2017 WR Rankings Part 2

hopkins

11. DeAndre Hopkins

This guy single-handedly blew up fantasy rosters last season, only totaling 4 TDs on the season and only exceeding 100 Yards Per Game once … All of this after a +1,000 Yard 2014 Season and a 2015 that looked like 111 Receptions, 1,521 Receiving Yards and 11 TDs. Hopkins enters a contract year this season and has plenty of runway left, however he is held hostage by the Quarterback position. It’s impossible to confidently say that he’s a can’t miss with so many uncontrollable variables fighting against him, but we’re saying there’s a chance!

12. Demaryius Thomas

Thomas has exceeded +90 Receptions and +1,000 Yards over the past 5 consecutive seasons in Denver, is fully recovered from hip issues which lingered last season and is once again reunited with OC Mike McCoy, whom Thomas originally broke out in 2012 under. Thomas is a reliable WR who you should be able to count on for +1,000 Yards, 5-6 TD and also has been an iron-man, completing all 16 Games in each of the past 5 Seasons. We don’t expect the QB play to get drastically better, which punches the brakes on Thomas’ ceiling, although he should still be considered one of the best WR2 you could add to a roster.

13. Sammy Watkins

Watkins has yet to truly hit his stride in the NFL, but also has fell victim to an injury bug nearly each of his three seasons in the league. The Bills have finished 2nd in the NFL in Rushing Attempts over the past two seasons and it’s recognizable that the volume just doesn’t tip in Watkins’ favor. Speaking to that same context, the Bills finished dead last in Passing Attempts last season with 29.6 Per Game and 2nd to last in 2015 with 29.1 Per Game. Volume and injury are the two red flags to watch out for, but the talent is no doubtedly there.

14. Dez Bryant

With Zeke expected to miss a few games to start the season, we hope to see Bryant return to 2011-2014 form, where he averaged over 12 TDs Per Season during that span. The volume won’t be there similar to some of the names at the top, but Bryant is a physical talent that when healthy, should be considered your best bet for red-zone success. From the sounds of it at this point, Dez is finally rolling into the season without any issues, holdout or injury related.

15. Terrelle Pryor

16. Michael Crabtree

Crabtree is still being bought at a discounted price with an ADP of 12 spots later than teammate Amari Cooper even after finishing ahead of Cooper in Fantasy last season. Crabtree has dominated the Redzone in Oakland over the past two seasons, seeing 34 RZ targets compared to Cooper’s 20; Cooper didn’t even have a Touchdown catch inside the 20 yard line last season! Cooper has still out-produced Crabtree in yardage totaling 2,219 receiving yards to Crabtree’s 1,925 two-year combined total.  Crabtree has spent about a third of his routes in slot, a probability of higher percentage of catches. He has also spent the previous two season against opponents number 2 cornerbacks. The 30 year old WR has shown no signs of a decline and continues to post productive Fantasy WR numbers. Crabtree has been annually undervalued simply because he’s not as sexy of a pick. It’s time to start valuing him as a Fantasy WR2.

17. Davante Adams

Adams erupted last season for 997 Receiving Yards and 12 TDs, developing real chemistry with QB Aaron Rodgers. The addition of TE Martellus Bennett and healthy WR Randall Cobb should lead to a TD regression, however Adams has established himself as a mainstay in the Green Bay Offense as the WR2. Adams had a 63% Reception Rate, catching 69 of his 109 Targets assuring the trust of Rodgers. There a lot of mouths to feed in Green Bay, however when you have a QB throwing you the ball who finished as a Top 2 Fantasy QB in 7 of his last 9 Seasons, things become a bit more comforting.

18. Tyreek Hill

According to Next Gen Stats, Tyreek Hill ranked 1 and 2 in the NFL as “Fastest Ball Carrier” with both occurring on kickoff returns and being clocked at 23.24 and 22.77 MPH. Hill won’t catch anyone by surprise this season, however with Kansas City moving on from Jeremy Maclin, they have penciled in Hill for the WR1, taking over the “Z Position” in Andy Reid’s Offense, which is a focal point used to create mis-matches.

Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub said Tyreek Hill will not return kickoffs this year, although expect the Chiefs to get Hill involved more than ever. He has enormous upside, but the transition into the Number 1 job could be a challenge.

19. Brandin Cooks

Selecting Cooks could be tricky for Fantasy Owners this year. Coming off a 1,100+ yard/8 TD season in NOLA he now finds himself fighting for targets from Gronk, Edelman and a deep RB depth chart – all of whom already have great rapport with Brady. It’s also worth noting Cooks’ indoor/outdoor splits. Playing in Domed stadiums Cooks averaged nearly 73 receiving yards per game, while playing outdoors he averaged only 57.8 receiving yards per game. Cooks has also scored 17 TDs in 30 career games indoors (0.56%), but only 4 TDs in 12 career games outside (0.33%). Moving from Louisiana’s temperature controlled dome to Foxboro’s harsh winters will definitely be an adjustment for Cooks in ’17. Draft Cooks with caution as he moves from being the Saints’ consistent number 1 option to the Patriots where he’ll be fighting for volume as arguably the teams number 3 option in an offense whose offensive scheme changes weekly.

20. Golden Tate

Since landing in Detroit, Tate has posted Jarvis Landry like numbers, however (and for the better) he sits in an offense with a QB that tosses the rock at nearly the highest volume in the league. Just to run down the list and show you what I mean, Stafford has attempted … 663 Attempts in 2011, 727 Attempts in 2012, 634 Attempts in 2013, 602 Attempts in 2014, 592 Attempts in 2015 and 594 Attempts in 2016. Ultimately, during that span, Stafford has averaged 635 Passing Attempts Per Season.

These figures translate directly to Tate, as he has grabbed 99 Receptions in 2014, 90 Receptions in 2015 and 91 Receptions in 2016. As detailed with Landry, expect a very high floor, but in this case the potential of a solid ceiling. The comparable numbers between Tate and Landry are uncanny, however in Miami you have Landry who is potentially fading from a situation and involved in a heavier run game, whereas Tate sits as a favorite target for the gunslinger, Matt Stafford.

Jordan and Michael Tozzi were 2013's Most Accurate Fantasy Football Experts in the nation. Owners of LegionReport.com

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