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Staff Post: Wide receivers to avoid in 2019

These are the receivers you should pass on and let your leaguemates draft this year.

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Wide receiver Week is sadly at its end which in the long view is great because it means football, actual, real enjoyable football, is just around the corner! As I’m sure many of you are ramping up for your upcoming drafts, it’s important to not only know who to draft, but also know who to not draft. We close out WR Week with those wideouts who we as a staff are avoiding in fantasy this year. And if you missed our receivers to target, well, here’s that goodness. (ADP from Fantasy Football Calculator in non-PPR league.)

JuJu Smith-Schuster

Current FFC ADP: 2.07

Clark Barnes: JuJu’s struggles against man coverage concern me for his first year where he’s expected to carry the load as the wide receiver 1 in Pittsburgh. Despite misgivings about a mismatched role and skill set, I think Smith-Schuster is a solid, end of the 2nd round pick because he should be targeted a ton. Unfortunately, he is going in front of Mike Evans, Keenan Allen, and Antonio Brown. That is just too high for me.

Pete Rogers: I’m going to join Clark with this pick. I get this has been the summer of shitting on Antonio Brown, but let’s not forget that he has been arguably the best wide receiver in the league the last five or so years. That’s a hell of a running mate to have when you’re a young receiver, taking your first steps in the league. With Brown now out of the picture and defense’s sole attention being paid to Smith-Schuster, I’m just not sold that he’s going to put up the fantasy numbers that go with someone taken in the first two rounds. Plus, JuJu has been able to play slot in Pittsburgh—where he’s done his most damage—because of Brown on the outside. Is he going to be as effective there with guys like Donte Moncrief or James Washington on the outside? *shrug emoji*

T.Y. Hilton

Current FCC ADP: 3.04

Paddi Cooper: I should start by saying this is not about Andrew Luck’s mysterious calf/ankle injury as until Luck is not on the field, I’m not worried about the Colts’ offense in 2019. Hilton however does worry me. He played most of 2018 battling various ankle injuries and still managed to finish as the WR14 but I still forecast regression. Indy have spent the off-season adding weapons to their offense, with Devin Funchess coming in via free agency and Parris Campbell coming in as a second round draft pick and lighting up training camp. Add to that a pair of pass catching tight ends in Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle who will eat up targets and Hilton is poised to see a decrease in the 120 targets he saw in 2018. I also don’t like the look of the opposition as the Colts face 6 projected top-10 defenses in 2019 and Hilton averages just 12.1 ppr points per game against top-10 defenses over the past 3 years, 19th best over that period.

Keenan Allen

Current FFC ADP: 3.05

Mark Abell: I have a few concerns with Keenan Allen. First, the Chargers have a tough receiving schedule this year. Second, he has been the pillar of health the last two years but previously he had kidney and ACL injuries that severely limited his 2015 and 2016 seasons. Third, I have been all in on Phillip Rivers as a great steady QB but at the age of 37, I’m starting to get nervous that he can continue his pace.

Amari Cooper

Current FFC ADP: 3.10

Barnes: It’s easy to remember the big games Cooper had last season, but Cooper owners will tell you his play was maddeningly up and down. It’d be insulting to vanilla to say the Cowboys offense has been a little too vanilla for the past half-decade, and while I’m hopeful that will change under new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, hope is not a plan. There are too many other hyper-talented guys going around Cooper at his middle-of-the-third ADP. Just pass.