I hope you all had a lockdown week five and are all well on the hunt for a place in the playoffs. Not all of us are math wizzes or algebra heroes, we just want to hit the high FPPG (Fantasy points per game) players. It’s not much to ask, is it?
This article came into existence because I was infuriated at the lack of simple information available on matchups for receivers. So I’m going to try and provide you with players to fade and why in a way that is easy to read and take in. I’m never going to be right 100% of the time. Heck, even a strike rate of 75% I would be happy with.
Here’s the stinger, last week I said fade D.J Chark. Man was I wrong. Chark is now firmly entrenched as a WR2 going forward. He is bigger than all that cover him. Has a huge wingspan that seems to get slightly longer every week. Oh and Gardener Minshew seems to love him. Apologies to you Mr Chark. I got that one wrong.
How did my four fade candidates fare last week? Let’s take a look.
D.J. Chark – projected points 10.5 – Actual 32.4. Up 308%.
Tyler Lockett – projected points 14.1 -Actual 12.3. Down 13%.
Corey Davis – projected points 7 – Actual 3.8. Down 46%.
A.J. Brown – projected points 6.2 – Actual 3.7. Down 40%.
You chose receivers in a game against the Bills I hear you holla at whatever screen you’re reading this on. That was always going to be a bad matchup, we wouldn’t start those guys. People will have grabbed Brown and Davis off the waivers and started them after a hit week 4. Recency bias suggests this. Play the hot hand, he just went off, surely he will do it again. By picking players who I feel Fantasy owners may olay, I’m trying to help avoid disappointment. This info should help you flex to another player with greater upside.
This Week’s Receivers To Be Wary Of!
Shepherd is out week 6 with a concussion. In the first four weeks, Shepard had run over 50% of his routes from the slot. That is where he has always been most efficient. It was his role when OBJ was the dog in NY. Beckham was the outside guy whilst Shepard operated almost under the radar from the slot. This all came to a crashing halt in week five with the return of the banned Golden Tate. Of Shepards 56 routes run on Sunday, only 19 were from the slot. He managed only 7.2 Fantasy points against a good Vikings defence. With Tate now occupying the slot role this immediately hurts Shepards Fantasy outlook going forward.
But wait, it gets worse. Can it? Surely not! Oh yes, it does. Much worse. The Giants welcome The Patriots into town on Thursday night. Big Blue will be without Shepard, Barkley, Gallman and most likely Evan Engram. The Patriots are currently allowing just 12.6 FPPG to opposing receiving corps. If you are expecting anything out of the Giants I feel you may be severely heartbroken.
The good news is that Saquon Barkley is trending in the right direction to possibly play week 6, most likely week 7. Trending being the operative word here. He is super Human but even then I don’t see him being back to old Barkley straight away. Barkley being there will help Shepard a smidge as the Patriots will have to stack the box more to avoid being gashed by the run. However, the Patriots have yet to allow a receiving touchdown in 2019. Having Stephon Gilmore and Jason McCourty shadowing Tate and Slayton is a recipe for disaster.
This is more of a cautionary tale than a complete fade. Coming off a week four bye and with memories of an o so nearly win against the Chiefs are the Lions. Kenny G was, through the first four weeks of the season, the wide receiver 11 in 0.5 PPR leagues. He has been averaging 14.5 FPPG. Matty Stafford has been throwing the ball a lot. 141 pass attempts for 1122 yards and 9 touchdowns. Golladay has seen 26.7% of these as targets. This number rises to 33.5% in the Red Zone. He is the alpha in Detroit but faces a stiff test against a solid Packers pass defence.
Green Bay is currently giving up just 32.4 points per game in the NFL. This translates to 14 FPPG to wide receivers. Amari Cooper did Amari Cooper things against the Packers this past week. Cooper went got into the end zone twice whilst going for 226 yards off 11 receptions. Cooper finished up with 34.1 Fantasy points in 0.5 PPR leagues.
The Cowboys got behind fast and were 17-0 down at half time. Dak was poor until the second half when he needed to throw more to play catch up. The Packers had only given up one touchdown per game to wide receivers up until the Cowboys game. regression to the mean should see the Packers DB’s give Golladay a tough time this weekend. I still expect Kenny G to be serviceable but with the Packers having a softer run defence than pass defence expect more running from Kerryon Johnson and fewer catches for Golladay.
Mono man Sam Darnold participated in 100% of the first-team reps last week as Adam Gase thought he would be ready for the game against the Eagles. Rather than provide sacrificial lamb Luke Falk with some first-team reps, Gase saw fit to keep Darnold in the first team’s practices. Falk was destroyed by the Eagles. Sacked ten times, he looked like a deer in headlights. In the first four games of Andersons season, he hasn’t topped 81 yards. This was in week two against the Cleveland Browns, Darnold was also not the starting Quarterback.
The fact that Darnold appears to have decided that Jamison Crowder is his target hog. In Darnold’s only start this season he targeted Crowder 14 times to Anderson’s 7. Anderson hasn’t been targeted more than 6 times in Darnold’s absence. Will Darnold’s return mean an uptake in targets for Anderson? Or will Crowder once again resume as Darnold’s main target?
Regardless of who Darnold decides to target on his return, this weeks matchup against the Cowboys looks to be a tough one. The Cowboys are currently giving up the fewest points on the NFL field. Just 26 points per game. In Fantasy terms, this means just 17.4 FPPG to opposing wideouts.
The Cowboys defensive front seven will look to get to whoever is under centre for the Jets as often as possible. This will either mean quick check-downs to Bell and Crowder or sacks galore for the Cowboys. I can’t see Anderson getting many looks and if he gets his usual 5 targets don’t expect huge yardage. In 2018 Anderson and Darnold appeared to have a connection and perhaps that ignites again. Unfortunately, that wasn’t under Adam Gase who schemes for the slot receiver the most in the league. Anderson is not the Jets slot guy, that role is Crowders. Start Anderson as a last-ditch flex option if Darnold plays and leave on your bench if Falk takes to the field.
Whilst The Denver Broncos got their first win against the Chargers, things are on the downturn for Sanders. Courtland Sutton has now got all of Flaco’s attention and to me looks like the new one in Denver. Sanders snap percentage has declined in the past four weeks. in weeks one and two he was on the field for 86% of the team’s offensive snaps. this is now around 70%, troubling when you consider the Broncos have been in losing situations. The most troubling stat about Manny S is his target share. In week one it was 25%, this drops to a horrendous 7% in week five. On the downturn id say.
Couple this with the fact that Sutton’s snap share has remained between 94-81% in all five weeks. His target share has increased from 13% week one to 36% week five. Sutton is also the number one player in the NFL in Red Zone receptions with seven. Flaco looks to Sutton in the scoring parts of the field. Not only this but Sutton has the ability to break off big plays, meaning a higher chance of FPPG.
Finally, The Broncos take on The Titans this weekend. The Titans are currently giving up just 20.1 FPPG to teams wide receivers and just 15.8 FPPG to Quarterbacks. these stats mean for hard work ahead for the Broncos pass stack. The titans actually are good against the pass and the run so this game could be a low scoring affair. Vegas currently has the over-under on this game at a betting lowest 40.0. With a low scoring outlook, Fantasy points scored could be basement low. If you have to play Sanders, pull over the blindfold, put on some dinner jazz and wait it out hoping for a miracle.
Until next week, Keep Rushing.