Week 5 Receivers
WR Notes: Tyreek Hill reduced the Bills to rubble in the AFC Championship Game. … As expected, the Texans were just what Stefon Diggs needed to finally clear the 70-yard mark. Now the Chiefs and this week’s stratospheric over/under are what he needs to get a hot streak going. … Cooper Kupp had his first down game of the year and still drew 13 targets. His 46 looks lead the league. The Seahawks’ secondary is scarcely improved on last year’s shaky unit. … Justin Jefferson’s season lows are five catches and 65 yards. A 150-yard afternoon feels imminent, and the Lions’ talentless, injury-ruined defense would be the perfect place to do so. … D.J. Moore’s season lows are six catches and 79 yards. He has drawn 11-plus targets in three straight contests. This is what becoming a superstar looks like. … Calvin Ridley has seen his targets increase from eight to 10 to 11 to 13. He is still averaging an abysmal 9.4 yards per catch and 64 yards per game, but the usage increase is no accident. There is nowhere else to funnel the ball in this receiver corps. The Jets finally represent a genuinely good matchup, one destined to bust this slump.
As Pro Football Focus’ Ian Hartitz points out, Jalen Ramsey has not been shadowing to begin the year. That is good news for DK Metcalf, except … Ramsey did shadow Metcalf in 2020. You aren’t benching Metcalf anyways, but be aware. As for Tyler Lockett, we love this game environment, but is there enough Seahawks passing volume to get Lockett back in the top 12? At least for now, I don’t think so. … The Saints are not the stay-away receiver matchup they have been in recent years. Even Marshon Lattimore had an awful Week 4 as New Orleans allowed Daniel Jones the first 400-yard game of his career. This is the long way of saying a white-hot Terry McLaurin has the green light at home. … I’m ranking A.J. Brown (hamstring) as if he will play and Julio Jones (hamstring) will sit against the hapless Jaguars. Provided he is close to 100 percent health, this is an absolute eruption spot for Tennessee’s slow-starting alpha. … I would be lying if I said I was sure what to do with CeeDee Lamb, but it’s made a little bit easier by Amari Cooper (hamstring) being banged up. I also think the Cowboys might have finally have to up the pass volume a little bit vs. the frisky Giants.
DeAndre Hopkins has 11 catches for 142 yards and one touchdown since Week 1. Not great! He is at least another week healthier with his ribs issue, while the 49ers are comically-undermanned in the secondary. This is great spot to be great. … Opposing Hopkins will be Deebo Samuel, who is the WR3 by total half PPR points. He was just about to be bulletproof until the 49ers’ quarterback change from Jimmy Garoppolo to Trey Lance. Now there is a risk Samuel’s usage returns to its line-of-scrimmage hovering 2020 ways. We are giving him more benefit of the doubt than that in what we are hoping is one of Week 5’s highest-scoring games. … Keenan Allen has only 86 yards on 23 targets over the past two weeks. Mike Williams, meanwhile, had his first dud on Monday Night Football as he was used deeper down the field than he was in Weeks 1-3. Both are put on WR1 probation vs. a Browns defense that just harassed a similarly-talented Vikings receiver corps and is permitting the sixth fewest WR fantasy points. … The Dolphins remain a below-average receiver matchup, but Mike Evans maintains a decent WR2 rank because of his increased importance in the red zone as Rob Gronkowski heals from his ribs issue.
Adam Thielen hasn’t cleared 50 yards since Week 1. His four scores might lead you to believe he is amongst the league leaders in red zone looks, but he has only four. He does have a delectable Week 5 matchup in the Lions. … Chase Claypool (hamstring) is back for Week 5, but Diontae Johnson is the only Steelers wideout worth betting on in the top 30. He is the collapsed Ben Roethlisberger’s Plan A, B and C. … Perhaps this is overly aggressive for Ja’Marr Chase with Tee Higgins (shoulder) coming back. With at least one 34-yard catch each week as a pro, he has earned it, especially in this sneaky home shootout spot against a Packers defense that will be adjusting to life without Jaire Alexander (shoulder). As for Tyler Boyd between Chase and Higgins, the Packers have really struggled to defense the slot, an issue that will not be made easier by the trickle-down depth effect of Alexander’s absence. … Marquise Brown is the WR11 by total half PPR points, and as Sigmund Bloom points out, he would be the WR6 had he caught just one of his three dropped Week 3 scores. He has been excellent, but Rashod Bateman’s (core muscle surgery) potential debut vs. the Colts will be a stiff test for a wideout who seems better cast as a field-stretching No. 2 than true No. 1.
Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault are now all alone in the Jaguars’ receiver corps. Jones’ spiked week odds have increased with fellow deep threat D.J. Chark (broken ankle) on the shelf, while embattled coach Urban Meyer can’t help but funnel more looks Shenault’s way, especially after he did great with them in Week 4. There is nothing imposing on the Titans’ back end. … The Bears have finally committed to Justin Fields. With the game plan now revolving around the rookie quarterback, hopefully that creates more certainty and lowers the stakes for Allen Robinson, who has a plus matchup in the Raiders. … Jakobi Meyers has 26 targets over the past two weeks. We know the Patriots will establish the run in Houston, but 8-10 looks is basically a guarantee for the Pats’ No. 1 wideout. … Coach Sean McVay has admitted the obvious that he needs to get Robert Woods more involved. Week 4 was still highly alarming, as Woods’ usage was nonexistent the first two quarters of comeback mode. … Michael Pittman is overcoming a lot in the Colts’ offense to post steady WR3 numbers. If any of his teammates could ever get healthy, he could easily become a WR2. ... Neither Sterling Shepard (hamstring) nor Darius Slayton (hamstring) have resumed practicing. Kenny Golladay will have to deal with Trevon Diggs in Dallas, but it is easy to envision cheap WR4 upside from Kadarius Toney in the slot.