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Regular Season, Updated: 9/3/18

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Legend:   Upside = Upside   Risk = Risk   ADP = Average Draft Position
FF Today Standard Scoring: Review Scoring
 Antonio Brown, PIT (Bye: 7)
1
Height: 5’10”   Weight: 186   DOB: 1988-07-10   Age: 30
College: Central Michigan   Draft: 2010 Round 6 (26) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015PIT16136 1,834 10 3 28 0 246.2 15.4
2016PIT15106 1,284 12 3 9 0 201.3 13.4
2017PIT14101 1,533 9 0 0 0 207.3 14.8
2018 (Projected)PIT 101 1,366 10 0 0 0 196.6  

Outlook: For my money Brown is still the consensus No.1 receiver off the board. Brown has annually been both one of the most consistent and high impact fantasy players for the past five years, as he's a multi-format all-star, and player that can carry a fantasy team. His receptions have come down a bit from the astronomical numbers of 2014 and 2015, but the yardage and touchdown totals have remained elite. Barring injury to himself or Big Ben, Brown should have no problem meeting expectations in this offense. He has a few other pass catchers that defenses at least have to respect, and continues to use his elite quickness to gain separation at all levels of the field, even if the deep bombs down the field might suffer some regression. I'm not sure how much music is left in the symphony he and Big Ben have created together, but put your trust in Brown while it lasts.


 DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (Bye: 10)
2
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 205   DOB: 1992-06-06   Age: 26
College: Clemson   Draft: 2013 Round 1 (27) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015HOU16111 1,521 11 0 0 0 218.1 13.6
2016HOU1678 954 4 0 0 0 119.4 7.5
2017HOU1596 1,378 13 0 0 0 215.8 14.4
2018 (Projected)HOU 92 1,266 11 0 0 0 192.6  

Outlook: Hopkins is proof that volume is everything for wide receivers. Whether it was Deshaun Watson, Tom Savage, or T.J. Yates, Hopkins was a valuable wide receiver because he was the most targeted receiver in the NFL despite sitting in Week 17.

Hopkins out-produced the WR12 average during 10 of his 15 games despite playing weeks 9 through 16 without Watson. With that type of consistency, he secured his place at the top of drafts entering the 2018 season without any concern about quarterback play.

Hopkins has an ADP of 10th overall as the 2nd wide receiver. Antonio Brown slightly outperformed Hopkins on a per game basis, but with his volume, there's no reason to doubt whether his production is sustainable. For drafters near the Round1/2 turn, Hopkins is a safe option.


 Julio Jones, ATL (Bye: 8)
3
Height: 6’3”   Weight: 220   DOB: 1989-02-03   Age: 29
College: Alabama   Draft: 2011 Round 1 (6) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015ATL16136 1,871 8 0 0 0 235.1 14.7
2016ATL1483 1,409 6 0 0 0 176.9 12.6
2017ATL1688 1,444 3 1 15 0 163.9 10.2
2018 (Projected)ATL 96 1,517 6 0 0 0 187.7  

Outlook: It's strange to say that a wide receiver who finished as the WR6 was a letdown, but for most, Julio Jones was just that. While his big weeks were huge, his lack of scoring limited his upside for the majority of the season.

The biggest concern with Jones' season is how drastically Week 12 changed the final outcome. Even removing 20 points from his 38.8 point week (which still would have been his best week of the year), Jones falls from WR6 to WR15. So rather than being a WR1 for teams, Jones produced in the range of a WR2 and inflated his final points with an astronomical week.

But there are some positive takeaways. Particularly in standard scoring, you're chasing touchdowns, but Jones managed a top 10 finish with only 3 TDs for the season indicating that he has high-end value even if touchdowns don't follow. He ranked 3rd among all receivers in total air yards and he had 19 total targets inside the 20 yards line. Jones can be drafted as the WR4 and has an ADP in the 2nd round. At that price, if he can score a few extra touchdowns, he could be a steal.


 Odell Beckham Jr., NYG (Bye: 9)
4
Height: 5’11”   Weight: 198   DOB: 1992-11-05   Age: 26
College: Louisiana State   Draft: 2014 Round 1 (12) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015NYG1596 1,450 13 1 3 0 223.3 14.9
2016NYG16101 1,367 10 1 9 0 197.6 12.4
2017NYG425 302 3 1 8 0 49.0 12.3
2018 (Projected)NYG 92 1,275 9 2 16 0 183.1  

Outlook: Beckham Jr. suffered a pedal ankle fracture in Week 5 against the Los Angeles Chargers, forcing the former 2014 first-round pick from LSU to miss the remainder of the 2017 season. Before suffering the injury, Beckham Jr. was on pace to deliver nearly identical numbers from his 2016 campaign in which he finished with 101 catches for 1367 yards and ten touchdowns as the No. 5 ranked wide receiver.

