Beckham sprung to life in the fourth quarter of last Sunday's game, scoring a pair of touchdowns and finishing with nine receptions for 79 yards after being targeted 13 times. The Bucs have struggled badly against No. 1 receivers in their two games. What passes for a No. 1 WR in Chicago (Kendall Wright) caught seven passes for 69 yards and Stefon Diggs lit the Bucs up for eight catches for 173 yards and two touchdowns. Beckham is still healing from the high ankle sprain he suffered in the preseason, but with an injury-depleted secondary, OBJ could be in line for another big day as the Giants try to avoid a 0-4 start.
Brown, the NFL leader in catches and receiving yards (second in targets, as well), draws the Ravens' 16th-ranked pass defense in Week 4. But that status is a tad deceiving. Through three weeks against opposing wideouts, Baltimore ranks 5th in yards allowed, 7th in receptions allowed, 18th in targets yielded and 3rd in touchdowns surrendered (just one). On the flip side, when charting his last seven outings against the Ravens, Brown owns productive averages of 7.8 catches, 11.6 targets, 74 yards and 0.4 touchdowns.
Thomas owns a healthy advantage in this matchup, which will be against the entirety of the Miami secondary given how much the Saints move him around. Top targets have had their way with the Dolphins: Keenan Allen and Robby Anderson paced their respective teams in looks while rolling up 100 and 95 yards, respectively; Anderson also found the end zone. Thomas has been in a slow build, topping 85 yards each of the past two games and breaking his scoring maiden last week. With Drew Brees still smarting from the Dolphins leaving him at the altar in free agency several years ago, expect Thomas to be well-fed this week.
In the two games Nelson has played, he has been the safety valve for Aaron Rodgers, being targeted 17 times, catching 13 passes for 131 yards and scoring three touchdowns. The majority of the passes have been short routes, but, when they get in the red zone, Rodgers locks onto Nelson, as he did Sunday against the Bengals with the game on the line. Nelson is more a volume receiver than a consistent big-play downfield receiver. The Bears have had issues with No. 1 receivers all season, including Mike Evans (7-93-1) and Antonio Brown (10-110-1) over the last two games. Nelson wasn't 100 percent heading into Sunday's game with Cincinnati and still scored two touchdowns, so, barring a setback, there's little reason not to think that he can't put up big numbers.
Welcome back Larry Fitzgerald! It seems like he has one of these types of games early each season. Fitz exploded for 149 yards and a score on 13 grabs last week after only totaling 94 yards through the first two games. With David Johnson and John Brown out, Fitzgerald has to pick up the slack. He now has 34 targets on the year on pace for a mind boggling 181. This week he takes on a San Francisco defense that just allowed Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods to run roughshod all over them fore that they hadn't allowed a single receiver over 64 yards. One might chalk it up to a Thursday night anomaly, but one thing is certain... Larry Fitzgerald will see targets. It's the only choice they have. With that many targets comes volume.
No receiver has seen more targets this season than Hopkins: 37 targets through three games, with seven catches in every contest. Notable that three wideouts have seen double-digit targets against the Titans this year and averaged 7-81 with two TDs with those targets. Only once in the last six meetings have the Titans had any success stopping Hopkins; he's compiled 94 yards or better in five of the six, averaging 6-111 with four TDs despite a 1-4 debacle last year. DeShaun Watson knows where to find him, and the Titans have yet to figure out how to stop him without benefit of Brock Osweiler.
There weren't any tangible worries of Green (10 catches, 111 yards, 1 TDs last week) enduring a prolonged slump to start the season. Yes, the Bengals only have two offensive touchdowns through three games; but they still know how their proverbial bread gets buttered: Relying on a power-rushing attack and then feeding Green (31 targets) as much as humanly possible. Which brings us to this: Green has collected 41 total targets in his last five outings against Cleveland ... but the averages only shake out to five catches, 64 yards and 0.4 touchdowns per game. For 2017, the Browns own a middling ranking with pass defense (18th overall). Conversely, the club has only surrendered two touchdowns to opposing wide receivers.
