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Wide Receiver Matchups to Target In Week 17


In Week 16, Tyler Boyd racked up garbage-time yardage and scored a late touchdown to finish as the No. 1 receiver on the week. On the high-end, Julio Jones was targeted 15 times by Matt Ryan finishing as the No. 4 receiver on the week, while DeAndre Hopkins, who was also mentioned in the Week 16 column came up extremely small for the Texans, registering just 7.3 PPR-points in a game where the Texans scored an early defensive touchdown and didn't need to throw much early. Here is a complete statistical recap of the Week 16 recommendations:

There are a few fantasy-relevant wide receivers that you should consider steering clear from in Week 17 because their teams are either expected to, or rumored to be sitting their starters for the finale. Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods are in potential smash-spots against the Cardinals, but the Rams are banged up and rumored to be "sitting their studs" including Jared Goff, which would hinder the values of both Kupp and Woods even if they play. As you will read in greater detail below, the Bills may also rest their starters for at least part of Week 17, but we don't know just how much, so guys like John Brown are still in play as of right now, but risky.

On the high-end this week, Tyreek Hill ($8,200 Fanduel / $7,700 DraftKings) may see extensive coverage from Casey Hayward Jr. but that's not overly concerning as he's capable of getting behind any corner in the league. Michael Thomas ($9,200 Fanduel / $9,900 DraftKings) has a great matchup against the Carolina defense but the Panthers have been equally bad, if not worse, against the running game lately, and there's a possibility the Saints are able to control the game on the ground which would hurt Thomas' value. Julio Jones ($8,500 Fanduel / $8,500 DraftKings) and Breshad Perriman ($7,600 Fanduel / $6,700 DraftKings) will face off in the same game, both of which are the main targets in pass-heavy offenses, facing struggling secondaries. I have been going to Devante Parker a lot this season, but not this week, as he will likely see Stephon Gilmore in coverage as the Patriots look to secure a first-round bye. As detailed below, this weekend's slate has several intriguing options that either have shaky quarterback situations or haven't exactly established themselves as consistent fantasy football receivers.

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Week 17 WR/CB Matchups to Exploit

Courtland Sutton ($7,100 FanDuel / $6,400 DraftKings) vs Trayvon Mullen

In the four games that Courtland Sutton has played with Drew Lock at quarterback, he's been targeted a total of 32 times. Although Sutton hasn't scored a touchdown since Lock's first start against the Chargers, Lock has been throwing his way in the end zone. Sutton had 120-scoreless yards against the Raiders earlier in the season and he should come through once again as he's clearly established himself as Lock's No. 1 target in the passing game.

Michael Gallup ($6,500 FanDuel / $5,400 DraftKings) vs Danny Johnson

The Redskins have given up the fifteenth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers on the season, but that number is a little deceiving since it's so easy to run on them as well. The Redskins have given up 31 passing touchdowns on the season and 7.5 yards-per-pass which is 10th-worst in the league which makes Michael Gallup and the other Cowboys receivers intriguing options. That being said, the status of Dak Prescott's shoulder is a little concerning for Gallup's prospects this weekend, but while nursing that same injury in Week 16, Prescott was still able to get the ball go Gallup for 98 yards off of 11 targets.

John Brown ($6,400 FanDuel / $6,000 DraftKings) vs Arthur Maulet

The Jets Defense has surrendered the eighth-most fantasy points to wide receivers on the season, but the Bills don't really have anything to play for because they've locked up the 5th seed regardless of the outcome, so starters aren't likley to play a ton. In Brown's first matchup against the Jets earlier this year, he went for seven catches, 123 yards and a touchdown. The way you beat the Jets secondary is on the perimeter, leaving Cole Beasley with the most difficult matchup in the Jets secondary this week as he will see Brian Poole in coverage. Although Brown is in a smash-spot, the prospects of playing him are a little risky as the Bills are likely to limit playing time for the starters.

Pivot: Robert Foster ($4,700 FanDuel / $3,000 DraftKings) vs Arthur Maulet

If there's any clarity regarding how much the Bills starters will play this week and it looks like John Brown isn't going to get much action, Robert Foster could be in for a huge day. Robert Foster and John Brown are both deep threats in the passing game, but Brown's emergence as a complete wide receiver rendered Foster a backup even after his late-season breakout in 2018. If Foster sees extensive playing time, he could hit a big play or two and go off. Even if Matt Barkley is playing quarterback for the Bills for a majority of the game, he has to throw the ball to somebody, and he's good enough to at least get the ball to Foster.

Golden Tate ($5,900 FanDuel / $5,100 DraftKings) vs Avonte Maddox

The Eagles are favored by 4.5 points in this one which means the Giants should be throwing early and often to keep pace. Darius Slayton was banged up in action last week which means Golden Tate should see an increase in targets if Slayton is unable to go, or limited in the game. The Eagles Defense gives up a sixth-best 4.0 yards-per-carry and third-best 88.0 yards-per-game on the ground, which means the Giants aren't likely to have much success on the ground.

Greg Ward ($5,600 FanDuel / $4,700 DraftKings) vs Corey Ballentine

Outside receivers have been burning the Giants Defense all season and that will likely continue to happen in Week 17. When these teams played in Week 14, Greg Ward didn't do much, but he was forced into an expanded role in the middle of that game when Alshon Jeffery went down with a foot injury. The Giants defense gives up 8.1 yards-per-pass and have surrendered 29 touchdowns through the air, both of those marks are bottom-seven in the league or worse.

Pivot: Dede Westbrook ($5,300 FanDuel / $4,200 DraftKings) vs Khari Willis

The Colts Defense bends but doesn't break and they are likely to be without their emerging star at slot cornerback Kenny Moore once again. This may be the week where targets are funneled inside to Dede Westbrook. Westbrook only had 32 yards in their first meeting, but Kenny Moore was healthy for that matchup.

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