At just 25 years of age, there is little evidence to suggest that Beckham Jr. will not fully recover from his injury and regain his record-setting form from the first three seasons of his career. The addition of second-overall pick Saquon Barkley should give an otherwise anemic rushing attack a much-needed boost that could equate to more success in the passing game. Also, the Giants made great strides in improving their offensive line with the addition of free agent left tackle Nate Solder from New England, and the selection of guard Will Hernadez with the 34th pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Doubts surrounding Beckham Jr.'s ability to recover from injury fully and contract dispute will likely push the star receiver to the back end of the first round in most redraft leagues. Although those concerns have some validity, the improvements to the Giants offense and the fact that Beckham Jr. has never finished outside the top-5 in WR make him arguably the best value in the first round.


 Michael Thomas, NO (Bye: 6)
5
Height: 6’3”   Weight: 212   DOB: 1994-06-16   Age: 24
College: Ohio State   Draft: 2016 Round 2 (16) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016NO1592 1,137 9 0 0 0 167.7 11.2
2017NO16104 1,245 5 0 0 0 154.5 9.7
2018 (Projected)NO 97 1,188 7 0 0 0 160.8  

Outlook: To his owners, Michael Thomas was the boring but reliable WR1in 2017. He only managed 5 touchdowns and despite receiving over 1,200 yards, he only had double digit fantasy points in six of his regular season games. His three consecutive double digit games from weeks 13 to 15 undoubtedly helped his owners, but his season can be described as one with a limited weekly ceiling.

Thomas stands as the primary beneficiary if the passing game returns to previous years' volume. He led the team with 149 targets, but with the offseason moves, there will likely need to be more team volume for Thomas to stay around the 150 target range. Still, he remains a safe floor play for your wide receiving corps likely to go in round 2 of most fantasy drafts.


 Davante Adams, GB (Bye: 7)
6
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 212   DOB: 1992-12-24   Age: 25
College: Fresno State   Draft: 2014 Round 2 (21) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015GB1250 483 1 0 0 0 54.3 4.5
2016GB1675 997 12 0 0 0 171.7 10.7
2017GB1474 885 10 0 0 0 148.5 10.6
2018 (Projected)GB 85 1,126 9 0 0 0 166.6  

Outlook: It took some time, but after two top-15 fantasy seasons, Davante Adams has arrived as a legit fantasy star. It gets better in 2018, as Adams ascends to the de facto No.1 receiver as Jordy Nelson moves on to the Raiders. The biggest positive I can glean from his 2017 season is he was able to produce even with Brett Hundley leading the offense (Adams had four games of 80+ yards and 4 of his 10 touchdowns after Aaron Rodgers went down). Adams is young (25) coming off two great seasons, and has the league's best pure passer back healthy. He showed extreme toughness last year coming off a devastating hit against Pittsburgh that almost killed him. He's got size, speed, and most importantly, the trust of his QB. I think a career year is on tap for Adams (1200 yards and 10 touchdowns?), with a legit chance to finish as a top-5 fantasy receiver.


 Keenan Allen, LAC (Bye: 8)
7
Height: 6’3”   Weight: 210   DOB: 1992-04-27   Age: 26
College: California   Draft: 2013 Round 3 (14) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015SD867 725 4 0 0 0 96.5 12.1
2016SD16 63 0 0 0 0 6.3 6.3
2017LAC16102 1,393 6 2 9 1 182.2 11.4
2018 (Projected)LAC 90 1,206 6 0 0 0 156.6  

Outlook: Talent really hasn't been a question for Keenan Allen since he came into the league and dominated as a rookie, going over 1,000 yards receiving with eight touchdowns after being selected in the third round of the NFL Draft. The problem has simply been a matter of health. Allen played just 23 total games over the next three seasons, and was playing hurt in a number of those games, which left fantasy owners wondering whether or not he was still capable of being a WR1 for fantasy. Allen went on to prove the doubters wrong in 2017, posting a 102-catch, near-1400-yard, six touchdown season. But most importantly, Allen stayed on the field and played all 16 games for the first time in his five-year NFL career.

If health wasn't still a concern, there would be a serious case for Allen to be the second receiver off the board behind Antonio Brown in drafts this season - and he may still go that high in some leagues - but from a talent and opportunity standpoint, Allen is absolutely an elite WR1. What's actually surprising is that Allen quietly led the league in dropped passes and was uncharacteristically inefficient in the red zone. It would not be at all out of the question for Allen to have double-digit receiving touchdowns in 2018 given that the Chargers will now be without red zone weapons Hunter Henry while not investing in other pass catchers.

