2017 NFL WIDE RECEIVERS - Rookies and Redshirts


ROUND1: 
Pick 5, 5th overall (Tennessee Titans): Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan University
50 games played
RECEIVING: 331 receptions, 5278 yards, 15.9 yards per catch, 52TD
RUSHING: 3 attempts, 13 yards, 4.3 yards per carry, 0TD
Watch 30 seconds of Corey Davis' tape and he'll make you a believer.  This MAC offensive player of the year, FBS receiving leader, and human highlight reel will make your jaw drop.  Officially listed at 6'3", 209lbs, Davis has great speed and can take the top off of any defense.  He adjusts well to passes and his ball skill stands out.  Just watch any number of receptions he catches with one hand, or over and around defenders.  With teams stacking the line to stop running backs Murray and Henry, the Titans are looking to stack the wideout position that already has Tajae Sharpe, Rishard Matthews, and Eric Decker contributing veteran leadership.  If Mariota and Davis can get on the same page, the young QB will have a shiny new weapon.  With no clear number 1 in the Titans' receiving corps, Davis' NFL rookie year could turn out the same as his freshman year at Western Michigan.  If Davis and Mariota can get on the same page, the young QB could have a shiny new weapon to throw to.  Davis worth flex consideration in most leagues.
**UPDATE** Corey Davis is out with a hamstring injury and remains "week to week" according to Titans coach Mike Mularkey.
Pick 7, 7th overall (Los Angeles Chargers): Mike Williams, WR, Clemson University
38 games played
RECEIVING: 177 receptions, 2727 yards, 15.2 yards per catch, 22TD
RUSHING: 0 attempts, 0 yards, 0.0 yards per carry, 0TD
Keenan Allen has struggled with injuries in his last 2 seasons.  Travis Benjamin didn't pan out, and Dontrelle Inman has been inconsistent at best.  Enter former Clemson Tiger Mike Williams.  Listed at 6'4, 218lbs, this talented receiver was a major contributor to Deshaun Watson's success.  He has good size for a wideout, but his long arms and ability to catch the ball inside, outside, over the shoulder make him a worthwhile prospect.  He can also create late separation and run under the ball on long passes.  He'll be a welcome weapon on a Chargers offense that's struggled to fill spots at the wideout position.  He could be a late round flier that could find success as an outside threat opposite Keenan Allen or Tyrell Williams if he works his way into a starting spot.  At the moment, it looks like Mike Williams and Tyrell Williams will be the Chargers' wideouts of the future.  
**UPDATE** Mike Williams still recovering from back injury (herniated disk) suffered last spring.  He and the Chargers are targeting a return in early October.
Pick 9, 9th overall (Cincinnati Bengals): John Ross, WR, University of Washington
40 games played
RECEIVING: 114 receptions, 1729 yards, 15.4 yards per catch, 21TD
RUSHING: 20 attempts, 195 yards, 9.8 yards per carry, 2TD
Turn 'em and burn 'em.  That's the John Ross brand of football.  At 5'11", 188lbs, Ross displayed exceptional speed by setting a new NFL Combine record for the 40 yard dash time of 4.22 seconds.  If he gets in the open field, he's gone.  Ross will stutter step a little to get his defender to stop or turn his hips.  Once his defender stops, he'll blow right past his defender to reach pay dirt.  He tracks the ball extremely well and usually catches the ball over his shoulder due to his speed.  He can line up anywhere on the field, but he should be a nice inside threat that will compliment other pass catchers.  With Green, LaFell, and Eifert being the big/physical receivers, Ross should be a big play threat any time he's on the field.  He could be this year's Will Fuller, but could see greater success with more open field due to more threats on the field.  If you're in a league that counts miscalleneous touchdowns, Ross has the added bonus of being a returner so he can score special teams touchdowns.  Ross is another mid to late round flier that could be considered in all leagues.
