Top-5 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Buys Heading Into Week 4

by Corbin Young · Trades Buy/Sell

Through three weeks, we’ve begun to figure out where our fantasy teams stand within our leagues. At this point, it’s time to look at potential trade targets based on team needs. With that, we’re looking at the top-5 wide receiver buys. Advanced stats and metrics such as Air Yards, Air Yards Share, Target Share, Team Pass Plays per Game, and Pace of Play stats will help us identify wide receivers to acquire in trades.

A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals

Through three weeks, A.J. Green ranks No. 2 among qualified wide receivers with 386 Air Yards. On the season, Green has recorded 28 (No. 7) targets, 13 (No. 28) receptions, and 116 (No. 58) receiving yards. His 20.6-percent (No. 26) Target Share and 33.8-percent (No. 16) Air Yards Share provide hope for an increase in fantasy production.

Air Yards Leaders through Week 3

These advanced metrics indicate potential future production for Green, especially since the Bengals lead the NFL with 51.7 Team Pass Plays per Game. He’s the top buy-low option at wide receiver. 

D.J. Moore & Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers

Both Panthers receivers fall on the list of top-5 wide receiver buys for different reasons. First, let’s look at D.J. Moore. He’s drawn 26 (No. 9) targets, a 25.5-percent (No. 11) Target Share, 358 (No. 5) Air Yards, and a 48.0-percent (No. 3) Air Yards Share. However, with 14 (No. 24) receptions for 239 (No. 14) receiving yards and zero (No. 67) touchdowns, he’s averaged a mere 12.6 (No. 34) Fantasy Points per Game. All of those advanced metrics not aligning with the fantasy production screams Buy, Buy, Buy (and we don’t mean the NSYNC song).

D.J. Moore 2020 Opportunity Metrics

Next, let’s talk about teammate Robby Anderson who has recorded 24 (No. 13) targets and a 23.5-percent (No. 18) Target Share. Anderson has logged 223 (No. 29) Air Yards with a 29.9-percent (No. 28) Air Yards Share, paired with 20 (No. 7) receptions, 279 (No. 5) receiving yards, and 17.3 (No. 12) Fantasy Points per Game. Where available, Anderson is an amazing waiver wire pickup heading into must-start status. Although the Panthers run 37.3 (No. 16) Team Pass Plays Per Game, expect that to increase over time given their poor defense. Reach out to the fantasy managers with Moore and Anderson to immediately acquire one or both in a trade.

Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers

Diontae Johnson is arguably the top Steelers wide receiver through three weeks. Let’s look at a few reasons to appreciate him as a breakout player. His 23.4-percent (No. 19) Target Share, 241 (No. 24) Air Yards, and 29.8-percent (No. 29) Air Yards Share back up the 16.4 Fantasy Points per Game that he had averaged through the season’s first two weeks. Johnson left Sunday’s game with a concussion, otherwise the advanced metrics and Fantasy Points per Game would rate even higher.

The Steelers average 38.0 (No. 14) Team Pass Plays Per Game, and Johnson continues to be a focal point in this offense with a 19.7-percent (No. 3) Hog Rate. Contrary to the other top-5 wide receiver buys mentioned earlier, Johnson fit more into the buy high category prior to the concussion. Monitor the concussion injury news, but regardless, take this opportunity to acquire him via trade

Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys

With so much hype surrounding Michael Gallup coming into 2020, the advanced metrics provide both reasons for concern and reasons for hope. The reasons for concern include the 13.6-percent (No. 73) Target Share, 19 (No. 30) targets, and 9.1-percent (No. 93) Hog Rate. On the flip side, the reasons for hope include the 50.3 (No. 2) Team Pass Plays Per Game, 144 (No. 1) Routes Run, and Dallas’ 2.92 (No. 1) Pace of Play mark. Combine the positive signs with the 322 (No. 10) Air Yards and 30.3-percent (No. 25) Air Yards Share and it creates more reasons for Gallup to rank among the top-5 wide receiver buys. 

Leaders in Team Pass Plays per Game through Week 3

The most concerning stat for Gallup is the low Target Share. However, Dak Prescott targets him deep, evidenced by a 17.0 (No. 9) Average Target Distance mark and 22.4 (No. 3) Yards per Reception. If the Target Share increases, then Gallup should improve his fantasy production. Since he’s only averaged 13.9 (No. 27) Fantasy Points per Game to this point, fantasy gamers should trade for him now before he has another outing like last week’s 25.8-point (WR7) performance. 

Jamison Crowder, New York Jets

We understand that before his Week 4 return, Jamison Crowder only played in Week 1 before missing the next two weeks due to a hamstring injury. In that one game, he led all wide receivers with a 39.4-percent Target Share and ranked No. 10 with a 36.9-percent Air Yards Share. Although it’s a small sample, the fantasy manager with Crowder on their team may be frustrated with multiple injuries piling up. During draft season, I mentioned him as one of three late-round wide receivers to draft. He’s a PPR machine and worth buying into and acquiring in trades. Especially after he put up seven catches for over 100 yards in his return to action on Thursday Night Football. Playing for a putrid Jets offense should drive down his price to an affordable level.