Fantasy Draft Stock Report: How to attack questionable pricing in wide receiver market

The following are wide receivers whom I have ranked significantly higher and lower compared to their ADP (average draft position). I’ve also done the same for running backsquarterbacks and tight ends.

STOCK UP (I like more than ADP)

Will Fuller (My Rank=WR20 vs. ADP=WR31)

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Fuller has been a clear fantasy WR1 whenever he and Deshaun Watson have both been healthy. While no doubt a big injury risk, pushing his ADP outside WR30 seems harsh, so I’m splitting the difference with my rank. It’s a Houston team with a narrow target tree, and Fuller’s range of outcomes features a scenario in which he goes absolutely nuts should DeAndre Hopkins go down. Maybe the TD% regresses (Fuller’s scored 11 touchdowns in 11 games with Watson), but this was a star receiver by any measure last season. He produced the second-best Passer Rating when targeted, committed zero drops, finished third in yards per target (11.2) and was top-10 in fantasy points per target as well as fantasy points per route run.

Fuller is recovering from a torn ACL and there’s no denying the durability history, but he’s reportedly fully healthy now and has been dominant when on the field. Houston runs a fast-paced offense, Keke Coutee is a human hamstring pull, and Watson is an MVP candidate in Year 2 after ACL surgery. Fuller has mammoth upside, yet he’s somehow commonly available after 75 picks in drafts. Plenty will bust in that area for non-injury reasons, and few of them possess Fuller’s ceiling.

Investing in Will Fuller brings injury risk, but he has a chance to be a fantasy difference-maker if he stays on the field. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Investing in Will Fuller brings injury risk, but he has a chance to be a fantasy difference-maker if he stays on the field. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Chris Godwin (My Rank=WR10 vs. ADP=WR18)

He’s receiving plenty of hype but remains undervalued in drafts all the same. The Bucs just finished with the fourth-most passing yards in NFL history last year and freed up 180 targets when DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries departed during the offseason. Godwin ranked 21st in yards per route run out of the slot last season, and he’s going to be a threat to surpass 100 catches while playing a lot more there in a full-time role in 2019. The 23-year-old is a terrific athlete (96th percentile in SPARQ-x) who quietly finished top-20 in Air Yards last season and is looking at a big increase in volume in a near ideal situation with a Bruce Arians offense that will concentrate its targets and has no threat at running back. Godwin is going to go off.

Dede Westbrook (My Rank=WR24 vs. ADP=WR37)

He quietly saw 100-plus targets as a sophomore and is looking at a ton of work this season as Jacksonville’s clear best option in the passing game. The slot has become a lucrative spot for fantasy managers, and it’s where Westbrook played the second-highest% (89.0) of time and saw the fourth-most looks (83) in the NFL last season. He won the Biletnikoff Award in college, recorded more 20-plus yard catches than Stefon Diggs last year and now gets a legitimate upgrade at quarterback (mostly by addition through subtraction with Blake Bortles leaving, but also Nick Foles is a wild card whose one bad outlier season happened under Jeff Fisher’s stink). The schedule also looks favorable for Westbrook, who’s especially undervalued in PPR formats.

Others I like more than consensus: Christian Kirk, Robby Anderson, Curtis Samuel, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Donte Moncrief, DeVante Parker

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STOCK DOWN (I like less than ADP)

Antonio Brown (My Rank=WR13 vs. ADP=WR9)

I was down on Brown even before he suffered frost bite on his feet and then created turmoil with a helmet issue, as he was already suffering a downgrade in quarterbacks in Derek Carr, who rarely throws deep (no WR has more downfield targets than Brown over the last three seasons). Oakland has a tough looking schedule against the pass, and now on the wrong side of 30, Brown is coming off his lowest yards-per-target mark (7.7) since 2012, so he’s in the decline phase. It’s already difficult to switch systems when playing the wide receiver position, and Brown hasn’t practiced with his new team throughout most of August. His off-field distractions date back to last season, and at this point probably shouldn’t be totally ignored. If this is an AB conversation, I’m seeing my way out of it.

Jarvis Landry (My Rank=WR46 vs. ADP=WR25)

This ADP is bonkers. Here’s a receiver who was one of the bigger busts last season and continually burned fantasy managers on a weekly basis despite seeing a ton of volume and often in extremely favorable matchups (enticing DFS users over and over). Cleveland then added Odell Beckham Jr. during the offseason, yet Landry is being drafted as a borderline top-25 WR? He does have a knack for leading his team in targets, and he’ll hold some value in PPR formats, but he’s a hard pass at this price. After Landry saw 94 targets over the first half of last season, Baker Mayfield settled in, and he was given 55 targets over the second half (producing just 56.0 ypg and two scores). He will almost certainly see his lowest target share in years in 2019. David Njoku is another Browns receiver more worthy of looks than Landry, whose TD ceiling is also limited.

Sammy Watkins (My Rank=WR44 vs. ADP=WR32)

What’s going on here? I get that Watkins once looked promising, and of course we want ties to Kansas City’s league-best offense, but he hasn’t reached 600 yards since 2015. On top of that, he averaged just 51.9 ypg with three touchdowns over 10 contests on the explosive Chiefs while dealing with his usual foot injuries last season. KC is loaded on offense, and even if something were to happen to Tyreek Hill, there’s a deep-threat replacement ready in second-round pick Mecole Hardman. How Watkins’ ADP is right next to Will Fuller’s is one of life’s greatest mysteries right now.

Others I like less than consensus: Davante Adams, A.J. Green, Courtland Sutton, Golden Tate

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