WR2/3’s Who Could Be WR1s
In PPR leagues, wide receivers are king. Finding wideouts to fill your WR3/Flex position is what is going to win you matchups, and you can’t always have a great 3rd wideout if you decide to take Gronk or an RB in the first three rounds. Here are a few wideouts being drafted on the WR2/3 border who can produce like 2nd rounders:
I won’t spend a bunch of time here because my superior comrade Mike Braude wrote an excellent breakdown of Allen Robinson’s 2015 projections here. But I will borrow from it. So let’s take a look at some of the highlights, like his comparables to Dez Bryant:
Key: HaSS = Height Adjusted Speed Score, Burst S = Burst Score, Agility S = Agility Score, Catch R = Catch Radius, BA = Breakout Age. Information from PlayerProfiler.com.
Athletically, he is a Dez Bryant clone. He’s in the 93rd percentile for SPARQ score and 70th percentile for College Dominator rating, showing his college career prowess. Take a look at some of his comparables from Rotoviz:
Keep in mind that there is no argument as to who Blake Bortle’s number one wide receiver is- Allen Hurns is a number 2/3 and Marqise Lee still needs to get healthy. Being taken as WR26 at 5.09, I think he is a rich man’s version of last year’s DeAndre Hopkins.
What a difference a year makes. I wrote a little about Keenan Allen here, but his star is beginning to fade as the Stevie Johnson hype continues to permeate the fantasy landscape. Historically, he is in rare company though. Take a look at receivers who averaged 54+ yards per game during their age 21 season:
Breaking out young is a huge predictor of NFL success. Indeed, according to PlayerProfiler.com, Allen’s college breakout age is in the 97th percentile while his college dominator rating was in the 93rd percentile. He’s not an athletic freak, but has a history of production and by all accounts is the most motivated he’s ever been after reportedly being lazy last year.
Keep in mind that he could get off to a hot start during Antonio Gates’ four-game suspension to start out the year. He’s done it before (see his rookie season) and all signs point to a bounce-back 3rd season after a sophomore slump. With an ADP of WR22 at 4.10, you can more than afford it.
With Jordy Nelson reportedly out for the year with an ACL tear, this one is obvious. I already wrote about his handcuff potential here. But he may not be being drafted high enough. A few concerns with Cobb and Nelson were that Adams was going to cut into their production. Now, there is pretty much no one behind Adams on the WR depth chart to cut into Cobb and Adams’ snaps. Ty Montgomery is more Ted Ginn than anything, and Jeff Janis has reportedly been up and down.
Davante has solid measurables with a college dominator rating in the 78th percentile (take a look at his production at Fresno St. with Derek Carr). Last year, Nelson had 151 targets and Cobb had 127. We can probably say Cobb is going to get more than Adams, but Adams himself took 66 last year. Who is going to get those? Janis? It’s possible, but this passing game has become a two-WR show instead of a 2.5ish one. With Green Bay wanting to play at a faster pace, Adams is a pretty safe bet for 130+ targets.
Remember that big WRs are going to score more. Who do you think is going to better replace Nelson’s 43 touchdowns over the last four years, Cobb or Adams?
I’ve been making the argument the talented 2nd wideout of Aaron Rodgers should be at least in the Julian Edelman/Sammy Watkins/Amari Cooper tier. Start considering him in the late third round.