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Slant Pattern: WR Start/Sit – Week 8

TRUE or FALSE: Zay Flowers is a top-24 fantasy WR? Check out this week’s Slant Pattern where @THEtristancook helps you with your WR start/sit decisions!

Hello and welcome back, Nerds! The Dynasty Nerds writers are here to provide you with weekly starts and sits. I will be doing the WR starts and sits for the 2023 season! We, as a group, will be making our recommendations based on weekly consensus PPR rankings from FantasyPros. Here is our squad and the position groups they will be covering to help you each week. Follow, DM, and Tweet us.

We look forward to hearing from you!

QB: Mike Hicks (@dropthemikeff) – Changing the Call

RB: Jake Oliver (@DarthDbacks) – The Cutback

WR: Tristan Cook (@THEtristancook) – Slant Pattern

TE: Steven Pintado (@CoachStevenP) – 12 Formation

FLEX: Evan Brown (@FFEVanlution) – Flex on ‘Em

IDP: Jon Glosser (@Glosser13) – IDP Start/Sit

One thing to keep in mind when making your start/sit decisions, it will ALWAYS depend on who your other options are. The players listed below are WRs that I expect to finish above/below their respective rankings. But it doesn’t mean you need to take them out of (or put them into) your lineup unless your alternatives are worth it.

NOTE: Rankings are based on a 12-team PPR league. So, saying WR2 means top 24, or TE1 means top 12, etc., and are pulled from Fantasy Pros consensus expert rankings.


Before we get into the recap of last week’s picks, let’s go over how I determine the success and failure of my picks: 

  1. Regardless of whether I have a player listed as a start or sit, if they get injured during the game where it significantly impacts their fantasy output, it is ruled a no decision based upon injury.
  2. If a player finishes within a handful of spots of their ranking, either above or below, it is considered a push. 
  3. My goal is always to get all my picks correct. 

However, I consider above 50% a moderately successful week. Let’s get to it.

Week 7 wasn’t filled with close calls. Of my six picks, three ended up as ‘pushes,’ two ended up as ‘misses,’ and one was a ‘hit.’ It was a frustrating week that could have been a lot better if not for two plays. My best call was to start Diontae Johnson. He was ranked as WR32 for the week and finished as WR23. My worst call was George Pickens as a ‘sit.’ He finished seven spots above his ranking and was, therefore, a ‘miss.’

The most frustrating calls were Romeo Doubs as a ‘start’ and Michael Pittman as a ‘sit.’ Doubs could have finished well above his ranking. If not for letting a pass go through his hands, that would have been a touchdown. Additionally, Michael Pittman had been shut down all game until he took a pass 75 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. He finished the day with 2 catches for 83 yards. Anyway, it’s time to shake it off and do better in Week 8.


Terry McLaurin, Commanders – WR 24

Week 7 Stats | WR 20 | FPts: 15.0 | Tgts: 9 | Rec: 6 | Yds: 90 | TDs: 0

This week is a little bit heavy on the ‘start’ side of things. First off, I have Terry McLaurin as a ‘start.’ After a slow start to the 2023 season, McLaurin has taken off over the last four games. In that stretch, he has been targeted 35 times, including 10 targets the last time he faced Philadelphia.

Washington has struggled to move the ball on the ground this year, and the Eagles have the best rush defense in the NFL. I expect to see Sam Howell slinging the ball often and looking McLaurin’s way regularly. McLaurin hasn’t gotten in the end zone since Week 2, but I think that will change this week. Fire up Terry McLaurin if you have him.

DeVonta Smith, Eagles – WR 21

LANDOVER, MD – SEPTEMBER 25: Washington Commanders cornerback Benjamin St-Juste (25) breaks up a pass attempt to Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) in the end zone during the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Commanders on September 25, 2022 at Fedex Field in Landover, MD. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Week 7 Stats | WR 44 | FPts: 8.9 | Tgts: 5 | Rec: 4 | Yds: 49 | TDs: 0

My next ‘start’ is on the other side of the field in this same game. DeVonta Smith has been up and down all season, but I am optimistic about his chances in this one. Like McLaurin, DeVonta had a good performance the last time these two teams squared off, hauling in 7 of his 9 targets for 78 yards.

