Undervalued Fantasy Football Wide Receivers
In this article, I will share with you four wide receivers you should target in the eighth round or later in 12-team PPR formats according to Fantasy Football Calculator. Imagine that you in the middle of a fantasy football draft. Have you ever been on the clock scratching your head over which player to select? I will highlight specific players that I believe will outperform their current ADP.
Green Bay Packers
Cobb is the number three wide receiver in one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. The Packers offense produced 2.49 points per drive last season which was the third highest in the league. He did not have a single drop on catchable targets last season according to Pro Football Focus and quarterback Aaron Rodgers had a quarterback rating of 116.2 when throwing to Cobb going all the way back to 2012. The WR similarity app via RotoViz provides an optimistic view of his weekly range of outcomes from a fantasy points perspective. In this projection, I only included games last season in which Cobb was given five or more targets.
This app also provides a visual of the results of what the similar players did after they had a season that was comparable to his 2016.
The Packers offense has the capacity to support multiple top-25 fantasy wide receivers. Cobb finished as the WR52 in PPR formats in 2016, but played 681 snaps (63 percent of the Packers offensive snaps) and was targeted on 12 percent of them. If he is given an increase in targets this year he will be in a position to recreate his masterful 2014 season that resulted in 1,287 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. Do not allow recency bias to cloud your judgment. Cobb can be viewed as a high-end WR3 with WR2 upside in 2017.
Brown and Larry Fitzgerald are the top two receiving options in the Cardinals vertical passing attack. He dealt with a sickle cell trait and a cyst near his spine last season, but the question surrounding Brown is can he replicate his stellar 2015 season? He only had five receptions of 20 yards or more and zero of 40 plus yards last season. In 2015 Brown generated more explosive plays with 11 receptions of 20 yards or more and six of 40 plus yards.
FP- Fantasy Points
Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has even publicly commented that “Smoke looks like John Brown” during the offseason. Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer has even mentioned Brown “has a different energy about him.” He finished last season with 1.31 yards per route run according to Pro Football Focus which ranked 68th among wide receivers. Brown ranked 24th in 2015 with 2.00 yards per route run. He also saw a decrease in target share from 21.1 percent in 2015 to 13 percent in 2016.
The Cardinals are also managing Palmer’s practice reps to enable him to be more efficient throughout the entire 2017 season. He averaged 284 passing yards in his first six starts in 2016 with seven touchdowns and five interceptions. Palmer had a passer rating of 83.4 during those games. He bounced back in December with a passer rating of 95.9, 11 touchdowns, and three interceptions in five starts.
The stars are aligning for Brown to be one of the better values at the wide receiver position in fantasy drafts this summer. The entire Cardinals offense is also in a prime position to bounce back. This unit ranked second in points per drive in 2015 with 2.37 and led the NFL with 37 percent of those drives making it to the red zone. Brown can be viewed as a solid WR3 who will provide fantasy owners with WR2 weeks.
Did you know Meredith was the Bears leading wide receiver in 2017? He also owned a target share of 26 percent that led the team. The departure of Alshon Jeffery to the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency and the unreliability of Kevin White have opened up the door for Meredith to emerge as the Bears number one wide receiver in 2017.
Meredith ranked ninth last season in the Pro Football Focus metric yards per route run with 2.09. The Bears quarterbacks also had a passer rating of 100.1 when targeting Meredith. I dive deeper into the pros and cons of his specific situation in his player outlook.
In this projection using the WR similarity app, I only included games last season in which Meredith was given five or more targets. The range of outcomes looks very promising.
Here is a visual of the results of what the similar players did after they had a season that was comparable to Meredith’s 2016.
Meredith should have very little competition for targets in Chicago and is one of the better values at the wide receiver position in fantasy drafts. He can be viewed as a high-end WR3 with the potential to provide weekly WR2 value in 2017.
Do you remember the fast start that Jones had last season? He produced 2.36 yards per route run and ranked sixth in this metric according to Pro Football Focus during the first seven games of 2016. Jones also had nine receptions during that span of 20 yards or more. He finished as the WR43 in PPR formats and as you can see below he dealt with a few injuries and regression that negatively impacted Jones’ fantasy production for the rest of the season.
Jones has worked out with future Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss this offseason and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell continues to champion him in the media. This is a Lions offense that will continue to throw the football. Quarterback Matthew Stafford had the ninth most pass attempts last season with 594. The Lions tied the Browns for fewest rushing attempts in 2016 with 350. Jones can be viewed as a sound WR3 and the WR similarity app projection provides an excellent range of outcomes for him in 2017 relative to his average draft position or ADP.
You should prioritize all of the wide receivers mentioned above in fantasy drafts if you are looking for players that could greatly outperform their average draft position. Let us take a brief moment to discuss injury outlook of these players. The website Sports Injury Predictor has created an algorithm that generates a player’s statistical probability for injury and projected games missed. Here are the results for the wide receivers I discussed in this article.
|Player Name||Team||Chance of Injury in 2017||Projected Games missed for 2017|
All of these wide receivers would be great additions to your fantasy football teams in 2017. I have also included tweets below of two other wide receivers I like that are available late in fantasy drafts.
Undervalued WR = Robert Woods. Legit shot at 150 targets on awful team with no draft picks to upgrade WR corps. 11th-13th round.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) March 24, 2017
— RotoViz (@RotoViz) July 4, 2017
Source: NFL News