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Value Plays: Wide Receivers

The Footballguys staff finds value at the wide receiver position

A fantasy draft is all about obtaining the most value with each selection. There is value available throughout a draft, and grabbing it is one of the most important keys to a successful fantasy team. In an attempt to point out this value, we asked our staff to look through the top 150 players and identify players that should outperform their draft position.

Player Receiving 7 Votes

Pierre Garcon, San Francisco

Sigmund Bloom: Garcon won’t win your league, but he will be a very useful player in PPR leagues. He was steady enough to be a reliable WR3/flex play last year despite scoring only three times. This year, he goes to San Francisco and gets plugged into a productive offensive mind in Kyle Shanahan and a prolific quarterback (at least in terms of attempts) in Brian Hoyer. Hoyer has boosted the value of his No. 1s like Josh Gordon, DeAndre Hopkins, and Cameron Meredith in previous years, and Garcon should be able to produce well on a losing team with Hoyer and even backup Matt Barkley, who like Hoyer threw a ton when he was on the field for a Bears last year.

Ryan Hester: Garcon, who will enter the season at age 31, has seen better days. But he’ll be San Francisco’s No. 1 receiver. And San Francisco’s new head coach is Kyle Shanahan – a coach with a tendency to pepper his top receiver with huge targets shares. One of those huge target shares was Garcon’s career season in 2013 (113 receptions and 1,346 yards on a whopping 182 targets) when Shanahan coordinated the offense in Washington. San Francisco also figures to be in some pass-heavy game scripts this season as a team in rebuilding mode. Garcon won’t be a fantasy WR1 in anyone’s wildest dreams, but the volume he should get isn’t often found at his price. That makes him a sound investment.

Dan Hindery: In Kyle Shanahan’s nine seasons as offensive coordinator for four different teams, his primary X-receiver has averaged exactly 10 targets per game. Pierre Garcon steps into that role for Shanahan this season. He’s been here before. In 2013, Garcon played the same key position in Shanahan’s Washington offense and racked up 113 catches on a whopping 181 targets. Similar volume shouldn’t be a complete shock in 2017 either as Garcon was the 49ers' big-money free agent addition in the offseason and looks locked into the top receiver role. While the Hoyer-Garcon connection might not be the prettiest on paper, the sheer number of targets available for Garcon on what is likely to be a bad team (often playing from behind) makes Garcon one of the most undervalued receivers this offseason.

Justin Howe: Sometimes, #NarrativeStreet takes us where we need to go. It's not always wise to follow offensive coordinator trends from one team to another, but it's hard to ignore the effect Kyle Shanahan tends to have on his starting X receiver. Studs like Julio Jones and Andre Johnson have been fed massively under his leadership, as well as more middle-of-the-pack guys like Jabar Gaffney and late-career Santana Moss. Garcon and Shanahan reunite after teaming up for 156 catches and 1,979 yards over 26 games together in Washington. And even if we ignore the Shanahan storyline, we still see Garcon firmly atop the league's worst wide receiver depth chart. Only suboptimal slot specialist Jeremy Kerley - a generally inefficient producer - stands between Garcon and a truly dominant stake in wide receiver targets. Regardless of the 49ers' 2017 offensive efficiency or their run/pass ratio, Garcon looks poised for a run at 90 receptions, yet he's often priced behind huge question marks like Corey Coleman and Corey Davis.

Chris Kuczynski: Garcon is the de facto No. 1 target on the 49ers offense because of question marks and a severe lack of playmakers in the receiving core. In 2013, Garcon had his best season with Shanahan as his offensive coordinator so his new head coach knows how to utilize him. With much more competition in Washington, Garcon still continued to get plenty of targets every season, averaging 112 the last two seasons. Although the quarterback situation may not be as good as Garcon had the past few seasons in Washington, Brian Hoyer can still rack up fantasy stats for his receivers, considering the 49ers will be throwing a lot in garbage time, and Garcon will get a bulk of the targets.

Jeff Pasquino: Pierre Garcon leaves Washington to join his former offensive coordinator, new head coach Kyle Shanahan, in San Francisco. The 49ers are going to need playmakers in the passing game, and Garcon looks like the top option for the coming season. Garcon has performed well in Shanahan’s offense in the past, and Brian Hoyer is a capable option under center. Grabbing Garcon as WR3 or even WR4 for a fantasy roster provides a solid base of a team’s top receiver on a team likely to be throwing a lot and playing from behind in most contests this year.

