Fantasy Football League Winners: WR Edition

League Winners: Wide Receiver Edition

These are receivers that I personally think have the potential to help you win your league. The criteria I had was pretty loose. I basically included receivers that didn’t cost a heavy investment and have the opportunity and talent to reach at least WR2 level production. I added some usage stats which are the best predictors of future success. Knowing usage stats may also help you pick between the players. Numbers are based on standard scoring and usage stats are provided courtesy of Football Outsiders.

 

Mike Williams (LAC)

Owned (ESPN): 34%

Targets (Week 1 / Week 2): 6 / 2             

Target Share: 12% / 7%

Snap %: 52% / 71%

Ceiling: Weak WR2

Mike Williams is already a prominent jump ball specialist and he can only get better with time. Williams has a lot of things to work on, especially his route running. However, he makes up for subpar route running and average speed by being great in the air and having strong hands. For fantasy purposes, Williams’ ability to be a threat in the redzone really helps his value, especially in standard scoring. I feel pretty confident saying that he can get at least 8 touchdowns this year. The main problem with having Mike Williams is his competition for targets. Although Hunter Henry is on IR, Phillip Rivers still has Tyrell Williams, Keenan Allen, Antonio Gates, Melvin Gordon, and Austin Ekeler as major weapons in the passing game. I wouldn’t worry too much about Tyrell Williams, as I simply think Mike has higher potential and the Chargers have much more invested in Mike than they do in Tyrell. Antonio Gates doesn’t seem like much of a threat at this point in time either. The running backs are what worry me the most, as they soak up a lot of targets, receptions and touchdowns. Regardless, I think once Phillip Rivers has gained trust in Mike, he will use him more consistently. He has high TD upside and that is why I think he can potentially be a WR2 by season end if he is consistently targeted. He has already shown some promising consistency with 80 yards in one game and a TD in the next. I would temper expectations until Mike Williams proves to definitely be the second WR in terms of snaps and targets. That being said, I definitely think that happens soon and when it does, I expect great things from Mike Williams.

 

Chris Godwin (TB)

Owned: 37%

Targets (1 / 2): 4 / 6

Target Share: 14% / 18%

Snap %: 67% / 50%

Ceiling: Weak WR2

Godwin is another receiver I really like so far. He was one of my favorite receivers coming out of the 2017 draft and I was particularly high on him and Zay Jones (might be wrong there). Godwin is great in the air and also very consistent on intermediate routes too. He has strong hands and a great ability to high point the ball. He reminds me of Allen Robinson. The downside to Godwin is he is part of an offense that has a lot of mouths to feed. He has to compete with Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, and O.J. Howard for targets. I think Godwin is a better and more complete player than DeSean Jackson but Jackson has looked explosive so far and as a result he has earned a good chunk of snaps. I also think Godwin has Howard beat for targets as well, as he has gotten more targets in both weeks of the season so far. Regardless, the Bucs offense will have to maintain the already ridiculous pace set by “Fitzmagic” to sustain all these options. Once this offense settles down,  I expect Godwin and Evans to feast the most consistently. As long as Godwin is getting the targets, he is a threat in the red zone and can get chunk yardage on only a limited amount of receptions. The one upside of Godwin’s situation opposed to Williams’ is that the Bucs have a much worse defense, especially secondary, and as a result will have to throw more. The Bucs running game is also much less than productive than the Chargers. It is basically just the receiver show in Tampa Bay in terms of receptions. Godwin could put up some frustrating weeks if the Bucs feature O.J. Howard or DeSean Jackson more in any given week but I expect Godwin to be an integral part of their plans this year.

 

Kenny Golladay (DET)