ROUND 2:
Pick 5, 37th overall (Buffalo Bills): Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina University
49 games played
RECEIVING: 399 receptions, 4279 yards, 10.7 yards per catch 23TD
RUSHING: 5 attempts, 18 yards, 3.6 yards per carry, 2TD
Jones joins a core of veterans that includes  Andre Holmes, Rod Streater, and Sammy Watkins.  However, the inconsistent and injury ridden Watkins is the only veteran in the Bills' system, making him the only lock at the position.  This means that Jones has a real shot at a starting role.  The 6'2", 201lb Jones played big for a small school, setting NCAA records for receptions.  He's a dynamic threat that has a good catch radius, and is elusive after the catch.  He ran a respectible 40 at the combine and has a 36.5 inch verticle, but he still looks like he has a little trouble creating separation at times.  That means he caught the ball in traffic more often than not, and had to get up, fight for the ball, and use his incredible focus to haul in the pass.  He was a dominant force in a smaller conference, and has football pedigree in his family.  His father and uncle are NFL veterans.  He'll be a welcome weapon to Tyrod Taylor in a receiving corps that's severely lacking at the position.  He's worth a look in most leagues, and could end up being this year's sleeper.
**UPDATE** Jones could be forced into a starting role after after starter Jordan Matthews suffered a chipped sternum (upper body / chest injury) and Sammy Watkins has been traded to the Rams.  He's a flier/sleeper for deep leagues only.  
Pick 8, 40th overall (Carolina Panthers): Curtis Samuel, WR, Ohio State University
49 games played
RECEIVING: 399 receptions, 4279 yards, 10.7 yards per catch, 23TD
RUSHING: 5 attempts, 18 yards, 3.6 yards per carry, 2TD
The Panthers are piling on the prospects on offense.  Adding former Buckeye wideout Curtis Samuel gives them another weapon for Can to throw to.  The 5'11", 196lb playmaker gives the Panthers someone who can line up in the slot and really stretch the field.  Samuel ran a 4.31 40 yard dash and has a 37 inch vertical.  He's agile, explosive, and is a threat any time he lines up.  He can line up anywhere on the field and generate some type of offense whether he's inside, outside, or anywhere in the backfield.  He can catch the deep pass off of play action, but he's focused while making catches in traffic.  His only issue is that he sometimes runs backwards, trying to make something out of nothing.  Getting cute may work at the college level, but could end up costing big yards in the big leagues where everyone's a big bigger, faster, and smarter.  With Benjamin and Olsen still catching well, it could be tough for Samuel to see the field.  If someone gets hurt though, Samuel could be worth flex consideration in deep leagues.  
Pick 30, 62 overall (Pittsburgh Steelers): JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, University of Southern California (USC)
40 games played
RECEIVING: 213 receptions, 3092 yards, 14.5  yards per catch, 25TD
RUSHING: 8 attempts, 34 yards, 4.3 yards per carry, 0TD
In 3 years and 40 games played for the Trojans, Smith-Schuster produced some impressive numbers.  At 6'2", 220lbs, he has good size and athleticism.  He's used primarily as an outside threat on go routes, but he can catch passes inside, in stride, in traffic as well.  He has great hands and may have been drafted as a big-bodied insurance policy im case Coates can't make the 3rd year leap or Bryant can't play for whatever reason.  He looks like he'll be 5th on the depth chart behind Brown, Bryant, Rogers, and Coates.  However, Coates is on the PUP list and Smith-Schuster has an ankle injury at the time of this writing.  Nevertheless, it's a long season and this big, talented receiver could/should still see the field.
ROUND 3:
Pick 5, 69th overall (Los Angeles Rams): Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington University
52 games played
RECEIVING: 428 receptions, 6464 yards 8.4 yards per catch, 73TD
RUSHING: 17 attempts, 58 yards, 3.3 yards per carry, 1TD
At 6'2", 204lbs. Cooper Kupp is a big-time, big-game receiver from a smaller school.  His speed and explosiveness don't jump out right away.  He's also from a small school that doesn't necesaarily get national attention.  However, his route running ability sets him apart and he's a natural hands-catcher who will snag amything thrown in his direction.  With both Tavon Austin and Pharoh Cooper being under 6 feet, Kupp can be the physical, big-bodied threat that the Rams receiving corps so desperately needs.  He could be deployed as a catching tight-end, or simply start on outside routes that work in.  Kupp may struggle because the Rams' offense clearly favored Todd Gurley and the run game.  Kupp should be targeted often because quite a few of Goff's picks last year were on-target throws that were tipped by the receiver.  In other words, the Rams just need a pass catcher who can actually catch passes, which Kupp is great at.  Kupp deserves flex consideration, but could be taken as high as WR2 in deep/dynasty leagues.  The Rams' new Offensive Coordinator, Matt LaFleur  worked with both Matt Ryan during the Falcons' Superbowl run and with RG3 in Washington as a quarterbacks coach.  If he can get Jared Goff to take the next step in his NFL development, this could be a breakout year for the Rams' slumping offense, and Kupp could make an impact immediately. 
