FAVORABLE MATCHUPS (CASH/GPP)
Antonio Brown (DK – $8,700/FD – $8,800): After a monster Week 16 (14/185/2 on 19 targets), Brown pushed his way to second in WR scoring in PPR leagues. Antonio has 100 catches or more in each of his last six seasons while setting a career high in TDs (15). He averages 11.2 targets per game with a step down in his catch rate (61.9). In Week 6, Brown caught five passed for 105 yards and one TD against the Bengals. Cinci sits 20th defending WRs (191/2550/15 on 301 targets) with disaster in two games (ATL - 21/344/2 and TB - 10/360/2). CB Williams Jackson will give up TDs and big plays, which gives Antonio another explosive matchup. He did pop up on this week’s injury report with a knee issue while expecting to play on Sunday.
Julio Jones (DK – $8,500/FD – $8,600): Jones came up short last week (4/28/1) for the second time in four weeks. Over his last ten games, Julio has 70 catches for 975 yards and seven TDs on 102 targets while gaining over 100 yards in seven games. In Week 6, he caught ten passes for 144 yards on 14 targets against the Bucs. Tampa is 26th defending WRs (197/2357/20 on 262 targets) while showing improvement against WRs over the last eight games (no team gained over 190 yards from the WR position). Jones continues to battle hip and ribs issues while expecting to play on Sunday. He leads the NFL in receiving yards (1539) with a reasonable cushion over DeAndre Hopkins (1425). Tampa has risk at CB, which gives Julio a chance at an impact game.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (DK – $3,900/FD – $5,000): Last week two things worked in favor of Valdes-Scantling in his matchup vs. the Jets. First, Randall Cobb was inactive allowing Marquez to regain the slot opportunity for the Packers. Second, Equanimous St. Brown suffered a concussion leading to MVS receiving a bump in targets (9). He finished with five catches for 75 yards, which was his best game since Week 9. He looks poised to be the second best WR option again this week for Green Bay with more upside if Davante Adams can't go. Player to follow heading to the weekend while also having a nice game on his resume (7/68/1) vs. the Lions earlier in the year. CB Nevin Lawson will give up TDs and big plays, and I'm sure Aaron Rodgers is motivated to finish the year on high note.
MATCHUP RISK / AGAINST THE GRAIN (GPP)
DeAndre Hopkins (DK – $8,100/FD – $8,700): Hopkins played well last week (9/104), but he failed to score the need to TD to offer an impact game. He now has six games with over 100 yards receiving with 11 TDs. He needs nine catches for 97 yards to set a career high in catches and receiving yards. The Jaguars held him to three catches for 50 yards and a TD on eight targets in Week 7. Jacksonville still has the top WR defense in the NFL (151/1890/7 on 245 targets) with failure in only one game against WRs (17/260/1). Tough matchup with top CB Jalen Ramsey, which makes him is any easy avoid.
Adam Thielen (DK – $7,400/FD – $7,200): Over the last seven games, Thielen has 36 catches for 410 yards and three TDs on 53 targets which is well below his first half of the year (74/925/6 on 96 targets). He caught seven passed for 66 yards in Week 11 against the Bears. Chicago ranks 22nd defending WRs (210/2553/12 on 343 targets). Over the last five games, WRs only have two TDs vs. the Bears with no team gaining over 175 yards. CB Sherrick McManis played well out of the slot over the last three games, but his career resume invites failure. Thielen may surprise even in a game that points to minimal explosiveness.
Brandin Cooks (DK – $6,500/FD – $7,000): Cooks struggled in his last four games (16/178 on 24 targets), which came after three nice games (6/114/1, 10/100, and 8/107). Brandon has two other games with over 100 yards receiving (7/159 and 7/116/1) while looking to break his six-game scoreless streak. He caught four passes for 64 yards and one TD in Week 7 against the 49ers. The Rams will try to get him matchup with CB Tarvarius Moore who will be tested in this game. Possible impact game while scoring a long TD.
Alshon Jeffery (DK – $5,700/FD – $6,500): Over the last three games, Jeffery has 17 catches for 292 yards and one TD on 22 targets. Alshon struggled over his previous five games (18/186 on 26 targets). He struggled in Week 13 against the Redskins (3/31). Washington ranks 18th against WRs (183/2541/18 on 271 targets). Jeffery will draw CB Josh Norman in coverage, which points to minimal upside. The Nick Foles factor does give him a chance to post a potential 20-point game.