He seems like a seasoned veteran but Allen is actually still just 26 years old and might still be working toward his prime as a receiver. The Chargers project to be a good team this season and that could very well translate into more red zone opportunities for the offense. Sure, they might not pass as much as they did in 2017, but few receivers in the league have a higher target floor than Allen as long as he stays healthy.


 A.J. Green, CIN (Bye: 9)
8
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 207   DOB: 1988-07-31   Age: 30
College: Georgia   Draft: 2011 Round 1 (4) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015CIN1686 1,297 10 0 0 0 189.7 11.9
2016CIN1066 964 4 0 0 0 120.4 12.0
2017CIN1675 1,078 8 0 0 0 155.8 9.7
2018 (Projected)CIN 77 1,096 8 0 0 0 157.6  

Outlook: Like most of the Bengals offense, Green struggled with consistency in 2017. A big chunk of his production came in a few games, while he failed to be a difference maker in the others. His 9.7 standard points per game was the lowest of his career and he enters his age 30 season hoping for a return to glory.

It's a testament to how great he has been in his career that we're talking about a guy who struggled, yet finished in the top 10 at his position. He led the NFL in percentage of his team's air yards, his 8 scores were the most he's had since 2015, and the 143 targets were all a sign that he's still far and away the top dog in this passing game. It would be better for Cincinnati's efficiency if they could get at least one more viable passing game threat, but regardless, Green should lead this team in every receiving category by a country mile. Despite the down year, Green is still one of the better bets in fantasy to finish at the top 5 at his position, and someone I'd be happy to have as my WR1.


 Mike Evans, TB (Bye: 5)
9
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 231   DOB: 1993-08-21   Age: 25
College: Texas A&M   Draft: 2014 Round 1 (7) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015TB1474 1,208 3 0 0 0 138.8 9.9
2016TB1696 1,321 12 0 0 0 204.1 12.8
2017TB1571 1,001 5 0 0 0 130.1 8.7
2018 (Projected)TB 78 1,082 7 0 0 0 150.2  

Outlook: After finishing 2016 as the WR2 overall, a WR22 finish can only be described as a major disappointment for Evans. Even when you factor in his one missed game, he only rises up to WR20 on a per game basis. The drop off for Evans was most noteworthy when it comes to TDs. After scoring 12 in 2016, he dropped all the way down to 5 scores and of his six double digit fantasy weeks, five were due to a TD. Because he's never been a consistent yardage receiver, he relies heavily on scoring and this is most noticeable in seasons like 2017.

Because of his size and placement as the team's WR1, there will be opportunities for Evans to rebound his TD total. Particularly with the potential emergence of O.J. Howard and Chris Godwin, these scores could be more critical than in years past. Evans is currently being as the WR9 at the back of the 2nd round which is probably a bit expensive for player who will boom on TD weeks and mostly disappoint during the other weeks. With the absence of Winston through the first three weeks, his season may start off slow, opening up a trade window. If he can be acquired for a reasonable price in the mid-WR2 range, he could return fantasy dividends.


 Amari Cooper, OAK (Bye: 7)
10
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 211   DOB: 1994-06-18   Age: 24
College: Alabama   Draft: 2015 Round 1 (4) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015OAK1672 1,070 6 3 -3 0 142.7 8.9
2016OAK1682 1,149 5 1 0 0 144.9 9.1
2017OAK1448 680 7 1 4 0 110.4 7.9
2018 (Projected)OAK 76 1,066 7 0 0 0 148.6  

Outlook: The top-drafted fantasy asset in Oakland is once again wide receiver Amari Cooper despite him being among the biggest busts in fantasy this past season. Cooper was almost astonishingly unproductive on a per-target basis in 2017 as he caught just 50 percent of the passes that came his way, which put him among the very worst receivers in the league. It's worth noting that Cooper might have not been healthy at all in 2017, as he started the season on the injury report for the first six weeks with a knee sprain, then suffered a sprained ankle and a concussion in Week 12. Cooper also has earned the label as a pass dropper and there's really no denying that he's had a ton of drops in his young career, but that can statistic also be a bit misleading. Cooper actually dropped four passes in one game (Week 1) in 2017, but he ended up getting targeted 13 times, which still allowed him to produce a quality fantasy day with five catches for 62 yards and a touchdown.

With 2017 in the rear-view mirror, we now look forward to 2018 where Cooper has serious potential to lead all NFL players in targets. Coach Gruden has made it well known that he is planning to use Cooper as the "main vein" of the Oakland passing game. With outside receivers Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant joining the team, the Raiders could also end up utilizing Cooper more in the slot on three-receiver sets. He's produced some of his biggest games when he's seen increased snaps out of the slot, and research shows that targets out of the slot are actually substantially more effective than those out wide throughout the league, so Cooper could be in for a big jump in efficiency this season. Even if he's still subpar in catch rate, though, target volume alone could lead to Cooper being a high-end WR2 or even a low-end WR1 this season.

