With the Sunday games now completed, there is one contest left on the fantasy football calendar that we have some sense of security will be played, and that is the Seattle Seahawks against the Philadelphia Eagles. The other thing we know for certain is that DK Metcalf is one of the best wide receivers in both fantasy football and the NFL, even if it is just his second year in the league. Tonight, he faces one of the better pass defenses in the NFL, but will that be enough to stop him, or will DK Metcalf continue the meteoric rise that has taken place in the first 10 games of the season?
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DK Metcalf showed glimpses as a rookie of how special he could be
We knew coming out of Ole Miss, DK Metcalf was just built differently than everyone else. Coming in at 6’3″ and 223 pounds of no shirt needed physique, we knew he was going to be a physical threat on the outside.
However, I don’t think many expected the measurables he put on display at the NFL Combine. Metcalf ran an absurd 4.33 40-yard dash, had a 40.5 inch vertical, and put up 27 reps on the bench press. We had years of film on him dominating SEC talent. Still, everyone decided to forget about this because he didn’t run around three cones well in his underwear one time on a cold winter day in Indianapolis.
He then comes in as a rookie and rattles off 58 receptions on 100 targets for 900 yards and seven touchdowns. What is more staggering is that DK Metcalf only caught 29% of his red-zone targets in that year. However, on his 5 of 17 receptions inside the 20-yard line, Metcalf had 47 yards and four touchdowns. If he were just 50% efficient on his targets, Metcalf would have been a double-digit touchdown scorer in his first year.
DK Metcalf has been one of the best wide receivers in both the NFL and fantasy in 2020
In 2020, we have seen how much Metcalf has developed as a receiver, not just a deep threat.
Even with most of the league having played this week, Metcalf still sits as the WR8 in fantasy this season. His 77 targets rank 23rd in the NFL, where he has caught 48 passes for 862 yards (11th) and nine touchdowns (fifth). His 18 yards per reception is third-highest among wide receivers that have seen at least 50 targets. Remember when I brought up red-zone stats?
In 10 games, Metcalf has 10 targets or 18.2% of the team’s targets, which is lower than expected. But he has caught six for 37 yards and four touchdowns. He is scoring on 66% of his targets in the red zone.
We can’t forget who DK Metcalf has lined up against either because it has been the best of the best. He has seen Stephon Gilmore, Xavien Howard, Patrick Peterson twice, and Jalen Ramsey. Metcalf has over 90 receiving yards and caught a touchdown in seven of his 10 games. He also made one of the plays of the season when he made Budda Baker look slow by chasing him down after an interception.
Will he continue his hot streak against Eagles CB Darius Slay?
It’s safe to say that Eagles CB Darius Slay is going to be fired up for this matchup. On a recent social media post by Fox Sports, Clinton Portis was asked if he thought DK Metcalf could score this week, where he replied, “Every week I bet for DK Metcalf to score. He got shut down against the Rams; it was Jalen Ramsey. Is he getting shut down against the Eagles with a cornerback we can’t name? A guy that we don’t talk about? Darby is gone; Darby is with Washington, so he definitely scores a touchdown.”
Apparently, he forgot about Darius Slay, who saw the video and has his own reply.
Slay has a solid point. Slay is allowing 73% of his targets to be converted but is allowing only 0.24 fantasy points per targeted route. In the four games where Slay has been in shadow coverage rather than working a side of the field, he held Terry McLaurin to 5/3/31 in Week 1, AJ Green to 6/5/36 in Week 3, and Darius Slayton to 3/2/23 in Week 7.
However, Slayton did get the better in their second matchup in Week 10 by catching five of his six targets for 93 yards. None of those four players scored a touchdown on Slay either.
The Eagles have been solid on pass coverage as a team, allowing just seven wide receivers to finish with 11.2 or more PPR points this season. But they haven’t taken on a team like the Seahawks who have Russell Wilson cooking, along with Tyler Lockett flanking DK Metcalf. They also got healthier this week by adding RB Chris Carson, who was the RB5 before going down with injury.
I can never bet on anyone shutting DK Metcalf down for fantasy other than himself when he loses the ball before the end zone. I put my money where my mouth is too in the Touchdown Dance contest on Monkey Knife Fight, where I took DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Miles Sanders to score more than 2.5 touchdowns tonight combined. DK Metcalf is a fantasy WR1 every week and is my WR1 overall in dynasty.
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