In this post I will touch on my favorite Wide Receivers, as well as my Trap of the Week.
Julio Jones vs CAR – Julio has been very disappointing early on in 2016, last week he only caught 1 of his 7 targets for 16 yards. I think it is safe to say his target volume is down because he is battling some injuries. It’s encouraging that he has participated in practice this week, including a full practice on Friday. This matchup against the Panthers lines up to be Julio’s breakout game. Atlanta will have a tough time finding success on the ground against Carolina. In the Panthers last two games they are allowing just 2.5 yds/attempt to opposing running backs. Matt Ryan should be locked onto Julio, who will matchup against James Bradberry, a rookie cornerback from Samford. While the rookie has looked solid for the Panthers, he has not faced Julio Jones like talent. Last year at the Georgia Dome, Julio lit up the Carolina defense, which included Josh Norman, to the tune of 9/178/1. Julio should absolutely roast the Panthers inexperienced secondary this week.
Marvin Jones @ CHI- Talk about an impressive start to the season, Marvin Jones is clearly Matthew Stafford’s favorite target. Before AJ Green played on Thursday night, Jones was leading the NFL in receiving yards with 408. Jones is the only legitimate big play receiver on the Lions, he is averaging 22.7yds/catch. The strong start should continue for Starvin’ Marvin against the Bears this week. Chicago has one of the worst secondaries in the NFL. Against weak passing teams they have allowed an average of 164 yards/gm to opposing wide receivers. Marvin Jones will run most of his routes against undersized journeyman Tracy Porter. Jones has the size and speed advantage to abuse Porter and the Bears this week.
Honorable Mentions: Antonio Brown, Kelvin Benjamin, Larry Fitzgerald
Big Game Opportunities
DeSean Jackson vs CLE– Health is always the big issue when talking about DeSean Jackson, and he has looked fresh through three games. DJax has had at least one catch for over 28 yards in each game. This week he gets a juicy matchup against the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have allowed receiving touchdowns to Nelson Agholor (Week 1), Mike Wallace (Week 2), and DeVante Parker (Week 3), who all play similar roles to DJax in their respective offenses. DeSean has huge upside in this match, we could see one of his famous 6/160/2 games.
Brandon Marshall vs SEA– BMarsh might be the most underrated play of the week. Anytime a receiver goes up against the Seahawks, everyone just writes them off. Add in a potential injury concerns, and Marshall is sliding under the radar this week. On the injury front, BMarsh got in full practices all week, and is no longer on the Jets injury report. He has seen his targets increase each week, and Head Coach Todd Bowles came out saying the team will make sure Brandon gets the ball. With Decker out for the foreseeable future, Marshall should see a massive workload and the opportunity to take snaps in the slot. Similar to Cardinals last week, the Seahawks have to travel cross country for a noon start. Marshall should be able to take advantage of his size in the slot over Jeremy Lane.
Honorable Mentions: Jeremy Maclin, Will Fuller, Cole Beasley
Trap of the Week
Terrelle Pryor @ WSH- I’m not buying the hype surrounding Terrelle Pryor. It was definitely impressive to see him play 3 different positions last week, but all of that success came against a putrid Miami defense. In the two games before, Pryor saw 10 & 7 targets and didn’t do much with those opportunities. I understand the upside with the passing attempts and rushing opportunity, but there is now game film on that. The Browns are like a high school team with one really good player in Pryor, and all of Washington’s attention will be focused on shutting him down. Pryor should also see a lot of Josh Norman on Sunday. Lets pump the breaks on Pryor until he shows it a few more times, he has had one good game as a skill player in the NFL.