For Terry McLaurin, the downgrade from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Taylor Heinicke is a big one. But it's nothing new for the third-year receiver, and you should start him anyway. McLaurin's brief history against the Giants illustrates just how bad it's been at quarterback for the Washington Football Team. And just how little it's meant to his success
In his rookie year, McLaurin missed the team's first game against the Giants, but put up 15.6 PPR Fantasy points late in the year, catching passes from both Dwayne Haskins and Case Keenum. In the team's first meeting of 2020, McLaurin delivered 14.4 Fantasy points on 12 targets from Kyle Allen. Three weeks later he blew up for 24.5 PPR points in a game started by Allen, and finished by Alex Smith.
So yes, Heinicke is a downgrade from Ryan Fitzpatrick. But I'm not sure he's any worse than Haskins, Keenum, Allen, or the 2020 version of Smith. McLaurin should be just fine.
We're a little less certain about the Giants top-two wide receivers, Sterling Shepard and Kenny Golladay. By the time the year is over, we expect Golladay to be the better Fantasy option, but Shepard was much better in Week 1 and has great chemistry with Daniel Jones. I prefer Shepard in PPR and Golladay in non, but the Washington pass rush could prevent Jones from holding on to the ball long enough to target either deep.
The optimistic person would look at the great games Keenan Allen and Mike Williams had last week against this defense, but the Chargers did a great job protecting Justin Herbert in Week 1 and we do not expect the same type of protection for Jones. Still, I'd be comfortable with Shepard and Golladay as my No. 3 receiver or flex. But please, if you're playing them in the flex, put them in a WR spot in your lineup to preserve lineup flexibility on Sunday.
Here is the rest of the Week 2 WR Preview:
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Week 2 WR Preview
The following players are not being projected to play Week 2 at this time. Here's what it means:
Jerry Jeudy WR
DEN Denver • #10
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Hopefully Courtland Sutton can step up and be a No. 1 again. K.J. Hamler and Tim Patrick are both deep waiver adds.
DAL Dallas • #13
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb are both top-12 receivers this week. Cedrick Wilson is a deep sleeper.
Numbers to Know
- 52.2% -- Deebo Samuel accounted for more than half of the 49ers targets in Week 1. Don't expect a repeat of that, but he's a definite start as long as Brandon Aiyuk is in the dog house.
- 199 -- Air yards for D.J. Chark in Week 1. Only Tyreek Hill and Darren Waller had more.
- 17.5 -- CeeDee Lamb has averaged 17.5 PPR Fantasy points per game in five full games with Dak Prescott.
- 5.9 -- Ben Roethlisberger's intended air yards per attempt was actually lower in Week 1 than it was in 2020. If he struggles against the Raiders, I'll be worried about all the Steelers wide receivers.
- 54.6% -- The Falcons passed on 54.6% of their offensive plays despite a blowout loss. Last year Atlanta passed at a 64% rate in losses. If Arthur Smith stays run-heavy against Tampa Bay, it could be another disaster for the Falcons offense.
- 12 -- Mike WIlliams saw 12 targets in Week 1, the most since Week 5 of the 2019 season.
- 15% -- No wide receiver on the Saints, Lions or Colts saw even 15% of their team's targets.
- 3 -- Robby Anderson saw just three targets in Week 1. That makes him tough to trust this week, even with the long touchdown he scored last week.
Matchups that matter
Waiver Wire Targets
NYG N.Y. Giants • #3
Age: 28 • Experience: 6 yrs.
We thought Shepard might have success against the interior corners of the Denver Broncos, and boy did he. Perhaps the most encouraging part of Shepard's day was his 10.2 aDOT, which is nearly 2 yards higher than last year. I'm not completely sold he'll keep it up, but he's my favorite Giant on Thursday night and a No. 3 Fantasy receiver.
K.J. Hamler WR
DEN Denver • #1
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
K.J. Hamler and Tim Patrick are both good options. I don't really want to start either, but Hamler has the most upside, so that's why he's a higher priority. If you just lost Jerry Jeudy and legitimately need a starter for this week, I do believe Patrick has the highest floor.
CLE Cleveland • #10
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
Schwartz was 10th in the league in air yards in Week 1. He also led Browns wide receivers in total yards and was among the rookie leaders. With Odell Beckham already ruled out, Schwartz could be a boom/bust flex against the Texans.
Elijah Moore WR
NYJ N.Y. Jets • #8
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
I wouldn't expect Moore to break out against the Patriots, or the Broncos next week for that matter. But he gets the Titans in Week 4 and the Falcons in Week 5. I'd like to hold him through those games if possible.
Keenan Allen WR
LAC L.A. Chargers • #13
Age: 29 • Experience: 9 yrs.
Did you see the Cowboys defense last Thursday? Allen has averaged more than 12 targets per game in 12 non-injury games with Justin Herbert. He should see at least that many in maybe the highest scoring game of the weekend.
PIT Pittsburgh • #19
Age: 24 • Experience: 5 yrs.
I don't believe in the Raiders defense and I expect a bounce back from the Steelers offense. Diontae Johnson will probably still have a higher roster rate, but I have him and Smith-Schuster pretty close for this week. JuJu had a 25% target share in Week 1, and I would expect better efficiency against the Raiders.