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.
Top Wide Receivers in the FantasyLabs Models
There are six wide receivers atop the individual Pro Models that Jonathan Bales, Peter Jennings (CSURAM88), Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon, and Ryan Hodge have constructed.
Here’s where they place within our Week 2 Fantasy Rankings (as of Tuesday evening):
- D.K.Metcalf (3rd)
- Stefon Diggs (4th)
- CeeDee Lamb (15th)
- Cedric Wilson (87th)
- Jalen Guyton (75th)
- A.J. Green (59th)
We’ll discuss why these six are popping in our models, as well as take a look at some other wide receivers with week-winning upside and value plays for the cash game players out there.
FantasyLabs Positional Breakdowns
- Quarterbacks on Tuesday
- Tight Ends on Thursday
- Running Backs on Friday
For more in-depth NFL analysis, check out The Action Network.
Top Model Wide Receivers
D.K. Metcalf ($7,600 DraftKings, $7,000 FanDuel) Seattle Seahawks (-5) vs Tennessee Titans (53.5 total)
With the second-highest total on the slate, figuring out who gets the fantasy points in Seattle this weekend will be key. Fortunately, there are really only two major options. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett ($7,200 DraftKings, $7,200 FanDuel) combined for 43% of Russell Wilson’s targets last week. This is in line with last year’s numbers, where they accounted for 47% of his looks throughout the season. Since I’m assuming you don’t need me to tell you how good Metcalf is, let’s look at some strategies.
Recency bias will likely shift a large chunk of the field towards Lockett, who outscored Metcalf by 13 points last week. However, they saw the same number of targets (five), and D.K. played slightly more snaps. Our Median Projections like D.K.slightly more this week, giving him a roughly one-point edge on both sites.
Playing both together also doesn’t make much sense. While the team’s top wide receivers have a slightly positive Correlation, Metcalf and Lockett never scored more than 25 points in the same game last season.
Metcalf leads four of our Pro Models on FanDuel, where he has a 99th percentile Bargain Rating. If playing on both sites, I’d keep my Metcalf exposure to FanDuel and play Lockett on DraftKings. That way, you have a chance in tournaments if either guy blows up while saving yourself some salary.
Of course, if the field looks like it’s tilting that way too; going the opposite direction may have some merit.
Stefon Diggs ($7,700 DraftKings $7,500 FanDuel) Buffalo Bills (-3) at Miami Dolphins (48 total)
Diggs remains the clear alpha in Buffalo, seeing a massive 14 targets last week against the Steelers. Though he was uncharacteristically inefficient, converting each target into only 4.9 yards. Perhaps that was to be expected since he faced a Pittsburgh defense that knocked over 19% off their opponent’s average passing production last season (best in the league).
This week, he draws a far better matchup against the Dolphins. Josh Allen has averaged over 30 DraftKings points against Miami in his career, which bodes well for Diggs. Diggs has accounted for over one-third of Allen’s passing yardage in their time together. He also has the best target share of all main slate players this week, at 29.9%. We should expect some positive regression on those targets for Diggs, who averages 8.9 yards per target as a Bill.
As of Wednesday morning, our Median Projections have Diggs at a slate-leading 20.68 DraftKings and 15.72 FanDuel points this week. He’s the only wideout to lead at least one of our Pro Models on both platforms.
CeeDee Lamb ($6,400 DraftKings $6,800 FanDuel) Dallas Cowboys (+3) at Los Angeles Chargers (55.5 total)
The Cowboys head to Los Angeles in what should be a shootout; the 55.5 over/under leads the slate. The Cowboys are also underdogs, which bodes well for Lamb. In five games as an underdog with a 50-point or greater total, Lamb has done this:
Lamb trailed only teammate Amari Cooper ($6,800 DratfKings, $7,800 FanDuel) in wide receiver targets last week with 15. Now, the Cowboys’ third-most targeted player, Michael Gallup, is out until October. With his seven targets now up for grabs, expect even more production from Lamb. It doesn’t look like the Cowboys will be throwing any less this week, either. Dallas led the NFL in pass rate over expectation last week and would be wise to take to the air again.
Unlike in Seattle, both Lamb and Cooper can blow up together. They’ve scored 25+ points in the same game as recently as last week. However, we prefer Lamb on DraftKings, where we have him projected for slightly more points at a cheaper salary.