Pick 8, 72nd overall (Tennessee Titans): Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky University
50 games played
RECEIVING: 253 receptions, 4234 yards 16.7 yards per catch (ypc), 41TD
RUSHING: 14 attempts, 49 yards, 3.5 yards per carry, 0TD
Taylor is another example of big-time talent of a big-time player from a relatively small-time school.  The thing is you need to watch his tape to realize how much talent he has.  He was arguably Western Kentucky's entire offense so his opponents focused on stopping him first.  While most of his opponents were average, he put together a great tape by catching 9 passes for 121 yards against Alabama's solid secondary.  At 5'11", 203lbs, Taylor is a great route runner who will fight for the ball.  He's made his share of tough catches and is ready to contribute to the Titans' passing attack.  Unfortunately, that receiving corps that consists of Eric Decker, Rishard Matthews, Harry Douglas, and fellow rookie Corey Davis.  He could struggle to see the field, but could see playing time if the Titans take losses at the position.  Decker and Dougas are long in the tooth and/or struggled with injuries, making Matthews the only "sure" pass catcher.  Leave him on the wire for now, but keep an eye on him as the season moves on.
Pick 15, 79th overall (New York Jets): ArDarius Stewart, WR, University of Alabama
33 games played
RECEIVING: 129 receptions, 1713 yards 13.3 yards per catch (ypc),12TD
RUSHING: 13 attempts, 82 yards, 6.3 yards per carry, 0TD
While officially listed at 5'11, 204lbs his NFL Combine profile, Ardarius Stewart is a playmaker.  The first thing you notice about Stewart is his catch ability.  Soft but strong hands allow him to haul in just about any catch and hang on to the pass.  The next thing you notice is his "Yards After Catch."  While Stewart has shown his ability to be a downfield threat, it's his ability to gain extra yards on shallow crosses, comeback routes, or screens.  If he needs to get upfield, he'll use headfakes, or cuts to turn his defender around.  That usually happens after he uses his hands to fend off defenders playing press coverage at the line.  The third thing you notice is his downfield blocking.  He's in a position to block because his routes usually keep him in high-traffic areas.  Stewart is officially listed as a wideout, but his playing style makes him more of a running back who can make all the catches.  He joins a New York Jets offense that's desperate for  playmakers.  Quincy Enunwa being placed on IR and wideout/returner Lucky Whitehead suffering a broken foot opens a door of opportunity for Stewart and the rest of the young Jets receiving corps.  Keep an eye on the Jets' QB situation.  If he can get on the same page as his QB and if the Jets can deploy him properly, Stewart might be one of the sneakiest sleepers this year.
Pick 18, 82nd overall (Denver Broncos): Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech University
36 games played
RECEIVING: 147 receptions, 2878 yards 19.6 yards per catch (ypc), 32TD
RUSHING: 32 attempts, 259 yards, 8.1 yards per carry, 2TD
Carlos Henderson had a breakout year in 2016.  He had over 2400 all purpose yards as a receiver, rusher, and kick returner.  The triple threat playmaker measured in at 5'11", 199lbs at this year's Combine, but he plays much larger than his size.  He's a physical wideout who tracks the ball well and will fight to make the catch.  He also has great speed, makes defenders miss, runs/slips through tackles, and fights for extra yards after contact.  He should be a touchdown machine and a dynamic offensive threat for the Broncos.  He could be another sneaky sleeper, especially if your league awards points for special teams touchdowns.  
Pick 20, 84th overall (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): Chris Godwin, WR, Pennsylvania State University (Penn State)
39 games played
RECEIVING: 154 receptions, 2421 yards 15.7 yards per catch (ypc), 18TD
RUSHING: 3 attempts, 14, yards, 4.7 yards per reception, 0TD
Tampa Bay continues to surround Winston with weapons by adding to their receiving corps.  With Mike Evans getting all the attention and Cameron Brate on the brink of superstardom, the Bucs need other players.  Enter Chris Godwin, the 6'1" 209lb wideout who can be the outside threat opposite of Mike Evans.  Godwin is a hands catcher with good speed and wins jump balls with his 36 inch vertical.  He can run inside and outside routes and can grab the deep fade in the endzone when Evans and Brate are covered.  With Desean Jackson taking the top off of defenses, Godwin should get playing time catching passes on underneath routes.  While he may not make an immediate impact, he should be worth a look especially in deep ppr leagues.  When (not if) Jackson does go down, Godwin should be an immediate pickup in most deep leagues.  
Pick 32, 96th overall (Detroit Lions): Kenny Golladay, WR, Northern Illinois University (NIU)
26 games played
RECEIVING: 160 receptions, 2285 yards, 14.3 yards per catch (ypc), 18TD
RUSHING: 29 attempts, 206 yards, 7.1 yards per carry, 3TD
At 6'4", 218lbs, the third rounder out of Northern Illinois University can be a matchup nightmare.  He has a 35.5 inch vertical, and has long limbs to match his height, so he can go get any rebound thrown in his direction.  Although he can get stronger, pack on more muscle, and work on his route running, he can still gash the opponent's defense for big gains.  He can be a real difference maker in an offense that features Marvin Jones and Golden Tate, and his development as a wideout can be accelerated with veteran leadership.  For now, Golladay's raw talent is a good starting point.  If the Lion's offensive line lives up to the hype, Stafford will have time to get through his progressions and make a passing decision, meaning Staffoord can actually throw to Golladay if he's the third wideout in the progression.  For now, Golladay is a flier in dynasty/keeper leagues only.  If Jones or Tate gets hurt, Golladay is an immediate pickup in most leagues.
Pick 34, 98th overall (Arizona Cardinals): Chad Williams, WR, Grambling State University
47 games played
RECEIVING: 210 receptions, 3062 yards 14.6 yards per catch (ypc), 28TD
RUSHING: 10 attempts, 53 yards, 5.3 yards per carry, 1TD
One youtube video is titled "Chad Williams, The Best Wide Receiver No One Heard Of," or something along those lines.  Williams is another small school prospect with big-time talent.  Originally projected to go in rounds 5 or 6, the Cardinals are really taking a chance on this kid.  A quick review of his tape reveals why.  He plays big.  He'll pluck the ball out of the air using his 9 3/4" hands.  He can make tough catches.  He bounced back to have a good year after serving a one-game suspension, which shows he can work through adversity.  Unfortunately, he brought some of that adversity upon himself because he was suspended for drug and firearm possession.  He was drafted by a good team though.  Bruce Arians' players leave it all on the field every Sunday, so coach might be able to help this kid along.  Williams will also have the tutledge of the legendary Larry Fitzgerald to learn from, as he joins a receiving corps with J.J. Nelson, John Brown, and an untested Aaron Dobson.  This situation could be a good opportunity for Williams to get reps and learn in a pro setting.  As far as your fantasy team, leave him on the wire.  If one of the starters goes down, Williams is a deep-league flier.
