Dontayvion Wicks Fantasy Outlook: Start the Packers Rookie WR in Fantasy Football Week 16

If you’re reading this, you’re probably not in great shape for your Week 16 fantasy football semifinal matchup. Whether you’re without Ja’Marr Chase, Keenan Allen, Michael Pittman, or Christian Kirk, a top Week 16 WR streamer is needed to advance to your league’s championship game.

Well, look no further than Packers rookie Dontayvion Wicks.

Christian Watson (hamstring, doubtful) continues to spend more time on the sidelines than on the field as the injury bug continues to plague his up-and-down career. Meanwhile, rising rookie Jayden Reed (toe, chest) is nursing two injuries and is trending toward sitting this one out after missing a week’s worth of practice.

With the emergence of Reed, Wicks has fallen between the cracks. The fifth-round pick from Virginia brings a YAC skillset and promising route running to a blossoming Packers aerial attack against a promising matchup.

Over the last three weeks, Wicks has 11 receptions and 160 yards on 17 targets — highlighted by his career-high six receptions for 97 yards in last week’s loss to the Buccaneers, where he saw a team-high 17.9% target share.

In fact, 16 of Wicks’ 31 receptions have qualified as an explosive catch (16+ yards), and he leads all rookies with 15.8 Y/R.

“He’s always asking questions, always asking if he’s in the right spot,” Jordan Love said of Wicks. “I think he’s a really good route-runner, really shifty guy, catches the ball really well and he’s making plays after the catch. He’s getting a lot of YAC right now. He’s just a tough guy. He’s doing a lot of really good things.”

His teammates and coaches believe he has an elite-level skill set. He’s caught everyone’s attention to the point where he’s drawn loose comparisons to future Hall of Famer and Packer great Davante Adams.

“The way I like to compare is crossing somebody over on the basketball court,” Matt LaFleur said. “He’s got that ability to play on his insteps and he’s got that short-area quickness. He’s got a ways to go before he gets to (Adams’) level, but I do think as far as the skillset and all that, that you look for in a guy, I think the sky’s the limit for him, quite frankly.”

Although he’s not even close to Adams’ level yet, it’s clear the upside is legit, and his upside is arguably higher than any of the young studs in the Packers’ receiver room.

THE MATCHUP

Wicks is slated to see a healthy dose of Jaycee Horn, whose tendency to be over-physical with his assignments makes him prone to being burnt for big plays. Horn has allowed 0.51 FP/RR and has been targeted on 29.2% of his routes in coverage.

Since week 8, Wicks ranks 4th in Y/RR vs. zone coverage, and according to Fantasy Points, the Panthers play in zone coverage around 84% of the time.

However, as a team, the Panthers’ secondary presents a decently tough matchup. They started the season poor, allowing 20-plus fantasy points to receivers in five of the first six games. But they’ve been stout in the second half of the season, allowing over 20 fantasy points in just two of the following eight games.

Still, Wicks shouldn’t have a problem returning value as a flex option after seeing 13 targets over the last two weeks.

SUMMARY

It may be a dice roll with the fantasy season on the line, but Wicks is a top streamer prospect this week against the worst team in the league.

Confirming Wicks’ upside, FanDuel released his receiving yardage prop on Saturday and listed it at 57.5 yards, which is in the same neighborhood as DeAndre Hopkins (59.5), Chris Godwin (56.5), Deebo Samuel (61.5), and others.

Wicks checks in at WR45 (+3 vs ECR) on The Wolf’s Week 16 Rankings, among the likes of Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Demario Douglas, and two spots above teammate Romeo Doubs.

If you’re desperate for a WR3 or Flex option, Wicks is your guy, and he’s available in 90% of leagues.

Authors

  • Editor-in-Chief of Roto Street Journal.

  • Graduate of Regent University (2019) BA Sports Journalism Writer: Full Press Coverage, UnFiltered Sports Network Fantasy Football Enthusiast Fantasy Analyst/Writer for the Roto Street Journal

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