Last week we covered the sleepers and busts at the RB position, and now we turn our focus to the WR position. Yesterday the sleeper portion of this article was posted, so today, this will be all about the overvalued WR’s. Check out the WR sleepers here. Without further ado, here is the list of Fantasy Football busts at the Wide Receiver position.
The love has gone too far on Brandin Cooks. According to Fantasy Football Calculator, he is being drafted as the 29th receiver in drafts so far this preseason. Many football writers will be touting Cooks as a sleeper option this season, but that just seems to be ridiculous when thinking about the Saints offense. The New Orleans Saints have been a team that put a high percentage of their targets on Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston, and the Running Backs. Just over 70 percent of the Saints targets last year went to the RB’s, Graham, and Colston. This leaves a small amount of targets to go to the second and third WR on the Saints roster. Cooks isn’t even the number two receiver on the Saints roster right now, with the as explosive Kenny Stills entering his second season. Last season Stills put up a decent end of year statline, but it was just too hard to figure out when he was going to have one of his big games. That is what I see happening with Brandin Cooks this season. He may have some big weeks for you throughout the season, but predicting when those will be is like throwing a dart drunk. Maybe you land on the right week, but more often than not you will end up throwing that dart way off aim and will have to suffer through that one catch 16 yard week again.
Fitzgerald finished last year with 10 TD’s and just shy of 1000 yards receiving last season, but that seems hard for him to repeat. Sure Fitzgerald has gotten a high number of targets from Carson Palmer, but he has turned into more of a possession receiver with limited explosiveness since turning 30 last year. With the emergence of Michael Floyd as a big playmaking guy on Arizona, the targets are going to start shifting more in his favor, and Fitzgerald will have to try to make the best with what he can of the short passes. In the three years prior to last season, he averaged 6 TD’s a year, so expecting Fitzgerald to get double digit scores again is not smart. I can see him finishing with a line close to 950 yards and 7 TD’s, and that will put him on par with Riley Cooper last season, and he finished as the number 22 WR last season. Those numbers I laid out are the high end of what I expect, so I see him finishing outside the top 25 at the position, and that will not make him worth drafting as your number 2 WR, which is how he is currently being drafted.
A Wide Receiver in an offense that has Peyton Manning as his QB seems destined to be a safe option to put up a top 20 season, but injury concerns lead me to think otherwise. Last year Welker had to deal with a concussion injury, and as doctors will tell you, when you have had one, you are more susceptible to get another concussion in the future. I have a little bit of concern over the amount of weapons at Manning’s disposable as well. With 55 TD passes last year, it seemed as though enough was able to go around for any Bronco receiver, but what if that number now goes down to around 43? The two Thomas’s will take about half of those so now that leaves 22 left let’s say. Now you have to give out 4 TD’s to the Broncos RB’s, and then add another four random TD’s to non-fantasy relevant guys. Now the number left is 14, with Welker and Emmanuel Sanders left to take from that pile. Split that number down the middle, and Welker comes out with 7 TD catches on the year. That number seems reasonable, and then you factor in that he will have around 800 receiving yards, and he is barely a FLEX worthy option, not close to his value as being drafted as a starter currently.
Injuries and Inexperience plagued the New England receiving corps last year. This gave Edelman the opportunity to climb to the top of the depth chart, gain an impressive rapport with Tom Brady, and post career numbers across the board. This year, he will face much stiffer competition for targets. Rob Gronkowski is expected to be ready for the start of the season, Shane Vereen should be heavily involved in the pass game out of the backfield, and Danny Amendola is healthy (for the time being) and looking great so far in the preseason. When Gronkowski is on the field, he will dominate the targets. Edelman will face a steep decline in targets and will not be able to meet expectations for this season as long as the other, better options stay healthy.
As long as Pep Hamilton remains the offensive coordinator in Indianapolis, Hilton's and the entire passing game's potential is capped due to his desire to run the offense through the power run game, no matter how ineffective it is with a weak offensive line and a disinterested Trent Richardson. Last year, the Colts favored playing Darrius Heyward-Bey over Hilton due to his blocking ability. This year, he has more competition with a healthy Reggie Wayne, Hakeem Nicks, and the rookie Donte Moncrief. It has also been reported that the Colts will be running more two tight end sets with Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener. When given the opportunity, Hilton can be the most dynamic player on the field, but this offensive scheme will force Hilton to come off the bench and attempt to make an impact in a limited amount of plays each game.
Here are two other potential busts as they switch teams to subpar passing QB’s:
That does it for the busts at the WR position, and next week we will move on to the TE position. Also later this week the consensus WR rankings will be running with some commentary as we have done with the QB and RB positions.