Pick 42, 106 overall (Seattle Seahawks): Amara Darboh, WR, University of Michigan
47 games played
RECEIVING: 210 receptions, 3062 yards 14.6 yards per catch (ypc), 28TD
RUSHING: 10 attempts, 53 yards, 5.3 yards per carry, 1TD
At 6'2", 214lbs, Amara Darboh is big, fast, and an exceptional athlete.  He has the size and physical talent to make a phenomenal receiver.  His 9 7/8" hands allow him to make all the catches, even those with one hand.  He's accustomed to catching in heavy traffic, with tight coverage, and over the top of defensive backs.  He burns his opponents every time he's given a free release and a little bit of cushion.  His downside is he's not too dynamic during his route running or after the catch.  He lacks dynamic lateral moves to shake his defenders off before the catch, or make them miss after the catch.  He also rarely displayed hand-fighting to get out of press coverage at the line.  Fortunately, these things can be taught.  The Seahawks got great value with this pick because Darboh ran comeback and crossing routes in Michigan's passing attack, and should fit well into Seattle's "schoolyard" system.  Russell Wilson has another weapon to throw to.  
ROUND 4:
Pick 3, 110 overall (Jacksonville Jaguars): Dede Westbrook, WR
Blinn Community College
8 games played
RECEIVING: 76 receptions, 1487 yards 14.6 yards per catch (ypc), 13TD
RUSHING: 1 attempts, 3 yards, 3.0 yards per carry, 0TD
University of Oklahoma
26 games played
RECEIVING: 126 receptions, 2267 yards 18.0  yards per catch (ypc), 28TD
RUSHING: 15 attempts, 118 yards, 7.9 yards per carry, 0TD
Despite Dede Westbrook starting his college career at a junior college where he dominated the opposition, it only took a year to get the attention of scouts at bigger schools.  Then it was off to the races, as it usually is with the 2016 Biletnikoff Award Winner.  Officially listed at 6'0", 178lbs, he's similar in size to another speedster, Will Fuller.  Yes, comparisons have been drawn and there are similar injury concerns for Westbrook because of his slender frame.  However, Westbrook has shown toughness after the catch, slipping out of tackles and fighting for extra yards.  Hopefully his "skinny" legs won't be too much of a concern once he starts working with NFL strength coaches.  The hope is that he can keep his speed whole packing on muscle.  There is upside here is that Westbrook can take the top off of any defense using his blazing speed, and works well in space.  He could work out of 3 or 4 receiver sets, and in the short passing game, where he'd have that little extra room to work.  He's also seen work as a returner, which is great news for players in leagues that count misc touchdowns.  Hopefully he'll fit right in at his new home in Jacksonville, where the Allens get all of the coverage.  Westbrook is a feast or famine player whose fantasy production lives or dies by the big play.  Draft him as such. 
Pick 10, 117th overall (Los Angeles Rams): Josh Reynolds, WR
Tyler Junior College
8 games played
RECEIVING: 44 receptions, 782 yards 17.8 yards per catch (ypc), TD - n/a
RUSHING: 1 attempts, 3 yards, 3.0 yards per carry, 0TD
Texas A&M University
38 games played
RECEIVING: 164 receptions, 2788 yards 17.0  yards per catch (ypc), 30TD
RUSHING: 0 attempts, 0 yards, 0.0 yards per carry, 0TD
Josh Reynolds played for the Aggies as a rebounder.  He's a track star with triple jump and high jump experience, and exceptional ball skill.  He tracks the ball, then adjusts no matter how bad the football was thrown.  He catches everything thrown inside, outside, ahead of, behind, aired out, rifled, one hand or two.  At 6'3", 194lbs with a 37 inch vertical, this kid catches it over or around his defenders.  His long strides allow him to win foot races atfer the catch, and his nice footwork, good speed, and tough running help him make gains after the catch.  Unfortunately, he's not exactly agile and usually doesn't use a hip dip or head fake to make defenders miss.  His height and catch radius make him a matchup nightmare though.  If any team was ever looking for a consistent jump ball receiver, Reynolds is it.  He starts his career in the L.A. Rams' offense that feature Tavon Austin, Pharoh Cooper, and fellow rookie Cooper Kupp.  Reynolds could/should be a touchdown vulture as opposing teams commit 7 or 8 players to stop Gurley and the run game first.  Pick him up as the season progresses and wideouts start going down.
