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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer


The Shot Caller's Report - Wide Receivers
Your Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 1
9/14/17
QBs | RBs | WRs

Bye Weeks: N/A

Alshon Jeffery

Jeffery was quiet in Week 1 but should be a bigger part of the gameplan against KC in Week 2.


Grab a Helmet

DeAndre Hopkins @ CIN (Thu): Tom Savage spent most of his abbreviated Week 1 appearance on his can, but before he grabbed a clipboard for the remainder of the game, he targeted Hopkins seven times (mostly to no avail). Savageís replacement, Deshaun Watson, must have been paying close attention because he proceeded to throw it to Hopkins nine more times in the second half. All told, Houstonís $81-million-dollar man commanded 16 targets in Week 1, three more than any other receiver in the league. He only nabbed seven of them (for 55 yards and a score), but that utilization rate should continue moving forward as the Texans donít have much else to throw to at the receiver position. By all accounts, Watson gets the nod this Thursday and I think he could surprise, despite the expected rookie mistakes Houston will have to live with. Start Hopkins with confidence.

Brandin Cooks @ NO: I donít necessarily buy into the whole revenge angle thing, but I do believe there are teams/coaches/players more capable than others of using it for motivation. New England is one of those teams. The Pats will have been stewing for 10 days over that brutal opening night loss to KC by the time they hit the Superdome and will want to punch the Saints in the nose early and often. What better way to do it than with the former Saints speedster who felt disrespected by the organization and then, ultimately, forced a trade? Revenge cuts both ways, of course, but New Orleans doesnít have the personnel to exact its own, as evidenced by the way its secondary was eviscerated by Sam Bradford and the Vikings last Monday night. Cooks is about all thatís left of New Englandís WR corps and heís all theyíll need Sunday.

Alshon Jeffery @ KC: The Eaglesí prized free agent acquisition was pretty quiet in the Week 1 win over Washington, eking out three grabs for 38 yards on seven targets. Meh. Part of that could be attributable to a lack of familiarity with Carson Wentz. Another part could be attributable to Josh Norman, one of the gameís elite cover corners who lineup up opposite Jeffery a fair amount in Week 1. Regardless, Philly needs more bang for their free agent buck than 38 measly yards and a couple of near misses in the end zone. I expect them to make a concerted effort to get him more involved this week, especially now that the Chiefs will be missing the heart and soul of their secondary, Eric Berry. Donít do something drastic with this talented Eagle. Itís early yet and I strongly believe heíll prove his worth sooner rather than later, possibly as soon as this Sunday.

Grab Some Wood

Sammy Watkins v. WAS: Josh Norman is likely to shut down a lot of WR1s, Iím supposing, and the next victim on his list is Watkins, the Ramsí newly acquired home run threat. Los Angeles almost put half a hundred on Indianapolis last Sunday, a miracle in and of itself, but more surprising still was that Watkins contributed very little to that explosive total. Surprising, I should say, if you truly buy the former Buffalo Bill as a premiere wideout. I never have, frankly, mostly because he canít seem to stay healthy and has never actually been paired with a big-armed slinger who can best maximize his long-distance gifts. He still isnít. Jared Goff had a nice little day, but is still more dink-and-dunker than vertical flinger. Mark my words: The most productive Rams receiver this year will end up being slot receiver Cooper Kupp, not the home run-hitting Watkins.

Jordan Matthews @ CAR: The guy who replaced Watkins in Buffalo was actually made expendable in Philly by the aforementioned Jeffery. Though itís too early to tell who got the short end of that particular wide receiver round robin, I strongly suspect itíll be Matthews when all is said and done. He goes from a pass-happy offense to possibly the most run-heavy offense in the entire league. Buffaloís wide receivers were targeted only eight times against the Jets last Sunday, with Matthews commanding just three. If he hadnít converted one of those Tyrod Taylor throws into a 47-yard pickup, it would have a particularly depressing day for his owners. I doubt the Bills will be able to maintain a 60/40 run/pass ratio the rest of the way, but when the wide receivers arenít even garnering a third of available targets, itís time to be officially concerned. He shouldnít start for you now.

T.Y. Hilton v. ARI: Hiltonís our first repeat recommendation this season and I probably don’t need to spend much time explaining why. Andrew Luck still isn’t playing. Patrick Peterson is. The end. Hilton’s certainly crafty enough and speedy enough to give a larger guy like Peterson trouble, but there’s no telling who his quarterback will be come Sunday and I’m pretty certain it doesn’t matter. Scott Tolzien was a dumpster fire out in Los Angeles and Jacoby Brissett hasn’t even been on the squad for two weeks. What are the chances either triggerman is going to be able to forge a worthwhile connection with Hilton, even supposing they’re able to avoid a blitz-happy Arizona front seven? T.Y. was a do-not-draft special for me when it became clear Luck’s injury would linger and I’m glad I didn’t roll the dice on his return being sooner than expected. Sit your Colts receivers.

Good luck, folks!


Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers