 4-51-1 receiving on four targets, -8 rushing yards
Lockett leads the team with 36 targets, 30 receptions and 379 yards receiving, and he’s No. 2 with 397 air yards, 101 yards after the catch and three receiving touchdowns. But he has just one top-12 fantasy performance this year.
There’s nothing wrong with 14.0 FanDuel points per game, and Lockett has provided value with his +5.04 Plus/Minus and 80% Consistency Rating. But Lockett is simply not seeing enough volume each week to be a consistent high-end producer, which means that he’s risky for cash games, but he’s a high-end option for guaranteed prize pools.
He’s in a good spot against the Browns. Starting cornerbacks Denzel Ward (hamstring) and Greedy Williams (hamstring) have both missed the past three games and are uncertain for Week 6. They got in a limited practice on Wednesday, so we could see them finally suit up. But even if they do play, I like the idea of the speedy Lockett (4.40-second 40-yard dash) getting to run some deep routes against two hamstrung corners.
Additionally, Lockett this year has run 71.7% of his route in the slot, where he will face either backup corner Eric Murray or starter T.J. Carrie (if either Ward or Williams returns and allows Carrie to slide back to the inside). Murray has allowed a 66.7% catch rate this year and Carrie a 71.0% catch rate. Regardless of who Lockett faces, he should be able to get open.
And here’s an underrated factor in Lockett’s favor: The Browns just played on Monday Night Football, and they were physically worked over by San Francisco in a disheartening 31-3 loss. Now they have one less day than usual to prepare for Sunday while the Seahawks played on Thursday Night Football, so they have an extra three days.
In other words, the Browns are running a four-day deficit to the Seahawks in terms of rest and readiness.
Against a weary and less prepared opponent that has disappointed with its 2-3 record, Lockett and the Seahawks could go off. He’s the No. 1 wide receiver in the CSURAM88 Model for FanDuel, where he has an elite 98% Bargain Rating.
Tyler Boyd: Cincinnati Bengals (+11.5) at Baltimore Ravens, 48 O/U
Boyd is kind of like the Bizarro version of Lockett.
Like Lockett, Boyd is a smallish slot receiver and his production has been modest but valuable: He has 13.1 FanDuel points per game with a +4.20 Plus/Minus and 80% Consistency Rating. And like Lockett, Boyd is much more of a fantasy WR3 than true WR1.
Unlike Lockett, though, Boyd’s production is driven almost entirely by volume: Efficiency is not his game. Despite being No. 3 in the league with 53 targets, Boyd is No. 5 with 37 receptions, No. 8 with 406 yards receiving and No. 42 with 357 air yards. He’s not even in the top 50 with his one receiving touchdown.
But with all his volume, Boyd is likely to see his touchdown luck change eventually, and his volume should remain intact, given that the Bengals are without starting outside wide receivers A.J. Green (ankle) and John Ross (clavicle, injured reserve). There’s almost no one else on the team for quarterback Andy Dalton to target.
In a similar volume-fueled situation last year, Boyd averaged the exact same 13.1 FanDuel points per game, so he’s very much in his element.
Still, there are a few factors I don’t like about Boyd’s situation this week. Since becoming a starter last year, Boyd has had significant splits, and he’s on the negative side of them this weekend as a road dog.
- Home (10 games): 16.1 FanDuel points, +7.27 Plus/Minus, 80% Consistency Rating
- Away (nine games): 9.69 FanDuel points, +1.64 Plus/Minus, 44.4% Consistency Rating
- Favorite (eight games): 15.8 FanDuel points, +8.09 Plus/Minus, 75% Consistency Rating
- Underdog (11 games): 11.1 FanDuel points, +2.06 Plus/Minus, 54.5% Consistency Rating
Boyd has been a guy who puts up points when the situation is good for his team — not when it actually needs him. He’s a fantasy leach.
