Pushing Your Auction Drafts Over the Top: Wide Receiver Targets

Making your auction roster into a championship contender by finding the right wide receivers 

For Quarterback and Tight End targets click here

For Running Back targets click here

So now you've figured out the quarterback and tight end spots, and you've figured out that running back is a complete battle to land both talent and depth at the position. The final position is the fun one. Passing games in the NFL are, more than ever, spreading the air yards around to multiple targets in their offenses. As a result, the wide receiver position is staggeringly deep, and despite there being some elite options, once you pass the top nine or ten receivers the next twenty or twenty-five receivers are very similar in their talent, opportunity, and upside. That being the case, the dollar values at the position will, at some point, fall off a cliff during the course of the auction. One minute Amari Cooper will be going for $31 and 30 minutes later D.J. Chark Jr could be going for $8. Now, more than ever, you should be paying attention to the moment that the cratering of prices begins to happen at the wide receiver spot and you should have enough money to exploit it. In fact, it is a feasible strategy to simply wait until that happens and then to scoop up 3-5 guys in that zone. This article argues that the optimal play, however, is to get 1-2 Top 12 guys, and then fill out your other wide receiver and flex spots with value at the position. The depth allows your team to really take off once you add a posse of wide receivers in the ADP range of WR10 to WR35. The separation between that bank of 25 players is so small that taking whatever is the best price you see is the way to really stack your roster.

Now, you can decide if there are certain guys in that range that are more attractive to you than others. Obviously, everyone's personal player evaluations should drive their strategy and that's also part of the fun of doing auctions - getting the guys you like. But when talking about the best game theory approach to landing wide receivers, the most positive expected value comes from landing as many players at a discount that can perform at the WR2 level or higher. A good example of this last year was Chris Godwin, who had the price of a middle-to-low WR2 in most auctions but performed as an elite player. If you play the game right, landing three or four of those types of players behind your WR1 is eminently possible in 2020 because of the depth at the position. That means that you should be compiling a list of targets of the players you do like so that when the value hits you don't have to think too much about whether you want the player or not, you simply act. This target list is where you should start. It has a mixture of low hype, high upside players that are aren't getting a lot of attention and should make for good value as compared to similarly ranked players around them.

ELITE TARGETS

Tyreek Hill - The Chiefs' wideout has an ADP that shows he is the 3rd wide receiver off the board in most cases. But the players near him - DeAndre Hopkins and Julio Jones - are valued almost equally, and the only real agreement is that Michael Thomas and Davante Adams belong ahead of them. Consider, however, if Hill was coming off a 90/1,400/12 campaign: Would his price be dipping in auctions like it is? The combination of an injury to his quarterback, and two separate injuries for Hill himself has him clearly in a tier behind the top guys. Call out Hill as quickly as you can and see if you end up getting him cheaper than he should go. Owners will likely be fine waiting on the other top four options instead of forcing a bid on Hill. If you have a Hill fan in the room - entirely possible - this won't work, but it's worth a shot to land a guy who can be the WR1 overall by year's end for a discount of anywhere from $3-$10 off the top guys.

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