Welcome to the New England offense Brandin Cooks! After getting off to a bit of a slow start in the first two weeks of the season, Cooks roasted the Texans for 131 yards on just five receptions, two of which were for touchdowns. That kind of efficiency is just preposterous. Cooks is currently averaging 25.6 yards per reception, the best in the league by over six yards, and is now sixth in the league in total receiving yards despite having only 10 catches. Cooks is likely in for a matchup with Carolina corner Daryl Worley this week, who is fresh off giving up seven grabs for 87 yards and a touchdown to Michael Thomas.
Week 4 is setting up nicely for Parker, as he comes off a solid Week 3 performance with eight catches for 76 yards and a touchdown. He's developing a nice rapport with Jay Cutler, and is currently leading the Dolphins in receiving yards. The Saints, on the other hand, have been close to a sieve against receivers and are giving up averages of 12 catches, 177 yards, and a touchdown per game to opposing pass catchers. Look for Parker to have another solid performance in Week 4 as the Dolphins head to London.
You know the drill with Hill; he can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile with one home run catch. That's exactly what happened in Week 1, when Nelson Agholor snuck behind the Washington defense for a 58-yard touchdown. Aside from that play, no opposing wide receiver has scored against the Redskins nor has any receiver amassed more than 38 yards in a game (Agholor added 28 to his long catch for an 86-yard outing that is more than double what the Redskins have ceded to any other wideout). Take away the long ball and Hill posts stats like his Week 2 line of 4-43. So the question becomes, do you feel lucky?
1B to Mary Thomas 1A, Sanders has actually been the favorite target of Trevor Siemian through the first three weeks. And while that is not a massive surprise given how close the two have been in opportunity and production since partnering up in Denver four seasons ago. What is surprising, however, is Sanders has been the preferred target near the goal line, outpacing Thomas 5 to 2 in red zone targets and 2 to 0 in touchdowns. Whether that continues remains to be seen, but regardless if it does, theres a pretty good chance Sanders feasts on another shaky secondary in Oakland. Both starting corners rank 43rd or worse according to Pro Football Focus, with likely Sanders matchup David Amerson sitting all the way down at 73.
Employing the bend-don't-break philosophy, the Bills have yet to allow a wide receiver touchdown this season despite letting six wideouts top 50 yards against them. So while you can wring your hands over Julio this week, know that he'll be heavily targeted and productive yardage-wise again. He's averaging almost nine targets per game and turning those looks into 88 yards per game. Feels like his floor has been set, with a touchdown always a distinct possibility.
Evans is again Winston's fave, garnering 21 targets through two weeks, turning them into 14 receptions, including one touchdown grab. 67 yards against Xavier Rhodes was pretty good work to be honest but another tough match up waits versus Janoris Jenkins. The Giants secondary has limited the trio of Dez Bryant, Golden Tate and Alshon Jeffery to a combined 10-124 with no scores. Evans is in line for another ten targets or more but a score is no better than a 50/50 proposition.
Landry leads the Dolphins in receptions and targets, but he's yet to find the end zone this season. He's also averaging just 6.6 yards per catch (that's not good), so he's going to be very volume-dependent going forward. That said, Landry's matchup against the Saints in London is too good to sit him this week, as the Saints are giving up almost 180 yards per game to opposing receivers (while letting them find the end zone three times in three games). Let 'er rip with Landry for Week 4.
On paper it's another tough cornerback matchup for Dez, this time seeing primarily Nickell Robey-Coleman. But considering Bryant has already faced the Giants, Broncos and Cardinals and scored in two of the three outings maybe it's time to move beyond Bryant being the most cornerback-dependent fantasy wideout in the league. Dak Prescott is targeting him27 through three gamesand his track record of finding the end zone speaks for itself.
Diggs has blown up in the early portion of the season, already posting a pair of two-touchdown games - both in the friendly confines of U.S. Bank Stadium. He's been sopping up the home cooking. In two games at The Bank, he has been targeted 19 times, catching 15 passes for 266 yards and four touchdowns. Granted, it's come against the dismal Saints defense and a banged up Bucs secondary. But, it can't be dismissed that he has achieved those gaudy numbers with two different quarterbacks. The Lions have faced some elite receivers this season, but have kept all of them out of the end zone - Larry Fitzgerald (6-74), Odell Beckham Jr. (4-36) and Julio Jones (7-91). Keeping Diggs in check will be a top defensive priority so he will be getting the full attention treatment, which has worked pretty well so far for the Lions secondary.