And I don’t like his matchup. The Ravens are very beat up in the secondary right now. Cornerback Jimmy Smith (knee) hasn’t played since Week 1. Slot corner Tavon Young (neck, injured reserve) is out. Cornerback Maurice Canady (thigh), who broke into the starting lineup last week, is dealing with an injury and missed practice on Wednesday. Starting safety Tony Jefferson (knee, injured reserve) suffered a season-ending injury last week.
With all these issues, it’s no surprise that the Ravens are No. 24 with a 0.7% pass-defense DVOA (per Football Outsiders).
And the Ravens have struggled this year against slot receivers: Christian Kirk, Larry Fitzgerald, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman, Jarvis Landry and JuJu Smith-Schuster have combined to average 14.9 FanDuel points per game with a +6.59 Plus/Minus and 83.3% Consistency Rating against them.
But last week, the Ravens changed their defensive strategy and had No. 1 corner Marlon Humphrey shadow JuJu into the slot. While JuJu still had a good game with 7-75-1 receiving on seven targets, Humphrey at least prevented him from having a massive game just one week after Landry went off for 8-167-0 receiving on 10 targets. I expect that Humphrey will once again shadow into the slot this week, which gives Boyd a tough one-on-one matchup: Humphrey has held opposing receivers to a 50% catch rate for his career.
But in the end, volume matters most. Last week in his first full game without both Green and Ross, Boyd had an absurd 14 targets. He could approach that number again, and with that volume, it won’t matter much which corner is on him.
The Bengals are No. 2 in the league with a 70.4% pass-play rate, and as road dogs, they will likely have a pass-heavy game script. If you want to go with Boyd as a mid-priced option in cash games, it’s understandable.
Boyd is the No. 1 wide receiver in the Freedman Model for FanDuel, where he has a position-high floor projection and an elite 97% Bargain Rating.
Larry Fitzgerald: Arizona Cardinals (+2.5) vs. Atlanta Falcons, 51.5 O/U
The aged Fitz leads the Cardinals with 44 targets, 29 receptions, 358 yards receiving and 418 air yards. He hasn’t been a high-upside player, but he’s been as consistent as any receiver in the league with his 12.5 FanDuel points per game, +5.31 Plus/Minus and 80% Consistency Rating.
A slot-bound fixture, Fitz is basically Boyd minus two targets and $800 on FanDuel.
Unlike Boyd, he has a fantastic matchup. The Cardinals-Falcons game could shoot out with the slate’s second-highest over/under, and the Falcons have allowed the most FanDuel points to opposing wide receivers with 38.2 per game.
In the first few weeks of the season, the Falcons struggled specifically against slot receivers.
- Adam Thielen (Week 1): 11.8 FanDuel points, 3-43-1 receiving on three targets
- Nelson Agholor (Week 2): 20.7 FanDuel points, 8-107-1 receiving on 11 targets
- T.Y. Hilton (Week 3, home): 16.5 FanDuel points, 8-65-1 receiving on 10 targets (re-aggravated quad injury, left game before halftime)
And they are even worse now that they are without Pro-Bowl strong safety Keanu Neal (Achilles, injured reserve), who suffered a season-ending injury in Week 3. Since then, they have been aerially destroyed by multiple receivers per game.
- A.J. Brown (Week 4): 22.9 FanDuel points, 3-94-2 receiving on three targets
- Corey Davis (Week 4): 17.6 FanDuel points, 5-91-1 receiving on six targets
- Will Fuller (Week 5): 46.7 FanDuel points, 14-217-3 receiving on 16 targets
- DeAndre Hopkins (Week 5): 12.3 FanDuel points, 7-88-0 receiving on eight targets
- Keke Coutee (Week 5): 8.7 FanDuel points, 3-72-0 receiving on four targets
In the Cardinals’ four-wide set, Fitz is likely to run almost all of his routes against slot cornerbacks Damontae Kazee and Kendall Sheffield. Kazee has a 47.3 PFF coverage grade and has allowed an 80% catch rate this year. And Sheffield is a rookie dime corner with a 28.1 PFF coverage grade and just 28 coverage snaps of NFL experience.
