NFL Week 17 Fantasy WR Breakdown: Will Kenny Golladay Bounce Back vs. Packers?
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay (19).
- Wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Robert Woods are at the top of the FantasyLabs Models partly because of injuries to respective teammates.
- Below is a deeper dive on both guys and why they should be in your lineup for Week 17.
The final week of the season is here, and the NFL is still on pace for a record-breaking campaign with an average of 23.4 points per game per team.
But scoring has dropped precipitously as injuries have mounted, game tape has accumulated, weather conditions have worsened, pace of play has slowed and divisional opponents have rematched.
Four of the five lowest-scoring weeks this season have been played in the month of December.
- Week 13: 21.4 points
- Week 14: 21.8 points
- Week 15: 19.3 points
- Week 16: 22.7 points
Year over year, scoring is up, but within 2018, we’ve seen a very notable downward trend, which could continue into this weekend, given that Week 17 tends to have a preseason-esque randomness thanks to the mixed motivations of each team.
Regardless, with no Thursday and Monday Night Football, we have the largest main slate of the regular season (15 games), and many teams are playing to win. The action kicks off on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
In this positional breakdown, I’m looking at four wide receivers at the top of the individual Pro Models that Jonathan Bales, Peter Jennings (CSURAM88), Adam Levitan, Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon, Kevin McClelland (SportsGeek) and I have constructed.
NOTE: This week especially, the players at the top of our Models might change radically as we get more news regarding how teams with no need to use their starters plan to deploy their players. Be sure to check our Models regularly for updates.
After this piece is published, FantasyLabs is likely to provide news updates on a number of players. Stay ahead of your competition with our industry-leading DFS-focused news feed.
For updates on Vegas spreads and over/unders, check out The Action Network Live Odds page.
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Model Wide Receivers
Two mid-priced wide receivers stand out in the FantasyLabs Pro Models this week.
- Robert Woods: $6,900 DraftKings; $7,600 FanDuel
- Kenny Golladay: $6,600 DraftKings; $6,800 FanDuel
Robert Woods: Los Angeles Rams (-10.5) vs. San Francisco 49ers, 48 Over/Under
After losing two games in a row, the Rams got back on track last week against the Cardinals with a 31-9 road victory, and now all they have to do is win a home game against the 49ers to secure the No. 2 seed in the NFC.
Running back Todd Gurley (knee) has been ruled out for Week 17, so it’s possible that the Rams could rely on the passing game more than usual, especially since the 49ers rank dead last in the league with their 41.8 Pro Football Focus (PFF) coverage grade.
Although the Rams returned to form last week, their offense has really struggled (especially in the passing game) since wide receiver Cooper Kupp (knee, IR) suffered a season-ending injury in Week 10.
- With Kupp (eight games): 33.4 points, 3.03 points per drive, 34.3 pass attempts, 23.8 completions, 329.6 passing yards, 2.12 passing touchdowns, 0.75 interceptions
- Without Kupp (seven games): 30.3 points, 2.21 points per drive, 38.0 pass attempts, 23.0 completions, 267.3 passing yards, 1.57 passing touchdowns, 1.0 interceptions
With significantly more attempts, the Rams without Kupp have completed fewer passes for way fewer yards and points.
But the Rams are still third in the league this season with 31.9 points per game, and the 49ers have been one of the worst road teams of 2018, allowing 30.3 points per game outside of San Francisco. The Rams should be able to put up points.
Although he underwhelmed for the first four seasons of his career, Woods has been a significant contributor to the team’s success since signing with the Rams last offseason, and this season he leads the team with 127 targets, 84 receptions, 1,195 yards receiving, 1,435 air yards and six touchdowns receiving. And he’s coming off one of his best games of the season, a 6-89-1 receiving and 2-15-1 rushing performance.
There’s nothing exceptional about Woods’ numbers, but he’s one of the most consistent receivers in the league: Only once this season has he not had at least 60 yards receiving in a game — and that was Week 1, when he still got nine targets and one carry.
Over the past two seasons (including playoffs), Woods has exhibited some notable Kupp-based splits.
- Kupp plays fewer than 60% of snaps (10 games): 18.1 DraftKings points per game, 38.3 snaps in slot, 24.9 snaps out wide, 8.6 targets, 5.7 receptions, 82.0 yards receiving, 11.6 yards rushing, 0.40 touchdowns
- Kupp plays at least 60% of snaps (18 games): 15.9 DraftKings points per game, 16.6 snaps in slot, 38.2 snaps out wide, 7.8 targets, 5.1 receptions, 72.1 yards receiving, 2.9 yards rushing, 0.44 touchdowns
Woods has seen more targets without Kupp, and he’s been employed much more in the slot, and where he lines up could matter this week.
Kenny Golladay: Detroit Lions (+8.0) at Green Bay Packers, 45.5 O/U
UPDATE (12/30): Running back LeGarrette Blount (knee) is questionable but tentatively expected to play.
It’s hard to trust Golladay because the Packers-Lions game has zero postseason implications, but both teams played their starters last week even though they were officially out of the playoffs, so they both might put forward good-faith efforts this week.
It’s at least notable that the Packers have a 43-34 over/under record at home with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. This game means nothing for the playoffs, but it could see more points than expected.
Golladay has impressed in his second season, putting up 1,063 yards and five touchdowns receiving. He should enter 2019 as the presumptive No. 1 wide receiver for the Lions.
He has a great combination of size (6-foot-4, 218 pounds), speed (4.50-second 40) and agility (7.00-second three-cone). In each of his two seasons at Northern Illinois, he had 1,100-plus yards from scrimmage and 10-plus touchdowns. He’s a legitimate NFL producer.
And he has a good matchup against the Packers, who have allowed a top-four mark of 34.1 FanDuel points per game to wide receivers. When Golladay faced the Packers in Week 5, he scored 17.8 FanDuel points with a 4-98-1 receiving performance on nine targets.
And the Packers are stretched thin in the secondary, with cornerbacks Kevin King (hamstring) and Davon House (shoulder) on IR and Jaire Alexander (groin) extremely questionable to play after exiting last game with an injury and missing practice all of this week.
But Golladay hasn’t scored a touchdown over the past five weeks, and he’s had fewer than 60 yards in three of his past five games.
And I don’t think Golladay’s short-term struggles are happenstance.
In Weeks 1-8, the Lions seemed to be a team on the rise with an exciting group of skill-position players in Golladay, wide receivers Golden Tate and Marvin Jones and rookie running back Kerryon Johnson.
Golladay is the last man standing.
Week 17 Positional Breakdowns
Be sure to read the other Week 17 positional breakdowns.
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