(Photo by Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire)
Welcome folks, to the last of our preseason top 80 WR’s: #’s 61-80. As is expected of the lowest ranks, all of these players fall within my Tier 6 rank, made up of fodder and straight fliers. These guys constitute your last ditch flexes, shoot-for-the-stars bench stashes, and, as is the case every year, the one or two unlikely players that will win your league for you, or some other schlub. For this reason, upside is the primary concern here. Any consistent production from guys in this tier will be insignificant when playing in any league outside of maybe 16 teamers. Well now that that’s out of the way, let’s do it to it…
61. Mohammed Sanu (Atlanta Falcons): The Falcons incredibly talented #2 receiver was a truly stable WR3 last year, posting 700+ yards on 67 receptions, and even reeling in 5 TD’s. However, with the introduction of Alabama product Calvin Ridley into the mix, and the return of a healthy Devontae Freeman, we can expect a drop in the 96 targets he saw in 2017. Just how much of a drop remains to be seen, but I won’t be investing in Sanu, talented as he is, unless he comes cheap.
62. Jordy Nelson (Las Vegas Raiders): I know many are incredibly hyped to see Jordy rocking the black and silver in Oakland (for now), but unfortunately Jordy appears to be a lesser version of the receiver we’ve known and loved in fantasyland for the past 8 seasons +. He appears slower, more worn down by his career injuries at a ripe 33 years old, and he enters a WR situation where for the first time (not counting the end of last year) he is not the primary option. For the past 3 seasons, Jordy has averaged a MASSIVE 140+ targets per season, well above the average targets per season of consistent fantasy stud Michael Thomas. In addition, he likely won’t be the primary target in the red zone either, making the 11 TD’s per season he’s averaged over the past 3 a lost fantasy. He could always be great within the Raiders passing attack, but his share of targets will make sure that great isn’t all that great.
63. Ryan Grant (Indianapolis Colts): He’s the presumed #2 WR in Indianapolis, as he was signed in the offseason to a particularly large 4 year $29 Million contract, and if fellow Tier 6 flier Deon Cain doesn’t end up outplaying him, he may be in for a significant target share. Just like his far better teammate T.Y. Hilton, with OG Andrew Luck QB play, Grant COULD be a valuable WR3. He’s a solid flier.
64. Jermaine Kearse (New York Jets): A true fantasy steal last year, Kearse was the MAJOR beneficiary of not only Quincy Enunwa‘s lost season and Robby Anderson‘s skill at stretching the field, but even more so of Josh McCown‘s improved QB play. While two of those three factors remain in play for this year, Enunwa has returned to the fold this year along with offseason flier signing Terrell Pryor. That means wayyyy less targets. Even though Enunwa will miss 1-2 weeks of the preseason with a thumb injury, his superior athleticism and knowledge of the system will allow him to jump right back in. Kearse could be a great stash given Enunwa’s injury history and Pryor’s history of, well, not being good, but that still makes him a flier like all the rest.
65. Josh Doctson (Washington Redskins): Looking to make the “sophomore jump”, the athletically gifted 2nd year receiver must now compete with Paul Richardson for red zone and downfield targets while Jamison Crowder mans the slot. He COULD establish a large role with peak performance in the red zone, but with the pricey new signing occupying a similar role, I wouldn’t bet on anything more than mediocre production.
66. DeSean Jackson (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): DJax lives and dies by his QB play. Last I checked, it’s either Ryan Fitzpatrick or Famous Jameis Winston, soooooooooo not looking good. Oh, and those injuries too.
67. Geronimo Allison (Green Bay Packers): A name few outside of of the most devoted Packers fans or fantasy football players will recognize, Allison has served as a reliable backup for the Packers stud receivers for 2 years now. Is this yea rhis time to shine? Maybe. With Randall Cobb serving as the Packers’ #2 receiver, and looking much slower last year with a slew of small injuries, Allison, and his reliable set of hands, is poised to possibly seize control of a solid target share form a hall of fame quarterback. That is, unless someone else outperforms him,…
68. J’Mon Moore (Green Bay Packers): …someone like 1st round draft pick J’Mon Moore. Moore has all of the tools to be a force in the NFL, especially given he’ll be receiving passes form none other than Aaron Rodgers. Honestly, it’s just a matter of seeing how things shake out for the Pack. Watch preseason closely, and grab your share of the guy you think will eventually succeed, or both. In my opinion, one will likely be very valuable come even Week 4 or 5.
69. Ted Ginn Jr. (New Orleans Saints): He’s the deep receiver for the Saints…except now 3rd round receiver Tre’Quan Smith is there now too. That means less targets, which in turn means his normally inconsistent,yet slightly valuable production, becomes inconsistent AND not valuable. Tough luck guy.
70. Dez Bryant (FA): He’s Dez. He’s talented. He doesn’t have a team right now. If he gets on a team, he could be great in a couple weeks, but that’s still an if. Draft accordingly.
71. Quincy Enunwa (New York Jets): The oft injured receiver for the Jets is young and incredibly fast and talented. With injury luck, he could force out Jermaine Kearse for the primary slot and red zone receiver role. That’s a lot of luck though. Draft accordingly.
72. Terrance Williams (Dallas Cowboys): He’s been in Dallas forever and likely won’t be making any noise. Take a flier on him if you think he will, but I certainly think he won’t.
73. Dante Pettis (San Francisco 49ers): There has been A LOT of buzz concerning Pettis in niners camp, and that makes me intrigued. However, healthy and productive receivers Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garcon both being in niners camp as well makes me far less intrigued in Pettis’ presumably small target share. Maybe that hype will translate to a bigger role, but I’m not counting on it.
74. John Brown (Baltimore Ravens): You know him as the talented and often injured deep threat for the Cardinals. Now he’s the talented and likely often injured deep threat for the Ravens. Draft accordingly.
75. Cole Beasley (Dallas Cowboys): He COULD carve out a bigger role with no Dez there, but Allen Hurns and Michael Gallup being brought in likely means Beasley will remain the reliable, yet fantasy irrelevant slot receiver for the ‘Boys.
76. Deon Cain (Indianapolis Colts): He and Ryan Grant will compete for the #2 receiver role in Colts camp. Again, he not only has to win this job but he also has to benefit from a healthy and productive Luck to be productive himself. That’s a lot of contingencies and as such he’s a low-end flier.
77. Taylor Gabriel (Chicago Bears): The new deep threat and gadget player for the young Bears offense chock full of new and expensive talent. Doeeesssnnn’tt sound too valuable to me.
78. Calvin Ridley (Atlanta Falcons): He was a Bama receiver, which means he’s polished and ready to compete. However, he’s in a very full offense and has to compete with the great Mohammed Sanu for #2 receiver targets. Not enough upside for me to even draft him.
79. Tyler Boyd (Cincinnati Bengals): With the recent cutting of Brandon Lafell, he’s likely the #2 receiver in a relatively anemic offense outside of stud A.J. Green. Doesn’t sound too hot to me.
80. Tre’Quan Smith (New Orleans Saints): Rounding out the list at #80, Tre’Quan Smith is another oft talked about rookie in training camp this preseason. He looks fast, strong, and has been described as the “breakout player” in Saints camp. All that being said, he’s vying for the deep threat role in a Saints offense that has not only shifted to toward the run game, but is full of talented receivers to keep him from getting targets. He could explode on the scene, or he could be nothing. Who knows? I sure don’t.