Blue Rated Wideouts Week 9 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 9 has a very thin set of quality start prospects at every position (due in large part to quarterback injuries and subpar offensive play among healthy quarterbacks), so this week's blue-rated upside list consists of 15 wideouts.

Week 9 wide receivers with blue-rated upside


Garrett Wilson, New York Jets

Wilson has been a bit of a headache for fantasy managers, as he has scored 15+ PPR points in three of the past five games but fell below the 10-PPR point mark in the other two matchups.

This week trends towards the former, as Wilson's likely lineup matchup is Chargers cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. From Weeks 5-8, Samuel allowed 16 completions on 25 targets for 298 yards and a touchdown, a pace that averages out to 17.3 PPR PPG (per Stathead). That scoring clip fits in with Wilson's recent production pace, so get him into lineups this week.


Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis

Pittman is a bit of a quandary, as over the past five weeks he has posted 1-2 receptions on two occasions, posted 52 or fewer yards three times (including one game with 15 yards) and had only 40 receiving yards on eight receptions last week.

That can make fantasy managers question whether to start him, but the answer this week is yes since Carolina cornerback CJ Henderson is Pittman's likely matchup battle. Henderson is in a starting role due to an injury to Jaycee Horn and teams have tested Henderson early and often, as he has an 11.8 PPR PPG pace allowed since Week 5. Gardner Minshew will test Henderson as well and Pittman will benefit with at least a WR2-caliber scoring day.


Terry McLaurin, Washington

Fantasy managers will often talk themselves out of starting a wide receiver facing a Bill Belichick defense, as Belichick's creative schemes will often double cover the team's best wide receiver and dedicate the top cornerback to the opponent's second-best wide receiver.

It's an innovative approach but it's the type of thing that might backfire against McLaurin because it could put him into coverage against J.C. Jackson and Jabrill Peppers. Jackson has allowed 17.3 PPR PPG since Week 5, so he might not hold up well in one-on-one situations. Peppers has strong metrics when he is lined up in coverage against someone, but New England has struggled very much in covering vertical passes of late.

Put those two factors together and they are more than enough of a justification to get McLaurin into lineups despite the matchup.