Critical Tier Drops: Wide Receivers - Footballguys

Identifying the key value drop off points among 2018 wide receivers

Each fantasy football season the landscape of the skill positions change. One year offers more depth, while another turns into a studs and duds feel to the available player pool. Dissecting key drop off points in the positional average draft position (ADP) is critical to maximizing draft day value. Here are the key pivot points for 2018 at wide receiver:

THE BIG nine

The initial tier includes wide receivers with a stranglehold on their No. 1 depth chart position for targets and minimal questions about their profile and quality of quarterback. Here are a few of the highlight target players

All three are typically gone in Round 1 of stock PPR formats. The one issue here is the positional value compared to taking a running back in their place and addressing wide receiver in a future round.

Similar to the Top 3, this group has minimal individual and quarterback questions to depress their outlook. One of these options may even last until Round 3.

THE Michael crabtree THRESHOLD

Ideally, a balanced draft approach in the early rounds features a Michael Crabtree-level wide receiver in the WR2 spot for a roster. Crabtree has a sturdy floor and a reasonable ceiling. One exception is finding value with Rob Gronkowski in Round 2-3 and blending with strong running back value and Crabtree being a failsafe as WR1. Here are the wide receiver targets leading up to the Michael Crabtree zone of ADP:

THE potential wr1 values

These are the lower-cost wide receivers who could be the early-season WR1 for their NFL depth chart:

THE strong wr2 values

The exception to the 'seek No.1 receivers on NFL depth charts' rule is a WR2 with minimal competition for targets from a No. 3 target (wide receiver or tight end), or the WR2 on a potentially elite passing game.

Overall Strategy

Putting the entire position into a draft plan, here are some key targets which fit with the other skill positions to form an initial depth chart:

The draft ranges are based on ADP, so be prepared to go a little earlier when needed. The first key variable is if a running back like Christian McCaffrey or Joe Mixon, or Rob Gronkowski are preferred in Round 2. Another is how the running back position looks in Rounds 4-5 as there are plenty of targets at running back and wide receiver here between Lamar Miller, Royce Freeman, Mark Ingram II, Larry Fitzgerald, and Demaryius.

With running back values stretching into the double-digit rounds (Peyton Barber, Adrian Peterson, Frank Gore, Jeremy Hill) for early season roles, plus a late-round approach to quarterback and tight end, being selective at wide receiver is key in 2018.