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.
Julio Jones (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Julio Jones is my number one wide receiver this week. He’s already had two eruption spots this year, where he put up massive yardage totals. The only thing that’s lacking are the touchdowns. He averages 11 targets per game this season and his targets are worth more than your typical wide receiver. He’s averaging 16.6 yards per reception this year, which is not that far from his 15.4 YPR for his career. The Falcons are playing Tampa Bay this week and this Buccaneers Defense has been swamped by opposing wide receivers. There has been a wide receiver from every team Tampa Bay has faced this season that cracked 100 yards on this defense, with the exception of Philadelphia. In that game, Nelson Agholor put up an 8/88/1 stat line. Julio’s going to put up good numbers in this matchup, with an outside chance at being a slate breaker.
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Adam Thielen (vs. Arizona Cardinals)
Adam Thielen’s trucking along this year as the most consistent fantasy option on the board. He’s received double-digit targets in every single game. He’s exceeded 100 receiving yards in every single game. He’s put up a touchdown in three of the five games. He runs approximately 70% of his routes from the slot, which means he should avoid shutdown cornerback Patrick Peterson. I worry that Minnesota could jump out to a lead and not be forced to throw in this matchup, but in order to build up that lead, I have to imagine that Adam Thielen is a major part of the game plan.
John Brown (vs. Tennessee Titans)
John Brown’s clearly the number one wide receiver in this Baltimore offense. Through five games he has three touchdowns and 20.8 yards per reception. He’s averaging almost nine targets per game, so he’s finally being given a chance to show his skills now that he’s healthy. He’s going to face off a lot with Malcolm Butler in this game. Butler hasn’t been particularly good this year, having given up a 72% reception rate and four touchdowns already in the first five games. The good part about Brown is that his price remains extremely affordable on both sites ($6,600 DK, $6,300 FD).
Jared Cook (vs. Seattle Seahawks)
Jon Gruden came in knowing he would probably have to get Jared Cook heavily involved in this offense to succeed, and he’s mapped out that game plan so far this season. Cook’s fourth amongst all NFL tight ends in targets per game (8.2) and through five games, he’s put up two 100+ yard performances. Grabbing 100 yards out of your tight end is like finding gold, especially on DraftKings where you get the bonus. The jury’s still out on whether Seattle’s good or bad at defending tight ends. They’ve only faced one offense this season that tries to incorporate the tight end at all, and in that game Trey Burton scored a touchdown. Another major factor this week is the shortened slate that takes away several tight ends in the elite range. So, there’s just not that many places to spend up on, and Cook looks like a solid option.
Value Tight End
Cameron Brate (vs. Atlanta Falcons)
Cameron Brate looks like a nice flyer to take a chance on in the low-price range. There’s a lot of positive factors working for him this week, including the fact that O.J. Howard looks like he’s going to be sidelined for this game. Brate received four targets per game in the two games leading up to the bye week and now gets that extra time to prepare with Jameis Winston for a potential shootout with Atlanta. In the last two seasons, Cameron Brate’s racked up 14 total touchdowns, and has a connection with Winston that shouldn’t be understated for this contest. He’s minimum salary on Fanduel and only $3,700 on DraftKings. In a game with a 57.5 total, there should be plenty of opportunities for Brate to pay off that price tag.