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Wide Receiver ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review


I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward his owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll be left in the dust. Drafting the unexpected league-winning player is always a hard task and something more random than not, so consider yourself lucky if you found you in that position.

No matter what, though, there are always players who fall into one of those two categories at the end of the year and provide much more -- or less -- ROI than they were expected to before the season kicked off. Using a combination of ADP values from MyFantasyLeague.com, which uses different leagues to factor their average positions, I will examine the biggest gainers and fallers of 2019 at each position during this series of articles.

It's time to asses how the season went at the wide receiver position, where a few young players and a few afterthoughts finally had their breakout years, while some heavily valued and coveted players (Antonio Brown not considered) had seasons to forget after changing teams or being thrust into more important roles. Here are your ADP winners and losers at WR in 2019.

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WR ADP Winners

Devante Parker - MIA (ADP WR55, finished WR11)

If you passed on DeVante Parker in September, I don't blame you. I must admit I am and have always been a Parker stan, but even I would have done so. This was going to be Parker's fifth season in the league and he was going to play, again, for a tanking team in the mediocre Miami Dolphins. No wonder why he was drafted no earlier than the 13th round on average...Talk about a steal, though. Parker started the season slowly but when the curtains closed he was the 11th-best WR and 28th-best player in fantasy football. He did so by getting to 1,202 yards and 9 TDs on 72 targets, all career-high numbers by a mile. Parker will be 27-years-old next season and Miami should improve, so watch out for another booming season.

Chris Godwin - TB (ADP WR20, finished WR2)

All praise Godwin. Playing next to an opportunity-magnet like Mike Evans (118 targets in 2019), Godwin out-performed the presumptive No. 1 receiver of the Bucs to the tune of a massive 1,333-yard season on 86 receptions with nine touchdowns. Godwin out-targeted Evans by three passes, caught 19 more of them, scored two more touchdowns and logged 176 more yards. No joke considering Godwin was going off the board by the middle of the fourth round while Evans' owners paid a second-round pick to get him early in September drafts (Evans' ADP was WR8 and he finished as WR15).

A.J. Brown - TEN (ADP WR61, finished WR21)

Another young gun with sky-high potential given what he did in his rookie season. In just 11 "games started" and a rather low usage with 84 targets, Brown was able to catch 52 of them to finish the year with 1,051 yards and eight touchdowns to his name. Only 24 receivers broke the 1,000-yard mark and obviously Brown was the one to do it on the lowest amount of targets and second-lowest number of receptions (Mike Williams caught 49 passes for 1,001 yards). Ryan Tannehill revitalized the Titans offense and Brown excelled along with him. He will get many more opportunities next year and a WR1 season will not be out of the equation by any means.

 

WR ADP Losers

JuJu Smith-Schuster - PIT (ADP WR6, finished WR65)

How high were the expectations for Smith-Schuster entering 2019? With Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown out of Pittsburgh, the offense was always going to be handled by JuJu and his role would allow him to get everything he could handle and then some. Not so much, though. JuJu missed time and could only play 12 games and for those betting on him (average early second-round pick with an ADP of 15.7) the season couldn't have turned out worse. The Steelers lost Ben Roethlisberger, the backup quarterbacks were mediocre at best, and Smith-Schuster could only finish with 552 yards on 42 receptions and a ridiculously low three TDs for 113.2 fantasy points on the year. Better times must be ahead, I assume, but what if JuJu is no more than an excellent second-fiddle instead of a true No. 1 receiver?

Brandin Cooks - LAR (ADP WR14, finished WR62)

After making the Super Bowl it was reasonable to see Rams fly off the board moderately early. It was the case with all three of Robert Woods (WR17, ADP 47.3), Cooper Kupp (WR22, ADP 59.6), and Brandin Cooks (WR14, ADP 40.1). Those numbers made sense as Cooks and Woods were the go-to weapons of the Rams for most of the season in 2018 (Kupp fell injured and missed eight games) and they have virtually the same numbers. The 2019 season was a completely different story for Cooks, though, as his 1,204 yards in 2018 pummeled down to 583 on 42 receptions in 2019 and he could only grab two touchdowns. Jared Goff is someone to blame a bit, but Cooks himself didn't help matters in the long run.

Corey Davis - TEN (ADP WR29, finished WR63)

The Titans offense looked bad and void of talent before the start of the season (Derrick Henry not considered), and that helped Davis boost his ADP in drafts if only because of the volume of opportunities he should see as the only viable receiving option. It turned out no Titan even reached 85 targets with Corey Davis finishing the year at 69 targets and a paltry 43 catches for only 601 yards and two touchdowns. Considering Davis was a sixth-rounder on average and that he finished as the 166th-best overall fantasy player, well, his owners could have waited for another six-full rounds before taking the gamble on him and still have gotten an even ROI.

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