Fitz might not have a blowup game, but he certainly could, and his floor makes him a viable mid-priced cash-game option.
Fitz is the No. 1 wide receiver in the Levitan and Raybon Models for FanDuel, where he has a position-high +4.60 Projected Plus/Minus and an excellent 98% Bargain Rating.
Stefon Diggs: Minnesota Vikings (-3) vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 44 O/U
I’m not at all enamored with Diggs, who is a GPP-only option this week, but I get why he’s popping in some of our Models.
It’s true that he’s having a horrible season.
- Fantasy production (five games): 7.1 FanDuel points, -1.87 Plus/Minus, 20% Consistency Rating
- Football production (five games): 15-253-1 receiving on 23 targets
Diggs has reportedly asked for a trade, and not once this year has he had a top-12 fantasy performance. In fact, just once has he finished in the top 24, and then just barely.
Diggs isn’t an untalented player: Last year he averaged 14.4 FanDuel points per game with a +3.08 Plus/Minus. He’s long been considered one of the most explosive receivers in the league. But under offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, the Vikings have had an aggressive 51.0% run rate, so Diggs has seen a greatly diminished workload. Last year, he had 9.9 targets per game. This year, that number has plummeted to 4.6.
And I don’t know why his target volume would increase this weekend. Under head coach Mike Zimmer, the Vikings are an outstanding 18-2-1 against the spread as non-divisional home favorites: They could have a very run-heavy game script.
But Diggs has a great matchup against the Eagles, who are in disarray at corner.
- Jalen Mills (foot): Out indefinitely on the Physically Unable to Perform list
- Ronald Darby (hamstring): Hasn’t played since Week 3, didn’t practice on Wednesday
- Avonte Maddox (concussion/neck): Missed last week, didn’t practice on Wednesday
- Orlando Scandrick (illness): Played first game of season last week, didn’t practice on Wednesday
- Sidney Jones (hamstring): Missed last week, practiced in full on Wednesday
Even if Scandrick and Jones play this week, the Eagles are still likely to be without their three starting corners in Mills, Darby and Maddox. This year, they’ve allowed the fifth-most FanDuel points to opposing wide receivers with 36.0 per game.
Against a pass defense like this, with just a couple of well-placed deep targets or a surprisingly pass-leaning game script, Diggs could be a slate-altering GPP play.
Diggs is the No. 1 wide receiver in the Bales and SportsGeek Models for FanDuel, where has a top-tier 98% Bargain Rating.
Calvin Ridley: Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) at Arizona Cardinals, 51.5 O/U
In his 21 career games, Ridley has averaged 11.1 FanDuel points per game, but his mean is a totally fictitious number: He either crushes or he busts.
In just one game has Ridley been a fantasy WR2.
He’s either a fantasy WR1, or he’s nearly dust.
And a spectometric reading of Ridley’s productivity patterns isn’t hard to do: Because he has to compete for targets with wide receivers Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu and tight end Austin Hooper, Ridley is very much a touchdown-or-bust player.
- Touchdown (10 games): 18.6 FanDuel points, 7.6 targets, 5.4 receptions, 80.7 yards, 1.3 touchdowns
- No Touchdown (11 games): 4.3 FanDuel points, 4.4 targets, 2.8 receptions, 28.1 yards, zero touchdowns
So Ridley is untouchable for cash games, and for GPPs, the question is simple: Is Ridley going to score a touchdown?
This week, he has a real chance to find the end zone. The Falcons-Cardinals game could be a high-scoring back-and-forth affair that calls for voluminous aerial action, and that dovetails perfectly with what the Falcons do.