Darin Tietgen: Kyle Shanahan knows how to run an offense and the Niners will not be a very good team. Perfect conditions for a solid route running wide receiver like Garcon to put up monstrous PPR numbers, especially with a savvy veteran quarterback under center. Garcon will likely not have huge games, but will likely not have many stinkers either. There are simply no other wide receivers - be it veterans or young up-and-comers - on the 49ers roster that will challenge for the No. 1 wide receiver position. Garcon could be one of the biggest overall values this season in PPR formats.

Player Receiving 5 Votes

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona

Chris Feery: It was a disappointing 2016 season for the Arizona Cardinals, and Fitzgerald’s production dipped in comparison to 2015 as a result. That could also be due to father time creeping up on him, and those two factors combined are leading to a lack of optimism on his 2017 prospects. Fitzgerald still has an outstanding chance to finish the season as a top-20 wide receiver, and you can currently snag that at WR3 value.

Jeff Haseley: As long as Larry Fitzgerald is on the field, he'll be involved in the offense. His conditioning is among the best in the league and it shows in his consistency and durability over the years. Fitzgerald has never had a season with fewer than 100 targets, and he's coming off two consecutive years with 100+ catches. Even though he will be 34 years old and entering his 14th year this September, he is still among the best receivers in the league and is more deserving than his WR28 ADP.

Stephen Holloway: Larry Fitzgerald has a great connection with Carson Palmer and he has led the Cardinals in every season since 2006 in targets. In addition, he is very reliable. He has missed only two games since 2008. His career catch percentage is over 60% and has been 69.6% over the past three seasons as he has averaged over six receptions per game and 93 per year. His ADP is definitely aged biased and expect him to easily out produce expectations again in his 14th NFL season with Arizona.

Chad Parsons: The Cardinals offense last year ran through David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. With Michael Floyd gone, there is little changing this year for Arizona on offense. A healthy John Brown can offer viability on the outside, but Fitzgerald has continued to churn out production in his 30s by shifting to the slot. As a WR3 in price, Fitzgerald has built-in risk protection with Top 18 finishes each of the last two seasons.

Jason Wood: Did Larry Fitzgerald announce his retirement when I wasn’t looking? That’s the only explanation for his ridiculously low ADP. Fitzgerald is no spring chicken (33 years old), but fantasy owners are treating him like a washed up has-been. The 14-year veteran led the league in receptions last year, with 107! Even if you think last year’s 9.6 yards per reception relegates him to possession-receiver duties, who cares? He finished WR18 last season and his role will remain intact as Carson Palmer returns under center and Bruce Arians remains the offensive architect. I understand avoiding Fitzgerald as your WR1, but he’s a fantastic value in PPR leagues as a WR2.

Players Receiving 3 Votes

Michael Crabtree, Oakland

Jeff Haseley: Amari Cooper gets the majority of the praise between him and Michael Crabtree because he's the younger, more athletic, higher pedigree player of the two. However, it's Crabtree who had more targets, receptions and receiving touchdowns than Cooper in 2016 - and he's going a full round or later in drafts. We saw a similar path between Roddy White and Julio Jones, a path Jones eventually dominated. I hear the truthers calling for Cooper to have a breakout season and pull ahead of Crabtree - like Jones did with White, but until that day comes, Crabtree is the better value pick.

Ari Ingel: Crabtree is underrated and potentially the 1a to Amari Cooper's 1b. Crabtree should be an 85+ catch guy again this year, making it three seasons in a row. He has more consistent floor than Cooper and comes at a cheaper cost.

Chris Kuczynski: The Raiders offense is one of the most prolific in the NFL, and although Amari Cooper might seem like the the big name player who should be taken early in the draft, Michael Crabtree has proven to be Derek Carr’s favorite target when needing a key first down or touchdown, so he is at the very least 1b in the offense, if not holding the top spot by himself. Over the last two season, Crabtree has averaged 15 more targets, 10 more catches and 3 more touchdowns per season than Cooper, with only 149 fewer yards. Crabtree might even warrant being taken at the same place in the draft as Cooper, if not higher, so at his current ADP he is an absolute steal.

