Dare to Win: Top Three Wide Receiver Sleepers 2018

June 28, 2018 | insideinjuries | No Comments

Kenny Golladay – WR59 – 13th Round

Golladay definitely did not disappoint by any rookie standards; in fact. we saw flashes of Golladay where he looked to actually be the best rookie wide receiver of last year. JuJu Smith-Schuster wound up taking that crown but the best part about Golladay is that this season, he is essentially free. Kenny G has a lot of things going for him. He finished last season as the 20th best receiver in WR rating per PFF and also is the biggest receiver on this team. This means red zone opportunities will definitely come his way especially with the exit of Eric Ebron.

Golladay is 6’4” 220 pounds with an 81st percentile catch radius. Not only that but in college he proved to be very flexible with his usage and finished in the 84th percentile in college dominator rating which historically has been very indicative of success in the league. This versatility translated immediately to the NFL which can be seen by finishing 24th in deep passing and 27th in slot performance. Obviously Tate and Jones have specific roles in the offense, that being Tate in the slot and jones as a field stretcher but versatility is the key component to seeing the field. More time on the field will provide an increased opportunity for targets.

Golladay has shown us enough to prove that if an injury were to hit this offense his stock could skyrocket since he has the ability fill multiple roles. We can’t predict injuries heading into the season though so we have to stick with the information we have. At this point Golladay is on one of the most pass friendly teams in the NFL who since 2014 has ranked 11th at the lowest in attempts. His 4 target per game average is now coupled with the departure of Ebron, who averaged an additional 5.4 targets per game. For a guy that is being taken so late, that holds plenty of value and as a bonus The Lions have an amazing early schedule for receivers.

Allen Hurns – WR43 – 9th Round

We understand that there isn’t much faith in this offense aside from Ezekiel Elliott but the reality is this team is going to need to pass to someone. They lost Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and Brice Butler which combined for a whopping 244 targets which was 1 target shy of 50% of the entire teams 2017 targets. Not only that but let’s be honest this Cowboys defense is not going to be tough against opposing offenses. As for Allen Hurns he has always played with a chip on his shoulder since entering the league as an undrafted free agent.

People are quickly forgetting just how good he was prior to dealing with injuries. In Fact in 2015 which was the last healthy season Hurns played he was the 4th highest rated wide receiver in the league rated even higher than his counterpart Allen Robinson. The injuries he has been dealing with since are the ones you don’t want to rush back from He had a grade 2 hamstring strain in 2016 and a high ankle sprain in 2017. Both injuries have historically been ones that have completely destroyed even the best player’s fantasy season but aren’t detrimental enough to impact a players career.

Reports are that Hurns is coming into the season healthy and The Cowboys Coaching Staff is proclaiming him as their bonafide number one receiver. At 6’3” 201 he fits the mold of a true number 1 and the only competition he really has for targets is Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams. Hurns should instantly have the ability to get over 100 targets which is something hardly any of the receivers in this range can achieve.

Josh Doctson- WR55 – 12th Round

A lot of Josh Doctson’s question marks come from Alex Smith. Smith gets a wrap for being a game manager but that’s really all that was needed in Kansas city. It was a product of the powerful defense and the weapons around him. When he was actually given some weapons and the defense began to play poorly, Smith was forced to air out the ball. Regression from 2017 is still coming for the quarterback but he will be required to do more than what was needed during his tenure in Kansas city. KC is a defense that has gotten much slower and older over time.

The past 4 years they went from 2nd to 1st to 6th to 15th and are likely going to fall even more this year. To have a defensive floor of 15th in points allowed really helps put your quarterback in a safe position. Basically, if you can avoid turning the ball over, the team can win. That won’t happen in Washington. The best this defense had performed through that same span was 18th and they even ranked 29th and 27th in 2 of those 4 years. While Cousins erratic play style did feed into that at times, Smith is almost certainly coming into the worst defense he has had in recent memory.

As for Doctson, he is coming into his third year which historically provides an increased chance at having a breakout season. There are very few solid third year receivers this year and excluding Michael Thomas, Doctson should have the highest target market share of them all.

This pick presents insane value and although Cousins is a much better fantasy quarterback than Alex Smith, Cousins spreads the ball around a lot. That helps Kirk’s individual performance but it really hurt his receivers in fantasy. Smith on the other hand has been known to pick his favorite targets and hyper focus them i.e. Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and even Jeremy Maclin a few years back. Smith doesn’t need to throw for 4500 yards to make Docston a productive fantasy asset. The Redskin’s receiver already held a 40% target share of all red zone targets and due to his physical abilities that trend will continue. He has a massive catch radius, I’m talking 96th percentile. There is a reason he got that many red zone targets and will continue to do so in 2018.

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