Getting first-round value in the mid-to-late rounds is one of the greatest feelings in fantasy football. If you nail your early-round picks, you’ve built a juggernaut. If you draft busts or get hit by the injury bug, that WR1 you drafted at WR3 value can be the difference in contending or tumbling down the leaderboard.
Just looking at the numbers, the difference between a borderline WR1 and WR3 isn’t as massive as you’d think. Over the past three seasons, the WR12 has outscored the WR25 by 34.6 more total points in half-PPR formats.
Those extra two points per week can be the difference between a win and loss on any given week, but it pales in comparison to what the WR1 overall has to score. The WR1 overall has outscored the WR12 by 109 total points over the same three-year timeframe.
So while WR1 overall might not be attainable for many wide receivers in the league, putting together a WR1 (Top 12) season is within grasp for any number of wide receivers in the league. Here are my favorite WR3s with WR1 potential.
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Is this the year Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy finally puts it all together? With Russell Wilson in town and the depth chart behind him thinner than expected, there’s no better time than now.
First, let’s start with the quarterback upgrade. Even if Denver’s offense remained the same, the upgrade to Russell Wison is massive for Jeudy’s outlook. Going from the worst quarterback situation in the league to a future Hall of Famer is obviously a win for the entire offense.
Unfortunately for Broncos fans, there has been some attrition at the wide receiver position. The underrated Tim Patrick is a gigantic loss for Denver’s offense, but it’s not necessarily bad for Jeudy’s fantasy football upside. Instead, it makes Jeudy a much safer selection, which might help explain his rising ADP.
With a healthy Patrick, we didn’t know if Jeudy would even see the field on 2WR sets. With Patrick out for the season, there’s no longer any doubt. Jeudy will be a near full-time player that should dominate targets along with Courtland Sutton.
Currently sitting at WR25 in our FantasyPros ECR Consensus Rankings, Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy makes the WR3 list by the slightest of margins. That means Jeudy won’t be drafted as a WR3 in every league, so make sure to take advantage when he does fall to you.
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Baltimore’s draft-night trade of top wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown caught all of us off-guard. We knew the Titans and AJ Brown were at an impasse in contract talks, so we somewhat saw that one coming, but the Ravens shipping Brown off to Arizona was essentially out of nowhere.
But after coming to terms with it, it’s safe to say our excitement for “Rashod Bateman szn” reached a crescendo. With Brown in Arizona, Bateman ascended to WR1 in a Baltimore offense desperately needing outside pass-catchers.
We all know Mark Andrews is target No. 1 in Baltimore. That doesn’t mean there isn’t enough leftover for Bateman to reach WR1 status. Don’t believe me? Just look at last season. Andrews led the Ravens (and the tight end position) with 153 total targets. However, Brown wasn’t far behind with 146 targets of his own.
With the second-year pro more likely to double his rookie-season share (68 targets) than repeat it – not to mention the natural regression headed Andrews’ way – Bateman could lead the Ravens in targets this season. And if he does, a WR1 season is easily within reach. Giddy up, Bateman truthers.
When sifting through this year’s most polarizing prospects, Amon Ra St. Brown would be near the top of that list. If you need further proof, just remember how your Twitter feed looked this off-season. At least once a week, we witnessed full-blown arguments about St. Brown’s ability to repeat his 2021 production.
We all know the negative talking points. St. Brown only produced with D’Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson out of the lineup. He was only a 4th Round draft pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s attached to Jared Goff. Etc.
All those are valid concerns. I just think we’re underestimating how difficult it is to put up the numbers St. Brown did last season. Over the final six games of the season, St. Brown finished as PPR WR3 behind only Cooper Kupp and Davante Adams.
You can cite the injuries and target bump, but those are impressive numbers any way you slice it. Plenty of players have been in similar situations over the years, only to not come close to this level of production.
Even if you don’t believe St. Brown can reach those heights again without injuries around him, all of that is baked into his WR34 ECR Consensus Ranking. He’s a high-floor option that possesses the massive upside we’ve all witnessed before. A dream WR3/WR4 for your league-winning squad.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.