Today’s NFL is all about the passing game. The West Coast offense has taken over, giving more opportunity, and thus more Fantasy value, to No. 2 and No. 3 wide receivers.
These less-owned wideouts come on and off on the waiver wire and are typically solid streaming options, depending on the week and the matchup. These aren’t those wide receivers you drafted in the early rounds on draft day, but instead, they are back-end potential break out candidates, who have already had one big Fantasy output, or are in a position to do so.
Through a quarter of the season, the arrow of the following pass catchers is pointing upward for one reason or another. And with more passes to go around, it’s their volume, or potential for volume, that gives these wide receivers value in PPR formats.
Funchess Should Be Free Agent Find
Devin Funchess is someone who has truly benefited from a teammate’s injury. Since Greg Olsen went down with a broken foot in Week 2, Funchess has racked up 11 receptions on 19 targets for 128 yards and two touchdowns over the past two weeks. He also caught four of six passes for 68 yards in Week 2 after Olsen went down.
Quietly, Funchess is leading the Panthers in receiving yards with 216, and that includes just 20 yards in Week 1 when he was further down the Panthers’ pecking order. He’s scooping up most of the targets that previously went in Olsen’s direction, and that volume alone puts him in the WR3 range.
This is one of those scenarios in which you really need to just look at the recent numbers and ignore the name attached to it — with Funchess tallying just 54 receptions and 844 yards in the previous two seasons combined.
He’s producing like never before, and it’s mostly due to new opportunity. I jumped on Funchess prior to his breakout game last week against the Pats — seven receptions for 70 yards and two touchdowns — and if you’re looking for a wide receiver with upside, the Michigan product might just be what you’re looking for.
Jaron Remains Key Piece of Cards’ Receiving Corps
Jaron Brown has put up three straight playable games, sandwiching 73-yard and 105-yard contests with his only touchdown of the season in Week 3. And he seems to have moved up the Cardinals depth chart, playing 90 percent of the team’s offensive snaps in back-to-back weeks.
Even with John Brown’s return to the lineup, Jaron remained the starter in two-receiver sets and, on top of that, led all Cards’ wide receivers in targets in Week 4. The double-digit targets on Sunday marked the second time in three weeks he has done so, making him well worth a look in deeper leagues. Plus, the Cardinals face an Eagles’ secondary in Week 5 that has given up the third-most Fantasy points to wide receivers this season.
With Carson Palmer’s propensity to throw the ball, there should be enough to go around the Cardinals receiving corps, making him a WR3/4 with volume upside in a plus matchup this weekend.
Find Roster Role for Fuller
Was it a coincidence that the Texans offense exploded for 57 points in Week 4, the same week that Will Fuller returned to action? Yes, it probably was, but that doesn’t mean Fuller isn’t worth a roster spot in deep leagues.
With no true No. 2 receiving option for Houston, Fuller should get a lion’s share of secondary targets, only behind the target monster that is DeAndre Hopkins. In his return from a broken collarbone suffered in training camp, the speedster caught four of six balls for 35 yards and two touchdowns. If it wasn’t for that untimely break, the speedy wide receiver would have been a late-round dart throw in a lot of leagues. Instead, he’s being almost completely overlooked.
Fuller’s six targets were second only to Hopkins, and Deshaun Watson looks to already have a handle on the Texans offense. While I don’t love Fuller against a stout Chiefs defense in Week 5, there are lots of juicy matchups on the Texans’ upcoming schedule. As the Texans’ No. 2 wide receiver, Fuller is securely in the WR3/4 conversation, with big time upside due to his ability to get behind opposing defenses.
Beasley Brings PPR Value
Cole Beasley is off to a terribly slow start. This comes from a player who led the Cowboys in yards last season. That’s right — more yards than Dez Bryant, more yards than Jason Witten — from the Dallas slot man.
Despite just 11 receptions and 86 yards through four games, Beasley still has five-plus targets in three contests and remains involved in big D’s offense week in and week out. To me, this looks like a great buy-low option for owners in need of some help at wide receiver.
Dak Prescott continues to use Beasley as his security blanket, and he’s bound to breakthrough with Dallas facing Green Bay and San Francisco in the weeks surrounding the Cowboys’ Week 6 bye. Look for Beasley to end up with similar numbers to last season when he tallied 75 catches for 833 yards and five TDs. And, if that’s the case, now is the time to buy in on the speedy slot receiver in deep PPR leagues.
Britt Remains Browns’ Top WR
Another receiver providing volume value is Kenny Britt. While he remains in Browns coach Hue Jackson’s doghouse, an injury to Corey Coleman has left the door open for the Rutgers product.
Since Coleman’s Week 2 injury, Britt has totaled a team-high 18 targets, averaging nearly 20 yards per reception on his six catches. As long as Britt remains atop the Browns depth chart, rookie QB DeShone Kizer doesn’t have many (or any) other options to throw to, making the wide receiver a viable bench stash in 12-team leagues. Play this one a week at a time, knowing that Britt has a plus matchup against the Jets this Sunday.
As long as the targets keep on piling up, these waiver wire wide receivers remain playable in PPR formats.