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Which Half of These 2016 Wide Receiver Duos Should You Target?


NFL teams with two or more fantasy relevant receivers present an interesting dilemma. How high do you value one player over another, relative to his ADP? It may be clear who is the better player and #1 receiver, but if the difference between the two is not significant, often #2 represents a better value. With receivers being drafted higher than ever before, grabbing that workhorse RB early and waiting a couple of rounds for a comparable receiver can help you build a more well-rounded team. In this article, we'll evaluate teammates in the receiving corps to determine who is a better value on draft day.

Note: all rankings are taken from Yahoo! Fantasy Football standard leagues with .5 PPR scoring. ADP values were obtained from Yahoo! Experts May Mock Draft.

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Atlanta Falcons: Julio Jones (1.07) or Mohamed Sanu (11.1)

Julio Jones led the NFL in receiving yards with 1,871 and tied for the lead in receptions. There is no doubt he is a first round pick and an elite option at the wide receiver position. The question is how he compares as a value with his new teammate, Mohamed Sanu. Even with Andy Dalton's breakout performance, Sanu had a down year in 2015, producing only 394 yards and two TD. His career high came in 2014 where he racked up 790 receiving yards, an average of 49.4 yards per game. Coming into the offseason, Atlanta was in desperate need of a dependable #2 WR to replace the aging Roddy White and talented but oft-injured Leonard Hankerson. Sanu could flirt with 1,000 yards, but in this offense Jones will always be the apple of Matt Ryan's eye.

The Choice is Julio Jones

 

Denver Broncos: Demaryius Thomas (3.06) or Emmanuel Sanders (6.09)

This is a case where both receivers may be overvalued. Let's face it, going from Peyton Manning to Mark Sanchez or even rookie quarterback Paxton Lynch isn't going to provoke a lot of optimism. Thomas has the talent to make any QB look good, but in 2016, with Brock Osweiler and a less-than-efficient Manning at the helm, there was a drop-off in production from his prime years with Manning under center. Thomas ended the 2015 season with 1,304 yards, which sounds impressive until you realize it was 300 yards behind his 2014 total. The dip could be more noticeable with a full year of Sanchez or even worse if the Broncos throw rookie Paxton Lynch out there. Sanders' numbers also suffered in 2015, but he still finished with 1,135 yards and narrowed the gap between himself and Thomas. As a speedy slot receiver, Sanders will likely be a safety valve for whichever quarterback the Broncos roll with. Sanders' ability after the catch will be a key factor for him and Thomas won't see the deep balls he was used to getting, which will limit his big play ability.

The Choice is Emmanuel Sanders

 

Jacksonville Jaguars: Allen Robinson (2.02) or Allen Hurns (5.12)

Hurns was the 14th ranked WR in fantasy points last season, which begs the question, why he isn't being taken higher than the 6th round of fantasy drafts? He doesn't have the physical tools or size of Allen Robinson, but Hurns' has soft hands and efficient route-running can help receivers even more than height. Hurns will likely never reach the 1,400 receiving yards-14 touchdown receiving line like his teammate, but his line 1,031-10 in his sophomore season was nothing to shake your head at. Robinson seems a good bet to post top-5 numbers again, but if you can get top-15 a whole four rounds later, doesn't that seem like a better value? Robinson was a bargain last year, but this year he'll cost you a second-round pick, whereas Hurns remains undervalued compared to his production.

The choice is Allen Hurns

 

Miami Dolphins: Jarvis Landry (4.04) or Devante Parker (6.11)

Jarvis Landry was sixth in the league in targets with an impressive 166, leading to 110 receptions. He is undoubtedly Miami's top threat and will remain Ryan Tannehill's safety valve in 2016. Devante Parker's rookie year got off to an unexpectedly slow start, and his recovery from a foot injury wasn't the only factor holding him back. The Dolphins' staff seemed reluctant to play Parker even when healthy. This likely had more to do with the pressure on the coaches to win games and attempt to preserve their jobs than Parker himself. From weeks 15-17, once the Fins were out of playoff contention, Parker saw the field as a starter and put up 286 yards in three games, averaging 22 yards per catch during that span. Now, offensive guru Adam Gase brings great promise to the whole offense, particularly the second-year receiver. The big difference between these two players is their red-zone ability. Despite his large volume of targets, Landry only caught four touchdowns in 2015. In less than half a season, the taller Parker managed three touchdowns. Double-digit touchdowns are in the range of outcomes for Devante Parker in his sophomore season, and he offers greater upside overall. PPR leagues should still prioritize Landry, but Parker should be tabbed as the better value in all other formats.

The choice is Devante Parker

 

Oakland Raiders: Amari Cooper (3.01) or Michael Crabtree (9.10)

Amari Cooper finished with exceptional numbers for a rookie wide receiver, hauling in 1,070 yards and six touchdowns and finishing within the top-25 of fantasy receivers. He was only the ninth receiver to surpass 1,000 yards as a rookie since the year 2000. Crabtree, however, was just shy of the 1000 receiving yard and 10 touchdown milestones, finishing with a line of 85-922-9. That was good enough for a top 20 ranking among all wide receivers. With another year of growth from Derek Carr, there is a chance both receivers increase their output. I believe that thinking Cooper will vastly exceed his rookie numbers might be a mistake, and while Crabtree is not the most exciting pick, his steady hands ensure he will be more of a red-zone threat than most people realize.

The choice is Michael Crabtree

 

Every draft plays out differently, but if you miss out on the top tier of wide receivers in rounds 1-3, there may be even better value around the corner. Of course, when it comes down to it, as Dres from Black Sheep says, the choice is yours.

 

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Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.




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