Robby Anderson (DK – $5,600/FD – $7,000): Anderson played great over the last three games (4/76/1, 7/96/1, and 9/140/1) with Sam Darnold behind center. Over this span, Robby averaged 10.3 targets. His only other impact game (3/123/2) came in Week 5. Over his first 11 games, he had four catches or fewer in each game. New England ranks 12th vs. WRs (194/2418/17 on 330 targets) with no team gaining over 200 yards receiving over the last 13 games. A date with CB Stephon Gilmore should put the brakes on his hot run.
Courtland Sutton (DK – $4,500/FD – $5,900): Sutton has 17 catches for 206 yards and two TDs on 29 targets over his last four games with starting snaps. His best success came in Week 13 (4/85/1) and Week 16 (6/65/1) while receiving a season-high ten targets last week. On the year, his catch rate (50.6) is in a weak area while showing the ability to make big plays (16.6 yards per catch). Fifteen of his 41 catches have gone for 20 yards or more. Courtland caught three passes for 78 yards on six targets in his earlier matchup with the Chargers. His matchup with CB Casey Heyward points to minimal upside.
BAD MATCHUP (AVOID)
DaeSean Hamilton (DK – $5,000/FD – $5,400): Over the last three games with starting snaps, Hamilton has 20 catches for 133 yards and two TDs on 30 targets. He's yet to gain over 50 yards receiving in any game in his short career. The Chargers are 7th defending WRs (159/2003/13 on 251 targets) with strength at two coverage spots in the secondary. DaeSean is an avoid for me this week. I don't expect a TD, and he doesn't make enough big plays to be viable at this level.
DeAndre Carter (DK – $3,600/FD – $5,200): Carter moved to WR2 in Houston with Demaryius Thomas out for the season. Carter had his best game (6/61 on seven targets) last week while seeing his playing time grow over the last month (15/148 on 17 targets) after Keke Coutee went down with an injury. His matchup is unfavorable this week, and Coutee still has a chance to play on Sunday. Not ready to make a Fantasy impact.
PLAYING TIME RISK
Michael Thomas (DK – $8,400/FD – $8,400): Thomas pushed his way back to the fourth position in WR scoring in PPR leagues after success last week (11/109/1). Over 15 games, Michael has 120 catches for 1,376 yards and nine TDs on 140 targets. The Saints don't need to win this week, which points to short playing time for Thomas and an avoid in the daily games.
Amari Cooper (DK – $7,200/FD – $6,700): Cooper went from hero in Week 14 (10/217/3) to zero over the last two games (4/32 and 4/20) costing Fantasy owners a great opportunity to win overall titles in the season-long games. In his eight games in Dallas, Amari has 48 catches for 694 yards and six TDs on 65 targets with one other impact game (8/180/2). The Cowboys don't need to win this game, which makes Cooper a weak option in the daily games in Week 17.
Doug Baldwin (DK – $6,100/FD – $6,700): Baldwin played great in his last two games (4/77/2 and 7/126/1) while receiving 18 combined targets. Doug has five TDs in his last five games with improvement over his last seven games (34/432/5 on 48 targets). The Cardinals slid to 15th in WR defense (198/2283/15 on 295 targets). Only two teams have over 200 yards receiving against the Cardinals (LAR - 19/303 and ATL - 20/226/2). This week he’s battling a shoulder issue that may lead to him sitting out this week’s game. The Seahawks want to run the ball, which limited the WR targets and the upside in Baldwin in most games.
Allen Robinson (DK – $5,200/FD – $6,200): Robinson is back on the injury report this week with a rib issue, which puts him at risk to play on Sunday. Allen hasn't scored a TD in his last six games while offering only one impact game (6/133/2) in 2018. Over his last six games, he caught 24 of 43 targets for 336 yards with an empty game vs. the Vikings (3/39). CB Xavier Rhodes may not play this week due to a groin issue giving Robinson a slight bump in coverage. Mitchell Trubisky is the same player on the road as at home. Too much downside here with the injury outlook not helping his opportunity.
