Wide Receiver Usage Report – Bad Week For The Big Guns?

Once again, we are back to take a look back at the main storylines from the wide receiver spot after a fast and furious Week 3 of the 2018 season.

In this series, our focus is the performance of wide receivers from the last week of NFL action. We identify any emerging trends that will help you grab players a week early and warning signs where players begin to stand out for all the wrong reasons. Let’s get into it.

Double-Digit Targets – Week 3

PlayerTargetsReceptionsPPR PointsWeekly Rank
Adam Thielen191424.5WR6
Jarvis Landry15820.3WR13
Randall Cobb1144.3WR82
Robert Woods111033.7WR2
Mike Evans11625.7WR4
Will Fuller11521.1WR10
JuJu Smith-Schuster11920.6WR12
Michael Crabtree10713.1WR35
T.Y Hilton10510WR45
DeAndre Hopkins10614.6WR32
Odell Beckham10919.9WR15
Taylor Gabriel1069.4WR48
Stefon Diggs1045.7WR71
Michael Thomas101022.9WR8
Chris Godwin10516.4WR25
Antonio Callaway1046WR68

It was noticeable that some of the most heavily targeted WRs last week did precious little with the opportunities granted to them. Of the 16 WRs to see at least 10 targets, only six finished as WR1s. On the other end of the scale, five players found themselves as WR4s or worse. The lowest scoring member of the bad bunch was Packers WR Randall Cobb. His four receptions from 11 targets were bad enough, but with these four receptions bringing a pitiful 23 yards and a fumble, he had a day to forget.

Letting the Whole Class Down

In the same way that not every player who does well will help everyone, players owned in a majority of leagues can bring hurt to thousands of people across the globe. Particularly if they play poorly. These highly owned WRs all brought misery to the masses with their form in Week 3.

PlayerOwnership %Week 3 Rank
Allen Robinson97.3WR52
Tyreek Hill99.9WR54
Stefon Diggs99.7WR71
Keenan Allen99.9WR74
Randall Cobb89.7WR82
Amari Cooper98WR87
Larry Fitzgerald97.4WR93

It would be foolish to expect a similar level of performance from all of these players moving forward. Tyreek Hill, even with this poor outing, is the overall WR4 on the season. Stefon Diggs is a week removed from a nine-catch, 128-yard outing with two touchdowns. A similar case could be made for Amari Cooper, who did have a 21.6 fantasy point day in Week 2. However, aside from that game, he has a mere three receptions for 26 yards in 2018.

Larry Fitzgerald has been trapped on a meandering offense for the opening three weeks of the season with just 12 receptions so far. Owners will be hoping that the insertion of Josh Rosen into the starting lineup will be enough to kick start his 2018 campaign.

As for Cobb, he has done little to justify his 22.3 percent market share in 2018. He is being outperformed on his own offense by Geronimo Allison, after all. If I owned any Cobb, he certainly wouldn’t be assured of a start. I would see if there are any owners out there who think it’s still 2014 and want a piece of him.

The Fly Boys

Using the epic Weekly Explorer from RotoViz, I present the top-15 WRs in terms of average air yards per game in 2018.

air yards

Of these players, 11 are currently in the top 24 in terms of PPR points in 2018. The exceptions are Will Fuller (WR28), John Brown (WR29), Marvin Jones (WR39) and Allen Robinson (WR46).

Man on the Rise

The John Ross breakout season is over before it ever really got started. Granted, Ross did score a touchdown in the opening game of the season. But as you can see below, he has been passed over by another Bengals pass catcher.

Boyd v Ross

Yes, Tyler Boyd appears to be a thing that you can now hang your hat on in fantasy football. He is the WR20 in PPR formats, after 12 receptions for 223 yards in the last two games. He is available in nearly 50 percent of ESPN leagues, and I would strongly urge you to correct this ownership percentage in your league. Especially when one considers the Bengals upcoming schedule. In their next five games, they face Atlanta, Miami, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, and Tampa Bay. I’d hardly class these units as shutdown, would you?

The Buy Low Machine gives the WR unit a top-10 schedule over that time.

Cin WR buy 2