Fantasy stats based around 4 points per passing TD and 0.5 points per reception.
There are two main approaches when look at fantasy player scoring trends. The first is to see how that player is performing from an output perspective. The second is to look at how their upcoming opponent has performed.
This article leans heavily on Fantasy Points Against (FPA). This number measures the total fantasy points given up per game to a position group by a defense. Other stats referenced may come from sources including Pro Football Reference, Pro Football Focus, and Football Outsiders.
The Seattle Seahawks clamped down on wide receivers in consecutive weeks for the first time all season. This, however, wasn’t enough to move them out of dead last in wide receiver fantasy defense. The Giants give them an opportunity to make three weeks in a row.
The Seahawks still lead the league with 15 Top 24 wide receiver finishes. They also allow the most FPA to wide receivers this season. Sterling Shepard has seen at least eight targets in four of his last five games. Of the 21 wide receivers who have been targeted at least eight times against Seattle, 19 scored double digit fantasy points.
Shepard has massive upside against a weak opponent. Teams needing high ceiling players can start him as a WR3 with limitless potential.
The Dolphins are right in playoff contention with the big boys. DeVante Parker, specifically, is coming off of back-to-back games with more than 15 points. For a team that has a rotating quarterback situation, Miami has been on a roll winning six of their last seven games.
The Dolphins face a Cincinnati Bengals defense that has seen better days. They have a below-average FPA to wide receivers and have given double-digit fantasy points to the opposing top receiver in four straight games. The Bengals are averaging one Top 24 wide receiver per week.
Hopefully, most teams with Parker have started him the last two weeks. At this point, he is on the verge of must-start territory. This week, Parker is a WR2 with a safe volume floor.
Nobody expected a wellspring out of the New England Patriots receiving core. Jakobi Meyers and Damiere Byrd are two players who have shown flashes giving Pats fans hope for a post-Brady era. Postseason hopes aren’t in the cards for New England but they can still compete in games.
New England gets a Chargers defense that has been surprisingly stingy against wide receivers. Since their Week 6 bye, the Chargers haven’t allowed double-digit fantasy points to a wide receiver who failed to catch a touchdown. Los Angeles allows the 6th fewest FPA to wide receivers. It isn’t surprising, then, to find that in the last four weeks the Chargers have allowed exactly one touchdown to a wideout each week.
As fun as Meyers has been as a hot-handed wide receiver, this is not the occasion to start him. With many fantasy teams pushing for a playoff spot, Meyers is best left on the bench.
Losing Darius Slay via trade in March may not have been the most devastating loss for the Lions this season. Kenny Golladay has feasibly suited up for four games this season leaving Marvin Jones as the top wideout. Jones has performed admirably averaging about 15 points per game over the last six weeks.
Jones gets a buzzsaw defense in the Chicago Bears on Sunday. The Bears allow the 3rd fewest FPA to wide receivers and have conceded a league-low four Top 24 wide receivers. When these teams first met, no wide receivers caught more than five passes or a touchdown.
The decision to bench Jones should be an easy one. It’s unlikely he puts up big numbers against the elite Chicago cornerbacks.
Featured Image courtesy of Andres Leiva / Palm Beach Post
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