The Salary Cap Roundtable Series
Joining a salary cap league can be intimidating for even a seasoned fantasy football player. Fortunately, the Footballguys staff has experience in this format and will help you. Over the summer, we'll cover various topics ranging from basic to advanced strategies.
How do you treat the quarterback position? Historically, grabbing the top wide receivers is cheaper than chasing the top running backs. Do you believe in spending up for your top wide receiver slots, or do you believe that the depth at the position means you should draft a high number of them for cheaper?
If I target a top-flight wide receiver, I would prefer to do so for less than $45. Otherwise, I will try to get the best wide receiver I can in the $36-45 range. Once I have one top wide receiver on my roster, I will look for bargains on other receivers. These can be WR2's on a team with a strong offense and a strong WR1. Examples include Allen Robinson, Russell Gage, Adam Thielen, Gabe Davis, and Jerry Jeudy. I'll strike if I can get one of those aforementioned players in the $20-25 range. Knowing I have about $80-90 of budget on wide receiver, I can stretch my budget a bit more for a WR2 if necessary. Other receivers I will target are players returning from injury whose draft value still displays uncertainty. Sometimes these can be the best bargains. Or perhaps an aging veteran that most people are shying away from. Therefore the bidding is few and far between. It isn't until after the player is won that others realize what a great deal it was. I try to have at least one instance of that in the draft, and it usually winds up being a wide receiver. Overall, my wide receiver spending usually includes $85-90, spending approximately this much on each ($40, 22, 16, 7, 3, 2).
As I typically go with the volume approach at running back, wide receiver is a position I have worked to be more comfortable spending up for 1-2 strong options. They are a predictable position year over year in depth chart standing. Their connection to a quarterback (also more straightforward to predict year-over-year) is a stabilizing effect. Also, with how I build a roster positionally, the more stable the first 2-3 wide receivers are, the most roster spots I can comfortably allocate towards running back on the bench for in-season injury-away upside. After the top wide receivers and selection secondary options are rostered, there is a giant bucket of sameness at the position, so the cheaper and higher volume approach lacks appeal.
My goal is two top wide receivers. This year the tier is small, essentially Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson, Ja'Marr Chase, Stefon Diggs, and Davante Adams. Landing two of these players along with one anchor running back will grant a massive advantage on your league. My WR3 targets get very deep, targeting players with negative narratives to create value. A player like Brandon Aiyuk, Tyler Lockett, or Robert Woods is likely to end right on the fringe of a big tier of WR2s and likely will score similar points weekly. If done correctly, you can build a bench running five or six wide receivers deep that gives options to play matchups while spending in aggregate similarly to one of the higher-end players within this same tier.
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