If this was a dating show and Thomas was one of a grip of contestants hoping to win the heart of some young damsel, hed put a check in just about every box any seeker of love could come up with. Targets? Hes a close second to Manny Sanders and is averaging eight per game. Oooo, I like that. Catches? Thomas leads the team and has the 10th-most in the NFL. Mmmmm, I want to hear more! Receiving yards? Again, leads the team and has the 10th-most for all wide receivers. I am getting flushed Chip! Big play ability (20+ yards)? Only Adam Thielen has more. Woot woot! I think this guy might add another big play to his total tonight! Red zone targets? *wah wah wahhh* Thomas has shockingly just one such target through three weeks after finishing top-15 in the whole of the NFL in three straight seasons. Guess no ones scoring tonight, either, Chip. While there does seem to the potential for positive regression for Thomas, especially considering Oakland has allowed seven receiving touchdowns to the position in their last eight games. However, Thomas has historically struggled to reach the end zone against the Raiders as hes posted just two touchdowns in 12 career games. Take the nice receiving floor Thomas provides, but dont be surprised if the touchdown drought continues.
Crowder (seven TDs last year) made the most of his Sunday touches against the Raiders, catching all six targets for 52 yards. This makes him a low-key flex option for Week 4 against the Chiefs, who currently rank 24th against the pass. The Kansas City defense also sports bottom-15 rankings against opposing wideouts, citing targets yielded and receiving yards allowed.
Golden Tate was mere inches away from a monster performance, but he continued to dominate targets in Detroit's offense, and reached paydirt for the first time in 2017. This week he faces a Minnesota defense that he feasted on in 2016 to the tune of 156 yards on 16 receptions and one touchdown in two meetings. The Vikings have yet to allow a touchdown to a slot receiver in 2017, but the team did allow a combined 10 grabs for 111 yards to Adam Humphries and Eli Rogers over the past two weeks. Considering that Tate has more targets this season than Humphries and Rogers combined, he should be in-line for a strong performance in week 4.
Allen does most of his work in the slotwhich this week means he'll spend plenty of time getting to know Philly's Patrick Robinson, who grades out as a top-5 cornerback in coverage according to Pro Football Focus. Still, neither rain nor snow nor dark of night nor a tough cornerback matchup shall keep Allen from his appointed targets. He's seen almost 10 targets per game and averaging better than six grabs per outing; the four Philly opponents trusted with that sort of workload have all produced at least 66 yards and scored all three of the WR TDs the Eagles have allowed. It's a status quo sort of outing for one of the league's most heavily targeted pass-catchersand that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Considered day-to-day with a strained groin, Baldwins situation is certainly worth monitoring as it appears he and the passing offense appear on the verge of snapping out of its usual early season slumber. Baldwins seen an uptick in opportunity in three straight weeks and is clearly the one piece of passing offense owners can count on. A home-brew Baldwin is the best kind, too as his home/away splits spin a positive tale owners should look forward to reading if Baldwins groin allows it. Since the beginning of the 2016 season, hes averaged 8-100 at home compared to just 5-55 on the road. The Colts will likely have Vontae Davis back, but with Baldwin running 53% of his routes from the slot he should ample opportunity to take advantage of any Indy defender not named Vontae.
Hogan continues to do more with less, and for the second straight week he turned six targets into 60+ yards receiving and a score. Despite not even being in the top 60 in targets, Hogan put up WR1 type numbers for the second consecutive week, and currently leads the Patriots in receiving touchdowns. This week Hogan will face a Carolina defense that just surrendered touchdowns to three different New Orleans' receivers, after not allowing a single score in the first two weeks of the season. The way Tom Brady and and the Patriot offense are clicking right now it's hard to argue with adding Hogan to your lineup, but his lack of targets could lead to a dud at some point.
Adams is tied for the team lead in targets (23) and yards (206), but his numbers have been modest on a weekly basis. He had eight catches for 99 yards and a touchdown at Atlanta, but, in his two previous home games, he has three receptions in both of them and hasn't scored a touchdown at Lambeau yet. He's had a reception of more than 20 yards in each of the three games he has played, so there is always the opportunity for Adams to make an impact. He may not have as many eye-popping stat lines as Nelson, but he is consistent.
