Sunday, January 29, 2023

Fantasy Football Week 1 Wide Receiver Preview: Matchups that matter, projections and more

Fantasy Football Week 1 Wide Receiver Preview: Matchups that matter, projections and more

Everything you need to know about wide receiver in Week 1.


Talking about regression in Fantasy Football is not exactly what you’d call a crowd pleaser. No one wants to hear that the guy who just did something great probably cannot repeat that great thing, even if they know it to be true. And just about everyone should know that Cooper Kupp and Deebo Samuel are due for some regression. How much regression is another question altogether.

For Kupp, it could be a lot and still not matter all that much. His 25.7 PPR FPPG was more than 15% better than WR2 Davante Adams. So even if he lost 15% of his production, we might expect him to be the WR1, worth a pick in Round 1. For what it’s worth, if Kupp didn’t regress at all, he’s probably worth that No. 1 pick.

Adams is a good example to use, because he actually scored 25.6 PPR FPPG the year before. That was quite a leap from the 17.6 FPPG he’d scored in 2019. Adams finished that 2019 season one spot ahead of Kupp, who was within a point of the former Packer. That was Kupp’s previous career-high as well. 

The case for Samuel’s pending regression is very easy to make, but hard to quantify for the same reason; We’ve not really seen anyone do what he did. He led the NFL at 18.2 yards per catch and scored eight times on 59 rush attempts. Simply astonishing. You can go looking for a comp, you won’t find one. What’s worse, is that Samuel’s situation got flipped upside down by the team transitioning to Trey Lance.

We expect Lance to be a difference-maker in Fantasy, but that’s mostly because of what he does with his legs. While he does bring more upside with his arm, it probably won’t happen in Year 1. That makes projecting Samuel even more of a challenge.

The truth is that both of these players are superstars, so what we need to watch in Week 1 is not what they do, but what their team and teammates do. Does Sean McVay have another shift in philosophy? Does Matthew Stafford look 100%? Does Lance look competent? Where does Samuel rank in the passing game with Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle? Is Samuel still a part-time running back?

These are the things I’ll be watching in Week 1 and they’ll give us hints as to whether Kupp and Samuel will be league-winners again, or simply great Fantasy wide receivers.

Here is the rest of the Week 1 WR Preview:

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Week 1 WR Preview

The following players are not being projected to play Week 1 at this time. Here’s what it means:

WR Preview

Numbers to Know

  • 81Darnell Mooney received the fourth-most targets in the league from Week 11-18.
  • 100.3 — Elijah Moore scored the second-most Fantasy points by a wide receiver from Week 9-13.

  • 42.3 — The Vikings surrendered the most PPR Fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers in 2021.
  • 48.4% — The Eagles had the second-lowest target rate directed toward wide receivers in 2021. This should change with A.J. Brown on the roster.
  • 80.4%Hunter Renfrow caught 103 of 128 targets last season, the second-highest catch rate by a wide receiver with at least 100 targets since the stat was first tracked in 1992.

  • 439.5 — Cooper Kupp broke the WR single-season PPR Fantasy points record in 2021 with 439.5 points last year. 

  • 265 — The Chiefs have 265 targets to replace at wide receiver in 2022, the most in the NFL.
  • 8 — Deebo Samuel had eight rushing touchdowns last year. Regression and Trey Lance should halve that at least

  • 3,525D.J. Moore has 3,525 receiving yards since the start of 2019. Only Cooper Kupp, Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs, and Travis Kelce have more.
  • 29% — Targets per route run for Kadarius Toney in 2021, which ranked fifth at the position. If he can stay on the field, he’s a breakout.

WR Preview

Matchups that matter

Projections powered by Sportsline

WR Preview

Waiver Wire Targets

Projections powered by Sportsline

Projections powered by Sportsline

WR Preview

Heath’s Projections

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