NFL Sunday is almost back once again and here are some players I’ve identified at the Wide Receiver and Tight End position I hold in high regard this weekend. There are elite players mentioned as well as value options to help make them fit. Now let’s dig in and find some players that can win us some money Sunday on both FanDuel and DraftKings.
DeAndre Hopkins (vs. Indianapolis Colts)
DeAndre Hopkins comes into the fourth game of the season having been somewhat of a disappointment so far. His teammate, Will Fuller, has actually stolen some of his thunder. Yet, we look at the stats and see Hopkins has received double-digit targets in all three games this season, so he’s still the number one guy in this offense and that won’t change anytime soon. This weekend, he gets a matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. Hopkins lines up the majority of the time on the left side of the formation, so he should see a good deal of Quincy Wilson trying to cover him. Wilson has only been targeted five times this year, but has given up a reception on all five of those targets for 52 yards and a touchdown. The bulk of that damage came in Week 1 against Cincinnati before he came back and only played 13 snaps against Washington (Week 2) and missed game three. With Fuller able to take some of the pressure off of Hopkins, DeAndre should have a field day in this matchup.
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Jarvis Landry (vs. Oakland Raiders)
Jarvis Landry has lined up in the slot the vast majority of the time this season. That’s where he’ll find Leon Hall on Sunday. Hall is Oakland’s biggest liability in the secondary; having surrendered nine receptions on 11 targets and a 101.5 passer rating when he’s in slot coverage. Meanwhile, Jarvis Landry has received 15 targets in two of his three games so far this season. That puts him top five in the league in drawing targets from his quarterback. Speaking of quarterback play, the icing on the cake for Landry this week is the quarterback change to Baker Mayfield. By all accounts, Mayfield is a much better passer than Tyrod Taylor.
Tyler Boyd (vs. Atlanta Falcons)
After a 6/91/1 breakout stat line against Baltimore in Week 2, Tyler Boyd proceeded to come back week three with a 6/132/1 line against Carolina. First off, this guy was an absolute stud in college, so there’s precedent for his success as a receiver. Secondly, A.J. Green’s been battling an injury for a couple weeks now, so perhaps that’s led to some extra quarterback attention towards Boyd. Last but not least, Boyd’s being put in the very enviable position as the team’s slot receiver. This week he’ll draw a fantastic matchup against Brian Poole of the Atlanta Falcons. We’re only three games into the season and Poole has already been targeted 20 times by the opposition, allowing 16 receptions for 141 yards and 2 TD’s. Atlanta’s defense just lost another key contributor to injury in Week 3, and that makes three starters done for the season for this defense. Cincinnati should be able to move the ball through the air and I would imagine Boyd is a big part of the game plan.
Zach Ertz (vs. Tennessee Titans)
I was disappointed with the five receptions for 73 yards that Zach Ertz put up against Indianapolis in Week 3. With Carson Wentz back at quarterback, I definitely expected more. However, what’s not disappointing is that he leads all tight ends in targets and has drawn at least 10 targets in each of the three games thus far this season. We throw out Tennessee’s numbers against TEs this season since they faced three teams (Miami, Houston, Jacksonville) that don’t use their tight end – or even have a tight for that matter – in their weekly game plan. It’s typically been the Philadelphia coaching staff that finds the best way to attack an opponent on the weekly basis. With Tennessee running a lot of man coverage this season, it could be Ertz who finds himself at the center of that game plan this week.
Value Tight End
David Njoku (vs. Oakland Raiders)
David Njoku’s been a major disappointment through three games. He’s a supremely talented tight end that hasn’t been given the proper chance to perform this season. Yes, he received 13 targets through two games with Tyrod Taylor as the quarterback. Unfortunately, not all targets are created equally, and Taylor was a very inaccurate passer that didn’t want to push the ball downfield, which happens to be the strength of Njoku’s game. After Taylor got hurt in the Thursday night game, one of the first pass attempts for Baker Mayfield was a completion to Njoku 19 yards down the field. His longest reception in the two games with Taylor as his quarterback was eight yards. I have a feeling the young Cleveland tight end is about ready to soar with the gun-slinging rookie quarterback leading the way.