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Blue Rated Wideouts Week 121 2022
The volatile scoring nature of the wide receiver position may cause more start-sit headaches for fantasy managers than any other position, but when things go well wide receivers can post point totals capable of winning fantasy games.
How does one know which wide receivers are capable of posting those game-winning point totals? My player grading system (a full version of which can be found at TheFootballScientist.com) aims to identify these players via an overall/upside/downside approach. A player's overall grade measures his likely performance, the downside the grade indicates how a player is apt to fare if things go poorly for him that week, and the upside grade measures the scoring ceiling of a player if things go well in a given contest.
This grading system also uses five color-coded categories: blue (indicating someone who can post elite point totals), green (a strong starter), yellow (a solid backup or a potential starter in bye weeks or deep leagues), orange (a desperation play), and red (someone who should not be started).
This means fantasy managers who are looking for big scoring potential at wide receiver should aim for someone who has a blue-rated upside grade (which is 90-100 in my system). This weekly article series will identify all the blue-rated upside wideouts in a given week and then provide details on a few of the unexpected candidates on this board. It will also detail the strength of the matchup each of these receivers is facing via a matchup points total of 1-100, with 100 being most favorable.
Week 12 wide receivers with blue-rated upside
Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati
Chase had limited practices all week long and thus trends towards playing this week. There may be a concern about facing Tennessee's defense, but that platoon sells out to stop the run and will continue to do that even with Samaje Perine taking Joe Mixon's place (Mixon is out due to a concussion). Chase is also due to face rookie cornerback Roger McCreary in coverage and McCreary has allowed a 71.4 percent completion rate and 486 yards this year (per Pro Football Reference), both of which indicate the Bengals will target this matchup early and often. Don't have any hesitation of returning Chase to starting lineups.
Joshua Palmer, LA Chargers
Very few receivers have tallied at least three games with 8+ receptions and Palmer is on that short list. This is important since Mike Williams has been listed as out for this game. That could very easily send many targets in Palmer's direction, so makes for a very good upside candidate, especially in full PPR leagues.
Christian Kirk, Jacksonville
Kirk has scored 53.2 PPR points over the past two weeks and now is due to face slot cornerback Brandon Stephens in coverage. Stephens has allowed over 10 yards per attempt over the past two weeks and has given up 9.5 yards per target on four occasions, so he is the type of matchup that Kirk should be able to excel against.
Terry McLaurin, Washington
McLaurin is the workhorse wideout of the Commanders offense and a matchup against Darren Hall isn't about to change that. Hall allowed 10.5 yards per target in four of his first five games played this year, and his recent improvement against the Carolina and Chicago receiving corps isn't exactly convincing evidence he has turned things around. McLaurin should get a ton of targets here and thus belongs in the vast majority of lineups.