They have a league-high 72.0% pass-play rate, and they are No. 1 in the NFL with 222 attempts and 156 completions. Quarterback Matt Ryan trails only Patrick Mahomes with his 1,885 air yards, and he and Mahomes are the only quarterbacks this year to pass for 300-plus yards in every start.
Consistently, the Falcons put the ball in the air.
The Cardinals are second in the league in pace (24.0 seconds per play), which creates extra drives for opposing offenses, so the Falcons are likely to have even more plays than usual to throw the ball, and when they throw, they should have success: The Cardinals are No. 27 with a 23.6% pass-defense DVOA.
The Cardinals are without starting cornerbacks Patrick Peterson (suspension) and Robert Alford (leg, injured reserve), which means that on the outside, Ridley will be matched up with cornerbacks Byron Murphy and Kevin Peterson.
I like Ridley’s chances of winning those matchups. He is significantly faster (4.43-second 40-yard dash) than Murphy (4.55) and Peterson (4.66). If he gets past them on a route, he could get loose for a touchdown.
Murphy is a slot-preferred rookie who has just five games of NFL experience and is playing out of position on the outside. Peterson is a four-year undrafted journeyman with 172 special teams snaps to 105 coverage snaps in his career. Ridley should be able to get open in their coverage.
This season, the Cardinals have faced three small-and-fast outside wide receivers similar to Ridley.
- Marvin Jones (Week 1): 8.0 FanDuel points, 4-56-0 receiving on four targets, 1-4-0 rushing
- Marquise Brown (Week 2): 12.6 FanDuel points, 8-86-0 receiving on 13 targets
- Curtis Samuel (Week 3): 13.8 FanDuel points, 5-53-1 receiving on seven targets
Given his matchup and offense, I like Ridley’s odds to have a WR1 performance. He’s the No. 1 wide receiver in the Koerner Model for FanDuel, where he has an upper-echelon 98% Bargain Rating.
Mohamed Sanu: Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) at Arizona Cardinals, 51.5 O/U
Even with Ridley on the team, Sanu has been solid albeit unspectacular since last season, averaging 11.9 DraftKings points per game with a +3.40 Plus/Minus.
It’s usually hard to count on Sanu in tournaments, because unlike Ridley, he hasn’t seen an uptick in correlated production when he scores. When Ridley gets a touchdown, a whole bunch of extra yards and receptions have historically come along with it. When Sanu has scored a touchdown, that’s basically it: He doesn’t get any other extra production. A Sanu touchdown is just a touchdown.
- Touchdown (five games): 16.6 DraftKings points, 5.8 targets, 4.0 receptions, 55.6 yards, 1.0 touchdowns
- No Touchdown (11 games): 10.4 DraftKings points, 6.3 targets, 4.7 receptions, 52.6 yards, zero touchdowns
In other words, Sanu touchdowns are pretty much random. It’s not as if we can say, “Sanu has a great matchup, so I think he’s going to score and get a lot of extra yards.” Sanu pretty much does what he does, and sometimes he happens to score a touchdown.
But for what it’s worth, Sanu has a great matchup: When targeted, slot receivers have had success against the Cardinals.
- Danny Amendola (Week 1): 26.4 DraftKings points, 7-104-1 receiving on 13 targets
- Willie Snead (Week 2): 1.5 DraftKings points, 1-5-0 receiving on one target
- Jarius Wright (Week 3): 5.8 DraftKings points, 2-38-0 receiving on two targets
- Tyler Lockett (Week 4): 9.1 DraftKings points, 4-51-0 receiving on four targets
- Tyler Boyd (Week 5): 31.3 DraftKings points, 10-123-1 receiving on 14 targets
Sanu has averaged 7.2 targets per game this year and had at least five in each week. He’s not likely to approach the Boyd-Amendola range of outcomes, but something in between the Amendola and Lockett nodes seems likely, and he is just two weeks removed from a 12-target game. If he does happen to see that kind of volume against the Cardinals, he could have an 8-100-1 performance.
