In this piece, I highlight quarterbacks who stand out in our large suite of analytical fantasy tools, most specifically, our FantasyLabs Player Models. While the models are built for DFS contests, this is an all-purpose fantasy article with actionable information for all formats.
As news breaks throughout the week and we adjust our projections (powered by Sean Koerner), player ratings in our Player Models will change as the projections change. For updates, visit the models directly.
Finally, make sure to check out all the projections available for purchase within the FantasyLabs Models. Subscribers now have the option to purchase Derek Carty’s THE BLITZ from our Marketplace. Projections from One Week Season and Establish the Run are available if you’re a subscriber to those specific sites (our optimizer is a separate add-on feature).
You can also combine them to create your own aggregate projections:
Top NFL DFS Wide Receiver Picks in the FantasyLabs Models
On DraftKings, there are three wide receivers near the top of the individual Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon, Cash Game, and Tournament Player Models.
- Keenan Allen
- Puka Nacua
- Joshua Palmer
We’ll discuss why these three are popping in our models, as well as take a look at some other wide receivers.
Top Model NFL DFS Wide Receiver Picks
Keenan Allen ($7,900 DraftKings, $9,500 FanDuel): Los Angeles Chargers (-5.5) vs. Las Vegas Raiders (49 total)
Keenan Allen looked like one of the strongest plays heading into Week 3, and boy, did he deliver. Allen caught 18 of 20 targets for 215 yards. Just to annoy anyone who faded him, he also threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams.
Allen had 48.46 DraftKings points last week, bringing his yearly total up to 96.76 through just three games. In back-to-back weeks, Allen was the highest-scoring receiver,
We’re never too worried about the matchup with someone like Allen, who gets a ton of volume. This week is no different, and the matchup actually enhances his outlook. Vegas has allowed the second-highest catch rate to opposing receivers on the year and a healthy 9.1 yards per target.
The only knock on Allen is ownership, as it looks like he’ll be a popular option. However, he’s shown over the past two weeks how elite his role is and how high of a ceiling he boasts.
He’s the top option in our Tournament Model.
Puka Nacua ($6,700 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel): Los Angeles Rams (+1) at Indianapolis Colts (46 total)
Puka Nacua took a break from lighting the world on fire last Monday night. He caught five of seven targets for 72 yards, totaling a modest 12.2 DraftKings points.
Nacua’s drop in usage was likely due to the matchup, as Cincinnati runs a large amount of man coverage. When Cincinnati ran zone, Nacua saw a target on 33% of his routes. The matchup this week is more in Nacua’s favor, as the Colts are last in the league in man coverage rate.
Nacua has a 39.6% target rate per route run against zone as opposed to 18.8% against man. He’s probably not Cooper Kupp, but I can’t guarantee that. This is eerily similar to the start of 2021, where Kupp continued to see monstrous usage, and his price kept rising.
Nacua is a great play in all formats this week, and he’s the top option in our Cash Game Model.
Joshua Palmer ($4,000 DraftKings, $6,100 FanDuel): Los Angeles Chargers (-5.5) vs. Las Vegas Raiders (49 total)
With Mike Williams sidelined for the year, Joshua Palmer steps into an every-down role for Los Angeles. He ran a route on 100% of the dropbacks that Williams missed last week. With Williams off the field in 2022, Palmer ran a route on 93% of the dropbacks.
Quentin Johnston is a long-term threat to jump Palmer for the number two receiver spot, but not yet. Right now, this is Palmer’s show.
With Williams off the field last season, Palmer saw a 20.8% target share and 18.6% target rate per route run. Similarly to Allen, the matchup is awesome. Vegas has allowed the second-highest catch rate to opposing receivers on the year and a healthy 9.1 yards per target.
Palmer is the top option in both Sean Koerner and Chris Raybon’s Pro Models.
Other Notable NFL DFS Wide Receiver Picks
Davante Adams ($8,000 DraftKings, $8,100 FanDuel): Las Vegas Raiders (+5.5) at Los Angeles Chargers (49 total)
Jimmy Garoppolo’s status is worth monitoring. If he is out, it’ll likely lead me away from Davante Adams. Adams performed well with Jarrett Stidham last year, so a backup quarterback wouldn’t completely take him out of the equation. However, it’s less likely I get there without Garoppolo in the lineup.
Adams was a target monster on Monday night, catching 13 of 20 targets for 172 yards and two touchdowns. The matchup is amazing, as Los Angeles has allowed the most yards per target and yards per catch to opposing wide receivers. If Garoppolo misses this game and Adams ownership looks like it’ll drop massively, I’ll likely still have some exposure in tournaments.
CeeDee Lamb ($7,500 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel): Dallas Cowboys (-6.5) vs. New England Patriots (43.5 total)
The matchup is difficult, but CeeDee Lamb is insanely talented in an amazing role. Christian Gonzalez is no slouch, but if he’s going to travel with Lamb, I’ll want a lot of Lamb in DFS. New England has played man coverage at the fifth-highest rate in the league. Lamb has shredded man coverage, averaging 3.43 yards per route run.
With a bevy of high-upside receivers priced right around him, Lamb will be overlooked. You can structure your rosters this week to have a some players in the afternoon games, and if your team gets off to a slow start at 1:00, Lamb makes for a great, low-owned option to swap onto for some upside.
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My Favorite NFL DFS Wide Receiver Leverage Pick(s)
Ja’Marr Chase ($7,800 DraftKings, $8,200 FanDuel): Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5) at Tennessee Titans (41 total)
He lives! Ja’Marr Chase finally came to life last week, catching 12 of 15 targets for 141 yards against the Rams. He gets a matchup against Tennessee, which means to lock and load. They’ve already given up 8/112/0 to Chris Olave, 8/111/2 to Keenan Allen, and 7/116/1 to Amari Cooper.
He’s currently projected to be lower owned than Keenan Allen, Davante Adams, and Stefon Diggs, who are all priced within $300 of Chase. Tyreek Hill is also projecting for more ownership at $1,000 more. If these ownerships reign true, someone has to get squeezed to lower ownership, especially in small-field contests. That player is likely Chase.
We know Chase has a monstrous ceiling, and I think we see it this weekend. Burrow barely practiced all last week, and then Cincinnati threw the ball 50 times. I think we see a similar number of attempts against a pass-funnel defense in Tennessee.
I love Chase this week.