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Blue Rated Wideouts Week 9 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 9 wide receivers with blue-rated upside
This group is somewhat larger than last week's slate of blue-rated wideouts, in part due to improved health to some players (Davante Adams prime among them) and due to a couple of unexpectedly improved matchups due to injury.
DJ Moore, Carolina
Moore's path to blue-rated upside improved after Cincinnati lost cornerback Chidobe Awuzie to injury on Monday night. Moore is now due to face rookie Cam Taylor-Britt in coverage. Taylor-Britt was a second-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft but his coverage metrics so far this year have been very poor. The rest of the Bengals secondary is also either banged up or struggling through subpar coverage metrics, so look for Moore to have another dominant day.
Davante Adams, Las Vegas
Adams isn't usually listed here because of his long track record of elite success, but fantasy managers are probably worried after his 1.2-point dud last week. Don't be too concerned about a repeat of that, as Adams was reportedly battling a bad case of the flu and missed two practices and had a limited practice in the days leading up to last week's game. He put in full practices on both Thursday and Friday this week, so Adams should be fully recovered from that illness and back to his usual impact ways this week.
Chris Olave, New Orleans
Baltimore's secondary has been much improved this year overall, but Olave's coverage path should be helped by facing cornerback Marcus Peters. This would have been a tough matchup in the past, but Peters has played much worse this season and very poorly over the past two games, as he has allowed 10 completions on 13 targets for 149 yards and a touchdown in Weeks 7-8. That's a ridiculously high 11.5 YPT pace that gives Olave a very wide path to upside potential in this one.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kansas City
The Titans have by far the best rush defense in the league right now, so the Chiefs will need to throw the ball a lot in this game. That will help Smith-Schuster's target volume, but he could also benefit from a matchup against Kristian Fulton. To be fair, Fulton has played well of late, but he's posted his strongest numbers against the Colts, Commanders, and Texans passing games. Fulton struggled earlier this year against the Giants and Raiders aerial attacks and the Chiefs are one of the best passing teams in the league, so Smith-Schuster may get the early season version of Fulton. If that happens, there is 15+ PPR potential here.