Wide receiver is arguably the toughest position to project in DFS. There’s a seemingly unlimited stream of data related to coverage schemes, route types, air yards, and much more.
The advanced stats are useful, but it is important to “cut the fat” before diving into too much data.
Read my guide on how to build a player pool!
Below is a walk through of how I choose my player pool for wide receivers. For reference, these examples are from week 13 of the 2023 NFL season, and reflect the games from the Draftkings main slate.
Talk about a game I want no parts of – Atlanta doesn’t pass well and is up against a solid Jets pass defense. The Jets are starting Boyle at QB. I’m cutting all receivers from this game.
This is one of those matchups that seems too good to be true for Miami, specifically Tyreek Hill. He could break the slate against Washington, and I’ll have him in a lot of my lineups. While Washington will be playing catchup, Sam Howell likes to spread the ball around, so Washington receivers have not had many ceiling games this season. Regardless, Dotson has almost hit 30 points once this season, and Samuel exceeded 20 last week. Both are below $5k, and are solid bring-backs if you have a Miami receiver. I’m cutting McLaurin from the pool in favor of the value options.
The Titans have permitted five, 100-yard receiving performances this season. They can be burned, but Colts receivers only have FIVE touchdown receptions this season. Pittman should perform well given his volume, but at over $7k, he doesn’t have the upside to take down a GPP IMO. Downs busts more than booms, but is a worthy risk at a little over $5k. He has three red zone targets last week, which helps his cause. He’s the only Colts WR I’m including in my pool at this time.
On the Titans’ side, Hopkins has two games with over 25 Draftkings points this season, but has mostly been quiet. I’m not confident that he can pop with Levis at QB. I will not be playing any Ten receivers this week.
Even though the Steelers defense isn’t as stout this season, I don’t like the Cardinals on the road in Pittsburgh, in December nonetheless. I’m cutting all of them from my pool.
The Steelers offense might have hope after firing Canada, but it is too soon to tell. In a week where there are expensive options that we should roster, a Pickett/Pickens stack looks appealing given the cheap price. George Pickens is wildly talented, and this is arguably his best matchup of the season. He’s only $4800 on DK, and is too hard to pass up. He’s the only receiver in my pool for this game.
I feel like I should want more pieces of this game, but I just don’t. The Saints have a tough pass defense (sorry, St. Brown), and Derek Carr misses on deep passes to Olave. I’m fading this game entirely.
Keenan Allen is worth playing almost every week, but I don’t see the point in playing him on the road in Foxboro at $9000 when I can play Tyreek Hill at $9600 with a better matchup. I’m cutting all receivers from this game.
The vaunted Houston passing attack should be in play every week. I’m cutting Woods for now, but will keep Dell and Collins in play. If Noah Brown plays this weekend, it’ll get interesting.
On the other side, Denver’s receivers have been a season-long fade for me.
Carolina’s defense has held both Dak Prescott and CJ Stroud to under 200 passing yards in recent weeks. Evans is playable, so I will keep him in my pool for now. I’m cutting Godwin. As for Carolina, I like Thielen, but I have no confidence in Bryce Young, so I am cutting all Car WR’s from my pool this week.
The Browns are starting Flacco this week, so I’m cutting the entire Browns offense from my player pool. On the other side Kupp has been battling injuries all season long. I don’t see Nacua having a ceiling game against the Browns defense, so I am cutting all Rams receivers from my pool too.
Aiyuk and Samuel are absolutely in play versus this leaky Eagles pass defense.
While A.J. Brown has struggled, he is a candidate to pop every week. Given the scoring upside of this game, I’m also keeping Smith in my pool for now.
Analyzing the pool
Now that I have made a ton of cuts, I will take a glance of my current WR player pool:
Upon review this pool, it is clear that I need to research these matchups in greater detail. Here is how I will do it:
- I will consult PFF’s weekly zone/man report to see who they favor – for example, I don’t have a great idea of who to play for SF, Samuel or Aiyuk? Same with Houston, Dell or Collins?
- Another important point is to monitor the injury report – late injury news should always be considered.
- The next question is exposure – do I want Tyreek Hill in 50% of my lineups or 25%? Same with the others.
I hope that this has been helpful. Remember, to build your initial pool, you don’t have to do a ton of research, that part comes later.