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The elusive WR3/Flex spot will decide many teams fate this week. (1 Viewer)

Ministry of Pain

Footballguy
As the game evolves and passing appears to take precedence, we see more and more teams advancing with strong WRs and little to no strength at RB or possibly TE. I still feel a strong QB production is vital to your weekly success, but when we get into the WR3 or flex spots then the board really opens up to a lot of different moves. Most of the time it seems WRs are the preference and if you have made it this far you likely have a few options as you go down the roster. Folks actually benched Eric Decker last week and Mike Wallace in many as well, you don't do that unless you had some options. But many teams are already rolling combos out there like Calvin/AJ, or Green/Marshall so the real question is not who your WR1 or WR2 is but who are you gonna roll the dice on at WR3? I have a short list of likely plays based on what I am observing in my leagues. Feel free to add any you like.

Josh Gordon: I actually own him as a WR3 in several leagues. His game has elevated him to WR1 stature at the moment but the reality is Gordon was a 7th round pick or later in many leagues. I have seen him behind Marshall/Brown on several rosters and that means he is almost house money for some owners. I have to say that I am not expecting much from him this week. I don't see how you can bench him but he has almost nothing at QB, maybe they can sling it his way a half dozen times if he's lucky. Can he go for 60/TD on 3 receptions? Yeah he can and that's about all I would hope for this weekend in New England.

Alshon Jeffrey: Really trending up over the last 5 weeks with an avg of 22.5 and he's taking a huge bite out of Brandon Marshall's numbers. He started off slow, had a big game week 4 @Det but he was on most folks benches. He then went off even bigger the next week with 37 vs NO. That forced him into line ups where he welcomed his new owners with a 5 spot vs NYG, ouch. Owners that stuck with him though got 17+ his next 4 games and then he had 8 against St Louis, but then last week he went off. The catch in the end zone with defenders around him, how he hung onto that ball is a mystery to me. My gut says he will be lucky to hit 15 this week but that assumes Marshall gets a few more targets, no guarantee of that but Jeffrey has got to come down off his high a little bit.

Riley Cooper: Has an avg of 19.6 last 5 weeks however that number does not tell the whole story as he has single digits the last 2 games. I believe Bloom pointed out that he was dragged down at the 1 yard line on one catch, PI in the end zone on another so he is still getting good looks and he has a red hot QB who can't throw everything to DeSean Jackson all the time. I like Cooper a lot this week to bounce back and 20 points would be a nice shot in the arm for most owners. Detroit secondary has been mostly on the giving side, gotta take a shot at it if you have the bullet in hand. Pop that sucker in the pistol and fire!

Michael Floyd: A WR4 for a lot of teams to start the season. 23 points a week avg over the last 3 weeks. 4th overall for that span. 8 out of 9 last games has hit double digits/PPR. It's almost a no brainer that you play him this week vs Rams. He had 4/82 against them on 6 targets in week 1. 4 of his last 9 games he has had 10+ targets. If you own him you gotta play him but the last 3 weeks he is 11-12 points over what his avg was weeks 4-10. So what I'm saying is he is riding high, quite high over where he was so either things are really clicking and this continues or he is likely to have a dip in his numbers and perhaps Fitzgerald will eat like a king this weekend.

Eric Decker: Ever heard of chasing points? You never want to be the guy who says take this away and you have…but honestly Decker was performing very poorly before last week. It's not surprising he was on some benches. He had single digits 3 of his last 4 weeks with a whopping 12 posted in there to break it up. He broke 15+ 3 of his 1st 5 games, then before last week only once the entire rest of the season, it has not been an easy ride. Is he a WR3? I wouldn't be betting on 20-25+ again this week.

Anquan Boldin: It's hard for CK to keep Davis owners happy, Crabtree now lurking, but yet Boldin has 17+ 3 weeks in a row. Those numbers are way over what he did most weeks as he hit single digits 5 times from weeks 2-10 including some tasty games like Jax where he did nothing. It's a tough roll for Boldin owners if they choose to go with him this week.

Keenan Allen: I know he is some folks WR1 but for a lot of owners this was overkill behind the likes of Marshall/Nelson for most of the season. Giants at home this weekend, no way you can bench him right now. The only thing that has stopped him and contributed to his single digit weeks is lack of targets. When he has 10-12 targets it's bombs away, when he has 5-6 you end up with the 3/45 stat line. Allen has become the rock solid WR3/Flex guy for many many owners out there, this ship is solid as long as Allen keeps his head in the game, just don't lose focus as he is the big rookie in this bunch.

