3 Bargain WRs in Standard Leagues (Fantasy Football)
In standard scoring leagues, players with high touchdown projections and more specifically high-end running backs dominate the early rounds of drafts. I’ve identified three wide receiver targets that are currently going in the middle range of drafts to add to your teams when you take top RBs early. Below you can see how each of these players fared in 2016, their 2017 consensus projections, and how I personally project them.
Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why I’m convinced each of these three big-play receivers is being undervalued as we head into the 2017 season…
Kenny Britt (WR – CLE): ADP WR #37 (Standard)
Britt is a “hold your nose” pick if there ever was one. I get it, he plays for the Browns and built a reputation as an underperformer for the majority of his early career. In 2016, Britt managed to rack up a 1,000-yard season on a putrid Rams offense with Jared Goff and Case Keenum leading the offense. It’s likely that Britt will eclipse his 2016 target total of 111 considering the Browns will be trailing in many games and have limited receiving options this year. DeShone Kizer will have his ups and downs but will force the ball to Britt as Corey Coleman is improving steadily but hasn’t become an everyday pro. In 2016 Britt had a very steady floor and the same should apply in 2017. Volume makes good fantasy players, and Britt will see volume as the top target on his team.
Adam Thielen (WR – MIN): ADP WR #44 (Standard)
In Sam Bradford’s first year in Minnesota, Thielen clearly became his most trusted receiver. Of all the QB-WR connections in the NFL in 2016, Pro Football Focus rated the Bradford-Thielen connection at 122.9, the highest rated of any connection in the league. With only two other legitimate passing options (Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph), Thielen has a good chance to reach (and even significantly exceed) his target total of 91 targets. Due to the extra volume I anticipate, I’ve slightly reduced his efficiency but he still lands much higher than average ADP. The Vikings have moved Thielen into the slot more in camp and preseason to get Diggs on the outside, but I suspect this will be a positive move for both players as Thielen will have the opportunity to work against players with responsibilities against the run.
Marvin Jones (WR – DET): ADP WR #46 (Standard)
The third player I find myself targeting as he falls to his current ADP is Marvin Jones. Jones started off 2016 as hot as any receiver in the league and faded a bit as the season progressed. In the offseason, Jones reached out to Randy Moss and worked with him to address the issues that plagued him later in 2016. I love to see the hunger, self-awareness, and maturity that this represents. Additionally, Golden Tate has been working more from the slot and Kenny Golladay is getting all of the preseason hype while Jones is likely to remain Stafford’s primary big play threat. Jones is a player I’m planting a flag on this year, and I see a massive upside if he gets to the 120-125 target range.
I’ll conclude this article by pointing out that I’m not saying these WRs need to or should be reached for to get value from them. On the contrary, I think they gain more and more value as they slide from my projected value to current ADP. Take a look at each of the three and consider which of them could support the roster construction you are targeting in your leagues. This will be my last pre-draft article of the year as drafts are in full swing and mostly wrapping up over the Labor Day weekend. Going forward I’ll focus on trade targets, weekly start/sits, waiver wire finds, and other in-season advice. Good luck as you finish drafting!