Since we’re all FAmily here, I’ll be honest. This slate is going to be rough, perhaps even more rough than Week 7 where we had six teams on bye. The Dolphins, Chiefs, Bills, Bengals, and Chargers aren’t on the main slate, while other reliable offenses like the Lions, Jaguars, and 49ers are all on bye. The main slate only features one game with an O/U above 45 points! By taking a look at projected game and team totals, as well as our NFL DFS Week 9 player projections, we’ll get a good look at how we can best optimize the wide receiver position in our NFL DFS lineups.
From superstar receivers to top NFL DFS stacks, the NFL DFS WR Coach will have multiple plays at various pricing tiers to help construct your lineups. Without further ado, let’s dive into this week’s DFS WR Coach, highlighting the top plays, values, and fades at the wide receiver position to help build your NFL DFS lineups for Sunday’s main slate on DraftKings and FanDuel.
Be sure to check out the rest of the NFL DFS Coaches and DFS Watch List throughout the week!
NFL DFS WR Top Tier Picks
We nailed Lamb last week, so let’s go back to the well with him, as he finds himself in yet another good matchup. The Eagles do a lot of things well, but stopping wide receivers is not one of them. They’ve allowed the most fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season as a whole, and over the last four weeks, no team has allowed more receptions or yards to wide receivers! Interestingly enough, Dak Prescott has led the Cowboys to at least 40 points while throwing for at least three scores in each of his last three games against Philly!
To be frank, how can you not play him right now? The star receiver has 125 or more yards in six straight games, not to mention at least 15 FanDuel points and 21 DraftKings points in all six games as well. He’s matchup-proof right now, and I’d be foolish to not put him in here. For what it’s worth, in the two games against Dallas last season, he had 67 yards and a touchdown in one game, and 103 yards on six receptions in the other contest.
Just as we all expected, Adam Thielen has been a WR1 in fantasy football this year. He has at least eight targets in six straight games, including 11 or more targets in four of those six games! He leads the Panthers in red zone targets, commanding a 39.1 percent target share in the red zone, and gets a tasty matchup against an Indianapolis team that has struggled against receivers this season.
It’s primarily boundary receivers that have given them fits, but we can’t ignore Thielen’s workload and production. I will give a quick shoutout to Jonathan Mingo, as he will draw a nice matchup playing on the perimeter against Indianapolis.
NFL DFS WR Mid-Tier Picks
Look, this is the highest game total on the slate, and the Philadelphia offense flows through a handful of guys, and Smith can be one of them. For what it’s worth, Smith did total 13 receptions for 157 yards and three touchdowns in two games against Dallas last season. After a few quiet weeks, Smith bounced back last week against Washington, posting 99 yards and a touchdown, and despite the quiet performances prior to that, he’s averaging a healthy 7.4 targets per game over his last five contests. There are not many high-game totals on this slate, but this could be the one that pops off for 50+, and Smith is one of the few prominent pieces of a concentrated Philly pass attack.
This Indy offense has shown that it can pop off whenever it needs to, and in fact, they’ve been reliable, scoring at least 20 points in every game this season! Pittman has at least five targets in every game this season, including at least seven targets in all but two, and double-digit targets in five of eight games! Gardner Minshew gets him the ball, and he’s scored in back-to-back weeks. This is a solid matchup for him, and if Carolina can put some points on the board, this game could surprise people with the number of points scored, as both teams are susceptible to allowing the opposition to move/score at will.
Flowers didn’t exactly blossom against the Cardinals like we thought he would, but hey, maybe that pushes his ownership down this week. It’s another solid matchup for Flowers, as the Seahawks have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season. Flowers was the most targeted Raven last week against Arizona, and the rookie out of Boston College is averaging five receptions and eight targets per game over the last four weeks. Seattle has generally been tough on tight ends this season, so maybe Lamar Jackson looks to his top receiver a bit more than his buddy Mark Andrews.
I talked about it earlier with CeeDee Lamb, so we don’t need to dive into the fact that Philly has been handing out fantasy points left and right to receivers. So, let’s get into why I’m Cooks over Gallup this week. Cooks has scored in back-to-back weeks, and he figures to see more of James Bradberry than Michael Gallup will, and Bradberry has been the perimeter corner targeted more often this season (compared to Darius Slay). Over the last four weeks, Bradberry has allowed four touchdowns, per Pro Football Focus, not to mention 13.4 yards per reception and a 113.6 passer rating when targeted. The volume hasn’t been there for Cooks, but he’s a cost-efficient way to get a piece of this Dallas passing attack in this game with the highest projected point total on the slate.
NFL DFS WR Value Picks
Last week I said that CeeDee Lamb’s slot snaps were going to be valuable against the Rams. Well, he caught seven of eight targets with a touchdown out of the slot, so this week, we’ll look to Jayden Reed. The rookie may not command a massive target share like Lamb, but Jordan Love would be wise to look his way early and often. Reed has four or more targets in all but one game this year, and he’s put forth double-digit fantasy points on DraftKings in three of his last four. Love has loved Reed in the red zone this season, and I’ll take a chance at this price point for Reed to find the end zone against a Rams team that has allowed ample targets to the slot this year.
I expect Douglas to be a bit chalky this week to say the least. Injuries are ravaging the New England receiver room, and those injuries opened the door for Douglas to log 77 percent of the offensive snaps last week. He’s averaged 6.5 targets (and one rushing attempt) per game over the last two weeks and now draws a Washington defense that has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game to receivers over the last four weeks. Oh, the Commanders have also allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to receivers for the entire season! This Patriots offense needs juice and some explosiveness, and Douglas's 4.44 40-yard dash and 96th-percentile burst score (per Player Profiler) certainly can provide that.
Chris Olave should see a good bit of Jaylon Johnson, and between Michael Thomas and Shaheed, it’s Shaheed who has the higher ceiling in this matchup. Shaheed banks on the big play, but he just did it against the Saints, and over the last three weeks, he’s averaging 5.7 targets and 88.7 receiving yards per game. Oh, he’s also been given three carries, so they need his playmaking ability. Thomas may be the safer play, but I’m chasing upside against a bad Chicago secondary, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Shaheed break free for a 40+ yard touchdown at some point.
I believe Houston will have to throw the ball a bunch to win this week, as they can’t run the ball whatsoever. Nico Collins and Tank Dell will get the publicity, but if you need to save some money, don’t sleep on Noah Brown. John Metchie hasn’t been the factor many thought he would be to date, and Brown has at least five targets in each of his last two games, not to mention playing in a season-high 72 percent of the snaps last week in lieu of Robert Woods. Christian Izien, Tampa Bay’s primary slot corner, has allowed 88 percent of his targets in slot coverage to be caught, per Pro Football Focus, and the Bucs have allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to receivers over the last four weeks.
NFL DFS WR Fades
Minnesota Vikings’ Wide Receivers
Atlanta has been tough on wideouts this year, and while they’ve been a bit more generous over the last handful of weeks, I don’t love the outlook for this Minnesota passing attack under Jaren Hall. I highly doubt Joshua Dobbs starts this weekend, and while Hall had some big numbers in college, the NFL is a completely different beast, and Atlanta’s defense could give him a lot of fits. Minnesota’s offense figures to be rather conservative this weekend, hampering the fantasy upside for the likes of Jordan Addison and K.J. Osborn. In relief of Kirk Cousins last week, Hall had a 3.0 average depth of target (aDOT) and all four of his pass attempts were within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage.