Every year hopeful fantasy team managers build their team placing their faith in various players they consider exciting players. This faith is placed in various players for different reasons - “Big-Name” stars, rookies they are excited for, interesting free agent moves and noteworthy trades. Every year some fantasy team managers are greatly disappointed with some of their choices, while picks perform well on their fantasy team. Every year many surprise players become undeniably productive playmakers while plenty of “Big-Name” stars fail to deliver. This year is no different.
The Bust List: Low Touchdowns / Low 1st Downs / Under Performing
Below I will highlighting some notable poor showings from stars. The players below are on my bust list, including the issues that affected their performances have been listed in parenthesis:
- Odell Beckham Jr, Bal (washed up)
- Allen Lazard, NYJ (underwhelming)
- Michael Thomas, NO (washed up)
- Deebo Samuel, SF (under utilized)
- Zay Flowers, Bal (rookie)
- Jaxson Smith Njigba, Sea (rookie)
- Jerry Jeudy, Den (ask Steve Smith Sr.)
These players have low 1st downs and/or TD’s and have just not been productive despite the high expectations from them before the season.
The Semi-Productive List: Productive #2 WRs
Below I highlighting two groups of receivers who are strong at either securing first downs or scoring touchdowns. These players can do one well but not the other. Many of these players are steady veterans, surprise rookies that came out of nowhere, or 2nd and 3rd year receivers finding their footing in this league.
When it comes to getting open, the following receivers are certified technicians:
- Puka Nacua, LAR (star rookie)
- Davante Adams, LV (veteran)
- Terry McLaurin, Wsh (veteran)
- Chris Olave, NO (star rookie)
- DK Metcalf, Sea (veteran)
- Drake London, Atl (breakout)
These players consistently work their way open to serve as their QB’s defacto safety blanket. After the catch these receivers are some of the NFL's most productive runners, constantly slipping past tackles for more yards. The only weakness with this group is their inability to get their nose in the end zone. These receivers score high on receptions and yards every week.
Touchdown magnets are receivers with a sixth sense for the red zone. Many of the following players touch the ball a few times a game, but they make those few touches count:
- Cortland Sutton, Den (veteran)
- Jordan Addison, Min (star rookie)
- Gabriel Davis, Buf (veteran)
- George Pickens, Pit (breakout)
- DeVonte Smith, Phi (breakout)
- Rashee Rice, KC (star rookie)
- Brandin Cooks, Dal (veteran)
These are playmakers that can score from any down at any distance. A weakness of receivers of this type is reliability and consistency. They cannot be relied upon to get 1st down after 1st down. However, they can spread the defense, creating opportunities for other receivers underneath, but their lightning-in-a-bottle effect of big play ability might be there some games and absent in others.
The Boom List: All-Around Complete Wide Receivers
The following receivers are complete wideout offers the ability to win short downs, make plays on long downs, or get past coverage to be a scoring threat from any point on the field:
- Tyreek Hill, Mia (veteran)
- Justin Jefferson, Min (veteran)
- Jaylen Waddle, Mia (breakout)
- AJ Brown, Phi (veteran)
- Ja'Marr Chase, Cin (veteran)
- Steffon Diggs, Buf (veteran)
- Chris Evans, TB (veteran)
These are true #1 receivers you can build an offense around. Their stellar play commands them the ball.
The value of a great wide out is difficult to place. Some critics will say many star receiver are a product of their system. “These are players dependent on QB play”, for this reason many analysts don’t believe it is wise to build a team around a star wideout. I personally believe this mentality to be wrong. A star wideout doesn’t just upgrade your QB it takes your entire offense to a new level.
Positions come in vogue and go out of style all the time, but a truly dominant wide receiver has been valued in every era of football.
Here is a video about #9 Don Hudson from the annals of NHL history.