NFL Sunday’s almost here 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 in here and also value plays to make them fit. Now let’s dig in and find some players that can win us some money Sunday on FanDuel and DraftKings.
Mike Evans (vs. Washington Redskins)
Mike Evans struggled last week against James Bradberry and the Carolina Panthers, as he only hauled in just one reception for 16 yards on ten targets. That’s a forgivable offense as Carolina’s played very well against number one wide receivers to date. The ten targets are a very good sign for Evans, as that gives them three straight games with double-digit looks, and this is a very winnable matchup against Washington. We just saw Julio Jones own this secondary to the tune of 121 yards while finally scoring his first touchdown of the season. This is a funnel defense that is extremely good against the run, but can be beat in the secondary and I think Mike Evans is a solid option as the receiver you spend up on this week.
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Davante Adams (vs. Miami Dolphins)
Davante Adams caught a touchdown against New England in Week 9, which gives him a touchdown in six of the eight games Green Bay’s played this year. He’s Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target and he’s matchup proof. This individual matchup with Xavien Howard will scare people off, but if we look at the competition Adams has faced this year, you realize none of it matters. He’s faced Darius Slay, Tre’Davious White, Josh Norman, Xavier Rhodes, and perhaps the NFL’s best defense, the Chicago Bears. He’s come through with flying colors in just about every tough matchup this year, so there’s no reason to bail out now. He’s number six in the NFL in targets per game (10.9) and I expect him to find the end zone once again in a must-win game for the Green Bay Packers.
Doug Baldwin (vs. Los Angeles Rams)
The overall numbers for Doug Baldwin don’t look good this year. I think the reasons can be broken down into two parts. First off, he started this year injured and has never fully recovered. Secondly, Seattle’s gone with a more run-heavy approach this year. Seattle leads the NFL in rush play percentage, running the ball more than 50% of the time they’re on offense. Last week when Seattle fell behind at home against the Chargers, Doug Baldwin finally showed signs of life, racking up four receptions for 77 yards. This week’s game shows the Rams as a 10-point favorite against Seattle, so I think it’s safe to assume that the Seahawks will be playing from behind early in this game. The Rams secondary’s been exposed and they have allowed at least 98 yards receiving to the opponent’s top wide receiver in five of their last six games.
Jordan Reed (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Jordan Reed has definitely struggled this year at times with his new quarterback. However, he racked up another six targets in Week 9 and Washington comes into this game having lost Paul Richardson for the year, in addition to numerous other options in the passing game that are doubtful for this contest. This matchup against Tampa Bay is one of the best in the NFL for tight ends. According to football outsiders DVOA versus tight ends, Tampa Bay’s the fourth worst defense in the NFL at defending the tight end position. They’re fresh off a game where they give up a 6/76/1 stat line to stiff Greg Olsen. They’ve only faced one premier tight end this season, Zach Ertz, and he dropped 11 receptions for 94 yards on them. This is a risky play, but this is one of the best matchups in the NFL for tight ends and we have an offense that is dwindling in options for pass catchers.
Value Tight End
C.J. Uzomah (vs. New Orleans Saints)
Once again, we have a tight end field that’s extremely thin due to the scheduling. It’s tough to find a low dollar guy who has a chance to put up a big game, but I’m going to target C.J. Uzomah as that player this week. Cincinnati is missing their top two tight ends (Eifert, Kroft) and now they’re number one wide receiver (A.J. Green) is going to miss this game. People are going to look towards Tyler Boyd and John Ross to fill that gap. My opinion is that Tyler Boyd is going to receive extra defensive attention and that’s going to drastically alter his production. I also believe John Ross has shown nothing at the NFL level and he very well could be a bust. However, somebody has to step up and take on a few extra targets. Uzomah’s playing 97% of the snaps over the last two weeks. This game against New Orleans should see Cincinnati trailing or at least steadily trying to produce on offense for all four quarters against a defense that’s very stout against the run and has a shadow cornerback that could shut down Cincinnati’s number one wide receiver. Uzomah may very well get a lot of extra work funneled his way based on some of these numbers.