Welcome to the weekly wide receiver/cornerback breakdown! We will review each of the outside matchups, as well as my 10 favorite matchups in the slot. Then, below the charts in this article, I break down my five absolute favorite matchups. We will be missing four teams this week as the Lions, Seahawks, Bucs, and Football Team are off. Not the worst group possible to be out, but still some fantasy heavy hitters. Don’t worry, we have you covered in all formats. This article is critical for daily players and season long, as this will help you gain a competitive advantage when setting your lineups. Follow me on Twitter (@fightingchance) as well!
|DeAndre Hopkins ARZ
|Emannuel Moseley SF
|Can he get healthy for this one? Hopkins was in and out of last Thursday's game with a hamstring injury and he has been fighting maladies all season long. Not only that, but his quarterback is also really banged up. Kyler Murray has an ankle injury, but the coach said he didn't have to practice to play. The Niners secondary is still in shambles, but with both guy injured, it makes this a tough call. If Hopkins is limited in practice or doesn't practice all week, I would give serious consideration to not playing him based on how much he was in and out last week. If he is able to log a full practice by Friday I would say he would be all systems go for seasonal leagues even if Kyler Murray were to miss the game.
|Russell Gage ATL
|Marshon Lattimore NO
|Without Calvin Ridley, this offense looked lost. Sure, the Panthers defense is solid, but Gage didn't even have a target a week after having four catches for 67 yards and a score against the Dolphins. The task will get even tougher this week against Lattimore and the Saints D that kept Tom Brady in check as much as you can keep Tom Brady in check in 2021. You can keep Gage on a roster if you think he becomes the number one option on the offense with Ridley out, but there is no rhyme or reason between he, Olamide Zaccheaus, and Tajae Sharpe as who will be the more "reliable" option from week to week. I'd stay away from Atlanta in Week 9 for sure.
|Marquise Brown BAL
|Cameron Dantzler MIN
|He is coming off a bye and has been targeted at least five times in every game and has three games with ten targets or more. Although there have been some ups and downs, this is the most consistent we have seen Brown in his whole career. There are a few guys on the team who also get attention from the quarterback, but the pass game still runs through he and Mark Andrews. The Vikings secondary just was beaten by Cooper Rush on Sunday night, so Lamar Jackson should have little trouble handling them. Brown is going to be one of my more popular plays of the week.
|Stefon Diggs BUF
|Shaquill Griffin JAX
|It wasn't the explosive return off bye we had hoped for with the Bills but Diggs still had five catches for 40 yards and a score against the Dolphins. The Bills offense certainly did not come out sharp, but finished fast and hopefully they can ride that momentum into next week. Even if they come out flat again, it shouldn't matter much against the lowly Jaguars who give up the fourth most passing yards through the air in the league. Diggs has struggled to put up the dominating numbers that he did in 2020, but he has scored in two straight games and this matchup could not get softer. He is definitely a full go in both season long and all DFS contests.
|D.J. Moore CAR
|J.C. Jackson NE
|Things have unraveled for the Panthers offense, but Moore still has been decent as he had four catches for 59 yards against the Falcons and should have had a touchdown if he could have controlled the ball. He now hasn't scored since Week 4, but at least has returned nine fantasy points in PPR leagues each week. I know that is not what you drafted Moore for, but at least he hasn't gone full Allen Robinson. This week will be tough against Jackson and the Pats secondary, especially with P.J. Walker at quarterback. Those two facts won't make me bench Moore in seasonal leagues, but he remains off the DFS map until we see some sort of correction and the Panthers offense becomes legit again.
|Allen Robinson CHI
|Joe Haden PIT
|Justin Fields even looked competent for much of the game on Sunday against the Niners and Robinson still had just three catches on four targets for 21 yards. He hasn't topped 25 yards in the last two weeks. Hell, he only had one more target than Marquise Goodwin and Jesse James! You just can't use Robinson right now, you are only setting yourself up for disappointment. The Steelers secondary has been decent, and despite how well you know his name, Robinson is basically unplayable at this point.
|Tee Higgins CIN
|Greg Newsome CLE
|He didn't have a ton of targets, but Higgins made the most of them with four catches for 97 yards. Even Tyler Boyd had more targets in the game, but Higgins led the team in receiving yards. Newsome has let ten of the last 15 targets his way to be caught for almost 200 yards in the last three weeks, as the Browns have not been playing very well. I would still lean towards the big play ability of Ja'Marr Chase for DFS purposes, but Higgins is a rock solid WR3 in season long leagues basically every week.
