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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - Wide Receivers
Your Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 4
QBs | RBs | WRs

Bye Weeks: N/A

Nose for the endzone: Chris Hogan has scored three times on only 17 targets early in the 2017 season.

Grab a Helmet

Chris Hogan v. CAR: Only the Patriots could replace a former college quarterback with a former college lacrosse player and turn him into a Top 10 wide receiver in three short weeks. Ha! How did we not see this coming? Julian Edelman was certainly the most notable preseason casualty this year, but you had the feeling when the news broke that Coach Belichick et al. would find a way to absorb the seemingly devastating loss. Boy, have they ever. Hogan has now scored double-digit fantasy points in two consecutive games and has made the New England faithful mostly forget about Tom Brady’s favorite target. Maybe Brady’s favorite target is just whoever’s catching touchdowns on any given Sunday? That could very well be Hogan again this coming Sunday (along with a host of other folks) as the Panthers come to town. The Carolina defense is solid, but…yeah, so was Houston’s.

Adam Thielen v. DET: Hogan caught just 12 passes at tiny Monmouth University following that lacrosse career (Penn State), almost 200 fewer than Adam Thielen, also an undrafted free agent, snared at the equally obscure Mankato State. It’s still possible, in other words, to fly completely under the radar of football scouts, even in this age of ubiquitous scouting intelligence. Thielen’s been an especially great find for Minnesota, who hasn’t had two legitimate receiving threats since 2009 (Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin). What makes his and Stefon Diggs’ success even more amazing, however, is the fact it’s been authored by Sam Bradford and Case Keenum, two quarterbacks not likely to be trying on mustard-colored blazers in Canton after they hang up the cleats. Thielen’s averaging almost 100 yards per game so far and if he starts scoring touchdowns, he could end up being the fantasy WR find of the season.

Jaron Brown v. SF: Arizona’s other “J. Brown” didn’t exactly toil away in obscurity at Clemson, but it was hard to stand out, I’d imagine, on a receiving corps featuring six future NFL players (DeAndre Hopkins, Martavis Bryant, Sammy Watkins, Adam Humphries, Charone Peake, and Brown). Think Deshaun Watson would have liked slinging the rock to that crew? Brown has garnered 17 targets the last two weeks in John Brown’s absence and has turned them into 100 total yards and a score. He could have had two more TDs on Monday night but was foiled by a penalty and half an inch of chalk. While everyone dashed for J.J. Nelson on the waiver wire last week, I slunk in and made a small bid for this guy. I think it could pay off in the weeks to come, starting this Sunday v. the 49ers. Give Other J. Brown a look.

Grab Some Wood

Pierre Garcon @ ARZ: Garcon looked like a great garbage time grab in August drafts and he has not disappointed through three weeks of the season. The former Washington wideout has 25 targets, tied for 17th overall, and 249 receiving yards, good for 9th at the position. That’s the good news. Here’s the bad: He hasn’t accumulated any of those yards against a cornerback as good as Arizona’s Patrick Peterson. In consecutive games, T.Y. Hilton and Dez Bryant, two pretty terrific receivers, have combined to tally just 61 yards against Peterson et al. Bryant was particularly atrocious, notching just 12 yards in last Monday night’s contest. If he hadn’t scored a touchdown, it would have been a downright brutal performance. I like the chemistry Garcon has developed with Brian Hoyer in pretty short order, but he’s not an every week auto-start playing in that San Francisco offense. Sit him down.

Ted Ginn Jr.v. MIA (London): The tragically flawed Ginn (great wheels, suspect hands) hoped to continue his late-career renaissance in New Orleans’ fantasy-friendly offense this season. And despite limited opportunities, he’s been very serviceable so far. In three games, the former Panther has nine receptions on 14 targets, 121 receiving yards, another 20 rushing yards, and a single receiving touchdown. Useful-ish, yeah? The problem is those numbers have come with Willie Snead out of the lineup (serving a league-imposed suspension) and now Snead is back, ready to reclaim his WR2 role. Even allowing for an adjustment period, it seems reasonable to presume Ginn’s already limited touches will become more limited as time goes on, especially considering how well Brandon Coleman and Alvin Kamara have played. Bye week spot starter, for sure, but every week starter? No way. Sit back and wait for a better read on Ginn Jr’s long-term role.

Jermaine Kearse v. JAX: The Jets have already surpassed my 2017 expectations, capturing a victory I never thought they’d get in Week 3 against the Fish. It wasn’t very pretty, for sure, but that’s the only kinda game you’re gonna win if you’re New York this season: ugly and low-scoring. That doesn’t bode well for Kearse’s long-term fantasy prospects, despite the two-TD explosion in Week 2, and neither does a matchup with the upstart Jags this Sunday. Jacksonville’s doing it with equal parts Leonard Fournette and nasty defense (just a dash of Blake Bortles, please) and if they’re successful again Sunday, the Jets may not have the ball that often. Even when they do, Kearse is likely to draw the undivided attention of Jalen Ramsey, already one of the best CBs in the game, young or old. You can spot start Kearse again this season, but Sunday isn’t the spot.

Good luck, folks!

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers