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A fantasy draft is all about obtaining the most value with each selection. There is value available throughout a draft, and grabbing it is one of the most important keys to a successful fantasy team. In an attempt to point out this value, we asked our staff to look through the Top 150 and identify players that should outperform their draft position.
Players Receiving 4 Votes
Keke Coutee, Houston
Drew Davenport: Based on his flashes of brilliance, Will Fuller rightfully gets the favor from fantasy owners as the second guy to own behind DeAndre Hopkins in fantasy drafts. But the fact is, in the couple games when Coutee played last year at the same time that Fuller did, Coutee was the one getting the targets. The rookie was never right with his hamstring during his inaugural season, and it ended up being mostly a wash, but he is reportedly healthy and ready to go this year. The gamble on him later in the draft is a cheap one, and if he emerges as the short game threat that can help neutralize the poor Texans' offensive line he could be in line for a big year. It wouldn't be surprising to see Coutee's ADP rise with a buzzy camp, so get him super late while you can.
Jeff Haseley: When active, Coutee is a key contributor on offense and is often the hot read for Deshaun Watson. In a recent interview, Watson said Coutee is playing with a lot more confidence and is "playing a lot faster". He Added "anytime he's on the field you have to find a way to get him the ball. You never know what he's going to do with the ball in his hands". If Coutee remains healthy he can develop into a fantasy-relevant wide receiver on a team loaded with offensive weapons.
Matt Waldman: Coutee has impressed the Texans staff this spring with his improvement as a route runner and student of the game. With Will Fuller coming off an ACL tear and Coutee's hamstring healthy, expect more vertical plays for Coutee from the slot. He's a worthwhile candidate for making a significant leap in fantasy production because he was already productive as a short-range slot receiver while playing hurt throughout his rookie year.
Jason Wood: Coutee was hamstrung by his hamstring last year, but that presents a value arbitrage opportunity as everyone fixates on Will Fuller. Coutee didn’t get on the field under Week Four but delivered with 16 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown over his first two NFL games. He reinjured the hamstring and once again fell into relative obscurity. It was a disappointing first year for a team in playoff contention in spite of a paper-thin receiving corps. With one of the league’s best quarterbacks at the helm, a healthy Coutee can be a 10+ target safety valve who pairs up perfectly with DeAndre Hopkins’ downfield wizardry.
Corey Davis, Tennessee
Andy Hicks: Corey Davis was drafted where only elite receivers are selected, with the fifth overall pick of the 2017 draft. In an offense which has struggled to pass the ball, Davis has developed well and looked a clear future elite receiver. Last year he was almost a one-man show, with constant attention from elite defensive backs and any other receiver that was perceived as a threat, injured or gone. This year the Titans have taken Adam Humphries in free agency, A.J. Brown in the draft and Delanie Walker returns from injury, as well as upgrading the backup spot at quarterback. It is obvious that Corey Davis has fantasy elite written all over him. With his current draft slot, he is an absolute steal and has almost no downside. Rare for a pick in the first six rounds.
Dwain McFarland: Davis is an afterthought currently in the fantasy community. He is in an offense that is run-centric. The Titans added Adam Humphries and A.J. Brown during the offseason, plus Delanie Walker is back from injury. Fortunately, that is all baked into his current ADP, which leaves room for a solid return on investment from a still-ascending player.
Chad Parsons: Tennessee's passing game is being largely written off for 2019. I will bank of Davis' talent as a top-5 NFL Draft pick who has progressed nicely through two seasons and Marcus Mariota performing better than a year ago considering he lost the feeling in his throwing hand. Delanie Walker was the feature target of the offense, but that was before his mid-30s injury and Davis' development.
Daniel Simpkins: Davis had his best year-to-date, which is impressive when you consider that for the majority of the season he was without his quarterback and the other two best receiving options for the Titans. With Delanie Walker back and with Adam Humphries and A.J. Brown added to support Davis, the offense as a whole should function better, which bodes well for Davis’ chances to record his first 1,000-yard season. Even if Mariota gets hurt again, the team now has Ryan Tannehill, who is a similar quarterback and can be just as serviceable in sustaining the fantasy values of this team’s offensive options.
Dante Pettis, San Francisco
Dwain McFarland: Pettis is slowly gaining steam with drafters but still presents value. As a rookie, he posted one of the highest average separation yardages (distance between himself and defender when the ball arrives) in the NFL per Next Gen Stats. If you filter out receivers that played greater than 40% of routes from the slot he grades out as the top receiver. If you have watched Pettis on film, this isn’t a surprise to you – he gave some of the very best corners in the league fits in 2018. The team has added additional weapons this offseason, but Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd are only rookies. Tevin Coleman will get some looks, but the top two options in this passing game are Pettis and Kittle. Don’t be surprised if Pettis leads the team – he is that good and is well worth a pick at current ADP.
