This article is the first in a series on ‘My Fantasy League 10s' (or MFL10s). MFL10s are best ball, PPR, slow draft (each owner can take up to 8 hours to make their pick) leagues. I'll be putting together my thoughts on the format, in general, later this week. Stay tuned!
For this article, I'll dive in to the bountiful wide receiver 3 group available in the seventh round. By round seven, running back has thinned, the top tight ends are gone, it still feel's too early to take a quarterback (at this point in the draft there are still a dozen QBs on the board I am fine with leading my committee), but the available wide receivers look really nice.
(As of June 23rd) There are a few wide receivers that I, and apparently everyone else, are passing on: Michael Floyd, DeVante Parker, Davante Adams, and Dorial Green-Beckham. It isn't that I can't see the upside for this group, but the story I have to tell myself to get there seems unlikely.
Just below that group of receivers I'm passing on, we have Charles Johnson, Mike Wallace, Eric Decker and Kenny Stills. I really like this group. In a best ball format, the story I tell myself, the production I think they'll have, these guys make sense. I break down each receiver below, in no particular order.
Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings -
I'm optimistic about the Vikings offense this year. Teddy Bridgewater did more than anyone should expect from a rookie, improving from game to game, finishing the year strong. Teddy was not surrounded by talent, but he did a lot with what little he was given.
One of the bright spots last year was free agent acquisition Charles Johnson.
It took Johnson a while to get on the field, but once he did, he proved to be serviceable. When you put a serviceable wide receiver and a capable quarterback together with the best running back of a generation, there is plenty to get excited about.
With Mike Wallace coming to town, Bridgewater improving, and year two with Norv Turner calling the shots on O, Johnson will take a nice step forward. New additions to the team will push him down the depth chart, but they will also buoy all the Vikings' fantasy values.
Mike Wallace, WR, Minnesota Vikings -
Wallace had a sneaky good season down in Miami last year. If you followed the Dolphins, or were simply alive during the 2014 campaign, you'll remember the countless replays of Wallace getting open deep, only to be missed badly by Ryan Tannehill. Despite their lack of chemistry on the deep ball, Wallace ended up in the end zone 10 times, finishing as WR20 in PPR.
Wallace is coming off the board as WR 35 (ADP data since June 1st provided by My Fantasy League).
Opposing defenses will be forced to stack the box to try and slow down a very, very angry Adrian Petersen. Bridgewater and Norv Turner will have no shortage of great play action looks against single high safeties. We know Wallace can still get behind the defense, and moving to a more polished quarterback will make him a great option as your WR3/Flex this year.
Eric Decker, WR, New York Jets -
Last year, Decker caught 74 passes for 962 yards and 5 touchdowns as the only competent pass catching option for one of the worst teams in the league. This year, Decker will return to the number 2 receiver role opposite Brandon Marshall. The Jets hired Chan Gailey and brought in Ryan Fitzpatrick to backup, push, or compete (depending on which way the wind is blowing that day) with Geno.
Smith started to show signs of improving late last year, and Chan Gailey has made shinola out of... stuff, before. With Marshall on the other side, and a nasty defense, the Jets may actually compete this year. I think we saw Decker's absolute floor last year, and that floor is not prohibitively low. He is not flashy, but he is a solid option at this point in the draft.
Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins -
Stills is coming off a year that he, and anyone associated with the New Orleans Saints, would like to forget. In limited service last year, Stills looked to be the best receiver in black and gold. He took another step forward in his development even though he appeared to be one of Brees' least favorite targets.
Moving to Miami, Stills may be the best receiver (perhaps in yards, Jarvis Landry will rule the roost for receptions) for the Dolphins this year. Bill Lazor and the Dolphin's offense does a lot of quick-hitters to set up shots over the top. While Tannehill and Wallace had trouble hooking up deep last year, Stills has enough speed and strength to get open deep. Stills also has the ability to do more than just run downfield.
Kenny comes from a Big 12 spread attack, and spent his last 2 years developing in one of the more progressive attacks in the NFL. Bill Lazor is a Chip Kelly disciple, and the Dolphins and Eagles offenses have looked pretty similar over the past couple of years. While the offensive scheme may not churn out a big time number one guy, it can support several number two's. When you're playing in best ball, when and how you get the production doesn't matter as much.
Am I crazy? Did I miss your guy? Tweet at me @NFLClark and let me know!