The Wide Receiver position has become one of the deepest in the NFL and now subsequently in Fantasy Football. Last year we saw breakout stars emerge in Will Fuller, and Juju Smith-Schuster. We also saw the damage Keenan Allen can do when healthy. With new Wideouts being drafted and some familiar faces changing places, I thought it was time to predict this
#5 Brandon Marshall
This is a deep sleeper, I know. But hear me out. His value could sky rocket this season, being on a Seahawks team with no red zone threats and a QB in his prime in Russell Wilson. Not only does it look like he’ll make the 53 man roster at the age of 34, but apparently Marshall is thriving and looking at significant playing time. He will continue to work his way back to being 100% from his injury last season and seems to be on track. Marshall actually has a lot working for him in Seattle. There is a lack of depth at the WR position, both Jaron Brown and Doug Baldwin are injury prone, and he’s still 6’5″. His skill set should help him see many red zone targets and if he can find ways to get back to his old self he may have a productive season.
Fantasypros.com has experts ranking him as high as WR #47 and as low as #119. Do with that what you will but if he’s available at the end of your draft, it can’t hurt to take a flier on Marshall. It’s possible he ends the year in the 5-7 TD range which would make him a streamable flex play/WR3.
For the most value I would take him in rounds 15-16 in standard leagues and would wait to pick him up on the waiver wire in PPR leagues.
#4 Chris Godwin
Chris Godwin has been a popular name this off-season for top sleepers and I’m jumping on the bandwagon…partially. There are some great reasons to like him. He is now starting, he’s efficient as seen at the end of last year, and this offense will be throwing the ball…a lot. In the final 4 games of last season, Godwin saw 26 targets. He caught 16 of them for 295 yards and a TD. Thats around 6 targets a game and this year that number should balloon to around 8 targets a game. He could be a dream come true in PPR leagues. However, in standard leagues he could slip into a tough spot due to his lack of touchdown production. He still has to compete with Mike Evans and two talented Tight Ends in the red zone.
Fantasypros.com currently has Godwin outside of the top 50 at WR#59, but that could easily change as the season goes on and Tampa Bay is forced to let it fly. I believe he could end the season with around 750 receiving yards or more. This would put him in the WR2 discussion in PPR leagues and would make him a WR3 in Standard leagues.
For the most value, I would draft Godwin in round 13 in PPR leagues and in rounds 14-15 in standard leagues.
#3 Allen Hurns
Allen Hurns has spent his career on the Jaguars with a wildly inconsistent Blake Bortles, and he’s still been sneakily good. Now comes a new chapter and with it comes better opportunities. Hurns has joined Jerry’s world and is set to be the #1 Wide Receiver option for Dak. Don’t get me wrong he will have competition from other receivers like Michael Gallup, but there is a ton of value in a guy who could see 7-8 targets per game. The cowboys are certainly hoping Hurns can have a productive season with Dak, like the one he had in 2015 where he was targeted 105 times and had 1,031 yards and 10 TDs. Allen is capable of filling up stat sheets, and I believe he will do so this season.
Fantasypros.com projects that Allen Hurns will have 685 receiving yards and 4 TDs. If he totals 100 targets or more he could have another 1,000 yard season. His upside in the cowboys offense puts him at a WR2 in standard and PPR leagues.
For the most value I would take Hurns in the 12th round in standard and PPR leagues.
#2 Mike Williams
I was tempted to put Mike Williams at #1 on this list but the fact of the matter is he hasn’t proven himself yet. This could be the year for him to do just that. Mike Williams is a freak athlete that stands at 6’4″ and weighs 220 lbs. If he can find a way to use his length and size he will be a nightmare for defenses. He’ll get his chance to prove himself now that Hunter Henry is out for the year, which makes Williams the only red zone threat the chargers have. If they can unlock Williams’ potential, I think Mike can have a double digit touchdown season. That’s bold but not impossible. Also, his head coach said Mike reminds him of Terrell Owens…not a bad receiver to be compared to.
Fantasypros.com has Mike Williams ranked at WR #53 which could climb as high as #35 before the start of the season. This due to injuries around him, such as Hunter Henry. The Chargers will be very good offensively and Rivers has the potential to throw for 25-30 TDs. If that’s the case, Mike Williams is bound to catch 10 of those, which would make him a solid WR2/fringe WR1 in most standard leagues.
For the most value, I would draft Mike Williams in rounds 11-12 in standard leagues and rounds 13-14 in PPR.
#1 Chris Hogan
Chris Hogan is an every week must-start receiver in Fantasy Football and he will probably not get drafted until the 6th round. His season was derailed due to injury last year but when you look back at the 9 games he did play in, he was pretty effective. Hogan averaged 6 targets a game and 48 receiving yards. He also caught 5 TDs, all while losing targets to Brandin Cooks, Rob Gronkowski and Danny Ammendoula. Now think of what he can do this year knowing Cooks and Ammendoula are gone, and Edelman is suspended for the first 4 games of this season. Last year before his injury he was on pace to end the season as a WR1, I fully expect that to be the case this year.
Fantasypros.com lists Hogans’ average draft position at #61, which places him in the 6th round. If he is available to you by the 6th round you should absolutely take him without hesitation. As long as he stays healthy, he could end up being one of the more valuable players in Fantasy Football.
For the most value, I would take him in rounds 5-6 in standard and PPR leagues.
Don’t agree with me? Comment below and we can fight about it!
Check out the previous installments of Justin’s World: Top 5 Sleepers!
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