NEUTRAL (ANY FORMAT)
Tyreek Hill (DK – $8,400/FD – $7,800): After two straight impact games (7/117/2 and 10/215/2), Hill only has 17 catches for 272 yards and no TDs over his last four games while catching 47.2 percent of his 36 targets. In Week 13, he only caught one pass for 13 yards on six targets against the Raiders. Oakland climbed to 9th in WR defense (157/2101/22 on 263 targets) with no team gaining over 200 yards from the WR position since Week 5. The Raiders may be without their top CB Gareon Conley this week due to a concussion plus they lost CB Daryl Worley a couple of weeks ago. Hill looks poised for a bounce-back game with the Chiefs needing a win to lock up the number one seed in the AFC.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (DK – $8,300/FD – $7,900): Smith-Schuster continued his road warrior ways last week after a big game (11/115) in New Orleans. This season Juju has 68 catches for 962 yards and three TDs on 92 targets away from Pittsburgh in eight games. In his seven home starts, he has 38 catches for 427 yards and three TDs on 64 targets. He gained over 100 yards receiving in seven games on the road, which included success against the Bengals (7/111). CB Darius Phillips will have his hands full in this matchup while lacking the resume to stop an elite WR. A very winnable game while home resume says to stay away.
Davante Adams (DK – $8,000/FD – $8,500): Adams remains the highest scoring WR in PPR leagues (111/1386/13 on 169 targets) after scoring over 20.0 Fantasy points in six of his last seven games. He beat the Lions for nine catches for 140 yards and one TD on 12 targets in Week 5. Davante landed on the injury report this week with a knee issue, but he is expected to play on Sunday. The Lions pushed their way to 11th in WR defense (164/2413/18 on 246 targets) after holding WRs to fewer than 200 yards in each of their last five games with three TDs. Green Bay will look to move Adams around in formations to avoid a full-time matchup with CB Darius Slay who struggled in his first matchup against Green Bay. Volume WR with scoring ability, but his ceiling doesn’t look high enough in Week 17 due to his high salary.
Keenan Allen (DK – $7,900/FD – $7,600): Allen returned to action last week with minimal success (5/58) after an early exit the previous week. Keenan played well over his six previous games (47/568/5 on 65 targets). In Week 11, he caught nine passes for 89 yards and one TD on 12 targets against the Broncos. Denver is league average defending WRs (191/2392/16 on 297 targets). The only team to make an impact with their WRs was the Steelers (28/323/1). Allen will have a much more favorable WR/CB matchup with Chris Harris out for the season. Volume WR with a salary low enough to pay off in a big way in Week 17.
Mike Evans (DK – $7,700/FD – $7,300): Evans surprised last week (6/90/1). He snapped a four-game scoreless streak. Mike has seven games with over 100 yards receiving with six TDs. He set a career high in receiving yards (1,418) while averaging 8.7 targets per game. The Falcons held him to four catches for 58 yards in Week 6. Atlanta is 19th defending WRs (189/2382/20 on 290 targets) with the last eight teams gaining fewer than 200 yards at WR. CB Desmond Trufant is a league average player with some risk in TDs and big plays. Neutral matchup.
Julian Edelman (DK – $7,600/FD – $7,100): Over the last eight games, Edelman has 53 catches for 634 yards and three TDs in 78 targets while emerging as Tom Brady's top target over the second half of the year. In Week 12, he caught four balls for 84 yards and one TD against the Jets. New York fell to 31st in WR defense (229/3053/17 on 363 targets) after getting drilled by WRs in the last two games (18/284/2 and 24/308/2). CB Buster Skrine allows a high catch rate with downside in yards after the catch and TDs. Priced a bit high for me based on his low ability to score TDs.
Stefon Diggs (DK – $7,000/FD – $6,700): Diggs has a TD in five of his last seven games, but he's been quiet over his last four games (15/184/2 on 25 targets). Stefon gained over 100 yards in four games while recording eight catches or more in seven games. He dominated the Bears in their first meeting (13/126/1). CB Kyle Fuller was able to play through an injury last week, but his play did appear to show more risk. Overall, Fuller rates as top CB helped by his seven Ints. Coin toss.
