NFL Week 1 DFS Strategy: Selecting Top Dollar Wide Receivers

Wide Receivers To Target In Week 1 NFL DFS

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NFL WEEK 1 DFS Strategy- Selecting Top Dollar Wide Receivers

With the NFL 2021-2022 season set to begin, it is once again time to prepare for setting those Daily Fantasy Lineups. For many, choosing an opening week roster can feel like guesswork. But, luckily I have an extremely detailed and tested forecast model to help guide you for finding which WR1 is set to go off in week 1.

Receivers Worth Their Price

As tempting as it is to show off your NFL knowledge and find a hidden gem, week one is also a great time to rely on known commodities. Unfortunately, these players come with a hefty price tag, making their productivity even more important to winning the contest. 

Even when selecting from the league’s best receiving options, it is important to find players who reliably get their opportunities to put up points. This is especially important in week one as quarterbacks will look to lean heavily on their top options. 

 In 2020, the average pass attempts to each team’s top wideout were 7.5 targets per game. Therefore, when looking to take a top-flight pass catcher, they should be projected to have no less than 8 balls thrown their way. 

Wide Receivers Projected Over 8 Targets In Week 1

RankPlayerYards ReceivingCatchesTargetsTDTeamOpponentPoints Projected
0K.ALLEN96.1666679.22222213.0555560.7LACWSH12.333465
1D.ADAMS104.4285718.57142910.7857141.4GBNO16.140701
2S.DIGGS97.5625008.06250010.3750000.6BUFPIT10.970270
3D.HOPKINS93.7500007.56250010.2500000.4ARITEN14.345599
4C.RIDLEY92.8666676.3333339.6000000.6ATLPHI12.281937
5A.ROBINSON83.0000006.6875009.4375000.4CHILAR7.889020
6T.HILL90.8666676.0000009.2666671.0KCCLE16.064148
7T.MCLAURIN81.0000006.0666679.0000000.3WSHLAC9.645687
8D.METCALF92.6250005.5625008.2500000.7SEAIND14.109213
9A.COOPER74.3125006.0625008.1875000.4DALTB12.205564
10B.AIYUK70.3333335.5000008.1666670.4SFDET10.409854
11B.COOKS81.1333335.8000008.1333330.4HOUJAX11.877354
12R.ANDERSON66.4117655.7647068.1176470.2CARNYJ9.780197

The benefits of selecting top targeted receivers are made evident as the players from the table above are projected to average 12.15 points in week one. This comes in nearly 3 points above the 2020 average for top wide receivers. 

Having narrowed our week one receiver candidates down, we can then begin looking for players with favorable matchups against opposing defenses.

2020 Worst Defense Against Number 1 Wide Receivers

Defense TeamYards ReceivingCatchesTargetsTDFantasy Projection
0ATL94.4000006.5333338.5333330.46666712.240000
1DAL78.4210535.5263168.4736840.63157911.631579
2CAR76.7857146.3571439.7857140.64285711.535714
3CLE72.0769235.5384627.9230770.53846210.438462
4DET85.6250006.1250008.0625000.31250010.437500
5BUF67.2666674.7333337.5333330.60000010.326667
6CIN60.0000004.8000007.2666670.66666710.000000
7ARI69.4117655.0588246.7058820.4705889.764706
8DEN62.7500005.6666678.6666670.5000009.275000
9CHI66.1428575.0714297.6428570.3571438.757143
10BAL53.3571434.8571437.3571430.2142866.621429

When paying top dollar for selecting a team’s top wideout, finding value for their price is dependent on the player having an above-average performance. In 2020 this happened with regularity against the teams above. 

Combining this information helps identify receivers who meet the two most important criteria in projecting a big performance. 

  1. Top Targeted Option On Team
  2. Favorable Matchup 

The table below provides a list of players meeting this standard and are worthy of their DFS salary heading into week one.

Week 1 Top Receivers With Favorable Matchup

PlayerYards ReceivingCatchesTargetsTDTeamOpponentPoints ProjectedMatchup
0T.HILL90.8666676.0000009.2666671.0KCCLE16.064148Good Matchup
1D.HOPKINS93.7500007.56250010.2500000.4ARITEN14.345599Good Matchup
2D.METCALF92.6250005.5625008.2500000.7SEAIND14.109213Good Matchup
3A.COOPER74.3125006.0625008.1875000.4DALTB12.205564Good Matchup
4B.COOKS81.1333335.8000008.1333330.4HOUJAX11.877354Good Matchup
5B.AIYUK70.3333335.5000008.1666670.4SFDET10.409854Good Matchup
6R.ANDERSON66.4117655.7647068.1176470.2CARNYJ9.780197Good Matchup

Receivers To Avoid In Week 1

One DFS strategy that should be avoided at all costs is blindly selecting a wide receiver because they are expensive or coming off a big game. A receiver’s opportunities and matchups are the two best indicators of performance. In week 1, some wide receivers will be negatively affected by this principle, leaving those who select them feeling sorry. 

2020 Best Defenses Against Number 1 Receivers

Defense TeamYards ReceivingCatchesTargetsTDFantasy Projection
0GB39.0000003.6000005.8000000.3333335.900000
1BAL53.3571434.8571437.3571430.2142866.621429
2LAR44.0000004.4375007.1250000.3750006.650000
3NO49.9411763.7058826.0588240.2941186.758824
4SF55.0434784.8260876.7826090.2608707.069565
5PIT48.2500003.9375006.2500000.3750007.075000
6SEA57.4705885.3529417.3529410.2352947.158824
7KC54.5714293.9285716.2857140.3571437.600000
8WSH56.4444445.3888897.1111110.3888897.977778

Week 1 Receivers With Bad Matchups

PlayerYards ReceivingCatchesTargetsTDTeamOpponentPoints ProjectedMatchup
0E.SANDERS56.4285714.6428576.0000000.4NOGB4.481877Bad Matchup
1J.LANDRY62.9333335.1333337.0666670.3CLEKC6.232354Bad Matchup
2M.JONES66.4375005.0625007.2500000.7DETSF8.452335Bad Matchup
3N.AGHOLOR58.6250003.1875005.1250000.5LVBAL6.022949Bad Matchup
4T.HILTON56.7333333.8666676.2000000.4INDSEA5.771177Bad Matchup

As week 1 of the 2021 NFL season rapidly approaches and strategies for filling out lineups are formulated, it is important to rely on sound principles. When it comes to selecting top-end wide receivers we want their DFS salary to be money well spent. In 2021 don’t simply avoid a high price tag and fall into the trap of bargain shopping. Head back on over and get your weekly position by position guide to drafting your DFS lineup.

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