We all know who the elite wide receivers in the league are, and while there may be some difficult matchups or recent struggles no one is about to sit them. However who are in the next class? Who could step up and fill the gap as a bye week replacement or an injury plug in? Let’s take a look:
- Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints – at Tampa Bay
- Tyreek Hill – Kansas City Chiefs – at Los Angeles Chargers
- Amari Cooper – Dallas Cowboys – at Detroit
- Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. New Orleans
- DeAndre Hopkins – Houston Texans – at Baltimore
- Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons – at Carolina
- Julian Edelman – New England Patriots – at Philadelphia
- Stefon Diggs – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Denver
- Chris Godwin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. New Orleans
- Cooper Kupp – Los Angeles Rams – vs. Chicago
- Courtland Sutton – Denver Broncos – at Minnesota
- Emmanuel Sanders – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Arizona
- Michael Gallup – Dallas Cowboys – at Detroit
- Allen Robinson – Chicago Bears – at Los Angeles Rams
- Kennan Allen – Los Angeles Chargers – vs. Kansas City
- D.J. Moore – Carolina Panthers – vs. Atlanta
- D.J. Chark – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Indianapolis
- John Brown – Buffalo Bills – at Miami
- Calvin Ridley – Atlanta Falcons – at Carolina
- Marquise Brown – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Houston
- Tyler Boyd – Cincinnati Bengals – at Oakland
- Odell Beckham – Cleveland Browns – vs. Pittsburgh
- JuJu Smith-Schuster – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Cleveland
- Christian Kirk – Arizona Cardinals – at San Francisco
- Kenny Golladay – Detroit Lions – vs. Dallas
- Mohamed Sanu – New England Patriots – at Philadelphia
- Tyrell Williams – Oakland Raiders – vs. Cincinnati
- Curtis Samuel – Carolina Panthers – vs. Atlanta
- Terry McLaurin – Washington Redskins – vs. New York Jets
- DeVante Parker – Miami Dolphins – vs. Buffalo
- Zach Pascal – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Jacksonville
- Deebo Samuel – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Arizona
- Jamison Crowder – New York Jets – at Washington
- Marvin Jones – Detroit Lions – vs. Dallas
- Robert Woods – Los Angeles Rams – vs. Chicago
- Dede Westbrook – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Indianapolis
- Hunter Renfrow – Oakland Raiders – vs. Cincinnati
- Jarvis Landry – Cleveland Browns – vs. Pittsburgh
- Cole Beasley – Buffalo Bills – at Miami
- Alshon Jeffrey – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. New England
- Mike Williams – Los Angeles Chargers – vs. Kansas City
- Auden Tate – Cincinnati Bengals – at Oakland
- Mecole Hardman – Kansas City Chiefs – at Los Angeles Chargers
- Kenny Stills – Houston Texans – at Baltimore
- Robby Anderson – New York Jets – at Washington
- Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals – at San Francisco
- Diontae Johnson – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Cleveland
- Demaryius Thomas – New York Jets – at Washington
- Alex Erickson – Cincinnati Bengals – at Oakland
- Sammy Watkins – Kansas City Chiefs – at Los Angeles Chargers
- Over the past few weeks the Detroit Lions have given up at least 1 TD each game to an opposing wide receiver. That plays into the potential value of Amari Cooper, who has scored in back-to-back games and has 7 TD on the season. In fact he’s been 80+ yards in four of his past five games (with three games of at least 100 yards), making him one of the best options in the league this week.
- Julio Jones has gone six straight games without a TD, but you would think there’s a good chance that streak is snapped this week. Both Austin Hooper and Devonta Freeman could be sidelined, giving even more opportunities for Jones and Calvin Ridley to produce. While the Panthers have been more prone to opposing running backs (pointing towards Brian Hill being an ideal sleeper), would it really be a surprise if they took a pass happy approach? Jones’ lack of TD drop him a little bit, but he’s still a locked in WR1.