|Donovan Peoples-Jones CLE
|Chidobe Awuzie CIN
|The drama with Odell Beckham continues to swirl and the team basically told him to go home on Wednesday. But it isn't his fault right? Always someone else stopping him from being the best. Poor Odell. I hope you can read the sarcasm because that last sentence is dripping with it. Peoples-Jones had back to back good games with nine catches for 171 yards combined before getting injured and he should step nicely into a starting role with Odell out of the picture, at least for this week. The Bengals just made Mike White look like a superstar, and DPJ at least sits on the fringe of a flex play and a seriously long dart throw if you are feeling extra lucky in DFS GPPs but I am still worried about the Browns passing game being effective, especially with an injured Mayfield.
|Amari Cooper DAL
|Ronald Darby DEN
|It looked like a nightmare scenario with Cooper Rush starting at quarterback, but the team played decently and Cooper had a big game with eight catches for 122 yards and the game-winning touchdown. Cooper was clearly battling a hamstring injury as you could see him rolling his leg in the second half. The Cowboys should get Dak Prescott back this week, but it will be a tough task against a Broncos secondary that allows just under 225 passing yards per game and has allowed the second fewest passing touchdowns (nine) in eight games. Darby has been solid, but beatable, and you can feel good about putting Cooper in your WR2 spot in season long leagues.
|Courtland Sutton DEN
|Trevon Diggs DAL
|Hmmmmm, that is concerning. The first game with Jerry Jeudy back and we watch Sutton have just two catches for 40 yards against a pretty craptastic Washington secondary. It was a fast moving game, and the Broncos only threw the ball 26 times, but this still leaves me scratching my head. Further concern is a matchup against one of the best corners in football this season in Diggs who has been shutting down receivers all season long. I figure that the Broncos will have to throw more in this one to try to keep up with the Cowboys offense, so I am still playing Sutton in season long leagues, I just have lower expectations.
|Davante Adams GB
|Rashad Fenton KC
|After missing last Thursday's game due to Covid now Aaron Rodgers will miss this Sunday's game for the same reason. Adams should be fine to return this week, and what great timing against a terrible secondary. The question is how competent can Jordan Love be? Adams is still the fifth most targeted receiver in football despite missing a game, and has topped 85 yards or a touchdown in every game but two. There is just not a more reliable receiver in fantasy football right now not named Cooper Kupp. However, this latest wrinkle certainly takes him out of DFS consideration, but Adams is so good I am still playing him in my season long leagues.
|Brandin Cooks HOU
|Xavien Howard MIA
|You know what they say, even garbage time counts! Cooks had a 45 yard touchdown late in the game to make his six catch, 83 yard game complete. The good news is that the team will get TyRod Taylor back this week. The bad news is that as bad as the Dolphins secondary has been, Howard has still allowed just 55% of passes to be caught. However, when he does allow catches, they are usually big plays. He has allowed five touchdowns in the last three weeks and for the season is giving up 14.9 yards per catch. I don't think Miami is good enough to blow out the Texans, and Cooks was great with Taylor under center. I like him as a WR2 this week, and I also like him in GPPs this week as some may stay away from him because they know Howard's name.
|Michael Pittman IND
|Bryce Hall NYJ
|He has continued his hot streak with ten catches for 86 yards and two touchdowns against the Titans on Sunday. Pittman now has four touchdowns in the last four weeks and 191 yards in the last two games. Chances are the team will be without T.Y. Hilton on a short week, and they get a great matchup against a Jets secondary that is allowing 275 yards per week. Hall is allowing 13.1 yards per catch this season and has surrendered a touchdown in each of the last two weeks. Carson Wentz has been on fire of late and I really like Pittman this week for season long leagues and Thursday night's showdown slate.
|Marvin Jones JAX
|Tre'Davious White BUF
|The Jags looked lost last week and Jones had just five catches for 35 yards against the Seahawks. This week Jones will have to rely purely on garbage time as the Jags are sure to get absolutely smoked by Buffalo. However, unless the Bills sit their starters, I still don't have too much hope for Jones. Buffalo has allowed just five passing touchdowns in seven games this season, and White has been elite. He has allowed just 51% of passes to be caught for 9.5 yards per catch and a 65 quarterback rating against. I can't suggest any Jags this week and feel confident about it.
|Mecole Hardman KC
|Jaire Alexander GB
|I mean, I will give Hardman a little less of a hard time this week because he had a decent five catch, 63 yard outing against the Giants. He is the clear number three option, but is that enough for fantasy relvance? In this time of bye weeks and injuries you can probably have a worse dart throw, and it will depend this week on how much Jaire Alexander wanders and if he goes to the slot for Tyreek Hill. Hardman is a low end flex option for Week 9 on a Chiefs offense that doesn't resemble what's been on the field the last two seasons.
|Robert Woods LAR
|Janoris Jenkins TEN
|His nine targets were tied for his second most all season, but he still only had three catches for 35 yards. The good news for Woods though is that he not only caught a touchdown, but ran one in as well. After a rough start to the season, Woods has at least picked it up, even if at times touchdowns have saved his bacon. Jenkins has been so up and down this year, and the Titans secondary has allowed 15 passing touchdowns in eight games. Jenkins has allowed 70% of passes to be caught and has a 115.4 quarterback rating against, so I would feel good about putting Woods in your season long lineups, but it would be hard to trust anyone but Kupp for DFS.
