Early Season ADP: Wide Receiver

We’re back for more early looks at ADP for the 2017 fantasy football season. Over the past few weeks We have look at the Quarterback and Running Back positions. Below are players who currently stand out as both overvalued and undervalued at Wide Receiver.

Tyreek Hill: Kansas City Chiefs (Overvalued)

Tyreek Hill set the NFL on fire in the second half of the season, as he finished with double-digit fantasy points in four of the five weeks from Week 12 to Week 16. That has caused some serious helium to attach to his name heading into the 2017 season, with his current ADP being 18th at the position. That puts him in the same ADP range as Alshon Jeffery and ahead of the likes of Demaryius Thomas, Michael Crabtree, and Jarvis Landry. Given his role, the offense he plays in, and the small sample he has produced to this point, his current ADP requires too much of an investment.

As for his role, Hill was targeted over 10 times only once during his peak stretch of production. In addition to a wide receiver,  he is often referred to as a running threat, but he received only one carry three of those five weeks. While it is fair to expect his role to increase, Travis Kelce and Jeremy Maclin are still on the team and will fight to take the focus away from Hill in the offense. For some teams, having three options in the passing game wouldn’t be a detriment, but the Chiefs’ offense has produced 19, 20, and 18 passing touchdowns in the past three seasons respectively.

In order to live up to his current ADP, and assuming the passing offense continues producing at its past level, Hill will need at least a third of his teams’ scores to do so. Given the small sample size we have seen from Hill, that’s enough for me to pass and look to a more established wide receiver as an alternative.

Martavis Bryant: Pittsburgh Steelers (Overvalued)

Martavis Bryant is currently the 27th  wide receiver off the board, and with his recent reinstatement, his price will only likely go up. While he was excellent in 2014 and 2015 on a per-game basis, he finished 15th and 16th respectively among wide receivers – there is no guarantee that he will be in football shape or as productive as he was in those seasons.

Adding another layer of risk is the fact that Bryant has never played more than 11 games in a season in his career, calling both his durability and ability to stay drug-free into question. Despite being an explosive player and playing in an explosive offense, his draft spot is just too high given these several layers of risk that are currently attached to him.

This becomes even more clear when considering players taken after him. For a safe floor, players like Emmanuel Sanders, Golden Tate, and Donte Moncrief are currently being taken several picks after Bryant. If it’s ceiling you’re after, DeSean Jackson and Stefon Diggs both fit that mold. There are many different directions to head rather than taking Bryant, and nearly all of them present more safety.   

Kelvin Benjamin: Carolina Panthers (Undervalued)

Kelvin Benjamin finished 26th among wide receivers last year on a per-game basis, but that left a bad taste in many fantasy owners mouths. This was mostly due to the expectations placed on him after he started the season with four touchdowns in his first four games. He scored just three the rest of the season, burning many fantasy owners.

This year, he is being drafted as the 25th wide receiver, which makes sense given his finish last season. However, the offseason hasn’t been kind to the Panthers’ skill position players on offense, as Ted Ginn left the team in free agency. That leaves only Devin Funchess, free-agent addition Russell Shepard, and an aging Greg Olsen as the targets behind Benjamin. Depending on what the Panthers do in the draft, an answer we’ll soon have, Benjamin, should be a target hog for the team.

Beside role, there is also room for skills growth from Benjamin. It’s easy to forget that Benjamin missed what should have been his second season in the NFL thanks to a torn ACL. In his return last season, he showed skills growth by increasing both his yards per catch and catch rate. With another bump up in individual skills growth and an increased role in the Panthers offense, Benjamin should be prepared to take a step forward.

Many fantasy owners are sleeping on their ability to cash in, letting him slip a round later than he should be taken according to early season ADP.

Corey Coleman: Cleveland Browns (Undervalued)

The Browns are certainly no offensive juggernaut, but they have had surprising success in producing quality fantasy wide receivers. Last season, Terrelle Pryor finished 30th at the position in points per game. Travis Benjamin finished 28th in 2015, and we all know about Josh Gordon’s finish as the number one fantasy receiver in the 2013 season. Thus, despite their general ineptitude, the Browns have managed to produce some quality wide receiver production for fantasy purposes.

Corey Coleman enters the season as the Browns’ number one wideout and therefore has the best chance to be the next fantasy-relevant Browns’ receiver. His coach has called him “The Guy”, so it certainly appears the wide receiver one spot is his to lose. Quarterback play is a concern and will likely remain one, however, quarterback issues were also present for the seasons in which Gordon, Benjamin, and Pryor produce.

The quarterback concerns do make this a difficult team to invest in heavily, but if Coleman remains the number one option that concern will be mitigated. As the 38th receiver off the board he is a risk worth taking, and one that won’t set back your entire team if he doesn’t pan out.


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Dan Marcus

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Dan recently moved to Columbus, Ohio but is a lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan. Fantasy baseball was and always will be his favorite fantasy sport, but he also enjoys football and basketball as well.