However, the real receiving star of that performance was AJ Brown, who torched the Commanders for 175 yards and 2 scores on 9 catches. I fully expect to see Washington try to slow down AJ Brown and make someone else beat them. That is where I expect DeVonta to thrive. This Washington defense allows the third-most yards passing per game, so if they roll the coverage toward AJ Brown, expect Smith to flourish. 

Diontae Johnson, Steelers – WR 35

Week 7 Stats | WR 23 | FPts: 12.9 | Tgts: 6 | Rec: 5 | Yds: 79 | TDs: 0

My third ‘start’ for the week is Diontae Johnson. He returned last week and made me look good by outperforming his weekly ranking. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to see Diontae ranked lower against the second-worst pass defense in the NFL. We have seen Johnson be peppered with targets in this offense, which gives him a high floor for fantasy production. I expect to see Johnson heavily involved again, and the Jags defense is one you want to target. I am putting Diontae in my lineup every chance I get.

Drake London, Falcons – WR 30

Week 7 Stats | WR 29 | FPts: 11.4 | Tgts: 7 | Rec: 6 | Yds: 54 | TDs: 0

My fourth and final ‘start’ for the week is another holdover from last week, Drake London. London is coming off a solid but unspectacular performance in Week 7, where he finished as the WR29. After his inexplicable 1 target game in the opening week, London has received a healthy dose of targets (49 in 6 games). That kind of target share is something that I always want to target.

This week is similar to last week. The Falcons play a team that has a better rush defense than pass defense. London seems to be building a good rapport with Desmond Ridder and should be a weekly starter at this point. If I have Drake London, I am making sure to get him in my lineups.


Zay Flowers, Ravens – WR 14

Week 7 Stats | WR 28 | FPts: 11.5 | Tgts: 6 | Rec: 4 | Yds: 75 | TDs: 0 

My first ‘sit’ for the week is Ravens’ rookie, Zay Flowers. This is mostly due to the considerably high ranking that Flowers has this week. The Lions are a team that we want to target as far as their pass defense is concerned. However, the Ravens offense is not a ‘traditional’ offense in today’s NFL. Baltimore only throws for 217.6 yards per game but is the third-best rushing offense in the league. I can’t trust Zay Flowers as a high-end WR2 this week. He will likely have a solid game, but WR14 is too rich for my blood.

Garrett Wilson, Jets – WR 20

PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 12: New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson (17) warms up during pre-season game between the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles on August 12, 2022 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Week 7 Stats | WR x | FPts: x.x | Tgts: x | Rec: x | Yds: x | TDs: x (BYE WEEK)

My other ‘sit’ for the week is Garrett Wilson. He has been very hot and cold for fantasy teams in 2023. Before the BYE week, Garret Wilson was tough to predict. In his last three games, he was targeted 14, 7, and 12 times, catching 9, 3, and 8 passes. The concerning thing for me is that despite logging 20 receptions over that 3-game stretch, Wilson only had 204 receiving yards combined. This passing offense is inconsistent, and I want to avoid it if possible.

This week, the Jets and Giants square off for the battle of New York (in New Jersey). And, while the Giants have an average pass defense, they allow the 6th-most rushing yards per game. I expect Zach Wilson to be handing the ball off a heck of a lot more than he is throwing it to Garrett Wilson. I’m pivoting away from Garrett if I can this week.

That’s it for Week 8. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@THEtristancook) if you have any specific questions about who I would start. 

Are you interested in joining the #NerdHerd? Use the code “tcook” for 15% off any membership. Sign up here and get an edge on all of your league mates today! You can get access to the DynastyGM tool (including our Trade Calculator and new Trade Finder), the Prospect Film Room, an extra weekly podcast, full rankings, and much, much more!

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