Now that the playoffs have started, many of our dynasty teams have packed up shop, and even if we are still in the playoffs, part of our minds should be looking ahead to our 2015 offseason roster management and players who could gain value in the coming months by generating buzz and trying to work themselves into their team’s future plans. It’s Week 16, so that means wide receivers. We’ll separate the prospects into three tiers for leagues of all size: Snorkel, Scuba, and Submarine. Players that went in early rounds of the most recent fantasy draft won’t be included as they are assumed to still be owned.
Marquess Wilson, CHI - Wilson has a lot of natural ability in his slender 6’3” frame - certainly more than a typical seventh rounder. He has been working with Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall in the offseason, and was poised to do more this year before getting hurt in the preseason.
Duron Carter, FA - Cris Carter’s son should be coming to the NFL in 2015, and we’ve already seen CFL players make impacts in recent years. He’s a young talent who has had people like Russ Lande buzzing since 2013.
Jared Abbrederis, Jeff Janis, GB - Randall Cobb could leave in free agency and create an opening for either one of these 2014 draft picks. Abbrederis is the classic technician who could even push Davante Adams if he has any struggles. Janis is the measureables freak who appears to be making a good impression on the team.
Justin Blackmon, FA - We may never hear from Blackmon again, but his talent is undeniable and offseason stashes are all about ceiling.
Andre Holmes, OAK - Holmes is a classic size/speed receiver that can make us drool when he is playing well. He has shown Justin Hunter level ability to get downfield and make a play on the ball in the air, but like Hunter, it doesn’t happen on every - or even most - targets.
Rod Streater, OAK - Streater doesn’t have a high ceiling, but Derek Carr is playing well for a rookie and Streater could project as the most reliable wideout for him over the next two seasons if he can stay healthy. He’s not young for a prospect, so he’s more of an add for deep PPR leagues where a lot of WRs start every week.
Jaron Brown, ARI - The Cardinals love both of their young Browns at wide receiver. John is more of a speedy slot receiver, while Jaron has come this year with his 6’2” 204 size, 4.4 speed, and top-end quickness numbers. Larry Fitzgerald isn’t going to be around forever.
Corey Washington, NYG - Washington is a big receiver who stuck on the roster this season after going undrafted. He hasn’t been able to get on the field much this year, but Rueben Randle is not the answer at wide receiver, so the Giants will be looking closely at the young wide receiver talent on their roster this offseason.
Marcus Harris, NYG - Much like Victor Cruz, Harris was a preseason and camp sensation who was stashed on IR in his rookie year. He’ll compete with Washington to the spot that Rueben Randle couldn’t seize.
Brandon Coleman, NO - Coleman is hanging out on the Saints practice squad with a very similar physical profile and playing style to Marques Colston.
Stephen Hill, CAR - Hill is something like Calvin Johnson if he didn’t know how to catch the ball consistently. The Panthers are grooming him on the practice squad and there is no one meaningful between him and a starting WR spot if he has a great offseason. It’s a long shot, but one with a potentially huge payoff.
Marlon Brown, BAL - Brown is still early in his development curve, and Steve Smith isn’t going to be around forever. He flashed good red zone ability last year, which is a cornerstone of fantasy value.
Josh Huff, PHI - Huff is fast and rugged, and he’s in the Eagles offense, which can magnify fantasy output because of their high volume offense. He’s still blocked from a meaningful role in the offense for now, but that can change if Jeremy Maclin doesn’t get re-signed this offseason.
Corey Fuller, DET - Fuller came to Detroit as a track athlete who needed polish as a football player, and he graduated from the practice squad this year to show that budding ability. He is 6’2” with blistering speed. While Golden Tate blocks him from a bigger role in the offense right now, his long term potential shouldn’t be overlooked.
Bruce Ellington, SF - Ellington is more of a raw playmaker right now, but his physical talent and edge to his game are easy to see. Michael Crabtree is a free agent and Anquan Boldin is in the November of his career, so Ellington will have a chance to move up on the depth chart sooner or later.
Albert Wilson, KC - Wilson has started to make inroads towards the #2 wide receiver position the Chiefs seemed to think Donnie Avery was suited for for a reason I can’t figure out. Wilson has speed and appears to have translated despite a small school background, although the Chiefs offense is not exactly a breeding ground for wide receiver fantasy value.
Dontrelle Inman, SD - Speaking of the CFL, Inman came to the NFL from the CFL this offseason. He tested out with sub-4.5 speed in the draft and terrific quickness in a 6’3” frame. Malcom Floyd isn’t long for the NFL, and Inman could have a shot to be the heir to his spot.
Josh Boyce, NE - I liked Boyce at TCU and can’t quite figure out what is wrong with him in New England. He has terrific speed and a toughness to his game. The Patriots still have him on the practice squad, so I haven’t completely given up yet.
Devin Street, DAL - Street’s ceiling is an average #2 receiver, and there won’t be much there with Dez Bryant on the other side as long as they can run the ball this well, but he;s
Brian Tyms, NE - Tyms has earned a roster spot and he has the deep threat profile that could add the element to the passing game if he develops
Matt Hazel, MIA - Hazel was drafted this year by the Dolphins and they kept him on the practice squad. He has terrific ability to go up and get the ball in the air and both Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace are contracts from the old regime.
Chris Harper, Juron Criner, NYG - Both of these talents were intriguing coming out of college. Harper is fast for a thickly built wide receiver, so much so that a tight end conversion was tried earlier in his career. Criner can make the circus catches to wow observers in camp, but couldn’t get a foothold on a weak wide receiver depth chart in Oakland. Keep tabs on with the long term opening in the starting lineup at wide receiver for the Giants.