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Fantasy Football Insider: WR Primer And Rankings

Lockett Fantasy

Scott Engel returns to Seahawks.com for his eighth season of Fantasy Football coverage. An inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s Hall of Fame, he is in his 23rd year as a Fantasy analyst and professional. You can now find more of his work and rankings on RotoBaller.com and hear him every Saturday night and Sunday morning on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio.

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The wide receiver position is deep, but it is also one that forces Fantasy players to swim through all of its levels to remain competitive. Many leagues nowadays require you to start three wide receivers, more than at any other position. If your league only has two starting wide receivers, that still matches the number of starting running backs, and you can also utilize one at your flex position.

There are approximately a dozen WRs that you can truly feel comfortable with as your Fantasy WR1, and roughly another 12 or so you can be content with as WR2 types. Once you get outside the Top 30 range, though, you are hoping for upside and for certain guys to make good on their potential.

The best way to approach the position is to make sure to get all of your starters in the first five rounds or so and then fill in your roster with depth and sleeper types thereafter. If you can get a pair of superstars in the first two rounds, or even three outstanding WRs at the beginning of the draft, it’s not crazy to go with the “Zero RB” approach, where you start with two or three WRs and wait until the ensuing rounds for your RBs. It should not be done by design, though. If the flow of the draft moves three top WRs into your draft slots, by all means consider it. If you can start a draft with Michael Thomas, Julio Jones and Amari Cooper you have to strongly consider it. Then you must take two respectable RBs thereafter in rounds four and five, such as Mark Ingram and Sony Michel.

The Seahawks certainly have provided Fantasy players with some very productive wideouts over the years. Doug Baldwin rose to Fantasy WR1 status during the past decade. Darrell Jackson was a solid Fantasy starter. Joey Galloway was a big-play artist who delivered some outstanding Fantasy performances. Steve Largent was a standout in the days when Fantasy Football was a cult game, well before the explosion of the game in later years online.

Fantasy Football WR Scouting Reports and Rankings:

The Big Four: Davante Adams, Michael Thomas, Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins are the “Big Four” at the Fantasy WR position. All are worthy of first round selections, especially when the very best RBs are off the board. If you can somehow get two of them in the first two rounds, you will have the look of a Fantasy contender. Hopkins has the earliest NFL.com ADP (6.73), but I prefer Adams and Thomas slightly for health outlooks. Jones has dealt with injury issues before and Hopkins has admirably played through a lot of nagging problems.

High Upside Stars: Tyreek Hill is just outside the circle of the Big Four, and if you pair him up with Patrick Mahomes, you may have a duo that is so explosive it can lead you to a Fantasy championship. I normally don’t endorse taking any QB early, but if you can combine Mahomes and Hill, that is the exception to the Fantasy rule of waiting on a quarterback. Odell Beckham Jr. could be set for one of his best seasons ever playing with Baker Mayfield. JuJu Smith-Schuster is now the No. 1 WR for the Steelers, and Ben Roethlisberger has helped elevate many Fantasy WRs to great heights in the past.

Seahawks on The Rise: Tyler Lockett broke out as a Fantasy player last season, catching 10 TD passes. This season, Fantasy owners are expecting bigger contributions from him in terms of receptions and yardage. He has an NFL.com ADP of 51.16 and is starting to go as early in the fourth round and I have him ranked as a Top Fantasy WR2 this year. Lockett is set to post his best Fantasy totals yet as a prime target for Russell Wilson.

Young Standouts: Look for some younger WRs to take significant steps forward along with Lockett this season. Calvin Ridley and Mike Williams were both major TD producers last season and are ready to post improved reception and yardage numbers. They are both very promising WR2 types. Kenny Golladay started to emerge as a quality Fantasy WR2 last season. Chris Godwin may be the most popular breakout candidate at the position, and D.J. Moore has stirred some buzz as well. Michael Gallup showed signs of considerable potential late last year and in the playoffs.

Sleepers and Value Plays: Geronimo Allison could emerge as a very dependable and productive target for Aaron Rodgers. Tyrell Williams will benefit from playing with Antonio Brown and being placed in a more prominent starting role. Jamison Crowder has already developed a strong rapport with Sam Darnold. Tre’Quan Smith could become more of a frequent field stretcher for New Orleans. Trey Quinn may have the opportunity to emerge as a regular target for the Washington QBs. Albert Wilson flashed some big play ability last year and may do so again working with Ryan Fitzpatrick in Miami. Jaron Brown had a good preseason and ran with the starters in exhibition play. Take a late flier on Brown in his second season as a Seahawk and you may be rewarded with some quality Fantasy production.

Here are my Top 25 Fantasy Football WRs in PPR formats, with full rankings available at RotoBaller.com.

  1. Davante Adams
  2. Michael Thomas
  3. Julio Jones
  4. DeAndre Hopkins
  5. Tyreek Hill
  6. Odell Beckham Jr.
  7. JuJu Smith-Schuster
  8. Adam Thielen
  9. Mike Evans
  10. Stefon Diggs
  11. Keenan Allen
  12. Antonio Brown
  13. Tyler Lockett
  14. Calvin Ridley
  15. Mike Williams
  16. Robert Woods
  17. Julian Edelman
  18. Brandin Cooks
  19. Kenny Golladay
  20. Amari Cooper
  21. T.Y. Hilton
  22. Tyler Boyd
  23. Allen Robinson
  24. Chris Godwin
  25. Sterling Shepard

Seahawks Fantasy Mailbag

Want to be part of our new Mailbag feature where I answer your Fantasy Football questions every week right here?Simply fill out this form with your question about any players, situations or formats. I will answer questions about players from any teams in seasonal, keeper and dynasty leagues._

Ruchik Patel on Twitter asks: This is a 0.5 PPR 10 team superflex league. I give up Mitchell Trubisky, Antonio Brown and Tevin Coleman. I get Jared Goff & Odell Beckham Jr.. My other RBs are: Christian McCaffery, Mark Ingram, Austin Ekeler and Miles Sanders.

Engel: I think you are giving up a bit too much there. A superflex league is essentially a two-QB league, and if Trubisky improves this season in the second season in a Matt Nagy offense, he could come close to the production of Goff. He is also a dual running/passing threat. Beckham has the potential to produce his best totals ever this year, but Brown is a proven superstar who can still put up very big numbers with the Raiders. He also manages to stay on the field regularly from a health perspective. You have enough RB depth to move Coleman but I would continue to look for another deal. This does seem like a fair deal at first but could turn to be an ultimate equal swap at WR and QB and you are losing Coleman too.

MattKeeler136 on Twitter asks: I pick 7th of 12 in a one point keeper league. George Kittle is my keeper. Assuming my choices will be James Connor, Julio, OBJ and maybe Le’Veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliott who would you take?

Engel: I have Conner ranked the highest. He put up terrific RB1 numbers in 13 games last year, and then a rejuvenated Bell out to prove himself would be my second choice. If I get an opportunity to grab any top-level RB in any format this season I prioritize that position. Then I would go for Jones or Beckham. Elliott is temporarily out of the picture there.

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For more from Scott Engel, get the RotoBaller.com 2019 Fantasy Football Draft Kit, which includes his rankings and regular weekly columns. Enter code “Seahawks” at checkout for a discount.

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