This weekly series covers several cost-efficient wide receivers who provide massive upside for GPP tournament lineups. These are typically wideouts with high volatility in a pass-heavy environment in a game projected to produce a lot of points. We’ll use advanced stats and metrics from the PlayerProfiler Data Analysis Tool to identify each player.
Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers
Brandon Aiyuk is coming off his best career game with 115 yards on six receptions in last Sunday’s win over New England. He led the 49ers in targets and receptions and is in line for more work in Week 8 with Deebo Samuel out with a hamstring injury. Aiyuk has operated as San Francisco’s WR1 all season, so this won’t be anything new for the rookie first-rounder.
deebo samuel and brandon aiyuk were similar prospects coming into the nfl and their box scores looked similar.
*aiyuk: 7 tgts, 6 rec, 115 yards
*samuel: 6 tgts, 5 rec, 65 yards
…until you look at the air yards.
*samuel: -10 pic.twitter.com/AKb1Ka03Wb
— the podfather (@Fantasy_Mansion) October 26, 2020
Aiyuk has a 97.5-percent (No. 15 among qualified wide receivers) Route Participation and has drawn six (No. 18) Red Zone Targets. He has displayed impressive ability as a runner on jet sweeps and in Yards After Catch, where he ranks No. 24 at his position. He draws a dream matchup in Week 8 against a Seattle team that has been historically bad against the pass and has surrendered the most fantasy points to wide receivers. The 49ers are 2.5-point underdogs and this game has the highest point total over/under of the week. Aiyuk is in a great spot for another 100-yard outing with a good shot at a score. Fire him up at a reasonable $5,800 on DraftKings.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers
Marquez Valdes-Scantling was featured here in Week 1 before going off for 96 yards and a touchdown and posting a top-12 WR finish. That game came against the Vikings, who the Packers will host for another round in Week 8. Since Week 1 though, the fantasy points have been hard to come by. However, there’s reason to believe Valdes-Scantling can put up another big outing. Despite not recording a reception in Week 7, MVS played by far the second-most snaps among Packers wideouts and was targeted four times against the Texans. He’s drawn 12 (No. 6) Deep Targets, recorded 612 (No. 14) Air Yards, and averages 16.1 (No. 16) Yards Per Reception. His 35.6-percent Air Yards Share ranks No. 10, while his 18.0 Average Target Distance mark ranks No. 2.
Check out Marquez Valdes-Scantling on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Weekly Rankings and Projections:
Valdes-Scantling has 4.37 speed, so we know he can take the top off a defense for a big score like he did against the Vikings in the opener. With a total over/under over 50 points, we want pieces in this matchup. Valdes-Scantling allows us to get there without breaking the budget and makes a Packers stack doable. At $3,800, it’s worth taking a shot on MVS in a few lineups in hopes everything comes together for a boom week.
Denzel Mims, New York Jets
Denzel Mims was a RotoUnderworld favorite coming out of Baylor with a dominant college profile, alpha WR1 size, and the athleticism to match. While a hamstring injury kept him sidelined for the first six weeks of the season, Mims impressed in his NFL debut last Sunday against the Bills. He saw seven targets (30.4-percent), converting four for 42 yards. It was enough to lead the team in receiving yards and tied Braxton Berrios for the lead in both targets and receptions.
A reminder of what we liked about Denzel Mims coming out of Baylor:
•Speed Score: 96th-percentile
•Burst Score: 90th
•Agility Score: 67th
•Catch Radius: 96th
•50% of Baylor’s pass TDs in 2019
•19.9 Breakout Age
•15.5 YPR pic.twitter.com/CVFA4JBz1l
— Alex Johnson (@a_johnsonFF) October 24, 2020
The team’s top two receivers, Breshad Perriman and Jamison Crowder, are likely to miss Week 8, so Mims will operate as the WR1 against the Chiefs. He will be peppered with garbage time targets with the Jets being massive underdogs in this one. With 4.38 speed, he is capable of beating a defense for a big play, a key trait in a good tournament play. This pick can easily go south, but at $3,200 it would be a mistake to not get Mims into some Week 8 lineups.
A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
A.J. Green is not dead yet. It’s been a weird start to the season for the veteran who missed all of last year. He commanded Target Shares of over 20-percent and was seeing a lot of Air Yards in each of the first two weeks. From Weeks 3-5 though, Green had a Target Rate of only 10.7-percent, with a low of 3.5-percent in Week 5. He struggled to find a connection with rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, seeing a mere 65.6-percent (No. 98) Catchable Target Rate. However, things are looking up after two encouraging weeks.
ashes to ashes, dust to… not so fast on aj green last two weeks.
*92% snap share
*135 air yards/gm
*16.4 fantasy pts/gm
*4.5k salary wk 8
and the nfl full season leader in unrealized air yards.
— the podfather (@Fantasy_Mansion) October 26, 2020
Green has seen Target Shares of 28.2-percent and 27.7-percent over the last two games. After totaling only 14 catches for 119 yards over the first five, Green has 15 receptions for 178 yards in the last two games. That includes seven receptions on 13 targets for 82 yards in Week 7. Green has seen a 92-percent Snap Share, averaged 39 routes, 12 targets, and 16.4 Fantasy Points per Game over that span. He has also averaged 135 Air Yards per game over the last two, adding to his league lead in Unrealized Air Yards.
Green ranks No. 10 in Targets and No. 4 in Deep Targets for the season. The Bengals rank No. 2 in the league in Team Pass Plays per Game, so the opportunities should continue. It’s only a matter of time before we see a classic Green blowup spot. He’s only $4,500 on DraftKings in a matchup with the Titans, who have allowed the fourth-most Fantasy Points per Game to wide receivers.