Another NFL Sunday is almost here and here are some players I have identified at the Wide Receiver and Tight End positions that 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 both FanDuel and DraftKings.
DeAndre Hopkins (vs. Indianapolis Colts)
With a full slate of games this week, there are plenty of stud options to turn to at wide receiver. One name that might fly a bit under the radar is DeAndre Hopkins. He’s got a matchup at home against Indianapolis in a game where Houston is a 4.5 favorite with a 50 total. Hopkins has gone two straight weeks now without a touchdown, after racking up eight trips to the end zone in the 10 games prior to that. This is a big game for both teams and I would expect a very competitive game environment. Hopkins gets a neutral individual matchup with his cornerback, and earlier this season Hopkins put up a 10/169/1 stat line against this same team in Indianapolis.
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Michael Thomas (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
I don’t think anybody thought Michael Thomas could continue the torrid pace he was setting the first nine games of the season. So, these last three weeks he’s fallen off slightly, but we should have known it was coming. That’s what makes this week a perfect opportunity to buy low on a stud wide receiver. Thomas and the Saints are taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, arguably the worst pass defense in the NFL. Tampa Bay surrenders the second most fantasy points to wide receivers on the season and Michael Thomas has already put up a 16-reception performance against them in their first meeting. This game being on the road for New Orleans should help keep this contest closer than it would have been. New Orleans is favored by eight points on the road, whereas that could have been upwards of two touchdowns had this game been in the Superdome. I expect Michael Thomas to bounce back from a tough stretch of games and get back in the winner’s column for fantasy purposes this week.
Courtland Sutton (vs. San Francisco 49ers)
I don’t believe this Denver offense can support two good wide receivers in fantasy right now, that’s why Sutton would not have been on my radar this week if not for the massive injury to his teammate. Emmanuel Sanders was injured at practice and will miss the remainder of the season. That leaves 8.2 targets and 71 receptions up for grabs in this offense. Sutton will clearly move up to become the number one wide receiver now and should build upon his average of 5.6 targets/game since the bye week. As an added bonus, this week San Francisco features a shutdown cornerback in Richard Sherman, who never leaves his side of the field. Meanwhile, Sutton will move around from left to right and even in the slot which should free him up on inferior coverage for much of the day.
Travis Kelce (vs. Baltimore Ravens)
If you have any inclination to spend up at tight end this week, then my preferred play is Travis Kelce. In addition to all the stats he puts up (79/1,082/9 so far in 2018), this is a fantastic game for his skill set. On paper the matchup looks tough against Baltimore, but Kansas City is already being credited with a very solid 30 team total by Vegas right now. Baltimore is not a bad defense, but one way you can get to them is through the tight end. Baltimore has allowed a touchdown to a tight end in five of their last six games. So, while some may run away from a perceived difficult matchup, I am of the mindset that Kelce will once again compete for the high score at his position Sunday.
Value Tight End
David Njoku (vs. Carolina Panthers)
David Njoku has been very difficult to figure out this year. He’s had stretches where he’s received double-digit targets, consecutive games with touchdowns, and is generally one of the more athletic and well-positioned tight ends in football. However, he has the stretches where he completely disappears, as evidenced by a one reception performance against Atlanta three weeks ago in a prime spot and then grabbing just three receptions for just eight yards last week against Houston. Amidst all that, he remains a supreme talent with a solid quarterback throwing the ball. This week against Carolina the matchup couldn’t be any better. According to Football Outsiders DVOA Carolina is the second worst pass defense against tight ends in football this year and, despite facing some terrible tight ends, have allowed nine touchdowns through 12 games to this position. The talent is here, the matchup is solid, and the price is right. Njoku is on the short list of tight ends that I will use this week when spending down at this position.