Overvalued Wide Receivers Based on ADP (2019 Fantasy Football)
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With NFL offenses leaning more and more on their respective passing games, one could argue that we are firmly entrenched in the era of pass catchers. We saw the number of players record over 100 receptions more than double from 2017 to 2018. Is more to come in 2019? Personally, volume is the most important element that I look for when dealing with receivers in fantasy. To put it simply, it’s easier to accumulate consistent fantasy production when a player is in an ideal situation filled with bountiful opportunities. With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the most overvalued wide receivers that are climbing up draft boards.
Alshon Jeffery (PHI): WR23 – ADP 51
After becoming one of the NFL’s most sought-after young receivers early on in his career with the Chicago Bears, the once-promising big-bodied target just can’t seem to find a way to stay on the field. Jeffery has missed at least three games in three out of the past four seasons, totaling 14 missed games since 2015. Folks are quick to point out Sammy Watkins’ bouts with his health, yet it’s Jeffery who continues to get a pass from the fantasy community. Despite being in a worse situation than Watkins, it’s Jeffery who is being selected almost three rounds ahead of the younger Watkins. In case you forgot, the last time Jeffery played 16 games, he struggled with a meager 57 receptions and only 789 yards despite a massive 120 targets. I’ll definitely be looking elsewhere for my WR2, as should you.
Tyler Lockett (SEA): WR20 – ADP 45
I want to be perfectly clear about this before we go any further on Tyler Lockett. The guy is an incredible talent and needs to be showcased as one of the best receivers in the NFL. On paper, this looks like a perfect situation for Lockett, replacing Doug Baldwin as Russell Wilson’s go-to target in Seattle. However, life isn’t fair, and Lockett is stuck playing in the worst offense in the NFL for pass catchers.
Despite having a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer last season had so much trust in Wilson and his receivers that he decided to throw the ball the fewest amount of times for an NFL team in a single season since 2013. With the Seahawks overachieving last season with a wildcard berth, what makes you think that it will be anything different for their second year with Schottenheimer calling the shots?
In case I haven’t convinced you yet, the last time a wide receiver had over 1,000 yards in Schottenheimer’s offense was Jerricho Cotchery back when George W. Bush occupied the White House in 2007. If you think that Lockett can replicate his efficiency from last season but with a steadier diet of targets, why can’t Patrick Mahomes put up 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns again as an encore?
Kenny Golladay (DET): WR19 – ADP 41
Unfortunately for the impressive third-year wideout, the Detroit Lions are undergoing a major identity shift on the offensive side of the ball. With Jim Bob Cooter’s high-flying passing offense shown the door in favor of Darrell Bevell’s ball control, ground and pound scheme, opportunities will most certainly take a hit for Detroit’s pass catchers.
Defensive minded second-year head coach Matt Patricia is doubling down on his system and the offense will assuredly reflect that this season. 100-plus targets are no longer a guarantee for Golladay in this system along with a healthy Marvin Jones back in the fold. The price tag is far too steep here for a guy who likely won’t be able to expand his role in the offense, despite a major breakout last season.
Antonio Brown (OAK): WR10 – ADP 23
Last week in my overvalued running backs piece, I talked about prioritizing system and a player’s role in said scheme over individual talent. I’m going to piggy-back off that here when discussing Antonio Brown. Is JuJu Smith-Schuster more talented or accomplished than Brown? If not, then why isn’t Brown being drafted ahead of JuJu? The fantasy community understands that Brown, like Randy Moss a decade before him, will no longer have the same benefits after leaving his former high-octane offense for the silver and black.
Brown’s diva drama has seen an unquantifiable spike in his advanced age and I want absolutely no part of it on my fantasy roster in 2019. Whether it’s the mysterious feet issue as a result of cryotherapy gone wrong, or his ongoing grievance with the NFL over his helmet, the risk is clearly outweighing the reward here. While a front row seat to this sideshow makes for great television on Tuesday nights for HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” there’s no reason to bring the circus to town for your fantasy roster. Do you really expect Brown to tone down the noise once the Raiders predictably struggle in 2019 before ditching Northern California for Las Vegas? Me neither.
Mike Evans (TB): WR8 – ADP 20
While I think Mike Evans will be productive in Bruce Arians’ first season as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach, I’m not exactly enthused that he will provide a quality return on investment given his price tag. For months Arians has been telling us that Chris Godwin is going to slide into the Larry Fitzgerald slot receiver role. Translation: three straight years of over 100 receptions before Arizona decided to can Arians for Steven Wilks following the 2017 season.
With Arians’ offense prioritizing the slot receiver, I’m concerned that Evans will look more like the 2017 version instead of last year’s reemergence from Dirk Koetter’s final season in Tampa Bay. Considering the price discrepancy between the two, I’d much rather have Godwin and his 100 grabs. It sure seems like Evans was “Koetter’s guy,” while Godwin is establishing himself as “Arians’ guy.” 1,000 yards and a handful of touchdowns is nothing to scoff at, it just leaves a lot to be desired as a selection in the mid-second round of your fantasy draft.
Rob Searles is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Rob, follow him @RobBob17.