Doug Baldwin: Guy has been double digits 4 weeks in a row in PPR. He has an injured WR1 in Harvin who seems to be taking steps back with his injuries at the moment. Tate is up n down, Baldwin makes the most of his targets which unfortunately are not as strong/many as others on here. There is a ceiling here and that seems to be in the 13-17 range, meaning you might want to look elsewhere.

Kendall Wright: He's red hot going into the playoffs right now with 14, 17, 22 and 13 his last 4 weeks hitting double digits in each of them. 9, 12, 7 and 11 on the targets the last 4 weeks, those are solid and he clearly is a big part of the game plan in the passing game. 2nd year player correction.

Harry Douglas: I never thought he would be decent but he has posted 27, 24, 11, 9, 25, 16 and 13 the last 7 weeks. His ceiling has come down with the arrival of Roddy White finally but Douglas has been a solid WR3 and fill in for Julio owners that might have picked him up along the way. The 25 point weeks seem a distant memory for now but 12-15 is still solid if that's all you need to advance. Super stacked or loaded teams likely see Douglas as strictly a flex spot.

Julian Edelman: 23 targets the last 2 weeks. You would think with Gronk, Vereen, and Amendola back in the cuts that Edelman would be a distant memory but not so. 32 and then 19 the last 2 weeks. What do you do with Cleveland coming to town? Both the Broncos and Texans managed to get up on new England and that pushed Brady to throw more. I don't think I could start Amendola this week but I know some of you will or have few options. What are the odds Cleveland jumps out on New England this week?

These 11 Wide Receivers I listed represent a trend in the numbers right now. Over the last 5 weeks they have some of the highest points per game amongst the top 20 WRs hence why I listed them all. I would bet many of you might have 2 or even 3 WRs on this list. Going to be tough filling out those final couple spots and hoping you pick the right guy, failure to do so could mean end of season. Good luck to all of you, happy hunting.

 
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Good stuff - I've struggled with my WR3 decision for much of the season. I've had Boykin and Allen for the last 5 weeks and have guessed wrong every time, including the goose egg for Boykin last week. I agree that Keenan Allen makes a lot of sense as a WR3 this week, with WR1 upside.

I know many people have been stashing Michael Crabtree for some time - I think this may be the week to give him a shot in the WR3 slot.

 
I started the year with Thompkins and Hopkins at WR3/4. Then someone dropped Alshon Jeffery and I've been rolling with him ever since. WR is the only position I have not had to think much about lately.

 
Riley Cooper: Has an avg of 19.6 last 5 weeks however that number does not tell the whole story as he has single digits the last 2 games. I believe Bloom pointed out that he was dragged down at the 1 yard line on one catch, PI in the end zone on another so he is still getting good looks and he has a red hot QB who can't throw everything to DeSean Jackson all the time. I like Cooper a lot this week to bounce back and 20 points would be a nice shot in the arm for most owners. Detroit secondary has been mostly on the giving side, gotta take a shot at it if you have the bullet in hand. Pop that sucker in the pistol and fire!
I've got him penciled in over Antonio Brown at this point but it's a tough call. Went WR-centric on a limited roster from the draft this year, able to play 2-2 or 3-1 between RB/WR every week. My first two are Calvin and Demaryius and despite Brown being more consistent over the past few weeks that matchup with Detroit is hard to pass up.

Pity we can't flex TE--drafted Gronk late but traded for RB depth....the week Jimmy Graham got hurt. Would have loved to play that pair!

 
Riley Cooper: Has an avg of 19.6 last 5 weeks however that number does not tell the whole story as he has single digits the last 2 games. I believe Bloom pointed out that he was dragged down at the 1 yard line on one catch, PI in the end zone on another so he is still getting good looks and he has a red hot QB who can't throw everything to DeSean Jackson all the time. I like Cooper a lot this week to bounce back and 20 points would be a nice shot in the arm for most owners. Detroit secondary has been mostly on the giving side, gotta take a shot at it if you have the bullet in hand. Pop that sucker in the pistol and fire!
I've got him penciled in over Antonio Brown at this point but it's a tough call. Went WR-centric on a limited roster from the draft this year, able to play 2-2 or 3-1 between RB/WR every week. My first two are Calvin and Demaryius and despite Brown being more consistent over the past few weeks that matchup with Detroit is hard to pass up.

Pity we can't flex TE--drafted Gronk late but traded for RB depth....the week Jimmy Graham got hurt. Would have loved to play that pair!
I don't know if I could sit Antonio Brown, he was a 6th round pick, started like a WR2 for many, has filled that role+ nicely.

 
Sanders has been a pretty good play there of late.

MWallace is another that has come on.

