You won’t get very far in your fantasy draft unless you know what players to take and when to take them. I’ve completed a large number of drafts by now and like when I started, there is just so much information to take in and remember. Good thing for you I like to share a lot of useless knowledge that will only confuse and bewilder you, but hey at the very least it may give you some idea what you might expect from some of these players I will mention. To continue with my ongoing theme, here are the fantasy wide receivers.
Fantasy Wide Receivers
In Cincinnati there is wide receiver AJ Green and in the Bengals passing there is only AJ Green. Yes, there are a couple of “other guys”, but Green is the only one I am targeting and he’s someone worth taking as early as the number 7 or 8 pick in fantasy drafts. Green only played in 10 games last season, but when he exited he as the No.4 fantasy wide receiver in 2016 with 66 receptions, 964 yards receiving and 4 touchdowns; he was on his way to a monster season. He’s back, he’s healthy, and still quarterback Andy Dalton’s clear cut number one primary. Expect Green to wash, rinse, and repeat in 2017.
No, Cooks is not the next Randy Moss in New England, but he is the first Brandin Cooks and with him he brings a lot of dynamic explosiveness and excitement to the Patriots passing game (especially with Tom Brady under center); we saw some of this Thursday night. Last season Cooks was a fantasy stud in New Orleans finishing as the No.10 fantasy receiver in PPR (according to Fantasy Data) with 78 receptions, 1,173 yards receiving, and 8 touchdowns. Brady is an accurate deep ball thrower and Cooks seems to be a specialist in this field; I like him early in fantasy drafts and expect a big season from him. He will finish in the same tier as AJ Green, Mike Evans, and Jordy Nelson in my opinion.
The Saints 2nd year receiver Michael Thomas is someone whose basket I will be putting a lot of my eggs in. As a rookie he finished in the Top-10 for fantasy receivers in Standard and PPR leagues; he’s a lot of catches guy and a Touchdown-guy with 9 scores last season. With the departure of Cooks, there should be a few more opportunities to score. Thomas’ stock is on the rise and he’s another early receiver that’s going to have a big season. By the year end he could belong in the second tier conversation.
The big question for new Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is can he stay healthy. A fair question yes, and if he can he’s a huge target and can easily be a Top-10 fantasy receiver. I really like Jeffery as a mid WR2 this season with some upside to go, he’s a solid 2nd receiver pick for your fantasy team. I like his quarterback, Carson Wentz (he’s up and coming). Paired with the capable receiving tight end Zach Ertz, Jeffery has a real legit shot to return to top-flite.
The Broncos wide receiver has been as steady as they come as far as fantasy receivers go; five straight seasons with 90 catches and 1,000 yards. It’s safe to say Thomas is about as safe a fantasy receiver pick as you can find. He’ll have his same quarterback (whom fantasy owner’s hope will improve this season), so it’s reasonable to think he can match last season’s totals. Thomas is projected around the No.16 fantasy receiver this season and a favorite of mine as a mid-to-low WR2.
Let me get this out of the way first, I love Keenan Allen and believe he’s back and in line for a big season, but another Charger receiver I am enamored with is Travis Benjamin. Benjamin has got electric speed and with quarterback Philip Rivers already displaying their big play potential in the preseason (the two connected on a 74-yarder in week 3). Benjamin started 8 games for the Chargers last season finishing with a line of 47-677-4. He’s a late round flier with potential upside that I am big on. He’s going to be available on week 1 waiver wires and fantasy owners should keep their eyes on him.
That’s My Take. ~David Ortega
Next up Fantasy tight ends