Fantasy Football rest-of-season WR rankings: Is there any hope for Davante Adams?

Wide receiver Davante Adams #17 of the Las Vegas Raiders
Outside of a couple of weeks, it's been a disappointing season for Davante Adams. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Last week we did the running back Shuffle Up, and this week the wideouts go into the car wash. This is how I'd rank and sort the wideouts if I were drafting from scratch today. Players at the same salary are considered even, and the important thing to note is where the talent clusters and how the players relate to one another.

You'll have some disagreements, that's why we have a game. Catch me on the former Twitter: @scott_pianowski.

The Big Tickets

$44 Tyreek Hill

$43 A.J. Brown

$42 Ja'Marr Chase

$41 Stefon Diggs

$41 CeeDee Lamb

$40 Amon-Ra St. Brown

$36 Keenan Allen

$35 *Justin Jefferson

$34 Cooper Kupp

$33 Davante Adams

$32 Jaylen Waddle

  • Brown managers can take heart in an easier fantasy playoff schedule: Seahawks, Giants, Cardinals. The challenge for the Eagles is the nasty slate they encounter after their bye week (Chiefs, Bills, 49ers, Cowboys). Of course, Brown is one of those guys who's always open, even when he doesn't look open. It's hard to believe he's just 6-foot-1; he plays a lot bigger. A master at high-pointing the ball and adjusting to it in flight. Brown routinely takes throws that look like YOLO balls and turns them into completions.

  • The only downside to Hill and the Dolphins is a gauntlet schedule for the fantasy playoffs: Miami draws the Jets, Cowboys and Ravens for the money weeks. But Hill is the type of player who can go 8-150-2 on anyone. And the Commanders (Week 13) and Titans (Week 14) look like blowup spots.

  • The Jefferson salary is a courtesy estimate, which is why there's an asterisk attached. There's no way to know how healthy and sharp he'll be when he returns to action, and he needs to get acclimated with new quarterback Joshua Dobbs.

  • St. Brown has a perfect fantasy setup: enough receiver help so that opponents can't overcommit to him, but not so much that he isn't the clear first read in the passing game. Admire St. Brown's target totals by week: 9, 7, 12, 7, 15, 19, 9. There's a wonderful mix of floor and upside there. Detroit's final four games are indoors; the last possible Lions weather game is Week 14 at Chicago.

  • I was hoping Adams would get more of a bounce in the first new-regime Raiders game, but let's give it some development time. At least the nightmare of Josh McDaniels and Jimmy Garoppolo is over, and at least Adams looked more engaged and ebullient in the Week 9 win. The Jets are a frustrating Week 10 draw, but I'm still holding my long-term Adams stock.

Legitimate Building Blocks

$27 Puka Nacua

$25 Brandon Aiyuk

$25 Chris Olave

$25 DeVonta Smith

$24 Amari Cooper

$23 DJ Moore

$22 DK Metcalf

$22 Deebo Samuel

$21 Mike Evans

$21 Michael Pittman Jr.

$20 Garrett Wilson

$19 Christian Kirk

$19 Chris Godwin

$18 Adam Thielen

$18 Tee Higgins

$18 DeAndre Hopkins

$18 Terry McLaurin

  • Smith probably gets a $2-4 bump forward with the Dallas Goedert injury. The key with players like him is to pair them with high-floor receivers in the upper tier; he meshes well with a St. Brown type, perhaps. You wouldn't want all of your wideouts to be heavy in the boom-bust theme, but you can have a few of them. The mixture is the key.

  • Carolina didn't get the memo about the weekly Indianapolis pinball games; perhaps no setup can turn the Panthers into a carnival. But Pittman has a steady target share, a head coach we trust and a backup QB (Gardner Minshew) who isn't lost when needed to play for extended weeks. Pittman's yards per target are down slightly, but he's going to blow past his career high for targets. Volume for the win, again.

  • Just when it looked like Sam Howell was going to smash the NFL record for sacks taken, his pocket awareness was much better against the Eagles and Patriots. That's helped stabilize McLaurin's value; in the last four weeks, he's charted WR26, WR20, WR15 and WR21. Washington is throwing the ball an absurd 67.9% of the time, easily tops in the NFL.

