Week 5 yielded some head scratching performances. DFS stalwarts like Antonio Brown, Adam Thielen and Odell Beckham Jr. were atop the list of productive receivers. And, other unproven commodities like Robbie Anderson, Trequan Smith and Tyler Lockett catapulted themselves into the top 10 performers. While it’s a great feeling to nail a low-priced, low-owned player, it’s far more critical to avoid the busts. Let’s do our best to identify the wide receivers to avoid in week six.
Stefon Diggs: $8,200
ARZ Pass Yards Allowed/Game: 249 (13th) Individual Matchup: Patrick Peterson
In my analysis, the number one problem with Stefon Diggs is not, in fact, his matchup. Patrick Peterson has the cache of a shutdown corner; however, that’s not an accurate description of him thus far in 2018. Peterson has not been deployed in shadow coverage once this season. Peterson is currently tied with a few players as the 12th least targeted corner in terms of the percentage of routes he’s been in coverage. So to clarify, when Peterson is covering a route, there’s a 13% chance he will be targeted. More importantly, of the players who are targeted less than or equal to Peterson, he has covered more routes than everyone other than Tre’Davious White.
The Vikings were in an almost identical situation in week three against the Bills. Diggs and company were double-digit favorites, at home, against a defense with a reputable corner. That game, if you can’t remember, was against the Buffalo Bills. In that game, in which the Vikings were down and fighting back, Diggs only recorded four catches on 10 targets for 17 yards.
Keep in mind, Kirk Cousins threw the ball 55 times, Diggs caught four passes. In the same game, Adam Thielen was targeted 19 times and turned that into 14 catches for 105 yards. While you may want to save the $400 between Theilen and Diggs this Sunday, don’t do it. Kirk Cousins has done nothing but feed Thielen and showed us that he will avoid Diggs if there is a bad matchup, even if it’s not as bad as it’s perceived. At $8,200, there simply is not a high enough floor to confidently roster Stefon Diggs this Sunday.
Corey Davis: $6,300
BAL Pass Yards Allowed/Game: 215 (4th) Individual Matchup: Marlon Humphrey
Similar to my first addition to the wide receivers to avoid in week six, Corey Davis’ matchup is not the biggest issue because it’s not nearly as straight forward. As outlined above, Davis’ projected matchup is Marlon Humphrey; however, Baltimore has deployed their defensive backs in shadow coverage unpredictably. To illustrate the issue, refer to the breakdown below.
As you can see, Brandon Carr has been used the most in shadow coverage. And, Carr has been particularly good when shadowing an opponents receiver. But as stated earlier, Davis is projected to be covered by Marlon Humphrey, so what’s the problem? The problem is, the previous receivers covered by Carr all have one thing in common. They are all the biggest receivers on their team that regularly play. Kelvin Benjamin, A.J. Green and Demaryius Thomas are all at least 6-foot-3 and 210-pounds. In the instance in which he covered James Washington, JuJu Smith Schuster was the biggest receiver, but he’s only 6-foot-1.
Corey Davis, for those who don’t know, is almost a carbon copy of A.J. Green at 6-foot-3, 209-pounds. Davis, although he moves around the formation, is much more like the previous players Carr has covered. And despite the great information that Pro Football Focus provides, I don’t agree their projection of Marlon Humphrey covering Davis. As a result, I won’t be playing Davis at all and it could cost me, but, projections are not always iron-clad. Just ask everyone who had Alvin Kamara on Monday Night Football, he was “projected” to score over 20 points, and we all know what happened in that game.
Robbie Anderson: $5,500
IND Pass Yards Allowed/Game: 283 (28th) Individual Matchup: Chris Milton
This is a courtesy to everyone who thins Robbie Anderson is viable given his dirt-cheap price, previous box score, and matchup this week. Anderson, despite his massive game, is not inside the top 40 wide receivers in a standard league. Last week Anderson was still the third most targeted receiver behind Quincy Enunwa and Jermaine Kearse. It’s clear that this team does not want Sam Darnold to be a volume thrower, as two running backs carried the ball at least 15 times. If you want access to this game, just pay for Quincy Enunwa who is only $300 more expensive, and has been far more consistent.
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