Only Antonio Brown has more receiving yards than Thielen's 299 through three games and he has been a consistent fantasy producer. He's caught five or more passes in every game and, in his two home games, he has caught 14 passes for 255 yards - a 19-yard average. Thielen is a player that has to push other roster guys out of a starting lineup, but he keeps putting up solid stat lines. He has yet to score a touchdown, but his reception and yardage numbers have made that more palatable. The Lions have allowed touchdowns to acknowledged No. 2 receivers this season, including J.J. Nelson (5-43-1) and Mohamed Sanu (4-28-1). Fantasy owners might sacrifice yardage if it means scoring a touchdown and, given Thielen's targeting and reception history, he would appear due to hit the end zone.
Sammy Watkins is coming off a 106 yard, two touchdown get right game against San Francisco and will now face off against a Dallas team that just got decimated by Larry Fitzgerald. Before that, Dallas had not allowed a 100 yard receiver since week 12 of last year. So far this year, the Rams receivers have been splitting targets evenly each game. Even though Watkins has the pedigree, Goff is finding the open man. Robert Woods leads the team in targets with 17. Both Cooper Kupp and Watkins have 14. Expect more splitting all season with this offense.
The 'worry factor' for Pryor definitely went up a notch this week, after the Redskins' primary wideout (in name only) collected just two catches, four targets and less than 40 yards receiving in back-to-back outings. On one hand, Pryor's uber-athletic presence has certainly opened up other avenues for Washington's secondary corps of pass-catchers; but from a fantasy perspective, teams that were originally built around the Ohio State product are surely wallowing in misery. The good news: The Chiefs (Redskins' Week 4 opponent) currently rank 24th against the pass. Digging deeper, Kansas City owns bottom-15 rankings against opposing wideouts, in the categories of targets yielded and receiving yards allowed.
On paper, Alshon Jeffery's highly anticipated matchup with the Chargers' Casey Hayward--one of the NFL's best cover cornerbacks--doesn't look too enticing. However, it's worth noting: In Week 3, Chiefs wideout Tyreek Hill rolled for five catches, 90 total yards (77 receiving) and one touchdown amidst tight Hayward coverage. Also, against opposing wideouts for the season, the 0-3 Chargers currently rank 22nd with targets allowed, 25th in receptions yielded and dead-last in receiving touchdowns allowed (five).
Remember that string of three consecutive missed targets in Week 1 near the goal line for Cooper where he certainly dropped one, with another borderline drop sprinkled in there? Cooper remembers too and so does Carr, which is reflected in the dramatic drop in production for the uber-talented receiver. Since garnering a massive 13 targets in Week 1, Cooper hasnt been able to top five in either game since and his catches and yards have significantly fell, too, where hes averaged just 20 receiving yards on 3 catches. Coopers opportunities in the red zone have disappeared too. From four in Week 1 to just one in Weeks 2 and 3 combined. Cooper and Carr have some confidence issues and unfortunately for Cooper, a Week 4 matchup in Denver isnt where receivers go to get right. He has just one touchdown in four career games against Denver and has never topped 56 receiving yards despite three being targeted 8 times in his last three against the Broncos. Denver has allowed four touchdowns to the position in 2017, but the fact theyve allowed the 7th-fewest yards suggests there is likely some regression coming there. Facing two of the leagues best corners is brutal enough, but when you mix in confidence issues, drops and a teammate (Crabtree) on the mend; Coopers likely due for a bad time on Sunday.
Kelvin Benjamin is still day to day and not practicing with a knee injury sustained in last weeks game against the Saints. Should he suit up, he is the top option for the Panthers now that Greg Olsen is down. They can't depend on Devin Funchess. That's like depending on your grandma trying to beat LeBron James in a game of HORSE. Sure she may get a bucket or two... but ultimately she's a terrible option to count on. The Patriots have allowed at least 76 yards to the top option on every team they have faced thus far. They have also allowed five different receivers to have either 76 yards or a touchdown. It might have been a nice day for Benjamin against the far shorter cornerbacks.
