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High Upside Wide Receivers (Fantasy Football)

Jul 27, 2017

New Orleans has been able to support two stud receivers in the past and Snead could be one in 2017

Can you believe training camps are underway!? By this time next month, you will either have drafted already or will be furiously planning for your draft. There’s no doubt that it’s a great time of the year and it will only be getting better with each passing day.

With football season getting into gear, we recently told you about running backs with high upside. It was only natural then for us to follow that up and discuss wide receivers with upside. After all, when it comes to receivers, just look back to last year and think about how often Ted Ginn was a major threat to catch a deep touchdown every single game. Undoubtedly, he helped win a few games for owners out there. We’re looking for who that player will be this season and our featured experts below have made their picks.

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Q1. What WR with an ECR outside the top 30 has the best shot of putting up WR1 numbers?

Willie Snead (NO): Consensus WR #32
“I really like the chances of Saints receiver Willie Snead to have a big season. He is going to have a big role in that offense with Brandin Cooks gone and he also is in a contract year, giving him even more incentive to have a career year. Things are just set up for Snead to get a lot of targets and red zone chances in a pass-first offense. He can top 1,000 yards and double-digit scores.”
– Jeff Paur (RTSports)

Willie Snead is a guy being drafted in the WR3 range that doesn’t need an injury ahead of him to finish as a WR1. Last year, Drew Brees supported a pair of WR1s in Brandin Cooks and Michael Thomas. Now that Cooks is gone, Snead is the only other viable option in the passing game that isn’t a running back. Snead (68.8) and Cooks (68.3) have roughly the same career catch rate and identical career Y/R numbers (13.3). Thomas and Snead could each surpass the 125-target threshold in a more narrow Saints passing attack. That much opportunity from a signal-caller of Brees’ caliber gives Snead a clear pathway to a WR1 finish.”
– Heath Capps (Fake Teams)

John Brown (ARI): Consensus WR #41
“Brown should surprise people this season. He’s 27 years old and posted career numbers in 2015, before having sickle cell issues in 2016. He lived with quarterback Carson Palmer this offseason and has a 1,200 yard, 10 touchdown ceiling heading into 2017. He’s the type of player fantasy owners should want in the middle of drafts.”
– James Rapien (Get Sports Info)

Kelvin Benjamin (CAR): Consensus WR #33
“It hasn’t exactly been a banner offseason for Kelvin Benjamin. The best news we’ve heard is that he’s ‘where he needs to be’ with his weight. Hooray?! But, after a down year in Carolina he’s a good bet for a solid return on his draft stock if Cam Newton and company can turn things around. The additions of McCaffrey and Samuel through the draft may mean more mouths to feed, but they should also open things up and leave Benjamin to leverage his size in the middle of the field and red zone. Double digit TDs are on his radar, and if he hits that threshold I could see him as a back-end WR1. The middle of 2016 was ugly, but bear in mind that he scored in 3 of 6 to start the season and 3 of 4 to close it.”
– Jon Collins (Fantasy Sports LR)

Eric Decker (TEN): Consensus WR #37
“Even with Rishard Matthews and Corey Davis in the fray for the Titans, Eric Decker has the best odds of being a WR1. Every year he is healthy, he is in the discussion as a WR1. Last season, he finished #11 at the position in fantasy points per game, the year before, #14. He has two seasons under his belt as a top 10 wide receiver for the full season, so while he is older, we just how to admit that this is who Eric Decker is. ”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Q2. What WR with an ECR outside the top 60 has the best shot at putting up WR2 numbers or higher?

Marqise Lee (JAC): Consensus WR #67
“Last year Lee emerged as a top-40 wide receiver. He had only 32 fewer yards receiving than Allen Robinson despite seeing 46 fewer targets. Meanwhile, Allen Hurns missed five games and saw his Y/R dip from 16.1 to 13.6 and his catch rate plummet to a mere 46 percent. Given the erratic nature of Blake Bortles, I prefer to draft the only Jaguars receiver who ascended last year. It wouldn’t surprise me if Lee continued to outplay each of his teammates and cracked the top 24 in 2017.”
– Heath Capps (Fake Teams)

“Last season, Marqise Lee was clearly the Jaguars top wide receiver. He only started a handful of games and only ended up in the end zone once, otherwise, everyone would be going nuts over him this preseason. The matter of the fact is that if he had been healthy in college, he would have been a top 10 pick in the NFL draft. Lee has that type of talent, and this season, should see more targets and find the end zone many more times than once.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Will Fuller (HOU): Consensus WR #63
“Much will have to depend on how his quarterback plays, but you have to like the potential of Texans receiver Will Fuller. He showed flashes of big things last year and seems primed to take a big step forward in year two. Fuller is a big-play threat than can stretch the field in a hurry. He has real big-game potential this season.”
– Jeff Paur (RTSports)

Kendall Wright (CHI): Consensus WR #80
“I’m probably going a little deeper than I need to with Kendall Wright, but why not him? He finished as WR37 in standard scoring in 2014 (just 14 games) and while that was a football-lifetime ago, his career starts anew in Chicago this year. Kevin White has managed just four career games and Cameron Meredith doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. We’ll have a clearer picture as training camp comes into focus, but if all goes as planned I’m looking for Wright to be a major part of Chicago’s plans working from the slot. I’m expecting for them to play from behind frequently, too.”
– Jon Collins (Fantasy Sports LR)

Tyler Boyd (CIN): Consensus WR #83
“Boyd is one of my favorite fantasy sleepers this year. The Bengals have plenty of weapons including A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert, and first round pick John Ross. Boyd is going to get a lot of looks in the slot with defenses focused on Green and Eifert. He had 54 receptions and 603 receiving yards last season. I expect Boyd to have 70-75 receptions, at least 800 receiving yards, and five touchdowns in 2017.”
– James Rapien (Get Sports Info)

Thank you to the experts for naming their high upside wide receivers. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter for more great advice and check out our latest podcast below.

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