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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - Wide Receivers
Your Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 7
QBs | RBs | WRs

Bye Weeks: Detroit, Houston

Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas' 3 catches and 11 yards last week was a career low. Expect a bounceback in Week 7.

Grab a Helmet

Robert Woods v. ARZ: On paper, Jared Goff v. Arizona secondary doesn’t look like one of the more exploitable matchups of the Sunday slate, especially when we consider Sammy Watkins’ latest disappearing act (just two catches for 28 yards since a Week 3 explosion against the 49ers). Despite his paltry production, however, Watkins is easily the most talented of the Rams’ receivers, meaning he’s likely to draw Patrick Peterson’s attention all afternoon. That’s bad news for him and good news for everyone else running patterns in the LA offense. Though Arizona (read: Peterson) has essentially shut down opposing WR1s (T.Y. Hilton, Dez Bryant, Pierre Garçon, and Alshon Jeffery), they’re still yielding the third most points to the position, meaning secondary options are making hay. Woods is a solid secondary option who’s scored seven or more fantasy points three out of the last four weeks. He’s a good situational play Sunday.

Michael Thomas @ GB: New Orleans managed to score 52 points last weekend despite getting essentially nothing from its best wide receiver. The former Buckeye, shadowed by Darius Slay all afternoon, managed just three catches and a disappointing 11 yards on six total targets. Ouch. Double ouch for this guy because I just packaged up Mike Evans—scheduled to face the aforementioned wide receiver snuffer, Patrick Peterson—in a deal to acquire him. Happily, there will be better days ahead for the talented Saints wideout, starting this Sunday up in Lambeau against a severely banged-up Packers secondary. Four of the five Green Bay cornerbacks will likely end up on the injury report this week and both starters, Kevin King and Davon House, missed last week’s game against Minnesota. If they’re out again (and even if they aren’t), expect a much better performance from Thomas. He’s a must start every week.

Josh Doctson @ PHI (Mon): The Monday nighter, a rematch of NFC East foes, features two of the league’s hotter quarterbacks, Carson Wentz and Kirk Cousins. The former has been on fire all season, of course, while the latter has started heating up after a slow start (28.8 points per in his last three games). Helping Cousins’ cause of late has been Doctson, a 2016 first round draft pick who’s finally starting to contribute after a mostly wasted rookie season. Though he’s only caught four balls so far (and only six as a professional), he’s scored two touchdowns, prompting Jay Gruden to say Washington will be working to “actively expand” the former Horned Frog’s role. I’m guessing he meant effective immediately, meaning Doctson has a chance to set career highs in targets and catches as early as Monday night. If you can stomach the risk, he has lots of upside.

Grab Some Wood

Martavis Bryant v. CIN:
Squeaky wheels get the pigskin in Pittsburgh, apparently, a lesson Bryant seems to have learned by watching his more celebrated teammates, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. When word leaked he’d (allegedly) requested a trade, one had to wonder if this was his less public way of politicking for more attention in the Steelers’ offense. It’s public now, regardless, and there’s no putting that toothpaste back in the tube. I’m dubious his complaints will have the same effect his teammates’ more public complaints have had as Brown and Bell are both more essential and, frankly, more reliable pieces of the Pittsburgh organization. Neither of them, after all, is one relapse away from almost certain NFL banishment. Moreover, Bryant the player is reliant on explosive downfield plays and he and Big Ben are clearly struggling to connect through first third of the season. Too many red flags, folks.

J.J. Nelson @ LAR: Prior to last week, Carson Palmer had thrown no fewer than 36 passes in a game and was on pace to possibly break Matt Stafford’s record for most passing attempts in a season (assuming he lasted all season). This, of course, made all Arizona receivers relevant, including the third and fourth options, Jaron Brown and J.J. Nelson. The trade for Adrian Peterson seems to have changed all that in an instant. Palmer threw only 22 passes last Sunday, only one of them to Nelson, and now it appears these fringe Cardinals receivers must be ignored, if not completely dropped. Nelson’s got great wheels and could certainly reemerge should Peterson fade or get hurt. For now, though, he’s probably not worth the roster spot you carved out for him after a couple of stellar performances to start the year. Stick with Fitz and John Brown moving forward.

T.Y. Hilton v. JAX: This is Hilton’s third “Grab Some Wood” mention of 2017, though you shouldn’t take that to mean I don’t like the guy. What’s not to like about a speed merchant with 10 100-yard games to his credit the last two-plus seasons? Two of those were accomplished with Jacoby Brissett at the helm and it appears the duo will have several more opportunities to work together this season. No, the problem isn’t Brissett so much as it is volatility and bad matchups. Hilton’s scored over 70% of his points in just two games (against bottom-feeding Cleveland and San Francisco), but has averaged only 3.8 in his four other games. This week, he draws a suffocating Jacksonville secondary that’s allowed just a single 100-yard receiver all year, Antonio Brown. For the record, Brown received 19 targets that day, 10 more than Hilton has in any game thus far.

Good luck, folks!

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers