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DFS Roundtable: Rapid-Fire Receivers

The DFS team discusses wide receiver depth charts around the NFL for clarity of usage and production

Wide Receiver rapid-fire responses: how you feel about the following depth charts:

Justin Howe: If Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks are both held out of Week 6, it's assumed there will be a huge spray of high-impact opportunity sent all to the healthy options. Let's revisit last season when top target Robert Woods missed three games late in the year. Without Woods, Jared Goff upped his targeting of Todd Gurley (to 19%) and began to involve rookie Josh Reynolds (14%). Reynolds wasn't very efficient, producing just 60 yards over 14 targets, but he's shown a big-play rapport with Goff. The two hooked up for 22- and 17-yard receptions last week, and Reynolds chipped in 10 more on a run. Woods is the more desirable play this week, but Reynolds is the dirt-cheap GPP pivot.

Better days are coming for Doug Baldwin. He's back up to a full complement of snaps, and his Week 5 dud wasn't anything to gauge his value by. He drew a lot of coverage from Rams slot cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, who's been great thus far - Baldwin isn't the only big-name slot man he's shut down. It's more important to note that, when Baldwin first returned in Week 4, he led the team in targets over just 76% of their snaps.

It seems pretty clear to me that John Brown is more vital to the Baltimore offense than Michael Crabtree. Joe Flacco's cannon-strength arm has been forgotten about for years, and last season's nagging back woes didn't help things. He spent most of 2017 throwing underneath to low-impact receivers. But here in 2018, healthy and forced to prove his worth, he's back to looking down the field. And no one's benefiting more than Brown, who remains one of the NFL's fastest receivers. Through 5 weeks, Brown has caught just 20 balls, but 7 have spanned more than 20 yards.
Phil Alexander:
  • Keenan Allen vs. Mike Williams - Allen and it's not close. Williams has a nice air yards profile, but Allen is doubling his target market share on a per game basis.
  • Is Allen Robinson trustworthy on Bears depth chart? - He's the Chicago wide receiver you'll want to own most frequently, but his week-to-week upside is capped by Mitchell Trubisky (Week 4 notwithstanding) and the Bears tendency to spread the ball around.
  • Non-TY Hilton receivers in Indy? - It's Chester Rogers after consecutive 11 target games, but you can go back to ignoring him once Hilton comes back.
  • Tyler Lockett, Seattle depth chart - Assuming Doug Baldwin can get somewhat healthier as the season goes on, he will start commanding targets. But a healthy Lockett has upside every week, regardless of opponent, as Russell Wilson's top field stretcher.
  • Amari Cooper - Matchup dependent GPP option. No reason to shy away this week against Seattle.
  • Rams WRs if Brandin Cooks and/or Cooper Kupp miss Week 6 - The correct answer is probably to just play more Todd Gurley. Robert Woods gets an obvious volume bump and Josh Reynolds becomes safe enough for cash games on full PPR sites.
  • Any clarity in Jacksonville? - No. In fact, there's even less after rookie D.J. Chark Jr made an impact in Week 5.
  • John Brown vs. Michael Crabtree - Brown by a mile. As Justin pointed out, he is one of the league's premier deep threats.

James Brimacombe:

I am ready for a Keenan Allen breakout game and will continue to ride the up and down numbers with him until I land on that game. Williams is a nice second or even third option on this team but this is the time for Allen to step up and deliver a GPP winning type of game.

I would say yes as he has averaged 8 targets per game so far as a Bear and he has the trust of his young quarterback. The Bears look to be one of the offenses on the rise and taking shots on Robinson makes a lot of sense.

I want no part of this guessing game and although one could luck himself into a big game I would rather look to other options on other teams.

Robert Woods would be a WR1 play this week if both Cooks and Kupp were to miss and pairing him with Jared Goff would make for one of the best stacks on the week especially if you could somehow find the salary to throw Todd Gurley in there as well. You would essentially own the entire Rams offense that looks to be in line to put up 40+ points each and every week.

Dan Hindery: Early indications are Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks should both clear concussion protocol in time for the Week 6 matchup at Denver. However, Robert Woods still becomes a more intriguing option due to the injuries. Cooks and Kupp are going to end up missing some practices this week and it may be prudent for the coaching staff to be a bit more careful about exposing either of the two to hits on Sunday. Woods will get some extra practice time and it would be a logical time for the Rams to draw up a couple extra plays with Woods as the top target in Week 6.

The Raiders wide receiver situation is a mess for fantasy. Jared Cook is basically operating as the WR1. He is the go-to target in the red zone and takes many of his snaps lined up out wide. Amari Cooper is technically the WR1 but the Raiders are content to ignore him completely if he has a bad matchup. He had just one target last week lined up opposite of Casey Hayward. Jordy Nelson, Martavis Bryant, and Seth Roberts are all seeing targets each week. Plus, you cannot even count on a garbage-time fantasy boost since Jalen Richard is Carr’s favorite target when the team goes to the hurry-up offense.

Chester Rogers is a strong option in Indianapolis as long as TY Hilton is sidelined. He has quietly seen 11 targets in each of the past two games. Rogers has been very efficient with the targets too. He has a catch rate of 75% through five weeks and had 8 receptions in both Week 4 and Week 5. His $4,500 price tag on DraftKings this week is attractive given the full-PPR scoring and Rogers’ role in the offense of late.

Will Grant:

For GPP – Yes. Robinson and the Chicago passing game feels very ‘boom or bust’ at this point. The Bears looked great against a terrible Tampa Bay defense at home, but have struggled at other points this season. They spread the ball around so if you have Robinson on the right week, you’ll hit value. Otherwise, he won’t even be worth starting in a cash game.

Eric Ebron is a legitimate fantasy pick for a tight end and he’s not quite to the ‘top tier’ pricing which makes him a good value pick. With Jack Doyle week to week with a hip injury, Ebron looks like a great pick. Ryan Grant and Chester Rogers will see additional targets but are not worth considering unless one emerges as a ‘go to’ receiver. Until further notice, Ebron is the only guy worth having.

Early indications here is that one or both of these guys will be available for Week 6. Obviously if one is a ‘go’ and the other is a ‘No’, then the starter is the guy to play. If one or both of them are out, Robert Woods becomes a no-brainer to stack with Jared Goff this week. Woods and Kupp are tied for the team lead with 41 targets each. Cooks is third with 33 and Gurley is #4 with 25. After that, no one else has more than 6 receptions at any position. If both are out, then Josh Reynolds becomes a huge GPP option as he’s a guy who will be starting opposite Woods and should see a lot of targets if he’s the #2 guy.