Unlike last year, a wide receiver is not being drafted first overall. In fact, three RB’s are going off the board, followed by three WR’s. It’s fairly obvious that the first receiver off the board should be Antonio Brown. Dating back to 2014, Brown has been a top three standard scoring receiver. After Brown, though, the picture gets unclear. Currently, it’s Julio Jones being drafted as the WR2. But, Jones has combined for an average finish of roughly WR5 since 2014. There’s also Odell Beckham Jr., who’s never cracked the top 3 but always been in the top 5 since 2014. Last but not least, Mike Evans is going off the board at WR4, who broke onto the scene in year three (as a number of WR’s do) and finished as the 2016 WR2. Who is worthy of the WR2 spot? Let’s take a look.
The case for Julio Jones – Using the eye test, Julio Jones is the most dominant WR in the league. He’s an absolute freak of nature. HE HAD 300 YARDS IN ONE GAME LAST YEAR. From a yards per game perspective, he’s elite. If you’re looking for upside, you’ve got it in Julio Jones. But, Jones also has a downside. Out of 96 games, he’s only started 76. In addition, Julio had 5 games at or under 6 fantasy points. Another thing people do not realize about Jones is the lack of touchdown production. Jones was only 19th in touchdowns last year. But, Steve Sarkisian did say that he wants to use Jones in the red zone more often this year. Jones is a high risk, high reward player.
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) June 15, 2017
The case for Odell Beckham Jr. –
Out of these three players, Odell is probably the most consistent out of the group. In his career, he has an average finish of about WR4. He’s the only player in his first three years of his career that has at least 90 catches, 1,300 yards, and 10 touchdowns. Heading into 2017, Beckham is surrounded by more talent than he ever has been. Over the off-season, the Giants added Brandon Marshall
and Evan Engram
. While this could open up the field for Odell, the additions will definitely take away from Beckham’s red zone numbers. Odell has seen less fantasy points per game every year, but I don’t think that’s a huge deal. Overall, while I do think Odell will be landing on some of my teams this year, he probably won’t be picked as WR2.
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) June 16, 2017
The case for Mike Evans –
Lastly, we’ve got former Texas A&M stud Mike Evans. Last year, Evans was a beast, totaling 171 targets. He made good use of them, totaling 12 touchdowns. He played 16 games last year for the first time in his career, and was the best piece in an impressive Tampa offense. But, I’m not taking Evans as my WR2. Logically, he will not see 171 targets again this year with the additions of DeSean Jackson
and O.J. Howard
. It’s unlikely that any WR will see 171 targets, let alone back to back years. Evans also fell off in the second half of the year, totaling three straight weeks under 6 points, weeks 13-15. Keep in mind, these games were against SD, NO, and DAL. Evans is certainly due for regression come 2017, even though it might not be too much.
Despite ranking last in yards after the catch per reception (2.0), Mike Evans was our highest-graded wide receiver in 2016. pic.twitter.com/unwYlLhoO3
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) July 4, 2017
After doing the research, I think I’ll be taking Julio Jones as my WR2 overall. He has little competition for targets in Atlanta, and is too good to pass up on. At the very least, he’s a relatively consistent player who will win you your week multiple times all by himself. As for WR3/4, I’d say Odell, and then Mike Evans. Jones and Beckham are close, but I give Jones a slight edge because of no competition and little signs of regression upcoming.
Source: NFL News