As Cooper Kupp heads to the IR, who will step up as elite fantasy WR’s the rest of the way?
1. Justin Jefferson, Vikings vs. Cowboys
With Tyreek Hill on a bye week and Cooper Kupp possibly out for the season, Justin Jefferson slides in at #1 after his miraculous one-handed grab and dominant performance against the Bills last weekend.
2. CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys vs. Vikings
CeeDee Lamb is coming off of a 38 fantasy point game where he pulled in 2 touchdowns and 11 receptions. Lamb had 15 targets and is poised for another spectacular performance in a primetime game against the Vikings.
3. Stefon Diggs, Bills vs. Browns
Stefon Diggs is now the most reliable receiver in fantasy football following Cooper Kupp’s ankle sprain as he had 6 games of 23 or more fantasy points and only 3 games under 14 fantasy points. The Bills should come out of the gate on fire trying to make a statement against the Browns following their brutal overtime loss to the Vikings.
4. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Lions vs. Giants
Amon-Ra St. Brown finally leveled up to WR1 status again as he pulled in 11 receptions for 119 yards against the Bears last weekend. The Giants have a good defense, but as the Lions’ clear #1 option, St. Brown should be able to accumulate over 20 fantasy points yet again.
5. A.J. Brown, Eagles vs. Colts
A.J. Brown had only one catch for 7 yards in the Eagles’ loss against the Commanders and that is exactly why he is bound to go off against the colts. Elite receivers don’t have two terrible performances in a row so expect Brown to go off.
6. DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals vs. 49ers
DeAndre Hopkins had 10 catches for 98 yards in the Cardinals win over the Rams last weekend, all without Kyler Murray. Whether or not Kyler Murray plays next Monday night against the 49ers, Hopkins is still poised for a solid performance even against a very good defense.
7. Davante Adams, Raiders vs Broncos
Davante Adams has been spectacular over the past two weeks with a total of 65 fantasy points. However, he has a tough matchup in the Broncos as he will go against the best young cornerback in the NFL, Patrick Surtain II.
8 Tee Higgins, Bengals vs. Steelers
Tee Higgins is Joe Burrow’s #1 target with Ja’Marr Chase still out with an injury and in this high powered offense has a clear path to WR1 production.
9 Juju Smith-Schuster, Chiefs vs. Chargers
Juju Smith-Schuster had 19 or more fantasy points in three straight games before leaving the game against the Jaguars last weekend. Smith-Schuster is still in the concussion protocol, but if he clears it, he remains a top tier option at the WR position.
10. Deebo Samuel, 49ers vs. Cardinals
Deebo Samuel hasn’t done anything in the past couple of weeks to live up to his first-round fantasy football billing. However, defenses don’t have to lock in on him as much with Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle, and Brandon Aiyuk on the team so a big game from Samuel is imminent and I think it could be Monday night against the Cardinals.
11. Terry McLaurin, Commanders vs. Texans
Terry McLaurin reminded everyone why he is deemed “one of the best receivers in football” on Monday night against the Eagles as he torched All-Pro CB Darius Slay for 8 receptions and 128 yards. Going into a matchup against the Texans, a more inexperienced but talented corner in Derek Stingley Jr. III will have the assignment on McLaurin as he tries to build off of this momentum.
12. Gabe Davis, Bills vs. Browns
Gabe Davis is the epitome of high-risk high-reward in fantasy football. Davis has had 3 games of 19+ fantasy points and 4 games of under 7 fantasy points through 7 games played (he missed two with an injury). After the Bills overtime loss to the Vikings at home, Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, and Gabe Davis should all be motivated to perform at an elite level.
13. Amari Cooper, Browns vs. Bills
Amari Cooper only pulled in 3 receptions for 32 yards against the Dolphins last weekend and has a tough matchup against the Bills this weekend. Nonetheless, just based on Cooper’s immense talent, there is enough upside to make him a high end WR2.
14. Chris Olave, Saints vs. Rams
Chris Olave didn’t live up to expectations (only 7.1 fantasy points) last weekend even though Michael Thomas didn’t play. With Thomas out for the season, fantasy managers expected Olave to get 10+ targets every single game, but he hasn’t even gotten 10 targets over the past two games. Regardless, Olave is a major talent and should continue to be in a position to succeed despite an underwhelming target share.
15. Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers vs. Cardinals
Brandon Aiyuk has been one of the most consistent WR’s in the NFL this season with 6 or more catches in each of the past 4 games. Jimmy Garoppolo loves to throw to Aiyuk on short slant-type passes that allow for him to gain yards after the catch. Nonetheless, as good as Aiyuk has been it is hard for me to rank him any higher than this with Deebo Samuel likely to breakout at some point.