The Minnesota Vikings were 1-4 and appeared to be on their way to a potentially dismal season after star WR Justin Jefferson got injured. However, the team has bounced back to win two consecutive games and is 3-4 entering their matchup against the Green Bay Packers.
One receiver who has been stepping up with Jefferson out is K.J. Osborn. With more opportunities to catch passes, is Osborn a guy whom fantasy football managers should have in their lineups? Or is Seattle Seahawks WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba a guy who should be starting instead?
Jaxon Smith-Njigba Fantasy Outlook This Week
Smith-Njigba is coming off the best two games of his career, with career-high receiving yards in back-to-back weeks. Last week, against the Arizona Cardinals, he had four catches for 63 yards and scored his first career touchdown.
JSN had to battle some injuries in the offseason, so it taking him a few weeks to get rolling isn’t a surprise at all. The fact he has put together back-to-back solid games should have fantasy managers excited moving forward. However, that streak of two consecutive good games could be in jeopardy this week when the Seahawks host the Cleveland Browns.
The Browns have been the best pass defense all year, as they are allowing only 149.2 passing yards per game. The next closest team is the Baltimore Ravens (176). Behind DE Myles Garrett, the Browns have been absolutely dominating this season and will give the Seahawks a very difficult stretch.
K.J. Osborn Fantasy Outlook This Week
With the injury to Jefferson, there have been more opportunities for Vikings receivers. Last Monday night, rookie Jordan Addison was the guy who took off, finishing with 123 yards and two touchdowns on seven catches. TE T.J. Hockenson had 11 catches for 86 yards, while Osborn had five catches for 47 yards.
MORE: Half-PPR Rankings
Osborn had a solid game against the Packers last year when he had seven catches for 59 yards and one touchdown.
While the Packers have been struggling on offense this year, the passing defense has actually been outstanding. Green Bay currently ranks eighth in the league, allowing 194.3 yards per game.
Which of the NFC Wide Receivers Should You Start?
In our Start/Sit Optimizer, PFN’s Consensus Rankings say to start Smith-Njigba. His projected 8.2 points include a projection of three catches and 36 yards.
That doesn’t seem like a huge offering, but it outperforms Osborn’s consensus projection of 7.8 points. Neither of these wide receivers figure to have big days, but I’m going against the optimizer on this one.
The matchup for Smith-Njigba against the Browns is a very tough one. It’s the type of game that QB Geno Smith is going to look for his experienced receivers like DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
Green Bay isn’t an easy game, either, but QB Kirk Cousins is playing some great football right now, ranking second in the league with 2,057 passing yards. Neither one of these receivers will win you a matchup this week, but Osborn is certainly more likely to have a bigger game.
Looking to make a trade in your fantasy league? Having trouble deciding who to start and who to sit? Setting DFS lineups? Check out PFN’s Free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer, Start/Sit Optimizer, and DFS Lineup Optimizer to help you make the right decision!
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.