Blue Rated Wideouts Week 8 2023

By KC Joyner
KC Joyner

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 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 8 wide receivers with blue-rated upside


DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia

Smith has posted fewer than 10 PPR points in three straight games and thus is being considered a bench candidate by many fantasy managers. Before pushing him out of starting lineups in Week 8, those managers should consider the Smith’s lineup matchup this week is Washington cornerback Kendall Fuller, who has allowed 20.3 PPR PPG in the past four weeks (per Stathead). That is one of the highest PPR PPG totals allowed by a cornerback in that span, and it strongly suggests that Smith could return to the impact ways he showed in Weeks 1-2, so be sure to get him into starting lineups.


Calvin Ridley, Jacksonville

Ridley is another big-name fantasy wide receiver who is being considered for bench status, as he has posted 8.1 PPR points over the last two weeks combined. Ridley’s lineup matchup this week is cornerback Levi Wallace, who has allowed 11 completions on 22 targets for 199 yards and two touchdowns since Week 3. That equates to a 14.3 PPR PPG pace, which is a metric that portends for a starter-caliber point total from Ridley.


George Pickens, Pittsburgh

Posting 42.3 PPR points over the past two weeks should be enough to vault Pickens into fantasy starting lineups, but for those who might be concerned about the downside of playing in an offense with Kenny Pickett, consider that Pickens has a lineup matchup against Jacksonville cornerback Tyson Campbell. That is a highly favorable matchup since Campbell has allowed 14.6 PPR PPG since Week 3. Don’t overthink this one – Pickens has been a go-to wideout of late and should be one again this week, so be sure to put him into starting lineups.