Jeff Pasquino: The San Francisco passing game is one to watch this preseason, as there are a lot of talented players that will be looking to get on the same page and outproduce expectations. Much was thought of Garoppolo and the passing game entering last year, but injuries decimated most of the production for the 49ers, especially in the passing game. Dante Pettis was one of the few highlights from last year, as he broke out in the second half of the season and was a Top 12 wide receiver from Week 12 to Week 16 last year prior to succumbing to a knee injury that sidelined him for the season finale. Pettis is going off the ADP board as WR34, which is barely a WR3 in fantasy leagues. That is putting his draft value in alignment with his likely floor of production, as just 80% of his peak production last year across 16 games would place him at borderline WR1/WR2 levels.
Matt Waldman: Dante Pettis' stock suffers from analysts' inability to recognize a talent that doesn't fit a specific template. Most analysts understand big, strong, and fast or small, quick, and elusive. However average-size receivers with greater suddenness than speed fall between the cracks of their evaluations of the position. Pettis's suddenness, route prowess, open-field skill, and mobility to adjust to the football make him an excellent prospect. He should build on last year's stretch-run, especially with the influx of surrounding talent.
Jason Wood: The 49ers are hard to forecast. I wouldn’t be surprised if San Francisco struggles again this year, particularly if Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t who we thought he was. Either way, the one receiver worth investing in is DanPettis. The 6’1”, 192-pound took a while to get going as a rookie, but once the coaches put him into a lead role, he flourished. He was a top-20 fantasy receiver from Week 10 on, once he got starter snaps. And he pushed for top-12 honors over the final month of games. San Francisco has no reason not to build around Pettis and rookie Deebo Samuel. And while we may not be sure Garoppolo is elite, we can be sure he’ll be more productive than the combination of Nick Mullens and C.J. Beatheard. Pettis is a crisp route runner and attacks the ball in spite of his modest frame.
Player Receiving 3 Votes
Will Fuller, Houston
Ryan Hester: The argument that Fuller doesn’t see enough volume has always been a compelling one. But I’m throwing in the towel on that argument. He’s hyper-efficient; his quarterback has a good deep arm and can extend plays with his legs, and his offense runs at a fast pace. Personally, I make the majority of my fantasy decisions with volume as my guiding light. But consider the white flag waved on the notion that Fuller isn’t worth it because he doesn’t see a half-dozen or more targets every game. Very few players can do what Fuller can do with the work he sees. And he has shown that he can do it frequently.
Chad Parsons: Fuller has long been one of the most underrated fantasy receivers. Durability has been his biggest hurdle, but in fantasy terms, we can bench him when not healthy and Houston's lineup. A healthy Fuller and Deshaun Watson has been a lethal combo, including a stretch when DeAndre Hopkins was the No.1 overall fantasy receiver and Will Fuller was No.2 as the Houston offense feasted on defenses. Bet on the upside of Will Fuller when healthy considering his cost more than adequately factors in his floor.
Jeff Pasquino: Will Fuller has had amazing runs of catching touchdowns week after week during his relatively short career in Houston. Fuller started 2017 with seven touchdowns over his first four games (Weeks 4-8), but then he failed to deliver any after that incredible run. Fuller then started last year in Week 2 with three more touchdowns in three straight contests, but then he tapered off before tearing his ACL in October. Fuller now comes back as the clear WR2 for the Texans with perennial Pro Bowler DeAndre Hopkins lining up on the other side of the field. Fuller should see favorable coverage and just needs to both stay healthy and also provide consistent production over a full season. If he can just do those two things, he will far outpace his ADP and land in the fantasy WR2 list, if not higher.
Players Receiving 2 Votes
Keenan Allen, LA Chargers
Ryan Hester: What will it take for fantasy managers to elevate Allen to the elite tier of wide receivers? He has played two straight 16-game seasons, alleviating the injury concerns. He has averaged 100 catches, 1,300 yards, and 6 touchdowns in those seasons, highlighting the consistency he showed early in his career and building it to WR1 levels. Playing against Allen in fantasy football feels like death by a thousand paper cuts. He won’t rip your heart out with a 60-yard touchdown bomb, but he can catch a handful of passes on any given drive – sometimes on multiple occasions in the same game. He’s consistent, and his quarterback loves him. He should be a top-half WR1 instead of in the lower tier of the top-12.
