Undervalued Wide Receivers – PPR Draft Targets
By Chris Mangano (@ChrisMangano)
Welcome back RotoBallers! A few days ago I went over some wide receivers that I felt were overvalued in PPR leagues. This time around, I will cover a few wide receivers who I feel are being priced at a discount.
Below are a few undervalued wide receivers that I believe will perform better than their draft day cost, and would target in PPR fantasy drafts. I did the same analysis for PPR running backs as well, so if you missed that check it out.
Note: All ADP data is taken from Fantasy Calculator PPR drafts for 12 team leagues.
PPR Draft Values – Wide Receivers
Demaryius Thomas (WR, DEN), ADP: 3.08
You know what you get when you draft Thomas? Consistency. Six straight years of at least 90 catches, 1083 yards and he has never missed a game over that span. Currently priced as wide receiver 16 you are getting him at his floor. He should have no problem seeing another 140 targets this year and putting up his usual stat lines. He could also see an uptick in the touchdown department as he finished sixth in red zone targets but only scored five touchdowns. If he finds the end zone more often in 2017 he could enter back into WR1 territory.
Michael Crabtree (WR, OAK), ADP: 4.04
What does Crabtree have to do to get some love? In each of the last two seasons he has out-targeted Amari Cooper, out-targeted him in the red zone and scored more touchdowns. If that’s not enough he has PPR finishes of WR16 and WR12 versus Cooper’s WR21 and WR14. Despite that, Cooper is still going two rounds earlier than Crabtree. Still only 29 there is no reason to think Crabtree is slowing down anytime soon. He’s an absolute steal in the fourth round.
Larry Fitzgerald (WR, ARI), ADP: 4.12
Coming off back to back top 12 PPR finishes, you’d think Fitzgerald would be a hot commodity in fantasy circles this year. Apparently that isn’t the case. Maybe it’s the age factor, but fantasy players keep giving up on him and he keeps proving them wrong. After a 109 catch season in 2015, Fitzgerald backed that up with a league-leading 107 in 2016. He has seen at least 20 red zone targets each of the last two years and has touchdown totals of nine and six. With the departure of Michael Floyd, the health and performance concerns of John Brown, Fitzgerald should once again be Carson Palmer‘s number one target and make his fantasy owners happy.
Stefon Diggs (WR, MIN), ADP: 5.07
The only thing keeping Diggs from being a top 12 wide receiver is health. In only 11 games started last year Diggs posted 84 catches, 903 yards and 3 touchdowns. If we extrapolate his stats over a 16 game season he would have finished with 104 catches, 1,112 yards and 4 touchdowns. That’s 240 fantasy points which would have ranked him right with Crabtree for 12th. His ceiling is even higher than that. Being drafted outside the top 24 wide receivers makes him a bargain and the type of wide receiver that can win you your league.
Jeremy Maclin (WR, BAL), ADP: 7.11
In his first year with the Chiefs in 2015, Maclin posted a respectable 87 catch, 1,008 yard, 8 touchdown season. However, 2016 was a disappointing season marred by injuries that saw him play just 12 games and total just 536 yards. Thankfully for him, and fantasy owners, the Chiefs surprisingly cut him in the off-season and Baltimore signed him. Going from a team that threw the ball just 546 times to a team that has led the league in attempts the last two years should do wonders for Maclin’s fantasy value. The Ravens have over 300 targets unaccounted for from the 2016 season and Maclin should be in line for a big target share. He could push close to 140 targets in this offense. When he saw 143 targets his last year in Philadelphia he finished as WR9. He’s easily a WR2 this year with a much higher ceiling.
Eric Decker (WR, TEN), ADP: 8.02
What do you get when you combine one of the most efficient red zone passers with one of the most efficient red zone receivers? Fantasy gold, that’s what. In his 33 games with the Jets, Decker averaged 65.7 YPG and scored 19 touchdowns. All the while playing with Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Getting a chance to play with Marcus Mariota as he enters his third season, on an offense that is emerging as one of the league’s best, should only give Decker more fantasy value. We could see something close to his 2014 season when he finished as WR14. Grab him every chance you can.
Tyrell Williams (WR, LAC), ADP: 9.02
When the Chargers drafted Mike Williams in the first round of the 2017 draft it was like the fantasy world forgot T. Williams existed. Coming off a 1059 yard, seven touchdown season, T. Williams was being drafted like just another guy. When M. Williams had issues with his back and rumors were swirling that he may be shut down for the season, fantasy drafters woke up and remembered T. Williams was still on the team. T. Williams now seems poised to assume the number two role alongside Keenan Allen on a relatively pass heavy team. Another 120 target season could be in store for him in 2017 and gives him WR2 potential in the ninth round.
Mike Wallace (WR, BAL), ADP: 11.02
Wallace has only finished outside the top 24 PPR wide receivers twice in his 8 year career. He’s only finished outside the top 35 once. Remember those 300 targets up for grabs in Baltimore? Wallace will get his share as well. Coming off a 116 target season, Wallace could easily push 120 or more targets. In the pass-heaviest offense in the NFL, Wallace has easy WR2 potential and is another late round receiver you should be targeting every chance you get.
Ted Ginn, Jr. (WR, NO), ADP: 12.09
Bring up Ginn’s name to fantasy players and they usually talk about his drops. And while he has struggled with drops he has also posted back to back 700 yard seasons in a low volume passing attack. Playing alongside Drew Brees, in one of the most prolific passing attacks, should help increase his value. While he likely won’t crack a weekly WR2/3 role, in leagues that start four or more wide receivers he could be a difference maker. Brought into this offense to replace speedster Brandin Cooks, Ginn could offer major upside at a very cheap cost. Precisely what we are looking for this late in drafts.
Chris Hogan (WR, NE), ADP: Undrafted
With the season ending ACL injury to Julian Edelman, the door is now open for Hogan to assume a larger role. After Edelman left the game, Hogan played the majority of two WR sets and finished with four catches for 70 yards in two touchdowns in the first quarter. Seeing Hogan in the two WR sets is important for his fantasy value. As Warren Sharp of Sharp Football pointed out, the Patriots used three wide receivers more than all but three teams, and when they used three wide recievers Brady rarely targeted the third wide receiver. Whoever inherits that second WR role alongside Cooks will have fantasy value in this offense. That looks like it will be Hogan. You should be grabbing him at the end of all your drafts.
Golden Tate (WR, DET), ADP: 4.08, Jamison Crowder (WR, WAS), ADP: 6.01, Willie Snead (WR, NOS), ADP: 6.06, Emmanuel Sanders (WR, DEN), ADP: 6.12, Marvin Jones (WR, DET), ADP: 9.10, Rishard Matthews (WR, TEN), ADP: 11.04, Cole Beasley (WR, DAL), ADP: 11.08, Sterling Shepard (WR, NYG), ADP: 13.05, Tyler Lockett (WR, SEA), ADP: 14.03
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