Brandon Marshall, NY Giants

Ari Ingel: People are writing him off because he didn't put up numbers playing in a horrible offense last year with the NFL's worst rated quarterback. Use that to your advantage when you steal Marshall in your drafts and watch him return solid WR2 numbers, with legit double-digit touchdown upside. The simple case for Marshall: the Giants do not want to force feed Odell Beckham, Jr. like they did last year; Marshall won't be game planned for like Beckham will be; he will be playing against teams No. 2 corners and/or facing single coverage for the majority of games for the first time in his career; he stands 6'4” while Beckham and Shepard are both under 6'. Marshall is a dominant red-zone threat up there with Rob Gronkowski and Dez Bryant. The Giants will probably use a short passing attack to hide their offensive line and running back deficiencies, a game plan that suits Marshall well, and the team lacks a dominant tight end, and no, don't talk to me about rookies.

Jeff Pasquino: Marshall has been the top receiver on his team for many years, but now he moves toward a secondary role behind Odell Beckham, Jr. with the New York Giants. Marshall was a Top 10 targeted receiver as recently as 2015 and was in the Top 20 with the Jets in a highly frustrating 2016 season. His best days could easily be behind him at this point, but he is still viable at age 33 and continues his remarkable career with team number five on his resume. Eli Manning may be the best quarterback he has had in his lengthy career, and a secondary role may be to his benefit with defenses forced to make tough coverage decisions between Marshall and Beckham.

Matt Waldman: After experiencing a precipitous drop in reception, yardage, and touchdown totals in 2016, many fantasy owners have downgraded Marshall as an aging receiver on the downside of his career. While possible, Marshall earning 44 fewer targets while performing with multiple quarterbacks last year is a factor that shouldn’t be ignored. Marshall has always functioned best in a high-target, tight-window environment where the quarterback must have confidence to let his receiver win the ball against coverage that doesn’t appear open by the standard convention of the term. Marshall will join a Giants squad where Eli Manning gave Plaxico Burress, a similar option, new life. I expect Marshall to out-produce all Giants receivers save Odell Beckham, Jr. Look for a top-20 season that’s closer to the top-15.

Players Receiving 2 Votes

John Brown, Arizona

Ari Ingel: Expect a major bounce back after getting healthy in the off-season. The top-end talent is still there and should be the team's lead receiver on the outside. Someone to swoop up consistently while average draft position (ADP) still depressed.

Daniel Simpkins: Brown had a very disappointing year in 2016 due to what was thought to be a flare up of his sickle cell trait, but what actually turned out to be a spinal cyst that was pressing down on a nerve. Once the surgery was done, his symptoms resolved. He appears to be completely healthy heading into 2017. Health, not talent, has been the enduring issue with Brown. With Larry Fitzgerald heading into the sunset, if he can stay healthy, Brown could get closer to his 2015 output--over 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns. At his current ADP, it’s worth taking him just to find out.

Marvin Jones, Detroit

Sigmund Bloom: After three weeks, Jones was the No. 1 wide receiver in fantasy football. Soon he was on the injury report with a foot injury, then later a thigh injury, and he never approached the pace he set in September again in 2016. The fantasy football collective intelligence seems to have overreacted to Jones’ fall from grace, as he is falling well outside of the range of wide receivers drafted as fantasy starters, even in deep leagues. Perhaps Jones is destined to only give us glimpses of what he is truly capable of, but he is still a somewhat accomplished starter in a good pass offense and shouldn’t be lasting as long as he does in drafts.

Matt Waldman: After dominating early, Jones got nicked up and bracketed for the remainder of the year. He toughed it out, but his production nosedived. Some think Jones isn’t as good as his clippings, but learning a new offense is often a two-year process. An experienced player and good route runner like Jones will learn the routes and master most of the pre-snap adjustments during his first training camp, but developing rapport with his quarterback to produce against bracket coverage is next-level play that often comes with multiple years in a system with the same quarterback. Jones’ first 3-4 games of 2016 were a better indication of his skill than the final 12-13.

Terrelle Pryor, Washington

Ryan Hester: 607, 114, and 100; those numbers represent the total passing attempts for Washington in 2016 and a number of times Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, respectively, were targeted in 2016. Garcon and Jackson are now on other rosters, leaving a huge void to fill in the Washington passing game. Enter Pryor, who turned 141 targets into 77 receptions; 1,007 yards, and 4 touchdowns in 2016. That’s not wildly efficient, but consider his quarterbacks and team when putting those numbers into context. Pryor is the only player on this roster who profiles as a true number-one receiver. Second-year man Josh Doctson is the closest thing, but he’s unproven to this point. Jamison Crowder is an excellent slot man, Brian Quick has seen better days, and Ryan Grant is mostly for depth.

