I just finished watching by beloved Cardinals get beat by the Chicago Scrubs 7-3 and I’m in a very volatile mood. Luckily it’s a double header so I have the chance to turn my mood right around. You know, right round, like a record baby, round, round, round, round. You know what else puts me in a cantankerous (it means grumpy, I looked it up) mood? Writing about NFL wide receivers. They are a bunch of bellyachers and the most inconsistent group in fantasy football. So much of their production is dependent on the play of the QB. Well, unless your name is Calvin Johnson and you can put up ungodly numbers despite being on the Lions roster. You really have to do your homework during the season to get the right starters in your line up week in and week out. For example, the Raiders defense wasn’t all that good last year but they have a cornerback named Nnamdi Asomugha who every NFL QB is afraid to throw anywhere near. If you own a top tier guy like Andre Johnson you might have to consider putting him on the bench when the Texans match up against the Raiders. Trust me, benching a guy like Johnson is not an easy thing to do. Since we have to discuss these dim-witted wide receivers, I would like look at what draft strategy will put you in the best position once you have to start making weekly decisions.
If you have been following any of my work at the Illiniseoul Nation you know that I like to budget $60-$65 for the WR position. If you haven’t been following the excellent information at Illiniseoul Nation, then I wish you luck in your futile attempt to achieve fantasy football greatness. I hope you have a Chad Ochocinco type season. Yeah, that’s right, Chad was dreadful last year. The supposed top ten WR finished 52nd amongst his peers. You know who else was bad? Roy E. Williams. This classic WR flop finished 74th. Neither of these underwhelming wide outs compare to the ugliness that is the Chicago scrubs. Do you know they haven’t won the World Series in 101 years? That’s a long time. Cubs, actually stands for Completely Useless By September. Have I mentioned that the cubs are bad? Not the bad that means good either. I’m talking bad like, it was bad to be a Lion last season bad. I hate the cubs. So if you want to have a good team, spend no more than $70 on WRs and try to make that number closer to $60. If you would like to finish in the bottom half of your league this year, please ignore me, spend $90 to get Moss and Fitzgerald, and be happy looking up at all your friends in the standings who didn’t fall for the WR hype.
As usual, we need to start by breaking these guys up into tiers. I am basing these rankings on a non PPR format. Here we go…
Tier A: L. Fitzgerald (48), A. Johnson (42), R. Moss (38), C. Johnson (38). None of these guys will be on my team this year unless they slide significantly lower than their average draft prices.
Tier B: S. Smith (29), R. Wayne (27), B. Jennings (26), R. White (24). I love this group. I think all 4 have a legit chance to be top 5 fantasy WRs. The only player in this group to finish outside the top 6 was R. Wayne. Why spend $10 or even $20 more for tier A player when you can grab these guys.
Tier C: T. Owens (22), A. Boldin (22), M. Colston (21), D. Bowe (19), W. Welker (17), B. Marshall (17), T.J. Houshmandzadeh (17), Roy E. Williams (16). I am all about value and value is not located in tier C. Let’s break it down. T.O. can’t get off the line of scrimmage and is now in Buffalo. A. Boldin went from option 1b to option 2 last season when Fitz clearly emerged as the go to guy. M. Colston is a giant injury risk. I like D. Bowe with his new QB, he is the exception to this group. I like Welker in a PPR league. I don’t like B. Marshall with his new QB. Housh is an injury risk and is playing with a QB that is an injury risk, not a good combo. Williams stinks, I don’t care that he is now the #1 WR option in Dallas.
Tier D: B. Edwards (15), C. Ochocinco (13), V. Jackson (12), A. Bryant (10), L. Evans (9), D. Jackson (9). This tier has it all; high risk/high reward, an old player who isn’t good any more, guys who have great value, potential in a more potent offense, and a 2nd year player who may be poised for a great season.
Tier E: Almost everyone else.
Sleepers: Players that I’m not going to talk about today, but you can buy them for a buck.
My strategy is fairly simple. I am going after 2 of the guys in tier B. I don’t really care which 2 I get so I am going after the 2 with the best value. Let’s say you drop $28 on Jennings and $22 on White, you have spent $50 but have your starting wide outs set. You are left with $10-$15 for your backups. If you have 3 RBs that you are comfortable starting, which you should, spend your $15 on 3 guys you feel have high upside. What you are looking for is one of those guys to break out. The only way your third WR is getting on the field is if one of your starters is injured, your starter has a bye week, or he is out producing your 3rd RB. What I am saying is that conservative is not the way to go here. I say spend the majority of your left over budget on one guy. I like A. Bryant or V. Jackson. A lot of people also like L. Evans and D. Jackson. Pick whichever guy you think is prime for a big season and go for it. Now buy two more WRs for a buck a piece. I’ll be throwing out my WR sleepers later in the year.
I don’t recommend it, but if you want to go out and spend $50 on Fitzgerald you can still be successful. You really have to do your homework though. There is only going to be $15, at most, in the budget for 1 more starter and 3 bench players. The hardest thing to do is not bid on a second WR until you get down to the guys that are truly in your price range. It is very easy to overspend on WRs and it can really destroy your team on draft day. If we are going to spend big on our top WR, I like tier A in this order; Fitz, Moss, A. Johnson, and C. Johnson. I know Moss finished 10th last year and the other guys were 1-2-3 but Moss has more upside than any receiver in football. The strange thing is that Moss’ upside doesn’t depend on what he does. If Brady is great, Moss will be great. If Brady stinks, Moss will stink. Which is exactly why I hate WRs.
Next week I will be putting out my dream and nightmare scenarios for an auction draft. I won’t be doing anything about K’s, D’s, or TE’s because I don’t care and neither should you.
Please leave your comments or questions below. Have a great day.