Slot receivers have averaged 14.8 DraftKings points per game this year against the Cardinals with a +5.36 Plus/Minus.
Of the three Falcons wide receivers, Sanu is a stone-cold lock to have the lowest ownership rate in GPPs. He offers significant leverage on Julio, Ridley and even Hooper.
Sanu is the No. 1 wide receiver in the Levitan, Koerner and SportsGeek Models on DraftKings, where he has an 87% Bargain Rating.
Preston Williams: Miami Dolphins (+3.5) vs. Washington Redskins, 41 O/U
At $4,100, Williams is on the radar as a potential DraftKings punt play.
Even though he is on the Dolphins and limited by quarterback Josh Rosen, there are a few reasons to like Williams.
The undrafted rookie leads the Dolphins with 30 targets, 15 receptions and 201 yards receiving in four games and is No. 2 with 364 air yards and 49 yards after the catch. In Week 1, he was more of a rotational receiver, but since Week 2 he’s played a supermajority of the offensive snaps, averaging 8.3 targets per game in that span.
Additionally, he was a five-star college recruit who had a massive 96-1,345-14 receiving campaign as a redshirt junior last year. For the past half decade, his talent has been apparent to football evaluators at multiple levels.
Most importantly, he’s facing the Redskins, who have allowed the fourth-most DraftKings points to opposing wide receivers with 45.8 per game.
On the outside, Williams will face cornerbacks Josh Norman and Quinton Dunbar for almost all his routes. Norman has name recognition, but he’s allowed four receiving touchdowns in five games and a 72.4% catch rate. Almost 32 years old, Norman looks washed. As for Dunbar, he “shut down” backup Giants wide receivers in Week 4, but in his two other games this year, he allowed the Eagles (Week 1) and Patriots (Week 5) to combine for a 12-164-0 receiving line on 17 targets in his coverage.
Both Norman and Dunbar are exploitable.
Slot receiver Albert Wilson (calf) has practiced on a limited basis this week and is expected to play on Sunday, so Williams could certainly lose some targets to the veteran. But with such a soft matchup on the outside, Williams still seems likely to get a sufficiently high number of downfield opportunities.
Williams is the No. 1 wide receiver in the Freedman Model for DraftKings, where he has an 87% Bargain Rating.
Robby Anderson: New York Jets (+7) vs. Dallas Cowboys, 44.5 O/U
The investment thesis for Anderson is pretty simple: He’s a big-play receiver who has scored a touchdown in 26% of his career games, and when he scores, he goes off.
- Touchdown (13 games): 20.9 DraftKings points, 7.2 targets, 4.5 receptions, 86.9 yards, 1.15 touchdowns
- No Touchdown (37 games): 6.5 DraftKings points, 5.8 targets, 2.9 receptions, 34.6 yards, zero touchdowns
And in his 13 games with quarterback Sam Darnold, the tall-and-fast receiver has scored with more frequency and reached a higher level of peak production.
- Touchdown (five games): 22.5 DraftKings points, 7.4 targets, 4.8 receptions, 95.2 yards, 1.2 touchdowns
- No Touchdown (eight games): 5.5 DraftKings points, 6.5 targets, 2.9 receptions, 28.6 yards, zero touchdowns
Anderson has scored in 38% of his games with Darnold. The sample is small, but historically, whenever Anderson and Darnold have been on the field together, the receiver has had the under-appreciated chance to put up a big game.
As significant underdogs, the Jets seem likely to have a pass-heavy game script, and Anderson had 121 air yards on seven targets in Week 1 with Darnold, so Anderson has the true potential to get deep for a score if he sees enough targets. And he really doesn’t need that many targets to make his opportunities count: With just a 0.18 target share, he has an unreal 0.43 market share of air yards. He’s No. 3 overall with that air market and No. 2 with the 0.25 raw differential in air/target share.
