Jaylen Waddle, MIA vs. NYG. There’s no other way to put this other than Waddle has been fantastic over the last month of the season. In his past four games, he’s drawn 35 targets, has put up a minimum of 61 yards with a high of 137 yards. In PPR leagues, he’s extra attractive, but his production makes him a mid-tier WR in all formats. The Giants are the 12th-worst defense against fantasy WRs, so this spot feels appropriate. If DeVante Parker (hamstring) plays in this one, he has serious flex value, too.
Diontae Johnson, PIT vs. BAL. Johnson has drawn 10 or more targets in eight games this season, so he obviously has one of the safest PPR floors among WRs. His upside is limited a bit in standard leagues, but he’s still in this range of guys against a defense in the bottom half of the league in limiting fantasy WRs. Chase Claypool is beginning to draw a ton of targets, too, but his fantasy prospects are built primarily on big plays. He’s a fine flex option, but he’s far from safe.
Ja’Marr Chase, CIN vs. LAC. Chase has caught just six passes for 71 yards and a touchdown over the last two weeks, but even in a tough matchup with the Chargers, his upside keeps him inside the top-24 ranked WRs. He and Higgins rarely produce at the same time, but we’ve seen Chase’s ceiling is much higher. Ultimately, they both draw starting consideration regardless of matchup, but Higgins could be reasonably benched if you have a ton of solid depth at wideout. If not, he’ll probably be in your flex spot.
Keenan Allen, LAC @ CIN. Against Denver, Allen extended his double-digit target streak to five games, so even though the Bengals are a top-10 unit against fantasy WRs, his floor and ceiling remain high. He’s a better PPR play, but there’s not a single matchup that would make us want to bench him. Mike Williams is back to his boom-or-bust ways, but the boom side of the equation makes it hard to bench him, too.
Terry McLaurin, WAS @ LV. Las Vegas was a top-10 unit against fantasy WRs heading into Week 12, but McLaurin is another guy who dominates targets in his offense and he’ll be among the best WRs the Raiders have faced. We’ll see how Curtis Samuel’s and Logan Thomas’ returns affect the target share, but for now, McLaurin continues to be a must-start.
Hunter Renfrow, LV vs. WAS. Renfrow was once just a high-ceiling PPR guy, but he’s starting to put up touchdowns or big yards on a somewhat regular basis. Washington is the worst team in the league against fantasy WRs, so this will be the highest ranking for Renfrow all season. In classic DeSean Jackson fashion, Jackson will be a boom-or-bust play in such a favorable matchup.
DeVonta Smith, PHI @ NYJ. Jalen Hurts just had the worst game of his career, so naturally, DeVonta Smith did absolutely nothing. However, the Jets are the 13th-worst defense against fantasy WRs, so we’re not fading him after the rough performance. Smith is a boom-or-bust guy given the inconsistency from his quarterback, but we’ve got to trust the matchup here.
DK Metcalf, SEA vs. SF. See Tyler Lockett.
Sterling Shepard, NYG @ MIA. We’re sure you’re tired of reason about how Shepard (quad) “could” be back this week, but he’s been productive in every game he’s played in, so we like him in a matchup with the second-worst defense against fantasy WRs if he can play. Kadarius Toney (quad) is viewed as a high-end flex option and Kenny Golladay is a low-end flex option this week, but Shepard would presumably have the highest floor, while Toney has the highest ceiling by virtue of his explosiveness.
Brandon Aiyuk, SF @ SEA. Deebo Samuel (groin) is going to miss at least this week, so Aiyuk will have the chance to be the team’s No. 1 WR. Last year, Aiyuk broke out in the absence of Samuel, eclipsing 70 receiving yards in five of his last six games of the season. He’s out of the Shanahan dog house, so we won’t be surprised if he’s a WR1 for the rest of the season. That said, we’re going to rank him conservatively against a Seattle defense who is strong against WRs, and awful against the run.
Tyler Lockett, SEA vs. SF. San Francisco is a top-eight unit against WRs, and Russell Wilson hasn’t shown us enough with the progression of his finger injury to be ultra-high on Lockett. Of course, it’s tough to ever think about benching Lockett or DK Metcalf, but you can move them down in rankings in tough matchups. As always, Lockett can sneak his way into the top-12 WRs with one or two deep bombs, though.
Mike Williams, LAC @ CIN. See Keenan Allen.
Darnell Mooney, CHI vs. ARI. In Mooney’s last two games, he’s averaging 12 targets, five catches, and 122 receiving yards. Regardless of what we think of a receiver or his quarterback, those numbers are tough to ignore. His prospects are probably better if Andy Dalton starts against Arizona, but either way, it’s tough to put a red-hot WR on the bench. Arizona is a top-10 defense against fantasy WRs, though, so we aren’t comfortable moving him higher than this spot.
Kadarius Toney, NYG @ MIA. See Sterling Shepard.
Christian Kirk, ARI @ CHI. Chicago is a bottom-six unit against fantasy WRs, and they just allowed Josh Reynolds to go for 70 yards and a touchdown — which didn’t help their case. We DeAndre Hopkins is always a must-start, but Kirk and A.J. Green should be seriously considered in WR2 and flex spots this week. Kyler Murray has been on the shelf for a month, so expect the offense to get a boost when he’s back in the lineup. If you’re really in a tough spot, you could try Rondale Moore as a boom-or-bust flex option. You never know which Arizona WR will come up big, but the order is certainly Kirk, Green, then Moore in our rankings.
Jerry Jeudy, DEN @ KC. Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, and Tim Patrick were busts in Week 12 against the Chargers, but Denver never needed to pass to stay in the game. This game should call for more of a pass-happy game script, and Jeudy has the highest ceiling among the three Broncos’ wideouts — we think. Ultimately, it seems Jeudy and Patrick have the safest floors, while Sutton probably still has the highest upside. Kansas City quietly has a decent passing defense, though, so we’re not super bullish on the group either way.
DeVante Parker, MIA vs. NYG. See Jaylen Waddle.
Michael Gallup, DAL @ NO. Even with CeeDee Lamb (concussion) and Amari Cooper (reserve/Covid-19) expected to be back, the Cowboys should attempt a ton of passes in a matchup with the Saints’ great run defense and bad pass defense. Based on that, there will be plenty of work to go around, and Gallup should enjoy another successful campaign on Thursday night.
A.J. Green, ARI @ CHI. See Christian Kirk.
Elijah Moore, NYJ vs. PHI. Moore has a tough matchup this week, but he’s the best WR on the Jets roster, and we don’t foresee a game script where New York will be able to run all over Philadephia. Moore has been efficient, so if the volume picks up, he’s a decent flex option. Corey Davis could outscore him, but we think it’s clear Moore has the higher upside.
Odell Beckham Jr., LAR vs. JAX. Beckham showed signs of life in a tough matchup against Green Bay, so perhaps he’ll be a factor moving forward. He caught five-of-10 targets for 81 yards and a touchdown in just his second game with Matthew Stafford, and the matchup with Jacksonville could mean another stellar performance. We’d rank him higher, but we want to see another solid day before fully committing to him. Van Jefferson is also a nice option as a standard league boom-or-bust play.