|Mike Williams LAC
|Darius Slay PHI
|Uh oh! After a dynamic start to the season, things have gone sideways for Williams lately as he has just four catches for 46 yards the past two weeks. And after having 56 targets in the first five weeks he has just ten in the last two weeks. The task won't get much easier this week either against the Eagles who have been surprisingly solid, allowing just 220 yards per game through the air. Slay has allowed nine of the last 12 targets his way to be caught, but he hasn't allowed a touchdown since Week 3 and has allowed an elite 7.2 yards per catch. The Chargers offense is still dynamic though and Philadelphia has allowed 14 passing touchdowns in eight games so I still feel really good about putting Williams in my season long lineups.
|Bryan Edwards LV
|James Bradberry NYG
|Things have certainly gone sideways for the Raiders in the last few weeks. Edwards now should be the number one outside receiver for this team. How will they handle themselves this week? That is anyone's guess. I do know that Edwards is merely okay, and Bradberry has been playing well again of late. I think he could be a reasonable flex play for this week, but I don't have a ton of confidence that the Raiders are going to move the ball well this week.
|Preston Williams MIA
|Desmond King HOU
|With DeVante Parker out, the Dolphins are going to have to bring Williams into the game. He has dealt with a myriad of injuries, and it is really hard to trust that he can finish a game. This is a magically awesome matchup against the Texans secondary, but given how little Williams has played this season it is impossible to trust him for your fantasy teams in any format.
|Justin Jefferson MIN
|Marlon Humphrey BAL
|He was dinged up during the game, but Jefferson also suffered the Trevon Diggs treatment and finished Sunday night with just two catches for 21 yards. The most concerning part was just the four targets, but Kirk Cousins just looked utterly confused by the defense all night. You'd think that it would be another tough matchup this week, but the Ravens actually allow the most passing yards per game with 296. They are coming off their bye, so they have had time to prepare for this one, but the last time we saw Humphrey he allowed seven catches for 227 yards and two scores against the Bengals. Kirk Cousins will have to be better, but I am confident he will be and I like Jefferson in both season long and DFS.
|Nelson Agholor NE
|Stephon Gilmore CAR
|Sure, he had three catches for 60 yards which was his most since Week 1, but Agholor was still third on the team in targets, and the Patriots pass game just isn't one that scores a lot of points. They go to Carolina and will face Stephon Gilmore in a game where you know the elite corner will have his sights set on giving up nothing to his former team. Don't even consider Agholor for any format for Week 9.
|Marquez Callaway NO
|Fabian Moreau ATL
|He has been very consistent the past two weeks. Unfortunately, that consistency has not been very productive as he has six catches for 62 yards combined in the last two weeks. The Saints just aren't passing much, and now without Jameis Winston I don't think that they have a quarterback that you can count on to reliably throw the ball. This team is going to grind it on the ground and not take a lot of deep shots down the field. The Falcons secondary has given up a bunch of touchdowns, but only 233.1 yards per game and Moreau has been solid the last three weeks. Until we see what the Saints offense looks like now, I would shy away from using anyone not named Kamara.
|Kadarius Toney NYG
|Casey Hayward LV
|It seems like Kenny Golladay plays, but that doesn't take Toney out of considration this week as I feel like Golladay might be more decoy than weapon. Toney might not be the most level headed guy in the league, but he is a talented receiver and that's all that matters for fantasy. He draws a really tough matchup with Casey Hayward, but in the two games he has played without Sterling Shepard he has had 16 catches on 22 targets for 267yards. He has yet to score a touchdown, but it sure feels like it is coming. Even with the tough draw and the Raiders coming off their bye, I still like Toney in this one in both season long and DFS contests.
|Elijah Moore NYJ
|Xavier Rhodes IND
|Was that really Mike White out there? The Jets offense was set to struggle mightily, but White shocked the world and threw for over 400 yards against the Bengals. Can he have an encore Thursday night? I have a hard time believing it, and on the short turnaround I doubt that Corey Davis is able to play. However, White did look solid and Rhodes has allowed 70% of passes to be caught the last three weeks for 200 yards and a touchdown. Moore had six catches for 67 yards against the Bengals, and the Jets will have to throw a lot again to keep up with Indy's suddenly powerful offense. I could stick Moore in a flex spot and perhaps as your last guy in Thursday's showdown slate, but I am not yet convinced that what we saw from the Jets last week is sustainable.