Maurile Tremblay: Allen is among the best route-runners in the league, if not the best. He lacks deep speed but has the quickness to get separation on his square-outs, square-ins, and slants. He also has the trust of Philip Rivers and is the Chargers' go-to receiver on intermediate-depth patterns. He can beat man or zone coverage, and as long as he stays healthy, should have another season of around 100 catches.
Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati
Drew Davenport: Cincinnati was absolutely devastated by injuries last year, and it's arguable that other than suffering an injury himself, Boyd was most affected. Through eight weeks of the season, Boyd stood as WR12 (PPR) and had recorded five games with over 21 fantasy points to go along with five touchdowns. At that point A.J. Green went down for the rest of the season, then Andy Dalton followed in Week 12, and Boyd's production dipped precipitously. It's not a negative for Boyd to have healthy weapons around him, it's a boost. Over the first eight weeks, he averaged 8.3 targets per game and a 74% catch rate, and over the final six weeks, he dipped to 7 targets per game and a 64% catch rate. Nevertheless, he finished as PPR WR17 despite missing two games at the end of the season. Take Boyd at his current ADP and don't think twice.
Justin Howe: Boyd's breakout 2018 is going discounted by most fantasy players. They worry about his talent level after starting his career with two lost seasons, and they reason that A.J. Green's return will ding his volume. But Boyd's 2018 leap was huge - his aDOT and air yardage jumped immensely, and he finished ninth leaguewide in air conversion ratio, which track success rate based on target depth. (He wound up higher than DeAndre Hopkins and Adam Thielen, in fact.) Furthermore, it has to be noted that Boyd was a better and more voluminous receiver with Green on the field than off. He drew 21.8% of targets and posted 13.2 PPR points a game without Green, but 22.3% and 17.7 with. Boyd will creep up with Green’s uncertain status but belongs much higher. There's real 80-catch potential here that's being passed over for guys with real question marks.
Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia
James Brimacombe: The knock on Jeffery is that he hasn't had a thousand-yard season since 2014. Now with two years in Philadelphia, he has WR18 and WR26 seasons with 57/789/9 and 65/843/6. Although those numbers may not be elite WR1 type they do offer solid WR2 type and with the Eagles offense as one of the most balanced in the league, he will see his share of spike weeks and be a constant end zone target for Carson Wentz. Jeffery was also battling an injury to start the 2018 season missing three games but in 2019 he looks to be 100% healthy.
Jason Wood: Alshon Jeffery hasn't had a 1,000-yard season since 2014 in Chicago, but his value to the Eagles cannot be overstated. Jeffery has scored 15 touchdowns in 20 regular-season games in Philadelphia and is coming off a career-best 71% catch rate. When healthy, Jeffery can stretch the field and is aggressive at the point of attack; Carson Wentz trusts him to come up with 50/50 jump balls against opposing cornerbacks. Jeffery's fantasy value is wholly dependent on touchdown variance. He was WR18 in 2017 thanks to nine touchdowns but fell outside the top-25 in 2015, 2016, and 2018 because he scored six or fewer times. The Eagles will spread the ball around, but Jeffery is an enticing No. 3 with No. 2 upside.
Christian Kirk, Arizona
Phil Alexander: Kirk is a star in the making whose breakout potential is being missed by the mainstream due to how terrible the Cardinals offense was last year, a broken foot that cut his rookie season short, and the glut of wide receivers Arizona added in the NFL Draft. Before getting injured in Week 13 last year, Kirk was quietly leading the Cardinals in receiving yards ahead of future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald. He has experience playing with Kyler Murray at Texas A&M and was heavily recruited by Texas Tech when Kliff Kingsbury was the head coach there. Kirk is a natural fit in the Air Raid scheme and the most versatile receiver on the Cardinals' roster. Look for him to line up all over the formation and turn the resulting mismatches into loads of explosive plays.
Daniel Simpkins: Of all the receivers in the Arizona offense not named Larry Fitzgerald, Kirk boasts the distinction of being the receiver that is “getting it” in organized team activities. Kirk is a perfect fit for this spread-out attack. He was the most natural pass catcher and route runner in last year’s class, and those skills will come into play this year. If used as anticipated, Kirk will work both out of the slot and in space to stretch the field. He can be similar to Brandin Cooks if he and the offense hit their ceiling.
Tyler Lockett, Seattle
James Brimacombe: With Doug Baldwin now out of the picture, this is Tyler Lockett's team when it comes to the receiving game. Lockett finished as the WR11 last season and his current ADP is nowhere near reflecting that. Lockett scored 10 touchdowns which might be hard to duplicate but with being the go-to guy now in Seattle it is not out of the question.