Cedric Wilson ($3,100 DraftKings $4,900 FanDuel) Dallas Cowboys (+3) at Los Angeles Chargers (55.5 total)
Cedrick Wilson is the other possible beneficiary of the Gallup injury. Stepping in for Gallup last week, he saw three targets on only 34 offensive snaps in less than half of a game’s work. If we project him to take all of Gallup’s snap (which we probably shouldn’t, but it should be reasonably close), this would project out to 7.4 targets over the course of the game.
Even if we conservatively project him for six targets, he represents a huge value at the near-minimum price on DraftKings. Especially with defensive attention tilted towards Lamb and Copper, Wilson could do some damage. To put into perspective what kind of value two targets for $1,000 in DraftKings salary looks like, last week Cooper would’ve cost $3,200 on DraftKings.
Wilson is preferred on DraftKings, where he represents a much greater salary savings relative to his teammates. He’s 48% of Lamb’s salary, compared to 63% on FanDuel, for example. He also leads the slate by a wide margin with a Pts/Sal of 3.0.
Jalen Guyton ($3,100 DraftKings $4,800 FanDuel) Los Angeles Chargers (-3) vs. Dallas Cowboys (55.5 total)
Guyton is another value wideout from the week’s best fantasy game. He started for the Chargers last week and saw five targets on 53 snaps. He benefited from the lack of running back involvement in the passing game, as Herbert targeted his wideouts on 64% of his throws.
Guyton is less safe than Wilson, in my opinion. There’s a chance the Chargers plan to throw to Austin Ekeler more moving forward (Ekeler was dealing with an injury in Week 1), and they may not need to throw it as much this week as favorites.
However, he also is the more explosive player. He used his 89th percentile speed score to rack up 36 yards after the catch on only three receptions last week. He’s also broken a few big plays in his career.
— Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers) October 4, 2020
Guyton provides a valuable pivot off Wilson for tournaments on DraftKings, where he leads our Hodge Model.
A.J. Green ($3,700 DraftKings $5,300 FanDuel) Arizona Cardinals (-4.5) vs Minnesota Vikings (51 total)
While I personally think Green is washed, the Cardinals seem to disagree with me. They force-fed him six targets last week, and he trailed only DeAndre Hopkins ($8,000 DraftKings $8,500 FanDuel) in snap rate. If Green can return to anywhere near his former ability, his role as the second option in one of the NFL’s best offenses is worth far more than his $3,700 DraftKings salary.
I personally won’t be playing him, but neither will most of the field, and all it takes is one big game for him to pay off in a major way. Green leads our CSURAM88 Model on DraftKings.
Other Wide Receivers With Week-Winning Upside
Tyler Lockett ($7,200 DraftKings, $7,200 FanDuel)Seattle Seahawks (-5) vs Tennessee Titans (53.5 total)
See the above analysis of D.K. Metcalf for my full thoughts on Lockett, but Tyler is a strong play too (particularly on DraftKings, where he’s cheaper). I think the public perception is that Metcalf is the more explosive player, but Lockett has three 40+ point games over the past two seasons (one for Metcalf). He’s roughly a coin flip to be the Seahawks receiver to own this week.
DeAndre Hopkins ($8,000 DraftKings $8,500 Fanduel) Arizona Cardinals (-4.5) vs Minnesota Vikings (51 total)
Since coming to Arizona, Hopkins has been the preferred target for Kyler Murray. Hopkins trailed only Diggs in targets in 2020 and picked up right where he left off, getting 25% of Kyler’s looks in Week 1. His lower aDot (8.1 in Arizona) led to a catch rate of 71.9% last year.
This gives him the strongest Floor Projection (tied with Diggs) on DraftKings. His red-zone role (1.31 opportunities per game, tied for the slate lead) also gives him a tremendous ceiling. He can also do this:
— NFL (@NFL) February 7, 2021
Bonus Value Play
Cole Beasley ($4,600 DraftKings, $5,400 FanDuel) Buffalo Bills (-3) at Miami Dolphins (48 total)
While Wilson and Guyton are the top value plays on the slate, I wanted to include a look at Cole Beasley. Beasley averaged 7.1 targets per game last season and added an impressive 13.0 last week. While the public tends to view Beasley as a short-area, limited-upside player, his 11.6 yards per catch last season was better than Davante Adams, among others.
While his lack of touchdowns limits his upside, he’s among the leaders on both sites in Pts/Sal.