|DeVonta Smith PHI
|Michael Davis LAC
|My big miss last week was this guy! But I guess I didn't see Jalen Hurts only throwing the ball 14 times coming and I thought the Lions could at least put some sort of effort forth. The Chargers are certainly going to put up more of a fight than the Lions did, and Hurts is going to have to throw more than this next week. Davis left last week with a hamstring injury, but should be ok in this one. However, will the Eagles just run the ball like crazy again? The Chargers are the worst defense against the run in the league, so it is certainly possible. I'm still playing Smith in season long leagues, but even there he is more of a flex option.
|Diontae Johnson PIT
|Jaylon Johnson CHI
|His double digit target run continued as he had 13 passes thrown his way for the third time in four games. Thankfully, he had one 50-yard catch to bring his yardage total to a very nice 98. Johnson is going to get the volume every week, that is a given, it is just a matter of how long the catches are for. He is by far the most reliable option on this team. Johnson has been pretty solid this season, allowing just 51.2% of passes to be caught, but the Bears do move their corners around. As a whole they have allowed 14 passing touchdowns in eight games. The Bears do allow 125 yards per game on the ground, so expect a heavy dose of Najee Harris, but Johnson certainly is going to see double digit targets again and I am good with him in both season long and DFS games for Week 9.
|Deebo Samuel SF
|Robert Alford ARZ
|I mean how do you stop this guy? He had another monster game with six catches for 171 yards in Chicago and nearly had a touchdown. It doesn't matter if it is short slants, wide receiver screens, or deep bombs down the field, Deebo is doing it all this year. The Cardinals are allowing the fourth fewest passing yards per game at just 196, and Samuel did struggle against them with just three catches for 58 yards. Luckily for fantasy players in that one he did have a rushing touchdown. You just can't even think about sitting Deebo in any fantasy format right now, but for the first time in a few weeks, I am going to fade him in DFS contests. Arizona's defense has been good, and the Niners only scored ten points against them the first time. That was with Trey Lance at quarterback, but you can find a better return for that salary than Samuel this week.
|A.J. Brown TEN
|Jalen Ramsey LAR
|He has been an absolute beast lately with 25 catches for 379 yards and two scores the past three weeks. He is helped by the continued unavailability of Julio Jones, but he also has played two pretty weak defenses in the last two. Ramsey has allowed 70% of passes to be caught which is a bit high for him and two touchdowns in the last four weeks. The game is indoors, which helps, but I am still having a hard time getting excited enough this week about Brown to feel confident enough in him for DFS contests. I think it goes without saying that he is always a start in season long leagues, but with Ramsey looming, that is the only format I would play him in.
|Rondale Moore ARZ
|Josh Norman SF
|The matchup is ideal, and Moore will now be thrust into a starting spot with A.J. Green coming up Covid positive on Wednesday. The only question will be who is the quarterback for the Cardinals? Kyler Murray didn't practice on Wednesday and is iffy for Sunday. If he can't go, Moore is only a flex play with Colt McCoy at quarterback. If Murray is able to play, Moore becomes a must-start against this leaky 49ers secondary, and honestly I really like him as a cheap DFS play in both cash and GPPs as he could have an explosive game with Green out and Hopkins hobbling.
|Tajae Sharpe ATL
|Paulson Adebo NO
|Life without Calvin Ridley started last week, and it was Sharpe who was the main beneficiary with five catches for 58 yards on six targets. He has been solid both weeks that Ridley missed. The Falcons pass game is sure to struggle against a Saints defense that has allowed just ten passing touchdowns in seven games. Adebo has improved over the past couple of weeks and Sharpe is nothing but a desperation flex play for Week 9.
|Rashod Bateman BAL
|Bashaud Breeland MIN
|Whether or not Sammy Watkins returns doesn't impact my feeling that Bateman is the other receiver I would want on this team after Marquise Brown. However, if Watkins does return, it could eat into some of the targets of the Ravens first round rookie. He does have six targets in each of the last two games, and while he hasn't posted a spectacular game yet, it is still obvious he is the second best receiver on the team. The Vikings secondary hasn't been awesome, but I would only feel comfortable using Bateman as my flex play in a season long league just because of how uncertain the effectiveness of the pass game is on a weekly basis.
|Emmanuel Sanders BUF
|Nevin Lawson JAX
|First, to who I suggested to play Sanders last week on Twitter, I apologize as he had not a single catch on four targets against the Dolphins. It is the only game this season where he truly laid an egg on us. However, let's get back on the wagon for Sanders this week against the Jaguars who can't stop anyone right now and Josh Allen should have a field day. I know last week left a bad taste in your mouth, but it is a new week and you gotta put that behind you. Sanders is a great WR3 play and if you are feeling adventrous could be a possible DFS play as well in this pillow softt matchup.
|Robby Anderson CAR
|Jalen Mills NE
|Well, I have been complaining that his efficiency has been terrible, so this week he at least only didn't catch one target. Of course, that was his only target, meaning Anderson wasn't involved in the offense at all. Remind me again why they gave him a contract extension? He now has 18 catches on FIFTY targets this season! Darnold is down, the Panthers offense is struggling, and you can avoid him at all costs in Week 9 because this isn't going to happen.