The matchup isn’t great for Anderson. In fact, it’s bad: The Cowboys have held opposing wide receivers to the fewest DraftKings points with 25.8 per game. Cowboys cornerbacks Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie and Anthony Brown have collectively limited opposing receivers to a 58.2% catch rate.
But the negative matchup honestly isn’t a huge concern. What matters most for Anderson is targets and air yards — and his depreciated market value. At just $4,000 on DraftKings, Anderson offers significant roster flexibility to go along with his upside, and his projected single-digit ownership rate gives him contrarian appeal.
If Anderson scores a touchdown and go off, he will likely be an important roster differentiator in the slate. He’s the No. 1 wide receiver in the Raybon Model for DraftKings, where he has a position-high +3.66 Projected Plus/Minus.
Upside Wide Receivers for Guaranteed Prize Pools
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons ($8,000 DK, $8,500 FD): Jones has just 13 FanDuel points total over the past two weeks, but among all wide receivers he’s No. 4 with 680 air yards and yards after the catch combined. He’s the No. 1 receiver in our Week 6 fantasy rankings. He leads the position on FanDuel with his median projection.
Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints ($7,800 DK, $8,200 FD): Thomas entered the year with an all-time NFL-high 321 receptions through his first three seasons. “Nothing stops this train.” Even without Drew Brees (thumb) for most of the season, Thomas leads the league with 45 receptions. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey (back, indifference) is tentatively expected to play, so Thomas might face Ramsey’s shadow coverage, but as long as the targets flow, Thomas’ direct defender almost doesn’t matter. He leads all receivers in ceiling projections on DraftKings and FanDuel, with a position-high nine Pro Trends on the latter.
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams ($7,100 DK, $7,800 FD): Kupp easily leads the Rams with 63 targets, 41 receptions, 505 yards receiving, 237 yards after the catch and four receiving touchdowns. The 49ers are No. 1 with a -61.4% pass-defense DVOA, but Kupp at home has averaged 18.5 DraftKings points with a +7.71 Plus/Minus and 76.9% Consistency Rating across his career. He’s the No. 2 DraftKings wide receiver with 25.6 points per game.
Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys ($7,000 DK, $8,100 FD): In his 16 games with the Cowboys (including playoffs), Amari has 16.3 FanDuel points per game with a +6.35 Plus/Minus. Cooper should be able to exploit cornerbacks Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts. Johnson has a dreadful 39.3 PFF coverage grade and was so bad in Week 1 that he was benched for Weeks 2-4. Roberts has allowed three touchdowns in four games and a career-high 67.6% catch rate.
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs ($6,900 DK, $7,400 FD): Tyreek (clavicle) has practiced on a limited basis this week and is tentatively expected to play. Discounting his injury-shortened Week 1, Hill has averaged 18.8 DraftKings points across 43 games (including playoffs) since becoming a full-time contributor in Week 10 of the 2016 season. He has a good matchup against slot corner Bradley Roby, who has allowed a career-high 74.1% catch rate this year with his move from the outside to the middle of the field.
Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns ($6,800 DK, $7,600 FD): Beckham has just 10 DraftKings points over the past two weeks, but in 2014-18 he averaged 21.6 per game, and in Week 2 he had 28.1. He will break out at some point. OBJ has a good matchup against cornerback Tre Flowers, who has a 49.3 PFF coverage grade and has allowed a 70% catch rate this year.
Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings ($6,700 DK, $7,200 FD): Last year, Thielen averaged 9.6 targets per game (including playoffs), but this year that number has dropped to 6.0 under run-loving OC Stefanski. Even so, Thielen has 16.8 DraftKings points per game, and the Eagles are without their three starting cornerbacks.
Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens ($6,200 DK, $5,800 FD): Hollywood has a team-high 39 targets and 326 yards receiving, and he’s No. 6 overall with 670 air yards and yards after the catch combined. The Bengals are No. 31 with a 41.1% pass-defense DVOA. They’ve allowed 15.6 DraftKings points per game with a +5.72 Plus/Minus to comparable small-and-athletic receivers in Tyler Lockett, Marquise Goodwin and Diontae Johnson.
Terry McLaurin, Washington Redskins ($6,000 DK, $6,400 FD): McLaurin had at least 60 yards and a touchdown in each of Weeks 1-3, and after missing Week 4 with a hamstring injury, he had a respectable 3-51-0 performance on seven targets against Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore. McLaurin is No. 1 with a 0.51 market share of air yards and 0.30 raw differential in air/target share. McLaurin has a theoretically tough matchup with cornerback Xavien Howard, but the Dolphins are No. 32 with a 37.0 PFF coverage grade.
Will Fuller, Houston Texans ($6,000 DK, $6,600 FD): “If you build it, he will come.” After struggling for the first month of the season, Fuller exploded last week with a slate-high 56.7 DraftKings points. He’s No. 5 with 678 air yards and yards after the catch combined. In his 16 games with Deshaun Watson, Fuller has averaged 18.2 DraftKings points. He should be able to beat outside cornerbacks Bashaud Breeland and Charvarius Ward.
Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams ($5,600 DK, $7,100 FD): Woods is yet to score a touchdown, and he has just one WR1 fantasy performance this year. But in his 16 Rams games as a home favorite, he’s averaged 17.5 points per game with a +5.39 Plus/Minus on DraftKings, where he has a position-high nine Pro Trends.
Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys ($5,600 DK, $6,100 FD): Gallup is emerging as one of the league’s best No. 2 receivers. The sample is small, but he leads the league with 113 yards receiving per game. He’s the No. 6 overall DraftKings wide receiver with 22.0 points per game. Like Amari, the second-year star should be able to beat Johnson and Roberts at cornerback.
D.J. Chark Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars ($5,500 DK, $6,500 FD): Like Gallup, Chark is in the middle of a breakout sophomore campaign. He’s the No. 5 DraftKings wide receiver with 22.3 points per game and a stratospheric +13.55 Plus/Minus. Chark is likely to be shadowed by cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who seems to be rounding into form but has still allowed an NFL-high 405 yards receiving.
Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs ($5,300 DK, $6,400 FD): Hill (clavicle) is expected to return, but Sammy Watkins (hamstring) is yet to practice this week and seems unlikely to play, so Hardman will continue to see action. In his four games as a starter in three-wide sets, Hardman has a 12-246-2 receiving line on 22 targets. Hardman could produce against a Texans defense allowing the sixth-most DraftKings points to opposing wide receivers with 43.3 per game.
Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals ($5,200 DK, $5,600 FD): Kirk (ankle) has practiced on a limited basis and is tentatively expected to play. Despite missing Week 4, he’s still top-two on the team with 37 targets, 24 receptions and 316 air yards. He has an excellent matchup against slot cornerbacks Damontae Kazee and Kendall Sheffield and could have drastically reduced ownership in a high-scoring game.
Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars ($5,100 DK, $5,400 FD): The dream is dead of a No. 1 receiver season for Westbrook, but he’s tied with Chark for a team-high 37 targets. The Saints have allowed the sixth-most FanDuel points to wide receivers with 34.6 points per game. Westbrook has an exploitable matchup against cornerback P.J. Williams, who has allowed a 72.2% catch rate since moving to the slot last year.
Jamison Crowder, New York Jets ($4,000 DK, $5,400 FD): In Week 1, Crowder had an “epic” (sort of) 14-99-0 receiving performance on 17 targets with Darnold at quarterback. He has struggled since then with first Trevor Siemian and then Luke Falk — but we’ve all struggled with it, to be honest. With a pass-heavy game script and a better-than-horrible quarterback, Crowder might approach double-digit targets.
FantasyLabs Positional Breakdowns
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