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Blue Rated Wideouts Week 2 2023
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 2 wide receivers with blue-rated upside
CeeDee Lamb, Dallas
Fantasy managers aren't going to sit Lamb after he posted only 11.7 PPR points against the Giants because it was a blowout win that precluded big fantasy points from most Dallas players, but facing Sauce Gardner might cause some managers to look elsewhere for production.
Taking nothing away from Gardner, who had some of the best coverage metrics in the league last year, that would be an unwise move since Gardner allowed four completions on four targets in Week 1 and gave up 59 yards on those throws. That he did this versus Zach Wilson does not speak well for Gardner and even if he follows Lamb around all day, Dak Prescott is going to test this matchup enough to get Lamb back to the WR1 tier.
Chris Olave, New Orleans
Olave had a very good game last week (19.2 PPR points on eight catches for 112 yards) but fantasy managers might be getting more out of him this week since Carolina lost starting cornerback Jaycee Horn to an injury. CJ Henderson is a solid backup but not someone that Derek Carr will need to stay away from, so Olave could rack up a 20+ point game this week.
Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco
Don't expect Aiyuk to rack up 32.9 PPR points every week, but also don't think that game was a fluke. Aiyuk has a rare ability to excel at short passes (league leader in touchdown receptions at that level last year), red zone throws (team leader for two straight years) and on vertical passes. If you have him on a roster and are getting trade high offers, ignore them, as Aiyuk should be one of your best point producers all season long.