Welcome to this week’s edition of gem and possible diamond-in-the-rough wide receivers. I hope everyone had a safe, relaxing, and profitable Thanksgiving yesterday. While most people are out shopping or searching the internet for Black Firday deals, we are searching for receiver deals today.
There are some exciting same environments and some we could potentially fall asleep watching, but within those games we are looking for receiving pieces that are going to set us apart from others and help us take our Seasonal league matchups or DFS contest this Sunday. With fantasy leagues starting to come down to the final few weeks, it is important to seal in some winning lineups to make it to playoffs.
Best Value Wide Receivers Week 12
Khalil Shakir, Buffalo Bills
Move over Gabe Davis, Shakir is in town and he wants the WR2 job. In the last four weeks, Shakir has logged 60% or more of the team’s snaps and is capable of making big plays. His expanded role started when tight end Dawson Knox was placed on IR and Khalil was shifted to the slot position. Dalton Kincaid was the man usually used in that slot position, but he has been shifted over to more of a traditional tight end role with Knox out.
Shakir has 22 receptions for 363 yards and two touchdowns on the season so far. In the last four weeks, he has had two games where he racked up more than 92 yards. Just last week he had three receptions for 115 yards and an 81-yard touchdown in the Bills’ blowout win against the New York Jets.
The Bills have one of the, if not the best, matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles this week. The Eagles’ defense has allowed more points to wide receivers than any other team in the league this season. Josh Allen will be throwing the ball a lot, and that gives Shakir a high probability to see some of the action. On average, teams are targeting wide receivers with 27 targets per game against the Eagles’ passing defense. I say sign me up, and it looks like Shakir is worthy of gem status this week.
Tutu Atwell, Los Angeles Rams
I drafted Atwell in my fantasy league and had high expectations, but ended up dropping him. The first four games of the season, with Cooper Kupp out, Atwell caught 22 receptions on 35 targets for 270 yards and a touchdown. Since Kupp returned, he has been targeted just 22 times, although he has scored two touchdowns. It is safe to say that he does better with Kupp off the field, and that may be the case this weekend depending on what Kupp can do in today’s practice, so it is something to keep an eye on. Ankle sprains are tough because even if Kupp does play, it just takes one wrong pivot or stride to aggravate it and send him back to the sideline. He really may act more as a decoy if he plays, opening things up further for Tutu.
The matchup against the Arizona Cardinals further solidifies Atwell’s probability of doing well this week. Arizona gives up an average of 172 yards and 35.9 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. Outside receivers have a better matchup than slot WRs against them, but Atwell lines up wherever they need him with his distribution being WRL 37%, Slot 41%, and WRR 21%. If Kupp is out, Atwell should be a WR2 and worthy of gem status.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, New England Patriots
Smith-Schuster has been less than exciting this season, but I am hitting him as a diamond in the rough this week. JSS had a few great seasons with the Steelers and played well for the Kansas City Chiefs last season with 78 receptions on 101 targets for 933 yards and 3 touchdowns. The veteran is in a horrible situation this season with the Patriots and their quarterback horror story.
Demario Douglas has been the clear WR1 in New England since Kendrick Bourne has been placed on IR, but there is no reason JSS can’t be the WR1 or WR2 this week against the Giants. We are still not sure if DeVante Parker will be back from concussion protocol or not, and obviously it would be an advantage for JSS if he did not suit up, but JSS still should be in line for more targets this week against a Giants defense that ranks 28th against the pass. I am not sure if we hope for Bailey Zappe to get the start over MAc Jones, but he did outperform Jones last season when he took the field. I say Belichick starts Zappe and we have a decent sleeper game to watch that could potentially be a back-and-forth affair with Danny DeVito and the Giants.
Again, these are diamond in the rough, and I am not suggesting you drop anyone or pick Smith-Schuster up to win you the week, but a 4X return on DFS is definitely a possibility, and he can be a deep secret sleeper this week.