 
Riley Cooper: Has an avg of 19.6 last 5 weeks however that number does not tell the whole story as he has single digits the last 2 games. I believe Bloom pointed out that he was dragged down at the 1 yard line on one catch, PI in the end zone on another so he is still getting good looks and he has a red hot QB who can't throw everything to DeSean Jackson all the time. I like Cooper a lot this week to bounce back and 20 points would be a nice shot in the arm for most owners. Detroit secondary has been mostly on the giving side, gotta take a shot at it if you have the bullet in hand. Pop that sucker in the pistol and fire!
I've got him penciled in over Antonio Brown at this point but it's a tough call. Went WR-centric on a limited roster from the draft this year, able to play 2-2 or 3-1 between RB/WR every week. My first two are Calvin and Demaryius and despite Brown being more consistent over the past few weeks that matchup with Detroit is hard to pass up.

Pity we can't flex TE--drafted Gronk late but traded for RB depth....the week Jimmy Graham got hurt. Would have loved to play that pair!
I don't know if I could sit Antonio Brown, he was a 6th round pick, started like a WR2 for many, has filled that role+ nicely.
I know--that's why 'penciled in'. I'll probably going to agonize over this one until game time.

eta--besides the matchup, I think the key here is that Riley has someone on the opposite side to take the heat off him, and Foles generally spreads the ball around. Brown is getting the lion's share of targets but will be blanketed by a really stingy defense. TD's are big in my scoring system, receptions not at all.

 
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Boldin is the tough call for me. The last three weeks have been great, but this week's matchup is tough and Crabtree is back. Projections on FBG and other sites seem to be all over the map.

 
The thing I've learned this year is that as important as the WR has become scoring wise, every week seems to have decent guys emerging on the wire. So less of a draft thing maybe and more of a focus during the waiver wire process.

 
The thing I've learned this year is that as important as the WR has become scoring wise, every week seems to have decent guys emerging on the wire. So less of a draft thing maybe and more of a focus during the waiver wire process.
Excellent point, a few of these guys were waiver wire pick ups at some point in the season. Allen, Baldwin, Douglas, Wright, Edelman all were on waivers at some point early or middle of the season.

 
I agree with ever present lurker, Crabtree should pay off for anyone who stashed him! Although this week his match up sucks, but great for the superbowl

 
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The thing I've learned this year is that as important as the WR has become scoring wise, every week seems to have decent guys emerging on the wire. So less of a draft thing maybe and more of a focus during the waiver wire process.
Excellent point, a few of these guys were waiver wire pick ups at some point in the season. Allen, Baldwin, Douglas, Wright, Edelman all were on waivers at some point early or middle of the season.
Yes to those for me & I was even able to pick up Floyd that way. :thumbup:

 
Sanders has been a pretty good play there of late.

MWallace is another that has come on.
Sanders has targets of 11, 11, 6, 2, 7 and 11 last week. He has double digits 4 of those 6 weeks clearing 15 on 4 different occasions. It really feels like he is outpacing his usual pace. Cotchery has also muddied the waters a bit in Pittsburgh. I don't see the ceiling of some of the other guys on this list however if you just need 10-12 he might fill the bill. Depends on what you think about Miami this week, 2nd week in a row on the road in cold weather.

Wallace is in the same game, interesting name. Tannehill missed so many wide open looks on him during the Carolina game I sort of lost hope on him. he has single digits in 6 of his games this year but the last 2 weeks has has cleared 20 rather easily. Pittsburgh has allowed some big games the past few weeks to opposing WR1 types including NE-Dobson/Amendola both 100+/TD, Calvin 6/179/2TD, Gordon 14/237/TD, T.Smith 93/TD, Wallace seems like a solid play this week but unfortunately owners are gun shy with him. Flex or 4 spot, he is a must start I think. Playoffs we're talking.

 
I agree with ever present lurker, Crabtree should pay off for anyone who stashed him! Although this week his match up sucks, but great for the superbowl
I gotta see a little more 1st. He wasn't running away from defenders last week. I'm sure he'll show more in the coming weeks but Seattle this week, I'll pass.

 
I agree with ever present lurker, Crabtree should pay off for anyone who stashed him! Although this week his match up sucks, but great for the superbowl
I gotta see a little more 1st. He wasn't running away from defenders last week. I'm sure he'll show more in the coming weeks but Seattle this week, I'll pass.
I'd sing a different tune if the game was in Seattle. I don't own him in any league, but wouldn't be shocked if he put up numbers this week.

 
I agree with ever present lurker, Crabtree should pay off for anyone who stashed him! Although this week his match up sucks, but great for the superbowl
I gotta see a little more 1st. He wasn't running away from defenders last week. I'm sure he'll show more in the coming weeks but Seattle this week, I'll pass.
I'd sing a different tune if the game was in Seattle. I don't own him in any league, but wouldn't be shocked if he put up numbers this week.
Did you see the long catch last week?

