- Deebo Samuel ranks second among NFL wide receivers with a 36% target share, and it looks likely that Jimmy Garropolo will be under center this week as opposed to Trey Lance. While this is the less exciting outcome from a real-life perspective, this is likely an upgrade for Samuel for a fantasy perspective, as Lance didn’t seem ready to lead a productive passing game. The 49ers play an Indianapolis offense that is showing signs of life recently, which sets up nicely for a big game for Samuel if this turns into a shootout. All of this also applies to Brandon Aiyuk, who played 71% of the snaps and had a 14% target share back in Week 5 before the bye, and is too good of a player to just disappear from relevancy all season. We certainly can’t trust Aiyuk this week, but if you are desperate and looking for a WR3 or flex, I still believe the upside is there.
- If you are worried about A.J. Brown‘s production when he’s healthy and on the field, don’t be. Lost in the shuffle of last week’s Derrick Henry explosion was A.J. Brown taking over the game in the second half, racking up catch after catch over the middle of the field and giving the Titans an explosive option to target on play-action. Brown had a 35% target share against the Bills on 79% of the snaps, and that was with Julio Jones for most of the game, who reaggravated his hamstring injury late. Brown is set up to get absolutely fed while playing from behind against the Chiefs, and could legitimately finish as the WR1 this week if his injury woes are behind him.
- With Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and Darius Slayton all question marks to play this week, Sterling Shepard is locked into volume against the Panthers and is a clear start. In Shepard’s three full games this year, he has racked up 24, 18, and 18 PPR points despite just one touchdown, and his 14 targets last week against a tough Rams defense should be very encouraging. As long as he’s healthy and the rest of the receiving corps isn’t, he’s a locked-in weekly starter regardless of matchup.
- I’ve moved Darnell Mooney above Allen Robinson in my rankings for the first time ever, I would assume. Mooney is the better deep play threat, which plays into Justin Fields‘ strengths, and a matchup against a Tampa Bay defense that will force the Bears to pass makes this an intriguing spot. Even Robinson has hope for a big game here, but if it doesn’t happen this week in a projected pass-happy gamescript, it may never happen this year, barring a huge Fields break out.
Green=Strong Starter, Yellow=Solid Starter, Red=Look for Better Options
Week 7 WR Rankings