|Marquise Goodwin CHI
|Arthur Maulet PIT
|He actually had a couple catches against his old 49er team, but Goodwin still only had three targets and 32 yards. The Bears offense took a slight step forward, but he is still a very long way away from being fantasy relevant. Don't bother looking his way for Week 9.
|Ja'Marr Chase CIN
|Greedy Williams CLE
|It was far from an impressive game as Chase had just three catches on nine targets, but thankfully he did score a touchdown to save his game. He has now been targeted nine or more times in four of the last five games, and is absolutely the deep, big play threat on this offense. The Browns allow the seventh fewest number of passing yards per game in the league, but have allowed 17 passing touchdowns which is third worst. Williams has been solid the past couple of weeks, but the Browns haven't been playing high powered offenses. I like Chase in both season long and DFS for Week 9.
|Rashard Higgins CLE
|Eli Apple CIN
|This Browns offense is starting to get offensive, especially the passing game as Baker Mayfield struggled to put anything together against the Steelers. Health of the team is certainly a factor, but they really don't have many playmakers either, especially with Beckham being sent home. Higgins played his role with two catches for 27 yards, but they aren't moving the ball enough for anyone but Jarvis Landry to be consistently fantasy relevant. Higgins is not even worth a bench spot on fantasy rosters going forward.
|CeeDee Lamb DAL
|Patrick Surtain DEN
|Even with Cooper Rush at quarterback, it was another dynamic game for Lamb as he had six catches for 112 yards against the Vikings. He now has gone over 80 yards in three straight and five of seven games this seasons. This should be a fun matchup because Surtain has lived up to his ninth overall draft pick status. He is allowing just 54% of passes to be caught for 10.3 yards per grab and a great 76.1 quarterback rating against. I still fire up Lamb in my season long leagues, but I think you can certainly find guys with better matchups for your DFS contests.
|Jerry Jeudy DEN
|Anthony Brown DAL
|It was a dud of a game from the whole Denver offense, but it was good to see Jeudy tied for the team lead in targets even if it was four and he was tied with a few other guys. Like last week with the Vikings, I am targeting the receiver on the team playing Dallas that won't see Trevon Diggs on him and that should be Jeudy. Anthony Brown is decent, but opposing quarterbacks have found trouble targeting Diggs and have looked elsewhere. Jeudy should be a nice, cheap option in DFS games and he will be a starting receiver in season long leagues for the rest of the season.
|Marquez Valdes-Scantling GB
|Charvarious Ward KC
|He wasn't able to get cleared for last Thursday, but MVS should have no trouble being ready for this one. This passing game sorely needs some playmakers, but it is hard to trust this guy in his first game back in six weeks. It also will be very hard to predict what the Packers offense will look like with Jordan Love under center with Aaron Rodgers out. Even against a secondary that has consistently made quarterbacks look good on a weekly basis, I would have a hard time trusting MVS with a starting spot on my seasonal league, even against the Chiefs.
|Nico Collins HOU
|Byron Jones MIA
|He did catch all four of his targets for 55 yards against the Rams, but he still trailed Danny Amendola and Jordan Akins in targets, and of course Brandin Cooks. Jones has allowed two touchdowns in the last three weeks, but I still don’t think his role warrants fantasy consideration for Week 9. If he is on your waiver wire and you've been looking to dump someone he might be worth adding in the hopes that he gets more targets and TyRod Taylor reinvigorates this offense, but I can't see starting Collins in Week 9.
|Zach Pascal IND
|Brandin Echols NYJ
|With T.Y. Hilton ruled out for Thursday, does that give Pascal more of a pop? He does have 14 targets in the last two weeks, but it has only translated to eight catches for 57 yards. He was a nice story to start the season with three touchdowns in the first two games, but hasn't found paydirt or topped 50 yards since then. Echols has been a pretty decent corner, allowing just one touchdown all year and 12.3 yards per catch. Pascal could be a desperation flex play, and might not be the worst pay down option at wide receiver for Thursday's showdown slate against the Jets.
|Laviska Shenault JAX
|Levi Wallace BUF
|What once looked so promising is coming crashing back down to Earth as Shenault had just two catches on four targets for 13 yards. It is the second time in three weeks that he has had two catches or less, and has only topped 60 yards once all season. The Jaguars offense has been embarrassing and honestly they would be better off to focus on Shenault more, but right now that isn't happening. Wallace is allowing just 58% of passes to be caught for under ten yards per catch. Shenault has sadly become a desperation flex play.
|Demarcus Robinson KC
|Eric Stokes GB
|Robinson, Byron Pringle, Josh Gordon….does it really matter? The Chiefs passing game is not producing points and all of the targets are going to the same two or three guys. No one else is even remotely close to fantatsy relevant.