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-fantasy/0ap2000000291471/QB-Kaepernick-to-WR-Crabtree-60-yd-pass

How many WRs pull up to stiff arm a DB? I don't know that he will get a 5 yard separation this week on a broken play against Seattle. I don't see him as BACK quite yet.

 
Really struggling with decker this week. Thankfully i started him last week but he was dreadful for a month before that. I feel like his chances at another good game are slim but can i really bench a guy who scored 4 TDs?

 
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Josh Gordon: I actually own him as a WR3 in several leagues. His game has elevated him to WR1 stature at the moment but the reality is Gordon was a 7th round pick or later in many leagues. I have seen him behind Marshall/Brown on several rosters and that means he is almost house money for some owners. I have to say that I am not expecting much from him this week. I don't see how you can bench him but he has almost nothing at QB, maybe they can sling it his way a half dozen times if he's lucky. Can he go for 60/TD on 3 receptions? Yeah he can and that's about all I would hope for this weekend in New England.
I took Gordon as my #3 but have moved him up to #2 over Cruz and Crabtree. - that's become a hard choice for me this week.

 
Josh Gordon: I actually own him as a WR3 in several leagues. His game has elevated him to WR1 stature at the moment but the reality is Gordon was a 7th round pick or later in many leagues. I have seen him behind Marshall/Brown on several rosters and that means he is almost house money for some owners. I have to say that I am not expecting much from him this week. I don't see how you can bench him but he has almost nothing at QB, maybe they can sling it his way a half dozen times if he's lucky. Can he go for 60/TD on 3 receptions? Yeah he can and that's about all I would hope for this weekend in New England.
I took Gordon as my #3 but have moved him up to #2 over Cruz and Crabtree. - that's become a hard choice for me this week.
Yeah but Crabtree is not 100% healthy. Eliminate that one on your list for starters.

 
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I'm stuck deciding between White, Decker, Jeffery, and Edelman for two spots. Currently going with Jeffery and Decker, but thinking of inserting White for Decker. Also have Boykin, but can't start him until Aaron gets back.

 
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Thank you OP for posting. Could you do an edit with red and green bold font and "start em" and "sit em" next to the names? Maybe some projections?

TIA

 
Still studying this guy!

Riley Cooper: Has an avg of 19.6 last 5 weeks however that number does not tell the whole story as he has single digits the last 2 games.

The past two weeks were a real reversal--hopefully an anomaly--Zero TD's to the wideouts. Week 11 Foles only had the rushing td, and after their bye his 3 td's all went to the TE's. For the sake of argument I only look at numbers for Cooper when Foles is running the team because his numbers are what made Cooper fantasy relevant in the first place. prior to those two weeks Foles threw One to McCoy, three to TE's, and eleven to WR's (Riley 6, DeSean 5).

In fact--by my league scoring--if you average Riley Cooper's ppg only over the weeks that Foles was QB he comes in at #3 WR, behind CJ and Gorden, barely edging out Demaryius.

http://www.nj.com/eagles/index.ssf/2013/12/eagles_snap_count_riley_cooper_overtakes_desean_jackson.html

There is no doubt that DeSean Jackson is the No. 1 wideout on this Eagles' team.

The playing time vs. the Cardinals on Sunday, however, didn't back that up.

Riley Cooper saw more snaps (78) than Jackson (66) on Sunday, marking the first time this season the Cooper has seen the field more than Jackson.
Given these numbers and going up against Detroit in what should be a scoring fest--it's hard not to play Cooper. My choice for #3 then is between Demaryius and Antonio Brown against the #1 and #2 defense against WR in our league. Demarius is the one who has been an autostart--but he actually has been the least productive of the four over the last three weeks.

 
Still studying this guy!

Riley Cooper: Has an avg of 19.6 last 5 weeks however that number does not tell the whole story as he has single digits the last 2 games.

The past two weeks were a real reversal--hopefully an anomaly--Zero TD's to the wideouts. Week 11 Foles only had the rushing td, and after their bye his 3 td's all went to the TE's. For the sake of argument I only look at numbers for Cooper when Foles is running the team because his numbers are what made Cooper fantasy relevant in the first place. prior to those two weeks Foles threw One to McCoy, three to TE's, and eleven to WR's (Riley 6, DeSean 5).