Maurile Tremblay: Lockett needs more targets. With Doug Baldwin's retirement, he should get them. Lockett has always been an exceptional route-runner with sure hands. He is also an excellent runner after the catch. There's little to dislike about his set of skills; it's his lack of opportunities that has been frustrating for his fantasy owners thus far. I expect him to get significantly more targets this season and to settle in as a solid fantasy WR2 in twelve-team leagues.
Players Receiving 1 Vote
Geronimo Allison, Green Bay
Ryan Hester: The second-highest receiver catching balls from Aaron Rodgers shouldn’t be going this late in drafts. Green Bay’s offense had a down year in 2018, but consider that Rodgers only passed for a touchdown on 4.2% of his passing attempts last season. His career average (even including the down year) is 6.2%. There should be more touchdowns to go around for Green Bay pass-catchers this season, and Allison is Rodgers’ most proven outside of Davante Adams. Allison should also be playing in the slot this season, a role Rodgers has used frequently in his career. New coach Matt LaFleur’s offenses have utilized taller slot receivers so far in his career. Those players include Cooper Kupp (with LaFleur as offensive coordinator of the L.A. Rams) and Mohamed Sanu (with LaFleur quarterbacks coach in Atlanta). The fit is right for Allison to have a big profit on his draft price.
Robby Anderson, NY Jets
Phil Alexander: A severe mid-season ankle injury combined with Sam Darnold’s early-season rookie learning curve caused Anderson's numbers to regress in 2018. But he came through with an overall WR1 finish from Weeks 14-16 -- after he was healthy and Darnold recovered from a foot injury of his own. The Jets were playing out the string against some of the worst pass defenses in the NFL over that tiny three-game stretch, but the chemistry Darnold developed with Anderson on downfield throws was undeniable. Assuming Darnold continues on an upward trajectory, and the additions of LeVeon Bell and Jamison Crowder improve the offense in aggregate, New York will have more pass attempts to spread around this season, as well as better efficiency on those attempts. New head coach Adam Gase has talked about getting Anderson targets at all levels of the field, giving him sneaky top-12 WR upside.
A.J. Brown, Tennessee
Matt Waldman: Brown is my early candidate for top rookie producer of this receiver class. Although considered a bad landing spot by many, Brown will earn a hybrid role as a flanker and big slot option that will mimic the comfort level Marcus Mariota had with Rishard Matthews during a productive two-year stint. Brown is a superior talent and early reports suggest that the rookie looks like the best receiver, if not one of the best players, on the field.
Julian Edelman, New England
Dwain McFarland: With Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, and Josh Gordon out of the picture, Edelman is likely in line for massive targets. N’Keal Harry is only a rookie and has struggled early in camp with press coverage – something Matt Waldman called out in the Rookie Scouting Portfolio. Edelman saw 24% of the targets on a per-game basis in 2018. Expect that number to approach 27% easily. Draft him with confidence at his current ADP.
Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay
Justin Howe: I'm not interested in comparing Godwin to Larry Fitzgerald as a player. Fitzgerald is a legend and a first-ballot HOFer, while Godwin is just getting started. Still, in terms of fit and role within a Bruce Arians offense, it's definitely fair to draw some (loose) conclusions. Godwin will man the slot for most of 2019, serving as an athletic, big-bodied target all over the field. In that slot-first role under Arians from 2013-17, Fitzgerald averaged 139 targets and topped 100 catches 3 times. The Buccaneers lost Adam Humphries and aren't deep at wideout. This has the look of a three-man group, with Godwin, Mike Evans, and O.J. Howard absolutely dominating targets. Godwin, who dazzled in the 40-yard dash and short shuttles at his 2017 combine, wins both underneath and down the field - and he brings big red-zone skills to the table. He looks primed for a huge year for both volume and efficiency.
NKeal Harry, New England
Andy Hicks: New England used a first-round pick on a wide receiver. The Patriots lost Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan, while Julian Edelman will be 33 this year. NKeal Harry will outproduce his fantasy slot and be a fast riser in drafts if he can show the team he is ready in training camp. Right now there is little downside for taking Harry because even if he is not ready at the start of the season, he should be by seasons end. This team has a big vacancy for an athletic receiver who can line up anywhere and be a threat. Harry should be that man.
