Dynasty WRs with Stable QB Play (Fantasy Football)
You’ve probably heard NFL coaches talk about situational football. In this article, I’ll be focusing on the concept of situational fantasy football, and especially wide receivers that are in the best long-term scenario. If you’ve been involved in fantasy football for any length of time, you’ve undoubtedly been affected by the issues your player’s experience (good and bad). From scheme fits to the quality of the offensive line, these factors can make or break your season.
A couple of considerations I’ve always included when trying to obtain a wide receiver are the age and ability of the quarterback/left tackle combination. Besides his undeniable talent, this motivated me to land Julio Jones in a couple of my leagues. While his durability issues and TD ratio can be frustrating, he’s been a guy I’m happy to start every week, and Matt Ryan and Jake Matthews are part of that equation.
Ideally, I’m looking for a five-plus year symbiotic relationship, but that’s pretty rare for a couple reasons. The first reason is the age of any of the three principal pieces, and for that reason, I’m ruling out Brady, Brees, and any receiver associated with them. They may produce another four-to-five strong seasons, but I’m betting the under on that. Andrew Whitworth, Jason Peters, and Donald Penn don’t make the age cut either (and Penn may be in some legal trouble as well).
Another factor is talent (of course), and there are high-tide (raises all boats) players such as Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, and Odell Beckham who override other factors. These are obvious picks anyway so I’ll focus on a group of three-plus year options and then the coveted five-plus year beauties.
Three-Plus Year Options
Keenan Allen (WR – LAC)
He is the shining star of this trio, but Philip Rivers has been a viable and productive starter, and Russell Okung has quietly resurrected his career. Okung missed a lot of time with injuries in Seattle, but they must still be kicking themselves for letting him walk. The assumption here is that Rivers has three strong years left, so that’s a factor you have to be comfortable with.
Alshon Jeffery (WR – PHI)
Wentz is the prominent star here, so let’s look at a couple of potential issues. I’m making two assumptions at left tackle – Peters has one strong year left, and Lane Johnson can transition from right tackle to left when the time comes. Johnson is considered by many to be a top five right tackle now and I believe would currently be better than at least half the starters in the league on the left side. Another assumption is that Jeffrey stays healthy and plays out the length of his contract.
Golden Tate (WR – DET)
Taylor Decker is a very underrated left tackle. Detroit’s line never recovered from his injury last year, and he is young, mobile and ascending. Matthew Stafford is a tough, productive quarterback and Tate ranked 13th in targets last year. His stats were pretty similar to Jeffrey’s, and both offer solid #2 WR (or great #3 WR) production for the foreseeable future.
Five-Plus Year Options
Adam Thielen (WR – MIN)
2017 was a real breakout year as Thielen added 50+ targets, 20+ receptions, and 300+ yards to his 2016 stats. Even with Case Keenum’s own breakout season, one could argue that Kirk Cousins will be an upgrade at quarterback, and Riley Reiff was a definite upgrade at left tackle. A textbook example of what I look for, but you’ll be paying top dollar now.
Davante Adams (WR – GB)
He may be this year’s Thielen as his stats were fairly similar the last two years. He’s only 25, and with Jordy Nelson now gone, he should be the number one target in Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers is as good as they come and David Bakhtiari was an absolute steal in the fourth round. He is a consensus top-five left tackle and is only 26 years old (Adams is 25 and Rodgers is 34 and may be the next quarterback to play at an elite level at 40).
Allen Robinson (WR – CHI)
This free agent signing looks very good on paper, and I think it will pay dividends to the Bears for years to come. There aren’t many 24-year-old receivers in the NFL with a 1,400-yard/14 TD season already under their belt (with Blake Bortles as your QB, I might add). Charles Leno Jr. is another underrated left tackle that looks to be up to the task with an evasive, mobile quarterback such as Mitch Trubisky. This is less of a sure bet than Thielen and Adams, but if Trubisky is the real deal, you might see a few more monster years from A-Rob.
Corey Davis (WR – TEN)
I feel that Taylor Lewan is currently the best player of this trio, but could soon be rated third. He is a legitimate top 10 tackle now at the age of 26. Davis was the fifth pick in an NFL Draft and is only 23 years old. Mariota was the second pick and is another pup at 24 years of age. Davis will almost certainly be the cheapest of these four wide receivers to draft or trade for, but his ceiling is arguably the highest of the group.
Sheldon Curtis is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Sheldon, check out his archive.