Fantasy owners can tolerate only so many disappearing acts from Bryant, who caught just two of eight targets for 30 yards last week against the Bears. For September alone, it was the Clemson product's second outing with a catch-to-target rate below 35 percent (ugh). Week 4 might be a struggle again for Bryant, drawing a Ravens defense which currently ranks 7th in receptions yielded and 3rd in touchdowns allowed to opposing wide receivers. On the plus side, Bryant has scored four touchdowns in three career meetings with Baltimore.
Nelson's hot streaktouchdowns in six of seven gamescame to a screeching halt last week as he posted a goose egg. Of course, a bobble here and a toe-tap there and he's be at seven-for-eight and looking for more. He'll be filling John Brown's role as the deep threat again this week, and the Niners are ill equipped to stop him. Nelson has but four catches and 82 yards in two meetings with San Francisco, but his increased rolecombined with a stout 49ers run D and an absentee Arizona ground gamepush him towards jump-starting another scoring streak, or at least doing enough to make him fantasy relevant.
Hurns may not be seeing the expected uptick in targets with the absence of Allen Robinson, but he's making plenty of hay in the slot despite the light volume. He's scored in each of the last two games and his 144 receiving yards leads the team. He'll also benefit from being primarily matched up with Jets' slot corner Buster Skrine, the weak link in the Gang Green secondary.
Pierre Garcon is starting to become the target monster we all thought he would be before the season. Currently, Garcon is on pace for 138 target, 1328 yard season. Extrapolation is a scary thing to ever employ, but there are no real blockers to that target potential. This week he will draw Patrick Peterson. The bright spot here is that Golden Tate was able to surpass 100 yards on 12 targets in week 1. With the volume Garcon gets, he may be able to overcome the matchup.
Shepard leads the Giants in receptions with 16, including a pair of seven-catch games - both on the road. He finally found the end zone last week, catching seven passes for 133 yards, including a 77-yard TD. His 22 targets lead the team and, in his two previous road games, he has been targeted eight and 10 times. With defenses looking to double up Odell Beckham Jr., the odds of Shepard getting the opportunity for deep shots. In a similar situation last week, Minnesota's No. 2 receiver Adam Thielen caught five passes for 98 yards. With the injuries in the Tampa Bay secondary, Shepard could be a sneaky flex pick.
You can see the timing starting to click with the Winston to Jackson connection and it led to their first TD hookup last week. Jameis is not afraid to throw the ball down the field and will not hesitate to force it either. Jackson's fourteen targets have netted just seven receptions but three of those have gone for at least twenty yards. D-Jax has a better CB match-up than Mike Evans but Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is no slouch. The Giants secondary has allowed just one touchdown to a wide receiver but Jackson has plenty of experience against this defense from his Eagles days.
The jury is still out as to whether Marshall stay has it because, until the second half of the Eagles game, he had done almost nothing. In his first two games, he was targeted nine time and caught just two passes for 27 yards. But, like everyone else in the Giants offense, a second-half explosion can't erase the first 10 quarters. He finished Sunday's game with eight catches for 66 yards, but, through three games, 10 catches for just 93 yards aren't what fantasy owners are looking for.
Matthews has been the most productive Titans' receiver thus far, authoring their top two (and three of their four) best performances of the season thus far. And that's familiar territory for him against the Texans; last season he produced 196 yards and a touchdown in the two-game series with Houston. Matthews will have a competitive but hardly untenable matchup with Marcus Burley, and if you're shopping at the Titans' receiver store he's your best bet.
Cobb was off to a hot start, catching 15 passes for 145 yards in his first two games and nobody had more targets the first two weeks than he did (22). However, he missed Sunday's game with a chest injury and is likely going to be a game-time decision Thursday. The Bears have done a nice job of limiting slot receivers they've faced this season, including Taylor Gabriel (3-36) and DeSean Jackson (3-39). Prior to getting hurt, Cobb looked like the guy who was Aaron Rodgers' favorite receiver for a couple of years, but, unless he gets a clean bill of health, he's a risky roster move.
Amendola returned to action in week 3 against Houston and caught three of his five targets for 48 yards. With the way that Tom Brady is slinging the ball right now, all of the New England receivers are legitimate fantasy options, especially against a Carolina defense that was just shredded for three passing scores. [Sunday update: With Rex Burkhead out, Amendola will get nearly all the slot plays this week.]
