We’ve finally made it to the prima donas, the wide receivers.
These guys are just plain fun to have on your Fantasy Football team. Unfortunately with your wide receivers they’re at the mercy of their quarterback. That can be a terrible realization or a majestically beautiful one depending who is under center for your No. 1 receiver.
It was a fun offseason for these guys too as we saw several high-end wide receivers don some different jersey colors. DeSean Jackson, Brandon Marshall, Brandin Cooks and Jeremy Maclin will all be playing with new teams this upcoming season.
We’ll be looking at 12 different wide receivers today who have seen their Fantasy stocks drastically increase and some who have observed their Fantasy stocks go the other way.
Let’s get to the Wide Receivers that are rising and falling.
Wide Receivers That Are Rising And Falling
Brandon Marshall, NYG
Ryan Fitzpatrick or Eli Manning? Bryce Petty or Eli Manning? Geno Smith or Eli Manning? Ok, you get the point. Manning is 20 times better than Fitzpatrick and I can’t even come up with a quantifiable number to explain just how much better Eli is than Petty and Smith. I guess you could say having Eli Manning as your quarterback is getting to watch the game on a 36″ TV, it’s not great, but it could be worse. Having Bryce Petty or Geno Smith as your quarterback is like having to go to the bathroom and having your wife try to give you the play-by-play.
The Jets were disorganized last year and the quarterback situation was one of the worst all year. Honestly, it was almost Brock Osweiler bad. I think that should become a thing, Brock Osweiler bad. Your waiter comes up to you and asks you how your steak is, but it’s well done and you asked for medium rare so your response would be, “It’s Brock Osweiler bad.”
Anyway, Marshall is just one year removed from having over 1,500 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns, so this guy can still play. Don’t be afraid of Odell Beckham either.
The Giants pass the ball a ton so there will be plenty of passes to go around. Marshall is surely going to be the number two option. With his size he could become a favorite of Eli’s in the red zone. I got Marshall easily going over 1,000 yards and I think he challenges double-digit touchdowns.
Kevin White/Cameron Meredith, CHI
Cameron Meredith is no doubt going to get drafted higher than Kevin White, if White gets drafted at all. But both of these guys have more value than what their overall statistics would indicate, especially White.
White is a former first round draft pick who has struggled with injuries, but he’s got talent. The Bears didn’t draft any wide receivers so these two guys are going to get every opportunity in the world. Meredith is locked in as a starter and I’d be surprised if the Bears aren’t hoping the same thing for White.
As we’ve found out, when it comes to wide receivers and running backs you don’t necessarily need to be the most talented, you just need to have the opportunity. Years past are littered with no name receivers and running backs that ended up getting an opportunity due to injuries or whatever and became more than Fantasy relevant.
Meredith is a prime example last year. As is Rob Kelley, Tyrell Williams and Kamar Aiken, just to name a few. If you can get White in the somewhere around the 13-16th round, he could easily outperform that draft slot by quite a bit just out of sheer volume. However, he must stay healthy.
Terrelle Pryor, WAS
I love this guy. Love, love, love. He went over 1,000 yards last year playing with Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan. That’s super impressive. It’s like driving a Toyota Prius and winning the Daytona 500. Allen Robinson couldn’t do it with Blake Bortles and DeAndre Hopkins couldn’t do it with Brock Osweiler, but Pryor overcame his quarterback problems and was still productive.
Now he’s in Washington, a pass happy offense with a Top 12 quarterback. Yes please. I’m not saying he’s going to, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Pryor ends up as a Top 7 Fantsy wide receiver this year. I got him going for 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Willie Snead, NO
Coby Fleener sucks and Brandin Cooks is in New England. Michael Thomas busted onto the scene last year as a rookie and will no doubt command the majority of the attention from opposing defenses, which just leaves Willie Snead.
Drew Brees loves him, Sean Peyton loves him and now you should too. I especially love him in a PPR league, but even so, I expect Snead to be the major beneficiary of the Cooks trade.
Snead isn’t the deep ball threat that Cooks is, but all those catches, yards and touchdowns have to go somewhere. Michael Thomas is now going to have the opponents top corner on him with the safety’s attention too. I like a 1,100 yard season with six touchdowns from Snead this season.
DeAndre Hopkins, HOU
Brock Osweiler is gone. He’s not just benched. He’s out of Houston. That’s all that needs to be said here.
I like Hopkins to break 1,100 yards and 8 touchdowns. There’s really no other receiving options on the team. If you’re reading this and you’re thinking Will Fuller, well, you just proved my point.