Robert Woods (DK – $6,900/FD – $7,600): Woods pushed his way to 10th in WR scoring after a nice game (6/89/2) last week. Robert hasn't gained over 100 yards receiving since Week 6, but he does have over 60 yards in each of his last 14 games with seven TDs. On the year, he has 84 catches for 1,195 yards and seven TDs on 127 targets. He had five catches for 78 yards against the 49ers. San Fran is 25th against the WR position (175/2391/21 on 277 targets). Woods will have an edge over the 49ers’ slot CB giving him a chance at a productive game. His follow through falls on San Fran’s ability to push the issue on the scoreboard.
Kenny Golladay (DK – $6,600/FD – $6,800): Golladay hasn't scored a TD in his last five games. Over his last seven games, Kenny has 37 catches for 540 yards and two TDs on 71 targets with three games of value (6/78/1, 8/113/1, and 7/146). In Week 6, he caught four passes for 98 yards and one TD against the Packers. Green Bay fell to 29th in WR defense (184/2480/20 on 299 targets). Talented WR who tends to be up and down due to poor offense play by the Lions. Volume can be his friend if Detriot is forced to chase on the scoreboard.
Tyler Lockett (DK – $5,900/FD – $6,600): Over the last seven games, Lockett caught 27 of his 31 targets for 483 yards and three TDs. His catch rate (80.1) remains elite, but Seattle still only looks his way 4.5 targets per game. He needs 101 yards to reach 1,000 yards for the year while continuing to have success in TDs. In Week 4, he caught five passes for 53 yards against the Cardinals. Tyler will see a decent number snaps against CB Patrick Peterson, which looks unfavorable. I believe in his talent, but not his opportunity.
Jarvis Landry (DK – $5,800/FD – $6,100): Landry struggled in his last two games (3/37 and 4/47) after flashing upside in Week 13 (6/103) and Week 14 (111 combined yards with two TDs and three catches). Jarvis has two other games with over 100 yards receiving (7/106 and 8/103). In Week 5, he caught five passes for 69 yards vs. the Ravens. Baltimore has the third best WR defense (163/1928/9 on 288 targets) with no team gaining over 200 yards at WR over the last ten games. Possession type WR, but his 2018 resume (76/874/3) will fall short of his best seasons in the NFL.
Adam Humphries (DK – $5,400/FD – $6,300): Over the last nine games, Humphries has 51 catches for 530 yards and five TDs on 67 targets with five games with 15.0 Fantasy points or more. His only impact game came in Week 9 (8/82/2) vs. the Panthers. Atlanta held him to three catches for 82 yards on four targets in their first meeting. CB Brian Poole likes to keep WRs in front of him leading to short yards per catch. I expect Adam to be active again this week, but he'll need a TD to fill his salary bucket.
Sterling Shepard (DK – $5,400/FD – $5,500): Last week Shepard ended his seven-week slump of empty stats. He caught six of his seven targets for 113 yards, which led to his 4th game of value (6/80/1, 10/77/1, and 5/167) in his 15 weeks played. Over his last eight games, Sterling has 26 catches for 297 yards and two TDs on 47 targets leaving him with a slim shot of reaching 1,000 yards receiving (needs 195 yards). He's the 29th ranked WR in PPR leagues heading into Week 17. Dallas has a top five defense vs. WRs, but they will pull their starters at some point in the first half helping Eli Manning and his offensive players. Reasonable salary for his skill set, but New York may feed Barkley the ball in this game.
Calvin Ridley (DK – $5,300/FD – $5,900): Ridley hit on a 75-yard TD last week setting up a decent day (3/90/10), which came after posting five short scores in his previous six contests (3/37, 3/32, 8/93/1, 3/22, 1/10, and 5/42). Calvin is the 22nd highest scoring WR in PPR leagues (59/789/9) who played his best ball within his division (22/393/6 vs. the Panthers and Saints). In his first game against the Bucs, he caught all three of his targets for 47 yards. Ridley averages 5.8 targets per game with a nice catch rate (67.8). Tampa played better vs. WR over the second half of the season, but they don't have elite talent at CB. If Julio Jones isn't at full strength, Calvin may see a bump in targets.
Robert Foster (DK – $5,100/FD – $5,800): The Patriots did slow down Foster last week (4/52 on seven targets). Over his last six games, Robert has 21 catches for 490 yards and two TDs in 30 targets with three games with over 100 yards receiving (3/105, 7/104, and 4/108/1). His much higher salary does require 20+ Fantasy points making him a tougher investment when considering his five targets per game. Nine of his 23 catches this season have gone for 20+ yards with four of those reaching over 40 yards. Miami held him to one catch for 27 yards in Week 13. The Dolphins rank 10th defending WRs (161/2325/16 on 252 targets), but they could be without their top CB again this week. Buffalo won't attempt a high volume of passes forcing Foster to hit on a long TD to payoff.
