WRs Diontae Johnson & George Pickens have a tough matchup
You wanna talk about a wide receiver room that’s just going to be all over the place on Sunday? That’s Pittsburgh. Normally I’d be all about starting Diontae Johnson because he’s a target earner, but they’ve got a really tough matchup against the Rams this week - and if you told me that a secondary that was headlined by Ahkello Witherspoon and Derion Kendrick would be allowing the 2nd-fewest fantasy points to perimeter wide receivers this season, I would have said “in what world?!” But that’s the reality of the situation here, and with Diontae Johnson coming back this week, he and Pickens are going to end up eating into each other’s workload.
The Rams have been vulnerable in the slot this season, though, but there’s no reason to think that Allen Robinson is suddenly going to have his big day in a game where I don’t really see the Steelers lighting up the scoreboard. I’m not trusting any Steelers receiver in my lineup, but I will start Johnson as a WR3/flex anyway if I’ve been holding him on IR.
In one game this season, Johnson had 6 targets on 23 routes run, good for a 26% targets per route run. He was on his way to double digit targets before the injury, and in a crowded receiving group that’s also getting Pat Freiermuth back, Johnson’s the only receiver with real double-digit target upside in the offense. Still, I’m tempering expectations for both Steelers perimeter receivers against the Rams.
WR Wan’Dale Robinson could be a great one-week replacement
He’s probably not going to be in many lineups, but there are enough injuries and players on bye going around that people might have to make a decision at their flex or WR3 - and Wan’Dale Robinson might be the answer. I mean, he’s only played 50% or more of snaps in three games this season, but what I’ve seen from him has been more encouraging - and honestly more intriguing - than anything else I’ve seen from any other Giants pass catcher not named Darren Waller.
Over the past two weeks, he’s earned a 24% target share - that’s light years ahead of Darius Slayton’s 15% in this offense, and makes Robinson the No. 2 receiver behind Darren Waller in the target share department, who’s at 31%. In a good matchup in a game that should be relatively competitive against the Commanders, I think seven or eight targets is a real possibility for Robinson - and Washington’s allowing the 8th-most fantasy points to slot receivers over the past four weeks.
Robinson has been a slot ace and just put up his highest route participation this year, and the eye test tells me he’s the most dynamic receiver in the Giants room. He’s not a priority start for me, but he's a quality replacement for missing fantasy stars in a dark Week 7.
WR Christian Watson, Packers
Not sure there’s a matchup to be more excited about this week than this one. The Packers are coming off a bye and that means Watson’s gonna be 100% coming into this game, and the Broncos are allowing the 8th-most fantasy points to perimeter wide receivers over the past four weeks and the 7th-most on the season.
There shouldn’t be any more questions about Watson’s hamstring injury lingering from earlier because of the bye, and before last week Watson was ramped up from 48% of snaps in Week 4 to 85% in Week 5. I’m expecting that number to hit the 90% mark or higher against the Broncos, and then you also consider the fact that he earned a 25% target share in his second game this year, and you’re looking at a wide receiver with nuclear upside.
Anyone who’s waited out Watson’s return should be swimming in fantasy points in no time, and it’s not just this matchup that we have to look forward to - he’s got matchups with Minnesota, Pittsburgh, and the Chargers in three of the next four weeks.