Pick 12, 118th overall (Philadelphia Eagles): Macklemore "Mack" Hollins, WR, University of North Carolina
41 games played
RECEIVING: 81 receptions, 1667 yards 20.6 yards per catch (ypc), 20TD
RUSHING: 0 attempts, 0 yards, 0 yards per carry, 0TD
Usually the playcall for one of Hollins' catches goes like this: "Hollins lines up wide left, deep post, splits the safeties, makes the catch, and strides into the endzone!  Touchdown Tarheels!"  Three words describe Hollins: downfield, vertical threat.  Despite not having a scholarship at UNC until his sophomore year, the 6'4", 220lb wideout usually turns heads with his size and speed.  While he only runs a 4.53 40-yard dash at this year's Combine, he has enough speed and know-how to beat defenders off the line regardless of coverage.  Unfortunately, Hollins lacks a complete route tree, and his health and lack of production volume are concerning.  Still, when he's on the field, his average of 20.6 yards per catch are better than any receiver taken in the first 3 rounds of this draft.  He'll likely go vertical with Torrey Smith on sub packages and all-go plays.  He could struggle to find playing time in a crowded Eagles receiving corps that consists of Alshon Jeffery, Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, and Torrey Smith.  We'll see who Wentz connects with during training camp and the preseason before we consider Hollins.  Leave him on the wire for now.
Pick 22, 128 overall (Cincinnati Bengals): Josh Malone, WR, University of Tennessee
32 games played
RECEIVING: 104 receptions, 1608 yards 15.5 yards per catch (ypc), 14TD
RUSHING: 2 attempts, 11 yards, 5.5 yards per carry, 0TD
The Bengals struggled after A.J. Green went down, so they're bringing in wideouts for depth.  While Josh Malone isn't an A.J. Green substitute, he does still have a good combination of size and speed.  Officially listed at 6'3", 208lbs, he still ran a 4.4 40 yard dash at the combine.  He's always a big-play threat when he's on the field, so he may be a feast or famine player if Green and other wideouts take defensive attention away from Malone.  In addition to entering a rather crowded receiving corps he has other downsides as well.  He can get diverted from his routes.  He's also more of a body catcher, allowing the ball to hit him in the numbers more often than not.  Basically, he'll only be on the field for sub packages unless he works on his game.  Until then, he may contribute the occasional big play, but not much else.  
Pick 27, 133 overall (Dallas Cowboys): Ryan Switzer, WR, University of North Carolina
53 games played
RECEIVING: 243 receptions, 2903 yards 11.9 yards per catch (ypc), 19TD
RUSHING: 25 attempts, 82 yards, 3.3 yards per carry, 0TD
Ryan Switzer is a true role player in every sense of the phrase.  Officially listed at 5'8", 185lbs, he's been compared to Cole Beasley.  He's a slot receiver who's dangerous in open space.  The experienced special teamer could get playing time if he's deployed properly.  His quick feet and elusiceness make him an exceptional playmaker and a dangerous threat if left uncovered on underneath routes.  However, he'll need to develop his route tree and route running strength if he wants to have a larger offensive role.  He can be drafted in the deepest of leagues as a wildcard who scores the occasional special teams touchdown.  
Pick 33, 139 overall (Kansas City Chiefs): Jehu Chesson, WR, University of Michigan
45 games played
RECEIVING: 114 receptions, 1639 yards 14.4 yards per catch (ypc), 12TD
RUSHING: 22 attempts, 219 yards, 10.0 yards per carry, 3TD
Officially listed at 6'3", 204lbs, Chesson has the makings of a big-time offensive threat.  Unfortunately, he struggled in 2016 due to an injury and inconsistent performances from his quarterback.  He's a great receiver who adjusts well to the ball, and he's just a playmaker.  His knee injurt may have taken away some of his explosiveness, and he struggles to get off the line in press coverage.  Still, if he can learn Reid's playbook and consistently click with Alex Smith, he could be worth a look in most leagues.  He'll struggle for targets with leading pass catchers Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce in an offense that likes to feature Spencer Ware.  