Larry Fitzgerald (DK – $4,900/FD – $6,300): 2018 wasn't a good season for Fitzgerald as he hits the twilight of his career. After 15 games, Larry has 65 catches for 698 yards and five TDs on 103 targets with better success over his last eight games (39/443/4 on 60 targets). His failure falls more on the poor QB play in Arizona. In Week 4, he had three catches for 28 yards on seven targets against the Seahawks. Seattle ranks just below league average vs. the WR position (186/2390/14 on 277 targets). I'd love for him to go out on a high note in Week 17, but it would require a change at QB at the very least.
Mike Williams (DK – $4,900/FD – $5,700): After his great game in Week 15 (7/76/3), Williams caught only one of his last three targets last week for seven yards. His TD production (10) is exciting, but his lack of chances (four targets per game) kills his week-to-week value in catches and yards. Mike is the 31st ranked WR after 15 games, which isn't bad when considering he only has 38 catches for 599 yards. Rising star, but his winning opportunity will have to wait until 2019 with Keenan Allen on the field this week. The Broncos don’t have elite play at CB, which gives him a chance at scoring a TD.
Jordy Nelson (DK – $4,900/FD – $5,200): Nelson played well over his last four games (29/308 on 36 targets), but he hasn't scored a TD since Week 5. His game was also productive from Week 3 to Week 5 (15/264/3) thanks to a huge game in Miami (6/173/1). In Week 13, he caught ten of his 11 targets for 97 yards against the Chiefs. Kansas City continues to have the weakness in their WR defense (27th - 211/2643/14 on 359 targets) with three of their last five opponents gaining over 200 yards at WR (LAR - 19/262/2, LAC - 15/204/3, and SEA - 13/241/1). Seems viable based on his path, but the Raiders will have a step down in offensive play on the road while also struggling to get the Chiefs' offense off the field.
Jamison Crowder (DK – $4,800/FD – $5,600): Since returning from his ankle injury, Crowder has 15 catches for 247 yards and one TD on 22 targets in four games with his best success coming in Week 14 (2/87/1). Over the period, Jamison has 22 targets (5.5 per game). The Eagles continued to slide in the WR defense rankings (30th - 232/3012/16 on 350 targets) after losing a couple of starting CBs. The success of Crowder falls on a fourth string QB who signed in Washington less than a month ago. Overpriced for his 2018 path while his matchup does give him a chance for upside.
Dede Westbrook (DK – $4,700/FD – $5,500): Over the last five games, Westbrook gained 294 combined yards with three TDs and 23 catches on 32 targets. Dede is the 24th ranked WR (63/707/1) in PPR leagues with one strong game (9/130). He averages 6.2 targets per game. In Week 7, Westbrook had four catches for 17 yards on four targets against the Texans. Houston is 13th defending WRs (192/2575/12 on 298 targets), but they did struggle vs. WRs in three of their last four games (CLE - 16/277/1, IND - 20/318/1, and PHI - 12/224/1). Tough to trust based on chances, but Blake Bortles is an upgrade at QB.
Zay Jones (DK – $4,000/FD – $5,300): Over the last six games, Jones has three games of value (8/93/1, 4/67/2, and 5/67/1) with the middle game coming against the Dolphins. In between his strong play, Zay was a donation in all Fantasy formats after posting three poor games (0/0, 3/22, and 1/11). This week Miami will surely to match up CB Minkah Fitzpatrick on him, which will slow him down. Jones has yet to deliver back-to-back strong games in 2018, which suggest another quiet game could be on the way in Week 17.
Nelson Agholor (DK – $3,700/FD – $5,700): Agholor hit on a long TD last week setting up his best game (5/116/1) since Week 2 (8/88/1) when he scored his only other TD in 2018. Over his previous five games. Nelson only had eight catches for 125 yards on 16 targets. The Redskins held him to four catches for 56 yards on eight targets in Week 13. CB Fabian Moreau allows a high catch rate with some risk in big plays. Possible follow through with Nick Foles willing to push the ball downfield in the deep passing game.