Matt Waldman: Last year was Pryor’s first year as a starter and he earned 1,000 yards and 4 touchdowns as the primary option paired with three different quarterbacks not fit to start for 90 percent of the NFL. He was in an offense that also lacked a healthy and experienced secondary receiver opposite him. And, Pryor was three touchdowns shy of the No. 12 fantasy spot despite his surrounding talent that contributed to poor red zone production. Despite a healthy, productive, and still emerging Pryor will join a Washington offense that supported three fantasy starters last year in a scheme similar to Cleveland’s, fantasy owners have him at No. 21 among receivers. It’s a sensible estimation, but he’ll build on his red zone totals while repeating last year’s yardage and reception totals. Projecting another 3-4 scores is modest, but it could be the difference between the Top 20 and the Top 10.

Willie Snead, New Orleans

Justin Howe: Snead projects right around this ADP slot - a mid-tier WR2 - but carries the upside for much more. With Brandin Cooks out of town, Snead will serve as the every-down No. 2 wideout in an offense that runs more plays and throws more passes than just about anyone. Drew Brees presides over a spread-it-around passing game, but it's also one that starves for talent behind the starting wideouts. Without much behind him by way of proven, reliable depth, Snead will likely be forced into a more voluminous role than past Saints' No. 2 receievers have enjoyed. It would be no real surprise to see Snead reach 85 receptions and 1,200 yards, though early drafters aren't really pricing in that upside.

Chris Kuczynski: With the departure of Brandin Cooks and his 78 catches, 1,178 yards and 8 touchdowns, the Saints will just call on the next man up in Snead, who does a lot of the same things as Cooks, serving as a speed threat to go deep. As the number three receiver, Snead himself had 72 catches for 895 yards and 4 touchdowns, so the catches and yards were not all that far off even last year. Drew Brees typically leads the league in pass attempts and passing yards, and theres no reason to believe the offense will operate any differently this year, so Cook’s target share has to go to somebody. As the Saints number two receiver, Snead should be able to put up WR2 numbers without much trouble.

Adam Thielen, Minnesota

Mark Wimer: Thielen emerged as a favorite target of Sam Bradford after Bradford was rushed into service as an emergency replacement for Teddy Bridgewater. Thielen handled 92 targets for 69/967/5 receiving in his breakout season, and enters his fourth NFL campaign here in 2017. He's a tested NFL veteran now, and he'll benefit from a full offseason and preseason of work with Bradford (by the way, Bradford completed over 70% of his throws last year despite the unfavorable circumstances surrounding his addition to the team). There is no reason to think that Thielen can't go over 1,000 yards receiving this season, yet he's being drafted among backup wide receivers right now - he has a lot of value at his current ADP.

Jason Wood: In an offseason when Alshon Jeffery, Terrelle Pryor and Kendell Wright settled for one-year deals, Adam Thielen signed a new 4-year, $19mm contract with $11mm guaranteed with the Vikings. The 26-year old local boy (Mankato State) emerged as Sam Bradford’s best receiver last season; he caught 69 receptions for 967 yards and five touchdowns. Unless Laquon Treadwell reverses a disastrous rookie start, Thielen is locked in as the WR1a (to Stefon Diggs’ WR1) on a team that set an NFL record for completion percentage last season.

Players Receiving 1 Vote

Davante Adams, Green Bay

Ryan Hester: 2016, 2014, 2012, and 2011. Those are the seasons among the last six in which Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson have both been healthy. In those seasons, the lowest-finishing second Green Bay receiver was James Jones in 2012 at WR17 (Nelson only played 12 games that season). What does this have to do with Adams, you might ask? He clearly took over as Green Bay’s number-two option last season, seeing more targets per game than Randall Cobb and getting high-value targets to boot. The worry with Adams is that his touchdown total (10) regresses and his yardage total (966) remains the same. However, even that would leave him as a middling WR2, putting him right in line with his draft position. That’s the kind of foundational safe pick that allows for boom-bust picks later in drafts.

Doug Baldwin, Seattle

Stephen Holloway: Doug Baldwin was an undrafted free agent in 2011 and signed with the Seahawks following the NFL lockout that year. Ever since Golden Tate left Seattle in free agency after the 2013 season, Baldwin has been the most targeted Seahawk player. He is a very efficient receiver averaging a 68% catch percentage for his career and 73% for the past three seasons. He has also increased his number of targets, receptions, and receiving yardage in each of the past four seasons and has ranked among the top ten wide receivers in both ppr and non-ppr scoring. He will be a value selection again in 2017 for the third consecutive season.

