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Must-Own PPR Wide Receivers with Late ADP


Some fantasy football players make a mistake in their draft preparation by not putting more of an emphasis into the latter stages of a draft. Sure, there is a possibility that some of your longshot selections might not be on your roster by Week 3, but why not give yourself a chance to strike gold before the rest of the world catches on?

My goal today is to pinpoint some late-round wide receivers who have a chance to contribute as productive members of your team and perhaps with the right breaks can become focal points in your starting lineup.

I will be using Fantasypros.com for my current ADPs, so without further ado, let's jump right into my must-own WRs to grab late in 2019 PPR leagues.

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Donte Moncrief, Pittsburgh Steelers

Current ADP: 130th Overall (WR51)

My Projection: 175.18 Points (WR40)

WR Targets Receptions Average Yards Touchdown Rushing Yards Touchdown
Donte Moncrief 104 61 13.8 841.8 5 0 0

It doesn't take a massive target share in Pittsburgh's offense to start becoming fantasy relevant, and with the sixth-most targets (226) and third-most air yards (2,485) available from last year's production, Donte Moncrief is transforming into a steal at his current 11th-round ADP.

From a metrics perspective, Moncrief has always been a tantalizing prospect. 4.40 speed mixed with a substantial catch radius seems like the ideal fit for what you are looking for at the position, but the 26-year-old has struggled to put it all together during his career. The sixth-year pro did experience a moderate revival last season in his only year in Jacksonville, catching 48 passes for 668 yards and three touchdowns, but those numbers still pale in comparison to his sophomore campaign in 2015, where he produced 64 catches and six touchdowns. With all that being said, sometimes the right fit is all a player needs to realize their true potential, and I believe Pittsburgh is the perfect landing spot for opportunity to meet talent.

Ben Roethlisberger isn't always the most efficient or effective quarterback, but there is no arguing that the Steelers will threaten the league lead in pass attempts once again in 2019. I'm not sure we should expect Big Ben to approach his career-setting 675 throws he had in 2018, but 600+ is still on the table and should be considered more than scraps for Moncrief to eat.

Moncrief posted a target share of 17.1% last season in Jacksonville, and even though the uniform is different, I believe we should be expecting a similar level of usage. James Washington and Diontae Johnson are entrenched in a battle for a role in three-wide sets, and Moncrief's job opposite of JuJu Smith-Schuster looks safe. I have projected the Steelers' second wideout for a 17.2% target share in the offense this season, and the upside is even greater if Pittsburgh resorts back to their all-out aerial attack we saw a season ago.

 

Jamison Crowder, New York Jets

Current ADP: 176th Overall (WR61)

My Projection: 164.46 Points (WR46)

WR Targets Receptions Average Yards Touchdown Rushing Yards Touchdown
Jamison Crowder 94 62 12.3 762.6 4 22 0

Jamison Crowder has turned into a somewhat forgotten PPR asset after his injury-plagued 2018 campaign. The 26-year-old started his career with three straight seasons of recording at least 59 catches and had registered at least 99 targets during the two prior years before his forgettable last season in Washington. However, his move to the New York Jets in 2019 not only places him on a team that appears to be on the rise but connects him with a coach that has shown an affinity for using his slot wideouts.

Gase used Jarvis Landry as a PPR machine during his days in Miami. Sure, some could argue ineffectively given his 8.8 yards per reception, but the head coach has never been shy when it comes to forcing his QB to complete throws and get the ball out of his hands quickly. That sort of mentality should pay dividends for Crowder, who is ranked eighth since entering the league in explosive plays and YAC/reception.

Le'Veon Bell, Robby Anderson and Chris Herndon are in the mix for players who will steal looks from Crowder throughout the season, but the connection appears to be real between Darnold and his slot WR. The two connected for two completions, 31 yards and a score during the Jets' opening drive of their first preseason game, and Darnold was recently quoted saying "some of the option routes that he runs, they're so clean and, for me, they're really easy to read." Making life more straightforward for a second-year QB is never a bad thing, and Crowder should be used as Darnold's security blanket when push comes to shove. The upside is there for a 20%+ share in the offense, although I do have him projected at just 17.8% as of right now. With a few extra targets, Crowder could start making a serious push into the WR3 range or above.

 

Daesean Hamilton, Denver Broncos

Current ADP: 206th Overall (WR72)

My Projection: 174.21 Points (WR41)

WR Targets Receptions Average Yards Touchdown Rushing Yards Touchdown
DaeSean Hamilton 103 69 10.9 752.1 5 0 0

Denver's offense has been by far the most difficult for me to project this offseason. I currently have Emmanuel Sanders at a target share of 19.6%, Daesean Hamilton at 17.9% and Courtland Sutton at 17.2%. I realize that is a jumbled up picture that we have on our hands, but there is enough volume to go around for all three to be fantasy relevant.

