As the Sunday main slate approaches, I’m giddy creating new lineup combinations full of top flight wide receiver stacks. However, there are a few big names that should be avoided this Sunday. Without further adieu, let’s examine which wide receivers to avoid in week one.
Odell Beckham: $7,800
Disclaimer: Odell Beckham is a GPP only play this Sunday. I wanted to get that out of the way because Beckham can produce in any matchup given his run after catch ability. So, I’ll be making the case as to why Beckham should be no where near your cash game lineups this weekend.
It’s too simplistic to say you can’t play Beckham because he faces the Jaguars. We have to go deeper and examine the individual matchups players are projected to have. In my opinion, Pro Football Focus has the best information in this department. So, I’ll be using them in my analysis of this position every week.
In week one, Beckham is projected to face Jalen Ramsey. Now, you’re probably thinking that isn’t a big deal because Beckham moves all over the field. While he does take snaps from all over the formation, that won’t matter. In 2017, the Jaguars deployed Jalen Ramsey in shadow coverage six times last year and always against the opposition’s number one wide receiver. Receivers in Ramsey’s shadow coverage had the following averages: 4.67 targets, 2.16 receptions and 28.17 yards per game.
In fairness, Ramsey only shadowed Larry Fitzgerald on 100 percent of the time he was on the field. However, when deployed in shadow coverage, Ramsey would cover the opposing receiver 76 % of the time. Then when you factor in how good the defense is as a whole, there’s no way Beckham is worth the risk in cash games.
Doug Baldwin: $7,500
Similar to Beckham, Doug Baldwin was an easy addition to my wide receivers to avoid in week one because of his individual matchup. Baldwin will square off against Chris Harris Jr. since he lines up in the slot 73% of the time. While Harris had a down season, he’s still among the NFL’s best slot defenders. If this was the only concern for Baldwin, I would consider him a cash game and GPP play.
The problem is there are multiple issues with Baldwin. For example, Baldwin has openly admitted that he won’t be “100 percent” for week one. Second, we have to consider how terrible Seattle’s offensive line is. They will have to keep Von Miller, Bradley Chubb and Shane Ray from getting to Russel Wilson and I don’t know how successful Seattle will be in doing that. I could end up being totally wrong because gameflow will likely be in favor of Baldwin’s production, but I’m willing to take that chance.
John Brown: $5,500
For anyone building GPP lineups, this is a reminder that when you’re searching for a big play third wide receiver or flex to overlook John Brown. There are two reasons Brown is on the list. Normally, I wouldn’t include a player this irrelevant, but, his matchup and preseason hype landed him squarely on my short list of wide receivers to avoid in week one. He’s slated to face Tre’Davious White, who graded out as the fifth best corner in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. Not only does Brown draw the toughest matchup, his projected gameflow does not bode well for his production. Since the Ravens are almost a double-digit favorite, he won’t see additional targets as they’ll likely be running the clock out. There are better options at his price range or lower if you’re looking for a low price, high upside GPP play.
Featured Image Courtesy of Sports Illustrated
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