Wide Receiver is the toughest position to manage on a weekly basis in fantasy football. There is an incredibly amount of volatility due to the myriad of factors that affect receivers each week. Last week, some big names didn’t play (Calvin Johnson), others struggled in great matchups (Victor Cruz), and very few came up big (Dez Bryant). When you add to that some key injuries (Julio Jones), finding effective WR is the toughest task week-in and week-out.
Fortunately, there’s also plenty of depth at the position meaning there are lots of options on the waiver wire. In fact, here are 10 options that are available in over half of ESPN leagues who are worth a look on the waiver wire. They’re listed in the rough order that I would pick them up in most formats. The Percentages in parentheses are the ESPN ownership as of Tuesday night.
If you have specific questions for your lineup, find me on twitter @ZT_Sports or leave your question in the comments, and I’ll do my best to answer as many as possible.
1. Justin Blackmon-Jacksonville Jaguars (20.0%)
Blackmon re-introduced himself to fantasy owners with a five-catch, 136-yard performance against the Rams in week 5 after serving his four game suspension. His 67-yard touchdown came early in the game from Blaine Gabbert who has been replaced by Chad Henne, but Henne and Blackmon have played well together in the past, so I think he’s an even better play with Henne under center. The Jags are going to throw all day against the Broncos since they’ll be behind, so look for a big game this week from Blackmon.
2. Terrance Williams-Dallas Cowboys (1.3%)
Williams has filled in for Miles Austin extremely well the last two weeks catching 11 passes for 222 yards including an 82-yard score from Tony Romo against Denver last week. While I don’t think Romo goes for 500 yards again against the Redskins, they do allow the most fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing WR. If you can’t get Blackmon, Williams is the best way to bolster your WR depth since he’ll keep getting run for as long as Austin is sidelined.
3. Keenan Allen-San Diego Chargers (1.2%)
Allen is growing into a huge part of the Chargers offense and got into the end zone for the first time in his rookie season last week against the Raiders. It was also his first 100+ yard game as he finished with 115 yards and his touchdown on six catches. He also had a TD called back upon review and was missed on a late interception in the end zone when he was open. Allen is a great add if you need roster depth and could
4. Jacoby Jones-Baltimore Ravens (6.6%)
The Ravens speedster is nearing his return from an injury in week 1. The Ravens are throwing the ball a ton and need a second option on the opposite side of Torrey Smith. Marlon Brown also missed the game last week, but both he and Jones are expected to play week 6. The Ravens host Green Bay this week which would be a greet matchup for Jones since they’ve allowed the seventh-most points per game to opposing wide receivers and given up a WR touchdown in every game this season.
5. Robert Woods-Buffalo Bills (10.3%)
Woods is clearly emerging as a go-to option with fellow rookie EJ Manuel in Buffalo. Problem-Manuel is out for the next several weeks. He was targeted 14 times last Thursday against the Browns, but part of that was due to the absence of Steve Johnson. Since Johnson is expected to be back this week, he’ll probably share a lot of looks. He’s still a solid depth option, though, especially if you can look more long-term to when Manuel comes back.
6. Jericho Cotchery-Pittsburgh Steelers (2.6%)
D0n’t forget about Cotchery who comes off a bye with the Steelers this week. He has over 50 yards in three straight games, and had 103 yards and a score in London against the Vikings week 4. The Steelers are throwing the ball a lot heading into their matchup in New York against the Jets and Cotchery should keep getting looks from Big Ben.
7. Kendall Wright-Tennessee Titans (39.5%)
Wright has been targeted at least eight times in three of his last four games and has been between 50 and 75 in each of his last four. He doesn’t play every single play and doesn’t get nearly the targets his talent seems to merit, but with everyone jumping off the bandwagon he’s available and makes a good pickup for your WR depth since he has a high floor even though he hasn’t reached 100 yards in any game this season. I wouldn’t plan on playing him this week though in a brutal matchup against the Seahawks.
8. Donnie Avery-Kansas City Chiefs (11.0%)
Avery is one of Alex Smith’s favorite targets for the resurgent Chiefs. He had only three catches last week, but they went for a whopping 91 yards. In week 4, he was targeted 10 times, and the week before he had 141 yards. This week, the Chiefs face the Raiders and if Avery can overcome a bruised shoulder he makes a decent pick up-and-play option.
9. Austin Pettis-St. Louis Rams (1.2%)
Pettis is Sam Bradford’s version of the slot machine and getting plenty of targets especially in the red zone. He has four touchdowns in the last four weeks and has been between 49-79 yards in three of the last four weeks. This week the Rams play the Texans who allow the fewest points per game to opposing WR.
10. Aaron Dobson-New England Patriots (5.3%)
Dobson played through a neck injury and finished with two catches for 53 yards against the Bengals. The Patriots offense was horrible Sunday, but will need to be much better against the Saints this Sunday in Foxboro. With Rob Gronkowski expected back, look for the Patriots to go to Dobson less often but more effectively when they try to stretch the field.
This list of WR’s is part of my weekly waiver wire focus. If you need further help constructing your team, check out my top ten waiver wire picks of the week as well as my top waiver targets at each of the following positions: QB, RB, TE, D/ST.