Pick 35, 141 overall (New York Jets): Chad Hansen, WR, University of California (CAL)
Officially listed at 6'2", 202lbs, Chad Hansen is an outside, go-route specialist.  He has good route speed and will high-point passes, catching them over the tops of defenders, making him a good jump-ball and fade-route threat.  Unfortunately, he tends to get jammed at the line on press coverage and lacks a complete route tree.  He'll need to work on his hand-fighting skills and physicality at the line of scrimmage, and develop his route running a bit more to become a more dynamic threat.  The real reason to leave him on the wire is the fact that he was drafted by the Jets, who still have a lot of questions about their qb situation.  However, the loss of Quincy Enunwa for the year means Hansen may have a chance to step up and step in as a much-needed outside threat.  Still, hansen can't catch passes if he doesn't have anyone throwing to him.  
REDSHIRTS:
MICHAEL THOMAS, New Orleans Saints
Thomas caught 92 passes for 9 scores and over 1100 yards last season.  As the 2016 season wore on, it became apparent that tight end Coby Fleener struggled with the playbook, and Brandon Cooks was the deep pass playmaker.  Thomas essentially defaulted to the Saints WR1 with few other pass-catching options available.  This season, Thomas will look to repeat his 2016 production, but could hit a sophomore slump now that he's on everyone's radar and opponents don't need to worry about Cooks.  Nevertheless, the 6'3", 212lb Thomas deserves at least WR2 consideration in all leagues.  
TYRELL WILLIAMS, Los Angeles Chargers
At 6'4", 205lbs, this big-bodied, physical downfield threat caught 69 passes for the quietest 1,000 yards and 7 touchdowns because his story got lost in the Chargers' dismal record.  Yes, the Chargers are absolutely loaded with pass catchers like Allen, Inman, Gabriel, rookie Mike Williams, Gates, and Henry, but Rivers clearly found his Mr. Reliable in Tyrell Williams last year.  Allen has struggled with injuries the past few seasons.  Inman and Gabriel have been inconsistent at best.  Antonio Gates is long in the tooth and Hunter Henry still has to connect with Tivers regularly.  At the very least, grab Williams as a flier, especially in deep or ppr leagues. 
TYREEK HILL, Kansas City Chiefs
In 2016, Hill reminded the league that speed kills.  The 5th rounder out of West Alabama ran a 4.24 40 at the 2016 combine, and he's been the homerun hitter that the Chiefs have used to stretch the field.  He caught 61 passes for 593 yards and 6 scores, and added another 267 yards and 3 scores on 24 carries.  That's 11.1 yards per carry!  At 5'10", 185lbs, he can be tough to tackle, but he's used his signature spin move more than once to evade defenders.  He could end up in double or triple coverage as the Chiefs' WR1, so hopefully he doesn't hit a sophomore slump.  Hill deserves at least flex consideration in all leagues.  
DEVANTE PARKER, Miami Dolphins
With Jay Cutler at the helm, Parker has a QB that knows Gase's system.  More importantly, Cutler seemed to develop an almost instant bond with Parker during their first preseason game.  Cutler also referred to another receiver he knows, calling Parker a "faster Alshon Jeffrey," in a recent interview.  Parker caught 56 passes for 744 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2016.  With another season in the books, this third year wideout will look to build on that this season, and hopefully make 2017 a truly breakout year.  At 6'3" 212lbs, he can be the redzone threat through the air that the Dolphins so desperately need.  If Cutler wins the starting job in Miami, Parker is the receiver to draft, not Landry.  Parker deserves flex consideration in deep leagues.
CHRIS CONLEY, Kansas City Chiefs
With Maclin gone and the emergence of Tyreek Hill, Conley could see a lot of one-on-one coverage on the outside.  He ran a 4.35 40 at the 2015 combine, so this kid "can flat out fly."  (Thank you Mike Mayock)  He also put up a 45.0 inch vertical.  His explosive athleticism and size (6'2", 205lbs) is a rare combination that could cause trouble for opposing defenses.  Unfortunately, Conley's fantasy numbers could be limited by the Chiefs' dink and dunk offense.  However, if QB Alex Smith can hit him on some quick slants or shallow crosses, or if Smith chooses to launch the ball like he has in practice, Conley can show off his speed.  He'll look to build on a 2016 campaign where he caught 44 passes for 530 yards and no scores. 

No comments:

Post a Comment