Veteran wide receivers will show decline the longer they are in the league, but a new quarterback can help boost Fantasy Football totals for aging receivers.
As discussed in Jonathan Bales’ Fantasy Football For Smart People: What the Experts Don’t Want You to Know, wide receivers generally reach their prime between ages 26-28, and 26 is normally where a receiver reaches his peak. I ran the data from the 2014 Fantasy Football season, and the average age of the top-20 wide receivers was 25.6.
There are veteran wide receivers, however, who can still make a meaningful Fantasy Football impact.
Steve Smith Sr. cracked the top 20 at 35, and Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson and Anquan Boldin were all top-20 receivers in 2013 who were over the age of 30.
In 2015 Fantasy Football leagues, there a few veteran wide receivers who could receive a boost in value because of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Veteran Wide Receivers About to Receive Help
1. Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis Winston is going to be a flat out stud in the NFL. Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson are salivating. They NEED Winston.
— Kelton Brooks (@BrooksWeekly) April 25, 2015
Despite splitting targets with Mike Evans, Jackson finished 2014 with a 1,000-yard season and the most receptions on the team. Evans killed his touchdown total, however, as the 32-year old Jackson only hauled in two. I think the addition of Jameis Winston provides for three interesting possibilities for the wide receiver group in Tampa Bay:
- Evans will continue to develop, and Jackson will offer more of a support role
- Winston will latch onto Jackson as his security blanket, and rely on the experience of the veteran receiver
- Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins gains a bigger role in the offense and with pass-catching backs Doug Martin and Charles Sims, no receiver for Tampa Bay goes over 1,000 yards
Either way, Jackson will benefit from hopefully having the same quarterback starting the entire season.
2. Dwayne Bowe, Cleveland Browns
Alex Smith relies on his running backs and tight ends to check down to, so that doesn’t leave much of an opportunity for the Chiefs’ receivers. Bowe isn’t on most Fantasy Football draft lists, but he is a great pickup as a WR3. His current situation may not look too promising with Josh McCown and Johnny Manziel, but the Browns are apparently interested in acquiring Sam Bradford, and may even try to trade up for Marcus Mariota. As the main weapon in the passing attack, Bowe could be very valuable in leagues that award points for receptions.The 30-year old veteran wide receiver will benefit from Bradford or Mariota, but I would be much less optimistic if the Browns stick with McCown and Manziel.
I saw someone projected the Browns would take a WR in the 1st. Didn’t they just sign Dwayne Bowe, Andrew Hawkins & Brian Hartline?
— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) April 22, 2015
3. Kenny Britt, St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams mainly relied on the run last season, but Nick Foles can help establish Britt as a friendlier option for Fantasy Football players. Britt led the team in receiving yards last season, and received the second-most targets. Although he has yet to record a 1,000-yard season since entering the league in 2009, I think Britt is undervalued, and could add nice depth on your bench.
— NFC West Talk (@nfcwesttalk) April 26, 2015
4. Andre Johnson, Indianapolis Colts
Johnson recently stated that Andrew Luck was probably the best quarterback he’s had, but I think he threw that probably in there just to be nice. The 33-year old receiver has never racked up too many points from touchdowns, but he does have have 10 seasons with at least 851 receiving yards. I think it’s an exciting prospect for Fantasy Football fans, but there is still reason to be cautious with the veteran wide receiver. T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener will all compete for Luck’s attention, and each player is significantly younger than Johnson. Still, no one would argue that this isn’t a much better opportunity for Johnson, and it would be nice to see the veteran receiver earn a ring after a few frustrating years in Houston.
5. Greg Jennings, Miami Dolphins
|Fantasy Football & 2015 NFL Draft|
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Although I think Teddy Bridgewater is going to develop into a solid starting quarterback, Jennings would have been edged out by younger receivers in 2015. I’m not sure how much of an impact the 31-year old receiver can make with Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills and Jordan Cameron in the lineup, but he does find himself as a member of an up-and-coming offense. If the offensive line can stay healthy, Ryan Tannehill has a chance to finish as a top-five quarterback in 2015, which will obviously benefit the veteran wide receiver. Jennings may be a better bet to draft in a best-ball league, but I think he finds himself in a improved situation with the Dolphins.
When drafting wide receivers in your 2015 Fantasy Football leagues, don’t forget about the old guys!
Make sure to check back with the So-Called Fantasy Experts, as we break down all the news from the 2015 NFL Draft to discuss how it will impact your Fantasy Football strategies in 2015.
Dwayne Bowe Photo Credit: grlswold1963
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