Hamilton has been one of the biggest fallers in my rankings since the reemergence of Sanders back at camp after he suffered a gruesome Achilles injury to end his 2018 season, but the ADP of the three players just doesn't quite add up correctly when it comes to Hamilton. As of this moment, the 24-year-old is going over 100 picks later than Sutton and nearly 100 picks beyond Sanders. I realize the upside isn't quite the same between the three, and both Sutton and Sanders have an opportunity for a higher ceiling, but Hamilton is probably the safest of the group and would see a massive boost if Sanders had any issues throughout the season.

Can Flacco provide enough substance to keep three WRs in the top 50 at this point of his career? That remains to be seen, but there should be around 300+ targets that will be spread around in some fashion to Denver's big three, and I believe we will be looking at a rather steady distribution when it is all said and done. If that is the case, both Sutton and Sanders are reasonable upside selections at their ADPs, and Hamilton is a bargain for a player currently not being drafted in most settings.

 

Albert Wilson, Miami Dolphins

Current ADP: 219th Overall (WR75)

My Projection: 183.92 Points (WR31)

WR Targets Receptions Average Yards Touchdown Rushing Yards Touchdown
Albert Wilson 101 68 12.9 877.2 4 42 0

Projecting a player to almost double his career-high output in catches is dangerous, but Albert Wilson is currently going as pick 219 in drafts. That makes him undrafted in the vast majority of leagues, and I think we can take a swing for the fence without any real downside of doing so here with the dynamic Dolphins wideout.

Wilson has a game that mimics Golden Tate, which has been evident by his ability to produce after the catch. Before getting injured last season, the 27-year-old was leading the NFL in yards after catch from wideouts that had received at least 20 targets. Wilson's inability to stay healthy has been his undoing so far during his career, but when he is on the field, he is one of the most effective pass-catchers in the game. If we look at his 2017 and 2018 stats side-by-side, there are a few indicators that a breakout might be looming.

2018 (7 games)

2017 (13 games)

Yards After Catch

24th

16th

Yards Per Target

3rd

17th

Yards Per Pass Route

3rd

34th

Catchable Target Rate

11th

15th

Catch Rate Percentage

8th

19th

Target Separation

7th

21st

Target Premium

1st

60th

QB Rating When Targeted

7th

8th

Fantasy Points Per Route

1st

32nd

Fantasy Points Per Target

2nd

23rd

Those rankings are compared to every other WR in the league and begin to paint an image of a wideout who has the capabilities to produce as an upper-echelon performer if he can stay healthy. Miami currently doesn't have a true #1 target on the outside (perhaps Preston Williams will transform into that before the season is over), but Wilson should be the first option for either Josh Rosen or Ryan Fitzpatrick. The former Georgia State star is still recovering from his season-ending hip injury that he sustained last year, but all indications have pointed towards him being ready to go for Week 1 of 2019. My projections are based on him having a 17.8% target share in the offense, which is just six-tenths higher than where he was producing before his injury in 2018. Health will be the key for Wilson, but the opportunity is there for a WR2/WR3 type year.

 

Terry McLaurin, Washington Redskins

Current ADP: 327th Overall (WR105)

My Projection: 154.02 Points (WR49)

WR Targets Receptions Average Yards Touchdown Rushing Yards Touchdown
Terry McLaurin 84 53 13.4 710.2 5 0 0

I am a professional sports bettor, which sometimes gets a negative connotation from those who don't understand what I do. The general public would consider my job as a luck-based activity that presents potential dangers and pitfalls, but I would describe my profession in a completely different fashion. My goal, and what defines my bottom line at the end of the year, comes down to being able to assess value and pinpoint inconsistencies in the market.

I mention all this because I believe we have a player that deserves some consideration in settings as small as 10-team leagues but isn't even being drafted in all 20-team contests. These sorts of discrepancies are a handicappers dream, and the beautiful thing about this wager is that our risk of being wrong will only cost us one of our last picks in the draft.

It remains to be seen what exactly the Washington Redskins will do with frankly any part of their offense entering the season, but there is a massive possibility that we see Terry McLaurin win a starting spot opposite of Paul Richardson as early as Week 1 of the year. McLaurin was a speedster at Ohio State and enters the league jumping off the board with his measurables. 4.35 speed (98th percentile), 114.6 speed score (95th percentile) and a catch radius that places him slightly over the top 75% of NFL players would be enough to sell me in almost any situation, but his college connection with Dwayne Haskins adds another incentive of why McLaurin could be in for a breakout rookie season.

Last year at Ohio State, the two connected for 701 yards and 11 TDs, and Haskins has been on record saying that he is looking for his young wideout every time he takes the snap. There is a remotely decent chance that Haskins will not win the job by Week 1, but the nice thing about McLaurin is this isn't some duo package where he can only succeed under one QB.

Head coach Jay Gruden has been raving about his first-year WR, calling him "one of the team's best players" and has acknowledged that nobody in the organization realized he was this good when they drafted him. Does a player being projected as my overall WR49 guarantee you a championship in a 12-team fantasy football league? No. But the upside is there, the potential for a higher ceiling is possible and the cost is free to acquire. I don't know about you guys, but I enjoy getting a chance to place a freeroll wager if it means I can hit the lottery.

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