Breshad Perriman, BAL
You could pretty much re-read the paragraph for Kevin White and just make it relevant for the Ravens organization. But again, same thing. The Ravens didn’t add any wide receivers in free agency or the draft and the ageless Steve Smith Sr. finally retired. That leaves Mike Wallace and Breshard Perriman are the unquestioned starters.
Perriman has been hampered by injuries since he was drafted, but this guy can fly. Flacco loves throwing the deep ball so there’s potential here. If Perriman can stay healthy he’s a guy that could be had in the last four rounds of your fantasy draft that will have a starter’s role and a bunch of upside.
Jordan Matthews, PHI
Jordan Matthew’s Fantasy Football game is enough to put you to sleep. Last season he was the only receiver on the Eagles and he wasn’t terrible, but man was he far from good.
We could play a game of who would you rather have, but in the end it’d just be a waste of your time because no one wants Jordan Matthews.
With the additions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, two definite outside wide receivers, Matthews will see his role shrink quite considerably from last season.
Sterling Shepard, NYG
He flashed at times as a rookie, but ultimately he was over-matched as an outside receiver. The slot receiver role fits his skill set much better, but that doesn’t mean his Fantasy stats will like the change.
With Beckham and Marshall, two alpha dogs, there won’t be enough touches to go around for Shepard to be useful. He’s too talented to completely fall off, but the problem will be the consistency. He’ll have a nice game or two, but he won’t be dependable with Beckham and Marshall stealing all the attention.
Sammie Coates/Eli Rogers, PIT
Martvius Bryant is back and like him or not, he’s a much better receiver than both of them are. He’s explosive and he’s a bigger target. Coates was supposed to fill that role, but ultimately never could. Prior to the draft, the number threespot was still open and in a dynamic offense like Pittsburgh’s, that could hold some value yet, but then the Steelers drafted Juju Smith-Schuster in the second round.
He’s got great hands and is an excellent route runner. He immediately slides into the number three spot. Regardless though, Coates and Rogers have as much Fantasy upside as Tiger Woods on a golf course. I’d actually still probably take Tiger there.
Tyrell Williams, LAC
Some people have Keenan Allen in trouble in Los Angeles with the addition of Mike Williams and Tyrell’s season last year, but I just don’t see it. When Keenan Allen is healthy, he’s a Top 15 receiver and you just simply cannot say that about Tyrell Williams.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that as long as Keenan Allen is healthy he’s the starter opposite Mike Williams. Tyrell Williams is still going to play. I think Los Angeles will run a lot of three receiver sets to take advantage of all their wide receivers, but Tyrell is at the bottom now.
There’s no way around it, Williams went from being the unquestioned number one receiver last year to being as low as four or five on the target list. Tyrell Williams is the single child who just found out his parents are pregnant with triplets.
Brandon LaFell/Tyler Boyd, CIN
Brandon LaFell wasn’t great last year, but in a pinch he was Fantasy relevant. Tyler Boyd was a second round rookie who was expected to take the spot opposite AJ Green in time. That idea came and went faster than Mike Glennon’s starting quarterback role in Chicago.
With their top 10 pick, the Bengals selected the speedster, John Ross out of Washington. He’s definitely going to play and start.
Who knows how the Bengals choose to fill out their depth chart, but starting LaFell at the three spot could hurt the development of Tyler Boyd and Cody Core, two rookies from last season that showed some promise.
In either case outside of AJ Green and Tyler Eifert there doesn’t look to be any sure things in Cincy’s passing attack.
Julian Edelman, NE
I still really like Julian Edelman, I do. And in PPR leagues I love him. The addition of Cooks hurts his value though, there’s no way around that. The addition of Brandin Cooks is similar to when the Pats traded for Randy Moss and it began to signify the end of Wes Welker; the same could be true for Edelman.
He’s still a fantastic slot receiver, but Chris Hogan and Brandin Cooks are both more explosive.
Edelman is still going to get his catches. Getting to 1,000 yards though could be a struggle with Cooks and a healthy Gronkowski. He already rarely got into the end zone last year and I don’t think that changes. So while I still expect Edelman to be productive, he’s a better NFL receiver than he is a Fantasy one.
There’s one statistic that when it comes to wide receivers that is so crucially important and that’s targets. A great quarterback like Rodgers or Brady can offset a low number of targets. Likewise a crazy amount of targets can offset having a bad quarterback. If you’re looking for a quality Fantasy wide receiver the primary question you need to ask is, how many passes are going to get thrown their way each week?
A quick return peek to the Fallers of this week’s edition showcases six wide receivers who are going to see their targets diminish somewhat significantly in the 2017 season. Wide receiver is a deep position, but be sure to pay attention to the wide receiver’s quarterback and their spot on the depth chart. That will be an excellent indicator of what type of season a particular receiver can expect to have.
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