|Van Jefferson LAR
|Greg Mabin TEN
|He did have his second best game of the season in terms of targets (six) and yards (88), but it was also against a terrible team in Houston. Jefferson continues to do just enough to have you consider making a move on him, but then he lays an egg and you remember that he isn't worth picking up. He gets another cushy matchup against the Titans this week. Mabin allowed six catches and a touchdown last week and the Titans have given up 15 passing touchdowns in eight games. Matthew Stafford and the Rams pass game is firing on all cylinders and maybe in a GPP lineup or two where you really need a cheap option Jefferson might not be the worst dart throw in the world.
|Jalen Guyton LAC
|Steven Nelson PHI
|He had his usual one catch last week against the Patriots for 18 yards and has topped 20 yards just twice in seven games this season. Even if it wasn't a matchup against a solid Eagles pass defense we wouldn't consider Guyton.
|Zay Jones LV
|Adoree Jackson NYG
|Even with his very unfortunate rise up the depth chart this week, Jones is not a guy I want to add for fantasy and he certainly isn't someone I want in a starting lineup. He has never lived up to his second round draft status and he isn't going to start this week.
|Isaiah Ford MIA
|Terrence Mitchell HOU
|With DeVante Parker being out, that does open up a few more targets, but the Dolphins seem to be committed to Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki to get the majority of the work. After those two guys only two running backs had more than a single target, so even against a really easy matchup against the Texans I wouldn't even consider Ford even in leagues where you were only allowed to play Miami Dolphins receivers
|Adam Thielen MIN
|Anthony Averett BAL
|With Justin Jefferson banged up and blanketed by Trevon Diggs, Thielen had a big game Sunday night against the Cowboys with six catches for 78 yards and a score. He has now had two big weeks in a row. We can count on it being three as the Ravens (who are coming off their bye) allow the most passing yards per game and have allowed 12 passing touchdowns in seven games. Averett has had a bullseye on him lately as he has been targeted 42 times in the last four weeks, allowing just 24 catches but they have been for 15.2 yards per grab. He has also allowed a play of 20 yards or more in three of the last four weeks. Like last week, I really like Thielen in all formats to come away with a big game.
|Kendrick Bourne NE
|Donte Jackson CAR
|He did have four catches for the second straight week, but he only has a combined 106 receiving yards in those games and has scored just twice this season. The Panthers secondary is now going to be one of the best with Stephon Gilmore in the fold and Donte Jackson getting to lock down most team's second receiver. I don't like the Patriots to put up many points in this one and Bourne isn't consistent enough to warrant any fantasy consideration in Week 9.
|Tre'Quan Smith NO
|A.J. Terrell ATL
|In two games since returning from injury, Smith has seen a combined six targets which he turned into four catches for 44 yards and a score. The Saints offense isn't likely to be very dynamic with Taysom Hill likely under center. Terrell is allowing just 47.8% of passes to be caught for just five yards per catch and hasn't allowed a touchdown yet. I would not put Smith in my lineups for Week 9 in any capacity.
|Darius Slayton NYG
|Amik Robertson LV
|He just seems to be running at a slower speed than everyone else on the field, or maybe he acts like he doesn't know what the plays are, but Slayton just doesn't feel like he is involved as he should be. Even against a garbagge Chiefs secondary he failed to catch a pass and was only targeted twice. He does have three games where he has been targeted six or more times and has had more than 50 yards, but that just isn't cutting it as far as finding your way into fantasy starting lineups. The Raiders secondary has only allowed 11 passing touchdowns and 222 yards per game and I would find it hard to see a scenario where I want Slayton in my starting lineups this week.
|Keelan Cole NYJ
|Isaiah Rodgers IND
|With Corey Davis likely out, this will likely put Cole as the other starting receiver. In the best possible offensive game the Jets could have ever hoped for, Cole had three catches on five targets for 25 yards. So, if you are convinced that Mike White is the guy we saw last week and the Colts secondary isn't that great, I still wouldn't trust Cole in this game. I just don't see this offense making three receivers potentially fantasy relevant.
|Jalen Reagor PHI
|A.J. Bouye CAR
|Jalen Hurts threw the ball nearly 50 times and Reagor was targeted just once. Once. ONCE! This is two of four games that he didn't even cap double digits in receiving yards and right now it is hard to have any faith in him. He has topped 50 yards just once and has scored just once. The Panthers secondary is fairly strong even if Bouye isn't great, and Reagor isn't getting enough action to warrant a starting spot on your roster.
