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Is It Time To Panic On Odell Beckham, Other Top Wide Receivers?

Michael Waterloo Staff Writer October 5, 2016 8:19PM EDT

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OK, I get it. Odell Beckham has an anger problem. It’s true, too. He’s a once-in-a-decade talent that has a fuse that can go off at any second. He was held to a career-low 23 yards Monday, and when I went to bed Monday night, I knew I would wake up to Beckham owners panicking.

Easy, friends. It’s going to be OK.

Let’s play a classic game of this player or that player, shall we?

  • Player A: 22 catches, 303 yards, 39 targets, 0 TD
  • Player B: 24 catches, 307 yards, 41 targets, 2 TD

Yeah, one of them is Beckham, but which one?

How about both.

Odell Beckham is having a season very similar to last year so far. Photo Credit: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

Odell Beckham is having a season very similar to last year so far. Photo Credit: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

Player A is Beckham’s numbers from this year, while Player B is Beckham through his first four games of 2015. He’s having the same exact season except he found the end zone twice last year at this point. Yes, we need those TDs as Fantasy owners, but we know that touchdowns are mostly random.

It’s almost as if we DIDN’T think that Beckham was going to struggle against the Vikings. Sorry to break it to you, but the Vikings’ defense is legit. Have you seen what they’ve done to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers and the way they made Kelvin Benjamin irrelevant?

Just look at what cornerback Xavier Rhodes has done this year:

I touched on it two weeks ago when looking at Beckham’s usage with Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard in the lineup.

To revisit the question about his usage, Beckham is getting the same targets as last year, as we’ve mentioned, and with Cruz and Shepard on the field, Beckham is still leading both in targets, receptions and yards. The only stats he’s trailing in are catch percentage and touchdowns.

He’s having a fine season, although he hasn’t had that big game that Julio Jones, Antonio Brown or A.J. Green have had so far. If you want to trade him, fine. It’s your team. If you do it this week, you’re selling him while his perceived value is as low as it’s going to get.

If you don’t have Beckham, gauge the panic level from his owner in your league. Make an offer. Try trading someone like Marvin Jones, Michael Crabtree or Melvin Gordon while they are at their highest peak.

Panic level: 1/10

Houston, We Have A Problem

While I’m not worried about Beckham in the slightest, I am having growing concerns about DeAndre Hopkins and his usage and role in the Texans’ offense.

Through his first four games in 2015, Hopkins had 60 targets, 31 receptions, 409 receiving yards and three touchdowns. This year, he has 33 targets, 17 receptions, 227 receiving yards and two scores.

On the season in 2015, Hopkins was targeted 192 times. At his current rate of 8.5 targets per game, Hopkins is on pace for 132 targets, nearly four fewer per game than he received a year ago.

What’s more, he’s being out-targeted and out-performed by rookie Will Fuller who has more targets (34), more receptions (19), more yards (323) and the same number of touchdowns.

Is it Fuller > Hopkins the rest of the season? Nah, I’m not there yet. Fuller will likely have a season of peaks and valleys this year, but Brock Osweiler will clearly keep him as one of the main focal points of the offense. As for Hopkins, he’s unlikely to return the first-round value that you spent on him, but he’s still a low-end WR1/high-end WR2.

If only Brian Hoyer was in town …

Panic level: 5/10

Locked In

… and speaking of Hoyer, he’s doing a good job in Chicago. Well, that is unless you’re an Alshon Jeffery owner.

Since taking over as the Bears starting quarterback, here’s the target distribution and production from the Bears’ top three wide receivers in Week 3 and Week 4:

  • Jeffery – 12 targets 8 receptions 116 yards, zero touchdowns
  • Kevin White – 23 targets, 12 receptions, 117 yards, zero touchdowns
  • Eddie Royal – 10 targets, 10 receptions, 132 yards, one touchdown

As we saw last year with Hoyer in Houston, he locks on to one guy. Hello, Hopkins. In his first start, he peppered White and gave Royal three targets. White was off to a similar start in Week 4, but went down with an injury. Time for Jeffery to step up, right? Wrong. It was the Royal show, as he saw seven targets from Hoyer.

Am I panicking on Jeffery? No, not quite. Annoyed would be the more appropriate word to use. As a Jeffery owner, you want Jay Cutler healthy. For now, Jeffery remains a high-end WR2 in Fantasy leagues.

Panic level: 4/10


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