Week 5: Wide Receiver Roundup
Millionaire alert! This weekend, DraftKings will crown the first millionaire of the fantasy season with its Millionaire Maker contest. The fantasy community is working overtime to study the matchups and construct a dream team. With salary cap limitations, you'll have to dig deeper beyond Antonio Brown and Demaryius Thomas. You will need to insert one or two risky receivers to balance out a roster built around premium talent. And with potentially 80,000 entries to defeat, perfection is the only way. While 12 points make for a strong flex play in your redraft league, that simply will not cut it here. Here are some reasonably priced boom-or-bust receivers who present enough upside to warrant consideration in your lineups.
The Chiefs are hot and had their way with the Patriots this past Monday night. Bowe caught five of six targets for 81 yards but was an afterthought in the second half as the Chiefs ran on seemingly every play. A road matchup versus the 49ers should yield a different game flow since the Niners are more difficult to run on. Brandon Marshall and Michael Floyd have previously exposed San Francisco's secondary. With Donnie Avery out indefinitely due to a sports hernia, Bowe is the Chiefs' lone reliable receiver and very well may be in line for a busy day. This cheap risk-reward option fits the mold of an ideal DraftKings sleeper with big bucks on the line.
Alright, so we are spending a pretty penny on the tenth-most expensive receiver, who plays for a team that loves to run the ball. But the upside here is enormous. Two successful tactics in big-field contests is to fade the high-percentage plays and pair quarterback and receiver tandems. At $6,100, Harvin should be a fairly low-percentage play. Imagine yourself with a Monday Night sweat for a million bucks. The electrifying Harvin is a threat to score any time he touches the ball and will face a Redskins secondary that has had 10 days to think about the whooping Eli Manning, Victor Cruzand Larry Donnell put on them. And the Giants don't have a player like Harvin. His lone TD this season came on the ground, but he has reeled in 15 of 17 targets. The fact that the Seahawks' home-road splits are quite poor implies that this game could be closer than it appears on paper. If the thought of four quarters of Harvin running wild on handoffs, slants, screens and deep routes doesn't excite you, then you are playing the wrong game. Don't forget to team him up with Russell Wilson.
Hilton's weekly output is on the rise. His receiving yards have increased each week and had it not been for a reception incorrectly ruled down at the 1-inch line, Hilton would have enjoyed an even greater breakout in Week 4. The third-year receiver's best games have come at home and given the presumed trouble the Colts will face on the ground versus the Ravens, Andrew Luck will attack through the air early and often. That's a good sign for Hilton, who is averaging about 10 targets per game. The Luck-to-Hilton connection may not be a high-percentage play, but it's a strong base to build your roster around.
The collective "No way!" can be heard from here. Save two last-minute red-zone TDs, Jackson has done nothing for his owners. He has caught 13 balls on 35 targets. The targets are there, the efficiency is not. Throughout his career, Jackson has always been a boom-or-bust play optimally suited for best-ball formats. This week's matchup against the Saints is ideal given the Buccaneers will likely be forced to take to the air to keep up with their division rival. With Mike Evans out for a few weeks, Jackson will surely have the eye of Mike Glennon. Additionally, the already depleted Saints defense lost All-Pro safety Jarius Byrd for the season to a knee injury suffered in practice this week. The Saints will be scrambling after Bucs receivers all game long. Give V-Jax a chance to redeem himself.
If you are submitting multiple lineups, you should look to have some exposure to Tate. Prior showing up on the injury report Thursday with a hamstring ailment, he would of been recommended as an all-in play. But fear not; he is listed as probable, and with Calvin Johnson's availability still very much in question, Tate could take on a similar role as last week. For those needing a refresher, Tate was targeted 10 times and topped 100 yards receiving in Week 4. The only thing he lacked was a touchdown. The Bills are more vulnerable to the pass than the run, allowing the 25th-most passing yards per game. Truth is, the injury report may scare off some, making Tate a lower-percentage play than he otherwise would be. Like with all of the names recommended, make an effort to pair your receiver with his respective QB. In this case, Matthew Stafford.
Honorable mentions at less than $4,000
Denard Robinson is listed as a WR and could be in line for substantial volume should Toby Gerhart continue to struggle. The Steelers' defense is vulnerable and has already allowed big yardage to Terrance West and Bernard Pierce. … Kenny Britt is talented and if Allen Hurns can torch the Eagles' secondary for two long TDs, so can he. … Jeremy Ross is worth a flier should Megatron be inactive or limited like he was a week ago. … Jermaine Kearse will be targeted in the red zone against the Redskins' horrific secondary, and hey, Harvin can't be featured on every play. … While Keenan Allen and Eddie Royal are both worthy of consideration, Philip Rivers will also take some deep shots at Malcolm Floyd against the Jets' depleted secondary. … Brandon LaFell was the lone bright spot for the Pats in Week 4 and figures to be heavily targeted by Tom Brady. … Kenny Stills appears to have recovered from a nagging quad injury and can easily get loose for two long touchdowns against a vulnerable Bucs secondary.