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Who’s the WR1 for 2019 PPR Redraft Leagues? (Fantasy Football)

Mar 15, 2019

Last year at this time, asking writers for their No. 1 WR in 2018 redraft leagues would have been silly. That’s because each and every one of them likely would have named then Pittsburgh Steeler WR Antonio Brown as their top pick at the position. In fact, Brown has been the consensus WR1 for the past few seasons among our experts.

This year? There is much more debate regarding who should be selected first among wideouts. And to give you a sense of how much shakeup there’s been at the top of the position, Mr. Big Chest isn’t even mentioned among this year’s first targets to consider.

Here’s who our writers believe should be the first wide receiver off the board in 2019 PPR redraft leagues.

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Who’s your WR1 for 2019 PPR redraft leagues?

Davante Adams (GB)
“Stop and think about this for a second. Aaron Rodgers threw just 25 touchdown passes in 2018. Consider the fact that he averaged 36.3 of them in his last three 16-game seasons. When you look back and realize that Adams finished as the WR2 despite that, it’s pretty significant because it shows what his fantasy floor is. Rodgers isn’t the type of quarterback to get a shiny new toy and all of a sudden click with him right off the bat, as we’ve seen the Packers try to mix-and-match in free agency and the draft, though it hasn’t worked. Adams has been the one consistent factor to Rodgers’ success, so even if they draft a wide receiver, it’s not going to change how I feel about him as the top receiver this year.”
– Mike Tagliere (@MikeTagliereNFL)

“Mike made some good Adams points, but I want to reiterate just how high of a floor Adams really has. Over the past three seasons, in his seven games without Rodgers, Adams has averaged 16.27 ppg in full PPR formats. It’s a drop off from the 17.97 he has with Rodgers, but it’s still an elite number. He’s the one wideout at the top of the draft that has shown he’s QB-proof. I’m actually fading Michael Thomas this season at his ADP because I’d rather be too early than too late in predicting the inevitable Drew Brees drop off, and the injury history of Aaron Rodgers would scare me if Adams didn’t score nearly as well with or without No. 12 in the lineup. Not that the other receivers are “hero picks,” but I’m not someone who thinks I have to take the year-end WR1 with my first pick or it’s a bust. If I can get a safe, high-end player to build my team around I’m happy. And Adams represents that the most to me.”
– Ryan Melosi (@rtmelos)

“Davante Adams is a 26-year-old elite wide receiver tied directly to one of the best quarterbacks to ever play football. In a nutshell that is why he’s my WR1 entering 2019 — but wait, there’s more! Adams is one of the most exciting floor/ceiling fantasy plays we’ve seen in quite some time. He scored a touchdown in 12-of-16 games last year. In the four contests he didn’t find the end zone, Adams totaled at least 81 yards in each of them. In fact, he went over 119 yards in three of those four. Rodgers is constantly looking for his “go-to-guy” when in trouble as evidenced by his great rapport with Jordy Nelson for all those years. He now has that rapport with Adams. As for the icing on the cake, it’s not as if the offense could get any less creative with Matt LaFleur replacing Mike McCarthy. It’s entirely possible we haven’t seen the best of Adams yet.”
– Brendan Tuma (@toomuchtuma)

DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)
“Unlike the past four years, Antonio Brown is no longer the clear, objective WR1. There are a few candidates this year. Most of you know my affinity for Tyreek Hill, and he is certainly worthy of consideration. Davante Adams was remarkably consistent last year. Julio Jones is still Julio Jones and actually scored touchdowns last season. Michael Thomas is another name I’ve seen floating around, but he shouldn’t even be in the conversation due to his weekly volatility combined with his lack of ceiling. My WR1 is DeAndre Hopkins. While Hill undoubtedly has the highest ceiling and Adams has the highest floor, Hopkins is just the perfect balance between the two. Like Adams, Hopkins never had a week where he scored below double digits. But unlike Adams, Hopkins actually has week-winning upside. Look, I’m not saying Adams doesn’t, but you’re drafting him for the consistent 20 points. Hopkins is also going to get you around that 20 number, but he can also splash for 25+, week-winning upside. Adams eclipsed 25 points just three times last season. Hopkins did that five times. And even though Hill, better than either of the other two guys, broke 40 points once and 30 points three times, he also had three weeks of single digits. You can’t go wrong with any of these guys, but Hopkins’ combination of elite floor and near elite ceiling is what makes me feel the most comfortable with him as the first WR off the board.”
– Jason Katz (@jasonkatz13)

“If you’re taking the first receiver off of the board, that means you’ve either missed out on or are forgoing the opportunity to select all of the top-tier running backs. Screwing up this pick could cost you your season before it even begins. Hopkins is the very definition of fool-proof, having just come off of another elite year which saw him finish second in receiving yards, third in receptions, and fifth in touchdowns. It doesn’t matter who’s at quarterback or how well they’re playing, Hopkins will put up his numbers. Perhaps most impressive, Hopkins has only missed one game ever since joining the NFL, and that was two seasons ago. Last season he saw double-digit targets in 11 out of 16 games, and seven outings resulted in 100+ yards receiving, and in each of his four worst games for receiving yards he scored a touchdown. Hopkins has the ceiling of an elite wideout and the floor of a workhorse running back.”
– Shane McCormack (@ShaneMcCormack_)

“DeAndre Hopkins is the top receiver both in real life and in all fantasy football formats. Hopkins led the league with a massive 32.9 percent target share in 2018, and he should see a similar number in 2019, even with Will Fuller and Keke Coutee healthy. I am not going to guarantee that Hopkins is the number one fantasy receiver in ’19, but he is the safest bet to be a top-five finisher with over 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns. Hopkins placed second with an elite 3.26 yards per pass route, and 40 percent dominator rating, and he promises to provide more fantasy goodness with some offensive line and run game help sure to be on the way in the coming weeks.”
– Raju Byfield (@FantasyContext)

Julio Jones (ATL)
You can say Julio isn’t durable, but you’d be wrong, as he has only missed three games over the past five seasons. In that time, he has never finished outside the top eight fantasy receivers. None of Hopkins, Thomas, or Adams can say that in even the last three seasons. In fact, no one in NFL history has as many yards in a five-year stretch as Julio’s last five. He is as safe of a first-round pick as you’ll find and is showing no signs of slowing down.
– Bobby Sylvester (@bobbyfantasypro)

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