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 (powered by Sean Koerner), player ratings in our Player Models will change. For updates, visit the models directly.
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Top NFL DFS Wide Receiver Picks in the FantasyLabs Models
On DraftKings, there are two wide receivers near the top of the Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon, Cash Game, and Tournament Player Models.
- Justin Jefferson
- Zay Jones
We’ll discuss why these two are popping in our models, as well as take a look at some other wide receivers.
Top Model NFL DFS Wide Receiver Picks
Justin Jefferson ($8,400 DraftKings, $9,000 FanDuel): Minnesota Vikings (-3) vs. New York Giants (48.5 total)
Justin Jefferson was held out of the second half in last week’s contest as Minnesota opted to rest their starters in preparation for the playoffs. It was a tough end to the year, as Jefferson combined for 53 yards on five catches over the final two games of the season.
Don’t let the rough patch cause you to forget Jefferson’s historic season and amazing run toward the end of the year. From Weeks 10-16, Jefferson had 30+ DraftKings points in five of seven games. In that span included a 34.3-point performance against these Giants.
Jefferson was targeted 16 times in Week 16 against New York, catching 12 balls for 133 yards and a touchdown. This Giants’ defense loves to blitz, which bodes well for Jefferson’s opportunities. Since T.J. Hockenson joined the team, Jefferson has had a 33% target share against the blitz. When the Giants blitzed in Week 16, Jefferson caught six of nine targets for 93 yards.
Few receivers can match a ceiling performance from Jefferson, and in the best game environment of the weekend, Jefferson should be able to feast.
He’s the top receiver in our Tournament Model.
Zay Jones ($4,300 DraftKings, $6,300 FanDuel): Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (47.5 total)
Zay Jones has been fairly inconsistent down the stretch of the season, being the epitome of a “boom-or-bust” receiver. In the final seven games of the year, Jones had games of 30.5, 21.7, and 37.9 DraftKings points, as well as 3.6, 2.1, 5.4, and 6.1 DraftKings points.
That level of inconsistency can be frustrating, but at such a cheap price, that’s the exact type of player that you look for to win tournaments. One of his floor performances also won’t tank your lineup, as his price tag isn’t burdensome.
One of Jones’ best games of the season came when these teams matched up back in Week 3, where he caught 10 of 11 targets for 85 yards and a touchdown.
The good news, despite Jones’ down performances recently, is that he’s still running a route on 100% of Trevor Lawrence’s dropbacks. The Chargers run a lot of man coverage which gives Jones a slight bump. He’s seen a 26.6% target rate per route run against man coverage as opposed to 20.4% against zone coverage.
Jones is the top receiver in our Cash Game Model, as well as Sean Koerner and Chris Raybon’s Pro Models.
Other Notable NFL DFS Wide Receiver Picks
Keenan Allen ($7,000 DraftKings, $8,400 FanDuel): Los Angeles Chargers (-2.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars (47.5 total)
One of the consistent knocks on Keenan Allen in fantasy is that he struggles to have ceiling performances. Allen silenced some haters last week, catching eight of 11 targets for 102 yards and two touchdowns en route to 33.2 DraftKings points. Allen is probably Herbert’s most trusted target, and he’ll be relied on even more heavily with Mike Williams sidelined.
The Jaguars have surrendered solid production to opposing slot receivers. They’ve allowed the ninth-most receptions to opposing slot receivers, 8.5 yards per target, and a 5.1% touchdown rate.
Allen looks like a great play this weekend.
Brandon Aiyuk ($5,800 DraftKings, $6,700 FanDuel): San Francisco 49ers (-9.5) vs. Seattle Seahawks (42 total)
Brandon Aiyuk is coming off of a career year and has been a huge piece of the 49ers’ offense, with Deebo Samuel dealing with injuries. Aiyuk has a team-high 24% target share while being targeted on 20% of his routes and commanding 33% of the team air yards. He’s been fairly in check against Seattle this year, catching five of eight targets for 63 yards in Week 2 and two of four targets for 19 yards.
The Seahawks boast one of the best secondaries in the league and have been tough on boundary receivers. They’ve allowed 6.9 yards per target and a 3.9% touchdown rate to opposing boundary receivers. The matchup is tough, but Aiyuk should see a lot of work on a team with one of the highest team totals of the weekend.
DeAndre Carter ($3,600 DraftKings, $5,700 FanDuel): Los Angeles Chargers (-2.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars (47.5 total)
DeAndre Carter is thrust into a bigger role with Mike Williams sidelined and instantly becomes a solid tournament option on both the Saturday-only slate and the full weekend slate. His target numbers haven’t changed too much with Williams on/off the field, but his playing time will increase. He’s seen a 13% target share on the year with Williams off the field and 11.3% with Williams on the field.
Carter is very cheap and is a unique way to get exposure to the Chargers’ offense. He’s had some spike production weeks this year, with four games of double-digit DraftKings points.