  • I had Aiyuk and Samuel slotted a little higher in my first draft, but we can't ignore that the Niners are throwing the ball under 50% of the time, just one of two teams that low (Baltimore is the other one). At least Aiyuk and Samuel can take advantage of a fairly narrow San Francisco usage tree, though Christian McCaffrey is always going to siphon away from passes.

Talk Them Up, Talk Them Down

$17 Zay Flowers

$17 Calvin Ridley

$17 Nico Collins

$17 Tyler Lockett

$15 Diontae Johnson

$15 Jakobi Meyers

$14 George Pickens

$14 Jordan Addison

$13 Christian Watson

$13 Marquise Brown

$13 Courtland Sutton

$12 Tank Dell

$11 Gabe Davis

$11 Jaxon Smith-Njigba

$11 Rashee Rice

$11 Jerry Jeudy

$10 Jahan Dotson

  • Other than Zay Flowers, I'm not going near any of the Baltimore wideouts.

  • If something special is going to happen with Ridley, we'll probably see signs of it in the reveal game, the first start after the bye. Trevor Lawrence hasn't made it to 19 points in any fantasy start this year.

  • There have been some reasonable calls to trade Sutton, pointing to a likely unsustainable touchdown rate. That's a shrewd flag to throw; six scores on just 46 targets is suspicious. That said, Russell Wilson has played much better than expected in his first Sean Payton season, and Sutton has a better red-zone profile than Jerry Jeudy. All six of Sutton's touchdowns have come from the red zone, and this is a team with an older quarterback (less likely to run these days) and ordinary tight ends. Respecting the call to trade Sutton, I suspect the market might be underwhelming anyway. I'll hold my shares.

  • Now that the Johnson touchdown drought is over, maybe the scoring floodgates will open. Kenny Pickett caps the upside, of course, but targets are earned, not given, and Johnson has a juicy 23 looks over his last two starts. Somehow, the amazing Steelers are 5-3 despite being outgained every week. Mike Tomlin is a magician. Unfortunately, OC Matt Canada is a never-ending problem.

  • Davis makes some sense as a lower WR3 or a higher WR4; that's the extent of it. Diggs is the obvious alpha here and Josh Allen still runs in touchdowns. Dalton Kincaid's emergence is an issue. Davis has five separate games with a touchdown — we appreciate the spacing — but he's also been at 35 yards or fewer in five starts, including the bagel at Cincinnati. Ideally, a fantasy champion needs a stronger option in that WR3 slot.

Some Plausible Upside

$9 Drake London

$9 Rashid Shaheed

$8 Josh Downs

$7 Romeo Doubs

$7 Elijah Moore

$7 Jayden Reed

  • Reed is still making some rookie mistakes — he had a procedural call last week that almost cost Green Bay a field goal — but he's leading the Packers in yards per target, and last week's 21-yard run points to more manufactured touches coming. The second half of the year is often when rookies start to spread their wings; maybe Reed's growth will be muted by the limitations of Jordan Love, but I have my eye on him. (Put Jonathan Mingo in this bucket as well.)

  • Shaheed is a fun player but unfortunately has no floor; even after a smash game in Week 8 at Indianapolis, he came back with just three targets a week later. He's been in the top 11 three times in half-point PPR, and every other week, he's failed to crack the top 50. Sometimes they're air yards, sometimes they're prayer yards. The Saints as is have a knuckleball offense, with Alvin Kamara dominating targets and Taysom Hill absorbing a bunch of red-zone work, in a variety of roles. It's not the easiest team to project every week.

Bargain Bin

$4 Michael Thomas

$4 Brandin Cooks

$4 Jonathan Mingo

$3 Joshua Palmer

$3 Josh Reynolds

$3 Noah Brown

$2 Marvin Mims Jr.

$2 Tutu Atwell

$2 Curtis Samuel

$2 Tyler Boyd

$2 K.J. Osborn

$2 Demario Douglas

$2 Khalil Shakir

$1 Quentin Johnston

$1 Jameson Williams

$1 *Zay Jones

$1 Odell Beckham Jr.

$1 Michael Wilson