Skip to main content

Slot report, Week 8: Tyler Lockett gets a boost

Every week this is your one stop shop for all things slot! Find out which receivers have the best slot matchups, which slot receivers have been the toughest and even which QBs are throwing to the slot the most!

Week 7 Slot Leaders

Routes - Danny Amendola/Golden Tate, 36

Targets - Danny Amendola/Golden Tate, 8

Receptions - Danny Amendola, 7

Yards - Dede Westbrook, 89

Tough Slot Matchups:

Top-5 teams (not on bye) allowing the fewest fantasy PPG to slot WR and their Week 6 opponents top slot option:

  1. Packers, 7.23 fantasy PPG (Tyreek Hill)
  1. 49ers, 9.12 fantasy PPG (Jarius Wright)
  1. Titans, 9.20 fantasy PPG (Chris Godwin)
  1. Bears, 9.68 fantasy PPG (Keenan Allen)
  1. Eagles, 9.93 fantasy PPG (Cole Beasley)

QBs Throwing to Slot the Most

Top-5 QBs in percent of passes to the slot:

  1. Kyler Murray, 44.4 percent
  1. Lamar Jackson, 41.9 percent
  1. Jared Goff, 41.3 percent
  1. Carson Wentz, 39.2 percent
  1. Mitchell Trubisky, 35.0 percent

Slot Situations to Monitor

The Patriots traded a second round pick for Mohamed Sanu. His usage has to be monitored closely, as he has operated almost exclusively as a slot receiver. In fact, 32 of his 38 routes each game this season have been from the slot. Meanwhile, 25 of Julian Edelman's routes have been out of the slot. The two's usage, plus, if even the Pats offense has enough fire power to sustain three receivers, a tight end, two (maybe three?) running backs. My guess is Edelman remains a must-start option, while Mohamed Sanu becomes more of a WR3/flex option once acclimated, and Sony Michel and James White remain startable. Not so sure about the usage of Phillip Dorsett, Jakobi Meyers, N'Keal Harry, Ben Watson and Rex Burkhead.

The 49ers acquired Emmanuel Sanders, who will compete with Dante Pettis for the top receiver spot, aka the second target behind George Kittle. Sanders ran 9.9 slot routes per game, but saw a team-high 2.7 slot targets per game. Pettis has taken over as the lead slot receiver for the 49ers, averaging 12 slot router per game since Week 5. They likely spilt time in the slot and given how often the Niners run the ball, it's hard to see either being more than a WR3 or flex option.

With Sanders out of town DaeSean Hamilton is back in play in fantasy. He has already been running the most slot routes per game (20) for the Broncos but now he should see an increase in targets as well. In Weeks 14-17 without Sanders last year he put up 13.8 fantasy PPG on 9.5 targets per game, 6.3 receptions per game, 45.5 receiving yards per game and scored two touchdowns in that span.

Studs Who Get a Boost:

Michael Thomas was the fourth receiver off the board on average this season. That was too low. Not only is he the WR1 in terms of total points (WR2 in PPG) and he is the only player to score 16 fantasy points in ever game this season. It should continue against the Cardinals this week, who have allowed the second most fantasy PPG to slot receivers since Week 5. His floor seems to be 16 points, but this could be a week he showcases that ceiling.

Tyler Lockett faces the Falcons whose secondary has been picked on all season long. They have particularly struggled against the slot the last few weeks, allowing the sixth-most fantasy PPG to slot receivers since Week 5 (16.37). The Falcons have also allowed the fourth-most fantasy PPG to receivers in general this season (41.99). Lockett is a strong play this week.

Larry Fitzgerald flashed his WR1 upside early on this season, but lately has been giving us his safe WR3 floor. Well, this could be a ceiling week as he faces the Saints who have allowed the third-most fantasy PPG to slot receivers (17.87). They have allowed 87.6 receiving yards per game and four touchdowns to slot receivers. Fitzgerald averages 32.3 slot routes and 6.9 slot targets per game. If Christian Kirk suits up, he is also in play, as he averages 34.3 slot routes and 8.0 slot targets per game this season.

Dede Westbrook may not be a stud in the must-start every week, but he has become a strong play as of late. He leads the NFL in slot yards since Week 5, with 201. In fact, these are Westbrook's per game numbers over the last two weeks: 8.5 targets, 4.5 receptions, 78 yards, 13 fantasy points. Compare those to DJ Chark: 5.5 Targets, 3 receptions, 48 yards, 8.8 fantasy points. Look for that to continue this week as the Jags take on the Jets, who have allowed the fifth-most receiving yards per game to slot receivers (76.2). Fire up Dede this week!

More Slot Options:

Danny Amendola went off in Week 7 and finished with the most slot routes, targets and receptions. He has a chance to repeat with another strong game the Giants, who have allowed 16 fantasy PPG to slot receivers since Week 5 (sixth-most).

Adam Humphries faces the Bucs, who have allowed the second-most fantasy PPG to slot receivers this season (18.68). He also has a QB who was throwing to his receivers. Humphries has eight targets from Tannehill this season, while Corey Davis has 11 and A.J. Brown has 10. No one else on the Titans has more than five.

Keke Coutee should see an uptick in use with Will Fuller V out with a hamstring injury. With Will Fuller V out, you can expect Kenny Stills to slide out wide more, leaving even more opportunity for Coutee. He ran a team-high 18 slot routes per game in Week 7. This week the Texans face the Raiders who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy PPG to slot receivers (17.25). It will be interesting to see if DeAndre Hopkins is used more out wide but he has averaged a team high 4.1 slot targets per game this season. He gets an added boost as well.

Olabisi Johnson is in play if Adam Thielen sits. Johnson saw a team high four slot targets in Week 7 and faces the Redskins, who have allowed 17.2 fantasy PPG to slot receivers, the fifth-most in the NFL.

Make sure to follow Michael Florio on Twitter, @MichaelFFlorio.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.