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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - Wide Receivers
Your Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 8
QBs | RBs | WRs

Bye Weeks: Dallas, Baltimore

Courtland Sutton

Grab a Helmet

Courtland Sutton @ IND

Real NBA basketball games were played this week, meaning we’re nearing the halfway point of the NFL campaign, as good a time as any to look for any surprises amongst the league’s target leaders. Would you believe Sutton’s sitting at WR12 in that category, a full 12 targets higher than his more celebrated and now former teammate, Emmanuel Sanders? The Broncos haven’t had a bye yet, sure, but it’s still pretty interesting the guy Denver kept is already a true WR1 in terms of opportunity. How many more Joe Flacco looks will he command now that Sanders calls San Francisco home? Top wideouts on crummy teams aren’t always worth our attention, but this one also happens to be WR23 in FPts/G, making him a clear back-end WR2 now oozing with top-end WR2 or even back-end WR1 upside. Sutton’s and not Sanders’ owners won this week’s swap.

John Brown v. PHI

Here’s another target-related oddity I stumbled upon during my research: John Brown, whose career high catch percentage is a modest 64% (2015) and who has only been north of 50% twice, has caught 73% of his Bills targets through seven weeks. That’s odd for essentially two reasons. First, Brown is a classic home-run hitter, the type of receiver who typically compensates for a low catch percentage with a higher per-catch average. Second, Josh Allen, his battery mate, tallied the lowest completion percentage amongst qualified QBs last season (52.8%), even behind Josh Rosen. No, I won’t stop picking on him. Brown’s catch percentage, BTW, is higher than teammate Cole Beasley’s, the Bills primary slot receiver. It’s still dicey relying on big numbers from a fledgling Buffalo passing game, but I’ve started Brown nearly every week so far and do not regret the decision. Join the club!

Jared Cook or Josh Hill v. ARI

Our site has a cool and underrated stat called “Comparison to League Average,” which essentially describes the delta between a team’s average points against any particular position and the overall league average against that position. The numbers can get pretty high, both positive and negative, but I’ve never seen one as high as Arizona’s 118.7% v. the TE position. Translated, this means you can expect to score more than DOUBLE the league average at the TE spot if whomever you start is facing the Cardinals. Either Cook (currently sidelined with a bum ankle) or Josh Hill will be doing that this Sunday and I’d simply suggest you blindly start whichever one the Saints do. Arizona’s surrendered a TE touchdown in every game but one and has already allowed THREE of them to tally over 100 yards in a game. Take advantage, folks.

Grab Some Wood

Emmanuel Sanders v. CAR

Kyle Shanahan called the process of getting Sanders up to speed in time for the matchup with Carolina a “cram job,” but confirmed he will play. What we can’t possibly know is how much. Here’s my opinion: not enough and it might not even matter. I get the excitement surrounding the veteran receiver’s move to a contender. The Niners had no clear WR1 and now have someone who’s tallied three 1,000-yd seasons in his near decade as a pro. Most of those numbers came in pass-happy attacks, however (Pittsburgh and then Denver during the Manning years), and Shanahan’s offense is anything but in 2019. The Niners’ pass play percentage is a shade under 43%, the lowest in the league and a full four percentage points lower than the next closest squad. He’s a nice new piece but this is a run-first squad. Check the enthusiasm

Marquez Valdes-Scantling @ KC

Guys like MVS can make guys like me look bad in a single play, but I’ve never been one to play the lottery. The speedster from USF tallied 133 yards and a score in the Pack’s big win over Oakland last Sunday. However, he did that on a mere three targets and two receptions. Since Week 4, when Green Bay lost Davante Adams late, he’s tallied only nine total targets, despite being the de facto WR1 for A-Rodge. Yes, he was also dinged up some v. Detroit, but No.1 receivers should be able to command more than three targets a game, especially when they’re playing catch with a first ballot HOF’er. If none of that warns you off, maybe this will: If you take away Valdes-Scantling’s two long TD grabs this season, he’d have fewer points than Danny Amendola, currently WR67. Simply put, you’re gambling with MVS.

Zach Pascal v. DEN

Pascal was probably a hot waiver wire add, but there aren’t many reasons to trust that Week 7 performance is repeatable. For starters, he’d never before, in 16 career games, topped the 100-yard mark. Nor had he ever scored more than once in a game. He did both of those things against the Texans last Sunday and there was even enough Jacoby Brissett love left over for T.Y. Hilton to get in on the act (74 yards and a score). If you’re thinking Houston might have been an easy mark for the two, you’re absolutely right. Bill O’Brien’s crew gives up 28.4 FPts/G to opposing wideouts and has already surrendered 11 TDs (tied for last). This week’s opponent, Denver, is giving up only 16.4 FPts/G to the position and has allowed just four pass-grabbers to score. Don’t get carried away here.
Good luck, folks!

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers