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Fantasy Football: Week 8 Wide Receiver Matchup Report

We’re back with another wide receiver matchup report. We stay in the northeast for our four favorable matchups, with all four coming from the same two games. It’s a week heavy on byes, so the options are a little thin this week. If you need a bye week fill-in, our sleeper of the week, Washington’s Josh Doctson, is the perfect choice for you. Feel free to follow me on twitter @JonSauber where you can ask me any fantasy questions you may have.

Favorable Matchups

Keenan Allen @ New England Patriots

First up this week is the NFL’s third-leading target-getter, Keenan Allen. Allen has 67 targets in seven games this season, but he’s pulled in only 36 of those. This week, he gets a porous New England defense, which should make it easier to pull those targets in. Allen is also due for some positive touchdown regression, with only one on the year. Allen is still Philip Rivers’ favorite option by a mile, and that should be evident on Sunday. I expect Allen to get over 10 targets and a touchdown in what should be a high-scoring game.

Brandin Cooks vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Staying in New England, we could see a monster game from Brandin Cooks this weekend. Like I said, I expect this to be a high-scoring game, and Cooks is the kind of player who will flourish. He’s averaging over 19 yards per reception this season, and the Chargers are susceptible to the deep ball. He may not get the same kind of target numbers that someone like Allen will, but it takes only one play for Cooks to be fantasy relevant. He could be in line for more than one of those this week, even if he receives only eight targets. I’m taking Cooks across the board in DFS this week.

Nelson Agholor vs. San Francisco 49ers

Now to the other northeast matchup to take advantage of this week. San Francisco is an easy secondary to take advantage of right now, and I think Nelson Agholor is the Eagles’ wide receiver to do that. While he’s been a great fantasy wide receiver, that’s been mostly due to big plays and touchdowns. Agholor is due for some regression from that standpoint, but I don’t think we’ll see it this game. He’s excelled after moving to the slot this season, and even if he doesn’t score a touchdown, he’s still getting five targets per game. That may not seem like much, but Agholor is dangerous with the ball in his hands, and, like Cooks, it will take only one play for him to be fantasy relevant.

Pierre Garcon @ Philadelphia Eagles

Our final favorable matchup goes to another wide receiver getting a massive number of targets. Like Keenan Allen, Garcon is his quarterback’s favorite target, although CJ Beathard isn’t the same caliber of player that Philip Rivers is. Garcon hasn’t found the end zone yet this season, but he’s bound to at some point. He might not get a much better chance this season than the one he’ll have in Philadelphia. I’d expect a fantasy day similar to Allen’s. Another 10 or so targets, and for Garcon, his first receiving touchdown of the season. Garcon is a fantastic play this week, especially in PPR formats.

Unfavorable Matchups

DeAndre Hopkins @ Seattle Seahawks

Look, if you have DeAndre Hopkins in season-long leagues, you’re starting him. However, I’d significantly lower the expectations for him this week. He’s going to receive the majority of the targets for Houston, but those targets might be down, as this looks to be a low-scoring game. Seattle and Houston both have strong defenses that could keep this scoring total below 40. Hopkins is going to be fairly reliant on finding the end zone to have fantasy value this week. Avoid him in DFS this week, and avoid this game in general, really.

TY Hilton @ Cincinnati Bengals

TY Hilton has been a fantasy disappointment this season. He’s been wildly inconsistent, with two massive games and five incredibly underwhelming games. I don’t expect that to change this week, or really any week this year. Unless Andrew Luck returns this season, Hilton is merely a high-upside flex option for the rest of the year. He was targeted eight times last week, but he was able to pull only two in as the Colts offense failed to score. Hilton is still getting around seven targets per game, but Jacoby Brissett hasn’t done him any favors. Brissett has struggled with his accuracy, and that won’t be changing anytime soon. If you want consistency in your lineup, look elsewhere.

Jermaine Kearse vs. Atlanta Falcons

While Jermaine Kearse is the best wide receiver in New York, he’s still getting only about five targets per game. He’s completely touchdown dependent, and I wouldn’t count on him finding the end zone against Desmond Trufant. While the Jets offense has been a pleasant surprise, it hasn’t been due to any of the wide receivers, Kearse included. He’s usually a low-end flex play because of his touchdown dependence, but I’d downgrade him to a WR4 this week. Expect only four or five targets and no touchdowns against the Falcons.

Sleeper of the Week

Josh Doctson vs. Dallas Cowboys

I’ve been waiting for Josh Doctson to break out for a while now, and I think this week is the week. The Cowboys have a really bad secondary, and this week it will be Washington’s turn to take advantage of that. No No. 1 receiver has emerged yet for Washington, but Doctson has the talent to be Kirk Cousins’ favorite target. Doctson could be in store for a season-high in targets, as the Washington offense should be off and running against Dallas. I expect seven targets and a touchdown this week for Doctson. Doctson is also a quality option in DFS and a high-upside flex play in season-long leagues.

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