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NFC East Wide Receivers (WRs): A Fantasy Football Breakdown

By C. H. Herms 3:07pm EDT 8/4/23

NFC East Wide Receivers: Who Should You Target?

The NFC East runs the gamut of WR value.

From the elite Eagles duo of A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith to the cluster of question marks on the Giants, this division offers a little bit of everything.

Can we expect another stellar year from CeeDee Lamb in Dallas?

Will the Commanders support multiple fantasy-viable WRs?

Should fantasy managers draft anyone on the Giants?

Let's take a look at this division team-by-team to determine which pass catchers will lead you to a championship in 2023.

Everything starts with our award-winning rankings:

Take a look at our fantasy football rankings to see where each of these players lands.

Dallas Cowboys Wide Receivers

Top Fantasy Target: CeeDee Lamb
Other Draftables: Brandin Cooks

New Offense, Who Dis?

The Cowboys supported two top-40 PPR WRs in three of the past four seasons under OC Kellen Moore. Those three offenses each ranked top-10 in passing yards and attempts.

The team seemed to lean away from Moore’s influence last season in favor of a more run-heavy approach.

Here's how the Cowboys' offense ranked in some key measures over the past four years:

Year Pass Rate Pass Attempts Passing YardsPass Rate Over
Expectation (PROE)
2019 60% (22nd) 597 (t-10th) 4,902 (3rd)-2.4% (23rd)
2020 63% (13th) 639 (2nd) 4,511 (7th)-1.6% (20th)
2021 61% (15th) 647 (6th) 4,963 (3rd)+1.2% (9th)
202254% (27th)556 (19th)3,911 (18th)-6.0% (25th)

With Moore now the Chargers' OC, play-calling keys are in the hands of HC Mike McCarthy.

Per The Athletic’s Jon Machota, new OC Brian Schottenheimer has said “roughly 70 percent of the offense” will run similarly to last year.

Machota also mentions McCarthy wants to run the ball more. The Cowboys ranked sixth in run rate (45%) and team rushing attempts (531) in 2022. It's hard to imagine a significant 2023 increase on those.

Instead, we simply expect this year's offense to be closer to last year's than the run-pass splits of the first three Moore seasons.

The CeeDee Show

CeeDee Lamb produced stellar numbers last season, finishing as the WR7 in PPR points per game (17.7). He also ranked sixth in catch rate (72.3%) and ninth in yards per route run (2.38) among 30 WRs who saw 100+ targets last season.

Fantasy managers should feel comfortable relying on Lamb as a WR1. Repeating a 107-1,359-9 receiving line won’t be easy, but posting similar numbers is well within reach.

Bounce Back for Cooks?

The Cowboys traded a pair of late-round draft picks for Cooks in March and will pay him $12 million this season.

Cooks struggled with the Texans last season, finishing with a modest 57 catches, 699 receiving yards, and 3 TDs.

Playing in an offense that ranked second-worst in Football Outsiders’ pass DVOA with QB Davis Mills didn’t help.

Cooks has registered at least 65 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards in six of his nine NFL seasons. The veteran feels confident he and Lamb will be a matchup disaster for opponents, too:

“If we both (are) on the same side, that safety gotta choose one,” said Cooks, per Machota. “No one’s guarding (Lamb) one-on-one. If (the safety) chooses to stay on top of me, then CeeDee is wide open, and vice versa. We all complement each other in a great way.”

Cooks sits 46th in our WR rankings; 45th for PPR scoring.

His range of outcomes includes a projected ceiling of 222.5 PPR points, though. That would have ranked 19th among WRs last season, just ahead of Tee Higgins.

There's definitely some potential value.

3D Projections show the baseline, floor, and ceiling for every player.

New York Giants Wide Receivers

Top Fantasy Target: n/a
Draftables: Isaiah Hodgins, Jalin Hyatt

Bad Breaks with Injury

QB Daniel Jones threw just 15 TDs last season and had only two WRs reach 500 receiving yards: Darius Slayton (724) and Richie James (569).

Slayton and James were also the only Giants WRs of note who played in more than 12 games. The group simply couldn’t stay healthy.

Wan’Dale Robinson and Sterling Shepard tore ACLs. Kadarius Toney’s hamstring injury limited him to just two games before he was traded to the Chiefs ahead of Week 8.

To their credit, the Giants still finished 10th in Football Outsiders’ pass DVOA.

Biggest Addition Comes at TE

TE Darren Waller comes to New York from the Raiders after a year in which he missed nine games due to a hamstring injury.

He hasn’t been fully healthy since 2020, but he’s by far the most talented receiver on the roster.

That, of course, doesn't reflect well on the team's wideouts.

Isaiah Hodgins looks worthy of a late-round flier.

