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Albert Wilson (WR, MIA) - 2019 Fantasy Football Sleeper


The Miami Dolphins are going through a lot of change heading into 2019. They released former quarterback Ryan Tannehill, running back Frank Gore, and head coach Adam Gase. They have also notably brought in two new quarterbacks in Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen, and welcome a rookie head coach in Brian Flores. One thing that has seemingly remained constant over the offseason is the collection of wide receivers the Dolphins intend to start the season with. Aside from the addition of Allen Hurns, the top four wide receivers remain the same on the depth chart with Kenny Stills, Devante Parker, and Albert Wilson.

Who will lead the team at quarterback remains a question in Miami. By all accounts, Ryan Fitzpatrick will begin the season as the starter, and at some point, will hand it over to Josh Rosen to determine if he is their quarterback of the future. This leaves a lot of uncertainty in a Dolphins offense that was putrid in 2018. Miami ranked 31st in total offense a season ago with just over 4,600 yards. They also ranked 30th overall in passing with 2,900 yards. Only the Buffalo Bills and Arizona Cardinals had worse passing attacks.

With so much doom and gloom surrounding the Miami Offense heading into 2019, is there any part of it that should be drafted in fantasy leagues aside from Kenyan Drake or Kalen Ballage? I am not going to sit here and pretend that Miami has a ton of talent worth owning in 2019,  however, Albert Wilson is one deep sleeper that needs further examination.

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Will Albert Sink or Swim?

Albert Wilson was well on his way to a productive season before suffering a hip injury in Week 7 vs Detroit. Wilson had caught 26 passes for 391 yards and four touchdowns before getting injured. This type of production all season would have put him on pace for 60 receptions, 893 yards, and nine touchdowns. These types of statistics would have been very comparable to the statistics of guys like Calvin Ridley and Chris Godwin, both of whom have an ADP of at least 135 spots higher than Wilson. Is Wilson simply being overlooked, or should he be going this late in drafts?

Wilson's advanced metrics show that he should probably be going sooner. In 2018, he had a ridiculous catch rate of 74.3 percent, which placed him in the top 9% of the league. Wilson also averaged 13.1 yards after the catch (YAC), which placed him at the top of the league on a per-reception basis. When examining these metrics, it should also be noted that Wilson only averaged 33.7 air yards per game and 1.02 air yards per snap, respectively. This exemplifies how much of a short catch-and-run receiver he is. This is also expressed by noting his average target distance of 7.7 yards compared to his 15.0 yards per reception. Bottom line is that Wilson is a catch-in-space receiver who relies on his speed to make plays.

Given the skill set Wilson provides, he should be able to find success with either Fitzpatrick or Rosen behind center. Both should be able to find Wilson in space and let him rack up yards after the catch. It should be noted, however, Ryan Fitzpatrick had a very similar style receiver in Tampa Bay with Adam Humphries. In the eight games Fitzpatrick and Humphries played together, Fitzpatrick targeted him 45 times equating to 33 receptions for 372 yards. Those numbers show a 73.3 percent catch rate, which again, is very similar to Wilson.

Albert Wilson will not make or break your fantasy football team in 2019, but with his current ADP of 197, you could do much worse as your fifth or even sixth wide receiver. Be sure to keep an eye on news and updates out of Miami to ensure his hip has recovered and he is ready to go for Week 1. If that is the case, you won't regret having him on your team this season as he should be locked into the slot receiver role with Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker on the outside.

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