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Early 2018 Breakouts - Wide Receivers

As we slowly get closer to the 2018 NFL Draft, we are beginning to get an idea of where players are landing. There are plenty of question marks out there still between free agency and the 2018 NFL Draft, but there are definitely some places where the starting lineups are beginning to take shape.

The position with perhaps the most attention given to it in both the actual games and the fantasy gridiron is wide receiver. Some consider them divas, others superstars, but the quality of the players at this position is undeniable. With the likes of Odell Beckham Jr. returning from injury and the re-emergence of Deandre Hopkins alongside young quarterback Deshaun Watson, the names at the top of your draft boards will likely contain many familiar faces.

However, with the upcoming NFL Draft just around the corner, it remains to be seen how the wide receiver depth charts will shape up for the majority of the teams prior to the upcoming season. With plenty of potential for standout performances from the wideouts in the league, let's take a look at some of the early breakouts going into the 2018 fantasy football season.

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Early Wide Receiver Breakouts for 2018

Corey Davis (WR, TEN)

Coming into the league as one of the most hyped rookie talents at the position after being drafted with the fifth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Corey Davis should've taken the league by storm. Instead, nagging injuries limited his playing time to just 11 appearances and his stat-line to a measly 375 grabs on 34 receptions. For those who drafted Davis in the late middle rounds of rookie drafts, it was a truly unfortunate season to own the talented rookie wide receiver. With injuries across the board for the Titans offense and a struggling scoring unit, there was never much help for Davis throughout much of the season. However, Davis showed some signs of life towards the end of the season, building momentum into the playoffs.

Coming into the 2018 season, Davis should be considered a late round flier in most redraft formats, making him the optimal choice for a selection with one of your final wide receiver slots. Although he has yet to score a touchdown in his young professional career, Davis will have every opportunity given to him to succeed given the enormous draft capital spent on the young wideout. Keep your eye on the youngster for the Titans, as he could truly breakout in the upcoming fantasy season.


Sterling Shepard (WR, NYG)

Another casualty to injury in the 2017 season, Shepard failed to breakout as a result of only playing 11 games, a poor offensive unit for the Giants, and competition for targets from rookie tight end Evan Engram as well as veteran receiver Brandon Marshall and Odell Beckham Jr. (until the latter two were injured). Despite these shortcomings, Shepard still posted higher yardage numbers than his rookie season, hauling in 59 catches for 731 yards. Shepard only scored two touchdowns, however, compared to the eight he scored in his rookie campaign. Some could argue that the third year pro has already broken out; however, Shepard has yet to have a consistent season without injury combined with high yardage numbers.

Shepard should be considered a late round receiver who the Giants will count on in their attempt at a resurgence to the top of the NFC East. Paired alongside all-world wideout Odell Beckham Jr. and veteran Brandon Marshall, Shepard should be deadly out of the slot and could be the safety blanket for whoever is the quarterback for the Giants in the 2018 season.


Corey Coleman (WR, CLE)

Unfortunately, the last two seasons have not been kind to the young wide receiver from Cleveland. Injuries and poor play from the offense as a whole have limited Coleman to a little over 700 yards in his last two seasons. With 305 yards and two scores in nine games in his second season as a professional, Coleman did little to convince critics that the Browns were warranted in selecting him in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft. However, Coleman has still shown some flashes of potential, and with his injury concerns behind him, the Cleveland Browns receiver still has the ability to take advantage of his third season as a pro and carve out a sizable role in the offense that could lead to a significant increase in touches, yards, touchdowns, and fantasy points for the young wideout.

With the Browns expected to continue their rebuild with a successful draft and free agency, Coleman should hopefully have a decent supporting cast around him to help him elevate his game. If he is able to take advantage of the opportunities that come his way, he could have very solid fantasy production in the 2018 fantasy season.


More Breakouts & Draft Values