Cole Beasley, Dallas

Justin Howe: It's sad to see Beasley valued so low by the PPR community. Yes, he's small, and his upside is firmly capped as a slot-only No. 2 option in Dallas. But it's encouraging that he caught Dak Prescott's eye in 2016 and managed to out-target the ultra-reliable Jason Witten. He may never see 75 catches again - especially as Dez Bryant rounds into full health - but he looks like a lock for 65-70 and a handful of touchdowns. That's a better outlook than we can project for at least a half-dozen higher-drafted options on the board.

Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina

Mark Wimer: Benjamin struggled with conditioning and weight in his first season back from a knee injury that cost him the 2015 campaign, and disappointed fantasy owners with 118 targets for 63/941/7 receiving. However, the entire Panthers offense was in a funk last year, including Cam Newton (he crashed from 35 passing touchdowns thrown in 2015 to 19 in 2016). The Panthers added some talented players to help out Newton, and Benjamin has come into 2017 OTAs appearing recommitted to his craft as a receiver and athlete. Assuming Newton bounces back in 2017, we should see Benjamin's numbers improve as well - there is a lot of upside available for fantasy owners given Benjamin's modest ADP right now.

Kenny Britt, Cleveland

Jeff Pasquino: Not many players leave a marginal team for a worse one in free agency, but that is pretty much what Kenny Britt pulled off this offseason. After his best season in his NFL career last year with the Rams, Britt inked a four-year, $32M deal with Cleveland to be their top veteran receiver for 2017 on offense. Britt managed to rack up over 1,000 yards with Los Angeles (Rams) last season, leading the team in receptions, yardage and touchdown catches by a wide margin. Now he joins a Browns offense looking to right their ship yet again, and only Corey Coleman appears to be in place to challenge Britt as the top target for this coming season. Britt offers fantasy owners a stable production base as a top starting receiver for a team likely to be trailing and throwing a ton this year.

Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh

Phil Alexander: The term league winner has become somewhat of a misnomer in fantasy football, but that's exactly what Bryant is for as long as you can draft him as a WR3. Bryant has either caught a touchdown or gone over 100 receiving yards in 15-out-of-24 career games (playoffs included). When he last took the field in 2015, he finished as the cumulative WR13 from Weeks 6-17 (his only games played due to suspension). Bryant has clearly demonstrated splash play ability that can single-handedly win you any given week, and he's been a favorite target of Ben Roethlisberger's when the Steelers get inside the 10-yard-line. No player carries greater suspension risk than Bryant, but his roles as big play threat and touchdown maker in one of the league's better offenses make him a top candidate to outperform his current ADP.

Randall Cobb, Green Bay

Sigmund Bloom: Cobb underperformed as a mid WR3/Flex in 2015 after a shoulder injury in the preseason broke his stride. In 2016, he was a solid WR2 before a hamstring injury in Week 8 limited him for the rest of the season. While these injuries highlight how his condition can affect his production, it also shows the incredible value Cobb will be playing with Aaron Rodgers if he can avoid injuries this year. His durability problems have been more than priced into his very affordable ADP.

Corey Coleman, Cleveland

Andy Hicks: When drafting receivers in the middle to late rounds, they have to have upside and Corey Coleman has that in multiple ways. With a hamstring injury in OTAs, his stock could slip even further making his ultimate draft position extremely tempting. Coleman was drafted in the first round in 2016 by the Browns and had a nice, if injury-interrupted season to begin his career. The departure of Terrelle Pryor immediately opens up a ton of targets and while free agent acquisition Kenny Britt will get his share, he is not the future No. 1 in this offense. Coleman was drafted to be that and more. If we look at his form before he was injured in his rookie season he had 173 yards and 2 touchdowns in two games. There won’t be many receivers who have his upside at Colemans current ADP, and you should snap him up at a WR4 price and get a starting receiver.

Tyreek Hill, Kansas City

Mark Wimer: Hill's ADP has been rising with the shocking news of Jeremy Maclin's release by the Chiefs, but I still think there is value to be had from this explosive player even given his rising stock. I am one of the most enthusiastic Footballguys when it comes to Hill's 2017 prospects (I had him ranked as a fantasy wide receiver No. 2 even before Maclin was cut), and I think he has a legitimate shot to challenge for a top-12 finish when the dust settles on the 2017 season.

