The Fantasy Price is Right
Vol.1 Wide Receivers
by: James Kreiss @FF_Chef
A fantasy football league is never won in the draft. However, it can be lost during the draft. How many times do we look at our team after drafting and say, “Damn!!! Why did I reach on Player (X)? When player (Y) fell right back to me.”. Or, “Ugh !!! I drafted three wide receivers that have the same bye week.”. This has happened to everyone whether we’d like to admit it or not.
Now that draft season is upon us it’s important to know the inside scoop on how our draft day may shape up. Most of us go out and buy that Fantasy Football Magazine, get subscriptions to the first website that comes up in our web browser, and reopen our league platform apps that haven’t been used since last season to start mock drafting. These are all great tools while strategizing to win your league. Unfortunately, one thing all of these tools don’t tell you is where and when to draft a player of value so your team has a stronger chance of winning a championship.
Personally I always try to balance my team during a draft selecting a combination of wide receivers and running backs as the foundation before moving on to quarterback and tight end. My main focus of this edition of the Fantasy Price is Right will be wide receivers. Specifically targeting receivers going in the fifth round of your draft. You’re probably thinking, “Why are we starting with the fifth round?” Answer: This year more than ever before there are so many great wide receivers with either a solid floor or high ceiling in the fifth round. This will allow you the option you to stock up on running backs with guaranteed top 20 production in the earlier rounds, leaving less question marks to your starting roster come kickoff.
This article will help point out a few wide receivers that are great values at their current ADP in a 12 team PPR format. Mind you I’m writing this on August 21st, 2020 and ADP will change in the upcoming weeks leading up to the start of the season. I use their website has a wide span of drafting sites linked to it so you have a larger consensus of mock drafts to gather ADP.
D.J. Chark - WR JAX
WR20 ADP#52 bye:Week 7
D.J. Chark was one of 2019’s great surprises at wide receiver, finishing as the WR17 with 118 targets for 73 receptions, 1,008 yards, and eight touchdowns. In case you forgot, he posted these stats while having two different quarterbacks (Foles & Minshew), a new offensive coordinator in John DeFilippo, and missing week 15 due to an ankle sprain. What most people don’t realize is before Chark went down due to injury he was WR8. I think it’s safe to say that the injury really skewed his fantasy production over the last three weeks of the season.
Fast-forward to the present. With Foles being traded to Chicago, Minshew is now the starting quarterback. This should improve their already great chemistry that was established last year. The Jags parted ways with Defilippo in January and brought in former head coach of the Washington Football Team Jay Gruden. Gruden will help Minshew see the field better and make better decisions with the ball. He is known to get the most out of his quarterbacks as we saw with the resurgence of Kirk Cousins in 2015-2017. Chark now 100% healthy is currently going as WR20 in the beginning of the 5th round with an ADP of #52 overall. That is great value for a player with a safe floor of a high end WR2 and the upside of a WR1.
Tyler Lockett - WR SEA
WR21 ADP#50 bye: Week 6
There may be some blatant disrespect going on right now for wide receiver Tyler Lockett. Lockett’s ADP has moved down nine spots since July and he is currently being selected at #50 overall in 12 team PPR formats. Lockett finished 2019 as the WR13 and has only missed one game in his entire NFL career due to a leg fracture in 2016. He did have a leg contusion late in the 2019 season but played through the injury and played the following week. “Talk about durability.”
Due to that injury last year, there’s definitive recency bias leading to most owners passing on Lockett having him fall in drafts to the fifth round. That is great value on a wide receiver who just had the best fantasy season of his career. For the first time he eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark and saw his targets go up by nearly 40, finishing with a stat line of 82 receptions for 1,057 yards and eight touchdowns. While the hype in Seahawks camp is based around sophomore wide receiver D.K. Metcalf taking the next step, fantasy players looking for that solid floor from their wide receivers should consider Lockett as the safe bet to bolster their chances of winning a championship. Take Lockett in your drafts knowing he is a solid WR2 with WR1 potential.
Terry McLaurin - WR WAS
WR22 ADP#60 bye: Week 8
Last year we witnessed somewhat of a phenomenon with three rookie wide receivers posting 900 plus yards and at least seven touchdowns. A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf and Terry McLaurin all finished inside the top 36 wide receivers for PPR scoring in 2019. Possibly the biggest shock of the three was the third round pick, McLaurin. Playing in only fourteen games, with two different quarterbacks and losing his head coach in week five he finished as the WR29 with 58 receptions for 919 yards and seven touchdowns; which was equal to 191.9 fantasy points. Hypothetically, if McLaurin was able to play all sixteen games at his overall 2019 pace he would’ve finished the season with 219 fantasy points placing him as the WR21 in front of A.J. Brown.
Now, with another offseason to build chemistry with young quarterback Dwayne Haskins and a Superbowl caliber head coach in Ron Rivera, we should see McLaurin undoubtedly be Washington’s most reliable fantasy option and true alpha wide receiver. With McLaurin’s current ADP of #60 overall he is one of the biggest steals at the end of the fifth round. The aforementioned Brown is going at ADP #37 almost two full rounds before McLaurin. With this much draft capital between two very similarly projected wide receivers you will be able to land other key players on your roster while still maintaining a solid WR2 floor.
Having read this article make sure you keep in mind this very old quote “Good things come to those who wait.” you won't regret it when approaching wide receivers this year.