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Fantasy Points Against: Wide Receivers to Start and Sit Week 8

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.

STARTS:

Brandon Aiyuk

The Seattle Seahawks defense is still a hot bed for wide receiver fantasy scoring. Last we saw, they lost in overtime to the Arizona Cardinals in one of the most exciting games this season. The Seahawks have allowed at least 23 points to every opponent they have faced.

Brandon Aiyuk is the best 49er wide receiver in the PFF Grade for Pass Routes if you remove Deebo Samuel who will miss this week with a hamstring injury. Seattle has allowed 10 top 24 finishes to wide receivers and have allowed the highest FPA to wide receivers.

Brandon Aiyuk (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

San Francisco doesn’t throw too may deep passes but of the 16 pass attempts of 20+ yards, Aiyuk has been targeted on five of them. Seattle has given up 25 plays of 20+ yards in six games this season.

Aiyuk is a strong WR3 or flex play in all formats and worth a stash going forwards as the 49ers offense finds clarity.

Nelson Agholor

The Cleveland Browns have allowed lots of points in lots of games this season. The Las Vegas Raiders are 3-3 and one game out of the playoff picture. This game should be fun to watch and fun to start fantasy players.

The Raiders pass attack has seen different players shine. Henry Ruggs is the clear deep threat option but operates on few targets. Darren Waller has only had a couple missteps but still proudly stands as a must-start tight end. Nelson Agholor has been the surprise top option for Derek Carr‘s offense.

Agholor has caught a touchdown in three straight games and just had his first 100+ yard receiving game. Cleveland, on the other hand, had allowed the 2nd most FPA to wide receivers and nine top 24 finishes.

Agholor is a WR3 or flex play with less season-long appeal than Aiyuk. A new Raiders receiver could emerge going forwards but capitalize on Agholor’s hot streak while it’s here.

SITS:

Justin Jefferson

The 2020 rookie wide receiver class has been deep. There are almost a dozen rookie wideouts who have impressed at one point or another this season. Justin Jefferson has stood nearly a full head and shoulders above the pack.

Unfortunately, Jefferson runs into a Green Bay Packers defense that has only allowed one top 24 wide receiver. Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander has been the best cornerback in football this season with position-high marks in PFF Grades for defense and defensive coverage to wide receivers. Alexander has blanketed whoever he shadows each week.

Justin Jefferson (John Autey/St Paul Pioneer Press)

Conventional wisdom would put veteran Adam Thielen as the top option for Alexander to stifle but it’s likely that Jefferson’s explosiveness and ability to create big plays will merit him a shutdown opponent. Jefferson has been too impressive to want to bench but this may be an opportunity to utilize a fringe receiver in a better matchup as a WR3.

New Orleans Saints Wide Receivers

Of the high-flying offenses and exciting teams this season, the Chicago Bears have been the winningest team to not fall in either category. They lost ugly to the Los Angeles Rams in primetime on Monday but kept a strange fantasy streak alive.

The Bears have allowed the third fewest FPA to wide receivers this season and still have yet to allow a wide receiver to finish in the weekly top 24.

The Saints have streaming options in Tre’Quan Smith and Marquez Callaway based on volume alone. They also may finally get Michael Thomas back who has dealt with ankle and hamstring injuries. None of these receiver should be trusted against the Bears. If Thomas plays, it is exciting to insert him into lineups but expectations should be tempered.

 

Featured Image courtesy of Stephen Lew / Icon Sportswire

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