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Updated 12/12 at 10:40 AM ET. Added Deebo Samuel.
Week 14 Receivers
WR Notes: It’s complicated for Keenan Allen and Mike Williams on the COVID-19 list. Allen is COVID positive, but vaccinated. Williams is only a close contact, but unvaccinated. Both could get cleared in time for Sunday against the Giants, but each are up against it. If Allen goes, he will be top-10, as usual. Although Williams had his first 100-yard game in two months in Week 13, it was on a modest seven targets. He will be in the WR20-24 range if he avoids a positive test between now and the weekend. Lurking behind both is deep threat No. 3 Jalen Guyton, who should be added in all 12-14 team leagues as a flier. … It took so long that it felt like it might never actually happen, but Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins have regressed into each other. The story might feel different had Chase not dropped a touchdown in Week 13. Chase’s body of work earns him the rankings advantage over Higgins, but the difference is modest. Higgins’ underlying metrics always suggested he should be producing as an every-week WR2. His 17/252/2 over the past two weeks have gotten him there. … Marquise Brown’s volume has not gone away during Lamar Jackson’s slump. There is nothing imposing about this Browns matchup even though Cleveland limited Brown to 8/51/0 two weeks ago.
Hunter Renfrow has caught at least seven balls in 5-of-6 appearances, including a 7/46/1 line against the Chiefs four weeks ago. He’s cleared 100 yards in each of Darren Waller’s (knee) absences. Waller has yet to resume practicing. It is basically impossible to keep Renfrow out of the top 15. … Terry McLaurin’s volume has collapsed as Washington has gone run heavy. A 48 over/under with the big-play allowing Cowboys will hopefully spike a week as the curtain closes on the regular fantasy campaign. … DeAndre Hopkins’ two targets left a lot to be desired in his Week 13 return, but Kyler Murray simply did not have to pass as the Cardinals took advantage of Bears turnovers in a poor-weather affair. The big takeaway was Hopkins’ body-control, 20-yard score that was one of Murray and Hopkins’ specialties in 2020. Jalen Ramsey’s Rams are a daunting Monday night test, but the volume will be improved. … Even before Corey Davis (core) landed on injured reserve, Elijah Moore had officially emerged as Zach Wilson’s No. 1 receiver, making it 4-of-4 Jets quarterbacks to diagnose Moore as their top option. Moore’s Week 14 issues are a down-but-not-out Saints defense and a quad injury. If Moore goes, he has earned top-20 treatment no matter the opponent.
My gut is that the Panthers’ new run focus and Cam Newton’s arm strength limitations will kick start D.J. Moore’s short-area production vs. a Falcons defense permitting the sixth most receiver fantasy points. My fear is that nothing can save this passing attack. The Panthers’ intent has never wavered, with Moore drawing at least seven looks every time out. Please, fantasy gods, a spiked week. … The Week 14 news isn’t great for Darnell Mooney. He is facing the Packers’ elite pass defense and doing so without Andy Dalton, who has targeted Mooney at a much greater clip than Justin Fields. Mooney is a boom/bust WR2 for the final week of the fantasy regular season. … WIth 10 days to rest up, Amari Cooper should have his steam back following his bout with COVID-19. He gets the rankings advantage over Michael Gallup, but that is mostly out of habit. With Cooper and Gallup cooling in the WR20-30 range, CeeDee Lamb is safely separated in the top 10. … Deebo Samuel’s (groin) Week 13 absence didn’t change much for Brandon Aiyuk, who surprisingly drew zero carries. His 3/55 as a receiver wasn’t bad. It also paled in comparison to George Kittle’s 9/181/2. Aiyuk maintains a WR2 floor and a ceiling far beyond his floor. The odds just aren’t super great he hits it in this offense.
Van Jefferson has out-produced Odell Beckham in all three games since OBJ’s arrival. Both the box score and eye test are telling the same story. Would it be surprising if Beckham suddenly leaped ahead of his new teammate? Of course not. … If Julio Jones (hamstring) actually manages to play football, he will be worth a WR3 flier vs. the Jaguars’ awful pass defense in a week that is low on compelling receiver options beyond the top 30. … Russell Gage is finally providing cheap PPR points. The Panthers are a tough matchup, but most defenses don’t mind surrendering the kind of production Gage specializes in. … Pat Kerrane convinced me on the podcast it might be the week to bet on Courtland Sutton’s deep production. Jerry Jeudy’s short-area compiling, of course, is the only Broncos receiver skill we can truly rely on, and even that comes with little confidence. … For whatever reason, the Lions’ passing offense has awoken the past two weeks. Josh Reynolds is looking a little more lively than most of his deep-ball WR4 brethren, and Amon-Ra St. Brown is doing some of the compiling we were counting on in the summer. ARSB has caught at least four balls in four straight contests.
With touchdown-scoring force Adam Thielen out of the Vikings’ lineup, K.J. Osborn is the next man up at wideout. No wide receiver has played a higher percentage of their team’s plays than Thielen, leaving behind a massive void. The thing is for Osborn, his playing-time clip was already solid at 58.2 percent. That will be much closer to 100 percent now, but hopefully not on the outside. The best-case scenario is that Osborn earns even more work in the slot as Dede Westbrook and Ihmir Smith-Marsette run boundary wind sprints. When it comes to Thielen’s patented red zone, Justin Jefferson and Tyler Conklin will be ahead of Osborn in the pecking order. … The Bills’ wide receiver production has fallen apart behind Stefon Diggs. Over the past five weeks, 50 wideouts have provided more half PPR points than Emmanuel Sanders, including teammate Gabriel Davis. That number is 65 for Cole Beasley, while both Beasley and Sanders barely even crack the top 75 from an average points perspective. Of the three, Davis’ big-play ability might be the most appealing attribute vs. the pass-funnel Bucs, though by the letter of the law, I guess you still gamble on Beasley’s slot prowess. … I have a sneaking suspicion the targets-need Football Team finally cuts Curtis Samuel loose.