Just like with the quarterbacks and running backs, I didn’t make too many adjustments to the receivers.
These defenses have already done a good job depressing the totals.
Still, there were some changes.
Seattle is a dominating force against No. 1 wide receivers (4th-best Defense-adjusted Value Over Average), they have struggled with smaller receivers, like DeSean Jackson and Randall Cobb — making Julian Edelman an interesting play. I didn’t adjust his numbers at all.
New England ranks 7th in DVOA against WR1s, that’s not bad either. I expect Darrelle Revis to spend a good bit of time covering/shutting down Doug Baldwin, who had nine targets in the NFC championship game.
Seattle is sixth in DVOA against WR2s, meaning it could be a long day for Brandon LaFell. I decreased his numbers by 1 catch, 1 target, 10 yards and .1 TD. New England is middle of the pack against WR2s. That ranking coupled with Revis blanketing Baldwin could lead to an increase in usage and production for Seattle’s Jermaine Kearse.
Seattle and New England have the exact same matchups for other WRs (WRs 3, 4, 5 etc.) as they do for No. 1 wide receivers, putting them both in the top seven in the NFL. That means it could be a long day for guys like Danny Amendola, Ricardo Lockette and Kevin Norwood. Still, in a short slate like this, every player has to be considered. James Devlin had one catch for the Patriots in the AFC championship game. He scored a one-yard touchdown. On a week like this, a 7.1-point game from a $1,000 player like Devlin will win someone a lot of money in DFS.
Wide receiver projections:
At tight end, Rob Gronkowski has to be a lock for most of your lineups. The Seahawks aren’t bad against tight ends, they rank 18th in DVOA, but it’s the one spot where they are most vulnerable. They allowed opposing tight ends 41.4 yards on 6.4 targets per game this season. Gronkowski probably gets more targets than that and does a whole lot more with them.
His counterpart for the Seahawks, Luke Willson, was quiet in the NFC championship (2 catches for 11 yards) but showed signs of his potential in the offense during the divisional round against the Panthers. He caught four passes for 68 yards and a 25-yard TD. The Patriots ranked 29th in the NFL in DVOA against the tight end. Allowing a whopping eight targets for 65.8 yards on average. They also allowed 13.0 PPR fantasy points per game over the last five of the regular season to TEs.
Just like with the wide receivers, there are a handful of players — Tony Moeaki, Michael Hoomanuwanui — who could catch a 1-yard TD and change DFS fortunes this week. If I’m taking a chance on one, it’ll probably be one of the Seahawks, considering the matchup.
Tight end projections:
Drink many beverages, eat many nachos and enjoy the game.
Las Vegas thinks it’ll be one of the closest ever. I sure hope so.