His draft cost is substantially lower this season than it has been in either of his past two seasons, so there is some upside in taking Cooper where he's currently going in fantasy drafts and there really shouldn't be much downside, provided that he stays healthy. After turning 24 years old this past June, Cooper is still not even near his prime as an NFL wide receiver. He's only six months older than rookie Calvin Ridley but he already has two 1000-yard NFL seasons under his belt. He struggled this past season, but so did the entire Raiders offense, including QB Derek Carr who himself dealt with a back injury throughout the season. Don't let an injury-plagued 2017 change your perception of this talented young playmaker who could break out as an elite fantasy WR1 this season if everything clicks in Oakland.


 Tyreek Hill, KC (Bye: 12)
11
Height: 5’10”   Weight: 185   DOB: 1994-03-01   Age: 24
College: West Alabama   Draft: 2016 Round 5 (28) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016KC1661 593 6 24 267 3 140.0 8.8
2017KC1575 1,183 7 17 59 0 166.2 11.1
2018 (Projected)KC 74 1,015 7 11 85 1 158.0  

Outlook: Tyreek Hill finished the season as the fourth-highest scoring wide receiver in standard scoring fantasy football leagues in 2017, but he was also the least-targeted player who finished in the top 15 at the position. Now that he's being drafted as a WR1 in fantasy, we really have to look at not just what he did this past season, but also what he's likely to do going forward. Given the lack of targets he saw in an extremely efficient Chiefs offense in 2017, Hill's current ADP sort of sticks out like a sore thumb at the wide receiver position.

Hill's tremendous big play ability was a big part of why Alex Smith saw such a huge uptick in both deep pass attempts as well as efficiency. Utilizing tremendous speed and athleticism that very few cornerbacks can match, Hill creates mismatches for his teammates as teams are forced to shade coverage in his direction to prevent the deep ball over the top. But when looking at his numbers from a repeatability standpoint, Hill's season looks like an extreme outlier. Seven of his eight touchdown receptions in 2017 came from 40+ yards. To put that into perspective, only Antonio Brown and Brandin Cooks even had seven total receptions - touchdown or not - of 40-plus yards in 2017. Yes, Hill is among the most electric players in the entire league but even he is due for some regression in that category.

What's interesting is that Hill enjoyed an impressive 2017 season with the notoriously weak-armed Alex Smith at quarterback. New starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes is stylistically a much better fit than Smith was for a receiver like Tyreek Hill, but it would still be almost impossible for Mahomes to outperform what Smith did this past season, given that Smith was among the most efficient passers in the entire league and a legitimate MVP candidate. Hill saw just 105 targets in 2017, a number which will almost certainly not increase substantially in 2018. The Chiefs added Sammy Watkins this offseason which could help shift some attention off of Hill, but Watkins should see a lot more targets come his way than any Chiefs wide receiver, aside from Hill, did in 2017.

With Watkins, target monster tight end Travis Kelce and quality pass catching backs like Kareem Hunt and Spencer Ware in the offense, there just aren't a lot of additional targets to go around for Hill. He could come close to repeating the tremendous per-target efficiency he did in 2017 but not finish as a WR1 this season, given the lack of targets he's likely to see. It's very rare for a player to hover around 100 targets for the entire season and still finish as a WR1. Hill bucked the trend last year, but banking on him to do it again just doesn't seem like a wise strategy when there are so many other receivers being drafted near him who are likely to see 40 or more targets than he will on the season.


 Doug Baldwin, SEA (Bye: 7)
12
Height: 5’10”   Weight: 189   DOB: 1988-09-21   Age: 30
College: Stanford   Draft:
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015SEA1678 1,069 14 0 0 0 190.9 11.9
2016SEA1694 1,128 7 3 2 0 155.0 9.7
2017SEA1675 991 8 2 -8 0 146.3 9.1
2018 (Projected)SEA 80 1,046 7 0 0 0 146.6  

Outlook: Doug Baldwin didn't come into the NFL with much hype but he has blossomed into one of the league's most consistent pass catchers. While he fell nine yards short of his third-straight 1,000-yard season, Baldwin has now caught 75 or more passes in three straight seasons and looks to be in line to be targeted more heavily than ever now that both Paul Richardson and Jimmy Graham are gone.

He's the only player on the roster who has shown consistent chemistry with quarterback Russell Wilson and that will certainly play a role when deciding who he's going to throw the football to, particularly early in the season when he's getting acclimated with his new pass catchers. Baldwin lacks the physical presence to be a true elite WR1 for fantasy purposes but he's a very safe WR2 who has weekly WR1 upside.