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Hellllllo again guys. Today we’ll be debuting #41-60 on QBList’s 2018 WR rankings. With these guys, we’ll be closing out Tier 4, our solid #2’s and prime lotto tickets, and entering Tiers 5 and 6 where value stems more from risky upside and low end steady production. Let’s dive back in with #41…
41. Kelvin Benjamin (Buffalo Bills): Ohhhhh boy here he is again. Once “the guy” in Carolina, an unfortunate trade has since banished him to the winter wonderland of Buffalo. Like Sammy Watkins (who slots in at #50 on this list), he’s continually shown the athleticism and skills to become a dominating receiver, while subsequently proceeding to either be injured or just suck. Benjamin is the #1 WR in Buffalo where LITERALLY NO ONE else will challenge him (besides maybe some miraculous sophomore season from Zay Jones), but being in the literal tundra and catching throws from legendary better-Bengal A.J. McCarron, expectations are low.
42. Paul Richardson (Washington Redskins): Man does this guy look talented. In Seattle, it seemed like every time he flashed on the screen he did just that: flashing incredible hands, game-breaking speed, or some combination of the two. Now released from the shackles of a Doug Baldwin led offense, Richardson links up with Alex Smith in DC for what could be an explosive new combo in fantasy given how well Smith progressed in his deep ball accuracy last year (THE MAN RANKED 2nd in DEEP PASS COMPLETION PERCENTAGE!!). A few words of warning though: Josh Doctson is still around to share the speedster role with Richardson (shoulder injury now though may change that), and the Washington offense will be a bit of a mystery until we see what we’r working with. Overall, there aren’t too many better fliers in the late rounds.
43. Devante Parker (Miami Dolphins): Devante Parker was supposed to be the stud opposite Jarvis Landry in Miami, but seeing as he plays for the Dolphins, of course it didn’t work out as planned. However, with Tannehill returning to the fold, and Landry and his massive target share gone from Miami, Parker has a big opportunity to perform. Keep in mind though, that Parker has not shown good skills or physical traits in the past year. Take it with a grain of salt, but the opportunity is there as he seems like the defacto #1 receiver in Miami.
44. Kenny Stills (Miami Dolphins): And on the other side of the coin is our boy Kenny Stills. In the second half of last year, Stills took full advantage of SMOKIN JAY and Matt Moore by churning out high-level production on a decent target share. However, with Tannehill back behind the helm for the Dolphins, Stills’ target share is in flux. It could be what we’ve been waiting for in terms of capitalizing on his breakneck speed, or his upside could be pulled out from under him like a crappy magic trick. At #44, there’s not too much risk in betting on the former.
45. Allen Hurns (Dallas Cowboys): This one’s pretty simple: Hurns is a veteran with underwhelming athleticism, crisp routes, and what could be a consistently high target share as a defacto #1 receiver. If that doesn’t scream bargain bin WR3 production then idk what does.
46. Michael Gallup (Dallas Cowboys): Here’s the hard part: Gallup looked great at Colorado State, and all reports from camp speak to him being an incredible talent “catching everything in sight”, but he’s still a rookie. As a rookie, that means every outcome from WR1 to complete bust is on the table for the young receiver. That being said, Gallup does march into a situation where he could ascend to the top of the depth chart with relative ease, but a lot of things have to go right for him to do so. Keep your eye on this potential stud, as he’s flashing incredible fantasy potential, but if the hype train is going too fast, let someone else in your league use their mid-round pick on one of many late-round-grade lotto tickets.
Tier #5: Low-End #2’s, Risky Lotto Tickets, and High Upside #3’s.
47. Corey Davis (Tennessee Titans): The “sleeper pick” of many fantasy sites this year, Davis was downright atrocious last year for the Titans. He posted only 34 receptions, 375 yards, and not a single tuddy to go along with a near Amari Cooper level 52.3 % catch rate. But hold on folks, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Why you might ask? Because only 44 of Davis’ 65 targets were deemed catchable (courtesy of playerprofiler.com), and because lets hear it from the back folks DAVIS WAS A ROOKIE. Hype does not help accelerate a rookie’s acclimation to the level of play of the NFL, nor does it help Marcus Mariota throw accurate passes on bum legs. However, a full offseason of rest and training does! Look for Davis to rebound in a big way, though don’t get run over by the hype train as Tennessee is still a run first offense.
48. Tyrell Williams (Los Angeles Chargers): The oft-forgotten man in fantasyland, Williams has been a consistent deep threat for one of the few teams sporting consistently above average QB play via a frequently angry Philip Rivers. Williams received the 4th highest yards per target last season with decent hands and peak athleticism to capitalize on them, posting 728 yards and 4 TD’s on a mere 43 receptions. This production landed him at #39 in standard leagues, a number well above his annual ADP. With broken-back Mike Williams and a consistently inconsistent Travis Benjamin the only barriers to his own consistency, drafting Williams in the late rounds could be the insurance policy you need to get through those brutal mid season bye weeks.
49. Tyler Lockett (Seattle Seahawks): Another easy one: Lockett gets an offense with a shitty O-line, an amazing QB, a downfield role almost entirely to himself (I’d be pretty worried about Marcus Johnson and the ghost of Brandon Marshall taking snaps and targets from him), and above average NFL skills. Just another late round lotto ticket for ya folks, nothing to see here.