- Prior to their bye week the Denver Broncos allowed 204 yards and 1 TD to the Cleveland Browns (an offense that simply hadn’t put things together). Is that the sign of things to come moving forward? Stefon Diggs hasn’t scored over the past four weeks, but he has amassed 339 yards (tied for fourth most) and should continue to thrive. Don’t shy away from him.
- Chris Godwin hasn’t posted big numbers over the past three weeks (178 yards and 0 TD), while Mike Evans has apparently become the focal point of the offense (four straight games of 82+ yards, including days of 180 and 196 yards). Of course Godwin has continued to get targets and the last time Tampa Bay faced the Saints he was the go to option, with 7 catches, 125 yards and 2 TD. While Evans is the better option for this week, Godwin is also on radars as a WR1.
- Even with questionable quarterback play Courtland Sutton proved that he could be a solid option in Week 10, putting up 5 receptions, 56 yards and 1 TD. Taking on a Minnesota defense that’s allowed the third most points per week to opposing wide receivers over the past four weeks (including a league high 903 yards) there’s every reason to believe in another strong performance. If he had a better QB throwing him the football he’d be a Top 5 option, but even as is he’s a potential low-end WR1.
- Kennan Allen continues to get opportunities (10+ targets in three of the past four games), but he hasn’t topped 70 yards since Week 3 (which also is the last time he found the end zone). Taking on a Chiefs’ defense that has been very good at stopping opposing wide receivers and with a running game that could be the focus of the offense, suddenly Allen is a better fit as a high-end WR2.
- After turning 10 targets into 7 catches, 220 yards and 1 TD against the Bengals, Cooper Kupp went untargeted against the Steelers?! It’s hard to believe and it’s easy to envision the team force feeding him the football early this week against the Bears. Don’t shy away from him as a low-end WR1.
- Over the past four weeks the Dallas Cowboys have given up the fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers. If Matthew Stafford were healthy maybe that wouldn’t scare us off as much, and while Kenny Golladay was still able to produce in Week 10 (3 catches, 57 yards, 1 TD) it was a step back from recent weeks and contingent on a heavy workload (9 targets). We wouldn’t call him unusable as a WR2, but he certainly isn’t as appealing as he could’ve been.
- The Cleveland Browns did try to get Odell Beckham the ball (12 targets), but the results remained mediocre as he delivered 5 catches for 57 yards. Having scored just 1 TD this season he’s hard to trust, though the Steelers haven’t been an elite defense by any stretch. He’s a potential WR2, but may be a better fit as a WR3.
- Tyler Boyd continues to be a highly targeted receiver, averaging over 10 targets over the past three games. While the production hasn’t necessarily been there and he now has to deal with a rookie quarterback, the matchup with the Raiders should lead to continued opportunities. Oakland has allowed 849 receiving yards over the past four weeks (second most in the league), so there should be opportunities to produce as a WR2.
- The last time Christian Kirk faced the 49ers he delivered 2 catches for 8 yards. Sure he had a monster Week 10 (6 catches, 138 yards, 3 TD), but are we really to believe he’s locked in to produce those types of results again? Given the matchup and what he did last week, he’s still only a borderline WR2.
- Alshon Jeffrey has totaled 10 catches and 138 yards over his past three games and now faces a New England defense that’s yielded just 272 yards and 0 TD to opposing wide receivers over the past four weeks. Sure the name may seem appealing, but now is certainly not the time to roll the dice on a rebound.
- Over his past three games Hunter Renfrow has posted 14 catches for 184 yards and 2 TD. They aren’t blow away numbers but they are solid and he has been converting on his opportunities (16 targets). Taking on the Bengals, all he may need is a handful of chances as Cincinnati has allowed the sixth most points per week to opposing WR over the past four weeks.
- We have to wait and see if George Kittle and/or Emmanuel Sanders will be healthy enough to play in Week 11, but regardless Deebo Samuels big day (8 catches for 112 yards) and a positive matchup puts him squarely on WR3 radars. If they aren’t out could he be pushed into WR2 territory? Perhaps, but he’s a solid play in all formats.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 11 rankings: