What we learned from the last DFS season - the wide receiver position

In this article I’ll focus on the wide receiver position. I’m digging deep to see if we can learn anything from last season that we can use moving forward.

One thing we already know is that the WR position is very deep, so let’s get right into it.

Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers seems to always be undervalues. It’s strange when you think about it. He is, after all, the teams WR1 having the overall QB1 Aaron Rodgers throwing to him. He was ranked low in 2013 and produced 85 receptions, 1,314 yards and 8 TD’s. Still, he was ranked low in 2014. It was jackpot for those who picked him: 98 receptions, 1,519 yards and 13 TD’s. A nasty injury kept him off the field in 2015 and a lot of people where skeptical about him ever playing at his previous level. Those who picked him where happy: 97 receptions, 1,257 yards and 14 TD’s. He will not be undervalued in 2017 and probably even over drafted.

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, had a great rookie season 2014, but disappointed in 2015 with only 3 TD’s compared to 12 the year before. But TD’s is the stat that has most fluctuations and if you looked at his other stats you could see that his receptions increased from 68 to 74 and his yards from 1,051 to 1,206. With QB Jameis Winston that should improve from his rookie season in a division with weak defenses I really like his chances. Mike Evans was on every one of my team, and rewarded me with 96 receptions, 1,321 yards and 12 TD’s. We haven’t seen his ceiling and I think he is a solid pick in 2017

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints, looked good in pre season. The rookie got a lot of targets. He was on my and many others radar. But most of us missed to pull the trigger. We should’ve. Thomas was a probable WR2 behind Brandin Cooks with QB Drew Brees slinging the ball in a dome in a weak division. And with the Saints own defense making a Swiss cheese looking solid as a rock. But I would probably pick Brandin Cooks before him in 2017

Rookie Tyrek Hill needs to be mentioned, but nobody saw him running away with 217 points. He was undrafted in almost every league.

There where others that greatly outperformed their average draft position (ADP), but that was due to injuries on other players and you cannot rely on or quantify luck.

On the other side of the spectrum there was some great disappointments.

If you had a WR that was injured you surely had bad production. It’s hard to protect you from injuries, but it makes a lot of sense to look at the prior injury situation before you heavily invest in any player.

DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans, is one of the best wide receivers in the league. He had a great 2015, was the teams only real passing target and where supposed to have an upgrade in the QB position with Brock Osweiler. I didn’t believe in Osweiler and that saved me from doing the same mistake as the ones picking one of the 2016 biggest WR bust.

Brandon Marshall, New York Jets, is the best wide receiver in the NFL – if you ask him. He is alone with that opinion. Being 31 entering the 2016 season he needed to work harder to compete with the young studs. I couldn’t see it. But I’ve heard him complain about everything else for many years now, like his teammates. The Jets QB-situation was dreadful and whoever picked Marshall has only himself to blame.

WR                                         Fantasy points       ADP                Place vs ADP

Michael Thomas                256                            47                   +40

Doug Baldwin                     254                            27                   +19

Mike Evans                          304                            15                   +12

Jordy Nelson                       305                            9                     +7

WR                                         Fantasy points       ADP                Place vs ADP

DeAndre Hopkins             197                            4                     -23 (Ouch!)

Brandon Marshall             156                            10                   -39 (Ouch!!!)