Jarvis Landry, Miami

Andy Hicks: Jarvis Landry is hardly the most attractive receiver you will find in the fourth round of most fantasy drafts, but he is one thing many of the players who will be taken around him aren’t, value. Landry getting around 100 receptions and 1,200 receiving yards is one of the safer bets a fantasy owner can make this year. The problem is and has always been touchdowns. He almost has nowhere to go but up in this category and with the 4th-most receptions of any receiver in the last three years, he will be drafted as a safe WR2 and outperform most starters drafted above him.

Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis

Justin Howe: I remain enamored of Moncrief, who's produced decently (if unevenly) at a solid clip over his roughly 2.5 seasons. He hasn't yet reached my (high) expectations, but it's fair to note that, for much of that time, he's shuffled quarterbacks from Andrew Luck to the likes of Scott Tolzien and Josh Freeman. Moncrief enters his fourth year still just 24 years old, and still owner one of the most impressive wide receiver combines in recent memory. He's big, explosive, athletic, and he certainly boasts a nose for the end zone: over his last 15 games alongside Luck, he's produced 11 touchdowns on 58 receptions. That's a truly elite touchdown rate that could simply win fantasy leagues if extrapolated over a 16-game season. If he and Luck can stay on the field all year, the Colts offense would improve markedly, and Moncrief would look like a shoo-in for WR2 production.

Devante Parker, Miami

Matt Waldman: I have been giving the “leans on his physical skills too much” advisory on Parker since his first minicamp. When it came to training, nutrition, sleep, football knowledge, and technical development, Parker had no understanding of what was involved with being a professional. Despite this youthful ignorance, he has shown moderate improvement with flashes of excellence during his first two seasons. This spring, local beat writers have noted that Parker has figured out how to take care of his body, and he’s displaying an intense desire to learn everything he can as a receiver and football player. These developments are why I am seeing Parker as a value for the first time in his NFL career.

Breshad Perriman, Balitimore

Ryan Hester: Perriman has had some truly terrible injury luck in his first two seasons after being a first-round pick out of the University of Central Florida. He missed all of 2015 with a PCL injury and suffered another preseason knee injury (ACL) in 2016. He came back last season, though, to catch 33 passes and score three touchdowns. Assuming a healthy offseason, his growth will continue. Despite the signing of Jeremy Maclin, Perriman's role should grow due to Steve Smith’s retirement and Dennis Pitta's release. Those departures leave behind 222 targets and 156 catches. Baltimore led the NFL in pass attempts in consecutive seasons, making them an unlikely candidate to convert to a ground-and-pound scheme. Perriman should be a bargain on volume alone, but his talent could turn him into a huge surprise.

Sterling Shepard, NY Giants

Andy Hicks: There have been numerous offenses in recent years that have provided fantasy owners with three starting options, and that is likely to be the case with the New York Giants this year. Odell Beckham, Jr. is who he is, and Brandon Marshall will provide a spark in this offense. With almost no running game to speak of and an inexperienced or unconvincing tight end group, the third receiver will garner significantly less focus. Shepard recorded eight touchdowns in his rookie season and that was not a fluke. He will clearly outperform his draft slot and be significant value for his fantasy owners in 2017.

Golden Tate, Detroit

Mark Wimer: Tate finished the 2016 season in synch with Matthew Stafford after a slow start out of the gates - even given the slow start, he wound up with 91/1,077/4 receiving on 135 targets last year. Tate has never caught fewer than 90 balls in his three years playing for the Lions, making him a very sure bet from a PPR perspective. I think he is a value at his current ADP - there is considerable upside for him from this modest draft position.

Demaryius Thomas, Denver

Jason Wood: After three top-5 seasons (2012-2014), Thomas’ fantasy outlook has taken a turn for the worse; he finished WR13 in 2015 and WR19 last year. Fantasy owners believe Thomas has permanently regressed and is on the downslope of his career. I don’t see it that way. Thomas suffered a hip injury on the first play of the season and played through the pain. He’s healthy this year and looks like the dominant player who won fantasy leagues for years. As long as the Broncos quarterback situation plays out encouragingly, Thomas’ touchdown production should show positive regression (i.e., 8-10) after two down seasons. Thomas has Top 10 upside for a WR2 price.