Ja’Marr Chase looks to keep up his historic play vs. the Jets, Justin Jefferson eyes an eruption spot in the Cowboys, and Mike Williams comes off bye against the Patriots.
Week 8 Receivers
WR Notes: Ja’Marr Chase continues to blow away the field in deep receiving, with 375 of his 754 yards coming on targets of 20-plus yards. Now he gets to face the Jets. Lord have mercy. … Seemingly not all that close to 100 percent health, Tyreek Hill is trying to compensate with volume, stacking up 46 targets over the past four weeks. Supposed Giants stopper James Bradberry is having a forgettable year, checking in as Pro Football Focus’ No. 29 cornerback. … A.J. Brown has 15 receptions for 224 yards and a touchdown over the past two weeks and it still does not feel like we have seen his signature contest. The Colts stake their defensive identity on limiting big plays but surrendered a 69-yard touchdown to AJB the last time these two sides met. … Despite Trevon Diggs’ highlight reel, the Cowboys permit the sixth most receiver fantasy points. Diggs’ secondary gives up as many big plays as it stamps out. Averaging seven catches on 10 targets, Justin Jefferson has been crying out for a 150-yard outburst. … Stefon Diggs will probably have to get there on big plays as opposed to volume against the Dolphins’ spiraling defense. The Bills will be running layup lines at home.
Deebo Samuel was the only 49er who came to play in Week 7. The man keeps balling out no matter the situation with his sinking squad. The Bears quietly hand out the fifth most receiver fantasy points. … With Antonio Brown (ankle) on the shelf, Chris Godwin had his best game since the opener against the Bears last Sunday. Mike Evans, of course, scored three touchdowns, but Godwin paced in targets, catches and yards. With Evans likely to renew his blood feud with Marshon Lattimore, I will give Godwin the rankings advantage with AB set to miss another contest. … D.J. Moore is still compiling a biblical amount of looks, with his 73 targets second to only Cooper Kupp’s 81. The Falcons mete out the seventh most receiver fantasy points. It’s a good spot for DJM if Sam Darnold can find any rhythm whatsoever. … The Vikings stink vs. the run and hold their own against the pass, but I think this 55-totaled showdown should funnel 10ish looks CeeDee Lamb’s way. As for the receivers behind him, Michael Gallup (calf) is “still taking it slow” after being activated from injured reserve. It’s unclear if he will suit up. With Lamb’s alpha potential shining through whenever the Cowboys actually need to pass, Gallup’s eventual return seems more likely to affect compilers Amari Cooper and Dalton Schultz. Cooper is averaging five targets since his 17-look Week 1.
Mike Williams used to be the sort of one-trick pony wideout who would flop against Bill Belichick. That’s what he did with 4/43 when the Pats shut the Chargers out last season. This will be a great test of Williams’ 2021 emergence. Williams comes off bye as the WR6 by average half PPR points, and the Patriots’ secondary has taken some injury hits. … DeAndre Hopkins’ smaller target share and raw volume is beginning to look like a fact of life in the Cardinals’ deep passing attack. Now the Packers’ COVID issues could limit the need for Arizona to air it out Thursday evening. Despite the target issues, it’s not far fetched that Hopkins could still make a decent living getting home on touchdowns as the primary red-zone threat for this offense. Hopkins’ 11 looks inside the 20 are tied for fourth. … Terry McLaurin is over his hamstring ailment but is now battling an ankle issue. The Broncos’ pass defense has been revealed to be nothing special but has thrived against bad teams. The Football Team certainly is not good. Monitor McLaurin’s practice reports. … There is zero reason to expect Diontae Johnson to draw fewer than 10 weekly targets down the stretch. Cleveland’s Denzel Ward is not practicing with a(nother) hamstring issue.
As long as the looks keep coming for Calvin Ridley, a breakout seems inevitable, especially as Kyle Pitts commands ever more space and defensive attention. … Michael Pittman’s targets were down the past two weeks due to non-competitive game script (Houston) and awful weather (San Francisco). A 51 over/under vs. a Titans defense that allows the most receiver fantasy points will suit him well for Week 8. … The Chargers are going to need Keenan Allen’s “couch cushion targets” against a Patriots defense that is going to make them go station to station. … DK Metcalf has turned 17 targets into 17/252/3 over the past three weeks. Of course we want more volume, but Metcalf is the sort of rare weapon who can still flip matchups even as his target counts suffer. Get well soon, Russ. … Dallas represents a good “pop up” opportunity for Adam Thielen after he came out of hibernation for 11/126/1 on 13 targets before the Vikings’ bye. … Even if DeVante Parker (shoulder, hamstring) finally returns against the Bills, a 13.5 point spread more or less guarantees Jaylen Waddle will once again see 10 looks.
Jerry Jeudy (ankle) returns for the first time since Week 1. Courtland Sutton had been seeing the biggest target counts of his career in Jeudy’s absence, but we know the sophomore route technician better fits Teddy Brigewater’s skill-set than sideline dominator Sutton. Jeudy deserves to be immediately crammed back into the top 30, with the top 24 a possibility as soon as Week 9. … Who might actually be out there for the Giants on Monday — Sterling Shepard (hamstring), Kenny Golladay (knee) and Kadarius Toney (ankle) — no one knows. All I know is, whenever Toney is healthy, I am giving him the highest rank. … Julio Jones (hamstring) escaped without setbacks in Week 7. If he is actually getting healthy, he is worth buy-low offers in this stabilized attack. Jones will never be more affordable from a trade perspective, and this remains a painfully-narrow offense. … Marvin Jones is dominating Laviska Shenault in air yards, but Viska’s targets (10) matched a season high before the Jaguars’ bye. If we don’t see a similar output coming out of the Jags’ “adjustment week,” the dream is pretty much dead for 2021. Ominously, coach Urban Meyer is talking up Jamal Agnew for some reason. … You are hoping for Marquez Valdes-Scantling-type weeks from Tyler Lockett for however long Geno Smith is under center.