1) Odell Beckham Jr.
If somehow you are part of the 67% of leagues that Odell Beckham is not owned in, you need to make him your top waiver claim this week.
While Odell might not be the playmaker he once was with the Giants, he’s not very far behind and looks as good if not better than he looked during his brief resurgence with the Rams.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 18, 2023
Among this year’s crop of wideouts, here’s how some of Beckham’s numbers stack up:
- 10th in YAC per reception (per Next Gen Stats)
- 11th in average YAC above expected (per Next Gen Stats)
- 16th in yards per reception (per Pro Football Reference)
- Tied for 15th in catches for 20+ yards (per NFL.com)
- 24th in average targeted air yards (per Next Gen Stats)
- Tied for 29th in yards per target (per Pro Football Reference)
- Tied for 38th in catches for 20+ yards (per ESPN)
- 38th in ADOT (per Pro Football Reference)
His recent production is what forces him into the fantasy conversation, as he’s had at least 40 receiving yards and 11 fantasy points in three straight weeks. Throughout that span, Beckham is averaging 5.3 targets, 71 yards, and 13.7 fantasy points per game.
His overall season workload when healthy is nothing to scoff at either, as he’s accounted for 20% of all of Baltimore’s 2023 air yards (per Next Gen Stats), and he’s seeing just over half of the Ravens offensive snaps (52%, per FantasyPros).
Odell Beckham Jr. showing off that ELITE footwork ????pic.twitter.com/hFMcMe2fJR
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) November 17, 2023
Odell is showing so far in 2023 that he can still be both a dependable mid-level target in addition to a legitimate deep threat that can stretch the field.
Beckham Jr. is exploding in and out of his breaks and showing impressive change of direction skills especially for a veteran who’s had two ACL surgeries on the same leg in the last five years.
He’s also showing excellent burst off the line of scrimmage and has frequently displayed his veteran strength and savvy by beating press and man coverage on a regular basis. Odell Beckham is also snatching 50/50 balls and expertly evading defenders after the catch, and the veteran’s legs looks alive and motivated to prove to the rest of the NFL – and maybe himself – that he’s still a top outside threat.
ODELL BECKHAM JR TOUCHDOWN ON HIS BIRTHDAY ???? pic.twitter.com/XgPoRkYsN0
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) November 5, 2023
If the Ravens didn’t run the ball like each rushing yard gave John Harbaugh an orgasm, Odell Beckham Jr.’s ownership percentage likely would have held to around the 80%-90% roster percentage he boasted earlier in the season.
Beckham supposedly avoided a serious injury in the win over the Bengals, according to Cordell Woodland of 105.7 The Fan Baltimore, so hopefully Odell is out there this weekend.
As long as Beckham is healthy, he profiles as a solid WR3/FLEX option in all leagues with high-end WR2 upside considering his recent production and the fact that the Ravens are tied with the Bills as the NFL’s second-highest scoring team of 2023 (per NFL.com).
2) Khalil Shakir
It’s that time of year again. That’s right, it’s time to hype up some random team’s WR3 because he strung together a few good/mediocre games, and because there aren’t many must-adds at this point in fantasy season.
There’s probably more logic in believing slaveowners from 300 years ago came up with exactly the perfect governing system for modern life and technology (looking at you 2nd amendment, they were talking about fuckin muskets) than there is logic in getting locked in on any particular waiver-wire add this week outside of Odell.
Although, if you can’t get Beckham, Khalil Shakir definitely a name to consider. Over the last four weeks, Shakir is averaging 4.7 receptions, 73 yards, and 12.2 fantasy points per game. He’s also played at least 65% of snaps in each of those weeks.
Shakir is a speedster who has been stealthily starting to take over the Gabe Davis role as of late. Even if Shakir is unable to usurp Davis as the Bills’ de-facto deep threat opposite of Diggs, being the WR3 in an offense that is top-5 in passing attempts, passing yards, and scoring is enough to merit fantasy value.
KHALIL SHAKIR TAKES THE JOSH ALLEN PASS 81 YARDS TO THE HOUSE!pic.twitter.com/297LtfFXyu
— DraftKings (@DraftKings) November 19, 2023
Tyler Boyd is a recent prime example that instantly comes to mind, but the point is it is not unreasonable that a WR3 in a high-octane offense could have significant fantasy value, especially during weeks where one of the top wideouts is ailing or inactive.
Shakir also leads WRs in catch % (per Pro Football Reference), is 2nd among WRs in yards per target (per Pro Football Reference), boasts the 8th-highest yards per catch average (per ESPN) among receivers, and he leads the NFL in receiving success rate (per Pro Football Reference) and passer rating when targeted (also per Pro Football Reference).
The hope here is that last week was also a sign of things to come in terms of Shakir’s workload under new offensive coordinator Joe Brady, but time will tell.
Considering Shakir has produced lately but has also done so on just four targets or less in three straight weeks, he would profile as a relatively risky WR3/FLEX; however, bye weeks and injuries at this point in the season could easily force your hand in 12-team leagues – coming from someone who had to start K.J. Osborne and Gabe Davis in separate 12-team leagues due to byes/injuries (RIP).
3) Darius Slayton
Much like Shakir, Slayton cracks the list due to his recent performance and his role in his offense.
Unlike Shakir, Slayton’s offense usually resembles a dumpster fire on the Titanic.
In the face of the pure atrociousness that is the New York Giants offense, Slayton is actually an underrated and talented playmaker capable of being productive with limited opportunities.
Giants fans have known Slayton as the only thing that resembles a deep threat on their offense for years at this point, but Slayton is proving to be a more dependable, reliable, and consistent receiver lately while playing both in the slot and on the outside.
Tommy DeVito hits a wide open Darius Slayton for the TD ????
DeVito has 2 passing touchdowns for the Giants in the first half!pic.twitter.com/wqNhswc5Wi
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) November 19, 2023
Overall Slayton has shown marked progression from his old, pure-field stretcher role.
Throughout his last three weeks, he’s averaging 5.3 receptions, 54 yards, and 11.1 fantasy points per game. The floor has been decent too, as he’s had at least four targets and five fantasy points in all of those games.
Additionally, Slayton’s share of the Giants 2023 air yards has so far been a solid 27.9%, and he’s tied for 16th in YAC above expected (per Next Gen Stats). He’s also averaging a healthy 80% snap share.
Finally, because the Giants are usually terrible and in the midst of getting blown out, they are usually passing at a high volume out of necessity, especially in the second halves of games.
Great play by Tommy Devito on 3rd & 13
Had the checkdown (Bellinger) wide open but had the patience to wait for Darius Slayton to come open on the dig
Good pocket and a great throw in a tight window to set up Saquon Barkley's first touchdown reception of the game. pic.twitter.com/0IvmNp8L6i
— Nick Falato (@nickfalato) November 20, 2023
It remains to be seen how badly Slayton was injured in his most recent game, but if he stays healthy and puts up another double-digit fantasy week this week he would profile as a valuable and startable WR3/FLEX in all formats the following week.
For now, he’s a phenomenal bench stash and a risky WR3/FLEX for bye-week or injury-riddled teams.