The former sixth-round draftee of the Bills came on strong at the end of 2022. Hodgins posted 25 receptions, 250 receiving yards, and 4 TDs from Week 13 on, ranking 19th among WRs in PPR over that span; 16th in non-PPR.

Anyone Else?

Other veteran free-agent additions (Jamison Crowder, Parris Campbell, Cole Beasley) will compete to make the roster. One could wind up useful, but none looks exciting.

Third-round rookie Jalin Hyatt has generated buzz at training camp by getting more work with the first-team offense. He could be a fun speculative dart throw.

Keep an eye on the headlines throughout August.

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Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receivers

Top Fantasy Target: A.J. Brown
Other Draftables: DeVonta Smith

Two-Headed Monster

The Eagles’ WRs you want in fantasy are obvious.

Both A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith surpassed 80 receptions, 1,000 yards, and 5 TDs in 2022. They headlined an Eagles offense that finished ninth in pass DVOA last year and almost won the Super Bowl.

Brown is the top guy. Among 30 WRs with 100+ targets lats season, he ranked:

  • fifth in target share (28.7%)
  • third in air yards share (40.7%)
  • tied for third in yards per route run (2.59)

Oh, and he’s still just 26.

If there were any concern with Brown, it's a history of operations to both knees. But he didn’t miss a game last season.

Lower Cost, Similar Reward

Smith finished 2022 among the top 15 WRs in:

  • targets (136)
  • catches (95)
  • and receiving yards (1,196)

He tied for 15th among WRs in PPR points per game (15.0).

Smith's current WR12 ADP, however, has him priced ahead of our WR16 ranking for him in PPR.

Why? Target volume could be an issue vs. other WRs in that range. Smith ranked a solid 13th among WRs in targets last year, but he got more (8.4 per game) in weeks without TE Dallas Goedert than when the TE was in the lineup (7.7).

Smith's fine as a Round 3 option but doesn't really become a target unless he falls past ADP.

Curious where these players rank in PPR?

Check out our fantasy football PPR rankings.

Washington Commanders Wide Receivers

Top Fantasy Target: Terry McLaurin
Other Draftables: Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel

New Sheriff in Town

The Commanders hired new OC Eric Bieniemy this offseason to replace Scott Turner.

Bieniemy spent the last decade working under Chiefs HC Andy Reid in Kansas City and spent 2018-22 collaborating with Reid on play-calling.

In that span, the Chiefs’ offense ranked top 6 in scoring and total yards annually.

It’s difficult to say how much of that success can be ascribed to Bieniemy. Still, his influence will be a welcomed change compared to the downtrodden Commanders’ offense from a season ago.

The Commanders ranked 23rd in pass rate, 27th in pass rate over expected, and 20th in pass attempts in 2022. Perhaps Bienemy helps on that front.

Brighter Skies Ahead?

WR Terry McLaurin has registered at least 120 targets, 75 catches, and 1,000 receiving yards in each of the past three seasons.

He’s clearly talented. But he has dealt with abysmal QB play.

Taylor Heinicke and Carson Wentz ranked 25th and 29th, respectively, in on-target percentage in 2022, according to Pro Football Reference. They combined for a 62.1% completion rate, 4.3% TD rate, and averaged just 6.8 yards per attempt -- all well below average among NFL starters.

Will Sam Howell be better? Unfortunately, we’ve only seen the 2023 fifth-rounder start one game. So we won't know until the season starts.

We are confident that McLaurin will be the top wideout in this offense, though one of his teammates deserves a nod here as well.

Wheels Up for Dotson

WR Jahan Dotson, the 16th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, produced some solid numbers as a rookie. He lost five games with a hamstring injury but was otherwise a solid big-play contributor.

He finished as a top-24 PPR WR in five of his 12 games, ranking second on the team in air yards share (25.7%) and third in receiving yards (563).

The biggest question mark heading into 2023 will be Howell’s ability to deliver deep passes. Dotson posted a 15.4-yard aDOT (third-highest in the NFL among WRs with 60+ targets) last season and saw very few short-area strikes.

Howell might be well-equipped to help. In two of his three college seasons, Howell ranked top 15 among college QBs (min. 50 attempts) in PFF grading on 20+ yard throws. He posted a 74.6% adjusted deep ball completion rate for his career.

If Howell can send bombs Dotson’s way with some regularity, we might have a decent WR3/flex option.

How Should You Value These NFC East Wide Receivers (and everyone else)?

The short answer: it depends.

Every fantasy football league is different. 

What scoring system does your league use? Do you start two or three WRs? Is this a 10-person league or more?

Why struggle to consider these factors when we have the perfect tool that does it all for you.

Our Draft War Room syncs directly to your league to import your specific settings and read every team's picks as you go.

You'll receive a specific value for every draftable player at any point throughout your draft to help you make the optimal pick every time.

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