Owned: 80%

Targets (1 / 2): 12 / 9

Target Share: 26% / 17%

Snap %: 96% / 92%

Ceiling: WR2

Another rising star that is still being criminally underrated, except in more hardcore fantasy circles. Golladay has looked great so far and I am fairly confident that he will finish this year as a WR2. Golladay is fantastic in the air, has strong hands, and has come a long way as a route runner, consistently gaining separation. He also plays in a pass first offense that is accompanied by a terrible defense. That is extremely valuable in fantasy, as Matt Stafford will have to air out the ball consistently to keep up with opponents. The main issue with Golladay isn’t the offense or the talent, it’s the fact that Marvin Jones and Golden Tate are also key factors in that offense. The early signs show that Golladay is potentially passing Marvin Jones as the outside receiver of choice. Golladay had 12 targets in Week 1 and 9 targets in Week 2 opposed to Marvin who had 8 targets and 9 targets respectively. Golden Tate will consistently get a handful of targets due to the nature of his game as a intermediate weapon, but Golladay could very well pass Marvin Jones in targets, touchdowns and fantasy points. I have seen and heard a lot of speculation of whether Stafford can sustain three wide receivers as fantasy options but early signs show that even if he can’t maintain all three options, it’s unlikely that Golladay is the one that suffers. Evidence also clearly shows that Golladay is part of the plan regardless, so I would definitely expect optimistic results even though the offense is crowded. There is enough volume to go around and Golladay’s talent will force Stafford to throw to him.  

 

Will Fuller (HOU)

Owned: 88%

Targets (2): 9

Target Share: 28%

Snap %: 82%

Ceiling: Strong WR2

Fuller is a phenomenal deep threat with game changing speed. He struggled with drops early in his career but he seems to be improving in that area. He has come a long way in other facets of the game as well and is not as one dimensional as he used to be. Fuller is the most well known player on this list and also the most widely owned. However, I’m not sure owners are valuing him correctly. According to ESPN, Will Fuller was only started in 14.4% of leagues last week. He is still only being started in 44.3% of leagues this week too.That is absurdly low. Will Fuller in my mind is a solid WR2. He has simply shown amazing production with Watson under center, scoring every single game they have played together. That ridiculous rate will slow down. Even if it does, Fuller can maintain WR2 level of production. Watson and Fuller have fantastic chemistry and that should lead to a great year for Fuller. Fuller is also basically the only threat for major targets on the Texans besides DeAndre Hopkins. No wide receiver or tight end on the Texans has shown consistent ability to garner more touches. I expect Watson to find a happy medium between his play last year and his shaky play so far this year. As a result, I expect Fuller to be a very consistent option. The one downside to Fuller is his inability to stay healthy. He routinely finds himself on the injury report. Thankfully, Fuller was drafted late enough and his value is low enough that most fantasy teams will have other options to cover for his inevitable injuries. I would buy Fuller immediately, as unlike the more gradual rise in value the guys above will experience, Fuller will most likely take off right away. Both literally and figuratively.

 

Keelan Cole (JAX)

Owned: 66%

Targets (Week 1 / Week 2): 4 / 8

Target Share: 12% / 18%

Snap %: 75% / 83%

Ceiling: Strong WR2

Keelan Cole is perhaps my favorite candidate for breakout star and potential league winner. Cole has routinely impressed me with his fantastic ball skills, strong hands, blazing speed and great athleticism. His catch last week was Odell Beckham-esque. I had no clue who he was prior to his emergence last year but I’m not sure how this man flew so under the radar. Cole is a great talent. His situation is also very appealing as he finds himself as the WR1 in his offense, which can’t be said for any of the other candidates on this list. Donte Moncrief, Dede Westbrook and Austin Seferian Jenkins will get their targets but Cole seems to have great chemistry with Bortles and I expect him to be the target hog in this offense, especially after last week’s performance against a Patriot team that usually does well against #1 wideouts. Cole is somewhat limited by the nature of his team as he has an offense committed heavily to the run accompanied by quite possibly the best defense in the league. I will say, Fournette has been hampered by injuries and Bortles looked fantastic last week, so we could see more of the passing game than we originally thought. Keelan Cole has the athleticism and size profile to be a great player and Bortles has brought about a WR1 and high end WR2 in the same season in 2015. I don’t expect that again as the defense and run game has exponentially improved but Cole definitely has high end WR2 potential with Bortles under center. His upside does depend on how consistent Bortles plays and how much they actually pass the ball but I believe Bortles can be trusted to get him the ball. A promising statistic in that regard is that 4 out of the last 6 weeks, Cole has 99 yards or over. I think Cole at the least finishes as a low end WR2 and I would either pick him up or trade for him very quickly.

 

Keep an Eye On: Geronimo Allison (GB), Tyler Boyd (CIN), Antonio Callaway (CLE), Quincy Enunwa (NYJ) [PPR]