• Arizona Cardinals WR Marquise Brown: has put up some gaudy numbers to start the season
• Dallas Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb: is earning targets at a career-high rate through four weeks
• Los Angeles Rams WR Allen Robinson II: has posted some brutal underlying success rate metrics against man coverage
Week 5 is here. It’s truly a great day to be great.
What follows is a key fantasy football question and answer for every single wide receiver room in the league ahead of this week’s NFL action. Notes from every team’s tight end room are also included in the breakdown. Fantasy football rankings can be found in the new PFF app as well as in our suite of website fantasy tools.
JUMP TO A TEAM:
Hopefully beyond even then, although the return of DeAndre Hopkins in Week 7 certainly complicates things.
For now, Hollywood remains the only sure thing in this passing game. Through four weeks, he’s on pace to post a 128-1,441-8.5 receiving line on an astronomical 183 targets. The ex-Ravens talent was as impressive as ever in Week 4, specifically, and deserves to be started in all fantasy leagues ahead of Sunday’s potential shootout against the Eagles.
The “problem” with Moore is the reality that he lined up in the slot on just 17 of his 65 snaps (26%). He essentially replaced A.J. Green (knee) on the outside, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury already confirmed that AJG will suit up in Week 5. While Moore is ideally better suited as a full-time slot receiver, it remains uncertain if he’ll get the same sort of robust route rate from there if the Cardinals are hell-bent on keeping Greg Dortch involved.
Hold off on starting Moore for now. We’ll have a much clearer idea of his long-term role this time next week.
Tight End Notes: Zach Ertz continues to be a volume-based TE1 option with at least six receptions in each of his three non-injury-induced games this season. The PPR TE13, TE3, TE12 and TE6 through the first four weeks, Ertz continues to warrant weekly top-eight treatment in full-PPR formats ahead of this week’s #RevengeGame.
Key question: Can Marcus Mariota consistently enable anybody in this passing game?
Well, it looked like Drake London was on a rocket ship to the moon after an impressive opening stretch to the season, but last week’s WR76 finish certainly wasn’t ideal. Of course, that’s life inside of an offense that completed *checks notes* seven total passes.
Through 16 quarters, Mariota has more interceptions (4) than passing touchdowns (3) and zero games with even 230 passing yards. Credit to the Falcons’ eighth-ranked scoring offense for operating as one of the league’s better rushing attacks, but there hasn’t been all that much meat on the bone for anybody to really reach a high level in the passing game. Overall, London’s average of 14.8 expected PPR points per game ranks just 22nd among wide receivers. That’s not bad. Still, there’s a capped ceiling here for everyone involved in the league’s second-most run-heavy offense in non-garbage time situations.
The next topic of our discussion ranks just ninth at the position in expected PPR points.
Tight End Notes: Kyle Pitts (hamstring) is averaging a robust 4.4 PPR points below expectation this season. He’s largely been a ghost outside of 30 minutes this season:
- First half of Week 3: 4 receptions, 82 yards
- Other 14 quarters combined: 6 receptions, 68 yards
Fantasy managers have gotten to the point where the lack of touchdowns doesn’t even matter. We’ll take 50 yards per game at this point. Alas, the clear-cut No. 2 pass-game option now figures to be at less than 100% in one of the league’s only two offenses to run the ball on over 50% of their plays this season. Keep an eye on how serious this injury is and pray for better days ahead.
Pitts remains a recommended start thanks to his top-10 usage, although his theoretically tantalizing ceiling could continue to be undone by the general volume issue in this offense.
Key question: Just how good is Devin Duvernay?
No. 1 WR Rashod Bateman (foot) is banged up, meaning Duvernay might have to step up as Lamar Jackson’s top wide receiver. All the third-year receiver has done through four weeks is make four trips to the end zone, emerging as one of the position’s more efficient players along the way:
- PFF receiving grade: 75.1 (No. 24 among 95 wide receivers with at least 10 targets)
- Yards per route run: 2.07 (No. 26)
- QB rating when targeted: 126.3 (No. 12)
This isn’t some random undrafted practice squad player. Duvernay was a top-100 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and a former four-start recruit who posted a 106-1,386-9 receiving line during his final season at Texas. His ascension to bona fide good status isn’t that big of a reach, nor is the possibility that he takes advantage of extra pass-game opportunities should Bateman miss time.
Tight End Notes: Mark Andrews (17.1) is the TE2 this season, behind only Travis Kelce (19.1) in real PPR points per game, but Andrews actually ranks first (18 vs. 16.9) in expected PPR points per game. Translation: Andrews is already playing well, but he actually has room to get even better. Continue to fire him up with all the confidence in the world against a Bengals defense that he’s torched for 8-125-1, 3-48-0, 4-27-0, 6-56-1, 6-53-2 and 6-99-0 lines since 2019.
Key question: What’s going on with Gabriel Davis?
The nagging ankle injury hasn’t helped, but Davis’ standing as one of just three wide receivers getting targeted on under 10% of his routes run has been weird. It’s not like this has always been a problem. Davis’ 13.8% threat rate (targets per route) jumped to 19% from 2020 to 2021.
Part of the issue could be that Josh Allen simply hasn’t thrown downfield with the same reckless abandon as in years past:
- 2018: 11.5-yard average target depth, 3.2 seconds average time of release
- 2019: 9.8, 2.93
- 2020: 9.1, 2.99
- 2021: 9.0, 2.88
- 2022: 7.1, 2.64
Don’t overly panic, though. Davis’ last four games include 4-88-1 and 8-201-4 receiving lines. Boom-or-bust WR3 options are still valuable, because sometimes they do, in fact, boom. That's especially a possible outcome if No. 3 receiver Isaiah McKenzie (concussion) joins Jamison Crowder (ankle, IR) on the sideline.
Tight End Notes: Similar to Davis, Dawson Knox has been the victim of a reduced threat rate in 2022 (13.5%) despite previously boasting superior 14% and 17% marks during the first two seasons of his career. Just the TE20 in expected PPR points per game, Knox is on a five-game scoreless streak dating back to last season’s playoffs — his longest such stretch since the beginning of 2020. Being a full-time pass-catcher in a Josh Allen-led offense will surely lead to more productive days ahead, though. Even then, Knox is far more of a borderline touchdown-dependent TE1 at best than someone who will be knocking on the door of the top-five conversation anytime soon.
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