Marvin Jones, Detroit
Drew Davenport: Jones was a hot name heading into 2018 drafts off of a strong 2017 season. But the injury bug bit again and Jones played just 9 games before going down for the rest of the year. Detroit's offense doesn't look like it will be very pass-friendly with the addition of Darrell Bevell to run the offense, but it doesn't look likely that they'll have a stout defense either. The days of 650 pass attempts may be gone, but so is Golden Tate, and there is no reason to believe that Kenny Golladay is in for a crazy market share that would render Jones a bystander. It's understandable to be gun shy about Jones getting hurt again, but that's baked into his ADP. He's not going early enough that you're taking a big hit if he goes down again, but the upside is massive for a guy just one season removed from a WR11 (PPR) finish in the 2017 season. He's more than worth the gamble.
Anthony Miller, Chicago
Matt Waldman: Miller played with an assortment of injuries last year and still showed a lot of promise. Expect him to double last year's yardage. If he can author a similar rate of touchdowns as last year, he could wind up a sneaky-good WR2. Considering that he can play multiple positions in the Bears’ lineup, he’ll be a candidate to lead Chicago in targets.
Allen Robinson, Chicago
James Brimacombe: Robinson missed three games in 2018 and finished with a 55/754/4 stat line and had a big playoff performance against the Eagles as well to end his season. Robinson is still young and in an offense that has breakout potential, he is the type of you want to take some shots on at his current ADP as he has a high ceiling.
Curtis Samuel, Carolina
Dan Hindery: Very quietly, Samuel was the WR17 over the second half of the 2018 season. He did so as a 22-year old catching passes from a quarterback with a bum shoulder (and two games with Taylor Heinecke). In addition to the dynamic play late in 2018, Carolina beat writers pointed to Samuel as the offensive MVP during OTAs. This Carolina offense is loaded with speed and playmaking ability and could explode in 2019. Samuel has the lowest ADP of all of the key cogs, making him a great mid-round target.
Courtland Sutton, Denver
Andy Hicks: Courtland Sutton had a rookie season that screamed future elite fantasy receiver. With Demaryius Thomas moved on and Emmanuel Sanders on his last legs, Sutton is the man most likely to be the key man for the Broncos. Sutton demonstrated the physical prowess required of the best receivers but lacked experience and knowledge. At the very least he moves into the starting fantasy receiver category with the hope of high-end production if he clicks with his quarterback and the offense can move the ball well. Denver has their elite receiver, they just need to use him.
James Washington, Pittsburgh
Jeff Pasquino: Washington’s value proposition could begin and end by stating Antonio Brown’s departure to Oakland and the Steelers’ leading the NFL last year in passing attempts at nearly 700 on the season. Should Washington land the WR2 role opposite of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Washington is poised for 100+ targets in the Pittsburgh offense, placing his projections squarely in the 65-800-7 range. The passing game for the Steelers has supported two Top 25 wide receivers the past two seasons, peaking last year with two Top 10 WR1s in Brown and Smith-Schuster. Now the Steelers are looking for that new WR2 to step up and perform, which leaves the door wide open for Washington to step through in his second year with the team.
Sammy Watkins, Kansas City
Maurile Tremblay: I love his talent. I love his quarterback. I believe that past injuries are generally not a good indicator of future injuries. Since he first came into the league, Watkins has always been an excellent route-runner with exceptional hands. He put up decent fantasy numbers with EJ Manuel and Tyrod Taylor throwing to him. He was efficient last season catching passes from Patrick Mahomes II, and I expect him to be a bigger part of the offense this year as the Chiefs find more ways to get him the ball. The possibility that Tyreek Hill might miss a few games further raises Watkins' value.
Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville
Jeff Haseley: Dede Westbrook led the Jaguars with 101 targets last season and is expected to be the top receiving option for the newly acquired Nick Foles this year. In addition, 168 targets are vacated by Donte Moncrief and T.J. Yeldon who are no longer with the team. Many of those will be picked up by Westbrook. Let's not forget, Westbrook won the prestigious Biletnikoff award for Most Outstanding Collegiate Receiver at Oklahoma. If he meshes well with Foles, he could have a breakout season in 2019.
Mike Williams, LA Chargers
Jason Wood: Something is amiss with Mike Willams’ perception. He’s being drafted as a low-end WR3, which implies a regression from last year when he finished WR21. Why would we project a decline for a 1st round draft pick coming into his third season? Williams showed promising growth from his rookie year to his sophomore effort, and further growth is logical. He also gets the starting job to his own now that Tyrell Williams left for the Raiders. The Chargers were one of the best teams in the AFC last year and returns intact – minus Tyrell – so Williams should see an increased target share. Combine more targets with further skill growth and maturity, and you get someone more likely to break into the Top 15 than fall back into the bottom 20s.