|Chase Claypool PIT
|Kindle Vildor CHI
|This is now two down weeks in a row for Claypool after he posted just four catches for 45 yards against the Browns. The Steelers just aren't scoring a ton of points, nor throwing the ball deep downfield, which is where Claypool thrives. He did have some good games earlier in the season, so I have not given up all hope yet. Vildor allowed four of five passes at him to be caught last week, including a 50 yard bomb to Deebo Samuel. In fact, he has allowed a play of 20 or more yards in five of eight games this season. This could be the bounceback game Claypool needs this week, and I feel good with him as my WR3 in season long leagues.
|Brandon Aiyuk SF
|Marco Wilson ARZ
|He had season highs in targets (seven), catches (four) and yards (45) all of which are depressing numbers, but they are season highs all the same. I am not going to come here and suggest putting Aiyuk in your starting lineups by any stretch, but if he was dropped in your league, he might be worth putting on your bench after a game like that. We know this guy is very talented if he would just be given more opportunities. Hopefully, those opportunities come in the very near future.
|Nick Westbrook-Ikhine TEN
|David Long LAR
|I'm going with the assumption that Julio Jones isn't going to play, which means he probably will and I will have to edit this. Westbrook-Ikhine is on the fringe of the offense when Julio is out, and this is a real tough matchup against a Rams secondary that has given up nine passing touchdowns in eight games and just added Von Miller to add pressure to the quarterback. This is not a guy I would even consider for a DFS dart throw or a flex spot in season long leagues.
Now, here are my 10 favorite matchups in the slot in Week 9.
|Cooper Kupp LAR
|Elijah Molden TEN
|He and Tyreek Hill now have substantially more targets than any other receiver this season, and Kupp continues to roll. He had his fifth 100 yard game in eight weeks and in two others he had 90 yards. He has five touchdowns in the last three weeks, and the Titans should offer little resistance. Molden has allowed three touchdowns this season and has a 119.8 quarterback rating against and Kupp should cruise to another huge game against a defense that can't handle this machine-like Rams attack.
|Tyreek Hill KC
|Chandon Sullivan GB
|His ridiculous target share on Monday night was a result of the Giants keeping Hill in front of them and letting him beat them with small cuts instead of the big home run gash down the field. He now has six catches or more in five straight and five touchdowns in the last five weeks. The Packers secondary is allowing only 217 yards per game through the air, but they have surrendered 14 passing touchdowns in eight games. Whether they get Jaire Alexander back or not, Hill is going to be a solid play in all formats, although he isn't a must-start in DFS contests.
|Keenan Allen LAC
|Avonte Maddox PHI
|He had six catchers for 77 yards and a score against the Patriots, and fantasy players are hoping that this is the game that gets Allen back on the track he was on when the season started. He still has a very impressive 69 targets in seven games, and is still the go-to receiver on the team. Maddox is allowing just 6.3 yards per catch, but the Eagles have really only played two teams with good slot corners and that is Tampa Bay and Kansas City. In those two weeks he allowed all nine targets to be caught, so I like Allen's chances here. I might not be bullish on him in DFS games, but he is certainly a rock solid WR2 for your season long leagues.
|Jaylen Waddle MIA
|Tavierre Thomas HOU
|The volume train continued for Waddle last week as he was targeted 12 times and now has 69 targets in eight weeks. Unfortunately, his efficiency was terrible and he had just four catches for 29 yards. He will face a much softer defense this week in Houston though, and he should have much more success. Tua Tagovailoa is really only throwing to three guys right now, and with DeVante Parker out, that number dwindles to two and Waddle is definitely one of them. The Texans have allowed 15 pass touchdowns in eight games, and Miami should be able to move the ball on them well. Waddle will is firmly in play for DFS in Week 9 with Parker out.
|Jarvis Landry CLE
|Mike Hilton CIN
|His five catch, 65 yard performance with a fumble certainly hasn't given us any warm and fuzzies, but at least the ten targets should. He is clearly the go to guy in this run-first, pass inefficiently offense. Landry has five catches in each of the last two games since returning from injury, and he should continue to offer just enough to keep you putting him in your season long lineups. Hilton is allowing 78% of passes his way to be caught, but only for eight yards per reception. This one should largely be played on the ground for the Browns, but Landry is still a WR3 or a flex.
|Jamal Agnew JAX
|Taron Johnson BUF
|I sure didn't have "writing about Jamal Agnew as a fantasy asset" on my 2021 Bingo card, but here we are! He has 25 targets in the last three weeks, and if I am going to preach volume, I have to do it wherever it comes. Those targets have equated to 17 receptions, but just 157 yards over the last three weeks. The Jaguars offense doesn't lend itself to scoring a lot, so he is definitely a guy to focus on in PPR leagues only. He will face his toughest test to date with Johnson who is allowing less than 50% of passes to be caught and a 61.5 quarterback rating against. Still, Agnew has played himself into flex consideration considering the amount that Trevor Lawrence has been looking his way.
