2016 Fantasy Football Draft: Late Round Options if you wait on Wide Receiver

2016 Fantasy Football Draft: Late Round Options if you wait on Wide Receiver

As a zero running back guy, it’d weird this year to be talking about taking running backs early and looking for WR value in the later rounds.  That in fact seems to be the case this year.  In many leagues and mock drafts the fantasy football pendants are recommending people to grab wide receivers early and that’s just what they are doing.  They are generally safer in terms of injury and have more upside.  This in turn is leaving value at the running back position which is why I found myself trying to find some later round WR value to help round out my team if I can draft any WR studs early.

If your league has a flex spot this works out well because you can start 3 RB’s and only need to fill 2 WR spots throughout the season.  Before I get into some mid to late round value, let me first say, you should try to grab at least one WR in the first 4 or 5 rounds.  That way you only need one of the following wide outs to produce in your lineup every week.

 

The Top Late round Wide Receivers

 John Brown (WR)  Arizona Cardinals

This is a guy I grabbed last year in the mid to late rounds.  He caught 65 passes last year and scored 7 TD’s yet he can be drafted in the 8th round.  While he is talented and gets targets, a few reasons he may not get drafted higher is that Arizona likes to spread the ball around.  In addition, Brown recently had lingering concussion issues, so until he gets cleared, you may not want to rely on him at the moment.

 Josh Gordon (WR) Cleveland Browns

How about a first round talent for a round 12 price?  Yes, while Gordon was a stud a few years ago, we have no idea the caliber of player he will be when he comes back in week 4 this season.  The upside is worth the risk if you draft Gordon as your 3rd wide out.  If could be the steal of the draft!

Vincent Jackson (WR) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I’m amazed at how Jackson has fallen into the fantasy football trash can.  This is a guy that had four straight 1,000 yard years until he got hurt last season.  As the clear number 2 receiver with an improving QB, Jackson’s floor is very low and worth a look in the late rounds.

Sterling Shepard (WR) New York Giants

With Victor Cruz just coming back from injury, Shepard has garnered a lot of attention as the Giants are looking for a clear cut number two wide receiver to emerge to play opposite Odell Beckham.  As much as I don’t like to reach on rookie wide receivers, you should be able to get Shepard in the late rounds, unless you have a lot of Giants fans in your league.

The Giants ended up throwing a lot last season, mostly because their defense couldn’t stop anyone.  The fact that they are going hurry up in the preseason makes me wonder if they want to keep an up tempo offense and run a lot of plays.  That being the case and the vacancy left by Rueben Randle, those 90 targets have to go to someone.  I think Shepard will see the bulk of those and produce more than Randel did with those targets which were only 127 or so fantasy points, because of his ability.  I would look for him in the 8th – 10th round for a good value.

Sammy Coates (WR) Pittsburgh Steelers

Coates is in a very good position.  With Martavis Bryant and Le’Veon Bell getting suspended and Heath Miller leaving, there are a lot of targets to be had.  Bryant, who will be out for the entire 2016 season, was targeted 92 times by Roethlisberger last season, and Miller 81 times.  That is a load of targets that will have to be spread around between Coates, Ladarious Green (who is replacing Miller) and Eli Rogers.  Rogers seems to be the biggest threat to Coates targets, but Coates looks like he will be more of that deep threat that Bryant was so he seems to have big upside.  Coates can be drafted as late as round 12 or 13 in most drafts!

Mohamed Sanu (WR) Atlanta Falcons

There is no doubt that Julio Jones will be a target hog this season, but who is going to step up and be that number two receiver with Roddy White and Leonard Hankerson gone?

Sanu’s lackluster fantasy production leaves a lot to be desired after only being targeted 49 times last season.  Last year he was competing with Green, Eifert, Bernard and Jones for targets, but these year there are a lot less mouths to feed.  Between White (70) and Hankerson (46), that is 116 targets available plus I don’t think Julio will be targeted over 200 times again this season.  To put that in perspective, Odell Beckham had 158 targets last season and Antonio Brown 193 targets.  That is quite a load to carry.  Sanu is going in some drafts as late as the 14th round!  Not bad for a guy who may be heavily targeted this season!

If you play your strategy around these late round value picks, you should have quite the fantasy season this year! 

Draft Strategy

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