The Seahawks' secondary is no longer infallible, having given up touchdowns to Jordy Nelson and Rishard Matthews and 85-plus yards to Randall Cobb and Matthews already this season. Hilton has been heavily targeted (22 in three games) but didn't bust out until last week when he got behind the Browns for 153 yards and a score. Seems optimistic to expect similar numbers against Seattle, but Hilton's volume delivers a reasonable floor so it's not as if you need to run away from this matchup in fear.
After a breakout week 1, Kenny Golladay has gone back to producing the kind of numbers you would expect out of a rookie wide receiver selected in the third round. The good news is that Golladay is still getting looks from Matthew Stafford, and is currently tied for third on the team in targets. Golladay will get a prime matchup against Trae Waynes this week, giving him a decent chance of getting back into the endzone. With Xavier Rhodes shadowing Marvin Jones and the linebackers preoccupied with keeping tabs on Theo Riddick, there should be a bevy of targets headed towards Golladay and Golden Tate.
After being blanked in the season opener, Lee has taken to the job of replacing Allen Robinson with vigor: 19 targets, 11 catches and 141 yards in two games. While the Jets haven't allowed a big yardage game, four different receivers have topped 50 yards and Gang Green has surrendered five wide receiver touchdowns. Lee will likely be shadowed by Morris Claiborne this week, which shouldn't preclude you from using him in your lineup with reasonable expectations.
Thank goodness for his two touchdowns as his 7 catches for 95 yards through three weeks look decidedly tight end-like. Maclin will likely miss the Artie Burns match-up by lining up in the slot but the Steelers pass defense has allowed the second fewest receptions and yards to wide receivers so far. Someone has to catch passes in Baltimore, right?
Through no fault of his own, Williams is a man without a plan: he's not the volume guy (Keenan Allen) nor is he the home run guy (Travis Benjamin). And with a running back like Melvin Gordon and twin tight ends Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry, by the time the plate reaches Williams all the good stuff is gone. He's averaging just 41 yards on six targets per game; that target level has produced a max game of 61 yards against the Eagles. Unlikely he churns to the top of the shuffle in this matchup.
Through three games the Bills have allowed three secondary receivers to top 50 yards, even with the lead dog recording 75 or better. That model fits Sanu to a T, as he's scored or recorded 85 receiving yards in two games playing in Julio Jones' shadowand he actually had more targets and catches than Jones in the season opener. So long as you're not banking on a touchdownthe Bills have yet to surrender a wide receiver score this seasonSanu remains a solid fantasy option.
After busting out in week one, Kupp has cooled off. He has tallied just 50 yards on five receptions in the last two games. This week he faces a plus matchup against Orlando Scandrick in the slot. Slot receivers haven't exactly crushed the Cowboys yet this year and Kupp has fallen to the 3rd man down in the pecking order behind Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins.
Decker's impact has been mild thus far, as his 4-49 last week against the Seahawks was his most robust outing as a Titan. He'll have the most favorable matchup of Tennessee's wideouts this week in Houston, squaring off primarily against slot corner Kareem Jackson, but with his targets still stuck in the half-dozen range it's tough to bank on him for fantasy productivity.
With the injuries to Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen, all Devin Funchess needs now is Christian McCaffrey, Jonathan Stewart, and all the defensive backs in the league to get hurt and he might be able to get more than three catches in a game.
Snead is eligible to return from his three-game suspension, but he'll have to usurp Brandon Coleman and/or Tommylee Lewis just to get on the field. Once there, operating out of the slot he'll bump into Bobby McCain, who is infrequently targeted by opposing quarterbackswho dare throw at him on only two percent of the routes he covers, according to ESPN. Snead failed to score in his final seven games last season and didn't reach triple-digit yardage after the season opener, so his ceiling isn't high enough to buck all the negative trends staring him in the face.
After a strong start to the season, Kearse took a step back last week with just three catches for 42 yards. He's still leading the team in most receiving stats, but he'll face a tough Jaguars secondary this week that currently leads the league in limiting catches to opposing wide receivers (with just 19 allowed in three games). While Kearse isn't a horrible start considering his price tag and expected volume, he's more of a tournament play heading into Week 4 against Jacksonville.