|Hunter Renfrow LV
|Darnay Holmes NYG
|He has eight targets and six catches or more in three of the last four weeks as the team has been using a bit more of a short passing approach. He is never going to win you a fantasy week, but what Renfrow can offer is a nice stable floor for the flex guy on your roster. He has scored at least ten fantasy points in PPR leagues in every week but one and the one off week was against Denver. The Raiders have a reliable passing attack each and every week. He certainly should see an uptick in usage given the changes to the depth chart this week and Renfrow becomes an attractive DFS bargain option and a solid season long flex guy.
|Jamison Crowder NYJ
|Kenny Moore IND
|Since the Jets don't have a legit tight end, a young backup quarterback's best friend is going to be the slot receivers. Crowder led receivers with eight catches on nine targets for 84 yards. We have seen Crowder have success like this in the past when he is heavily targeted, and you have to believe that Mike White is going to go back to where he had success last week. Moore is allowing 79% of passes to be caught for just over ten yards per reception. He has also allowed three touchdowns this season, and Crowder should be able to get open early and often and put up another 12-15 point fantasy day in PPR leagues.
|Cole Beasley BUF
|Tre Herndon JAX
|The loss of Dawson Knox seems to have upped the usage for Beasley as he has 17 catches on 22 targets for 198 yards in the last two weeks. Buffalo wasn't having a ton of luck vertically, and started to attack the Dolphins in a short passing game which favored Beasley heavily. Don't be surprised if that is the case again, considering the success that Beasley has had. Herndon has stopped exactly one of 19 targets at him from being caught and he has allowed two touchdowns in the four weeks he has played. The Bills will likely run up the score on Jacksonville, but expect a heavy dose of Beasley while they are doing it.
|Tyler Boyd CIN
|Troy Hill CLE
|The slot is thin again this week, but Boyd also has 15 targets in the last two weeks, so I don't feel terrible about using him. Not to mention that Troy Hill has been a weak link in a Browns secondary that has surrendered 17 passing touchdowns this season, which is among the worst in the league. Look for Joe Burrow to come out firing again, and for the Bengals to be able to move the ball fairly well. Sure, Chase and Higgins are the go-to guy, but if you are looking for a reasonable flex option for your Week 9 lineups I think you can do far worse than Boyd.
With Cooper Kupp out of the main slate with a game on Sunday night, I would be a hypocrite if I say I preach volume every week and don’t tell you to use the guy tied for the most targets who just had 18 of them on Monday night. Sure, it is a short turnaround, and sure the Chiefs offense doesn’t look like its usual self, but the one constant has been Hill. Whether it is deep down the field or a million short targets, he is the most explosive guy on this offense. The Packers are going to be in disarray without their leader on offense, and their secondary hasn’t been great anyway. Look for Hill to have another 20-point fantasy game.
Ja’Marr Chase vs. Greedy Williams
This freaking guy scores every week it seems! And couple that with the Browns secondary being a trainwreck with or without Denzel Ward and you have a recipe for success here. Joe Burrow hasn’t thrown for fewer than 250 yards since Week 3, and Chase is his number one playmaker. I’m going to keep going back to the well with this guy until he has a really tough matchup, or we see him lay an egg one week and not score a touchdown.
I never thought I’d be so happy to see TyRod Taylor come back from injury, but here we are in 2021. However, he and Cooks had quite a start to the season with 14 catches for 210 yards in a touchdown in the first two weeks of the season. Cooks has maintained a good level of production for the most part even with Davis Mills at quarterback, but this is a significant upgrade. I already stated how Xavien Howard hasn’t been his usual self and the Dolphins secondary as a whole allow the second most yards per game through the air and have surrendered 17 passing touchdowns. I think there will be more offense and a good deal of throwing in this game, more than most expect, and Cooks will have a very good game.
Some might still be worried about the Rashod Bateman factor, but this has been the most consistent Brown has been his whole career. He has at least five targets in every game so far and has five or more catches in four of seven games this season. In fact, he has only had fewer than 50 receiving yards once and has six touchdowns in seven games. Dantzler and the Vikings secondary are coming off a game where they couldn’t keep Cooper Rush under wraps as a guy who had completed one pass in his NFL career four years ago threw for 325 yards against them. Not to mention Dallas had TWO 100-yard receivers in that game. Give me Hollywood all day and night in this one!
Hunter Renfrow vs. Darnay Holmes
He’s only had one game under ten fantasy points in PPR leagues all season, and that was against Denver. The Raiders receiving corps is going to have a bit of a new look this week, and Renfrow is without a doubt the most reliable target they have. The Giants just were destroyed out of the slot last week by Tyreek Hill, and while I know that Renfrow isn’t on the same stratosphere as Hill, they are certainly susceptible to slot receivers. He isn’t going to win you your contests outright, but Renfrow is almost a given for nice steady production between 12-15 fantasy points on Sunday.
*Information gathered from research done at Pro Football Focus.