In fact--by my league scoring--if you average Riley Cooper's ppg only over the weeks that Foles was QB he comes in at #3 WR, behind CJ and Gorden, barely edging out Demaryius.

http://www.nj.com/eagles/index.ssf/2013/12/eagles_snap_count_riley_cooper_overtakes_desean_jackson.html

There is no doubt that DeSean Jackson is the No. 1 wideout on this Eagles' team.

The playing time vs. the Cardinals on Sunday, however, didn't back that up.

Riley Cooper saw more snaps (78) than Jackson (66) on Sunday, marking the first time this season the Cooper has seen the field more than Jackson.
Given these numbers and going up against Detroit in what should be a scoring fest--it's hard not to play Cooper. My choice for #3 then is between Demaryius and Antonio Brown against the #1 and #2 defense against WR in our league. Demarius is the one who has been an autostart--but he actually has been the least productive of the four over the last three weeks.
Excellent analysis, this folks is how you break it down and also how to make a great thread. I understand not everyone has time to do all this but really Glumpy makes Riley Cooper look like a slam dunk. Let's put it another way, you are open ended with a flush draw on the flop, what happens from there is luck like anything, but the facts seem to back up Cooper as a pretty safe or money play this weekend, fingers crossed for owners.

:hifive:

 
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Raiderfan32904 said:
Thank you OP for posting. Could you do an edit with red and green bold font and "start em" and "sit em" next to the names? Maybe some projections?

TIA
Jeffrey, Cooper, Allen and yes Gordon are must starts. I know I am warning in the OP about Gordon and Jeffrey but there is nothing compelling as to why you would not play Jeffrey this week, he faces a soft secondary and each week he is getting better, a solid draft pick from the Bears who might have 2 WR1 types on the same team, maybe in 2 years it won't be like this but for now they are feeding off each other and making it easy for the QB to find them.

I might change Gordon depending on who the QB is for Cleveland. It would tough to bench Gordon for say Riley Cooper but if you are facing that decision then you are loaded at the WR1/2 slots which is the point of this thread. It's for playoff teams with lots of options at WR or flex, there is a reason owners are still playing in week 14.

Decker, Boldin, and Baldwin would be my avoids if you can help it.

This is a pretty good list though and there is a reason most of these guys are trending up in general. Good Luck this weekend 32904.

 
i keep getting burned with a wr at flex so i have been sticking to RB's but you're right....it may kill me this week with my mathcups but our WR waiver wire is picked clean of any of the guys you mentioned here.

 
Riley Cooper: Has an avg of 19.6 last 5 weeks however that number does not tell the whole story as he has single digits the last 2 games. I believe Bloom pointed out that he was dragged down at the 1 yard line on one catch, PI in the end zone on another so he is still getting good looks and he has a red hot QB who can't throw everything to DeSean Jackson all the time. I like Cooper a lot this week to bounce back and 20 points would be a nice shot in the arm for most owners. Detroit secondary has been mostly on the giving side, gotta take a shot at it if you have the bullet in hand. Pop that sucker in the pistol and fire!
I've got him penciled in over Antonio Brown at this point but it's a tough call. Went WR-centric on a limited roster from the draft this year, able to play 2-2 or 3-1 between RB/WR every week. My first two are Calvin and Demaryius and despite Brown being more consistent over the past few weeks that matchup with Detroit is hard to pass up.

Pity we can't flex TE--drafted Gronk late but traded for RB depth....the week Jimmy Graham got hurt. Would have loved to play that pair!
I did the same thing... Riley over Brown. I have most of these guys in the OP across my teams. In fact, I have a squad where I am trying to choose between Fitzgerald, Floyd, and Keenan Allen as my WR2 and Flex behind Gordon. I can't believe I am considering benching Fitz... I'd feel awful if he blows up while Floyd steps back. 1st world problems I guess/

 
Weather might be a factor in that DET/PHI game. It wouldn't be enough for me to bench Mega, but I'd be a little learey of Cooper.

 
Thanks for the kudos MOP--this has been an excellent and timely thread, heading into the playoffs. I am worried about over analyzing a bit but have spent more time with this all season than I can remember for some time. Going with a WR-centric team makes for some really interesting decisions--they're generally feast or famine.

ETA: was not looking at weather--good catch Pats.

 
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Thanks for the kudos MOP--this has been an excellent and timely thread, heading into the playoffs. I am worried about over analyzing a bit but have spent more time with this all season than I can remember for some time. Going with a WR-centric team makes for some really interesting decisions--they're generally feast or famine.

ETA: was not looking at weather--good catch Pats.
Famine :( . Remodeling and hardly time to check in today. Got the tv set up at 3 minutes 'til--saw the snow and could not get to the lineup in time.

Now it's all on Jimmy Graham. :fingerscrossed:

:thumbup:

 
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