50. Robert Woods (Los Angeles Rams): My personal vote for the NFL’s most overlooked player, Woods posted consistently great numbers for the Rams last season before sustaining a shoulder injury in week 11. The man then came back in week 15, STILL produced, and was then completely forgotten as the Rams traded for and signed Brandin Cooks. Woods posted the 9th best yards per pass route last season and was rewarded by bringing in a player with the exact same skill set as him only a bit more athletically gifted. Womp womp womp. Well, with the boneheaded Rams bringing in an entirely redundant player, Woods looks to be the biggest sacrifice to Cooks presumably great production. HOWEVER, Woods has shown himself as a valuable player for the Rams, and with a decent target share or practically any injury in the Rams WR corps, Woods could produce WR3 numbers with good upside. I like him at WR50 as a tremendous handcuff to Cooks and a great deep league stash play.
51. Sammy Watkins (Kansas City Chiefs): Another wonderfully redundant signing, Watkins enters a Chiefs offense flush with key contributors and a player who already has the downfield role locked up in Tyreek Hill. With this in mind I have to assume Watkins will be utilized similar to how he was used in Los Angeles: the sporadic deep route and as a physical force at the goal line. Even then, however, Watkins upside will be severely diminished, and that’s without even taking into account the progression of young QB Patrick Mahomes. I’m inclined to stay away in favor of other Tier 5 options, but Watkins is still the #2 receiver in a gunslinging KC offense.
52. Cameron Meredith (New Orleans Saints): “I bet you forgot about me huh?”, Meredith remarks snidely with arms crossed and head tilted. Signing with the Saints in the offseason following a season ending ACL tear, Meredith figures to be the primary slot receiver for a perennially potent Saints offense. Assuming he recovers fully, which all by all accounts he should, and rookie Tre’Quan Smith doesn’t suddenly shift from a downfield receiver to a slot receiver, Meredith should be in store for steady receptions and yards, possibly as a solid WR3. I like his upside at WR53.
53. James Washington (Pittsburgh Steelers): Barreling in at WR54 is the “Martavis Bryant replacement” James Washington. Put quite simply, Steelers camp has been raving about Washington, and if everything goes right, he could potentially put up the combined numbers of all of those Steelers deep threats of the past couple years (last years Martavis Bryant, and speedsters Sammie Coates and Marcus Wheaton) as he unifies their targets, receptions, and yards into one productive downfield receiver. However, he could just as easily serve as a meh 3rd fiddle to the two oh-so-talented receivers above him in Juju and Antonio. We’ll see how it shakes out, but Washington is one of my favorite late round fliers for his high upside.
54. Christian Kirk (Arizona Cardinals): What would you pay to learn how to be an NFL receiver under the living-legend Larry Fitzgerald? Well Kirk is going to be PAID to do it this year as he plays the #2 receiver role in Arizona. With a terrible O-line, and the offense getting David Johnson back, one would be foolish to expect the team’s secondary options to amass a huge target share, but with Kirk’s skill and professionalism, paired with Larry’s tutelage, I like Christian’s chances of becoming a productive #2 receiver while working his way toward #1 status next season.
TIER #6: Fliers and Fodder Galore!
55. Anthony Miller (Chicago Bears): Another easy one for ya. Talented high round receiver competing with two huge signings in Burton and Robinson for a role in a sophomore QB led offense. That sounds like a risky lotto ticket, right? Right you are theoretical voice. Right you are.
56/57: Keelan Cole/Dede Westbrook: I was told by one of our head writers that each player must have his own rank, so for that sake I have Cole a smidge ahead of Westbrook due to a downfield role versus a slot role, but here’s the skinny on both: mediocre pass offense led by a sub-par running back at QB, incredible talent from both of them, and only thing holding back true production is a likely Marqise Lee injury. Both are good handcuffs to Lee and stashes in their own right, however in standard leagues I prefer Cole. In PPR, gimme all of Dede. NEXT WR PLEASE.
58. Rishard Matthews (Tennessee Titans): On our sister site Pitcherlist.com, we have a nickname for a pitcher that comes up to the majors and is wholly unspectacular: A Cup of Schmo. If ever there was such a thing in the NFL, it would be Rishard Matthews. Playing within a run-first Tennessee offense, Matthews is consistently ok, never extraordinary, and my bet is he will continue to do so even with an improved Mariota. Have fun!
59. Mike Wallace (Philadelphia Eagles): Better version of Torrey Smith in an offense that likes to air it out some. Game t game production will completely vary based on matchup and how often the team throws hail mary passes, but all in all he’ll produce WR4 numbers. Hard to find a better bench receiver in 12+ teamers.
60. D.J. Moore (Carolina Panthers): Another hype train gliding peacefully down the tracks that I must derail, I’m sorry. He could 100% seize a high volume role in the Carolina passing offense. Sure, it’s possible. Is it likely, however? No, given Devin Funchess is a talented receiver in his own right and the team still has veteran Greg Olsen to lean on. What do YOU think he’ll do then smart-guy?! Funny you ask, I was just about to get there: the talented rookie will occupy the downfield role that Tedd Ginn Jr. used to man, and do so with about as much success as one can have in that role in a run-first offense. Grab Moore for the tasty upside, but keep those expectations to a minimum lest you get run over by another hype train.